I’ve been cooking, y’all! (no, really)
No, there are no pigs flying outside my window, and as far as I can tell Hell is still Hot. BUT, brace yourselves: I’ve been cooking. Like, with an oven. And a stove. And ingredients I never knew existed. And you know what? I’m not terrible at it. Who knew?
So, as part of my JumpStart continued goals, this year I’m focusing on cooking more at home. I’ve had great results with TruMeals and I plan on continuing to use them to supplement my meals. However, I promised Joey that in the new year, I’d start cooking. And I kept my promise. I cooked FOUR times this week. A lifetime record. I mean, how many times in your life do you get to say that? Definitely an accomplishment.
Well, you didn’t think I’d just leave you all hanging, did ya? I’m gonna share it all. From the grocery store to the dishes.
My amazing nutritionist from Bella Body Fit, Elana, bravely took me to the grocery store last week. We met before hand, chatted about menus, ingredients, and nutrition. I may take these notes to my grave. At least they’ll get laminated, or something. After using them in the kitchen all week, they now look something like this:
So, our original shopping list, made up for 4 weekly dinners, fruits, veggies, and snacks, looked like this (I had some of these things already, but including them, too):
Fruits +Veggies (some fresh, some canned):
- Brussel Sprouts
- Red + Green Pepers
- Red Onions
- Cole Slaw (mix in a bag)
- Black Olives (to mix with Broccoli)
- Green Apples
- Can red Beans
- Can Tomatoes
- Wheat/White Flour
- White Pepper
- Black Pepper
- Sea Salt
- Cayenne Pepper
- Celery Seed
- Chili Powder
- Adobe Cocoa Powder
- 3 Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breasts
- 1 lb of Salmon
- Extra Lean, Ground Turkey
- Egg Substitute
- Dijon Mustard
- Sloppy Joe Sauce
- Cooking Wine / White Vinegar
- Veggetable oil
- Olive Oil
- Nature’s Own Sandwich Flats
- Pop Chips
- Kashi Granola Bars
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Mozzarella Sticks
All of this cost me about $120, which really surprised me. I thought it would be way more. Granted, this was Kroger, not Whole Foods. However, it fed 2 people for a week, and I was impressed.
Black Beans and Rice with Chicken and Apple Salsa
The night before I went shopping with Elana, I tried out a recipe that I found via my Epicurious iPhone App, which I highly recommend. I think it’s about $3.99, but so worth it. I attempted Black Beans and Rice with Chicken and Apple Salsa. It was YUMMY! The beans turned out a little mushier (is this a word?) than I would have liked, but the salsa (with cilatro and green apples) was AWESOME! (Not included in the above shopping list).
Unsloppy Joes + Greek Cole Slaw
This was one of Elana’s recipes that I’m sure she’s made 100 times off the top of her head, so I gave it a go WITHOUT a recipe. Seriously, this almost caused a panic attack, but I got through it. My favorite part of this was the yummy cole slaw, and I don’t even normally like cole slaw. This was made with greek yogurt, golden raisins, green apples, and celery seed.
Lean, Ground Turkey
Adobe Cocoa Powder
Canned Red Beans
Sloppy Joe Sauce
Bagged Cole Slaw mix
Apple Cider Vinegar
Make the Cole Slaw first so that you can refrigerate it for a while to get it cold.
This was pretty much the easiest thing I’ve ever made.
Just combine everything and stick in the fridge.
Easy peasy, right?
- Start browning turkey in a large skillet.
- Cut up veggies. I used about half of each of the peppers, and 1/4 of each onion. About 3 cloves of garlic. About 4-5 mushrooms.
- Saute 1/2 the veggies + garlic in cooking wine/white vinegar with a skillet.
- Simmer in a large pot rest of the veggies, beans, tomatoes.
- Once veggies are sauted, and sauce is heated, combine into the large skillet with the turkey meat.
- Toast the sandwich rounds, and serve over sandwich round with a side of cole slaw.
- BAM! Healthy Sloppy Joes + Close Slaw.
Foil-baked Salmon + Broccoli w/ Panko
Making the salmon in aluminum packets keeps the fish moist, without adding calories and fat, and also keeps you from having to do extra dishes. Once you get the hang of the packet method, use it for all kinds of fish; feel free to experiment with tons of different herbs, spices and veggies.
- 1 lb salmon, divided into 4 fillets
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ yellow onion, chopped
- 2 tomatoes, chopped (may sub canned, but be sure to drain)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Prepare salmon marinade: combine olive oil, oregano, thyme, basil, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Place salmon fillets in this mixture (if time allows, salmon can marinate in fridge for 1 hour to add more flavor)
- Divide heavy duty aluminum foil into 4 sections, each about 2.5x the size of the fillets. Place each marinated salmon fillet on top of a sheet of aluminum foil; wrap the foil in a kind of a boat shape, and pour in the marinade. Spoon the tomatoes, garlic and onion mixture inside also. Seal the top of the packets, so that the entire fillet is covered by foil.
- Place your packets on a baking sheet, and bake for about 25 minutes. When cooked properly, the salmon should easily flake with a fork, and the skin will be translucent.
Broccoli w/ Panko + Lemon-Garlic
Crispy Oven-Fried Chicken + Brussel Sprouts
- 1 ½ c. panko bread crumbs
- ¼ tsp. garlic powder
- ¼ tsp. paprika
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. black pepper (may add cayenne or red pepper to taste, if you like additional spiciness)
- 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup egg substitute
- 1/4 c. buttermilk
Non-stick vegetable spray
- 3 large chicken breasts, split
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Combine first 5 ingredients in a plastic bag, mixing well.
- Combine Dijon, buttermilk and egg substitute; brush both sides of chicken with this mixture
- Place chicken in bag with crumb mixture, shaking to coat.
- Coat broiler or baking pan with non-stck spray, and bake chicken uncovered for about 45 minutes
- Combine in a quart sixed-ziplock bag brussel sprouts, black pepper, sea salt and olive oil. Shake and coat.
- Pout out over a cookie sheet.
- Towards the last 15 minutes of the chicken cooking, place the cookie sheet in the oven.
- When chicken is done, turn oven to Broil and leave spouts in for 4-5 minutes until browned.
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