Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Food?! I LOVE food!!

And this is why losing weight is such a struggle for me.  As far as I know I am holding steady at 23 pounds lost.  I feel better, but not great.  I can and will lose more.  But these winter months are proving to be quite difficult to get through since all I want for dinner is pasta and warm, creamy deliciousness! 

I have been lucky enough to find a TON of good recipes on Pinterest.com (which, for the love, if you're not on here you better get on NOW!) that are healthy and totally satisfying.  One is just mushrooms and chicken sauteed with garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and onion powder over brown rice.  Easy, takes about 30 minutes (because brown rice, in case you don't know, doesn't like to be cooked and takes FOOOORRREEEEVVVVEEEERRRRRRRRR!)

Last night I tried another recipe that I found here called Taco Soup.  Now.  Keep in mind, I am but a poor New Yorker just trying to make ends meet.  So some modifications had to be made.  Here's what I used:

1/2 Lb. of Ground Beef
2 Tbsp Minced Garlic
1 Tbsp Onion Powder
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Cans Kidney Beans
1 Jar Classic Marinara Sauce
1 Package Sweet Yellow Corn
2 Cups Chicken Stock
2 Tablespoons each of Homemade Taco Seasoning, Oregano, Cumin and Chili Powder
Light Sour Cream
Shredded Pepperjack Cheese

I browned the ground beef in olive oil with no seasoning because I can't afford a whole pound and I don't want to consume too much red meat.  Once browned, I dropped into a large stock pot.  In the same skillet I sauteed the minced garlic and onion powder in olive oil for less than 1 minute.  I didn't want the garlic becoming too bitter.  Then I dropped that in the stock pot.  I used a little of the chicken stock (because I don't keep beef stock around) to deglaze the pan, and poured that, along with the remaining chicken stock, into the stock pot.  Then I dropped both cans of kidney beans including their juice into the pot (I only used kidney, but black beans or pinto beans or any combination of beans would be delish.), and the jar of marinara sauce.  The recipe called for a can of diced tomatoes with the juice but I couldn't find any at the grocery store and I was getting antsy.  So marinara it was, and it worked fabulously!  Then I dropped the package (ya know, minus the actual packaging) of corn into the pot.  Then I included the seasonings and mixed everything together.  I let it sit over medium high heat for about 45 minutes while the flavors combined.  Mine didn't get too thick, but if yours does it is recommended to add water.  After 45 minutes, I ladled as much as my bowl could handle, topped with a dollop of light sour cream and a little shredded cheese.  You top it with whatever you deem delicious!  It is basically like a chili, but it's got a little southwestern kick to it, and the sour cream and cheese add an amazing creaminess to it.  I had some left over for lunch today and it was even better than it was last night.  Careful not to over eat this!  About 2 good ladles is about 250 calories, which isn't bad.  But you'll want seconds and thirds which starts to get out of hand...

I combined this with roasted garlic cloves and roasted halved brussel sprouts.  I spread these out on a cookie sheet and drizzled lightly with extra virgin olive oil and salt (because somewhere along the line, I ran out of pepper.  Crazy, I know.).  Then I tore up pieces of bacon and scattered them throughout (about 3 pieces of bacon total) and roasted everything for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees.  I never really thought about eating roasted garlic by itself.  I've had them mashed up in potatoes and things like that.  But trust me, you'll thanks me when you taste roasted garlic cloves.  Seriously.  Yummmmm!

Tonight I am trying Crispy Chicken Wraps.  These can be found here.  I will again be improvising because I am super broke and food in NYC is priced much like gold!

1/3 Cup Light Mayo
Onion Powder to taste
Dry Basil to taste
5 Pepperoncini finely chopped
2 Tbsp Light Sour Cream
2 Tbsp. Hot Sauce
Leftover half of rotisserie chicken, skin removed and chicken shredded
Shredded Pepperjack Cheese
Flour Tortillas

Combine mayo, onion powder, basil, pepperoncini, sour cream and hot sauce.  Add shredded chicken and toss to combine.  Sprinkle shredded cheese on tortillas leaving 1/2 inch around edges.  Arrange the chicken mixture down the center of the tortilla.  I will make as many as I have chicken mixture for.  The recipe calls for 4 total tortillas.  Roll the tortillas up around the chicken, leaving the ends open.  Spray the wraps all over with cooking spray.  In a non-stick skillet that has been heating up on medium heat for about a minute, place tortillas seam side down and heat until browned (2-3 minutes on each side unless your stove is on steroids like mine, and then plan on it being about a minute for each side)

I will then be prepping dinner for Wednesday night... Parmesan chicken found here!  Tonight all I have to do is cut slits in defrosted chicken breasts, and marinate them in olive oil, garlic and poultry seasoning.  I didn't know what poultry seasoning was, so I Googled it.  Because Google knows all, and it has become my only way of problem solving.  It says it's a combination of ground sage, ground thyme, ground marjoram (?), ground rosemary, nutmeg and black pepper.  Obviously I'll be improvising.  I see it going a little something like... some meat tenderizer, nutmeg, thyme and some kosher salt.  Anyway, tomorrow I will remove this from the marinade, and drop it directly into a combination of "whole wheat bread crumbs" (also known as whatever kind of bread crumbs are in the cupboard) and Parmesan cheese.  These should bake at 425 degrees for about 25 minutes, then a few minutes on each side under the broiler.  Chicken should be firm when it's done, which all but ensures you won't die from salmonella poisoning. 

Anyway, I'll let you know how the last two go.  But these totally satisfy my need for hot meals for dinner that don't take that much work and will be done quickly, especially with a little prep the night before.  Also, choosing things that you have leftover from other recipes or meals seriously cuts down on food cost.  And choosing to use light or low fat, or skinless, or simply less of something that isn't great for you will seriously help your health and bathing suit body for that mid-winter vacation that's quickly approaching.  The first blog I linked to does weekly meal plans that you can browse that include printable grocery lists (amazeballs!) and the last website is a woman that lost a TON of weight and now has her own food blog with lots of weight friendly recipes that have worked for her! 

Now.  If I can stick to healthier recipes, all I need to do is get my at-home gym together.... motivation.  I need some moooootivation!

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