So I decided to try one of the recipes out of my AHA (American Heart Association) cookbooks. I'm trying to live and eat healthier so that I can avoid a heart attack before I'm 50, so I figure why not. Surely, I can find something interesting here.
So I page through it, and I find a recipe for "Chicken, Spinach, and Pasta Casserole." I'm thinking, ok this won't be too bad. I like chicken. I like spinach. Pasta's good too. So, I hit Kroger and spend a good $35 on stuff for this thing.
Here's the recipe (I'm sure the AHA won't care if I post one of their fine, healthy recipes in my little blog)
Vegetable oil spray
8 cups hot water
4 oz Chevre (goat cheese)
4 oz Crumbled, non-fat feta cheese, rinsed
3/4 cup fat-free evaporated milk
1/2 cup fat-free or low fat plain yogurt
Egg substitute equivalent to 1 egg or 1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (with all visible fat removed)
8 oz dried angel hair pasta
10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
2/3 cup grated nonfat mozzarella-style soy cheese or nonfat or part-skim mozzarella cheese (3 oz)
1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray 2-quart casserolle dish with vegetable oil spray (I fucked this up because 2 quarts was not enough and I ended up switching dishes but I forgot to grease the second one, so there was some sticking).
2. In a stockpot, bring water to a boil, covered, over high heat.
3. Meanwhile, cut chevre into eight piece and put in a large bowl; set aside. I messed this up too because the goat cheese didn't come out of its package very smoothly. :-(
4. In a small bowl, whisk (I don't have one, so I did the best I could with a fork) together feta, milk, yogurt, egg substitute, and pepper.
5. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Cut into strips about 1 inch wide and 4 inches long. I used chicken breast tenders that met those measurements. It was the best I could find at Kroger.
6. Cook pasta in boiling water for 1 minute. Before draining pasta, remove 1/2 cup cooking water (I accidently dumpped it because I didn't read this part, so I had to use fresh water that I put in the same pot I cooked the pasta) and stir into chevre. Drain pasta, add to chevre, and stir well
7. To assemble, spread half the pasta mixture in casserole dish. Scatter spinach over top, sprinkle nutmeg, and pour half the feta mix over all. Cover with remaining pasta. Arrange chicken and cilantro on top. Pour remaining feta mixture over chicken. Sprinkle with soy cheese.
8. Bake, covered, for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10 minutes. I baked for 20 because the chicken looked pretty raw when I took it out, and well when you've had salmonella poisoning even once, you learn to be fucking paranoid about chicken. This however, caused the dish to be slightly overcooked, which made the chicken and noodles taste dry.
So, the chicken and pasta was dry and the frozen spinach was actually awful. Add that on top of the fake cheese, and this just did not turn out very well. I kinda felt sick after eating it, and I think it was mostly the spinach. It was all clumped and pretty soggy despite my best efforts to squeeze it dry beforehand. I guess I'm more of a fresh spinach person.
I don't think I'm gonna try this one again.
I know it's blasphemy, but Best Buy actually seems to have a pretty good music selection.
I managed to pick up a few new CDs that I didn't think I would find (well I knew I'd find Flyleaf, but that's because they're played on mainstream radio).
BTW, yes, there's a trend here. :-P
What can I say, I like me some female-fronted metal/rock/alternative bands
All Around Me - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdDJ
Fully Alive - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWVX9Yi4
I don't really like "I'm So Sick" very much, so I was initially turned off by Flyleaf, but I've since heard "All Around Me" and "Fully Alive" and I like both of those songs.
Lacuna Coil - Comalies
Heaven's A Lie - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixxtnrWb
I kinda dig Lacuna Coil. Also this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70GJzR4
Leaves' Eyes - Vinland Saga
A finish band, I kinda like. Though I'm only familiar with Elergy
Elergy - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNgOJDL9
Nightwish - Dark Passion Play
People have been giving Nightwish shit for firing Tarja.
(Example of Tarja with Nightwish: Nemo - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAsqNog7
Eva - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBSx5xrV
Also the credits on this album are righteous. They hired a fucking orchestra (and credited them). They also hired a gospel choir and another choral group.
Some of you may have thought I was exaggerating with the whole heart attack before 50 thing. I'm not. I have high blood pressure and borderline high cholesterol, and not to mention a huge family history of heart disease and stroke. See why I don't smoke.
I've been trying (again) to work exercise into my life (it's not very easy at times), and to be a little more careful about what and how much I eat. I kinda feel healthier, and that's a plus. I've noticed my bp dropping too (I have to monitor it because my doctor wants me to - 122/87 atm, which is better than the 140/100 it was a month ago). What's really made me aware of this is my brother (biological). He has both high bp and high cholesterol, and the doctor told him flat out that if he didn't change his lifestyle, he would have a heart attack within 15 years. He's 25. Him getting shit like this, makes me worry about having shit like this. Of course, Todd's lucked out on not having some of the issues that I have. For example, he's asthma and allergy free.
Hopefully, I can keep to working out. There's just so many benefits to good exercise.
When I do it, I know it's worth it. But I also know that I have a tendency to be lazy and forgetful.