On the Menu, 2/7/17 Edition

This is the most complicated thing on the menu this week. Parchment baked fish (that’s 20170206_2016301the bit with the lemon over it), roasted mixed veggies, and my favorite cucumber vinegar salad. I love parchment baked fish. This recipe is a good basic starter, and I add and subtract things depending what I am going for. 20170206_2014431The one you see here has a bit of spicy  tomato sauce, Italian herbs, and lemon. The roasted veggies are green beans, eggplant, mushrooms, and Brussel sprouts tossed with some olive oil and Italian herbs.

So, with that, let’s get onto this week’s menu!

Batch Cooked For the Week:

Indian Inspired Crock-Pot Chicken. This is one of my favorite easy, healthful recipes. I double the spices, and I’ll be eating it over riced cauliflower instead of basmati.

Shrimp Fried Cauliflower Rice. I’ll be giving this recipe a whirl this week, but also adding shredded Brussel sprouts, broccoli, and green beans. I’ll also marinate the shrimp first for a few minutes in Chinese 5-spice, rice vinegar, hot chili oil, and teriyaki for extra flavor.

Veggie Protein Taco Bowl. I’ll be whipping up some Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) with taco spices, salsa, and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and serving it over mixed greens with shredded cheese, sliced olives, and a dollop of Greek yogurt instead of sour cream.

Lunches: 

Tuna and avocado salad (1 can albacore tuna, half a ripe avocado, lemon juice, pepper, sriracha sauce). Zucchini and Shiritaki noodles with Puttanesca sauce, with sardines.  Grandma’s Cucumber Vinegar salad, seen above on the plate with the fish (sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, sliced red onions, red wine or champagne vinegar, pepper, olive oil, water).

Snacks: Apples, oranges, grapes, blueberries, protein powder (with whatever beverage–coffee, almond-coconut milk, water, etc.–that is handy). Cauliflower hummus with veggies. Boiled eggs.

And, new this week: dessert-y things! I’ve decided to add a very occasional, no-added-sugar and low calorie dessert sometimes. It’s occasional because I’m not a huge fan of artificial sweeteners and the like, so want to keep it rare. The reality is that I am not sure I’ll stick with having these. While I hope they help with some of the feelings of deprivation (mostly of carbs in general, but of sweets specifically), I also know my willpower with those things can be challenging. Generally, I do better when I walk a hard line with my diet because if I eat something sweet, I’ll want the whole thing. If I eat the few bites of mac and cheese, I’ll eat the whole pan. So, I am trying some things that, if I do eat the whole thing, won’t completely derail things.

To that end, you’ll see some ingredients here that, if you’re a long-time reader, you won’t have really seen before. Bear with me while I see how this goes.

Apples w/caramel Spring Rolls. Diced apples tossed with Sugar-free Cool whip flavored with butterscotch sugar-free pudding mix.

Cherry Jell-o with Tart Cherries and chocolate “mousse.” Sugar free jell-o, with canned tart cherries in it’s own juices. Sugar-free Cool Whip flavored with chocolate sugar-free pudding mix, then frozen.

What is on your plate this week?


Shrimp & Eggplant Soup

shrimp-soup I really need a better name for this, don’t I? Whatever the name, it’s delicious. And stupidly healthy, not to mention really low-calorie. This huge bowl? Under 200 calories.

The thing is, this recipe is going to look really involved, and a lot of work for one bowl of soup. But, all the ingredients are going to be used for other things. So, really, I had quadruple everything below except for the broth (I had chicken broth left over from something else that I wanted to use). The rest of the eggplant will get used over zucchini noodles with a light Asian-inspired sauce. The remainder of the 2 lbs of shrimp will get used as a cold salad with avocado and kale, and over more zucchini noodles with pasta sauce. So, total meal prep time was fast, since I was doing it all anyway. The beauty of batch cooking!

Recipe

Broth
-1 c chicken broth (low sodium if you want)
-Tails from 2 lbs of shrimp (or full shells from .5 lbs, or shrimp flavoring or bouillon)
-1″ fresh ginger, peeled and thin-sliced
-2  cloves garlic, sliced
Directions: Put everything into small sauce pan, and simmer on low heat while you prep the rest of the ingredients.

 Eggplant

4  1/2″ slices eggplant
2 tbs yellow miso
1 tbs chili garlic paste
1.5 tsp. rice vinegar
splash fresh orange juice

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line baking sheet with tin foil and spray with olive oil. Lay eggplant slices on foil. In small bowl, stir all remaining ingredients until combined. Reserve half of mixture, and spoon other half evenly on top of eggplant slices (spreading to cover slices). Pour some broth (from above) into bowl and stir to collect any remaining miso mixture, then return to broth pan. Bake eggplant for 15 minutes. Use tongs to turn slices over, and distribute remaining mixture. Broil on high for 3-5 minutes, until slightly browned. Remove from oven.

Shrimp

10  31/40 count shrimp, cleaned and de-veined
1/4 of a lemon
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2  tsp. garlic powder
Directions: Combine all ingredients and allow to sit in refrigerator for 10-20 minutes. Heat non-stick pan (I use cast iron) over medium-high heat, and add shrimp mixture (all of it). Cook, turning once, until shrimp are pink, about 3-5 minutes (do not overcook!). Remove from heat.

To Serve

Put 1  cup zucchini noodles into large bowl, and cover with broth. Add shrimp, with juices, and eggplant.  Eat and enjoy (add more chili & garlic paste if you like it super spicy)!

 


On the Menu, New Year 2017!

So, it’s officially started. The reality is that, for most people, weight and health are about 80-90% what you put in your mouth. I am not saying exercise doesn’t matter, because it does, and you all know that I do a good bit of it; but, most of us cannot exercise enough (especially once we’re over 35-40 years old) to do an eat-whatever-you-like-whenever-you-like kind of diet. We can exercise enough to be able to eat some of what we want some of the time, while eating what we should eat the rest of the time. As a small women, this is even more true (sorry, it’s just reality). So, here we go, back on the good eating trail.

Aside from breakfast, which is Bulletproof coffee 5 days and scrambled eggs the other two, here’s what this week looks like for food (all but the steak will make leftovers to carry us through the week):

Dinners

Steak Sous Vide with Roasted Broccoli. I love my sous vide machine. It lets me cook amazing food with very little effort and about zero chance of messing it up. Plus, no oils necessary! The steak I’ve made with this is, hands-down, the best steak we’ve ever had (no real thanks to me, all I did was seal the bag and turn it on).

Italian Chicken Sous Vide over Zewdles. Italian herbs (gotta love a window garden in  December) and fresh lemon, finished with a shot of lemon olive oil, then seal and into the cooker! It comes out super moist, and perfect for serving over steamed zucchini and carrot “noodles” that are seasoned with pepper and garlic.

Spicy Shrimp over Quinoa. Shrimp is one of those easy, quick foods I cannot get enough of. I’ll marinade it in chili and garlic sauce and toss a touch of Chinese 5 Spice in, along with a splash of orange juice. Sear it all in a pan quickly, then serve over quinoa.

Lunches

Spicy Tuna & Avocado Salad. Yep, you saw this last week. You’ll probably see it again next week. It’s easy, it’s delicious, and I don’t have to heat it up, which makes it much easier to deal with at work.  Generally, I’ll serve it over kale or other greens, but sometimes I just eat it on it’s own.

Chicken, apple, and walnut salad. Honeycrisp apples with the leftover sous vide chicken, dressed with a splash of balsamic vinegar and whipped avocado, then topped with roasted walnuts.

Seafood & Zewdle Soup. Swai (white fish) and leftover shrimp in a spiced chicken and coconut milk broth with zucchini noodles.

Snacks

Roasted nuts, almond butter & apples/carrots, boiled eggs, imitation crab legs, kale & miso salad with grapes, all kinds of fruit.

So, what are you eating this week?


On The Menu, 12/27/17 Edition

Those of you who have been reading for a while (and stuck with me for the times I don’t blog much) know that I do a ton of batch cooking. My life is busy, and if I don’t do it this way, I’ll eat like crap. So, today is prep day. All told, it took me about 2 hours. It’s generally closer to an hour, but some of the things I did today won’t be weekly (like roasting nuts and boiling eggs).

Dinners

Indian Chicken over Quinoa. I love this recipe because it’s stupid easy, takes zero time since it’s in the slowcooker(and the quinoa, pictured here, is done in the rice  cooker), is really healthful, and is full of flavor. I do tend to double the 20161227_134534spices she uses, since I like things spicy ( and also because, unlike her, I am not feeding kids so don’t have to worry about it). Also, I add some frozen spinach at the end, usually 2 cups or so (which so far everyone who has tried it loves). So, no need to make additional veggies as a side.

20161227_133030Salmon Sous Vide, with roasted broccoli. I love my sous vide machine. If you don’t have one, you can do roast the salmon, as well. It’s just salmon fillet, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and fresh rosemary. I’ll eat it cold later (amazing on salads!), but it’s fantastic as soon as it’s done, as well.
20161227_120411

Spicy Eggplant over Zewdles. This one was takes a few more steps, since you need to sweat the eggplant to give it a nice texture when roasted.  Essentially, clean the eggplant (remove top, bottom, and peel), lay on a cookie sheet, and sprinkle with salt. Allow it to sit for about 15 20161227_114226minutes, then turn over and sprinkle salt on the other side. 15 minutes later, rinse off salt and pat dry, then season eggplant. I used paprika, garlic, chili powder, onion powder, pepper, and rosemary. Baked it for 10 minutes  side and finished with a quick broil for some crispness. I’ll serve it over zucchini noodles (a.k.a. “zewdles”) with a pomodoro sauce (Wegman’s Organic).

Lunches

Some of my lunches will be leftovers from above. Some will be a selection from the things below.

Tuna and Avocado Sriracha Salad.  1 can tuna, half a ripe avocado (mashed), and sriracha, lemon, and pepper to taste. That’s it. I serve it over greens or quinoa, or just eat it off a fork.

Egg and Avocado Salad. Make egg salad,  but use mashed avocado. I like paprika in mine, and a bit of lemon and pepper. This gets served on lettuce leaves, like a sandwich.

Snacks

Boiled farm-fresh eggs, dark roasted almonds & walnuts, watermelon, oranges, grapes, 20161227_115722blueberries, celery and carrots with hummus or nut butter (no peanut butter for me, unfortunately), Krab sticks (I love fake crab–seriously, it’s an addiction), and pumpkin seeds.

I’ll also supplement some days with an almond/coconut milk  protein shake (if I am low on protein). My ideal ratio will be 40% carbs, 30% protein, 30% (healthy) fats.

So, that’s what’s on the table for this coming week. When I can, I’ll post what I’m eating daily here; but, if you’re interested in that kind of thing, you’re more likely to find it on my fitness Facebook page.


On the Menu 4/17/2015

The weather is finally heading into spring, which means I am craving veggies (as opposed to what I crave in the middle of winter, which is fat, chocolate, and red wine). I’ve also been hitting the physical activity pretty hard, which has felt great.

Today: Anda Masala. An Indian egg masala, over rice. With creamy, farm-fresh eggs, this is one of my favorite lacto-ovum veggie dishes in the world!

Saturday; Turkey avocado burgers, with baked zucchini fries. My burger will be bun-less, as I don’t eat a lot of bread; but, the others will be served on toasted brioche buns.

Sunday: Mediterranean kale, cannellini, and farro stew, with feta. A lighter soup for the warmer days, this will be sided with a fresh salad.

Monday: Leftovers. As always, some meals are designed to make leftovers for lunches. So, this is clean-out-the-fridge day.

Tuesday: Venison in bourbon butter sauce, with roasted Brussel sprouts. I’ve got some venison to use up, and it’s our day off, so I thought I’d be indulgent!

Wednesday: Salmon filet topped with avocado and farm-fresh egg, served with Zingerman’s sourdough bread. If you haven’t had Zingerman’s sourdough, you’re missing out. Order it. My roomie brought back a loaf for us from MI, where the bakery is located, and we froze half. It is, hands down, the best sourdough bread I have ever had. Incidentally, if you order the sourdough, also order the chocolate cherry bread (and send me a loaf!).

What’s for dinner at your house?


It’s All About the Food: Healthful Eating.

For whatever reason, people tend to think that making healthful choices is always easy for me, but it’s not. I love chocolate, fat, salt, and good cocktails, beer, and wine.  I do get cravings, I do want the bad-for-me pizza, cheddar popcorn, and pork belly mac-and-cheese. But, the reality is I also know I feel much better in pretty much every way when I keep these things to a minimum.  For me, a big part of this is keeping the stuff I know isn’t great for me out of the house. Another big part is keeping healthier options really accessible. And, of course, probably the thing I go to the most is planning (which helps me with the previous two things). I process the fruit and veggies because I know if they’re ready to eat, I’m much more likely to grab them as the healthy choice instead of chips. Dinners get planned and cooked because not only is eating out expensive, the calorie counts in most out-of-the-house dinners are outrageous (even the same dishes cooked at home come in at far fewer calories).

So, today is going to be all about the food, which is really nothing new for me, I suppose. I’ll be roasting chili-lime almonds, processing fruit and veggies for quick grab-and-go snacks, and roasting a chicken which will be served with roasted Brussel sprouts and curried quinoa before being turned into (if I do say so myself) delicious chicken noodle soup. I’ll be doing it while drinking a glass of wine, of course, because food should be fun (and making good decisions 80-90% of the time means I can indulge rampantly sometimes, too)!

On the Menu

DINNERS

Saturday: Roasted chicken and Brussel sprouts with curried quinoa. The quinoa will have roasted red peppers and golden raisins, as well. The chicken will have most of the meat removed for sandwiches and leftover lunches, and the carcass will be turned into…

Sunday: Chicken Noodle Soup. I’ll be using the poultry stock I made over the holidays from the Turducken, along with stock made from Saturday’s roast chicken, as the base. It’s cold outside, and this soup is deliciously warming and hearty.

Monday: Leftovers. Time to clean out the refrigerator.

Tuesday: Parmesan Crusted swai with avocado and a vegetable. I’m not making a lot of food that creates leftovers because we’ve got some frozen lunches/dinners we need to use up out of the freezer.

Wednesday: Smokey shrimp over cheesy grits. This is one of those indulgence meals, because there’s not a whole lot that is healthy about the grits; but, man it’s good!

Thursday: Joe’s Mom’s Lasagna, with salad and crusty garlic bread. Okay, two indulgent meals in one week, I know. But, we need some space in the freezer, and this lasagna is fantastic. It’s not Joe’s mom’s recipe (well, it’s that, too), it’s a full lasagna she made for us over the holidays. This means extra workouts for me, and small portions, but it’s totally worth it. And, I’ll eat a green, leafy salad before tucking into the lasagna to help me not over-indulge in one sitting. Also, my calories will be fairly low on the other days of the week, and my body does really well with more of an intermittent feast-or-famine kind of thing (actually, science is showing most people do well with that type of diet, rather than the exact same calories each day). So, I am not going to sweat it too much.

What’s for dinner at your place?


And on it goes…The Menu for this week, 1/8/2015

It is cold. Seriously, seriously cold. Cold enough that there’s no hiking or anything “outdoors” happening at all, so my current physical activity is limited to the gym. It does give me time to relax and enjoy cooking, though.

DINNERS

Tonight: Anda Masala. This is leftover from last night. It’s good reheated, but this is a dish that is just superb fresh. Farm fresh eggs and freshly-toasted spices give it a rich, creamy, deep flavor. Garnished with cilantro, it’s on of our favorite dishes.

Friday: Miso chicken, with quinoa and bok choy. Comfort food from start to finish. It’s like chicken soup meats miso soup meets braised chicken.

Saturday: East Indian Chickpea Stew. Yes, another Indian dish. Vegetarian. Everyone else will get it over rice, I’ll be eating it without. Garnished with Greek yogurt and cilantro.

Sunday-Monday: Leftovers.

Tuesday: Chili. Because it’s cold.

Weds: Parmesan crusted swai with zucchini New’dles (ribbons of veggies instead of pasta) and avocado-tomato-raisin quinoa. I am ordering kamut to take the place of the quinoa in our diet, as I have issues with the politics and economics surrounding quinoa.

SNACKS AND LUNCHES (other than leftovers): roasted almonds, avocado, fruit, almond butter, raw veggies, hummus, eggs, kale chips (yep, got those made the other day).

But wait, you say…where are the breakfast dishes? Well, despite the conventional wisdom that everyone should eat breakfast, I’ve discovered over the last several years I actually do better without it, instead eating between 12-1, and then having some snacks and a late-ish lunch/dinner. I have more energy, better clarity, make better eating decisions, etc. Yes, I’ve tried various forms of breakfast (high protein, low protein, high carb, low carb, high fat, low fat, etc., etc.). And, I love breakfast. But, my body seems to do better overall without it, so I’ve started only eating the rare breakfast on a special occasion or lazy morning.

Nutrition isn’t an exact science, and everyone’s body and needs are different. I don’t recommend the general public going breakfast-free, but, once someone is on a good lifestyle path, some experimentation with eating schedule and style can really help tweak things.