Friday, March 31, 2017

Domino Sugar Diet - Week Four (day 4 menu)

This week for prep I made a batch of little pretzels in place of dinner rolls.  I supremed some grapefruits, and I washed, weighed, and bagged some snack veggies.

Typically I make 8 large soft pretzels with this recipe, but I cut the dough further into 16 pieces to make little pretzel shaped rolls instead. Some came out a bit larger than others, but I have been eating the smaller ones with dinner to make sure that I'm at or under my calorie calculations if they had been perfect. I use Alton Brown's soft pretzel recipe and it turns out fabulous every time. Each roll comes in at roughly 150 calories according to the recipe, but I'm counting them as 200 to be safe.

For breakfast i'm skipping the liquid calories suggested by canned pineapple juice and I've moved the grapefruit from dinner to this meal.

Light rye toast with a poached egg, half a grapefruit with 1 tsp sugar, coffee with sugar (not shown) - 258 calories.

For lunch, it's liverwurst with grain mustard and lettuce on rye toast, and my veggie snack bag. The veggies I've been treating as my any-time snack, along with the "ice cream" you'll see later.

The liverwurst was really not very strong in flavor, I expected it to be more liver-y but it was kind of like mild soft balogna. It wasn't bad but I don't think I'll be having this specific brand again if I do try liverwurst lunch in the future.

The veggie bag takes the tomato from lunch and adds the radish and celery from dinner. It's 4 oz of "easter egg" radishes, 3 oz celery sticks, and 2 oz cherry tomatoes, coming in at about 56 calories.

Sandwich and veggies - 326 calories.

For dinner, we have roast turkey. I bought a single breast portion, coated it in seasonings and baked it. It was enough for the whole week for the two of us. The spinach salad is dressed with 1tb of a tomato vinaigrette I made, and 1/2 oz candied walnuts. I also had 1 tsp of grain mustard with my pretzel roll.

To make the dressing I put 2 tsp of olive oil in a small skillet, added some of my turmeric mix spices (turmeric, paprika, crushed red pepper, cinnamon, salt) until they started to sizzle and become fragrant, then I added 2 tb minced shallot and  2 tb balsamic vinegar. Let that reduce over a low heat for a few minutes, and then add the flesh of one medium tomato, about 4 oz.

The flesh is what's left of the tomato after peeling and seeding it. To peel the tomato run it under hot water for a minute or so, or drop it in boiling water for about the same amount of time, then wipe off the peel with a paper towel. Cut it in half and remove all the seeds, then mince what's left and add to the dressing. Give it a minute or two to break down and then you can serve the dressing warm over the spinach, it's pretty tasty. Makes roughly 13 tbsp, I dressed my salad with 1 tbsp at 13 calories.

Roast turkey, spinach salad, pretzel roll with mustard - 497 calories.

Peppermint icemilk - I'm calling it icemilk because I didn't use cream, I used whole milk. This is made in the blender with milk ice cubes. 8 oz whole milk (half frozen half liquid), 4 tsp sugar, and 3 starlight mints, blend until smooth. I let it set up in the freezer in a tray for about half an hour before stirring and serving.  One recipe makes two servings - 113 calories each.

Total day's calories - 1194

Next week is full of fun with pie, jello, and fish dinner. I'm really looking forward to it!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Domino Sugar Diet - Week Three (day 3 menu)

This week there was a bit more prep than last week, and I got to make up an interesting breakfast to compensate for the loss of eggy protein breakfast from the previous two weeks. My prep included portioning grapefruits, making jello, and portioning chicken thighs.

To portion the grapefruit, I decided to cut them into supremes and save the juice from the process for adding to my jello. If you aren't familiar with supremes, they are basically just the tasty part of a citrus fruit. The process is to cut off all of the rind carefully, then cut down into the fruit toward the center right next to a membrane and sort of flick your knife toward the other membrane to release the segment. There are probably a ton of good videos on YouTube that can teach the technique.

If I had ended up with enough juice I planned to make grapefruit jello from scratch, but I didn't so instead I went with strawberry-grapefruit jello.

You can see that after one grapefruit I had a pretty decent amount of juice. That's just shy of half a cup after squeezing the leftover bits that didn't make it into my cups.

Here's my drawer of meat... I portioned out the package of chicken thighs I bought into 5.5 oz portions. This meant cutting up some whole thighs and adding pieces to the bags to make the correct weight, but baked chicken thighs come out great if you do it right, even when adding extra bits.

My method is to take the whole thigh, and lay it out flat with what was the skin side down. Then you take the extra bits and lay them out the same way. Season the underside of all the pieces, then stack them so the smallest pieces are on top. Then take the whole thing and roll it so the seam is underneath, season the top, and bake until the internal temp hits 165. Using this method I can bake my chicken thigh right along with Randy's chicken breast and both are done at the same time because they're about the same thickness.

I really enjoyed this week because I used a different set of seasonings every day on my chicken, so it was like different dinners all week even though they were essentially the same.

For breakfast the book called for 1/2 grapefruit (with no sugar) toast with jam, and coffee with sugar. After the changes I made to the overall menu, I was way too low on calories (it came in under 1k) so I adjusted a bit. I've taken the tomato from dinner, added vegemite spread, a slice of swiss cheese, and milk for my coffee. You can see my little milk pitcher in the background, I measure my milk allowance for the day into that and keep it in the fridge, so that one portion of milk gets split between breakfast and lunch about equally.

I personally love vegemite, and one serving comes in at 5 calories but adds a ton of flavor and a little bit of protein. I weigh my toast before adding the spread and then again after, and it turns out I don't even end up using a full serving (5g) on one slice of bread.

In this picture I decided to have my jello with my grapefruit at breakfast instead of at lunch, but I only ended up doing that one time.

Vegemite, tomato, and swiss toasty, grapefruit, coffee with sugar & milk - 285 calories.

For lunch I'm having ham & swiss on rye with mustard/mayo mix, strawberry-grapefruit jello, iced coffee with milk & sugar (and coffee ice cube) and chicken broth - 447 calories.

Seriously if you like iced coffee make yourself some coffee ice cubes, no more watery coffee in exchange for cold coffee.

The jello was made with their new "simply good" strawberry flavor which has no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives, and I subbed one cup of the water it called for with grapefruit juice. This brought the calories up a little but I think the flavor was much better so it was worth it. Next time jello is on the list I'll be more prepared and make it from scratch instead.

For dinner, the book called for 1/2 a broiled chicken or 8 oz coming in at 332 calories (seriously I'm not sure how that works, I've never seen a chicken that small at the store), so I subbed 5.5 oz of chicken thigh which comes in around 330 calories. It also called for 1/2 cup of carrots, bread and butter, and fresh pineapple. Instead of bread and butter I'm having 1/2 cup of peas with salt, and baked carrots. I like my carrots with a little char on them so I hit them with my culinary torch before serving. This eliminates the need to cook them in oil, saving some calories while adding roasty flavor.

Chicken, carrots, peas, and what I'm calling "cactus cooler sorbet" - 459 calories.

Let's talk about cactus cooler sorbet. I had oranges left over from last week, and some pineapple in the freezer from the week before, and when you add those two things to a blender with some ice it makes this little cup of sunshine for roughly 48 calories a serving.

One orange peeled and seeded, a bit of orange zest, about 3.5oz of frozen pineapple, and 8 oz of ice, blend until smooth, split between two cups, enjoy with a friend. This was by far my favorite part of this week's menu, but I enjoyed this week much more than the two before it.

Total day's calories - 1191.

Next week is liverwurst, prepare yourselves!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Domino Sugar Diet - Week Two (day 2 menu)

So this week our breakfast and lunch menu is nearly the same as last week. My prep was much less exciting. I finished baking a par-bake loaf of Sourdough and sliced it into 1oz portions, along with a loaf of angel food cake. My chicken was already made from last week so I just had to thaw that out in the fridge overnight, and everything else was made at mealtimes.

For breakfast I'm sticking with the poached egg on toast. I don't like tomato juice, so instead of that I'm having equal calories of button mushrooms and cherry tomatoes. I decided to use the butter allowance in spray oil to toast my bread in a small skillet and then fry up the mushrooms and tomatoes in what's left in the pan afterward. Poached egg, sourdough toast, mushrooms and tomatoes, butter, and coffee with sugar - 248 calories.

For lunch and afternoon snack, we have the same chicken sandwich from last week because I couldn't find a packaged roast beef I was happy with and I already had the chicken. Since the sourdough bread is much smaller than the bread I was using last week, and at 62 calories per 1oz slice, I'm having two pieces with lunch. I've also moved the bouillon from dinner to lunch, because at this point I'm addicted to soup and sandwich.

I end up snacking on the apples and angel food cake over the course of the afternoon while I'm working. It's way too much food for me to eat in one sitting. Sprinkled on the apples is a very light dusting of Spice Islands Pumpkin Pie spice mix, it's something like cinnamon, nutmeg, and mace, and it's pretty good for making your apple and cake more exciting without adding any extra calories.

Soup, sandwich, apple, and cake - 515 calories. It comes in at 438 calories if I skip the cake.

Dinner said we should have frankfurters, but I couldn't convince myself that was a good idea, so instead we're having bratwurst. One link is actually 10 calories less than the suggested two hoddogs, so dinner is one sausage, half a cup of sauerkraut, mashed potato with milk added, and half an orange.

To make the sauerkraut more palatable, I drained the pan I cooked the sausages in of any left over oil, then tossed in some caraway seeds along with the sauerkraut. Get all the brown bits out of the bottom of your pan, then season with salt and pepper to taste.

The potato is one boiled potato mashed with two tablespoons of milk and some salt.

Dinner total calories - 490.

Total day calories - 1253

Next week we're having roast chicken, and a grapefruit breakfast adventure!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Domino Sugar Diet - Week One (day 1 menu)

Domino Sugar Reducing Diet - Pamphlet from 1954

 Someone shared this diet booklet to Reddit not too long ago. I personally thought it looked both reasonable and tasty, so I'm using it (modified a bit here and there) as a meal plan. I typically aim for 1200-1300 calories a day anyway. I'm 5'6" with a desk job so I don't need much more than that to sustain me on average. I'll be using one day for each week for the next 14 weeks. This is week one.

I like to prep on Sunday, so this week's prep included baking a pie, weighing out and shaping burger patties, making a carrot slaw salad, and roasting some chicken breasts. I made a second batch of the salad on Wednesday, and froze half of the pie and two chicken breasts for future weeks. Randy is eating this plan along with me, but he needs more calories than I do so his plates look a bit different.

First day - or week in my case. How neurotic does this lady at the bottom of the page look? She is way too wide-eyed.

Breakfast - OJ mixed with sparkling water (mostly sparkling water, I call it a virgin mimosa), poached egg with salt & pepper on toast, coffee with sugar and milk - 283 calories

I chose to have a whole piece of bread with breakfast, and skip one piece of bread from the lunch menu. Also I have opted for milk in my coffee instead of jam on my toast. I smush up the egg and spread it over the toast so no jam or butter is needed.

Lunch - Roast chicken sandwich with mustard/mayo mix, apple pie, and chicken broth - 513 calories

I didn't have time to make consomme and I'm not fond of the consomme concentrates from the store, so instead I'm having "better than bouillon - roast chicken" broth. I made the roast chicken and apple pie myself, so I could control what went into them.

The chicken is a whole boneless breast, butterflied and topped with minced garlic, fresh basil, and fresh thyme. Roasted in the oven for 35-45 minutes until internal temp hits 165 F.  One cooked breast was enough for five days of sandwiches. I'll be having this next week too instead of roast beef sandwiches.

The pie recipe is much longer, ask and I'll type it out if you want. It involves making a roux on the stove and par-cooking the apples before putting them in the pie crust in the oven. I was surprised when my calculations ended up making the ideal slice about the same size as the book called for to hit about the same calorie value.

Most days, I've been skipping pie. Lunch with kombucha, this time with toasted bread because that's better - 298 calories

Dinner - Lettuce wrapped hamburger with cheese, pickles, ketchup, mustard, and caramelized onion; green beans with salt; carrot pineapple slaw salad - 500 calories

I weighed out the hamburger meat before cooking, and the caramelized onion is just a minced onion cooked down with a spritz of oil, salt and water.

The carrot salad is mostly shaved carrot, but also has fresh pineapple, parsley, raisins, and a dressing made of equal parts lemon juice, olive oil, and maple syrup. I think it was 1tb of each for about 5 cups of carrot, 1/2 cup of pineapple, 2 oz of raisins, and about 2tb of minced parsley. I used rainbow carrots so some are yellow and purple in addition to the regular orange carrots.

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