Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Greek Chicken & Spinach Rice

I found this recipe in today's newspaper and it sounded healthy and delicious.  And it was! It could be a main or a side dish, depending on how much chicken you use.  I used less chicken and more mushrooms. Delicious!  Or skip the chicken completely for a vegetarian dish. 

2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1  8 oz pkg fresh mushrooms, sliced (original called for only 1 cup)
1 cup frozen, chopped spinach
1 cup quick-cooking brown rice, uncooked
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 chicken breast, cut into 3/4 inch cubes (optional)
1 cup plus 2 TB chicken broth, low sodium
1 TB lemon juice
2 TB Feta cheese (You can leave this out too if you're avoiding animal protein)
2 TB slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 2 qt casserole dish with cooking spray.
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in medium skillet. Add onion and garlic. Cook and stir for 3 minutes. Stir in mushrooms and cook until tender, 3-5 more minutes.

Stir in frozen spinach. Cook until thawed and moisture evaporates. Pour into prepared casserole dish. Stir in dry rice, oregano and pepper.

Return skillet to medium heat and add remaining teaspoon of oil. Add chicken and cook 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently until chicken is done.  Add chicken to casserole and stir. Pour chicken broth over top.

Cover and bake 30 minutes.  Sprinkle with lemon juice, feta cheese and almonds.  Bake uncovered 10 minutes more.  Serves 4-6 as a side dish.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

5K 2011

Well, we did it!  I was having a dilemma the night before, thinking I shouldn't have signed up my 6 year old.  I was worried he would give up.  I really wanted him to have a positive experience.  Also, my mom self was struggling against my competitive self.  I really wanted to beat my time from last year and I didn't want to get impatient with him.  I decided the night before that being his mom was more important than beating my time.  And I felt good about it.

The first mile, he stayed about 5 steps ahead of me.  The second mile he started to fall behind and we slowed down a little.  I kept encouraging him and he never stopped running.  He also never said a word.  He was in the zone!  My sister was waiting at the 3rd mile.  She held his hand and ran with him all the way to the finish line.  I was so proud of him for finishing.  He even won first place in his division.

Of course, my older kids all finished before me.  My 8 year old placed first in her division.  (She does every year).  The rest of us each took 5th place in ours.  Even though I was running slower that second mile, I still beat my time from last year by 47 seconds.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Gallstones Rock

      My gallbladder hates the month of April.  Or April hates my gallbladder. I’m not sure which.  You see, our annual 5K is Friday and I’m a little nervous.  I had big plans of training this year and not getting beat (as badly) by my children.

      But April came around and I quit running.  It’s hard to run when you can’t take a deep breath and it feels like someone’s sitting on your chest.  No, it’s not a heart attack. It’s my gallbladder.  This happened last April too, right before the 5K.  I went to the doctor and had an ultrasound which showed a few stones. I even consulted with a surgeon. He told me that 80% of people have gallstones and don’t even know it.  He said I shouldn’t have surgery unless it was really bothering me. By the time I met with the surgeon it wasn’t bothering me.  And since I would prefer to keep all my organs, I let it go.  I'd decided I was miraculously healed.

      3 weeks ago it came back to torture me for 2 weeks.  Now I’m pain free.  But here it is, time again for the 5K and I’m not prepared. 

Wish me luck!