Tag Archives: cooking

[Day 4: Sometimes You Just Gotta Do It]

I almost skipped the gym again today. Almost. This time it was more because of the lack of food in my system and what I wanted to make was going to take me a few hours. I usually don’t like to go to the gym or work out right after eating. But I grabbed a subway and devoured it cause it had been 6 hours since I ate breakfast. I was just going to go home and start cooking dinner because cháo vịt (duck rice porridge/congee) was going to take a while to cook since I made the base from scratch with beef bone. That whole process took at least 3 hours before I added the rice to make rice porridge, but man, was that bowl of duck congee so good. Funny thing was, I didn’t really have a recipe for it and I had never made it before. I always ate it when my mom made it or at the restaurant. I remember there was a really good restaurant that specialized in duck congee back in Vietnam, it was over by my bà ngoại’s place. Man was it good.

The weather today, especially in the morning, called for a sort of soup or warm dish with the off and on gloomy weather and rain. So it all worked out, because I originally was going to make the duck congee yesterday but didn’t get a chance to because I didn’t have the time to. All I had to work off of was an ingredient list (just list of ingredients no measurements of any sorts) and the general order of how things should happen. Ingredients included bone, duck, ginger, garlic, onion, fish sauce. So yeah, I’m really happy with how it turned out. I should have used less rice though my porridge is definitely more oatmeal/porridge texture than the watery porridge my mom makes. Live and learn, next time I’ll just use 1.5 cup or even 1 cup of rice instead of 2. Still so good though, so much flavor!!!

But I regress, working out. I finished rotations at 1pm today, and I went to Target and ended up getting a racket and balls for racquetball. I didn’t like the racket they let me borrow yesterday because it got my hand all dirty and black. I also got a more active wear swim top. I wanted a one piece, but I swear my body’s too oddly shaped that I had the hardest time getting them on. I opted for a tank that i’ll wear with my batman bikini bottom. That way it won’t show my midriff. I always found it too weird to wear a string bikini to the pool to swim laps. My intent with all of this is that I’ll start swimming too, once Auntie Flow leaves. I ended up eating subway afterwards cause I couldn’t ignore my hunger anymore. I was planning on holding off until working out, but realistically working out for nearly 2 hours when famished… totally not a good plan. I already get woozy enough getting off a treadmill after I’ve been on it for a bit. So I was about to give n and decide that there was no gym today. Nope, after I devoured that 6″ subway, I felt okay and went straight to the gym. Man was it worth it. I would have stayed a little bit later, but I was wanting to come home to make that congee.

[The Numbers]

  • Weight: 122.6 lbs
  • Water Intake:  750 mL by 12pm, 750 mL after work out, 750 mL by bedtime = 2250 mL total
  • Workout Time: 40 minutes playing racquetball, 40 minutes in the weight room, 30 minutes on treadmill = 110 minutes

[The Meal Plan]

  • Breakfast: Chobani greek yogurt, 6 oreo cookies
  • Lunch: Subway cold cut 6″ sub – lettuce, tomatoes, spinach, olives, pickles, cucumbers, and chipotle sauce
  • Dinner:  cháo vịt – duck congee (or rice porridge); definitely homemade and satisfying as expected
  • Snack: N/A


Okay. The last few posts haven’t had anything really to do with food. I seriously don’t even remember what I’ve been eating lately, frozen burritos, and had some dinner at a friend’s for her birthday. Last night I made some Bun Nem Nuong (Noodles with Cured Ground Pork). I’m eating that for a while because I had a chunk of the nem nuong to eat that was in my freezer. And I really do like it. I also went to the store yesterday to get some fresh produce.

It was the first time I made it on my own, so I didn’t brown the meat enough last night. When I did it again today, it was a lot better but I was starving so I scarfed that down before I thought to take a new picture of it. All that is on a bed of shredded green lettuce, spearmint, and fish mint. I also made fish sauce to go with it to mix things up like you’re supposed to. Fish sauce (Nuoc Nam) was the first authentic thing I ever learned how to make, my mom always made me do it when I was growing up. I mean, I’m not counting rice here cause all I did was stick it in the cooker.

But this is how the dish looks like mixed and everything. I really like my veggies so I always put an abundance of them in there. I’m really bummed that I forgot to get the bean sprouts when I went to the market yesterday too. I was super excited about those bean sprouts, I was going to do the pad thai again but with bean sprouts this time. And this was going to have bean sprouts, and I was even going to maybe make meatball pho to get rid of the meatballs and pho noodles that I have.

But that’s about it when it comes to delicious food. I had another frozen burrito for lunch with a yogurt and my standard cereal for breakfast. I was going to make apple crisp again tonight, but I woke up from a 2 hour nap at 8pm and all my motivation has left me and it’s getting a bit late for that. Perhaps I’ll do that tomorrow.

And on a side note, I’m meeting with the potential roommate (hopefully confirmed future roommate) for lunch tomorrow after class and all that jazz. HOPE THINGS GO WELL FOR ME!!!

More food?!

So… my phone pretty much died yesterday as I was taking pictures of my dinner. But pretty much yesterday I had the rest of the Spinach Shrimp pasta from the day before for lunch, and dinner I had shrimp pad thai, and cut up my last granny smith apple to make a mini apple crisp. That was delicious. I really want more, but unfortunately I don’t have any more apples at the moment. I probably won’t go to the store again for another few days, so until then I’ll work with what I have. As for the Pad Thai, I had a box of the Thai Kitchen – Pad Thai Noodle Kit, I started to follow the directions but then my natural instincts from when I made Pad Thai back at the restaurant kicked in and I stopped following the directions after I scrambled my eggs and soaked my noodles. I really wished that I had some bean sprouts to go with the pad thai though, that would have b been amazing. But at least I had some fresh lime hidden away in my fridge that I was finally able to use and that definitely gave it a tangy flavor. I also threw in some crush red peppers in the mix too while I was cooking it. I was trying to get the sauce to caramelize on the noodles, but that didn’t really work out well so either it’s the sauce or my pan. I haven’t figured out which it was yet.

Today I ate cereal and milk for breakfast, and well now I’m currently eating tacos with left over chicken from the day before the day before. Downside of living alone and cooking for one is that I always have left overs no matter what I do, and I never want to eat them immediately afterwards. I’ll probably make shrimp pad thai again tonight, and maybe that Roma Tomato salad… or maybe just the roma tomato salad alone with a quesadilla or something. Who knows. Maybe if I feel like it I’ll make some pho with meatballs.

But enough of thinking about food, I have a Pharmacology exam tomorrow that I need to start studying for. Originally when I was finally going to start studying for it, there was a little water mishap in my apartment as for whatever reason water started to come up from my carpet. No clue why, so I had to call the leasing office to get their maintenance guy over here. He still hasn’t shown up yet, but I did my job as a tenant. Hopefully they’ll give me some sort of cut in my rent for my next least, this is the fourth water incident I’ve had to deal with since living here and I’ve only lived here since August 15, 2011. I’d move if it wasn’t such a hassle, and the fact that I love being able to walk to school.

We’re Down to 25

I was going to upload a post every day about what I’ve been eating and everything, but there was nothing all that exciting about it. I had tilapia (seasoned with garlic powder, pepper, sugar, and a little salt) in some spring rolls with my pineapple hot sauce (mam) that I made a while back for two evenings. Tacos using some chicken thighs that I had again as well. I guess I had that two nights in a row.

For my Spring Rolls, I had the tilapia, rice vermicelli, green lettuce, cucumbers, spearmint, and fish mint (rau dap ca). The pineapple hot sauce was made with crushed pineapple, sriracha sauce, and some shrimp paste with sugar here and there until I was satisfied with the degree of sweetness and spiciness. It’s something my mom got me hooked on when I was a kid growing up. I was craving it and finally gave up waiting until I came home to Colorado during breaks to eat some of my mom’s version. I pretty much just knew of the ingredients and thus winged the whole process, throwing them into my food processor. The result was pretty decent and I was most definitely satisfied with the results. I ate the last of it when I ate the spring rolls the second night. I guess I won’t be having any more spring rolls in a while. Sad day.

For my Tacos, they’re just.. well tacos. I guess I had these for two nights since the last post as well. So I alternated between spring rolls and tacos. They were just chicken tacos. Nothing special I guess. For my chicken, the first night I used the left over chicken from the last post and shredded it before tossing it with some taco seasoning that I had in my cupboards. The second night, I just cooked two chicken breasts the same way, but it was so good I got distracted and forgot about the taco seasoning so those were just plain. For the complete taco ensemble, I had corn tortillas, sour cream, lettuce, corn, salsa, and a bit of Mexican blend cheese. That was pretty much it for me when it came to tacos. Some enchiladas right now, or a carnita burrito from Santiago’s back home sounds amazing right now.

At some point, I also made pasta with Parmesan breaded tilapia. I seasoned the fish with cayenne, pepper, and some salt, with garlic powder. Then just did a typical breading, with panko bread crumbs. I did a garlic olive oil light sauce to toss with spinach and tomatoes. I also had a side salad where I used balamic vinaigrette as my dressing.

Yesterday I was a bad girl, I didn’t really do much cooking of any sorts. I just ate one of my lean cuisines. And then afterwards, I went to KFC and got some potato wedges, and somehow ended up leaving with the desired potato wedges and the mac and cheese. The mac and cheese wasn’t as satisfying as I was hoping it’d be, and I put extra shredded cheddar jack on it too. I guess working at Noodles&Company for three and a half years spoiled me when it comes to mac and cheese and nothing will ever be comparable to it.

This morning, I ate a bowl of cereal, then cleaned my apartment and all that jazz. After that was done, I went onto SuperCook.com and went to see what I could make with what I had again. I ended up deciding on making a three course meal: appetizer, main entrée, and dessert. Of course, with the recipes I found, I had to scale down too, otherwise I’d be eating everything for days and that’s no fun for my tongue.

For my appetizer, I made a tomato salad of sorts: Roma Tomato Salad with Feta and Garlic. This was delicious. I was surprised at how well it came out and everything. I did have to substitute the fresh basil leaves for dried basil. I can only imagine how much better this tomato salad would have been if I had fresh basil leaves. I wish that basil plant of mine survived these past few months. Perhaps I’ll buy another one when I come back out here at the end of October. Basil is by far my favorite herb, I love it in pizza, and always sprinkle a dash of it in my pasta regardless of what kind of pasta it is.

Then comes the entrée:  Spinach Shrimp Fettuccine. Originally, I wanted to make something with salmon tonight but I guess I just couldn’t decide what I wanted to do with it, because I had some spinach left over that I needed to eat before it went bad, and then I also had some left over pasta from another one of those nights. I guess I had pasta at some point between the last post and now too, cause last time I had left over linguine. But this time, instead of using fettuccine noodles (since I don’t even have any), I used up the rest of my already cooked cellentani noodles. I also had some shrimp that I needed to eat by some point too before the month is over, so I figured why not. I’ll figure out what to do with the salmon at some other point. The pasta is definitely delicious. It definitely packed a light flavor to it, and it was quite satisfying. When it called for italian seasoning, I didn’t have any but looked up a few home versions of it to get an idea of what to put in. In the end, I used dried basil leaves, thyme leaves, oregano, crushed red peppers, garlic powder, and some of this peppercorn medley that I had in my cupboards. The results was delicious, I will definitely be making this again at some point.

Finally, dessert: Amish Apple Crisp. It’s been a while since I’ve had an apple crisp, and I actually really do like apple crisps. I like them plain even, without the ice cream to accompany it. I wasn’t even planning on making a dessert, but I was looking through SuperCooks, and I figured what the heck, let’s see what sorts of desserts it says I can make with the ingredients I had in my kitchen. I needed to take care of the apples that I had in my fridge anyways before they’d get too old and not tasty. So I guess that’s what I did, and I winged it. It actually just came out of the oven and smells delicious. For the actual apple layer, only put 1/8 of a cup of sugar to it instead of the 1/4 cup that it told me too, cause I really don’t like eating things that are too sweet. I also mixed some of the cinnamon into the topping layer too instead of just sprinkling it on top. I just finished eating some, and it’s DELICIOUS!

So yeah, that concludes my food update so far. I haven’t gone to the store yet to buy actual groceries! (I did go to the store to pick up some milk, oatmeal, and more sour cream though for future tacos). As of right now, I’m planning on making some shrimp pad thai, and one pan fish tacos at one point. But we’ll see where this food journey takes me.

31 Days Left…

Okay. I have a confession. I stopped doing Insanity, pretty when I wrote my last post. I was starting to feel ill, and then on top of it all, Pharmacy school was kicking into high gear and no matter what I did I was exhausted. I’d change into my work out clothes, lay down for a moment, and not wake up again hours later. But from the time that I did work out, I did lose a sufficient amount of weight and that made me pretty content, especially since it wasn’t just water weight.

I started off around 127 lbs, and then by the time I stopped Insanity, I was around 120. I’m pretty steady with my weight now, with just the water weight fluctuating and the immediate food intake. I try to weigh myself every morning when I wake up for a more consistent gauge of my weight. Most mornings I’m in the range of 118-120 lbs, so I’m set to go.

Hopefully, I’ll be starting up Insanity again when I move back home in Colorado for three months when I have my rotations, and follow through with it entirely. I just have to be a pharmacy intern for 40 hours a week, and have nothing else to do afterwards so being tired or not can’t be an excuse right? I’m more comfortable with my weight at the moment, this is the normal weight I’ve been the last decade or so, but in the last decade or so I keep saying that I want to lose some weight. My goal weight is 110 lbs, and for being 5′ 2″ standing at 119 lbs, I say that’s a reasonable goal. But we’ll see about how well I get to that mark.

But in any case, in 31 days I will be heading back to Colorado for two months of rotation (August/September) and then a month off before I start up classes again for Fall semester on the 29th of October. Huzzah! I’m super stoked for it and everything. Downside of it all is my apartment and car is going to be abandoned here for three months. With the abandonment, I’m trying to minimize my trips to the store and just eating the food that I have within the cabinets and fridge at the moment until I have nothing. I have a pretty decently stocked kitchen for a student who lives on their own, so for the next 31 days it’s eating whatever I have in my apartment! I also figure it’s a challenge to see how creative I can get with the basic things in my kitchen. The only time I’m letting myself go buy something at the store is if I need more fruits or fresh produce, both of which I require on a daily basis otherwise my meals just don’t seem complete.

Tonight’s Meal was Cold Ginger, Soy and Honey Sesame Noodles with some boneless/skinless chicken thigh that I marinaded with some fish sauce, sugar, garlic powder, and black pepper. On top of all of that, I had a side salad that consisted of Dole’s Classic Romaine blend and a Roma tomato with Ken’s Lite Asian Sesame with Ginger & Soy Dressing.

So there we have it! My dinner, it was actually pretty decent. the linguine I used was actually left overs from when I made spaghetti the other day and it was just sitting in my fridge waiting for me to eat it with something or another. I have no idea what I’m going to eat tomorrow or for the next 30 days, but so far I’m doing good.

I’m probably going to be relying heavily on Super Cook for the days to come as I start running out of ideas of food to make.