Friday, March 13, 2015

Day 6

I was still feeling frustrated on day 6, just like day 5 so I apologize in advance if this post isn't very positive. Currently I'm feeling that healthy eating is such a complex topic it's impossible to tackle with any sort of fidelity. There are so many issues that go into healthy eating and the availability of food that it isn't easy to just give people a book of recipes and expect it to work (as I feel Choose My Plate does). 

What tofu looks like before its cooked-not very appealing!
Finished burritos! DH was pretty proud of them.

Breakfast was a scrambled tofu burrito and reconstituted grape juice. It was actually a pretty decent breakfast-the tofu was mixed with 1 scrambled egg so it kind of tasted like eggs. If you put enough salsa on it the taste of the tofu was pretty hidden so it tasted like you were just eating a burrito of salsa. I didn't find breakfast to be very filling today-it was hungry by 9:00. I also felt that more veggies could have been added to the burrito to make it taste better-there was barely any pepper chunks to add some flavor. DH and I eat A LOT of breakfast burritos-he'll make a batch of them on Sundays and freeze them so all we have to do it heat them up. We make our burritos with egg whites, veggies, turkey sausage and cheese-they are amazing and pretty healthy. I don't feel that our tofu burrito was any healthier-in fact with the lack of vegetables I feel that it was less healthy. 
Total Cost: 2.43 per serving (4.86 for both of us)

Lunch was crunchy chicken salad sandwiches. It was ridiculous to have to prepare a whole different meal at the same time we were cooking the fish/couscous. It made dinner preparations take forever and dirtied up tons of dishes. I just don't feel that making a completely separate meal for lunch makes sense.

Ingredients for the crunchy chicken salad: Chicken breast tenders, celery, apples, green peppers, chopped onion grapes and plain yogurt. The salad was also supposed to have cucumber in it, but we had used all our cucumber in our salads so we skipped it. 
I just cooked the chicken up in a frying pan with a bit of oil-I'm not sure if this was the best way or if baking it would have been better. In my logical mind dinner the night before should have been a chicken dish and then you would repurpose the leftover chicken into salad rather than cooking up a batch of chicken especially for this-apparently that wasn't logical to the creators of the menu.

While the chicken was cooking you diced up all the vegetables and added them to bowl. I find it strange to put grapes and apples into chicken salad. I also discovered how much of a pain it is to slice grapes-they have a tendency to crush under the knife or roll off the cutting board. 
Chicken salad war wound-this is what happens when you try to cut grapes. I was trying to do too much at once (check on the chicken that was cooking and slice veggies) and I wasn't paying enough attention to the knife in my hand. It was a pretty small cut but it's in that annoying place on your thumb where it keeps breaking open! 
After the chicken was cooked and diced it was added to the salad along with the yogurt and mixed up. For some reason this salad seems like something you would find in a 1950's cookbook-maybe that's just me though? I can really see Betty Draper bringing this to a neighborhood potluck!
The finished product-the only dressing was the yogurt but mixed with all the veggies it was pretty delicious.

The bread was toasted and the salad was put on the bread on top of a slice of lettuce. It was hard to fit enough chicken salad on each piece of bread and trying to pick them up meant half the salad would fall out. At one point I ended up shouting at the salad to stay on the bread-DH found it pretty amusing.
Finished lunches: The sides were an orange, carrot sticks with ranch dressing and milk. The salad was actually pretty yummy-I thought the grapes and the apples were a nice addition (even if it seemed kind of odd). I did end up taking my sandwich apart and eating the salad with a fork-it was a little too messy to eat in sandwich format.The carrot sticks were okay-nothing special or different. My whole classroom smelled like oranges for the rest of the afternoon-it even overpowered my Scensty! I actually really liked the chicken salad-it would be a nice summertime meal or a nice simple Sunday lunch. To be honest it wasn't too hard to make-it was only when you were trying to cook two meals at once that it became overwhelming. I think we'll be making this one again in the future. We eat a lot of chicken and turkey based dishes and this would be a great and simple way to use up the leftovers and make something simple that would keep in the fridge for a few days for lunches or quick dinners. I think next time I would add some seasonings (like paprika) and maybe a squirt of lemon juice-that would really enhance the flavor without adding a lot of calories.

Total Cost: 3.88 per serving (7.76 for both) I feel that the meals are getting more expensive as we go through the program. I wonder why that is?

Dinner tonight was lentil stew-yuck! I have a tortured history with lentils which is all my mother's fault. My mom was one of those hippy granola moms before it became cool to be one (a product of a European upbringing) and she was always ahead of the curve. When I was a kid she went through her own healthy eating experiment phase and decided to make lentil patties for dinner one night-they were TERRIBLE (even she admits it). However, I gagged on them (a small child with a very sensitive gag reflex-it was bound to happen) and my dad yelled at me for being disrespectful to my mom. I wasn't being disrespectful-they truly were an ill thought out idea. My mom is an amazing cook and makes other delicious lentil dishes but that it the one that stands out in my mind, I can eat them (unlike fish) and I kind of like them in certain dishes but it's not one of my favorite foods.

Ingredients for lentil soup-I was excited to see that there were plenty of other veggies to give it flavor!
First step was to chop up the onion and sauté in a little bit of oil until the onions were tender (about 3 minutes is what the recipe said-in my stainless steel pans in took about 6)
All the other ingredients were then added. 2 cans of diced tomatoes, sliced carrots, lentils, garlic powder and chili powder. You let the mixture simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. While it was simmering we worked on the side dishes of broccoli (once again frozen and heated up) and brown rice.

Finished dinners! I thought the soup was awesome! It was a quick meal that didn't involve really any hands on time so it was perfect for me! This is the recipe I've been searching for-something quick and simple. It was very rich in flavor and you couldn't taste the lentils at all! This would be a perfect wintertime meal (not so great on a 75 degree day!)! I would like to try making this in the slow cooker-I think that would work well and make it even more hands off. I also think it would be yummy to add some sausage or browned ground beef to it. It would add some more protein to the meal and really kick up the flavor. I found the side dishes to be unnecessary-We did mix our rice into our soup which was delicious but not really needed. This recipe was just what I needed after a frustrating few days-something tasty, healthy and easy! Plus we only dirtied a cutting board and a pot! This meal is definitely a keeper! The dessert was canned pears-it was fine. There really isn't a lot to say about canned pears.

Total cost: 2.22 per serving (4.44 for both)

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