Friday, January 20, 2012

Bon Appétit!

In order to try and alleviate stress as well as incorporate very healthy eating into our lives, this month I really started trying to plan ahead for all of our meals each week. This is definitely new for me, because in the past when we "eat healthy" we just eat a lot of chicken and vegetables over and over again. At this point I feel like I can't chew and swallow even one more bite of boneless skinless chicken breast. I'd rather eat dirt I think. So since it's crunch time for wedding dieting I knew I had to do something drastic, and I thought making a plan each week and implementing it would not only keep variety in our menu but also take away the stress of wondering what I was going to make for dinner every night.

So I finally cracked open my "South Beach Diet Quick & Easy Cookbook," which has tons of yummy-sounding 30-minute recipes. I scoured through the book for a few dishes that I could use to supplement some meals that we already know we like and then I made a shopping list and headed to the store. I was able to get most of the ingredients I would need for the week at Trader Joe's, but I did have to stop off at QFC on my way home for a few final items. I had actually done it! I had a plan of attack and was prepared for an entire week's worth of healthy meals. I'm pretty sure other people do this all the time so it's no big deal, but I was moderately proud of myself.

Here are just a few of the results:

Chimichurri Wild Pacific Salmon with Cannellini Bean Salad.
I absolutely loved this one. Stew wasn't a huge fan of the salad
(he never is) but he did eat it so I'd call this a success!

South Beach Classic Burger.
We liked this one but I had meant to make sweet potato fries
with it but forgot to buy them. That probably would have made
the meal more well-rounded. It was still yummy though.

Turkey Parmesan over Whole Wheat Pasta.
This one was absolutely our favorite. The crust is made from
crushed pine nuts, parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning and it
has low fat mozzarella melted over the top. Delicious!
We've gone through about two weeks of meals now... here are some of the other things we tried which I neglected to photograph:

  • Shrimp Stir Fry with Brown Rice - usually one of our favorites, this dish did not turn out well. I bought pre-packaged stir fry vegetables from Trader Joe's and they just weren't very fresh I think. Next time I'll probably buy and chop my own veggies and I think that would make it better.
  • Chicken Curry with Brown Rice - this has absolutely become our number one go-to meal. It's delicious the day you make it and even better left over! I made it with boneless skinless chicken thighs (which taste so much better than chicken breast and only have minimally more calories), onions and bell peppers, and a delicious curry sauce we buy at Trader Joe's.
  • Chili - I got this healthy chili recipe a long time ago from my friend Tara that uses lean ground turkey and it's really yummy and filling. We add fat free cheddar cheese on top.
  • Tuna Pasta Salad - I thought this dish was really good but Stewart wasn't a fan, although he did choke down one serving of it. He's not a fan of anything with a cream-based sauce so I probably won't make this again. Also the recipe which was supposed to make four servings produced about twice that much and I got really sick of eating tuna after a couple days.
  • Teriyaki Marinated Flank Steak with Broccoli - We buy this flank steak at QFC and it's one of our very favorites. It's so delicious without doing anything to it at all, and we just added steamed broccoli on the side to balance out the meal. Stew also had mashed potatoes which I coveted but did not eat!
  • Shrimp and Celery Salad - I really thought this looked delicious in the cook book picture, and when I first made this salad and tasted it I thought I had a winner. Sadly though, by the next day the creamy dressing had turned to icky watery liquid and the veggies had gone soft. I ate it anyway but really struggled to finish it and although I hate to throw food away I think I'll be tossing the rest of the leftovers and I won't be making this one again.

Overall this adventure in cooking has been very successful! I don't have to worry about making it to the store during the week and we've had delicious and healthy lunches and dinners all month so far. I'm starting to realize that cooking can be fun if you plan ahead and when you go to make something all of the ingredients are already in the fridge. Hopefully I can keep up the momentum until the wedding and beyond!


  1. Good job! Everything looks so good! I really need to start cooking healthier too.

  2. wow you are doing great! i TRY to plan meals but it is very hard! it gets boring, and especially being vegetarians, it's hard! i bought a fast vegetarian cookbook and went through all the recipes i thought we might like and i swear i didn't like any of them enough to make them again! but it is easy to go to the store like once a week and have all your dinners planned...i am going to try making my own from scratch pizza crust & sauce and make pizza from this months bhg magazine. YUM


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