Friday, April 14, 2017

Domino Sugar Diet - Week Six (day 6 menu)

If you were wondering on Sunday who was cutting onions, it was me. For prep this week I broke down three large red onions and five bell peppers, made pasta salad, trimmed a bunch of chicken livers, and cried a lot. Like, a lot a lot.

Seriously it was a lot of onions and peppers... this is only about half.

For breakfast I thought I'd shake things up a bit and stray from my well loved poached egg and toast, so this week I had cloud egg, on toast with butter. I decided to skip the orange juice and just have coffee with sugar.

To make a cloud egg, you whip your single egg white with a pinch of salt until it forms stiff peaks, then pile it on parchment paper or a silpat. Make sure to make a little dent in the middle where your egg yolk will sit, but don't put the yolk in yet. First, bake the white at about 350 F for 3-5 minutes, then carefully drop the yolk into the dent you made and bake for another 3-5 minutes, or until the yolk reaches your desired firmness and the white has started to brown a bit. For me I like the yolks a bit firmer here than I do with a poached egg.

This recipe is awesome if you gently fold in a bit of shredded cheese or some fresh herbs before baking the white, but I went with plain salt and pepper so that I could have the butter on my toast.

Cloud egg, toast with butter, coffee with sugar - 238 calories.

For lunch, the menu suggested turkey sandwich, but I think I'm developing a lettuce leaf habit so I decided instead I'd have some other stuff with my poultry. I had some more of that beautiful local pasta, so this time I put it together as a salad. This is fresh red wheat fusilli with baked herbed chicken, goat cheese, and red onion, served with a dill pickle sliced in quarters.

To make the salad I cooked the baked chicken breast just like in week 1, diced it up, added it to the pasta, cheese, and diced red onion, and seasoned with salt and pepper. It was pretty tasty but next time I'd use a bit less onion.

10 oz chicken, 14 oz pasta, 9 oz onion, and 5 oz cheese, the salad comes out to roughly 66 calories per oz. I'm having a 3.5 oz serving for lunch with my dill pickle.

Pasta salad and small dill pickle - 236 calories.

Dinner was supposed to be calf liver with onion, potato, broccoli, and bread, but I couldn't find calf liver anywhere so I went with chicken livers. I have always enjoyed chicken liver, even as a child, so this week was kind of a weird treat for me.

To prepare the liver, I dry it off with a paper towel before dry-frying it for 3-4 minutes per side over medium heat in a small skillet. Dry frying means there is no oil in the pan, not even spray, just pan and liver. I also let the liver rest for about 4 minutes after cooking.

The potato is one small russet potato, peeled, boiled, and then mashed with two tablespoons of milk and some salt and pepper. The broccoli is just steamed with some salt.

To make the "onions" I sauteed half a red onion and one whole red bell pepper in 1 tb of olive oil and 2 tsp sugar. When the onion and pepper slices are limp and translucent, add 2 tb of balsamic vinegar and cook until it starts to reduce and lose a bit of its sharpness, then add about 1 tb of chopped basil. Season with salt to taste, then serve. Makes 2-3 servings depending on the size of your veggies. In this case my recipe made 3 servings at 108 calories each. After I served the peppers and onions, I tossed my chicken livers in the sauce left in the pan before serving.

On this day I seasoned my oil a little by frying a couple garlic cloves in it before starting the onion mix, you can see one of the cloves at the top of my plate.

3 oz chicken liver, 1 cup steamed broccoli, potato, onions & peppers, garlic - 483 calories.

Now it's time for baked apple, and really I think it might always be time for baked apple. To make my baked apples I used honeycrisp apples. These were huge apples from Costco, the largest one weighed about 10 oz by itself. I tried to pick out some of the smaller ones but they were still 6-8 oz before coring.

When you core your apples for this, don't cut all the way through them. The idea is to trap the tasty stuff you're about to put in these apples so that it bakes into the flesh inside them, so you just want to scoop out the top and the part with the seeds, but leave the bottom of the apple intact. This would probably be easier with a melon baller, but I don't have one so I used a very sharp small knife (careful!) and a spoon to get the junk out.

After coring, stuff your apples with up to 1 tb sugar and then top with 1 tb butter. I cooked mine in a bread loaf pan, with about half a cup of water in the bottom.

Tent loosely with tin foil, so that it's not touching the tops of your apples, and bake at 375 F for 30 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake for another 30 minutes.

This stuff is so delicious!
Once your apples are out of the oven, drain off the butter sludge into the pan liquid, and pour all of the liquid in the pan into a small saucepan with whatever spices you like on your apples. This is my favorite mix here, one cinnamon quill (this one is broken in half) and this mulling spice tea bag, but this would also be good using a chai tea or earl gray tea.

Simmer the spices and the apple liquid for a few minutes so that you infuse all that tasty flavor in there. For mine I let it simmer for about five minutes. Keep your apples covered while you do this so they cool a little but not too much.

After you've infused your liquid, remove the tea bag and spices, turn down the heat on the pan to low, and add 1 tb corn starch. Make a slurry with your corn starch and some water before you add it so that you don't get lumps, and make sure that your liquid isn't too hot while adding the slurry.

Stir until it thickens, usually just a minute or two, then remove from the heat and add some salt. Don't be afraid to be generous with the salt, it will help balance out all the sweetness. Think salted caramel, that's what we're going for.

Dump that stuff over your apples, and enjoy. Makes two servings.

Spiced salted caramel baked apple - 271 calories.

Total day's calories - 1228

Thanks for reading, and see you next week!

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