Transformations

Today, I turned this:

Into this:

And this:

Into this:

It was a good day.  My husband was ever so pleased that I finally cleared all of my crap off of the dining room table.  He didn’t mind the Baked Buffalo Chicken Breast spinach salad I whipped up either, using this recipe (except I didn’t use the celery seeds or blue cheese), served on a bed of baby spinach, with some low-fat ranch and roasted baby potatoes on the side.  I thought it might be too spicy for my kids, but they devoured it.  My 5 year old daughter has this funny, charming habit of humming as she eats food she really enjoys.  She doesn’t know that she does it, but I always take it as a sign that the food is good.  She was humming up a storm tonight!

Got in a 60 min stationary bike ride today.  They were forecasting it to clear up later today so I was hoping to actually get out on a real bike, but it never did, so while we watched Gnomeo and Juliet for Family Movie Night, I rode the bike and followed that up with some upper body and mega stretching afterward.

Off to enjoy some grown-up time with my husband.  11k planned for tomorrow, but that will depend on the IT band.

What have you got planned this weekend?  Fun stuff, I hope!

Meal Planning Monday

Lots of leftovers planned for the week!  And some comforting favourites, too.  If you haven’t made friends with your slow cooker, you should consider becoming reacquainted.  It’s a pretty handy appliance in the winter, although I find that a lot of the recipes I’ve tried just aren’t that fantastic.  Pulled pork and pot roast, though, are slow cooker meals I’ve been preparing regularly.

Monday

  • Shepherd’s pie

Tuesday

Wednesday

  • Leftover pulled pork sandwiches
  • Spinach salad with feta, Craisins, and raspberry vinaigrette

Thursday

Friday

  • Beef soft tacos/salad

Saturday

  • Go out

Sunday

Meal Planning Monday

My household is facing a bit of an upheaval in the near future – more on that later – and with an even-greater time-crunch on the horizon, I finally sat down today and did some major meal planning.  5 weeks worth, in fact.  Not gonna lie, I did quite a bit of repeating (especially this week, where I have 2 slow cooker roasts planned), but it will make grocery shopping easier, so I went with it.  Geez, we’re eating a lot of beef this week!  Pretty sure we won’t be consuming quite so much red meat in the near future.  The cold and dark of winter are getting to me, though, so there’s a lot of comfort food coming up.

Without further ado, I bring you this week’s plan.

Monday

Tuesday

  • Leftover pulled pork sandwiches
  • Spinach salad with feta, Craisins, and raspberry vinaigrette

Wednesday

  • Awesome Slow Cooker Pot Roast (I like to make it with onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper in place of the onion soup mix)
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Cooked carrots

Thursday

  • Shepherd’s pie (cube the leftover beef, put in a casserole, top with the gravy, a layer of frozen peas, the leftover carrots, a few handfuls of shredded cheese, and the mashed potatoes)

Friday

  • Beef soft tacos/salad

Saturday

  • Slow Cooker Lasagna II (a recipe I haven’t tried before)
  • Spinach salad with feta, Craisins, and raspberry vinaigrette

Sunday

  • Awesome Slow Cooker Pot Roast
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Cooked carrots

Meal Planning Monday

It definitely feels like fall around here.  This week, forecasted highs are in the 8 to 13 degrees Celcius (46 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit) range.  Brrrr!  If I had the time, I’d be baking some cranberry or pumpkin muffins.  Maybe another week.

My schedule this week is a little different.  Instead of going to my dental classes, I’m doing a hospital roster, which involves watching some oral surgeries and shadowing other medical residents for most of the week.  Should be interesting, but two things make me nervous: 1) I’m afraid I won’t know the answers to any questions they ask, and 2) I’m missing a lot of classes this week, and I’ll need to catch up!  Plus, mornings will be earlier, and I’m already starting to feel a little run down due to my busy schedule.

What does that have to do with meals?  Well, I’m trying to keep meals quick, easy, and familiar.  Some of the main courses are in the freezer, waiting to be cooked or heated, and I plan to use the slow cooker a couple of times.

Meal Planning Monday

Here’s this week’s meal plan.  You’ll notice it’s a little “heavier” than the summer menus I’ve been building.  It’s already getting cold here and feels like fall, so I’m seeking comfort in mashed potatoes and pot roast.

  • Monday: leftover meatloaf and mashed potatoes, carrots
  • Tuesday: multigrain fish fillets, brown rice, peas, cucumbers
  • Wednesday: Shake & Bake chicken (haven’t made this FOREVER!!!), Smart Pasta rotini with olive oil and garlic, steamed broccoli
  • Thursday: Cheesy Chicken Casserole (a recipe from Cooking for the Rushed Healthy Family – it’s already in the freezer), leftover pasta, steamed broccoli
  • Friday: sausages, pork and beans (my husband’s words and his request – actually Heinz Brown Beans; think these are a Canadian thing), carrots
  • Saturday: Curried Chicken with Harvest Fruit (an old recipe from Chatelaine), rice (brown or basmati), spinach salad with feta and dried cranberries
  • Sunday: Awesome Slow Cooker Pot Roast, mashed potatoes (my husband nearly weeps with happiness when I make mashed potatoes), green beans

Alright, now that that’s all planned, I need to buy a few things:

  • Heinz Brown Beans (2 cans)
  • chicken thighs (8)
  • 3 lb beef roast
  • potatoes (russet – they’re better for mashing; 5 lb bag)
  • pears (need at least 1, but might as well get a few)
  • green beans

I think I pretty much have everything else.  Thought I’d post this here so that I can access it from my Blackberry when I hit the grocery store!

Happy Monday!

Food Journal for Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Had an interval run to do this morning, so I had a light pre-workout snack: a handful of medjool dates, 1/2 a cup of yogurt, and then a 100 calorie pack of Craisins because I was still hungry.  My workout was tough, but I got it done and on pace.  I was really happy with it.  I’m not so sure about my pre-run snack, though.  I think it was a little too much solid food, so next time, I’ll try Gatorade beforehand, along with the handful of dried fruit and 1/2 c yogurt.  I think the Craisins were just too much for my stomach to handle.

Afterwards, I decided to try making banana oatmeal.  I had seen a recipe for it somewhere, but couldn’t remember where, so I winged it.

  • 1/3 c large flake oats
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 water

I microwaved it until it was nice and thick, and then added 1/2 tsp vanilla and a touch of kosher salt.  Here’s what it looked like:

May not look that appetizing, but it was sort of like eating banana bread.

Yeah, so I may have to work on my presentation a little, but it was pretty good.  Sort of like eating warm banana bread, but not quite as sweet.  I’m sure if you added nuts (which I don’t have in the house) and brown sugar (which I just don’t like to add from a calories and glycemic index perspective) it would be divine!

Lunch was leftover chicken cacciatore and spaghetti from last night.  Click here for the recipe I tried.  It was good and had lots of veggies in it, but I thought there was a little too much liquid once it baked.  It could also have used a touch more oregano, but I do like my oregano.  Sorry, no pic!  I also had half an orange, because my daughter didn’t think it was juicy enough – haha!

My snack this afternoon was yogurt and 1 tbsp of chocolate chips.  I was making trail mix for the kids and couldn’t resist.

For supper, I tried BBQ Chicken Quesadillas using this recipe from How Sweet It Is.  They were perfect: simple to prepare with simple ingredients, and absolutely great flavour.  Thanks, Jessica, for the recipe!

BBQ Chicken Quesadillas

Alongside the quesadillas I had a salad with spinach, cucumbers, and tomatoes, and a little raspberry vinaigrette.

After supper, I treated my sweet tooth to another tablespoon of chocolate chips and some milk.  That’s a far cry from the half bag I used to eat in one sitting!  I really AM trying to practice moderation, so I make an effort to not feel guilty after a small indulgence.

How was your eating today?  Did you try any new recipes, or maybe you made an old favourite?  What’s your pre-workout snack like first thing in the morning?

Pumpkin Oatmeal and Today’s Food Journal

I’m happy to report that I pretty much stuck to my meal plan today. Yay!

Saw a fantastic recipe for overnight oats that I haven’t tried out yet, over at Oh She Glows.  Click here for the recipe.  Plan to try it soon.

However, the key word in this case is “overnight,” and since I didn’t plan ahead but wanted to try out some pumpkin oats this morning, I tried this recipe from Allrecipes.com.

I should say up front that I did amend the recipe slightly.  Here’s what I did:

  • 1/3 c large flake oats
  • 1/2 c pumpkin
  • 3/4 c skim milk
  • heavy cinnamon
  • light nutmeg
  • a touch of ginger

Cooked them in the microwave until they reached the texture I wanted (in my microwave it took about 4 minutes, but our microwave sucks, so you’d probably need less time).

I found the pumpkin flavour quite heavy, so I stirred in a touch of vanilla (maybe 1/2 tsp) and 1 tbsp raisins.  Much better.  Sweeter and more flavourful with the additions.  I think that next time I’ll try 1/4 c pumpkin and 2 tbsp raisins or Craisins to increase the sweetness slightly.

Food Journal:

  • Breakfast: pumpkin oatmeal (so oatmeal, milk, and fruit all-in-one)
  • Lunch: leftover Triple Berry pork tenderloin, quinoa, cucumbers
  • Snack: yogurt, banana
  • Supper: Sticky Sesame Chicken, quinoa, steamed broccoli with a little margarine
  • Snack: orange, 8 Mini Wheats

All in all, not a bad day.  Those Mini Wheats keep sneaking in there, so I’ve got to keep an eye out!

My Nitpicky Food Journaling:

Just in case you’re wondering why I’m bothering to write those eight Mini Wheats, I find that if I don’t write things down (like three Mini Wheats or a tablespoon of chocolate chips), I will try to fool myself into thinking that I am eating less than I am, and suddenly I find that I’ve eaten half a bag of chocolate chips over the course of two days, or that I’ve eaten a cup and a half of Mini Wheats (or Cheerios, or fill-in-the-blank) in a day.  Sure, not a lot of calories (well, there are in chocolate), but those calories can sure add up quickly.  And even if I’m choosing relatively healthy foods, like Mini Wheats, those are still more calories than my body needs for me to lose weight.

Thus, the weird and somewhat random entries into my journal.  Keep an eye out for a sudden increase in the handfuls of cereal once the stress of the school year starts!  Less than two weeks away now – yikes!

UPDATE: Just mixed up the Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats (I didn’t make them vegan:) ) and they smell AMAZING!  I’ll be having them tomorrow morning for breakfast and will let you know how they are.  Most likely delicious, based on how they smell now.  Am actually looking forward to getting up tomorrow morning to try these.