Monday, February 21, 2022

Eat & Stay Slim Project - Week 3

I restructured my meals this week so that I could have a big mid-morning meal after my workout, a couple small snacks as I wanted them, and then a satisfying dinner. It worked out okay, and I think I'll continue this next week as well.

I kept up my exercise routine with three days of core strength exercises, three days of yoga, and one rest day.

The recipe I intended to make as part of my lunch had to be reworked because the potatoes that came with my grocery delivery this week were all about the size of golf balls, and the shelves were cleared out of Neufchatel cheese. Trying to split and stuff such tiny potato skins seemed like a silly task, so instead I've made a lazy version of Duchess Potatoes, and added it to my poached egg breakfast. This made storing leftovers safer, and better allowed me to control portion size. It would have been difficult to pick out even portions while relying on the random size of the potato skins.

BRUNCH: Lazy Duchess Brunch

Carrot Potato Patties

1 lb russet potato guts, baked or boiled
1 lb boiled carrot chunks
8 oz cream cheese
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
2 oz shredded cheddar cheese
4 spring onions

Smash everything except the shredded cheese and spring onion together using the method of your choice until it's thoroughly smashed. I used a wire potato masher. Feel free to add other seasonings to taste. I added about 1/4 tsp of a West Indies spice blend this time and it was delicious. Heap or pipe 2-3 inches apart in eight equal piles on a parchment paper lined pan, top with cheese, bake at 375° for 15 minutes. Top each with half a sliced spring onion if desired. Makes 8 servings at 205 calories each.

The flavor of this dish was very nice, and the texture of the patty is soft and creamy which was perfect with a bit of toast and some roasted veggies. Some days I had this with a poached egg and some days without, depending on how hungry I was in the morning.

To reheat the patties I put ten cherry tomatoes and 2 oz quartered baby bella mushrooms in a ramekin, placed a patty upside down on top, and baked at 350° for about 20 minutes.

I want to make this again because I think it can be improved on. The shredded cheese was probably unnecessary, but I needed to use it before it expired and this dish seemed like the best place for it in my meal plan. I will probably use bread crumbs next time, or perhaps cook these in my egg bites tray or a scone pan instead of heaps. They spread out quite a lot if you can't chill them properly before baking, and the oil from the cream cheese is probably enough to keep them from sticking.

SNACKS: Cottage Cheese & Fruit, Spicy Mocha

I only ate my fruit with the cottage cheese twice this week, as it fit more easily into my day as separate components. One small nectarine and 110g low-fat cottage cheese, 137 calories.

The spicy mocha is based on a recipe called "Mexican-Style Hot Chocolate" which is essentially hot chocolate with vanilla and cinnamon. I decided to make a spicy mocha as an option for one of my two daily coffee drinks.

Spicy Mocha

3 oz espresso
6-8 oz low-fat oat milk
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp cocoa powder
a couple drops of vanilla extract
a few dashes of cinnamon
cayenne to taste

Mix the sugar, spices, cocoa powder well in a mug. Add a splash of oat milk, or hot water, and vanilla, then mix into an even paste. Add espresso and mix thoroughly. Top with steamed milk and decorate with a dash of cinnamon or cayenne if you wish. Makes one 116 calorie serving.

DINNER: Pineapple Pork Stir Fry & Rice

I forgot to take a picture of this in the bowl, but this picture is four servings in the pan.

Pineapple Pork Stir Fry

1 small fresh pineapple (about 48 oz)
12 oz pork tenderloin, trimmed
1/4 c soy sauce
1/2 c orange juice
1 head garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp chicken bouillon
1 medium red or green bell pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
4 tsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tb cold water to make a slurry
1 tb cooking oil

Peel and core pineapple, cut into chunks, reserve any juice. Partially freeze pork if needed, slice into thin bite-sized pieces. Combine orange juice, soy sauce, bouillon granules, garlic, reserved pineapple juice, and red pepper, set aside. Cook pork and bell pepper over medium heat in the cooking oil until just starting to brown, remove to a bowl. Pour sauce into warm pan, add pineapple chunks, cook covered for 2-4 minutes until starting to soften. Remove pineapple to a bowl. You can put it in with the pork and peppers. Add corn starch slurry to pan, stir well and cook until sauce begins to thicken. If it is too thick, add a bit more water as needed. Return other ingredients to the pan, toss to coat. Makes 4 servings, 389 calories each. Served over half a cup of rice, add 121 calories for a total of  510 calories per serving.

This dish was just okay. I feel like it's another good jumping off point if you've never tried to cook a stir fry before, or you're not sure about pineapple in savory food. One of my favorite Thai dishes to cook at home is red curry with pineapple, and this just tastes like I was trying to make that dish but forgot half of the ingredients. It does give me some ideas about how to make a version of the Thai dish that is lower in calories though, so I will have to give that some thought and see if I can improve upon a house favorite.

In all, this week's menu was okay and easy to see where it could be improved on. I think too much of my protein and fat was from cheese, so I am ready for a break from that for a while. I would like to move toward a more vegetarian diet, and I need to remember to incorporate more of the non-dairy protein sources I enjoy.

Below are the charts from my spreadsheet and LoseIt. As always if you have any comments or questions feel free to ask! See you next week.

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