Weeks 4 through 6: Post-birthday, post-vacation… playing catch-up


I’ve fallen off the blogging wagon these past few weeks and for that I apologize.  Things got a bit busy the last week of September when I was juggling deadlines at work, daily gym sessions, and birthday fun.  Then the first week of October the beau and I wound up on an impromptu week-long vacation to Boston and Cape Cod.  We just got back on Tuesday and I am overdue for a status update.

Gym progress is continuing to show.  Some of my co-workers mentioned that I look like I’ve lost some weight.  (Yes!)  Also, my recovery rate is much faster in the gym.  Although my heart rate is still quick to rise, my heart rate recovery time in between circuits has improved drastically.  My legs are starting to shape up nicely and I’m pretty sure my tush has perked up a bit!  Hooray for the millions of lunges and squats that have contributed to these results. 🙂  As of this week I am striving to increase the number of days a week that I work out.  Although I train M/W/F, I should be working out more than 3 times a week and I have been slacking on that these past 3 weeks or so.  Since we got back from our Boston trip on Tuesday, I have worked out Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sunday, and Monday.  I’m off to a good start.

Anyhow… recipe time!  (All brought to you by Cooking Light magazine, as always.)

Italian Sausage Hoagies


  • 4 (2-ounce) hoagie rolls, halved lengthwise
  • 9 ounces sweet turkey Italian sausage, cut into 1-inch-thick pieces
  • 1/2 cup prechopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1 cup lower-sodium marinara sauce (such as Amy’s)
  • 1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2.25 ounces shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (about 1/2 cup)


  1. Preheat broiler to high.
  2. Hollow out top halves of rolls. Arrange rolls, cut sides up, on a baking sheet. Broil 1 1/2 minutes or until toasted. Set aside.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage to pan; cook 2 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Add onion and garlic; cook 1 minute. Add marinara, bell pepper, and black pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 6 minutes or until bell pepper is crisp-tender.
  4. Arrange about 3/4 cup sausage mixture over bottom half of each roll; sprinkle each serving with about 2 tablespoons cheese. Place on a baking sheet; broil 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Top with top halves of rolls.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving

  • Calories: 309
  • Fat: 7g
  • Saturated fat: 4.4g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 0.9g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.1g
  • Protein: 20.7g
  • Carbohydrate: 28.5g
  • Fiber: 2.5g
  • Cholesterol: 51mg
  • Iron: 1.8mg
  • Sodium: 588mg
  • Calcium: 182mg

Asian Marinated Chicken with Corn and Basil Faux-Fried Rice


  • Chicken:
  • 1/3 cup sliced green onions
  • 3 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mirin (sweet rice wine)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
  • 8 skinless, bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Rice:
  • 1/2 cup uncooked basmati rice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
  • 3/4 cup fresh yellow corn kernels (about 2 small ears)
  • 1 tablespoon lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 lime


  1. To prepare chicken, place first 4 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add chicken to bag; seal. Marinate in refrigerator for 2 hours, turning after 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°.
  3. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Remove chicken from bag; discard marinade. Add chicken to pan, meaty sides down; sauté 3 minutes. Turn chicken over; place skillet in oven. Bake at 375° for 10 minutes or until chicken is done. Let chicken stand 5 minutes.
  4. To prepare rice, cook rice for 15 minutes in boiling water; drain. Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add 2 tablespoons onions to pan; sauté for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add rice, corn, and 1 tablespoon soy sauce; sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in basil. Divide rice evenly among 4 plates, and top each serving with 2 chicken thighs. Grate lime rind over chicken. Cut lime into wedges, and serve with chicken.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving

  • Calories: 327
  • Fat: 12.5g
  • Saturated fat: 2.4g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 6.7g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 2.2g
  • Protein: 30.2g
  • Carbohydrate: 21g
  • Fiber: 1.8g
  • Cholesterol: 115mg
  • Iron: 2.1mg
  • Sodium: 515mg
  • Calcium: 33mg

Pork Chops with Roasted Apples and Onions


  • 2 1/2 teaspoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen pearl onions, thawed
  • 2 cups Gala apple wedges
  • 1 tablespoon butter, divided
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 4 (6-ounce) bone-in center-cut pork loin chops (about 1/2 inch thick)
  • 1/2 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar


  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Pat onions dry with a paper towel. Add onions to pan; cook 2 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring once. Add apple to pan; place in oven. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes or until onions and apple are tender. Stir in 2 teaspoons butter, thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle pork with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add pork to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove pork from pan; keep warm. Combine broth and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add broth mixture to pan; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook 1 minute or until reduced to 1/4 cup. Stir in vinegar and remaining 1 teaspoon butter. Serve sauce with pork and apple mixture.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving

  • Calories: 240
  • Fat: 10g
  • Saturated fat: 3.3g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 4.1g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.4g
  • Protein: 24.9g
  • Carbohydrate: 11g
  • Fiber: 1.5g
  • Cholesterol: 84mg
  • Iron: 1mg
  • Sodium: 379mg
  • Calcium: 28mg

I know it’s only three recipes… I’ve been dining out quite a bit lately. (Shame on me.)  But I’ve already compiled my recipe list and gone shopping for this week’s meals so I promise I will have more to post later this week.

Adios, amigos. 🙂

5 thoughts on “Weeks 4 through 6: Post-birthday, post-vacation… playing catch-up

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