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The Joys of City Living and Simple Mushroom Marinara Recipe

Posted May 06 2011 5:48pm

Happy Friday everyone! I really do miss posting more than once a day! There are always so many things I want to share that one post can get a little crazy. Oh well, we’ll just roll with it won’t we.

Today was the first day of our bed bug extermination. Our appointment was scheduled at 1:30pm so the morning consisted of finishing packing, moving furniture away from the walls and vacuuming every inch of the floors. This is what our apartment looks like…




Just in case anyone doubted me when I said that Nick has a library of classical literature, every single one of the boxes on the table and shelves are filled with books! The boxes on the dining room table are three high and three deep.

Needless to say, I hope that we move soon because we have to stay packed like this for five more weeks! Not to surprisingly (at least in my opinion) the exterminator said that his inspection showed that the bed bugs are coming from neighboring apartment which explains why we have only been bitten a few times and rarely see any bugs. Therefore, one of more of our neighbors has a huge infestation and hasn’t said a word to the management! Uuuuughhhh. Thank goodness we aren’t staying here for another year!

Before the extermination started I did manage to eat a yummy, energizing lunch at my sad little corner of a dining room table…


Lunch consisted of the usual salad, pita, hummus mix, with some sharp cheddar cheese thrown in as well a drizzle of ketchup as we are out of salad dressing. Is there anything that ketchup can’t do?


Poor Mosely, he is new to the whole packing process and was quite upset by all of the commotion.


Carmie, on the other hand, seemed quite relaxed. I adopted her in the fall of 2005 and since then we have moved six different times. Consequently, she’s an old hand at this and has already packed all of her toys. Winking smile


Nick stayed at the apartment while the exterminator was working and I took Mosely out for a long walk along the lake. It was a gorgeous day so I happy to get out and about.




Clearly I need to work on my ‘Mosey and Me’ pictures!

The extermination took about an hour and consisted of spraying the baseboards and other suspect areas with cedar oil as well as releasing several Gentrol powder bombs. Although our building management company is in charge of hiring and paying for the extermination, I made sure that the products are “green” and safe for us and our furry little ones.

When I returned, I was able to move a few boxes so that I could carve out a little space for a writing nook.


Thank goodness the nice weather is finally here so we aren’t stuck in our apartment for the duration of this process!

Since I didn’t get my run in earlier as I had hoped, I’ll be heading out in a bit for four easy miles. As Mosely is beat from our walk, I managed to recruit a different running buddy – Nick! He’s slowly getting back into healthier habits after such a stressful quarter in grad school. He first addressed his diet, then started walking a lot more, and now that the warm weather is here, he’s looking to get back into running.

We’ll run two miles together and then I’ll do another two on my own. After the run I’m going to fit in three supersets of pull-ups, push-ups and dumbbell ‘golf swings’ for some upper body and core strength work. As my legs are still sore from Wednesday’s up tempo 6 miler and strength training, I am going to let those muscles rest.

I wanted to share a quick veggie-full recipe that I created a few nights ago when Nick asked me to make pasta for dinner. My favorite pasta recipe is Nick’s Veggie-full marinara , whole wheat spaghetti, and Nick’s homemade grass-fed beef meatballs. We didn’t have any beef but we did have a big package of Crimini mushrooms so I whipped up a special “meaty” mushroom marinara.


Simple Mushroom Marinara Sauce Recipe

Click here to print this recipe

Serves 4-6

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large package Crimini mushrooms (about 5 oz.), sliced
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves fresh garlic, chopped


  • 1 28 oz. can unsalted diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 teas dried oregano
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teas red pepper flakes (depending on desired level of spice)
  • 2 tbsp capers with brine
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb. of your favorite pasta (we tried Trader Joe’s Herb and Garlic which was delicious!)
  • 1/2 cup shredded romano cheese (optional)


1. Heat a large pot of water over high heat to cook the pasta. Once the water is boiling, cook and drain the pasta as indicated on the box.

2. Heat a large pan or sauce pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil and then onions, sautee for 3 minutes stirring occasionally.

3. Add the mushrooms and the garlic and cook for another 3 minutes while stirring occasionally.


4. Add the canned tomatoes, oregano, red pepper flakes, and capers. Bring to a simmer and cook for another 5 minutes.


5. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Turn off the heat.

6. Serve with pasta and cheese, if desired.


Before this post gets even longer I am going to sign off. I hope that you have a wonderful Friday evening and I will be back tomorrow with another fabulous foodie fun post because the Chicago Green City farmer’s market is opening for the season!

Tonight we’re heading out for date night/celebrating the fact that we made it through all of the pre-extermination prep. I have a sneaking suspicion that we’re going to end up here again


I hope that you have a wonderful weekend!

What are your weekend plans?

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