Tag Archives: on the menu

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:


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.


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?


We’ll See How “Back” I Am..

It’s too long to go into. I’m busy (as are we all, I know), and my job isn’t this anymore, so it’s kind of gone by the wayside. But, I miss the crap out of blogging, and I do better with food when it’s recorded somewhere. So, I’m going to give at least On the Menu a try and see if I can keep up with it. We’ll go from there!



Tonight: Wild caught salmon and farm-fresh duck egg over polenta, with raw veggies.

Thursday: Grilled Mojo pork loin with grilled corn and caprese salad.

Friday: Indian Chickpea stew, with yogurt and cilantro.

Saturday: leftovers

Sunday: BBQ grilled chicken, with mint, red onion, and watermelon salad.

Lunches will be spinach salads, fruit, cheese, and leftovers.

Breakfasts are overnight oatmeal in a variety of flavors, fruit, and homemade breakfast sandwiches.

What are you eating?

Recipe Index, Sugar Addiction, and “On the Menu”

I’ve had a lot of requests for something I should have been doing all along: an easy-to-access index of the recipes I post here You can find the permanent link at the top of the blog, labeled “Recipes.” Doing it as I went would have been much, much easier than what I ended up doing, which was searching my blog for all the recipes I’ve ever posted. I think I got most of them, but there are probably a few strays that I missed. Hopefully, I’ll find them and get them on there, too.

This week, I am testing out some new client-friendly recipes and I’m still on the “no sugar” thing. It’s much easier this week than it was last, and I can definitely feel a difference in my energy. Also, I’ve lost almost all  the weight that the crazy holiday sweets put on! One of my friends, who’s doing the fast with me, said she lost 8 lbs last week, which has been a great motivator for me to continue on faithfully (and not cover my croissant with Nutella yesterday morning!).

For those of you reading this thinking “What “no-sugar thing?” or “But, I thought you ate so healthy all the time,” let me explain. I don’t tend to eat a lot of sugar (a very occasional cookie or something, usually for a special event of some sort), for many reasons. One of those reasons is I get horribly addicted to it very, very quickly and another is there’s a rich history of diabetes (especially late adult-onset diabetes) in my family that has nothing to do with weight. During the holidays,  though, this is incredibly difficult to maintain because 1) I have friends who are amazing bakers, 2) when I get invited to parties by people who know I am a chef, they completely freak out that their food isn’t good if I don’t eat at least some of pretty much everything, and 3) Thadd bakes all kinds of lovely stuff and a girl only has so much willpower.

So, a few years ago, I quite deluding myself that I wasn’t going to eat the sweets over the holidays. I don’t gorge on sweets, but I do eat them. They put weight on my middle pretty much immediately (by-by hip flexors!), which is a great motivator to help me keep it relatively in-check; but, by the New Year, I am addicted to sugar. Knowing this is going to happen, I just prepare for it, and go into a 2-week phase where I work my tail off at the gym (even more so than usual) to help me curve cravings, and I don’t eat any processed sugars at all.

The first few days are awful, but it works. I am not craving sweets anymore, but I’ll be very careful for at least another week that no processed sugar sneaks into the diet via pasta sauce, etc. We generally make most of our food from scratch, but even canned goods, like beans, can have added sugar, so vigilance it is!

And, that brings us to our weekly menu:


Monday: Eggplant Rotel. Cottage & ricotta cheese, with spinach, mushroom, and herbs, wrapped in broiled eggplant slices (grilling the slices is even better, but it’s cold, and I don’t have time to start the grill), topped with homemade marinara.

Tuesday: Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf, with Brussel Sprouts. It’s Thadd’s night to cook, and he wanted to try making a recipe he’d never done before. Lean ground chicken with lots of spices, farm fresh eggs, and fresh bread crumbs, topped with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. I have no idea how he’s going to cook the sprouts, but I’d guess roasted.

Wednesday:  Turkey White Bean Chili. I have a go-to version of this that I use for clients, but I want to test out a new version that includes seared chilis and crispy brown onions.

Thursday: Barbacoa Pulled Beef over Spicy Baked Sweet Potatoes, with veggie. This slow-cooked beef has a bit of a kick, and I’ll serve it over sweet potatoes that have been baked once, split open and sliced (on the skin) into wedges, topped with my own seasoning mix, and broiled to make crunchy. The vegetable will be decided later in the week.

Friday: Leftovers, as always.

Saturday& Sunday: Unusually, we’re deciding on these later in the week because he has travel plans for his Vet school stuff.