Saturday, February 5, 2022

Eat & Stay Slim Project - Week 1

If this week is any indication, I'm really going to enjoy cooking through the rest of this book. Out of the four recipes I made this week, I liked four of them. I'll be making a different version of the jello next week as well.

I did not eat these exact meals for seven straight days because the recipes didn't make that many servings, and it's not safe to keep most leftovers for that long anyway. I staggered making them over the course of the week so I would have different combinations.

On days when I did not eat exactly this menu I tried to use the exchange system to make up other meals of equivalent value. I did not closely track calories on those days, but I may start to.

I'm not supposed to need to count calories at all using this program, but it's important that these meals conform to the nutritional values the book is actually recommending. Considering the changes I've insisted on making, I make my recipes while logging the full day in LoseIt! and then use that day as a template when cooking and preparing the meals later.

BREAKFAST: Savory Spinach & Turkey Custard, Blueberries & Coffee

Spinach Custard

8oz fresh spinach
2 eggs
1 cup oat milk
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 oz shredded cheese

Blanch fresh spinach in a little boiling salted water, drain and press to dry, chop coarsely. Beat eggs, milk, nutmeg, and salt until blended. Separate Spinach and cheese between four oven safe containers, divide egg mixture between the containers as well, stir each, then bake in a hot water bath at 350° for 35-40 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

I prepared these for the week using my silicone instant pot egg egg bites tray and reheated them in a steam bath each day. Place two at a time in a ceramic ramekin over an ounce of chopped up turkey, and steam for about ten minutes.

If you like creamy scrambled eggs and don't mind if they're a bit wet, you'll probably like this. The nutmeg in the recipe seemed out of place to me, but I put it in anyway. I'm glad I did, it was an interesting addition and it had a real harmony with the spinach that I wasn't expecting. The turkey I chose had a peppered edge, which I think was the thing that took this from "okay" to "pretty good." Half a cup of blueberries as a side is far more blueberries than I thought it would be. Along with my morning oat milk latte, his was a satisfying and filling meal. I allow myself a second coffee in the morning or early afternoon for my other milk exchange.

I got the egg bites tray from Costco in a set of accessories meant for the instant pot, but since they are silicone I use them all around the kitchen. I like the egg bites tray a lot because it's sturdy so it's easy to carry when full of liquids, and the included lid fits well for storage in the fridge. This one is also available from Amazon.

LUNCH: Herbed Mushrooms, Celery, Tomato, and Cottage Cheese Salad

Herbed Mushrooms

2/3 cup red wine
1 small onion
1/2 tsp dry basil
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
12 oz mushrooms

Clean and quarter the mushrooms. Slice the onion into rings. Bring wine, basil, onion, salt, and pepper to a simmer in a small pan. Add mushrooms and cook until most of the liquid is absorbed. Pour into a container, cover and chill until ready to use. Makes 8 servings.

Use a slotted spoon to serve these without much of the liquid. I made a salad with cottage cheese, a chopped rib or two of celery, and a handful of sliced cherry tomatoes, topped with ground pepper. It was good all stirred up together. I will probably make something like this again, but with less celery and more leafy greens.

SNACKS: Applesauce and Sparkling Monster Citrus Jello

I hate when this happens, when I cook something that seems like a joke but then joke's on me because I really enjoy eating it.

Sparkling Monster Citrus Jello

8 oz grapefruit supreme with reserved juice
4 oz tangerine supreme with reserved juice
7 g unflavored gelatin
1 cup chilled Monster Ultra Sunrise
1 tb lemon juice

Cutting supremes from citrus is time consuming and messy, but I try to enjoy it like a nice vitamin C and citric acid treatment for my hands. I used three small grapefruits and five or six cuties, and had about a cup of juice when I was done cutting them all up. The trick is to hold the fruit over the bowl while cutting. If you don't have a full cup of juice, add a bit of your can of Monster to make one cup. Bloom your gelatin in the juice, then stir over low heat until the gelatin is incorporated and the mixture begins to thicken slightly. Stir in the lemon juice and cold Monster, then refrigerate until it begins to set. For me it was about an hour. Stir in fruit supremes and pour into a bowl or individual cups. Makes 4 servings.

The first day I had this as an afternoon snack I had so much energy afterward. I didn't really expect such a small amount of energy drink would have that effect on me, but it was a nice little pick-me-up to get through the last part of the day. Monster usually makes me crash, so I won't typically drink a whole one in a day anyway unless I'm doing many hours of physical labor.

This was delicious. I was afraid to eat it after 3pm.

For my other fruit exchange I had a piece of fruit or a serving of home made applesauce, which I didn't manage to get a picture of, but most of you have probably seen applesauce before. I make it in the instant pot on occasion when we have more apples than we can eat before they spoil.

DINNER: Beef Stew & Sourdough Bread

Beef Stew

1.25 lb stew beef, I used sirloin I had in the freezer
1 tb unsalted butter
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 head garlic minced
2 tsp salt
4 medium red potatoes, quartered
5-6 medium carrots, quartered
1 tb Worcestershire sauce
1 dash of ground cloves
2-3 bay leaves
1 tb corn starch mixed in a little cold water to form a slurry

This is vegetable stew with a little beef. The portion of beef is very small per serving. It's a pretty basic beef stew recipe. Brown your beef first, toss in the butter and alliums, sauté until softened, add veggies, water to cover, Worcestershire sauce, salt, bay leaves and ground clove. Simmer until the veggies and beef are tender, then add the corn starch if you want to thicken it a bit more than the natural starch from the potato. Taste for seasoning. Makes 8 servings.

I thought the corn starch improved the texture of the broth. The real star here is the clove, which I was very hesitant to add because I see it more as a sweet stuff seasoning, but it was surprisingly good with the beef. I may continue to add a pinch of clove to similarly flavored beef dishes in the future.

The bread was a par-bake sourdough loaf. A 50g serving is one fat slice as pictured or two very thin ones.

Here's the breakdown of "exchanges" and below is info from Lose It! Please let me know if there is any other info you'd like to see about these meals. Having something prepared ahead of time for even one or two meals a day definitely helped me stick to a plan all week, and staggering things so I didn't have exactly the same meals all day for days in a row helped keep me from feeling bored by the end of the week too.




Next week I'll be making quiche, chef's salad, fish "creole" with rice, and tapioca parfait. Thanks for reading, see you later!

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