Friday, June 19, 2015

I'm Trying

It's not that I don't try to eat healthier.

I've been trying to eat more fresh vegetables and lean meats.

I do best when I start preparing supper early in the day.

I turn on HGTV and start chopping.

Is there anyone other than R.H. and me who likes sardines?

They are as good for you as wild caught salmon, and cheaper.

I put them in pasta salad for protein.

I watch television and chop away,
keeping an eye on Katie Belle right outside.

What is she up to?

It's the continuing game of Catch Me If You Can.

Guess who always wins?

The show outside is even better that HGTV.

Back to my salad.

Adding fresh herbs now is only a matter of going to the front porch.

And pasta sardine salad is ready for supper.

I'm going to try red lentil rotini the next time I make this
as so many of you are having success cutting out wheat.

I don't think I'm willing to give up homemade bread yet,
but I could pass up grocery store bread.

I made Mireille Guiliano's recipe for Chicken au Champagne one night,
from her French Women Don't Get Fat book.

It was amazing with mushrooms and rice!

Even if my champagne wasn't French.

Having to fix supper at the last minute causes me the most problems.

I try.

I start some chicken breasts in the oven.

Then I wash my favorite frisee--
most people just put sprigs of this in a salad,
but I love it so much I use it for the whole salad when I find it.

I serve the chicken breasts on the greens with a vinaigrette
and the chicken drippings.

Healthy so far, right?

But then what do I put on the table?

A baguette and Irish butter.

And a big baked potato and sour cream.

Could I have given up the baguette? Absolutely.

The baked potato? 

I don't know but maybe a smaller one next time.

Some last minute healthy suppers are a cinch.

Anytime I can buy wild-caught Copper River salmon and fresh spinach,
I have no problem fixing a quick and healthy supper.

It's just those frequent nights when I have no idea what to cook,
and R.H. suggests chili dogs,
that we end up eating junk food.

And no, I didn't take a picture of that meal, or others like it.

Last minute cooking is a problem for me.

Giving up bread and pasta and potatoes is so hard.

And come Friday nights, which when our kids were young was 
always pizza and a movie night, 
guess what I crave?

It comes from this….

Yes, that's what I really want.

What do you throw together at the last minute for a healthy supper?

When I can plan, shop and begin early,
even I can fix a healthy supper.

But what are some easy last minute, satisfying suppers?

I'm just not an eat a bowl of cereal and go to bed kind of girl.



  1. I think we are twins separated at birth. I bought a couple of tins of sardines recently in an attempt to add healthy fish to our diet. The trouble is, I love them piled on saltine crackers which negates some of the health benefits. I love my baked potatoes and sour cream as well, and bread----yum! I have given up desserts, and they no longer appeal to me. I feel that is a great victory. I am still trying to love salmon, but it needs to have a lot of flavor added for me to enjoy it. I feel we have both made positive changes. Baby steps, you know ?

    1. Another sardine lover! My husband eats them on saltine crackers too, Brenda, with hot sauce on them.

      In the past I gave up desserts for 6 months once and then 3 months another time and I remember it does get easier. All it took was one piece of pie at Thanksgiving that was my downfall.

      But I'll celebrate baby steps with you!

  2. I haven't eaten sardines in ages, but I actually did like them when I was a kid! Isn't that weird? My sister still eats them. I always have a hard time thinking about what to make for dinner, and no doubt, the ones I throw together at the last minute are the least healthy. Here's one of my favorites - couscous salad. It takes 5 minutes to cook up a box of couscous, and then I just throw in whatever I have leftover in the fridge - chicken, vegetables, and always some kind of fruit, like mandarin oranges, or dried cranberries. I toss it with some oil and vinegar, and call it dinner! Bread is my weakness (one of them, anyway), so I hardly ever serve it. And I love a baked potato with both butter and sour cream, but lately, I've just drizzled some olive oil on it. Boy, that pizza looks good!

    1. Amy, I've written down your couscous recipe. It sounds like a winner! I use orzo and quinoa a lot but have never used couscous. Will try.

      Thank you!

  3. I wish I could be of some help here, but if I don't plan my meals in advance, I pretty much do the same thing as you. And I still have pizza and movie nights with hubby any my daughters. Unfortunately, it never ended. I think you are doing great with eating healthy, though. I do love all of the healthy meals you prepared and you get extra points for the herb garden. You know, I never thought to add sardines to my pasta and I am so trying that.

    I hope you have a great weekend... :)

    1. Hi Dee, thank you! And I hope you like adding sardines to your pasta. We get ours at Costco where it is a much better price than the grocery stores.

      You have a great weekend too!

  4. I thought chili dogs were healthy--mental health that is!! We like sardines and there are always a few cans in the pantry.


    1. I'll tell R.H. that is chili dogs are good for us after all!

      I'm glad the move went well and your boxes are nearly unpacked!

  5. Would you believe you had me at 'sardines'! Yes, I love these tasty little fish that are basically super food for my bone density woes. On the island, we are lucky to catch them fresh, (our local fisherman's, that is!), and my second choice is frozen, but I haven't had canned sardines in years, due to all that sodium, (a baddie for my blood pressure!). Your sardines salad looks scrumptious; so colourful, too!

    What a bonus to have one's own fresh and fragrant herbs! They're so pretty, potted in terracotta planters, and they add such flavour to any dish. Your Chicken au Champagne, styled on that pretty plate, could, itself, have illustrated the recipe in Mireille Guiliano's fabulous book, which I loved.

    I adore both Irish and Danish butter, and who could resist a slice (or two) of baguette, especially, if it's sourdough topped with poppy seeds? Not me! And speaking of yeasty goodness, wood-oven baked pizza, is my favourite feast when I'm craving carbs. A last slice of San Gennaro would be worth the gruelling workout the next day!

    Last minute satisfying suppers for me are simple things like a feta cheese omelette or a turkey wrap, and a green salad. Cereal just doesn't cut it, and I can't see French women, even svelte ones, feasting on it either! So, I guess that makes us very chic, my sweet Southern Belle!

    Happy weekend, and bon appetit!


    1. Poppy, I've seen the fresh sardines prepared on t.v. and wish we could get them here, but I've never seen them for sale even in the best seafood stores here. I hadn't realized that the canned ones had that much salt. Uh-oh!

      Why is it I never think of omelets for supper? And here we are with fresh eggs daily from the Ladies! With a salad that would be a fine dinner.

      Thank you for the suggestion!

      Happy weekend to you too, sweet friend!

  6. daddy used to eat sardines straight from the can with soda crackers and mustard on the side!
    i'm just not a fish person. and lord knows... with the issues i have... I SHOULD be!
    your meals ALL look fantastic to me. I love it when you post your dinners. or lunches. or any meal.
    and i own both of her books... french women don't get fat ...
    nor do they exercise apparently!!! LOLOL.
    my go to for dinner is a 'kitchen sink' salad.
    last night it was greens... unsweetened drained pineapple tibits... sliced strawberries... half of an avocado cut up... sunflower seeds... a large spoon of baked beans... for moistening and simply because I love them!
    and a drizzle of homemade ranch dressing.
    I KNOW! it sounds YUKKY! but it was wonderful! and very filling. and mostly healthy! xoxo

    1. Doesn't sound yucky at all, Tam! And I think I could eat shoe leather covered with homemade ranch dressing! And I'm pretty sure I remember my father eating sardines from the can too. In those days it was a staple in the pantry probably.

      I know you do your yoga in the morning. Well just a few minutes ago I decided to start exercising--I danced to Pink Martini while I unloaded the dishwasher! Swooped and swayed and dipped and squatted and lifted the dishes high in the air while I sashayed around the kitchen. Think that counts? Otis and Milo thought I'd lost my mind.

    2. Hello Eugene's on now, I'll go 2-step while folding clothes!

    3. LOLOL!!!! YES! i can see you dancing around valley view!
      remember angela lansbury and her mother's 'movement group' in the london park that i mentioned in three smooth stones? YES! :)

    4. Yes! Did you have Angela's tape? I loved it and used it for years. I wonder if it's on DVD now? I just adore Angela Lansbury!

  7. Yes, we eat sardines!!! With a little miracle whip salad dressing.

    Or he, who eats bread, makes a sandwich, with some sliced onion.

    You mention the issue of giving up potatoes, bread, and pasta.... I don't know what "life style change" you are thinking of. but I do know that G/F corn pasta is super. Not rice. Corn.

    The more veggies and fruits we eat, the less crap we will eat. ;-)

    And here, I'm lucky. Since he is the Chef. :-) But of course, we both have to decide what we will be having. And today is go to grocery store day. ugh!!!!

    Best wishes with more healthy eating!!!


    1. Hi Tessa, I'll have to try to corn pasta, but I doubt I'll be able to give up all wheat. I do want to move to more of an anti-inflammatory diet and am starting simply by trying to add more fresh vegetables and fruit each day. And less red meat, which is fairly easy for me as I love fish so much. But I really want to stick to a "normal" diet if I can and not a fad diet that I know I'll never last on. I've been on too many of them in my dieting life and decided nevermore. And I'll never turn down a piece of homemade bread! Or a piece of the coconut pie I'm cooking for R.H. for Father's Day tomorrow!

  8. I find it easier never to really plan a meal...just do a crock-pot that lasts a couple days for Mr. J. whenever he wants to eat. He's a cereal boy in the morning (he'll never go for my acid-free, low-liquid, high-sodium, no sugar diet prescribed by my body conditions) so we eat according to our own wishes/must-dos. Mostly, I go to nuts, berries, avocados, salmon, chicken, spinach, brussel sprouts, salads without dressing, only salt for taste and beans. I can put together a good eggbeater frittata every morning with onions, mushrooms, diced ham, etc...whatever is chopped in the fridge for hubby's salads. Rare is a bite of bread, potato, pasta, or desert. A glass of red wine is my dessert for the day.

    1. Thank you, Becky, a really interesting comment! And I do love all the things you list that you eat. I think I need to write down a basic list of some things I need to keep stocked in the fridge!

  9. I like sardines in my Caesar salad dressing and that's it! lol

    The only way I ever lost weight and kept it off is by getting rid of all prepackaged products and eating completely organic. I never cut out bread or anything else. Have I stuck to this? for the most part, but I've let some creep into my shopping cart and guess what? I gained 10 pounds. Time to go back to the old ways, because some of my clothes don't fit.

    As far as a meal that's quick.... I don't really have any that are healthy except salads and even those usually take at least an hour.

    I wish I had some ideas for you...


    1. I know you're right, Rue, and that's great advice. And for me portion size is my downfall.

  10. Dewena, all of those meals look so delicious!! Where is that YUMMY pizza place?? Like you, I do much better when I plan my menus for the week and buy only what I am going to use for those meals. Give up bread? Nope, not going to happen. Hmmm, instead of butter, what about olive oil with a dipping blend mixed in? A little healthier with the bread. I do try to eat smaller pieces and not half the loaf. I like my baked potatoes plain, with a little salt, so I'm good there. When I don't plan, we usually eat Wolf chili and chips, cuz that's healthy. Or we grab pizza. Or I fix hot dogs. Healthy and quick are difficult for me. I do much better at planning than pinching! BTW, have you eaten at Mafiaoza's? Really great pizza....I'm just sayin'...LOL

    1. Hi Benita, it was Desano's, in the Gulch. We'll have to try Mafiaozza's!

      Yep, smaller pieces is what I need to remember, about everything!

      Wolf chili? I Haven't heard of that.

    2. They sell it at Walmart, but it is big out in Texas. It is probably the best canned chili you can buy. :-) Desano's? I will have to remember that -- we have been wanting to visit the Gulch area. You will love Mafiaoza's Pizza...LOL.

  11. Scrambled eggs. Yes, I said scrambled eggs. It's protein, right? I've got herbs outside too, so I can throw in a handful of chives, spicy oregano, or lemon thyme with garlic. Chopped tomatoes and arugula for a salad. It is my "make it quick before I cave and order Chinese or pizza" meal. It only works when my husband is out of town.

    1. We need to have more breakfasts for supper meals, too. Sometimes I eat supper for breakfast!

  12. I think that a baked potato IS healthy. It is a natural food and if you are putting butter on it versus margarine that too is natural. Unhealthy is a baked potato is healthy / chips are not.

    As to sardines, I'll pass, lol...just never liked them.

    The way I cook nowadays is whatever meat is on sale, when I buy it I cook it all up and then eat some, freeze the rest. So dinner might be a turkey patty or half a porkchop or a piece of meatloaf, whatever.....and then almost always a potato cooked in one way or another and an assortment of vegetables. Every night? No...there's pasta a few days a week too. My last round of pasta was sauteed garlic and zucchini and thin spaghetti then tomatoes on the side : ) That's about as quick as you can get !

    1. I'm loving all these potato defender comments. Yes!

      Your pasta with garlic and zucchini sounds good, Deb!

  13. Well, now I'm really hungry. :) Plenty of sardines in my childhood, but I haven't given them a try for years. I always love a good salad, and I can live off of that and sandwiches (take my bread from me and nobody's gonna be happy). :)

    I think I do well with dinner when I start early too. If I were cooking for myself, I'd live off of cheese, bread, soup, salad, and sandwiches. Give me a plate of cheese, crackers and grapes and I'm happy, BUT the carnivore that lives with me (husband) needs more. And of course, he can eat anything and not gain weight.
    Tip: Grill chicken breast, chop up, and store in zip bags to make salads, pasta, and stir fry on I-rather-be-doing-anything-but-cooking days. ;) I also make "green sauce" ahead. It's garlic, olive oil, and parsley in the blender with a dab of salt (first blend garlic and olive oil, then add more oil and blend again). I store this in a mason jar in the fridge and use for cooking almost everything. VERY healthy too.

    PS-Hello Katie Belle.

    1. I love your idea for grilling extra chicken to separate into future meals, Marcia! And your green sauce. Almost everything is better with parsley!

  14. Dewena,
    I like your meals and I love to chop veggies too:) I am missing my garden right now, even though it wasn't big-I did have some tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and peppers and a few herbs. I guess, I should get some herbs now and plant in the pots on my balcony. Hum...well, lets see,we still eat tons of fresh veggies I buy them at the local farmers market and just like you, I prepare many of them ahead of time and we have a salad nightly. Oh, I love potatoes and you know I grew up on that magnificent farm in Idaho and my Momma could fix a potato a million ways!
    Have a lovely day and thank you for taking us inside your kitchen!

    1. That's right, I remember that you lived in Idaho on a farm!

      Okay, I'm convinced. After all these potato lovers here, I'm not even going to try to cut them out of our meals!

      I know you do miss your garden, Jemma, but next summer you'll be in that beautiful new home and gardening away!

  15. Loved reading this and all the comments. Fresh, crusty bread with lots of butter -- I miss that even more than sweets.
    And sardines -- my little brother used to put one in his mouth, suck it up so the tail would wiggle just outside his lips, and let the oil drip down his chin. Took me a long time after that to try them!