I’ve been on a muffin kick for a couple of months now; it’s super easy to bake two dozen muffins on a Saturday and freeze them for weekday breakfasts! Plus, there are so many good healthy muffin recipes on Cooking Light and other websites. I’ve also been excited to cook again after discovering Skinnytaste, Gina Homolka’s AMAZING recipe website, healthy meals complete with calorie counts and gorgeous photos! She has tons of recipes, and I intend to try plenty of them this year. So what have I been eating this week?
An Average Day This Week
*you might notice that my calorie counts above differ from the calorie counts given on the recipe’s website sometimes; I do that when I know I’m eating less than a serving
Morning Glory Muffin: I omitted the wheat bran, pitted dates, pineapple and flaxseed, and added some chocolate chips and coconut flakes instead. LOL what can I say, it’s a flexible recipe! It was delicious and I’ll make it again with other variations. Five stars – delicious and heats up well!
I’m into the Greek yogurt craze right now; it took me a while because I didn’t like the first few brands I tried (I’m not a fan of Chobani or Voskos; I find their texture too thick). My supermarket has been running sales on the Stonyfield greek yogurt, and I love their regular yogurt so I gave it a try and loved it! My favorite flavors are the Chocolate (of course) and Super Fruit. It is currently being rebranded from Stonyfield Oikos to Stonyfield Greek, so don’t let that confuse you – they’re the same thing. I also like Fage greek yogurt with the tasty mix-ins. Are you on the Greek yogurt train? Any favorites?
Instant coffee requires a whole ‘nother post to examine and compare complex flavor profiles, aromas, how well it dissolves in various temperatures of water…I jest. I quit drinking coffee for the month of December last year, but started again in January with the intention of quitting once the busy season at work is over…whenever that is. Starbucks Via gets the job done; I don’t love any of the flavors, but I’m just drinking it for the caffeine anyway. I prefer the plain Via coffee packets to the ones pre-mixed with sugar. I add a little soy milk so the acidity doesn’t kill my stomach.
Eggplant Panini: I’ve hated eggplant ever since I was born and have eaten it maybe twice in my life (completely against my will). It’s the slippery texture on the outside combined with the slimy texture on the inside that bothers me, along with the taste and the way it looks. And smells. Okay, basically everything about this vegetable bothers me. But one of my friends recently invited me to a dinner party, and I was absolutely starving when I went. She was baking eggplant…hmm I dunno know the word…it was cooked slices of eggplant on top of bread with cheese on top…oh bruschetta! Eggplant bruschetta! And I was so hungry that I reached for a piece and took a bite..and it was magical. Addicting. The mozzarella cheese on toasted bread hid both the flavor and the texture of the hideous vegetable. Therefore, when I saw a recipe for Eggplant Panini on Gina’s website, I figured there were enough similar elements with the bruschetta that might make this dish palatable to me, so I decided to be brave and try it. I also needed to use up some two three week old bread in the fridge. I loved it!! It microwaves at work beautifully and tastes delicious. Why, I think I’ll make it again next week! With fresh bread, this time. Four and a half stars – only because I still don’t love eggplant…can you tell?
Cajun Chicken Pasta: Another Skinnytaste win! The hubby liked it too :) This was very easy to make. The first night I made it, I tried to be all calorie conscious and ate my dish with shirataki noodles instead of the linguini. I almost lost my appetite; shirataki definitely goes better in some dishes than others. I’ll do a post on shirataki noodles sometime. Anyway, after that, I ate the dish with the linguini :) Four stars – we liked it and will make it again, but it didn’t take us to pasta nirvana.
Graham crackers are one of my favorite snacks! No prep required, and it satisfies my craving for sweet and carbohydrates between meals. I eat about 5 bananas a week, either raw, or banana soft-serve, or in shakes. They make a great, cheap snack that requires no prep and helps you feel full. It may also be the reason for my extraordinarily long monkey arms. I’d like to wean myself off of the Special K Pastry Crisps (they’re kind of expensive, and full preservatives), but they’re so convenient and go well with a cup of tea in the afternoon. Favorite flavor: Chocolate, of course!
How We Pick Meals
My general approach to meals and cooking is to plan for one or two options for each meal, and do as much of the prep/cooking as possible on the weekend so that weekdays we can come home from the gym or work and just heat something up. This makes grocery shopping simple as well. I pick recipes that look like they can be made ahead of time and last for a few days or more in the fridge, and since I’m trying to lose weight right now, I also pick meals that have calorie counts or are easy to calculate on MyFitnessPal. I strongly prefer recipes that use “real” ingredients (I don’t like to cook with Splenda or other diet substitutes) or I’ll sub out the “fake” stuff. I’ll continue posting meal plans and recipe reviews for inspiration!