Strawberries and Jillian

Before I get into yammering about my life and my food I just want to say how awesome you guys are.  I really appreciate your comments and your encouragement, it means a lot to me.

First thing.  Confession.  When I bought the supplies for the Rice & Beans I had $4 left over in my budget, so I bought two bags of chips that were on sale at 2 for $4.  It was meant to be, or so I thought.  They didn’t survive the night.

This brings me to a good point, easy access food is dangerous and I can’t be trusted with it.  But, I’m lazy and sometimes don’t even want to put in the effort of heating up leftovers.  So, here is my current solution to the problem.

Strawberries + granola + yogurt, (preferably french vanilla) = happy stuffing of face.

Strawberries are on sale right now so this recipe also works for my budget.  It would probably be cheaper to make your own granola.  Did I mention I’m lazy?  (Because I don’t have any honey – a key ingredient to granola – I convinced myself it would be cheaper to buy pre-made granola than buying the ingredients for granola.  Plus, I wouldn’t have to clean any dishes if I just bought it.)  Is honey that expensive?  I have no idea.  Are you that lazy?  Maybe.  Sort of.  Does it matter?  I’m working on it.

Here’s the trick, as soon as you bring home the strawberries rinse those suckers, cut them up and throw them in a tupperware.  Why?  EASY ACCESS!!  While the combination of these three is delightful, it’s also so nice to have healthy, easy access food around.  I have sat with each of these three ingredients individually, spoon in hand, and gone to town.  I figure it’s better than chips.  Plus, when I look in the fridge after work and I see a fruit or veggie that I have to work to eat, (like cut a bit of green off) I’ll ignore it and it will go bad.  I guess that’s just a product of growing up in a processed culture.

At the risk of being long winded I’m also going to tell you about my exercising adventures.  Are you serious.  Yeah, you don’t have to read it though, I’ll understand.

My sister, Janelle, told me about a workout dvd that her co-worker let her borrow by Jillian Michaels.  Yeah, the lady from “Biggest Loser.”  So, I bought it on amazon for $7.99, it was last month and I put it on my credit card.  Gasp!  I know, I’m ashamed.  The dvd is, Jillian Michaels: No More Trouble Zones.  The first time I tried it I only lasted for eight minutes.  When I told my sister her response was, “The first five minutes are a warm-up.”  Are you serious?   I know, I’m ashamed.  I pulled it up again yesterday and gave it another go.  This time though, instead of using the 5 lb hand weights that I used the first time around I used some coffee mugs, (suggested by my sister) and lasted almost 21  minutes!  Today, after talking to Janelle again, she told me she used can foods.  It turns out I don’t have any canned food.  But, I do have two things half full of salt, so I used those instead.  And, even though my abs and legs were sore I did the video again today and lasted 24 minutes.  Oh wow, three minutes more!  Your sarcasm is noted and I must remind you that this is about progress, no matter how small.

After I’ve reached that point where I’ve stopped the video, my brain is usually frantic and I can’t think and I hate my life and I just want to curl up on the carpet and go to sleep.  To avoid the mental breakdown, both times after working out I’ve taken a short cool down walk around the neighborhood.  By the time I’m back home I’m able to think again and am usually more motivated.  In fact, it was the most recent walk that motivated me to put this post together.  You can leave now, I’ve kept you here long enough, the only thing that’s further down is some pictures from my first walk.  Thanks for the heads up.  Anytime.  If you wanted to though you could scroll down really fast past the pictures and leave a comment.  I knew you were going to comment beg!  I can’t help it, I crave approval.

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Eating with your brain.

(Eating smart.)  Not smart as in healthy – smart as in economical.  That’s right, this meal is super cheap and it lasts forever.  The best part is that the leftovers just get better with time as the flavor sinks in.  And, it’s the perfect base for sriracha, my favorite hot sauce!

What is this magical recipe?  Red beans & rice & sausage.  Been there, done that.  I know, but this is different and fancy.  The recipe comes from here.  They call it “Jamaican Rice & Peas.”  See, fancy.

Basically, I’m on a tight budget, and I’m going to have to stick to that budget if I’m ever going to pay off that debt, (see sidebar.)  Wait, Jessica, I just saw your weight, you should not be eating all those carbs!  Hey, this is only day one, give me a break.  I’m doing one thing at a time.  The fact that I’m doing something besides playing Sims 3 or eating Dominoes or both is a positive.  See, progress!  Whatever, make with the pictures.  Ok.

Ingredients: That chicken broth down there was substituted for water…

As you can see, this is basically third world food, it’s all really cheap.  (Sausage is probably the most expensive thing and it’s completely optional.)  No, none of this is organic, if I were a better person it would be and maybe when my budget isn’t so tight it will be.

After the beans have been going awhile chop up your onions and garlic and then throw them in a pot with some olive oil.  Stir them around until they look translucent.

Next, drain the beans, (they shouldn’t be super soft, just kind of soft) and dump them in the onions and add the can of coconut milk and 1 1/3 cup of water.  (I forgot to make chicken broth so I had to use regular old water, it still turned out ok, just had to add some salt.)  Cover and cook for 5 minutes.  Then add the rice!  Bring the whole thing to a boil, (if you’re like me you’ll begin wishing you had a bigger pot.)  Once it comes to a boil, turn down the heat and cover until the rice had soaked in all the juices, (about 30 minutes.)

When the rice is about 20 minutes in, brown up the sausage.

When it’s finished it’s the most exciting thing.  If you’re like me, you’ll make a bowl as fast as you can, have a bite, do a little dance and then run to get your camera.  While you’re taking pictures you’ll realize what’s missing.

Yes, I added cilantro to my personal bowl, but it was not time for taking pictures then, it was time for eating.  But, after I ate I took some pictures of the pot.  I love the colors of this dish.  Remember when I said this recipe was fancy, I was right wasn’t I?

At this point you might be asking, (doubt it though), where’s the sriracha?  I forgot it at work because I’m an idiot!  That’s ok, I had it for lunch today with sriracha and it was better than I remembered.

All this food will literally last me a week, (I’ve made it before, I’m not lying.)  This means that I wont be going out to eat at lunch which means that I can stick to my budget and avoid using those deadly credit cards.  Yay!

I can’t believe you made it this far down the page.  If you have the time, leave a comment and let me know how awesome I am or how pretty my pictures are or how bad my handwriting is.  I have better things to do.  Yeah, I don’t blame you.

P.S. Legit recipe with ingredients in list form: here.