Tuesday, January 7, 2014

What a girl eats

One week into the new year and I am freezing my huevos off! Actually, not really...as a Detroit transplant currently living in the DC area, single digit temperatures are not really bothering me so much. Never mind the fact that I worked from home today and stayed nice and cozy with the fireplace going...IF I had gone outside today, I could of handled it. I'm used to worse; remember, It's so cold in the D! 

What I have been doing is going strong with my Eating Clean and Getting Lean in 2014 challenge. I prepared meals for last week and this week, and so far, I have not had a restaurant or cafeteria meal at all. I want to share in more detail what it is that I am doing to prepare these meals, as well as my successes and challenges.

The biggest task is picking, purchasing food for, and preparing the entrees. At the end of last month, I tentatively decided on a few entrees to prepare each week. So far I have made taco salad, lasagna, seafood pasta, and turkey polish sausage with greens. I also have been buying two precooked rotisserie chickens from Wegman's. The taco salad, seafood pasta, and lasagna were all new recipes that I got from the resources shown in the previous post.

So, what were my successes? The turkey sausage with greens has been a consistent hit. I just cut up some turkey polish sausage or other type of large sausage (turkey or chicken) and along with some onions garlic, and this yummy Moroccan spice blend sauté the sausage for a bit in some olive oil. Then I add kale to the skillet and let it sit for a while until the stems are tender. Easy and delicious!

Urban Accents Brand Moroccan Road...not sure what is urban about it, but it tastes good.

The lasagna was another dish that I kicked arse on. I promised a FB friend that I would post the recipe, so here it is, adapted from The Eat Clean Diet Cookbook by Tosca Reno.

Veggie Lasagna

2 ½ quarts of water
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic (I used minced from the jar)
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Black pepper
4 cups spinach
1 pound dry whole grain lasagna noodles
2 cups tomato sauce ( I probably used a bit more)
2 ½ cups cottage cheese
6 cups grated lowfat mozzarella cheese
1 ½ cups goat cheese

1.     Preheat oven to 375. In large skillet, heat olive oil. Add onion and garlic. Cook 5 minutes until veggies become soft. Add mushrooms and sauté for another few minutes. Stir in soy sauce, pepper, and spinach, let spinach wilt.
2.     Bring 2 ½ quarts of water to a rolling boil in a large saucepan. Pour some olive oil in the water to keep noodles from sticking. Add noodles and cook al dente. Drain noodles and cool them under cold water.
3.     Spread ½ cup or more of the tomato sauce on the bottom of the lasagna pan that’s been pretreated with non-stick cooking spray. Place a layer of noodles on top. Spread ¾ cup of cottage cheese, along with 1 ½ cups of mozzarella and ½ cup of the goat cheese. Then add 1/3 of the veggie mixture. Repeat layers until you are out of ingredients. End with tomato sauce on top.
4.     Bake in hot oven for 35 minutes. Sprinkle more mozzarella on top and return to oven to cook for additional 5 minutes. Take lasagna out of oven and put in the bottom for a few minutes if you want it to be more golden brown on top (I did not do this, but my girlfriend gave me that tip, so I am sharing). Remove from heat and let sit for 20 minutes so that it cools and settles. Then cut into it and eat!

Mimi's Eating Clean Veggie Lasagna

Now the challenges. The seafood pasta, that I added canned salmon and octopus to, was all right. It got eaten up, but it wasn’t something that I was just dying to eat. I think I had too much pasta and too much seafood. More veggies would have been good. I have to rework that recipe and try again. The taco salad was okay too, but I made it as a weekend dish on Friday and tried to eat it on Saturday and Sunday. Taco salad does not hold well. Lesson learned.

Also, I have a lot of leftovers. I still have sautéed veggies from last week, plus veggies that I had planned on cooking this week. I plan on making some roasted sweet potatoes at some point this week, but I am trying to finish the food from last week first (I hate to just throw cooked food out). I have to learn how to modulate my dishes depending on whether my boyfriend is hanging out in my neck of the woods (which he thinks is the sticks) or if my son is going to eat at home or at the myriad restaurants that surround our house (Chick-fil-a; Five Guys; Moby Dick; Taco Bell; Panda Express; Kraze Burger; Panera Bread; I-Hop; Chipotle; Pizza Hut, and those are just the chain restaurants that I could get to in under five minutes of walking or less, depending on the traffic).

That being said, I have had a pretty good go of it so far. I am mainly eating healthy snacks like apples with almond butter or avocado and rice.

I seriously crave a chilled Fuji apple with almond butter at times...try it!

I could eat mashed avocado with brown rice all day every day...if I was not a little allergic to avocado...Don't judge me!
I did have a bowl of golden grahams with soy milk and I enjoyed every bit of it! My challenge will come this weekend, when I have an event at Dave and Buster’s, a restaurant get together, and a brunch to go to. I am going to try to eat healthy home cooked foods on the days that I will be eating out, and choose something light at the outings. I also have to still keep on my exercise and meal prepping schedule while hanging out this weekend. I will report on how it goes next week. Wish me luck!!!  


  1. Good luck with your plan. I use a meal plan service called The Fresh 20 which gives me 5 dinners for the week using 20 ingredients. So meats and/or veggies are repeated at least once so that everything gets used up. I don't make every meal; I mostly use it for ideas. Planning ahead is hard for me because how do I know what I'll want to eat on Saturday? Plus, I don't like to cook! I'm looking forward to seeing how you work out the meal plan.

    1. Flexibility is key. I will post later about how I have to be flexible as I commit to eating clean. Weekends are the hardest though...still working on that too!