Wednesday, September 2, 2009

this one’s a keeper

IMG_4564 Yay for midweek!  I don’t think I get really excited for the weekend until Thursday evening when my classes for the week are over.  But, then that just means more studying and work for the weekend, boo!  But I am excited for the 3-day weekend!  Woo-hoo!  That extra day just makes all the difference.  Have any fun plans? 

Not all too much going on this week, I’m still trying to decide on a project topic for sports nutrition.  I’m very indecisive with pretty much everything.  I asked the green valley cyclists group on Yahoo! groups and they had some interesting ones too, including Quercetin, Optygen, and Hypoxico.  I’m actually interested in the altitude training, but I don’t think that would be considered a supplement?  I guess blood doping and EPO are pretty well-known in the cycling world, but of course they are illegal.  Living at high altitudes and training low has been shown to improve performance.  One must live at least 12 hours/day at a high altitude for 3-4 weeks, along with training, to see improvements.  Can you imagine sleeping in a altitude tent?  Very interesting!  I appreciated all your suggestions, it’s too hard to choose which one I’d like to do.  It’s amazing to me how many performance enhancing agents are out there, kind of scary and boy are they expensive!

In other news, Chris is still really enjoying his job so far!  This makes me happy too because there is just a different feeling in the house, and a more positive vibe.  I’m one of those people that can ‘feel’ the emotions of others.  Have you ever talked with someone that just sucks the energy right from you?  Or someone that just makes you feel calm and happy?  For some reason, I’m really in-tune with little things like that and I can almost ‘feel’ it.  Weird!   

He also started biking to work yesterday.  I think once the weather cools down here a little bit (we are still averaging 103 F days), I’m going to try my hand at it.  I could really only do it on Tuesdays or Fridays since I can’t ride to school from work.  That might be kind of fun, but I’m sure I would forget something and have to walk around work in spandex bike shorts, oh no!!  It’s only about 15 miles one way, but may be a way to sneak in some extra training/exercise.  I can’t seem to find time to get a ride in before work since I have to get ready by 5:30am.  We’ll see how it goes!

Oh the life of a Basset!  Buster is doing well too, and is as stubborn as ever.  His ears haven’t been too bad and we clean them at least 3-4x/week.  


I have an awesome recipe to share with you!  This is just one of those meals that I keep making time and time again because it’s a real keeper.  It has a bit of clean-up in the kitchen, but is really great to make the components ahead of time on the weekend and then savor the flavors during the week!

Walnut-Crusted Chicken and

Summer Squash Baked Couscous 

(adapted from CookingLight and FOOD)

For the Couscous:

  • 1  (14-ounce) can less-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 3/4  cup uncooked WW couscous (you could also use quinoa)  
  • 2  cups sliced yellow squash (about 3 small) – used the ones from the farmer’s market!
  • 1/2  cup sliced green onions
  • 2  tbsp fresh basil (1 tbsp dried)
  • 1  tbsp fresh oregano (1/2 tbsp dried)
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3  cup shredded fontina cheese
  • 1/3  cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/4  cup  egg substitute (or 1 egg)
  • 1/2  tsp salt
  • 1/4  tsp freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400°.

Bring 1 cup chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan; stir in uncooked couscous. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff couscous with a fork.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with a little olive oil. Add squash, onions, basil, oregano, and garlic; sauté until slightly golden. Set aside.

Combine fontina and Parmigiano-Reggiano; set aside. Combine couscous, squash mixture, and half of cheese mixture in a large bowl; stir in remaining chicken broth, egg substitute, salt, and pepper. Spoon mixture into an 8 x 8-inch baking dish lightly coated with cooking spray. Top with remaining cheese mixture. Bake at 400° for 25-30 minutes or until golden.

For the Chicken:

In a food processor, pulse about 1 –  1 1/2 cups of toasted walnuts, 1/2 cup bread crumbs (I used TJ’s garlic ciabatta) and 1/2 cup grated parmesan  - place this mixture in a large shallow pan, like a baking dish.

In another shallow pan – combine about 3 egg whites.

Take about 1 pound of chicken breasts, make sure they aren’t too thick and pound them down first.  Place the breasts in the egg white mixture then dredge in the walnut mixture, pressing down.  Shake off excess and place in a large skillet coated with a few good glugs of olive oil.  Cook over medium-high heat until slightly firm and cooked through (about 4-5 minutes per side depending on thickness); drain them on paper towels.


We really enjoy this recipe and it’s great for leftovers, especially salad toppers :)  Sorry for the lack of pictures with this post!

Oh and remember when I posted about perfection a little while ago with Jessica Setnick’s take on the topic?  I would recommend you read it if you get the chance, very eye opening.  She also wanted to tell those of you who would like to work with individuals and eating disorders to check out her new site  The site’s re-launch includes information for students and new graduates who are interested in the field, including Advice from the Experts – stars in the field and how they got into eating disorders, and advice they would give to others interested in the field.  All this in addition to job postings and upcoming events.  Any readers are welcomed and encouraged to sign up as members at the site to access all the info!  

Hope your week is going by fast!

What’s one recipe you could make time and time again? 




Anonymous said...

great recipe, it looks delicious!!!
I can't wait to go back to my kitchen and cook something! (I haven't cooked for almost 5 weeks now)

One recipe that I could make time and time again is chili, especially during cold time. it's just so simple (clean kitchen style) and also tastes good as leftover.

Enjoy the rest of your week! :)

MelindaRD said...

Kristen, tell Dr. Kruskall I said hello. She was on my committee too. I did the MPH program and focused on epidemilogy so my pro paper had to do with diet and exercise and decrease in markers of metabolic syndrome.

The arts and crafts place here offers a lot of classes. I want to do ceramics, so I hope to start that in the winter when things calm down. Sometimes I think being here is like summer camp. I can do water sports, arts and crafts, hiking, and what I look forward to most is getting packages.

As for one dish I can make time and time again would be marinated baked tofu and spaghetti squash with broccoli. It doesn't really matter what marinade I choose, but it is really yummy with like a thai curry or coconut curry sauce.

Susan said...

That looks like a great recipe! One recipe I could make over and over is fajitas! While I usually make them with chicken, you can miss it up with beef or pork...or just plain veggies! So many flavors, and they're delicious!

Tyler said...

wow, that looks incredible! my mouth is watering. thanks for the recipe :)

girlichef said...

yum, deeelicious! Your pup is soooo cute :) I could eat tacos over and over and over and over and over again!

Gina said...

Thanks for the website, I am very intrigued and will be looking at it later.

As for being able to feel people's emotions, I am really good at that too! On the other hand, I don't necessarily deal with it in the best way. When Nick is stressed (usually about his job) I can sometimes be totally aware that he is stressed, but I still feel this need to be loved and bonded, you know? I am so happy for you and Chris, as finding good passions, and great jobs is something some people never experience.

My granola recipe will never get old. I could make it in my sleep. I'm going to sell it with my ice cream one day :) And I'll help you sell your food! This recipe looks wonderful. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I HAVE to steal this recipe, it sounds TERRIFIC!! Oh my goodness, MUST make this as soon as possible!

And yeah, totally get what you mean by being in the "vibe" of other people's emotions. My emotions vary according to the mood in the house.

Miss High Heels said...

I have only just eaten dinner but after looking at that chicken and cous cous I suddenly feel hungry again.

One recipe I could make again and again is a tomato pasta sauce with fresh basil and mozzarella.

I can also pick up on others moods/energy. It's very intuitive isn't it? Not to mention very easy to get burn out from when picking up on negative moods/energy.

Running With Cake said...

Oh my gosh - that photo of your dog is too funny! FYI - if you need more articles on altitude training/medicine, CHEST the ACCP journal has a bunch. Good luck!

Astra Libris said...

I definitely second your cheer for midweek! It's almost the weekend! Hooray! We're actually going to South Carolina to visit friends this weekend, so I'm very psyched for the weekend to arrive! :-)

Oooo, your recipe sounds SO heavenly!! I love your idea of making a baked couscous dish - I've only fixed couscous on the stovetop, and baking it with the squash sounds incredible! I can't wait to try your recipe soon!

Mandy said...

I am making this recipe this weekend for sure! Thank you for sharing it! It looks amazing :)

LOVE the puppy picture ;) Too sweet!

Boy that's a tough question! We seem to be one of those that make something and then might not make it again for quite some time! But if there IS one recipe we make as often as we can, it's a recipe from cooking light that is called "hearty lasagna"... it's AMAZING!!

Shannon said...

What a great puppy picture! My cat lies in the middle of the floor like that and it cracks me up!

I will be making that cous cous dish. I even have some squash that need to be cooked up.

I'm glad the vibe in your house is better...I know just what you mean. Before my husband and I moved, he got a new job, and I headed back to school, there was just an underlying stress in the house. Not a good feeling! So glad things are better...for both of us!

Emily said...

Glad Chris is enjoying his job. I'm also one of those people who takes the world's problems on her shoulders.

Thanks for sharing those recipes! They look really great, and I'm always looking for those quick fixes when I get home.

Have a great Sat!