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Sunday, August 21, 2011

What's Cookin'?

Within the past month or so, I realized just how much money I was spending on going out for meals. The options at restaurants also aren't always exactly the healthiest choices out there, so I decided to take matters into my own hands and start limiting myself to one restaurant visit per week. This means that I've been cooking every other meal on my own at home. It's been a major change for my busy lifestyle, but I've loved the results. My bank account is a little cushier and I feel much healthier. I have so much more energy now. 
One of my favorite things that I've been reading lately is Mario Lopez's book Extra Lean. It teaches you to re-evaluate your eating habits and improve them. I haven't been following the plan to a T, but I've been using lots of the recipes in the book. I want to share with you guys one of my favorites, a beef stir-fry. The recipe in the book serves only one person, so if you're going to be sharing this meal, I'd recommend doubling the amounts. 

1 tsp canola oil
4 oz thinly sliced flank steak
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp grated fresh ginger root
1 cup chopped broccoli
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup sliced red onion
1 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp teriyaki or hoisin sauce

1. Heat oil in a skillet or wok on medium-high heat, add beef and cook for 1 minute.
2. Add garlic, ginger, broccoli, pepper, and onion; cook, tossing continuously for 2 minutes.
3. Add soy sauce and teriyaki sauce and cook for an extra 2 minutes or until the broccoli is crisp-tender.

This is probably one of the easiest and best tasting things I've ever made at home. Not to mention the fact that it doesn't take very long to cook. I modified the recipe a little bit the second time I made this dish, because my boyfriend was having dinner with me. I removed the broccoli and onion from the recipe, added yellow bell peppers to the mixture while cooking, and added spinach leaves after it was all done cooking. 
Measuring out the flank steak
Diced bell peppers... I actually love those raw, too.
Soy & Teriyaki
During the cooking process
and... voila! The finished meal! It was delicious. I love that this meal only has 333 calories total, and it's got some good protein. For spicy lovers, I'd recommend adding a little bit of chili sauce!

Although this next part may be a little contradictory to the topic of this post (healthy cooking at home), I still have to share with you guys a little bit of goodness that my man surprised me with the other day. My favorite chocolates - Godiva Dark Truffles - and two red velvet cupcakes from Crave Cupcakes in Houston. I was definitely spoiled with all these treats, but my sweet tooth will never go away. It's impossible for me to resist indulging every now and again.

I'm about to relax with a cup of coffee and the latest issue of Lucky Magazine. I considered stopping by the mall for a few things I need to pick up from Sephora, but upon remembering that this weekend is "Tax-free weekend", I figured it's best to steer clear of the mall unless I feel like getting trampled by back-to-school-shopping moms and teenagers. No thanks. 
Hope everyone has a happy Sunday!

Natalie Delaine

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