Dinner/ Exercise/ Fitness

Tasty Dinner

I was pulling at my brain for dinner ideas tonight…I knew I didn’t want to go out and buy anything at the store so I thought about ingredients I had one hand: mushrooms, cheese, quinoa, onion……it all came together beautifully in a recipe I have made previously (back in December, recipe listed): Quinoa with Tallegio and Spicy Mushrooms, only this time I used Gruyere cheese instead. It was great—my idea of perfect comfort food….soft, cheesy quinoa grains mixed with sauteed onions and mushrooms all spiked with hot pepper flakes. Serious YUM food. I enjoyed a small–3 ounce–glass of wine with my dinner and now I’m watching The Horse Whisperer, one of my favorite movies!

This afternoon, after my CRAZY INTENSE workout (seriously I am going to be SO sore tomorrow, especially my abs), I decided to do some baking. I miss baking class so much–can’t wait to be back in the kitchens! Today I baked chocolate almond biscotti, a variation of a biscotti recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, “Vegetarian Times Cooks Mediterranean”. I halved the recipes and made sort of “mini” biscotti. I haven’t had one yet but I plan to in a little while for dessert! The dough sure tasted yummy though 🙂

When I got home from the gym I also made a little snack: 6 ounces of plain lowfat yogurt with a handful of blueberries and a couple kashi crackers. I needed something to replenish my hard worked muscles!


About 172 calories


Yes, I am the thriftiest person alive—I actually saved this parchment paper from a couple weeks ago in baking class so I could have some next time I baked at home. Wow, I’m cheap.




About 526 calories, including a glass of wine. I used the same recipe as listed in my recipe section but instead of using a whole tbsp of olive oil to saute with, I only used 2 tsp. I used 1 ounce gruyere cheese to replace the tallegio. I also used 2 ounces of dry quinoa.

Does it benefit y’all to get the calorie count of my meals and snacks? I’m thinking of stopping that but wanted to hear your thoughts. Thanks! 

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  • Sarah (another one!)
    January 31, 2008 at 11:56 pm

    I think the calorie count really helps because I know for me at least, I often am under the (false) impression that good, delicious, food is like a million calories, especially when using starchy ingredients and cheese. It really helps me to see that it’s possible to eat ‘decadent’ meals without having to feel guilty about it. I love your blog, it is such an inspiration to me, I can’t even begin to tell you how much you have helped me improve my attitude toward food. Keep up the good work!

  • Kristin
    February 1, 2008 at 12:00 am

    YES, please keep the calorie count, I use so many of your delicious, quick recipes and having an estimated calorie count is SOOO helpful! =)

  • Marsha
    February 1, 2008 at 12:02 am

    The calorie count really helps- its hard to judge portions from a picture.

    What abs exercises did you do?

    I am thinking of getting my haircut short too, and didn’t even think of the hairband problem until you mentioned it. How did you put your hair up for the gym?

  • Susan
    February 1, 2008 at 12:10 am

    Kelly, the other day you mentioned you ate an oatmeal pancake with apple butter for dinner. What did you have with it? It sounds great!

  • Lauren
    February 1, 2008 at 12:11 am

    Those biscottis look AMAZING!!!!

  • Amanda
    February 1, 2008 at 12:33 am

    The calorie count is definitely helpful because after I started counting calories, I realized how much or how little I consume. To see yours gives me great ideas about what I should make, depending on my personal calorie needs.

  • Patricia
    February 1, 2008 at 12:35 am

    Keep the calorie count!! It is VERY helpful!

  • Andrenna
    February 1, 2008 at 12:38 am

    Hi Jenna! I’m a new fan of your blog. I identify with you for several reasons. We have the same ideas about food, and we both have long distance relationships. I even contemplated cooking school myself! In the end, I decided to go to law school, but my love for (delicious!) food remains.

    I am posting because I’d like for you to keep listing the calorie counts. I don’t feel like it’s unhealthy, and it’s helped me to gauge my own meals. I’ve realized I eat more when I don’t eat a substantial enough dinner, because I end up compensating by eating more snacks. By reading your blog I’ve realized what ~500 calories looks like. I appreciate that. Thanks for your time and effort!

  • katie #2
    February 1, 2008 at 12:41 am

    Thanks for asking for our opinion on the calorie counts, Jenna. It’s interesting bec. on your site, the calorie counts are always a side issue for me, nice to see, but not distracting and they don’t take center stage (which is how it should be…mindful, but not obsessive.) I think it comes down to the fact that you are clearly not fixated with the numbers yourself but rather insert them casually. (Thankfully, you don’t include calories burned working out. Quite frankly, that annoys me for all sorts of reasons.) So, I guess I vote to retain the tallies, as I do appreciate seeing what you can do with approximately 500 calories a meal.

  • Megan
    February 1, 2008 at 12:46 am

    Hi Jenna,
    Please keep the calorie counts in! I think they are so helpful to know how much food corresponds to how many calories, I may take in more or take in less, but I like to have a ballpark about how many I have!!
    Oh and the biscotti looks so good, I have a recipe I have been wanting to try for cherry garcia biscotti (cherries and chocolate!)

  • Kelly
    February 1, 2008 at 12:47 am

    i think you can quit using the calories. its a lot of work to add them up, and i think we are too stressed out about calories these days in the first place. if you eat healthy (getting all your food groups with minimal sweets and oils) then the calories naturally follow suit. i think people need to pay more attention to the QUALITY of their food instead of the QUANTITY.

  • Erica
    February 1, 2008 at 12:51 am

    Keep the calorie count! It’s very helpful to get a ballpark idea especially for my own cooking. Keep up the fabulous job Jenna, your blog is such an inspiration to us all!

  • jenna
    February 1, 2008 at 1:29 am


    Oh man…we did everything. I made the mistake of telling him that my abs don’t get sore easily since I do a lot of yoga and running and of course that made him work me even harder! (lets keep in mind this man moved here from Zimbabwe and looks like a professional athlete) Some of the stuff we did today included me laying on a mat, lifting my legs and butt up in the air (works lower abs and is SUPER hard) and tons of crunches holding a medicine ball. We also did lunges lifting a medicine ball over my head every step, one-armed pushups and jump squats on a bosu ball. Everything was very fast paced too (had my heart rate monitor on!) and I know I will be sore tomorrow! A good kind of sore though!

  • jenna
    February 1, 2008 at 1:30 am

    Oh, and I just pin my bangs up with bobbie pins when I go to the gym. Its even too short to put in a half ponytail!

  • Ashley
    February 1, 2008 at 1:39 am

    Hi jenna I am totally in love with your blog! You are such an inspiration! I love how you listen to your body and never punish it for eating too much! You have definitly helped me create a better mental image of what healthy eating is and allowed me to be less stressed about eating. I am eating when I am hungry now instead of when I think I should be eating. I feel so much better and healthier!

    On another note, I love to cook but I am just starting out. I noticed you just try to use what in your kitchen. I was wondering if you have any advice for someone who is just cooking for one (or two with leftovers)? Also if you have just any general advice for those who are just starting out as cooks?

    oh yeah and I have really short hair too just below my chin and I can usually get a pony tail if I do it higher on my head and pin the bottom pieces up. thought you might want to give it a try.

  • Ashley
    February 1, 2008 at 1:44 am

    PS I cant find the recipe for this.

  • jenna
    February 1, 2008 at 1:46 am


    It’s in the recipe section…I believe its the recipe at the bottom of the page (the first one I wrote)

  • Kelly
    February 1, 2008 at 1:57 am

    CONFESSION CONFESSION CONFESSION! I just had THREE Kashi Oatmeal Raisen and flax cookies and (gasp) I don’t feel guilty about it. I wanted something sweet and 1 turned into 3. OOPS! Too bad the box is now empy (I have only had it 5 days). Here’s to putting on some healthy lbs!

    Life’s too short to get upset about eating cookies. Heck, at least they had healthy omega 3’s. LOL!

  • tammy
    February 1, 2008 at 2:20 am

    Actually it totally benefits me to get the calorie count of meals- that’s one of the Main thing that bothers me about some other food blogs (when they Don’t post it). Does anyone know any other food blogs, besides Kath, who post the calorie count?

  • Addison
    February 1, 2008 at 2:26 am


    I’m new. I just wanted to say hello to everyone. I really like reading your blog b/c I’m just starting to get into cooking, but sometimes it’s so hard to cook for one (my bf works very annoying late hours) and you do such a good job with that. Anyways, I really want a blender or food processor to make pesto, soups, smoothies, etc…

    If I only have money to buy one or the other…which do you suggest?

  • jenna
    February 1, 2008 at 2:30 am

    Kelly, you are too funny! I ate another half of a biscotti! There’s my confession for the night! I need to go to bed before I eat them all!!!


  • Lisa
    February 1, 2008 at 2:38 am

    That’s awesome kelly! I just had a convo with a friend who has gone through a smiliar situation and having to gain weight. It was so encouraging! It makes me more aware of not getting too thin and how its sooo not good for you. I think I’ve decided to try and gain a couple of lbs (just a couple though!) I think I’m at a good weight but I wouldn’t mind the couple of extra on the scale to get back to my normal weight before I got sick in the begining of the year 🙁

    You’re attitude towards eating those cookies is great!! lol I LOOOOOOVE cookies and might have to try those kashi ones!

  • Erica
    February 1, 2008 at 2:56 am

    Yum, the Kashi cookies are definitely yummy! The oatmeal dark chocolate ones feel so indulgent, yet so healthy at the same time! Def. give them a try.

  • Kelly
    February 1, 2008 at 3:35 am

    Apparently my dinner wasn’t enough to hold me over because I can’t stop eating!! Anyone have those days. Yes, I’m trying to put on weight the healthy way but I HATE feeling like I can’t get full and keep eating. I have no problem eating calorie dense foods and feeling full but the endless eating drives me crazy and really beats me up.

    For dinner I was in a major rush so I threw some cheese and a bunch of homeade salsa on two whole wheat tortillas with 2% cheese. I had that with a side of baked chips and more salsa.

    Then I ate the 3 cookies- no problem.

    Then I had 2 bags of grapes (snack size bags, prolly about 2 1/2 cups total) and an apple

    1) It’s a lot of food in a period of 2 1/2 hours
    2) I wasn’t satisfied until the apple
    3) That’s a lot of sugar

    Now, this is where the putting on weight the healthy way gets hard and frustrating. Anyone been here? I probably had about 2300 calories today which is fine but I hate the constant eating to get full thing. Grrrr….

  • Kelly
    February 1, 2008 at 3:46 am

    Hi Susan,

    I did make the oatmeal pancakes the other day and put apple butter on top. I had that with a piece of a whole wheat baguette with cherry preserves. I think also had some of those kashi cookies for dessert (surprise surprise). It was really good and filling. The egg whites have protein, the oats have fiber and so did the baguette. It was delicious!

    Let me know what you think!

  • Beth
    February 1, 2008 at 3:49 am

    Katie #2 thank you for this post!! You summed up my thoughts exactly!!

    “Thanks for asking for our opinion on the calorie counts, Jenna. It’s interesting bec. on your site, the calorie counts are always a side issue for me, nice to see, but not distracting and they don’t take center stage (which is how it should be…mindful, but not obsessive.) I think it comes down to the fact that you are clearly not fixated with the numbers yourself but rather insert them casually. (Thankfully, you don’t include calories burned working out. Quite frankly, that annoys me for all sorts of reasons.) So, I guess I vote to retain the tallies, as I do appreciate seeing what you can do with approximately 500 calories a meal.”

  • Becky
    February 1, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    I vote to keep the calorie count! like Beth above I find it interesting to see how much you can eat volumn wise for certain calories, and how wise choices enable one to eat more! BTW, great job on the blog! I just recently started reading it a few weeks a go, and as a person who loves to bake and uses it to relax I love reading/seeing all “fruits of your labors”.


  • linds
    February 1, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    Please do keep the calorie count- it’s just helpful to show even a ballpark number because (speaking for at least myself here) I like having an idea of how much I am putting into me each day even though I don’t tally them up religiously. And I like getting food ideas from your blog so I want to be able to adjust portions to fit me, etc., based on the counts you give. Keep up the great work!!

  • Ems
    February 1, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    Yes! The calorie count absolutely helps. It’s great to see how you spread out your calories throughout the day, depending on work, exercise, class, etc. It’s really helpful to see.

  • Kenzie
    February 1, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    Nooooooo DON’T stop posting how many calories each of your meals and snacks are! I really really benefit and enjoy knowing the caloric content, it helps me immensely in my own food choices!

    Keep up the fabulous work – you blog helps me get through my day sitting in a cubicle for hours and hours. Speaking of which, any suggestion on how much exercise I should be getting since I sit 11 hours a day and then an extra 2.5 on a bus commutting??


  • K
    February 1, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    Yes, Kelly, I have those days too where I feel like I eat, eat and eat! I usually eat continuously in the evenings. I have a healthy supper, then a little while later I’ll have a little snack and then I’ll have a LARGE bedtime snack of usually hot cereal w/ added stuff like milk, pumpkin, PB, raisins, etc. I have always had to have a bedtime snack (CANNOT stand going to bed on an empty stomach!), and since I’m trying to gain some weight, I really don’t feel apologetic for my huge pre-bed snack or nightime eating. But, yes, some nights, I think, “I am actually sick of eating!!! Can’t I stop?!” But then I remember that I want to and NEED to put on extra healthy pounds and then get back to searching the cupboards and fridge! Ha, ha. 🙂

  • Kelly
    February 1, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    Thanks K! It’s always nice to hear someone is in the same boat! I guess it’s a good thing we don’t keep eating junk food. We could be stuffing our face with chips, cakes, cookies (minus my Kashi’s), candy etc. Our arteries and bodies are thanking us. 🙂

  • K
    February 1, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    I agree Kelly! At least my (frequent) meals and snacks are healthy! I actually have a problem with getting in toooo much fiber ’cause of what I eat. The daily recommended value is 25-30 grams, but I usually reach close to 50 grams! Do you, or anyone else, have this problem? I know fiber is good, but too much is uncomfortable and can keep certain vitamins and minerals from absorbing (or so I’ve heard).

  • Kelly
    February 1, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    Hello again K! I don’t count fiber but I probably do get more than 25 grams. I usually have a high fiber cereal for breakfast, fruit, high fiber bread, more fruit and lots of veggies for dinner. I have heard that fiber can interfere with vitamin absorbtion, but I’m hoping that I don’t take in enough to cause this. I can’t say I have ever had so much fiber that I’m uncomfortable, perhpas my body is just used to it.