When I was heating up another slice of my zucchini potato quiche, I remembered that I had a container of baby spinach in the work fridge, and decided to make a side salad to go with it.  There is a restaurant in South Barrington that has the best quiche called L’Eiffel Bistro – so light and fluffy!  And their quiche always comes with a side salad.  I was going to pretend I was dining out at a brunch restaurant instead of eating breakfast at my desk at work.  Just chopped baby spinach, half a Fuji apple and about a teaspoon of light balsamic dressing.  Yum!

pho 002 copy

I tested my blood sugar before working out – 209 – perfect!  Except for one thing.  I forgot to pack gym shoes – doh!  It was a crisp 55 degree day outside, but it was sunny, so my flip flops got my steps in.  It was so windy though!  I love that some of the trees are still so colorful.  I think this weekend though is when we’ll have to do our yard – right now it looks like a blanket of leaves, but we have this one giant tree that drops all it’s leaves at once, so we wait for that to happen.

PicMonkey Collage

Luckily I have a drawer in the bathroom in our office that has a hair dryer, my toothbrush and toothpaste, a brush and . . . 20 year old hairspray!

pho 048

Look at how rusty that can is!  I swear it’s at least 20 years old, but it’s still about 1/3 full!  When I had this at home, every time Hannah cleaned out the bathroom drawers she wanted to throw it out, but I always saved it from the garbage and put it back. 

So on Sunday when Mom and I went out to eat, we both got these delicious Pho bowls of soup.  Sadly, I left my leftovers in the car.  It was pitch black when I got home and I just forgot to grab it.  It only went down to 50 degrees Sunday night, and I didn’t want to take a chance on it, so I had to throw it away.  But when I was cleaning out the fridge over the weekend, I realized I still had some Bahn Mi meatballs left, so I decided to make a quick version of Pho.  Now I am sure that the restaurant we went to spent hours preparing their broth – I mean, it is all about the broth with a Pho.  But I didn’t have that kind of time, so here is my quick version.  This is enough broth for one person.

  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 cups beef stock (vs. beef broth – mine was Kitchen Basics)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha

Put all of that in a stock pot, bring to a boil, and simmer for 15 minutes.  I had leftover pasta in my fridge, and I sauteed up some zucchini, and sliced some jalapeno and had some basil leaves to throw in.  When I got to work I added the pasta and zucchini and broth to my soup bowl, and heated that up in the microwave, while I put my leftover meatballs in the toaster oven under broil to heat up.  Once the broth was hot, I just added the meatballs, and had a sliced lime to squeeze over the top.  Now this isn’t as good as the Pho I had at the restaurant, mine had beef tendon in it to give it a depth of flavor, but for a Pho on the fly?  This was really good!

pho 013

pho 017 copy

Super filling, spicy and delicious.   I could quite possibly eat soup every day and never get sick of it.

So I asked Tony if he felt like pot pie for dinner.  He didn’t really comment, so I said “or I could make you some plain chicken and some mashed potatoes” and he said that was fine.  Well, I thought I bought chicken cutlets because they were cheaper than chicken breast last week, but turns out I bought chicken tenders!  So I walked into the living room and said to Tony “I bought chicken tenders by mistake so I am going to make chicken tenders if that’s okay.”  He said “what happened to the chicken pot pie?!”   I am not sure he was listening to me earlier, but now my brain had already made the turn to chicken tenders.  And not just any chicken tenders – Long John Silver chicken tenders! 

If I could only eat at one fast food restaurant for the rest of my life, it would be Long John Silver’s, with Arby’s as a close second.  I loved getting the chicken planks, and having the little bits of fried batter in the bottom of my to go box.  Sadly, the closest one is 30 miles away.  No worries, I check every once in a while to see if one is closer!  This is super easy though.  I made 8 tenders (I ate 3, Tony ate 1 and I saved the rest).  Just add 1/2 a cup of flour to a bowl, add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon paprika and a pinch of cayenne pepper and then stir in 1/2 a cup of beer.  Mix and then while your fryer is getting to 350, let the chicken soak in that batter.

These were pretty skinny, so they took only about 3 minutes to cook.  On the side I had mashed potatoes and sauteed zucchini, and I made a dipping sauce of 1 tablespoon sour cream mixed with one tablespoon whole grain mustard.

pho 018 copy

pho 022

Shitty kitchen lighting photos, but these were delicious – light, the chicken was tender and the crunchy outside – I guess this will have to make due until they build a Long John Silver’s closer to home!

I remembered my FitBit yesterday and just squeaked in my 10,000 steps – woop!

pho 002

More leftovers are on the menu today – more zucchini potato quiche – I think this morning I am going to have a Chobani with it, and then leftover black bean soup for dinner.  We’ll see if Tony is up for bay scallop risotto for dinner tonight.  Our high temperature today is only going to be 48 – thankfully I packed my gym shoes so I’ll be hitting the gym at lunch.

Question of the Day:  What’s your fast food guilty pleasure?  Make it a great day!