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.


On The Menu for the New Year! Jan 2nd

Happy New Year! Anyone who’s been reading me for the last few years (and really, it continues to astonish me how many of you have hung in there through my total silence the last year or so…thank you) knows that January 2nd is the time for me to do the annual “sugar fast,” to break the crazy sugar addiction I acquire through the holidays.

I realized years ago that it was futile for me to keep off sweets for the holiday season. That’s not to say I go crazy–I keep portions reasonable;  but, my body gets addicted to sugar fairly fast, and my metabolism just can’t handle processing what it could when I was, say, 25. So, I eat the sweets in reasonable amounts, with a plan to stop eating them altogether again on Jan. 2nd. It works well for me. I cut out all processed sugars (yes, I still eat fruit, though I keep it to lower-sugar, higher-fiber fruits like blueberries and apples, rather than bananas), processed starches like pasta, exchange “white” starches like white rice for brown rice or high-protein grains like kamut and spelt and white potatoes for sweet (and keep even those things in very limited quantities), and drink no alcohol. Since I generally eat lots of vegetables and healthy fats anyway, that’s not a problem. I do have to concentrate on lean proteins, since I will  tend to binge on veggies and forget the proteins (yes, I know some veggies have proteins, as do beans, but I work out enough I need a good bit of protein and I tend to try to cut down on the beans since they’re so starchy). So, lots of snacks like boiled eggs and tuna with avocado.

This isn’t a New Year’s Resolution for me. It’s mostly just a return to pre-holiday lifestyle with a bit more discipline than I exercise the rest of the year (hey, I like wine, what can I say?). This year has, seemingly, been particularly heavy on the sweets, and I’ve found myself really looking forward to the next couple of weeks without them.

On the Menu:

DINNERS

Friday: Chickpea and chorizo soup. No noodles here. Lots of veggies, along with chickpeas and some spicy chorizo for flavor.

Saturday: Chicken Parmesan meatloaf with roasted broccoli and cauliflower puree. A great, lean meatloaf that includes carrots and zucchini, paired with veggies. The cauliflower puree is a really great substitute for mashed potatoes, and gives that warm, comfort food feeling.

Sunday & Monday: Leftovers. the point of making larger meals like those above is so I don’t have to cook every day. I’m busy, but want to eat healthfully, and leftovers are a great answer to that!

Tuesday: Anda Masala over whole grain. Eggs are a great source of protein, and this spicy dish is a favorite, It’s generally served over rice but I’ll be doing it over a grain (what grain is TBD based on what the grocery store is carrying this week–it seems to change regularly).

Wednesday: Salmon with steamed broccoli and whole grain pilaf. Salmon is one of my favorite foods, but it generally re-heats terribly; so, we only eat it on nights when we don’t need the leftovers.

Thursday: Eggplant Rotolo and side salad. This is a delicious, pasta-free variant on lasagna roll-ups. I have a few secrets to keeping it a great whole-food without using much in the way of ricotta, so it’s also not a gut-bomb of fat.

SNACKS AND LUNCHES

Baked egg in avocado half, almonds, raw veggies and hummus, hard boiled (farm fresh) eggs, homemade kale chips, fruit, almond butter, edamame.

Are you doing anything this month to return to (or start) healthy eating?


On the Menu, Sept. 24th Edition. Now with Hiking!

I’m back to hiking after something of a hiatus due to medical leave. No, it’s got nothing to do with food, but it’s such a part of my life I just had to say it.

I’m pretty excited about this week’s menu, really. Lots of fun food that I really enjoy cooking. And, with fall officially here, I’m bringing out one of my cold weather favorites.

Weds: Sesame soy salmon, with veggies. This is simple and quick, because we’re going to be tired by the time we get home.

Thurs: Portuguese Fish Stew. One of my all time favorite soups, and I definitely suggest you make it (recipe here). I’m adding shrimp, because we got a bunch on sale and it’s delicious. This reheats beautifully without a fishy smell, so it makes great leftovers.

Friday: Anda Masala. Indian food is a staple in my diet, and egg masala is probably my favorite right next to the East Indian chickpea recipe I have. Both play in pretty heavy rotation, as you may have noticed. They’re healthy, easy, and have rich, deep flavors.

Saturday: leftovers. It’s a long day for me.

Sunday: Cannellini au gratin, served with balsamic and rosemary roasted olives and grapes.This is comfort food for me. It’s hearty, warm, and has a lot of great flavors (fennel, carrots, rosemary, butternut squash, Parmesan cheese) that all come together with the creaminess of the cannellinis to form a really rich dish. Yet it manages to be healthy. It’s best served, I think, with the roasted grapes and olives. The flavors together are so complimentary–the sweetness and acid from the roasted grape and olive dish cuts the richness of the bean dish. A pairing made in heaven (that I’ll be putting with some Roussane wine).

Monday: Leftovers. Because this week, there’s going to be a huge pile of them!

Now I’ve made myself hungry.


On the Menu…9/16/14 edition

Really, I am making an effort. Life, as life will, keeps throwing curve balls at my efforts to return to blogging. Some, like my amazing trip with the BFF last week, are totally welcome pitches. Others, like a nasty health thingy, less so. Either way, I’m back. At least for this week. So, what’s on?

Dinners:

Tuesday: Chicken tacos with roasted squash. Simple dinner for a busy day. We took a long walk, we cleaned the house, we did the laundry, I swapped out my summer clothes for fall ones (it’s gloriously fall-like here, and the nights are chilly, it was time), and just hung out together. We don’t get to do that enough, so we wanted to keep it easy for tonight.

Wednesday: Swai al forno, with olive oil and garlic roasted Brussel sprouts, and a Mediterranean ravioli. I love swai. It’s affordable, it’s sustainable, and it’s delicious. Heartier and more flavorful than tilapia, less aggressive than your average catfish. Since I got a 2 lb bag at Aldi for $8, it’s also a great way to include fish in the diet without cleaning out the bank account. I’m doing it with a fresh heirloom tomato and panko topping. The Brussel sprouts, one of my favorite veggies, are a great side to this. The pasta is actually a dish for later in the week’s lunches, but we’ll have a bit to fill out this meal. It’s cheese ravioli with diced avocado, tomato, and sausage tossed in a light lemon and white wine sauce.

Thursday: Chicken tikka masala. Yes, I do Indian food a lot. It’s delicious. It’s also frugal and makes incredible leftovers. And, in this case, it’s also incredibly easy. Slowcooker Indian Chicken, and the rice cooker for basamati. Noms.

Friday. The Mediterranean pasta above. 

Saturday: Spicy Thai coconut curry soup. I love Thai soups. This one has a seafood and red curry base, with mushrooms, greens, red bell pepper, rice noodles, and fish.

Sunday & Monday: cleaning out the leftovers!

What are you eating this week?