Category Archives: grocery store

Dinner Bucket List

Happy Hump Day!

Thank you so much for your votes of confidence in my new teaching adventure. I’m pumped for class #2 tonight. Yesterday as I was sitting at a local university’s cafe preparing my lesson plan, iPod blasting tunes, skim latte in reach — I had flash backs to being a student myself. Can I just say that I miss it? A lot. Those were the days…

My new schedule has me utilizing every free second of the day. I worked out yesterday morning (40 minutes on the elliptical) so that I could lesson plan after work. And because Lily is spoiled ROTTEN demanding, I went straight to the cafe rather than even TRYING to be productive at home. Rattling off a blog post is enough “neglect” to send the dog into a complete meltdown…I shudder to think what a lesson plan would lead to.

After my lesson planning and latte, I made a quick dinner before running off to Weight Watchers. I will write a full, in-depth review of the new POINTS Plus program after I become acquainted with it. I was less than impressed with the leader, but the members were very fun to talk with and get to know. But more on this next week — Monday or Tuesday, promise!

On to dinner.

Last night’s dinner was on my Bucket List of meals to make. Am I the only one with a Bucket List that revolves 100% around cooking? Don’t answer that, actually. I’ve seen lasagna roll-ups on lots of blogs, in cookbooks, on the internet…everywhere! They are just one of those meals that you can’t wait to dig into. Picture perfect, even. And just…ingenious. Says the girl who loves “cute” food. Without further adieu, lasagna roll-ups!

Lasagna Roll-Ups adapted from Homemade by Holman

8 whole wheat lasagna noodles
1/2 pound lean ground turkey (93/7 or leaner)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 2 cloves garlic
1/2 onion
15 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 egg
1/2 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 3 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1 1/2 3 Tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
1/4 cup shredded 2% mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes


Preheat oven to 350° F.  Heat a large pot of water to boiling over high heat.  When it reaches a boil,  add a pinch of salt, and drop in the noodles.  Stir occasionally and cook to just al dente.  Drain noodles and set aside.

Meanwhile in a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add garlic and onion and saute for 2-3 minutes.  Add turkey and brown.  When almost cooked through, add tomatoes and reduce heat to medium low.  Simmer for about 15 minutes.  Add 1/2 the basil, oregano, and crushed red pepper flakes and stir to combine.

In a small bowl, lightly beat egg.  Add ricotta, Parmesan and remaining basil and oregano and stir together.  Spray pan lightly with cooking spray.  Add enough sauce to lightly cover the bottom of the pan.  To assemble, on a drained noodle, add a spoonful of ricotta mixture.  Top with a spoonful of meat sauce and roll up.  Place seam side down in pan.  Continue until you’ve used all the noodles.  Top each with a little more meat sauce and sprinkle with mozzarella and remaining crushed red pepper flakes.  Bake approximately 20 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.  Serves 4 (2 roll-ups per serving).

Nutrition Information (per serving): 387 calories; 14.5 g. fat; 119 mg. cholesterol; 579 mg. sodium; 38.3 g. carbohydrate; 8 g. fiber; 7.5 g. sugar; 30.3 g. protein

Result: Mr. Prevention loved this dish, and so did I. He says, “It was really good…I ate like all of it.” Which, he did eat 2 servings worth, but that’s pretty much on par for Mr. P and his appetite. The roll-ups were less labor-intensive than I would’ve imagined. The dinner came together in about 35 minutes and then baked for 20 minutes, which I find very reasonable. The roll-ups, conveniently, can be made ahead of time and heated later. I love that the calorie content is low and there’s lots of fiber and protein — very filling, and it pairs perfectly with a light tossed salad. Enjoy! 😀

A quick lesson in ricotta. There is low-fat and part-skim ricotta. Low-fat is 60 calories/serving while part-skim is 80 calories/serving. I am ashamed to admit that I have never paid close enough attention to the fact that both of these lower-fat options exist. Alas,  paying attention saved me some calories and saturated fat this time and in the future!

Question: What’s on your “dinner bucket list”?

Don’t forget to enter my LARABAR Giveaway! TEN winners!!!

Be well, Eat well.



Filed under coffee, dinner, exercise, fiber, garlic, Giveaway, grocery store, healthy cooking, herbs, recipe, reduced-calorie, saturated fat, teaching, Weight Watchers

mama-in-law’s oats

Is it just me, or did the Thanksgiving holiday ZOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM by? 😦 Enter: Christmas Season 2010. It is now acceptable for me to watch Elf and laugh hysterically every day….gotta love it.

I am thankful for my lead foot, however. While my road rage had Mr. Prevention a bit frightened at times (no joke), we arrived back in Columbus with enough time for me to grocery shop before my hockey game last night. It was rushed, however. Let’s just say it was record-breaking grocery shopping speed that resulted in beads of sweat littering my forehead by the time I reached the check out. No shame! Mission accomplished! A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do….I’m just glad I meal planned and made my shopping list while we were away. Smart thinkin’, self! 😉

There’ll be a bit of this on the menu this week….

And some of this…

And this…

I’m excited for this week’s menu which will include LOTS of veggies! Things need to be lightened up after the holiday.

Anyways, my mother-in-law loves OATMEAL! I would go as far as to say she loves oatmeal as much OR MORE than Kath. Saturday morning we were at my in-law’s and when Susie asked if I wanted oatmeal for breakfast, it sounded so good. I like oatmeal, but I couldn’t have it every morning…no way. I like variety too much for that 🙂

Susie then asked if I wanted her to make me a bowl of her oats — Oats à la Susie! “Yessss! Of course!,” I said!

Oats à la Susie

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup unsweetened Silk Almond Milk
1 Tbsp wheat germ
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
1 small apple or 1/2 large apple, cored and diced
cinnamon, to taste
1 tsp brown sugar or sugar substitute (I used brown sugar, she used Sun Crystals)


Core and dice apple, microwave in a bowl for 60 seconds on high. Combine milk and oats, cook on high 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 minutes or until cooked to your desired doneness. Top oats with apples, wheat germ, flaxseed, cinnamon, and sweetener. Enjoy!

While these were the Oats à la Susie of the day, she uses different fruits and variations of this recipe a lot. As long as I’ve been with Mr. Prevention (7+ years!), mama-in-law has loved her oats! 😀 The flaxseed and wheat germ add additional fiber and omega 3’s…gotta love that! They’re also nutty and add a richness to the oats. Mmmm!

So of course when I was grocery shopping last night, I couldn’t find Unsweetened Silk Almond Milk. I did, however, find SO Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk. While it’s not 35 calories per cup (it’s 90), it is SO delicious…just as the label stated. It is also made from organic coconuts, and is soy-free, gluten-free, non-dairy, and non-GMO.

The label also boasts that coconut milk contains 65% medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA’s) which has little relevance to the healthy human; it simply means the fat is very readily digested in the body even when malabsorption is present and thus MCFA’s are used in the clinical setting for people with liver and pancreatic diseases. In the healthy adult, MCFA’s are just used for energy very quickly, similar to carbohydrates.

Question: What’s your milk of choice? Cow’s? Soy? Rice? Almond? Coconut? Hemp?

The options are nearly endless!!!

Back to the grind :(,


Filed under breakfast, fish oil/omega-3's, flax, gluten-free, grocery store, hockey, holiday, recipe, reduced-calorie, sugar substitutes, travel, vegan, vegetarian


EDIT: This is my 500th post!!!!! Time flies when you’re  having fun!!!


A quick hair update: It is no longer PURPLE! Thanks for all of your hair disaster advice. After placing that awkward phone call yesterday morning, the salon scheduled me in to get things fixed. Sixty minutes of bleaching later, it was much improved. Not back to normal, but I don’t look like Barney…a small big victory!


Apparently I’m just full of grocery store stories, because I’ve got another one for ya.

When I was oogling over the king crab legs this weekend, I also found LIVE mussels for $4.99/3 lbs!!! Holy good deal on seafood…sold! The lady at the seafood counter put the mussels in a bad and told me to leave it open so they could breathe. She instructed me to place them on ice in a bowl, in the fridge when I got home and to eat them within 48 hours. Okay, cool.

So then I’m checking out at the grocery store and my mussels didn’t have a price tag. The checker asked the bag boy (a young teenage guy) to run back to the seafood department and get a price. He grabbed the bag, cutting off air flow to the mussels. When he got to the seafood department he was quickly scolded with a, “Open that bag!! Let them BREATHE!!!” Very confused, the teen quickly put 2 and 2 together — the seafood in his hands was ALIVE.

He got the price and returned to the check out line with a disgusted look on his face. “You do know these things are ALIVE, right?” he says to me. I smile, very aware of the living creatures I want to take home, steam, and enjoy 😀 The poor kid turned a faint shade of green and I’m a bit surprised he didn’t throw up right then and there. Hilarious.

His loss. Mussels are amazing! 😀

However, I had never steamed live mussels myself. [Thank goodness they don’t scream like lobsters when you drop them in boiling water. The animal lover in me wouldn’t handle that very well…that much I know.]

Mussels show no signs of life until you tap the slightly opened ones on the counter to see if they close completely. If they close, obviously they’re alive. If they’re open and don’t close with a tap, they’re dead and should not be eaten. Easy enough, and talk about entertaining. ::tap tap tap::




Note: 1 out of every 8-10 mussels were dead — not too many.


White Wine Steamed Mussels

1 cup white wine
2 Tbsp Smart Balance Light
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2-3 lbs live mussels, or more


Discard any opened mussels. Scrub mussels to remove dirt, sand, etc. In a large pot, combine the wine, butter, and garlic. Bring to a boil. Put mussels into pot and cover with a lid. Steam over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes or until mussels open. Serve immediately.

Nutrition information (approximate): Mussels are ~14 calories/ea.; 0.3 g. fat; 1.9 g. protein

Result: Just as good as in Italy! Maybe even better 😉 I’ll admit to be intimidated by steaming live mussels but this was CAKE! Mr. Prevention was totally impressed and even asked, “Were they hard to make?” Far from…ready in 10 minutes from start to finish! They are a great protein addition to a more intricate side dish. And healthy!

(Random) Question: What’s your favorite animal?

I LOVE penguins! Bulldogs are cute, too…but they’re sure demanding 😉

I’ll share the delicious side dish I served with those stunning mussels tomorrow… 😉

Mussel up,


Filed under butter, dinner, dog, garlic, grocery store, healthy cooking, Italy, low-carb, Mediterranean diet, pets, protein, recipe, Uncategorized, wine

Seafood Lasagna

Thanks for enduring Mr. Prevention’s post yesterday. I tried urging him to a more scientific approach, but he refuted that angle. [Hmmm….I wonder why!!??]. Anyways, thanks for humoring him..and I 😉


You know the saying, “…like a kid in a candy store”? That saying applies to me at the seafood counter. I blame living in Italy. After our time in Italy, Mr. Prevention and I are seafood lovers. We will take scallops, crab, shrimp, fish…anything from the sea over any other meat. Unfortunately, this means we have expensive tastes, but seafood is also exceptionally healthy! And sometimes, you just have to splurge!

Before last night’s dinner, our last seafood indulgence was our anniversary meal in May when I made Crab-Stuffed Shells in a decadent Béchamel sauce. They were even better than they sound, promise. Sigh.

Bottom line: if you’re a seafood lover…try either one of these recipes and prepare to “Wow!” yourself! Mmmm!

Seafood Lasagna from Cooking Light’s Italian Cookbook

2 tsp olive oil
5 cups finely chopped cremini mushrooms (about 1 pound)
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
13 oz. (canned) lump crab meat (I used 1/2 claw meat and 1/2 king crab)
1 pound uncooked large shrimp
2 cups water
1 1/2 tsp celery salt
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) crumbled goat or feta cheese (I used goat)
1 cup 2% reduced-fat cottage cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup 1% low-fat milk
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Cooking spray
1 (8-ounce) package precooked lasagna noodles
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Preheat oven to 375° F.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, onion, thyme, and 2 garlic cloves; cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add wine. Bring to a boil; cook 1 1/2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Remove from heat; stir in crabmeat. Set aside.

Peel and devein shrimp, reserving shells. Cut each shrimp in half lengthwise; cover and refrigerate. Combine reserved shrimp shells, 2 cups water, celery salt, and fennel seeds in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook until reduced to 1 1/2 cups shrimp stock (about 15 minutes). Strain stock through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids. Set stock aside.

Combine goat cheese, cottage cheese, basil, juice, and 1 garlic clove; set aside.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup, and level with a knife. Place flour in a small saucepan; gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk. Stir in shrimp stock; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes or until thick. Remove from heat; stir in Parmesan cheese.

Spread 1/2 cup sauce in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 4 noodles, slightly overlapping, over sauce; top with one-third goat cheese mixture, one-third crab mixture, one-third shrimp, 2/3 cup sauce, and 2/3 cup mozzarella. Repeat layers twice, ending with mozzarella. Bake at 375° for 40 minutes or until golden. Let stand 15 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley.
Yield: 8 servings

Nutrition Information (per serving): 428 calories; 13.9 g. fat (7.7 g. saturated, 2.5 g. monounsaturated, 1.1 g. polyunsaturated); 143 mg. cholesterol; 934 mg. sodium; 33.6 g. carbohydrate; 3.6 g. fiber; 40.1 g. protein

Result: We have died and gone to heaven 🙂 Hard to believe the nutrition stats with all the flavor…absolutely delicious!! 😀 I will forewarn that this meal is labor-intensive and time consuming. You’ll probably fill your dish washer with just the prep bowls and pans, but it’s worth it!!! Just maybe not for a weekday night 😉

Lily enjoyed the smell of dinner so much that she went on a hunger strike against her own food…

…I would be flattered, but she does this often. I know, hard to believe with a physique like that, but it’s true! 😉

Question: What section of the grocery store makes YOU feel like a kid in a candy store?

P.S. Don’t forget to check out the RD Q&A! It is finished and amazing…if I do say so myself 😀

P.P.S. If you checked out over the weekend, you may want to peruse my new favorite muffin recipe: Carrot, Coconut, and Walnut Muffins…YUMMMM!

Under the sea,


Filed under Cooking Light, dietitians, dinner, dog, garlic, grocery store, herbs, Italy, pets, recipe, reduced-calorie, salad, travel, Uncategorized

Not Greek? Not good.

When Mr. Prevention and I lived in Tulsa, our house had a huge jetted tub. And every Monday when Mr. P’s BusinessWeek magazine came in the mail, he would grab 2 beers, his magazine, and head for the tub. A routine that annoyed me just a bit…the man could bathe for HOURS..

This week, Mr. Prevention pointed out an article in his BusinessWeek about yogurt. For the past year yogurt sales look like this:

Yoplait: -2%
Fage: +57%
Oikos: +88%
Chobani: +246%

Of course health & fitness bloggers jumped on the Greek yogurt band wagon quite some time ago, but it appears most everyone is now on the Greek yogurt train. Or should I say the Chobani train?

There’s no denying Greek yogurt has its perks. Outside of taste, there’s the added protein and loads of live and active cultures to keep your gut nice and healthy. Plus, most are organic products. The drawback tends to be cost. Yoplait and Dannon have tried to meet the demands of the Greek yogurt trend at a lesser cost, but fall short (taste wise) to brands such as Fage and Chobani. Of course, that is just my opinion. Personally, I buy most any brand because I buy what’s on sale for the week.

A huge thanks to Siggi’s who loaded up my fridge this week with their strained yogurt to try! I am yet to try Siggi’s…can’t wait! 😀

And for those adventures folks out there, you can successfully make Greek yogurt in a yogurt maker or a crock pot. I’ve tried both with great results! 😀 And there is a definite cost savings if you decide to tackle Greek yogurt-making for the long haul.


Aside from Greek yogurt, I have also been enjoying Pumpkin Cream Cheese on my bagel thins for breakfast this week. A few weeks ago I made Pumpkin Butter and I simply mixed equal parts of that delicious pumpkin butter and light cream cheese. Divine! Note: Bring the pumpkin butter and cream cheese close to room temp before combining. Then your cream cheese won’t be chunky like mine. No biggie, it’ll just look prettier 😉

Question: What’s your favorite brand of Greek yogurt?

I think my favorite is Fage, but I’ve heard great things about Siggi’s. I hope I can confirm! 😀

Have a Happy Halloween weekend! Be sure to check-in over the weekend to see pictures from “Pup-A-Ween” at the dog park on Saturday afternoon. Lily is going in her tutu and there’s going to be BOBBING FOR HOT DOGS!!! You’d better bet I’ll be there…with my camera! I can’t wait…haha!



Filed under breakfast, condiments, crock pot, dog, grocery store, pets, protein

lazy homemade potato chips

Mr. Prevention and I had meal planned, my grocery list was made, and he then declared that on account of the stunning mid-Ohio weather we WERE grilling out last night. Sigh. He was right, there are few days in late October that short-sleeves and the grill are in order. And last night was one of those nights. Just when my crock pot and I had become fond of one another again..

To go along with lean deer bratwursts on the grill, I recalled an easy microwave potato chip recipe I had come across awhile back. Because really, when you grill out, you don’t want to ruin the occasion by messy-ing the kitchen. Or at least that’s my take on the whole grilling out thing…

Anyways, these were DELICIOUS! And easy! And lazy! As in, think of the least skillful cook you know…even they can make these chips. Yep, I said it. P.S. Kristen Lynn that means you! Even YOU can make these chips! 😉

Microwaved Potato Chips from Christine’s Cuisine

2 russet potatoes, scrubbed clean, skin on, sliced thin
¼ cup 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Salt or seasoned salt (I used 1 tsp garlic salt)


Using a mandolin or food processor, slice the potato into thin slices; about 1/16 of an inch. [This is very important – you will likely not get a thin enough slice if you try to use a knife]

In a bowl, toss (toss to coat both sides so they don’t stick to the plate!) the potatoes with olive and sprinkle on salt or seasoning.

Arrange the potatoes in a single layer on a microwave safe plate.

Working in batches, microwave the potatoes on high for 5-7 minutes [my microwave was more like 8-9 minutes]. Check the potatoes every 30 seconds after the first 4-6 minutes since they can burn if cooked for too long.  The finished potato chip should be golden brown and crisp.

Carefully transfer to a serving dish and let rest for 2 minutes until cool enough to eat. Serves 4.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 150 calories; 10.3 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 240 mg. sodium; 13 g. carbohydrate; 1.5 g. fiber; 2 g. protein

Result: YUM! And crisssspy! These are very similar to kettle chips! The olive oil adds a lot of flavor, so don’t go over-board on the salt or garlic salt. I think a fun change to make would be canola oil with a bit of cinnamon and sugar for a dessert-like chip. These do take some time, but they’re not hard…just plan them accordingly with your meal! 😀 Health-wise, you’re not picking up preservatives, added salt, or the trans fats that are hidden in many chips. The fat in these chips are healthy fats, coming from olive oil. Not to say they’re a free-for-all, but they’re a healthy alternative when compared to a lot of options in the chip aisle!


I did not get to my lower body workout yesterday — I am so ashamed to admit that! But if this blog is nothing else, it’s great accountability for me. Which…obviously could be going better for me when it comes to this whole strength routine because my “excuse” for not doing my lower body routine is poor. My reasoning is that I really wanted to score my first goal with my new hockey team last night, and I didn’t want Jello legs during my game. But of course, I am still scoreless, so tomorrow…tomorrow is lower body day. PROMISE. And a short run…assuming my legs don’t go numb from the torture. 😉

…In brighter news, I am still candy free! 😀 (Way to get something right, self!)

Question: What’s your favorite crunchy pleasure? Are you a chip person, or do you go more for pretzels? Crackers? Pita chips?

I do love chips, but I don’t have them often. Like Pringles tells me, once you pop you can’t stop! So right they are!

P.S. Those who subscribe to receive my blog via email — are you getting the emails? I have heard from several people that they are not receiving them, and have not been for over a week now. Let me know either way…and I will aim to resolve this! Sorry! And, thank you for reading! 😀

Have a grrrrrreat week!


Filed under dinner, fruits and vegetables, garlic, grilling, grocery store, guilt-free, healthy cooking, MUFAs and PUFAs, recipe, Uncategorized

Chili Contest: Entry 6

Gooood morning! I hope you are enjoying a wonderful weekend!

Friday night with Gina and Nick was a blast! We went to Gina’s work at Market District in Columbus and It. Was. Packed! I settled on a salad and a spicy coconut chicken curry that I think Mr. Prevention ended up eating most of ;). It was good but VERY spicy, even for me! I didn’t take any pictures, sorry! But if you’re in the Columbus area, be sure to check Market District out. I’m not even sure how to describe it any better than a foodie’s dream come true. They have just about everything and anything in one location and it’s all so fresh!!

Our Saturday was status quo – chili and college football! I wouldn’t have it any other way. Our beloved Illini pulled out a nice win, so we were happy to see that! We went for a walk with Lily, meal planned for the week, and Mr. Prevention surprised me with a reservation to a restaurant I’ve been wanting to try. It was delicious! 😀 …and très romantique! Ooo la la! 😉

I strongly considered struggling through a workout yesterday, but decided against it. I pushed through a run on Friday and I am still SO sore from my upper body routine. I plan to do lower body + my hockey game tomorrow. I never would’ve imagined getting back into a strength groove would be this painful! Oy!

The Best Turkey Chili from Bella’s Bistro

1.5 lb. ground turkey
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cans reduced-sodium tomato soup
1 can pink beans (I used pinto)
2 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cayenne pepper
salt & pepper to taste
Sour cream, cheddar cheese, green onions, etc. for toppings*


Finely dice peppers and onion.  Add to a large pot with olive oil.  Saute until just cooked – about 6 minutes.

Add turkey and brown completely.  Drain off any excess fat.

Add garlic and stir to combine.

Next, add the soup, seasonings and beans along with 2 cans of water.  Stir to combine completely.

Simmer on low for 45 minutes with the cover on. Remove cover and cook an additional 20-30 minutes to thicken. Serves 6.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 333 calories; 3.8 g. fat; 70 mg. cholesterol; 1013 mg. sodium; 43 g. carbohydrate; 8.2 g. fiber; 35.2 g. protein

*Toppings not included in nutrition information

Result: Mr. Prevention and I both really liked this chili…it hit the spot! If I were to make it again, I would omit the water and just add 2 cans of soup…it was more like a chili soup and I do prefer a heartier soup. Plus, that would help lower the sodium content quite a bit. Overall, it was good, had some spice with the cayenne, and it was healthy, albeit high in sodium (all chili recipes thus far are…it’s hard to reduce)!

Question: What brand of gym shoes do you wear?

Just curious! I am loyal to Asics…they fit my fat feet like a glove! 😉


Filed under dining out, exercise, friends, fruits and vegetables, garlic, grocery store, recipe, restaurant, salad