Yesterday was a really good day for me. My menu looked like this:
Breakfast: French pressed coffee with milk & agave nectar. Part of a Lean Cuisine breakfast panini
Lunch: the last of the garden tomatoes, sliced and layered with 2oz fresh mozzarella & basil leaves, drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with salt & pepper; bowl of 2% cottage cheese with fresh pineapple chunks; 1/2 of a very small cantaloupe from the garden, which was dark green and unripe-looking on the outside but sweet and orange-colored on the inside
Snack: another cup of coffee, with milk & creamer
Dinner: Homemade ratatouille, about 8 oz of chicken tenderloin (so good), 3T mashed potatoes and just a touch of gravy, and a piece of watermelon from the garden
Bedtime snack: Rooibos tea with milk & agave nectar
Total calories for the day: 1421
*I generally aim for 1700/calories a day but a low cal, satisfying day can be just fine. I made sure to get LOT of protein and it helped me stay satisfied.
*DO NOT buy those nasty, icky, bland, tasteless Lean Cuisine breakfast paninis!!! They are just awful. I had purchased one that had southwest flavors (peppers and onions and stuff) and another with sausage and egg on cinnamon bread. BOTH were disgusting. I took a bite or two, said, "This is not worth it" and just ate the middles out (the egg mixture). It was not GOOD but I bought these things awhile back so I would have something fast on mornings that I don't have time to cook. And I DO like the regular, lunch kind of LC paninis okay. That's why I was so surprised. Yucko, big thumbs down! (I expect to have lots more reactions to various things as I am cleaning out my freezer and pantry so I can simplify my menu).
*I need to cut back on the coffee and switch back to more tea. Coffee, in itself, is fine. But to me it tastes BITTER and icky plain. I tried adding just milk or even half & half but it is so bitter! I don't know how anyone drinks it without sweetener. So I end up adding not only a lot of cream or milk, but also a good 2-3 teaspoons of agave nectar, or worse, 2T of that very unhealthy flavored creamer. That makes my coffee a 100-140 calorie indulgence. Can't afford much of THAT.
*If you have not made ratatouille, now's your chance! It's a french vegetable stew, very healthy and low cal, and you can make it with all the ends of the garden OR ends of the fridge. Great way to use of produce that's sitting around looking for its life purpose. And this is good enough to go out and buy the ingredients, too. Ratatouille is a delicious veggie side dish, or a main dish (you can add sliced low fat sausage to a bowl of this, or some grated Parmesan or mozzarella for a light supper). You can use ratatouille as a pizza topping, a pasta sauce, or on pitas. You can even layer it with noodles and cheese to make a lasagna. Very versatile, comforting, warming. And you can freeze the leftovers, too. Here's how I make mine (it is very flexible so if you don't have some ingredients it'll be fine. The essentials are the zucchini, tomatoes, onions IMO). I made this in the crockpot but I assume you can just simmer it in a pan on low for several hours if you're gonna be home.
Garden Fresh Ratatouille
Chop 1-2 onions and lay them in the bottom of a Pam-sprayed crock pot. (I used red onions but white, sweet, or yellow are fine)
Then cube some zucchini (I used one very big one from the garden.... but 4 medium/small ones would work too). If you have crookneck, pattypan, or other SUMMER squash (summer squash has thin, edible skin and is not hard when you cut it raw) you can use that.
If you have an eggplant, cube that up and put it in there too (this is yummy and traditional but I didn't have one, so I left it out)
3 fresh tomatoes, cubed (I got mine from the garden and I squeezed out a lot of the seeds first. You can use a can of diced tomatoes if you don't have fresh ones)
Cut up a green pepper or two (no seeds) and throw that in. If you have orange, red, or yellow peppers that's fine, whatever you like
I chopped up a bunch of fresh basil leaves and put that in. I am guessing 1/4 cup. If you don't have any, use dried basil... a bit more than a teaspoon. Then I put in just a SMALL sprinkling of red pepper flakes. These make it spicier so don't add too much.
Then I spread a 6oz can of tomato paste over the top of it, sprinkled it generously with dried oregano (about a teaspoon) and dried parsley, added a bit of salt & pepper and about 1 tsp agave nectar (you could use sugar or honey or brown sugar here or leave it out maybe?) and drizzle with 1 T olive oil. Cover and cook on low all day (6 hours or so) or on high for an hour and then low til it's done. It does get very soft, so if you want the veggies crisper, cook for less time.
If you don't include an eggplant you might need to add a quarter cup of water or so. I stirred mine a couple of times while cooking. It should be wet with some tomatoey (but watery) sauce for the veggies. So good!
I am feeling good and ready for another great day. What are YOU going to do for you today?
Focusing on not focusing on food. And I mean it.
13 hours ago