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Leftover Mashed Potato Pancakes

Heeyyy, happy Friday! I just took a dose of my new steroids and am feeling extra bouncy!

You may want to read yesterday’s post to find out why I’m hyped up on the ‘roids and can’t catch my breath mid-sentence.

Anyways, I’m really just popping in to share with you one great way to use up Thanksgiving leftovers in case you’re still working your way through them.

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Pancakes, obviously.

My little sister made German mashed potatoes with apple for our big dinner on Monday. I knew the leftovers would lend themselves nicely to something sweet, after scouring the internets for recipe inspiration, here’s what I came up with:

  • 1 cup leftover mashed potatoes
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • dash cinnamon

Mixed up and put on a medium-heat griddle. Definitely make sure that the griddle isn’t too hot, as the potatoes will burn quicker than regular pancakes. Leave them untouched, cooking for around 8 minutes each side.

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Keep in mind these are NOT the fluffy flour-y pancakes you are used to. More crispy on the outside, soft and starchy on the inside. You know, like a potato pancake. I topped mine with leftover homemade cranberry sauce and syrup. The recipe made three large pancakes and I was bursting after two. So you should probably be nicer than me and share these.

I am off to go lift trucks and jump between tall buildings on my steroid high.

Or cuddle with my puppy. Whatever.

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Have a great weekend!

Layered Moussaka Casserole

Welcome to another work week! I wish I was heading off to work this morning like so many of you, but instead I will likely spend my day napping. Trust me, it’s not as glamorous as it sounds.

Actually, one of the most frustrating things about chemotherapy is that I have all this free time now, and absolutely no energy to do anything with it. Usually all I can muster is a very mild “work out” and hanging out with my family. Some days I try to run a few errands or clean my room. But the best days are those I find the energy to cook.

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This coming week is a chemo week – in other words, my least favourite kind of week. But the weekends preceding my chemo weeks are also my best. My body has recovered enough that I feel *almost* normal. Or the closest to normal I can get these days anyways!

So on these weekends you will likely find me in the kitchen. And boy, do I have a kitchen creation to share with you!

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This recipe is “moussaka-inspred,” meaning it bears only a small resemblance to the traditional dish to make it a little healthier and easier to cook. This is definitely not a weeknight dinner, but rather something you could make on a Sunday and have the leftovers for the rest of the week. Now you know for next weekend!

Layered Moussaka Casserole

Prep time: 1 hour
Bake time: 1 hour
Makes 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lb beef
  • 1/2 large white onion
  • 1 large green pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp Trader Joe’s 21 seasoning salute (or your favourite all-purpose seasoning)
  • 1 tsp allspice (or something similar to a pumpkin pie spice)
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste (I like lots)
  • 1 700ml jar of your favourite tomato sauce (I used President’s Choice organic roasted garlic)
  • 1 large eggplant
  • 3 small zucchini
  • mashed potatoes – 8-10 small potatoes worth (I’m not going to tell you how to make mashed potatoes! I went the garlic potatoes route made with a little milk + butter and lots of salt + pepper)

Directions

Peel and cube the potatoes and add to a pot of boiling water.

Brown the beef in a large pan with onion, green pepper, garlic, and celery. Add spices and seasoning along with the jar of tomato sauce. Simmer for around 30 minutes.

While beef is simmering, make mashed potatoes. Slice the eggplant and zucchini lengthwise. Traditional recipes would have you sauté them first, but I usually don’t bother and leave them raw. I never notice how bitter the eggplant is.

Cover eggplant slices on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Spread half of the beef mixture on top. Cover with zucchini slices and add remaining beef on top of zucchini. Spread mashed potatoes over top of beef.

Bake in a 350F oven for 1 hour.

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After hours of chopping, stirring, and cleaning my mess in the kitchen, I sat down to eat my hot meal only to suddenly feel too sick to eat it! Ahhh the joys of chemo.

Thankfully, I’ve since been able to eat the leftovers after a quick 2 minutes in the microwave. It is FANTASTIC and worth every minute in the kitchen. If you ask me, making hearty, healthy food is one of the best ways to use what little energy I have. Now if you don’t mind, I think it’s time for another nap.

Q&As – Round Eleventeen

Hiya! Well, Monday is behind us, on to my least favourite day of the week… Tuesday. Ugh. What a waste of a day Tuesday is :P

A lot of you have food allergies and intolerances! Most popular being dairy and gluten. Although a couple mentioned people they know with allergies to onions which would SUCK. So would a nut allergy.

Anyways, my Monday started fabulously as it does every week now with an RPM spin class. This morning was a little tough though, more so than usual. But I still finished class strong, leaving happy and endorphin-ated :)

Got to the office and attacked one of my new fave desk-breakfasts.

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  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 stevia packet
  • 1/3 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup faux-nola granola

Morning snack was, dare I say, the best homemade granola bar yet!!

homemade protein bar
Apple cinnamon flavour. Should have known the one with the cinnamon would be the winner ;)

Lunch!

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Nooo, not an apple and more cottage cheese. I’m cheap when it comes to tupperware.

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Last of my leftover tofu potato salad. Will definitely be making this again, in fact, I think it will get a recipe page :)

Lunch dessert was a Mini Egg cookie. The cookies by the way were a total hit at the office. Even the seasoned bakers of the bunch wanted the recipe! I highly recommend them if you’re looking for a solid chocolate chip recipe with something a little different.

This afternoon, I had one of my favourite new snacks.

Beemster cheese

Meat + cheese. Or, Yves meatless roast beef slices wrapped around Beemster cheese. Full fat cheese! Gotta keep my fingernails growing at lightning speed ;)

I always have intentions to run errands after work, but I’m SO hungry by the time the day is over! So per usual, I rushed home and started throwing supper together before I barely had my coat off.
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That would be a chicken breast coated in egg whites, panko bread crumbs, ground flaxseed and Kirkland no-salt seasoning.

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Roasted veggies on the side tossed in 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, pepper and 2 tbsp shredded old cheddar cheese. And yes, I dipped my chicken it kethcup, then went and got some bbq sauce too. Delicious dinner!

 

Q&As – Round Eleventeen

Do you ever worry about getting bored being a personal trainer or about the lack of financial security in that job longterm?
Thanks!
(I think being in a gym all the time would drive me crazy-the lighting, the germs on the machines,the smell of sweat…wondering your thoughts esp since gyms are known to be big carriers of flu bugs, staff infections, skin diseases etc???!)

Funny, whenever I go to the gym now I think to myself “hell yeah I could spend the day working in here.” My gym is really nice though. Big, naturally lit with large windows, well ventilated, etc. Not in some dank basement like many gyms I’ve been to.

In terms of germs, I work in a university right now which is also a breeding ground! College kids aren’t necessarily shining examples of cleanliness and hygiene :P

I also make a point to never worry about financial security. I’m really good at saving money so I always have a nice cushion. Having lots of money has never appealed to me, and I try not to let money deter me from taking risks. I’m a strong believer that if you’re passionate and driven, you can be successful no matter what your chosen profession. Hell, I went into journalism. I made more money as a barista than I did as a reporter!!

I think the most important thing though is that I do not plan on being a personal trainer for the rest of my life. I view it as a starting point for me. I have a really strong desire to help people get healthy, but I want to expand that out of the gym walls and reach a larger audience someday. Okay. My dream is to write for fitness magazines and websites – so what? :P

 

Lori (Finding Radiance) Said:

Question: Is there a food that you hate that really wished you liked? (mine would be fish)

And – do you take any daily vitamins or supplements?

I wish I liked canned pumpkin!! Odd, because I like mushy baby food, but canned pumpkin still makes me gag. I wish I could plump up my oats with that tasteless orange mush, but it just makes them inedible :\

I just started taking fish oil! But besides that, no. I reallyreally should. I say this every time someone brings this topic up. Especially Calcium, Vitamin D and a B complex.

 

helenapooh Said:

How long have you been blogging for? Is it hard to develop the habit to post everyday?

I’ve been blogging for almost one year and two months. I never had trouble getting into the habit of posting regularly. I started blogging during my last semester of university, so I was looking for a way to procrastinate :P I really enjoy it, and it’s something I look forward to doing every day. I will admit to pre-writing posts when I know I’ll be busy though!

 

Lara (Thinspired) Said:

I have no idea how you can tough it out for an entire HOUR on the treadmill! What are your tricks for beating boredom?!

It reeeeally helps when I have some rockin tunes on my iPod. I like upbeat, melodic songs that I can run with. Also, I don’t run “hard” during my long treadmill workouts. When I’m sprinting, I can’t think of anything besides remembering to breathe and counting down the seconds. But when I’m going at a lower intensity, I have an easier time letting my thoughts wander, and that’s entertaining enough :) Also, I never keep it at the same speed or incline for longer than 10 minutes. For my favourite 60 minute treadmill workout, I change the speed every 60 seconds!

 

I think I have just a couple questions left before I wrap up this latest round of Q&As, so if there’s anything else you still want to get in, just leave it in the comments or send it to thegreatbalancingact@gmail.com

 

Question of the Day: What’s one food you dislike that you really wish you liked? Lori doesn’t have to answer this one since she already did :P

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