Finishing up the last thoughts about food over the past 30 days. I made a lot of suppers. That is not unusual for me per se, but with this level of variety and thought — that’s not standard. I wanted to make something different every night and then just did, and that is a lot of work when no previous meal-planning thought has gone into supper at all. Now that I have some of these recipes, they can become more standard, but pumping them out day-after-day and then photographing them was, let’s face it, a little trying. Sometimes you just want to sit down and eat an entire Turkish pizza and not think about it. So…I did that too.
- Fresh and Canned Fish Dinners: 4 oz Atlantic Salmon, 1/2 c. quinoa, steamed broccoli and cauliflower with parmesan; 4 oz of scallops on skewers with red onion, zucchini, tomato and yellow pepper with 1/2 c. quinoa; all-you-can-eat Sushi (2); Filet of trout, spinach salad with garlic herring dressing, tomatoes and avocado; Baja Cod Tacos with 9 Bean Mix; 4 oz grilled Atlantic salmon with Land of Spice Lentil salad and dressing; Roni’s Tuna Pasta, Whole Pot- Roasted Cauliflower with Sardines
- Beef Takes Centre Stage: 4 oz tenderloin, mashed steamed cauliflower with parmesan, 1/2 cup edamame; 6oz New York Strip Loin, Stuffed Portobello Caps, Horseradish Aioli Potato Wedges; Steak Burritos with 9 Bean Mix, salsa, greek yogurt and Roasted Shallot and Peppers; 4 oz Tenderloin with Lobster and butter with Spinach Potato Salad
- Vegetarian Meals: Veggie dogs (2) with roasted zucchini and eggplant; Steamed Bok Choy, Tofu and Tamari with red pepper flakes; Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with 2 oz goat cheese and avocado, garden salad; Ratatouille (2); Quinoa Grain Bowl with Chickpeas and Hearts of Palm; Stuffed Peppers with Rutabaga and Goat Cheese
- Meals where Bird is the Big Deal: Turkey Burgers on English muffins with side salad; 2 deliciously grilled chicken drumsticks (with skin) and spice and steamed broccoli; Chicken Caesar Salad
- Pasta Meals: 1/2 c. whole wheat spaghetti, 4 oz shrimp, steamed broccoli, olive oil; Roni’s Tuna Pasta (pasta and canned tuna in oil meal); One Pot Fruili-styled Pasta Sausage Skillet (with quinoa penne and turkey sausage);
- Stuffed Pork Loin with loaded with feta Greek salad, roasted Brussels Sprouts, and stuffed portobellos with blue cheese
- Deli Picnic with Corned Beef, Pastrami, Oven-Roasted Ham and Oven-Roasted Chicken with French Baguettes dipped in oil and balsamic, blue cheese on the cutting board with olives and sun-dried tomatoes and a Caesar salad with chickpeas added
- An entire Beef/Spinach/Cheese Turkish Pizza
- Chicken Shawarma Wrap
- 3 Vegetable Thali Plate with Biryani Rice
Notes: This month was startlingly meat heavy. Usually our eating does not include steak every week, but rather just once a month. The reason for this is simple – family visits and special dinners meant that steak was being purchased by our family members and prepared as part of our regular meals for all of us to share in. The same with the massive pork loin. Pork rarely comes into our diet, but when a family feast calls – whole loins of meat must answer. Just saying that is a little gross, but it was also delicious. 1/3 of our meals were fish, that’s no surprise for us and the recipes were mainly all things we’d eaten and loved before, the true experimentation came in around new vegetarian meals as I felt as though we were sorely lacking in that area. Looking back over the vegetarian list I’m left thinking, “Yeah…that was alright, but nothing special.” I have come to realize eating Portobellos many times this month that I don’t really like them. I only kind of like them. I will eat them, but just because I’m hungry, however, I don’t think I’d choose them especially. The only vegetarian meal I really took to was Ratatouille, which I love and will continue to make and eat. Everyone in the house loves it – it’s just…delicious. It’s my favourite new addition.
So, so delicious that you wonder how it is just vegetables? I need to find more recipes like it, not necessarily in taste but in inpsirational vegetarian eating experience. My least favourite meals of the month were pasta dishes – for one reason – you don’t get enough pasta in any dish: 1/2 – 1 cup of penne or spaghetti is a paltry amount that looks like starvation in a bowl as it only fills up a small bowl (not even a regular sized bowl!) 1/4 full. It’s just not worth it.
I was burnt out by the end of the 30 day challenge and the reason was suppers. I didn’t want to think about them anymore. I wanted a cheeseburger, or Indian take out, or pizza from Pizza Hut. Yet, what I realized was that the craving was not for the actual food item but rather the desire to “not cook” – and all my defaults in that not-cooking mood are fast foods. I don’t know how to fix that…if I don’t cook, what are we going to eat? What do people do when they don’t want to cook and ordering in a salad seems like a ridiculous idea?
- Oven-roasted Curried Chickpeas
- 18 pistachios and 2 dried figs
- 12 tamari almonds and 2 tbsp dried cherries
- 1/4 cup tamari almonds and sunflower seeds and a pear
- Frozen Strawberries in Flavoured Mineral Water
- 1/2 c. steamed edamame
- piece of fruit (apple, pear, banana, raspberries, blueberries, pineapple)
- Strawberry-Rhubarb Parfait Tea with Amaretto-infused honey
- Cool Cactus Green Tea and honey
- plain oatmeal and almond milk
- 1 oz of goat cheese divided on 3 endive leaves with balsamic
- Avocado chocolate Mousse (2)
- Peanut Butter Banana “Ice Cream” (3)
- 2 glasses Rioja Red wine (5)
- Energy Bites (Oatmeal/Peanut Butter)
- Campari and Club Soda (2)
- Gin and Perrier with lime (3)
- 1/4 Key Lime Pie Tart
- 1/4 chocolate eclair
Notes: These snacks and treats filled in all the gaps. I will continue to eat Avocado Chocolate Mousse and Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream for the rest of my life – yum. For post-workout snacks I loved nuts – there’s something about salty, crunchy nuts and a gallon of water really hit the spot after hard work. Unless that is, I was collapsing at 9pm because I’d left my workout too late, then there’s nothing really like Gin and Perrier, which of course…I’d never recommend as a post-workout recovery food. Have an energy bite, eat some endive, which was a suggestion someone gave me at the gym – it was gross and I love goat cheese – don’t ruin your goat cheese that way. Sometimes when I was starving before bed and kind of writhing around in that painful “movie-watching with no popcorn or candy” moment I’d drink tea, really hot so it would take me a long time. I told myself at the end of the tea if I felt like eating something I’d get up and find something. The tea was so blasted hot that I didn’t finish it usually. It’s like my craving just gave up or something, or perhaps I scalded it to death.
Tomorrow I’m going to write a little more on exercise over the 30 days.