Meatless Monday: Mushroom-Hummus Soup

Hey guys! I’m home safe and sound from a wonderful trip to San Diego! I got in late last night and tonight I’m going to pick up the dog from my dad’s. In the meantime, here is a recipe I’ve been hoarding as I obviously haven’t been cooking. This week, expect some different things: a vlog on my latest exercise endeavors, recaps from my trip, and some other fun things about what I’ve been up to while I’ve been doing my best to stay out of the kitchen for sanity sake!


Mushrooms, shallots, hummus, lemon? Count me in!


The Huz actually picked this recipe out of the Food Network Magazine that his coworker gave me.

Mushroom-Hummus Soup


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 1/4 pounds baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1/2 cup hummus
  • lemon juice
  • 2 scallions, roughly chopped
  • Greek yogurt, for topping


Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the liquid from the mushrooms evaporates, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Add the madeira wine and cook 2 minutes, scraping up any browned bits. Add the broth and thyme; simmer gently, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.

Discard the thyme sprigs. Stir the hummus into the soup. Using an immersion blender, puree but leave some mushrooms remaining whole. Simmer 15 more minutes. Remove from the heat, season with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with the yogurt and scallions.

It was a relatively easy recipe to throw together, once all the chopping was done.

Sauté the shallots.


Add the mushrooms and sauté for 15 minutes.


Add 2 cloves of garlic and the wine.


Then stir in the chicken broth and thyme and simmer 30 minutes.


Stir in the hummus (I used homemade).


Blend away! (My stick blender sure has been getting a lot of action lately!)


Let it simmer a few more minutes, it actually thickened up nicely.


I topped it with a huge dollop of Fage (that promptly sunk) and green onion.


It was an interesting soup. We didn’t really know if we liked it. And we definitely like all of the components individually but there was something that didn’t quite work with this. I don’t think I would make this again, just too odd. But I do like the concept of using hummus to make soups creamier!



Getting back in the groove

I think the not great sleep the last few nights have caught up with me. This morning at work I felt a little headache coming on and very very heavy eyes. My cure:

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I know, I know, not the best thing in the world but it’s less calories and more energy than coffee, which I didn’t have this morning! 😉

Morning Snack

I *gasp* didn’t have yogurt this morning! Instead, I ate a peach.

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Or not…

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It didn’t taste pleasant or look pleasant at all. So I tossed it after 2 bites. *sigh*


Leftover couscous and roasted veggies.

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Another yum! Quite filling as well!

Afternoon Snack

More boy-chopped mushroom, bell pepper, and carrots dipped in Sabra hummus that I didn’t get to yesterday.

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(only had half the hummus and half the carrots)

(with a chocolate chaser)

I made it to the gym straight after work today! Yay! I wasn’t 100% sure what I wanted to do when I got there though…

I ended up warming up with 5 minutes on the stairmaster then did deadlifts, lat pulldowns, bulgarian split squats, tricep skull crushers, front raises, swiss ball crunches with weights, side crunches with weights, plank, side plank, t-push-ups. That all took ~25 minutes. Then I did 30 minutes on the treadmill, walking. I started at 3.5 mph with no incline and worked up to 4.0 mph and 13% incline while watching Oprah on the cardio center! 😀 Then I did a bit of stretching. Burned 511 calories!


Tonight, I made Cuban-Style Black Beans.

I pretty much followed this with some of the modifications in the comments.

I used canned black beans. Almost 2 cans worth. (We used a tiny bit last night on our salads.) I didn’t drain the one can that we opened tonight and used that as the water in the recipe.

I sautéed onion, garlic and a red bell pepper in some EVOO Spray.

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I added the black beans and some frozen corn to the pan and let it simmer.

Then I added the tomato paste (only 2/3’s of a can though b/c I had it in the fridge) vinegar, (brown) sugar, salt (only 1 tsp), pepper and the pimentos. (This is the first time I’ve ever used pimentos!)

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I did not cook this for an hour and a half like the recipe calls for since I used canned beans instead of dried. It cooked for maybe half an hour while the rice was going in my mother’s old ancient rice cooker!

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I served this over wild rice. Topped with a dollop of Daisy.

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To be honest, I didn’t think that it was very “Cuban” but I don’t really know if I know what Cuban food tastes like… Either way, it was tasty. The boy said it was a make-again. That always makes me happy – especially when it is a vegetarian meal! Today was actually completely vegetarian, unplanned! I love that!

We ate in front of the TV watching The Wire.

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Haha, we both have our Blackberry Storms right at hand, me in pink, him in red. (I spy boy feet!)

The boy is off doing a run (it’s 8pm) since it has cooled down a bit. The house is sooo much cooler today. It was in the 90’s instead of the 100’s! Yippee! I’d rather see 80’s though!

Now to enjoy some quality alone time while the boy is out! Yay! Maybe a pedicure? I do need to finalize next weeks meal plan… Hm.


“New” Chocolate and Larabars

Morning Snack

I had fruit salad, from a couple nights ago, topped with Yami Yogurt.

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I might be getting tired of the yogurt morning snack soon… maybe.


Leftover Salmon and couscous from last night.

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I feel like I’m lacking on the veggies today. 😦

On my actual lunch break, I ran a couple errands and ended up at Whole Foods. I had some coupons in the car and $7 that was burning a whole in my pocket so I decided to stock a little for my goody drawer at work. I ended up with 2 new (to me) Larabar flavors to try and a new (to me) chocolate bar.

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As soon as I got back to work, I tried a tiny bit of the chocolate.

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Normally, I stick to Endangered Species 88% cacao chocolate bar but I felt the need to have chocolate at work and had a Green & Black coupon for $1 off. I checked out the varieties of dark chocolate and this appealed the most to me. I LOVE orange chocolate. You know those chocolates that are actually in the shape of an orange? Uh huh. My fav. They always remind me of my Opa. This bar was very similar. I might like it better. It had a little more spice to it but the orange and creamy chocolateness still came through nicely. It melted in my mouth! (The 93* weather probably isn’t helping!) From Green & Black’s website: "…blending rich, dark chocolate with a refreshing twist of orange that is perfectly balanced by the warmth of cinnamon, nutmeg and a hint of vanilla." Also known as: heaven.

Afternoon Snack

More boy-chopped mushroom, bell pepper, and carrots dipped in Sabra hummus.

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Except the bell pepper tasted funky and I wasn’t feeling the carrots so I just ate the mushrooms and licked the rest of the hummus off of a carrot.

And then I had another piece of Maya Gold.

Before leaving work, I tried the pistachio larabar.

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I wasn’t insanely impressed but it wasn’t bad either. I ate half of this bar.

I thought about hitting the gym, but was really hot and unmotivated. Probably hormone related. 😦 I took a cold shower when I got home and then started dinner. I was hungry!


Made up for my lack of veggies earlier in the day! I made vegetable spaghetti. I used a zucchini, squash, some asparagus, mushrooms, onion, garlic and bell pepper. LOTS of veggies! 😀

I chopped all the veggies and seasoned them with EVOO, salt and pepper and roasted them in the oven. I boiled some whole wheat spaghetti noodles and heated up some Classico Spaghetti Sauce in a small saucepan.

I intentionally did lots of veggies so we’d have some leftovers!

I topped the noodles with some sauce (that I spiced up by adding a can of diced tomatoes, garlic powder, oregano, and a dash of cayenne), added the roasted veggies, and sprinkled with shredded parmesan.

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We had a small amount of Black Box Cab Sauv.

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This is the best boxed wine I have ever had! Very economical and great for just wanting a small pour here and there! I recommend! I think we paid ~$20-25 for the box and I think it is 3-4 bottles worth of wine? How great is that?!

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Dinner was superbly easy and tasty! Yum!

Off to watch an episode of The Wire!

A new toy!

Morning Snack

I had fruit salad, that I prepped the night before, topped with Yami Peach Yogurt and a few fresh raspberries that one of the girls at work gave me!

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So yum!


Leftover Shrimp Gumbo from last night.

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It was also delicious but I could tell today that the okra was rather overcooked. Oops! (Don’t worry, I adjusted the cooking time to take that into consideration on my recount of it yesterday.)

Afternoon Snack

The boy did a great job chopping veggies yesterday so today I munched on mushroom, bell pepper, and carrots dipped in Sabra hummus.

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I also had a juice box! 😀

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I worked a little later today because my carpool buddy had a late meeting and I need to stay on her good side. 😉 I picked up the boy, who was patiently waiting for me, we grabbed the car from the shop, and headed home. By this time, it was nearly 7 so we vetoed the run we had planned and just got to work on grub.


Inspired by this recipe, I made Walnut Crusted Salmon with Horseradish. Very easy to make! Just slap some horseradish on the fillets, salt and pepper, press in crushed walnuts and drizzle in melted butter. Bake at 425* for 12 minutes!

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While the salmon was baking, I whipped up a quick batch of couscous. To fix up the couscous, I added some halved grape tomatoes, feta and green onions.

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With a side of steamed asparagus

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I only had a half of a fillet, the other half was put away for leftovers!

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Dinner only took maybe 20 minutes to throw together! Not bad, eh?

(Again, I live close enough to Canada to get away with the ‘eh’!)

Also! Amazingness! When we got home, there was a beautiful package waiting for me from Jodus’ mom! It was her hardly used breadmaker which I am sure cost a small fortune to ship but I am super excited to start making my own breads!! Yay! That shall come in the near future after some research. 😉

Signature L4L

Jamaica Me Crazy!

Morning Snack

I’ll give you 3 guesses but you only need one!


Mixed Berry Yogurt with a peach and two kiwi.

Are you surprised?

I did manage to hold off until 10 am before eating this. A small victory.


A tad bizarre and just okay, I had leftover BBQ Mustard Chicken from last night and brown “fried” rice from the night before.


And I proceeded to mix it all up.


And devour it. It’s kinda embarrassing how fast I ate it. For some reason, at the stroke of noon, I was famished. I think it was a mental thing. Maybe not.

For my actual lunch break, I went out to read in my car Jodus’ car that is equipped with a sunroof in the sun. I then proceeded to pass the *%!# out for the next half hour, and woke up to my phone vibrating from missed calls. I wiped the drool off my mouth and then headed back into the wonderfully air-conditioned office building. Boy, did that wake me up. Not sure what the dealio is with the cat naps at lunch. I feel like I’m getting enough sleep… 7 hours? Maybe not.

When I got back to my desk, I started eating my afternoon snack. 😦


Mushrooms with Sabra Hummus

It was delightful. As mushrooms and hummus always are. But now I must come up with something else for an afternoon snack. Hmmmm….

Afternoon Snack

I raided my stash at work which is actually getting scarily low… mostly due to my generosity of feeding the ill-prepared women in the office that complain they are hungry and have nothing to eat. I have a weakness for charity cases I suppose. At least when it comes to food.

After thrashing around the bottom of my drawer, I remorsefully decided on a Forze GPS chocolate peanut butter bar. This was given to me by a coworker that worked at the Seattle Rock’n’Roll Marathon a couple weeks ago and got a lot of free stuff from vendors.

So why the wariness? On the bar, it says “Designed to activate the body’s natural appetite control signal.” Well all right then. Please note, I am not eating this to appease my appetite control, though I need it today, I am eating it for lack of options and I can not turn down free food to save my life. It’s a complex.

So here’s the stats:

Forze Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1 bar (40g)

Amount Per Serving

Calories 160Calories from Fat 50  

Forze GPS

Total Fat 6g


Saturated Fat 1.5g


Trans Fat 0g


Cholesterol 0mg


Sodium 105 mg


Total Carbohydrate 21g


Dietary Fiber 4g


Sugars 8g


Protein 8g


Vitamin A 10%
Vitamin C 10%


Vitamin E 10%
Thiamin 10%


Riboflavin 10%
Niacin 10%


Folic Acid 10%
Calcium 40%
Seems okay enough, right?



 Not terrible… not the best either. Whatevs. I’m game.

According to the website, the reason it is an appetite control is because it offers more satiety for the calories than other bars. Hm. Ok. Doesn’t really seem like “activation” to me but whatev.

So here’s what you all want to know, right? How the heck did it taste? Get to the point, Leah!


It was pretty good! Chocolate-y for sure. Sweet. A slight crunch. Tastes kinda like chocolate rice krispies or something.

Did it keep me full?

Well, I ate it at 3:15. I had a rumbly in my tummy 2 hours later. But it seemed to subside. But by 7, I was ravishing. I wouldn’t say that it held me over better than any other bar persay.

After work, I headed to the gym. I did a 30 minutes core class followed by a 55 minute sculpt class just to test out the new gym classes. The core was meh. Lots of crunches variations, nothing new. Challenging, yes, but not something I am going to do on the regular. The scultp class was good. I would do it again but the timing threw my whole evening. I was home half an hour later than usual gym days and was stressed by dinner.

I did burn ~500 cals though. Not too shabby for no cardio.


Being that it was one of the longer workout days, I planned something that was “quick and easy”. Or so I thought.

I had planned on making Minty Bulgur Wheat and Peach Salad from Cooking Light along with some broiled shrimp and a salad.

I was excited when I saw this recipe in the magazine. I have bulgur. I have mint. I have peaches. Jicama. I’m scared now. Um. I have never actually prepared jicama. I’m not even sure how to pronounce it. I was corrected the last time I said it out loud in public and now I can’t remember. The thing has been staring at me in my fridge all week. Wish me luck.

Well, when I got home and reread the recipe, I see that the bulgur has to stand an hour. And then you mix everything together. And then it stands for another hour. I can tell you right now, that ain’t happening.

So I boil the water to do the bulgur. If I were smart, I would have done it this morning and let it sit all day but I’m not smart so I didn’t.


I got everything else ready for the salad. Made the sauce/dressing. 


Chopped the peaches.


Chopped the mint

Oh dear. Here comes the jicama.


I sh!t you not, I Googled “how to peel jicama”. The boy ended up taking over peeling duties after my frustration.

 Diced that bad boy up.

 And then waited. And waited. The bulgur was taking forev!


 Got to work on a small salad. I used Costco artisan lettuce, a tomato, and… that’s it. Clever, eh? (There’s that damn “eh” again!) 

On to the shrimp! I referred to Rachel Ray for an easy dry rub.


I like simple!

We use frozen, deveined, tail off shrimp from Costco (surprise, surprise). I turned the oven onto broil, rubbed the rub onto the mass quantities of shrimp I had dethawed, and spread them evenly on a cookie sheet that had been wrapped in foil and sprayed in EVOO for easy clean-up (for the boy – muwahahahaaaa). And waited. The bulgur still wasn’t ready.

Plan B.

Eat salad. It’s a two course night apparently. Topped with the oh-so-not-healthy-but-oh-so-delicious Jaimaca Mistake Dressing. You are Jaimac-ing a mistake by not using this dressing! 😉


(Please ignore the Nutrition Facts on the website. For your own good. And mine.)

Done eating salad, check bulgur. Eff, man! Still has liquid! I consult with the boy, he says it’s cool. We’ll just hang for a bit. We throw in an episode of The Wire, Season 4. I’m chilling. But very annoyed with dinner. It’s 8pm and we haven’t eaten. Gr. On the upside, the boy has tomorrow off so that is one less lunch I need to pack after dinner. Booya. On the tail end of work today, I made my menu for next week. Along with a shopping list. And I’m sending the boy to Costco alone tomorrow. His first time ever! Wonder how he’ll do…. He’ll be fine. 😉

At this point, I’m just waiting for the bulgur to absorb. No way in hell I’m gonna let it sit for a whole ‘nother hour in the dressing. Eff that. It’ll be fine without that little detail, right?

At some point in here, the bulgur looks “good enough” so I proceed with the salad and throw the shrimp in the oven.

It was done shortly and we ate in the living room watching The Wire.


 The shrimp was spicy! I think tooooo spicy. The boy liked it. I ended up mixing it in with the sweeter/citrusy bulgur salad to cut the spice. And I still drank a bunch of water. And ate a piece of dark chocolate afterwards… to clean my palate, you know! 😉

I’m ready for bed. Yoga in the morning! And the boy is making breakfast! Yay!


More of the same

Morning Snack

Same as yesterday, surprise surprise! Just flipped over!


Blueberry Lowfat Yogurt with a peach and 2 kiwi.


Leftover Chicken Tortilla Soup


We were out of the blue corn tortilla chips so I mixed it up by using FSTG Buffalo Tortilla Chips. Boy did that kick it up a notch! Yummers!

On my lunch break today, I hit up Plato’s Closet in hopes of finding a fabby new dress for a Russian Birthday Party I’m attending on Saturday! I think I have purchased maybe 3-4 party worthy dresses here before and always come out with a slammin’ good deal and get oodles of compliments on the goods! 😉

I came away with 3 dresses and 2 pairs of shoes for ~$100. Not too shabby considering one of the dresses was Simply Vera by Vera Wang and still had the tag on it! Another one was BCBG for only $35! I plan on wearing one this weekend, one for my birthday, and I’m not sure about the third. A nice date night, maybe?

Afternoon Snack

The standard, yet again. But such a good standard!


Veggies (mushroom, bell pepper, carrots) with Sabra Sun dried Tomato Hummus.

A little while later, I had a piece of pie.

Pecan Pie Larabar, that is! 😉 My first time! And oh so good! I think I might have a new fav! It was a little crumblier and so delicious. I heart nuts.

When I got home from work, I tried out a free trials from Yoga Download. As I’ve said before, I’m relatively new to yoga but love the idea of it so I’m giving these 20 minute sessions a try before I start ordering them like a crazy lady.

I tried Yoga For Weight Loss – Beg. It is a level 1-2 class. There was a lot of flow which I hadn’t really done before and it took me a little bit to get the hang of it. But I liked it! I might need to invest in a yoga mat. Hm… So I’m thinking about starting to do a 20 minute yoga every morning. If I got up when the boy’s alarm went off, I’d have plenty of time to fit it in then go downstairs and start on breakfast. I’ll give it a try tomorrow.

I downloaded this one (Yoga For Buns) to try! It’s a level 2-3 so we’ll see how I do. I may need to find some more level 1 and 2’s to learn some of the moves so I’m not stupidly flipping through pages to figure out what the heck I’m supposed to be doing. I like this so much better than the DVD’s I’ve tried though! I think yoga, coupled with cardio and strength training might be a good way to go!


Direct from Cooking Light, tonight’s menu was BBQ Mustard Glazed Chicken with grilled asparagus and Confetti Couscous.

I fired up the grill and got to work on the Confetti Couscous. I prepped the veggies for the grill. Some slight modifications: I used 3 Japanese Eggplant, 1 zucchini, 1 summer squash, 1 orange bell pepper.

I tossed them in oil, salt and pepper and threw them on the grill then started prepping the chicken.

I used 3 chicken breasts that were rather large so I filleted them into smaller pieces. The rub consisted of chili powder, sugar, paprika, salt, garlic powder.

Flip the veggies.

Couscous – so nice, they named it twice! hehe… This was actually my first time using Israeli Couscous. Upon initial investigation, it’s just bigger and takes longer to cook.

After brief research, apparently it is a toasted wheat? Hm. Well, whatever. I cook it.

While the couscous is boiling, I got to work on the Mustard Glaze. I didn’t have smoked paprika, so regular old paprika will have to do just fine. I contemplated adding a drop of liquid smoke but opted not to; that stuff is potent. Light brown sugar will have to do as well. And a real grill instead of a grill pan which I do not own. It’ll do. (I’m feeling very Julie/Julia-esque in my dinner recap tonight!)

By now, the boy was home and took over the grill duties, as a man should. Not saying that women aren’t capable or anything. But men belong on the grill. With a beer in hand. Guess I’m a traditionalist like that. 😉

While he was working on the chicken, I trimmed and prepped some asparagus with a little bit of Goya.

We threw the asparagus on the grill towards the second half of the chicken being done, and then I enjoyed a nice mocktail!


Mint, Club Soda, Lime Juice, Ice. So yum!

I worked on finishing up the couscous.

The viniagrette:

Cooked Veggies

Plated Grub:

I spy….

…with my little eye…

A place mat!

Don’t worry, ya’ll. I’m not getting rich on you. These are the only place mats I own. They are double sided though! Maybe one day, I’ll feel daring and show you the other side!

The chicken turned out well. I really liked the flavor. I see this recipe going on baked tofu in the future. I’m iffy on the couscous salad. It wasn’t bad at all. It was just a lot of effort for what you get. And I tasted it along the way and I actually think it was better before adding the viniagrette to it. You could actually taste the grilled veggies and basil. After the viniagrette was added, all that was muted. It was tasty, yes. Would I make it again just like this? Probably not. Am I glad I tried it? Indeed.



New Gym, New Start

Morning Snack

Typical, but oh so good! Yogurt. With fruit.

I used the 2 kiwi I didn’t eat for my afternoon snack yesterday and a peach.

It was fab.


Leftover Chicken Tortilla Soup

 [insert amazing pic of delicious soup here]

Yes, use your imagination. I failed on my blogger duties today and forgot to take a picture. I was so ready to dive into my soup. But it looks the same as it did yesterday. Except no sour cream or cheese. And it’s in a tupperware instead of an Ikea bowl.

Afternoon Snack

Vegetables with Sabra Hummus


I boogied out of work pretty excited today. This morning, I called my crappy gym I was so disappointed in yesterday and cancelled my membership and today, we are signing up for the new one! Yay! I am hoping that the new location with new equipment and new faces will help me get a new start to a good workout plan that I can stick with. I have decided to actually write out a schedule and keep a calendar of my workouts, just as another way to hold me accountable. I was doing so well for awhile and felt so strong. I need to get back there. I’ll show you guys the tentative schedule when I finalize it.

Today, since we had paperwork to do, I started out with 25 minutes on the elliptical then met the boy to do the paperwork. Burned 200 cals. After we were done with the paperwork, we just decided to go home because we were starving. Or at least I was.


Tonight’s menu is Miso Glazed Mahi Mahi with brown “fried” rice.

 The miso glaze is pretty easy. Mix some miso paste with rice vinegar and sesame oil.


At the last second, I added some crushed ginger to the mix. We also sliced up a zucchini and summer squash, lightly coated with EVOO, salt and pepper. Broil the Mahi filets for 6-8 minutes along with the veggies.

The brown “fried” rice, I partially cheated. (Tuesdays and Thursdays tend to be quick dinner nights.) I used Instant Brown Rice and made enough for 2 servings.


In a frying pan, since I don’t have a wok (hint, hint Mom!), I heated a tiny bit of sesame oil and sauteed frozen veggies (corn, green beans, and peas today) and cooked a scrambly egg.

I added a splash of Less Sodium Soy Sauce and the cooked rice.


There wasn’t really a WOW-factor but it was thoroughly satisfying and not at all bad. I might go a little easier on the miso next time because it’s a tad salty.

Now, if you will excuse me! I have a hot date with my pillow tonight!