Super Simple Swiss Chard

Super Simple Swiss Chard

Great use for your new steamer, and for leftover greens of any type….super easy and super nutritious…

  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, stalks discarded, torn into bigger than bite size pieces – can also use, kale, spinach, collard greens or similar…
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar or lemon juice, depending on your preference
  • salt and pepper to taste

Place greens in steamer for 15 minutes. Toss in bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Serve and enjoy!

Seitan: The Other Other White Non-Meat

Seitan: The Other Other White Non-Meat

Was in Whole Foods the other day and caught the price of Seitan, which is used as a vegan substitute for meat (yep, its the other, other white, non-meat ūüėČ )- all the protein with none if the fat – and it was CRAZY expensive. Saw a variant of this recipe in the awesome Vegan on the Cheap: Great Recipes and Simple Strategies that Save You Time and Money¬†(highly recommended for us vegetarians, vegans to whatever degree) Hell of a lot cheaper – one 2lb bag of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Flour¬†was only $7

TIP: Don’t just slice and use this directly: slice and pan fry in a little oil to give it some crunch on the outside before you throw it in a stir-fry or whatever. We had some the other day in a variation of this recipe

Seitan

1 3/4 cups vital wheat gluten flour
1/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cups cold vegetable stock
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp olive oil

Broth:

4 cups vegetable broth
1 cups water
1 onion quartered
2 cloves garlic smashed
1/4 cup soy sauce

Fill a stock pot with the broth ingredients and bring to a boil.

In the mean time, in a large bowl mix together dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl mix together wet ingredients. Pour the wet into the dry and combine with a spoon until most of the moisture has absorbed and partially clumped up with the dry ingredients. Knead by hand for 3 minutes, then let rest for 5. Divide into however many equal pieces you’d like (2-6) with a knife and then knead those pieces in your hand. Don’t work them too hard no matter how much you stretch they’ll probably stretch back, they kind of have a mind of their own.

Once the broth has boiled, lower the heat to a simmer. Add the gluten pieces. Let simmer for an hour. Once done, take them off the heat and let them sit in the broth until cool.

Will keep a few days wrapped in the fridge or weeks in the freezer, if tightly wrapped.

Houston’s Cole Slaw

Slaw Of The Gods

I first discovered this¬†Cole¬†Slaw at Houston’s restaurant up in San Francisco a few years ago when I used to work across the street from it – sometimes I’d just order the slaw for lunch! Of course when I wasn’t dieting it was just a side for a giant rack of ribs – ah those were the days!

¬ĺ cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1‚ĀĄ8 th teaspoon salt
7 cups chopped green cabbage ( 1 head)
1 cup purple cabbage
¬Ĺ cup chopped parsley – or if you like fresh dill toss some of that in, I do.
¬Ĺ cup chopped green onions
¬Ĺ teaspoon celery seeds

Whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar and salt in medium bowl. Combine cabbage, parsley, green onion and bell pepper in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the cabbage and mix well. Add celery seed and mix, then cover the bowl and chill for at least 4 hours.

Why You Should Never Opt For The Extended Warranty

FAIL: Almost Immediately Or Never

So I’ve worked with PC’s since their infancy back in the 80s and I can tell you two things to expect from most electronics and failure:

  1. It will fail right out of the box or
  2. It will last a very long time

Sure there are exceptions, but most of the time whenever I work with anything, be it a PC, stereo equipment, TV’s, pretty much most anything will either fail immediately, or ¬†never. The other day Kitty was plugging in a brand new conference phone into a conference room at her office and it was completely dead. No lights, tone nothing. That was an out of the box fail. On the other hand, I have computers that have lasted forever, and I only scrapped them because they were out of date.

So basically what this means is that in all likelihood that there is no need to buy that “extended warranty” – your new device will most likely either fail within the regular warranty period, or far outlast its usefulness. Take it from experience, you don’t need it.

How To Sell Stuff Fast On Amazon

One Simple Trick

Kitty is sometimes amazed by the rapidity of which stuff we list on Amazon sells, so in the spirit of those kind of ugly and dumb “one neat trick” or “one simple trick” ads – which usually feature an extremely¬†unappealing¬†photo of a person grabbing their flab or something nearly as unsettling, here is a simple trick to getting your stuff to sell fast:

  1. Always price it 2-3 cents below the cheapest already listed used item

Why is this? Well, while Amazon DOES classify the items based on condition, it always shows them first by ALL conditions in order by price. Therefore to ensure that your item will always be at the top of the list, always price it 2-3 cents lower. You’ll find that thing will sell almost immediately when you do that. If they don’t you’ll have to go in at least weekly and review your prices to make sure someone else hasn’t done the same thing to your item.

Man, those ads are ugly.

How To Eat Healthy At McDonalds

The Only Thing We Can Eat At McDonalds!

I’d now say that 99% of the menu is now completely off limits since we went on the Eat To Live diet – however if you are in a hurry there is one meal that you can get at Mickey D’s which is not that bad – and is nearly just fine for Eat To Live, plus it’s not that expensive.

All of the sandwiches are a definite no-no – the buns are full of white flour and sugar, and maybe half the smallest burger would hit your meat quotient for the day – don’t even look at the chicken, or anything breaded. Or even the designer salads, those are LOADED with bad stuff…

No, pretty much the only thing you can have at¬†McDonald’s, and we’ve done this is:

the $1 side salad, with¬†Balsamic¬†Vinaigrette. 20 Cals for the salad¬†, 40 cals for the dressing¬†that means dressing and salad together is 60 calories, not bad for a $1 (higher in Canada) – that’s lettuce, tomato, carrot – unfortunately no onions or mushrooms, but what can you expect…?

Since they are only a buck, (slightly higher in Canada) you can order 2 or 3 or even 4 if you are hungry. Other than that, the only other options are the apple slices –

How To Stay Fit With The Fitbit Wireless Activity Tracker – Day One

Fitbit Wireless Tracker

We finally bit the bullet last week and bought Fitbit’s for Kitty and I – I’d heard many good things about the Fitbits from a former colleague of mine – he also swore up and down how awesome the Wiithings wireless scale was, he’d show me on his iPhone how he was tracking his weight loss – I figured I needed something a little more advanced that that – so we did some research and got our Fitbits delivered last week. Here is what we’ve learned so far:

  1. There is very little instruction in the box – Apple style you get almost no indication of how to setup and work the thing. You are supposed to plug in the base station and it automatically sends you to a website where you can download and install the sync software. Once you do this – and I had to unplug and plug the base station in a few times for Windows to recognize it BEFORE the sync software could recognize it, I set up my account and was ready to go.
  2. The step tracking feature seemed a bit off – I’m not sure how is senses steps but it looks much too high – I think I may have to reset it or something so will find out more about that
  3. The sleep feature is the most interesting feature to me – you strap it to your wrist when you go to bed and press the stopwatch button, then press it again when you wake up – it then syncs that data and tells you how often you got up during the night and tracks your sleep quality.
So so far I’ve learned that I sleep pretty soundly but way too little (5 hours on average instead of 8!) but my sleep quality is over 90% so I think that’s pretty good. Sty tuned for future posts on the food loggin feature and our progress on these devices – we’ll test them out thoroughly and let you know if they are worth picking up ($99 each for the trackers…)

Make every step you take a step toward better fitness. The Fitbit Tracker shows your real-time activity stats so you know how close you are to your goals. It’s with you every step of the day, motivating you to make small changes that add up to big results.

via Fitbit Wireless Activity Tracker – Overview.

How To Stay Warm : I Love My Hoodies!

I have always been a fan of hoodies.  I started to collect them in Canada because of the weather.  Perfect for layering.  The best part of the hoodie is the hood.  Especially in Canada when you needed protection from rain, sleet and snow.  Should be standard issue for the postmen.

Bought my first Lululemon Scuba hoodie 3 months ago.¬† Totally hooked.¬† This is a Canadian company.¬† It spoke to my roots because they know how to keep you warm and stylish ūüėČmy fav hoodie

They are expensive however, they are high quality.¬† Much rather pay $100 bucks for a decent hoodie that will last me for years.¬† Crappy hoodies are are not warm and the lululemon hoodies are made well, better fabric…you do get what you pay for

I bought my second one last week and I’m even more impressed.¬† special edition with reflective material, hidden pockets, vented back vented elbows.

I look at these things as investments.¬† My hoodie consumption will go down now with these primo pieces in my wardrobe.¬† comfort and style tackled at once ūüôā

My husband bought his first one this week.  He is hooked too  <3

 

How To Declutter Your Freezer

Decluttering Your Freezer

We have a big problem with clutter and are slowly working our way through it – if you are in the same boat then here is a quick and easy thing to start with – you’ll see results fairly quickly and at least have some sense of accomplishment after a few hours – instead of a whole day or weekend.

If you are like us at all there probably is a turkey in the bottom of your freezer which you bought two Thankgiving’s ago when Safeway had them on sale for $5 a pop. Never fear – starting with your freezer is easy.

First, make sure that you have room in your trash can – its a good idea to do this the might before your trash is taken ¬†– you don’t want things thawing out in there while you have the can full. Next, bring the can as close to the freezer as you can, or grab a plastic bin and have it near the freezer. Have a second bin available for stuff you want to keep.

Now start pulling things out of the freezer. If the wrapping is broken, toss it. If the plastic anything other than a very tiny dusting of frost inside it then it has probably gone off Рyour best bet is to toss that too.  Sniff each package too Рif there is any kind of odor coming off it, its probably gone bad as well Рour senses are pretty good for that.

Unless you have a giant cheat freezer, this exercise should only take you a few hours at most Рkeep taking the bin to the trash and emptying it in until either your freezer is empty or your trash is full.

Put the good stuff back in the freezer, try to set it up so that you can reach everything without stacking it – run it up against all of the walls as required and leave space in the middle to reach down into if its a chest freezer. For side-by-side, just fit everything back in so that everything is visible, if you don’t see it you might forget it again…don’t want to see that turkey in there 2 years from now again, do we?

Pretty soon, you’ll have a full trash can, a great looking freezer, and feel like you’ve accomplished something (A feeling that we have yet to get so far trying to de-clutter our bedroom – that one has been in process for like 3 years now – please don’t call Hoarders on us yet!)

Asian Mama Crisper Cleanup (Tofu Onion Mushroom Medley)

Asian Mama Crisper Clean Up

Kitty’s mom used to, like all Asian moms, whip up dinner every now and then from the random contents of the crisper, so that’s what she did the other night¬†and everyone loved it – even the meat lovers of the group – surprising and pretty damn¬†healthy¬†and low fat.

1 package extra firm tofu
1/2 lb bean sprouts
1/2 lb sliced white mushrooms
1 medium onion
2 green onions sliced on the bias
3 Tbsp Mirin – rice wine
2 tsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp olive oil

Brown the crap out of the tofu in the pan with the olive oil. Make sure that you don’t burn it – charred tofu is gross, you just want to put a bit of a surface on it – it should be golden brown. Throw in the remaining vegetables except for the bean sprouts, Mirin and soy sauce and simmer until softened, about 10 minutes. Add bean sprouts on top, and simmer for 3 more minutes. Toss everything together and serve.