pen rainbow

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wednesday—Good For You, Good For The Home

Today's healthy lunch
Lose It!  A fun & free iPhone app that works

Two weeks ago, I finally killed off my beloved, old flippy phone.  We'd had a long history together, and I was as kind as I could be to my faithful friend.

We'd seen it all together...My son's gawd-awful Berkeley apartment that was so filthy that it defied description, so I took several pictures of it with my phone...The Volvo S60 turbo that I'd never wanted in the first place, but we bought anyway because it was a safe family car for our teen drivers...My darling puppy, Caraboo, whose sweet face greeted me every time I used my phone.  I'd used it to hunt down teenagers, photograph encroaching neighbors as they parked in my driveway, and stop the hillbillies on the other side of my backyard fence from trying to disfigure our stately elm tree.  Like Hera, I used my silver electronic device as a magic shield to turn my enemies to stone.

I did not mean to drop it in the parking lot and then run over it with my rental car.  Even so, my flippy phone forged on, a little more dented and scratched, but no less resolute.  So, when it slipped out of my shirt pocket onto the deck and burst into two parts and a dozen tiny shards, I figured it was all over for my friend, Flippa...and it was.

The next day I went down to the Apple Store in downtown Walnut Creek and bought my first iPhone.  When the super cool helper girl asked me, "Will you be using a lot of apps?" I said, "Oh, no!  Of course not."  I mean, I had just come out of the Stone Age with my old phone, before apps even existed, so I was not going to be loading up on apps that were designed to make people even more stupid than they already are.

By the way, the Apple Store was crawling with middle-aged women buying iEverythings for themselves.  Go on a Tuesday in the middle of the day, and you'll see what I mean.  It's not the same as it is on the weekends when men and teenagers run in and out of that place like shit through a goose.  It's Ladies' Day during the week.

Anyway, I got my iPhone, and I ❤ LOVE it.  It's taken me a couple of weeks to get around to installing my first app, and I found one that is great for weight loss and fitness called, Lose It!  First of all, it's free!  And, I know that it works because Steve used it last year to drop over 20 pounds.  What I did not know, however, is how much fun it is to use!  It is a nutritional database tracker based on calorie count and exercise.  It has a super-friendly user interface that is intuitive and a lot of fun to use.  It's simple and a lot more engaging than dragging yourself to Weight Watcher meetings and listening to old gals talk about how much they love the Indian casinos.

Get it.  It's fun, and it'll help you get into shape for ski season next January!

Tuesday's Cupboard—Something New, Fast, Filling & Easy!

Philly Cooking Creme also comes in Italian Cheese & Herb
Creamy Chicken Florentine
Prep Time:  20 minutes — Makes 4 Servings, 1-1/4 c. each


  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 red pepper, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1  6 oz. pak baby spinach leaves
  • 1 tub (10 oz.) Philadelphia Savory Garlic Cooking Crème
  • 2 c. hot cooked penne pasta
  • 2 T. pine nuts (optional: toss a handful of these into the nonstick pan before you start & pan toast them for 1 minute; remove & save for later)

Sauté chicken & red peppers in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat for 5-6 mins. until chicken is done.  (Hint:  Start the chicken first, then add the peppers a minute or two later so that the peppers don't get overdone.)

Add the spinach, cook & stir 4-5 minutes until spinach is wilted.  

Stir in cooking crème & simmer for 4-5 minutes on low until heated through.

Stir in pasta until thoroughly coated.

Plate & top each serving with a sprinkle of pine nuts.  

I got this recipe off of a Safeway $1 off Philadelphia Cooking Crème coupon.  I simplified it by adding a whole chopped red pepper instead of limiting the amount to 1/2 c. as the recipe calls for.  I also did not bother to drain any liquid from the spinach.  As far as I could tell, there wasn't enough to drain, and any vitamins in the liquid would be lost.  

I used whole-grain pasta and cooked the entire box.  I added almost all of the cooked pasta to the chicken mixture and had plenty of leftovers for a nice, cold chicken pasta salad over fresh baby spinach the next night.  Steve commented that it was even better the second night!  Two easy suppers from inexpensive ingredients, simple & fast—I like that!

Another reason that I'm adding this recipe to my blog this week is that the parent company, Kraft, is making a real effort toward sustainability.  The Philly plant in Lowville, NY, has lightened its carbon footprint by converting 1/4 of its total energy use to alternative sources.  They've replaced interior lighting and added a waste-water digester to save on water use.  Their volunteer green team formed in 2008 has implemented an aggressive recycling program and reduced their landfill contribution by 33 percent.  

This is real change that I love to see in large corporations!  

For more recipes from the Philly website, click here