Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mid-week happy update

Just wanted to drop in and say what a great week I'm having, since I rarely post happy things on this blog! I feel like I'm always talking about how my ankle is bugging me or complaining about work.

Scale victory: I've luckily lost the weight that I gained, and I'm really happy about that. I'm actually now at my lowest weight since the beginning of the year! I've lost 22.8 pounds total since January 1st.

Work has been less stressful this week; it was really, really awful last week. That's one of the main reasons I'm happy - I've had time to catch up on some other parts of my life that have needed attention. I got to sell my broken car to a woman at the repair place for $300, so that's great, and I called my insurance agent today to get the car insurance switched over to my new car.

One thing I'm pretty proud of myself for is scheduling a doctor's appointment. I haven't had a physical in about 7 years, and it's time. Well, it was time a long time ago, but still. It isn't until July because that's the next opening my PCP has, but part of me is looking forward to it. I'm going to do my best to ask for what I need, mainly some mental health assistance with my anxiety. I can't believe I've lived with this anxiety and panic for 12 years now and have never really sought any sort of medical help for it. I'm looking forward to seeing what my options are, and hoping my PCP can prescribe rather than having to make another appointment with a psychiatrist which can take several more weeks, but hey, that's what I get for waiting this long.

Also wanted to share a couple great recipes that I've made this week... I've had some fun with cooking new dishes. One of the three new dishes I've made so far this week was okay but not a winner, but these two are:

Vegetable and Rice Burritos with Quesadilla Cheese -- a recipe from the newest issue of Cooking Light. I absolutely loved this and will probably get into that obsession phase that happens to me with some recipes where I make it every week for a month. It was so quick and easy. I did add some spices to the mix because that's how I cook - namely some chipotle chili powder, and probably some garlic (I add extra garlic to everything.) I also added some mashed avocado because I love avocado, but of course that increases the calories. I used queso fresco instead of quesadilla cheese (I found the quesadilla cheese, but it was 3 bucks more expensive than the queso fresco). I ate the leftover filling with sweet potato tortilla chips. Delicious.

Spinach and Mushroom Ricotta-Stuffed Shells - Not the healthiest, or lowest-calorie, option that I've ever made. There's lots of cheese in this. I'm a Wisconsin girl though, so there you go. The larger-than-normal calorie size comes from an extra-large portion size, though, so you could easily make it smaller. I calculated the calories to be about 560 for a fourth of this dish, but again, it's a huge portion, and that's way fewer than if you ordered something similar at a restaurant. You could easily have this serve six (although there are 20 shells, so you'd have to get creative...) I will probably saute the mushrooms and spinach briefly next time because they tasted a bit "raw" to me in the finished dish, and sauteed mushrooms are pretty much the most delicious thing ever. But as far as dairy-stuffed carbs go, this was really quick to put together due to not having to cook anything but the pasta beforehand. I got all the prep work while the pasta was boiling. I wish I would've been able to find whole-wheat shells, but I couldn't. This is one of those luxury comfort-food dinners that I'll want to make every single week, but probably won't. The other thing I really liked about this was that the filling was that it wasn't runny - it was thick enough to pick up with your hands and shape into an oval, kind of like a meatball, and just place inside the cooked shells. Typically with stuffed shells I make a gigantic mess trying to even out the filling, but I just divided the filling into four roughly equal piles and made 5 little ovals out of each pile. With my leftovers tonight, I also made a really quick broccoli-mushroom-garlic-grape tomato stir fry with olive oil and some Italian seasoning. Sooo good.

Getting really excited for my friends coming to visit over Memorial Day weekend and getting some time off. (I really can't complain, I was in Florida in February, but it wasn't really a good vacation.) I'm also hoping the weather gets much better... I'm sick of cold and rain.

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