Good Food

Thought I’d report in on some good eats from the past couple of days.  First of all, in spite of the cold weather, and my usual reluctance to eat salads when it turns cold, I have thoroughly been enjoying my salads this winter.  When I travel, I find myself actually looking for a reason to eat lettuce.  If you had told me this when I was a kid, I would NEVER have believed you.  Lettuce was just something to be picked off of the hamburger bun.

My version of the California Chef's salad: baby lettuce topped with chicken, oranges wedges, carrots, blue cheese, and pecans.

So I told you about the food I was going to fix for ‘sewing day,’ and I have to tell you it was a resounding success!  That triple berry granola crisp is a no-fail recipe.  People absolutely love it, and they seem to really enjoy hearing that it is a low-cal healthy recipe. If you have access to a Costco, their frozen triple berry blend works great, and is the most economical way to buy berries.  I served it for ‘brunch’ (we meet at 10am and always have some sort of treat and coffee to start the day) and I had a bowl of Fage mixed with cinnamon and splenda to top it with.  Yummy.

On to lunch.  Helen, the soup was the smash hit of the day (I made Helen’s coconut curry kale soup.)  Everybody loved it, and every last bit of the soup had disappeared when I went back to the kitchen.  I made the recipe just as printed, including the chickpeas.  I didn’t have a can of tomatoes, so I chopped up a couple of tomatoes and then I found a bag of frozen cherry tomatoes in the freezer and threw them in too.  I think that was about the same tomato content as a can.  I put in 36 mid-sized shrimp.  One of the ladies, who is an excellent cook, took the recipe home to make for her husband, and she mentioned to me that the flavor was very similar to the soup served at Lemon Grass, which is a very nice Asian Bistro restaurant around here.  Now.  I have to admit.  I still don’t like the flavor of curry very much.  And I picked out all my chickpeas!  But that’s just me.  I really wish I liked curry, because it just seems like the ‘in’ thing. That’s okay, there’s plenty of other food I like just fine LOL.  Case in point:  I LOVED the low fat corn bread that I made.  LOVED!!! I don’t know if its because I’ve been corn bread deprived for a couple of years, but I thought it was quite delicious.  And I tried to make a ‘healthy’ honey butter by combining Smart Balance Lite and some honey.  Its probably because the smart balance lite has a higher water content or something?  It kind of separated, or became weepy.  It looked weird, but it tasted DELISH on the bread.  I was never so happy to have one piece left over!  Guess who had a second piece of corn bread with dinner.

Which brings me to my next topic.  The whole idea of a ‘treat day’ or a ‘treat meal.’ I’m a little on the fence about this whole idea as it applies to me.  Of course, I LOVE the idea of a day to eat what I want.  But there’s so much I want LOL.  I have a tendency to go overboard.  And then there’s the inevitable ‘unplanned’ treat days that just naturally occur in real life.  So if I fully subscribed to the ‘treat day,’ and had it planned for the end of the week, but in that same week, 3 unplanned treats occurred that I partook of, I would still be wanting my ‘treat day.’  Which leads to a whole lotta overeating.  Now that is JUST ME.  Just what I know about me.  And the funny thing was, when I was discussing this with my BFF, she described the exact same thing (eating the unplanned extras and still wanting the planned treat day.)  So for the most part, I think its best if I don’t plan (and look forward to) a WEEKLY treat day or meal.  I think maybe once a month might do it for me.

That said, I did decide that Tuesday (sewing day) would be a treat day.  Quit laughing at me LOL.  I had my favorite cottage cheese/pear/walnuts combo for dinner, along with that second piece of corn bread, and some leftover broccoli, just to make it healthy.  And then I tried a new recipe.  That chocolate covered katie has it going on when it comes to single serving recipes.  You heard it here:  I will NEVER buy another bakery cupcake.  There is no way they can compete with the deliciousness of her single serving cupcakes.  I tried this little chocolate cake, and I had some pre-made vanilla icing that I had bought at that Harvest Festival.  Oh my goodness.  It was quite worthy.  I made myself look the calories up (300 for just the cake.)  That helps me to eliminate it from any kind of regular rotation.  But for a once in a while treat?  Quite worthy.  I had some kettle corn too.  See what I mean about going overboard?

But back on track today.  And no problem doing so.  And this is the low-cal day of the week–no fruit, and one grain.  No problem.  I tried one more thing this morning that I want to pass along.  That multi-grain oatmeal that I told you I loved?  I made it custard oats today–FANTASTIC.  The most fantastic part is that you fix it in the microwave, so there is only one dish to wash.  After I microwaved the oats for two minutes, I took them out and stirred in 1/4 cup of egg beaters.  And microwaved for maybe 30 seconds more.  Yumm yumm.

Today I had to go to the lawyer’s about my dad’s trust, and she talked lawyerese at me for over an hour.  QUITE anxiety producing.  But did I eat?  No I did not.  I went to the gym as planned! Like Lori says, you never regret a workout.  I felt quite victorious after that.  Had one of Vicky’s California Chef’s salads for lunch, and then went to Starbuck’s for a little session with my Kindle Fire.  I had a Quest protein bar for a treat with my coffee.  Those Quest bars are hands down the best protein bars I’ve ever had, but they have a pretty hefty price tag too.

I’ll end with a stealth photo of the Queen.  Her majesty has some new crown jewels.

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20 thoughts on “Good Food

  1. Oh, I love the new collar! HRH is all ready for Valentine’s day!!!

    I should not have read this right before I go to bed (yes it’s after midnight here – don’t know why I stayed up so late) because I will be dreaming about all the food you described so nicely!

  2. Salads are a big part of my diet.

    I’m a 68-year-old widower who never really learned to cook. I can do only three things in the kitchen: (1) Chop stuff. (2) Microwave stuff. (3) Boil stuff.

    So I eat a lot of “Stuff Salads” and a lot of “Stuff Soups.” And “Stuff” is defined as anything I have lying around in my refrigerator. So a “Stuff Salad” might be chopped tomatoes, chopped bell peppers, and chopped avocados. And a “Stuff Soup” might be chopped lettuce, chopped sweet peppers, chopped cheddar cheese, and chopped ham.

  3. I’m glad the soup was a hit. Make that soup again Debby, change the bean and use different seasonings – maybe an Italian flair would do it for you?

    I always say that each of us needs to approach our eating the way we know it works best for US. It matters not if you have a treat day, a treat meal, or never allow it. It matters that what you’re doing works for you!

  4. thanks for the great post, Debby. And for adding links. Now I have a couple new recipes AND new blogs to follow! The kale/curry soup will be on our table before the week is out! Love the queen’s new jewels. I always loved the scene in Lady and the Tramp where Lady gets her first collar (and dog tag?) and she is so proud of it. L&theT is on tap for viewing today by the grandkids who are visiting today–I’ll watch out for that scene and think of your pooch’s new finery.

    • Lady and the Tramp!! One of my all time favorite movies! I raised and showed Cocker Spaniels for about 15 years. I wonder if my childhood viewing of this movie had anything to do with that?

  5. That corn bread looks absolutely delish!! I just made cornbread the other night and it was…meh. It was okay right out of the oven but it never reheats well. I’m going to try your version next time!

    Great job on following the lawyer up with the gym – did you plan that or was it spur of the moment?

    Love the blingy collar!!

    • It was delish, and easy to assemble. And the one piece that was leftover was really great warmed up in the toaster oven.

      Yes, I did plan to go to the gym after the lawyer’s. It is right around the corner from her office, fortunately. I did have to argue with myself to make myself go that direction instead of heading straight to Starbuck’s.

  6. Debby i have found that it works best for me if i don’t plan a treat day or a day off from exercise day because they just naturally seem to happen. Then like you said unplanned treats happen and days that i can’t exercise happen and then your stuck with a double whammy. So ya know life happens and i just let it unfold. A treat day will happen whether i plan for it or not and days i don’t exercise will happen so i don’t plan those days anymore……..deb

  7. What’s interesting to me is that the definition of ‘treat days’ has changed over time for many of us. An extra slice of cornbread is a treat for me, too. Before I got on track, a half a pan of cornbread would have been the norm. :)

    • You’re right Cammy. Most days I would rather have my pineapple/cottage cheese/walnut combo than a cupcake. I guess I have evolved just a little bit!

  8. I don’t necessarily plan a treat day, but I do have those meals that I look forward to, like Bagel Day!

    Like you, I can easily go waaaaay overboard if I have a whole day’s permission to eat whatever. I have said before that I can really pack it away still (an embarrassing amount). We all do what works best and figuring that out is more important than whether or not what you need to do fits into a neat box of how We Are All Supposed To Eat.

    Need to try that soup, even though I don’t like kale all that much.

  9. I think the best way to do Treat days is whatever works for you. :-) I allow once a month as a day where I don’t have to count anything. NOT pig out, not go nuts… just loosen up and not track anything. Because there is almost always a holiday once a month, or a special day. I still eat On Plan food for me, it’s just a relaxed day. I think of it as that thing on top of the pressure cooker that lets out steam so it doesn’t explode, LOL!

    I got some Quest bars, too, the sample box. They are very tasty… though you are right, pricey. But they have totally high quality ingredients, and I found they are extremely filling!

    Love the Queen’s new bling!

  10. I don’t mind saying that I’m not a fan of “treat” days. To me, that’s just continuing to reward myself for eating more than I should. I prefer to find things within my eating plan that seem like treats. Giving myself permission to eat off-plan would just bring back the cravings and tastes that go with the things we lean towards eating on “treat” days. I have the same philosophy about “vacations” from our eating plans.

    • One of the things that I REALLY do not like nowadays is feeling too full. Whether its food that’s on plan or off, I do not like that feeling. I guess that’s a good safeguard against going overboard and eating too much.

      That said, I don’t think a cupcake is ever going to be on any plan I adopt for myself. I don’t think they are healthy food. But I would rather make one out of quality ingredients 3 or 4 times a year than give in to some junky cupcake that happens along in a weak moment.

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