New Year Eating Challenge — Day 2

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Day 2, or (as someone posted on Facebook today): the Monday-iest Monday that ever Monday-ed. Back to work for me after the holiday was hard. Love my job, but getting back into the rhythm after the holiday always kind of sucks.

At least I got to wake up to a yummy breakfast: Carrot Cake Oatmeal.

(By the way, we were either too hungry or distracted to take pictures of any of the main food for today. Please visit the source material for some glamour shots of the food and detailed instructions, found here .) The instructions for the challenge instructed me to prep the oatmeal the night before and let it chill out in the fridge overnight. This morning I took my bowl of oatmeal out (made accidently with cow milk instead of almond milk because apparently I can’t read), mixed in cinnamon, raisins, vanilla, almonds, honey and some plain greek yogurt on top. I have a little cold that is affecting my taste a bit, so the strong cinnamon taste, along with the warmth of the oats, the creaminess of the yogurt, and the texture of the almonds and the raisins was so nice this morning. I loved it so much. I did add a single packet of stevia just to amp up the sweetness, but this may not have been as necessary when I can taste to my full ability. Later in the morning, I called Chubby Hubby to ask something else, but asked how he liked the oatmeal: he said it was terrible.

Me: Really? You didn’t like it?
CH: No, it was so bland! You liked it?
Me: It was bland? Did you not add the other stuff in?
CH: What other stuff?
Me: The cinnamon, honey, vanilla… (etc.)
CH: (pause) No, I didn’t.  (Another pause) That probably would have helped a lot.

Bless him.

Lunch for him was leftover Frittata from yesterday, but he did report it held up well and was still good when warmed.

I worked late so dinner was made by the beloved, yay! Roasted chicken breast, barley, and leftover Brussel sprouts. We did buy the wrong chicken, it was supposed to a bone-in, skin-on breast and we bought boneless and skinless. Oops. Chubby Hubby said that there was nothing to cooking it. “Put the barley on to boil with chicken broth, chicken in the oven with the sprouts, and came in the living room and watched Jeopardy while it cooked.” Bonus: It was really good as well as easy. The barley had a little more bite than rice or cous cous (more like quinoa, kind of chewy), and it was nice and starchy compared with the bitterness of the sprouts. This one is a keeper.

Snacks today were “Fancy Ants on a Log” during the day and Pumpkin, Pistachio, and Pomegranate Yogurt Bark at night. The ants on a log were fancy because it was almond butter instead of peanut butter, and dried cherries instead of raisins. Hubby gave it two thumbs up, “I like all the ingredients, what’s not to like about it?” When asked if he felt fancy eating it, he replied that he did indeed feel as though he were at Downton Abbey being served from a silver tray. I think he’s mocking me.

I knew I would like the bark when I was making it last night. I love pumpkin anything, and have recently discovered the yumminess of pomegranate seeds so I was very excited….but I was a little disappointed. The bark was frozen very hard, had little ice crystals on top, and was not as sweet as I’d hoped. I do think that part of the problem was I had it spread too think to actually be bark, so it was more chunky than anything. I also think I’d have liked it prepared as more of a soft frozen yogurt with the nuts mixed in. I’ll keep tweaking this one, it has lots of promise. Hubby also reported it was “kind of bland.” Gotta love the protein in a dessert though.

So, overall rating of day 2, scale of 1-5.
Now, again, I’m only rating breakfast and dinner since lunch was leftovers.
Me: 4
Chubby Hubby: 4

On to day 3! Very excited!

Cooking from the Cabinets: Day 6

OK, we really could use some supplemental groceries now! This has been a good experiment, but for future reference you may want to make sure that you have plenty of staples before embarking on such a process. It’s getting a bit hard to come up with things without some key ingredients. That being said, I think we did pretty well today!

Breakfasts were yogurt and bananas for me, and Chubby Hubby had oatmeal. Very bland as we’re out of milk to enrich it.

Lunch today was leftover chicken and pasta from last night.

Ok, dinnertime. The main event, so to speak. I found two more chicken breasts lurking in the back of the freezer. I do remember buying them, so they’re not that old, but this is pretty much the last protein remaining in the freezer. I have successfully cleared out the surplus. Yay!

So, this chicken. I don’t know what to do with it. Ever been there? I feel like I live there. I’m looking around to find what to pair it with, because if I find what I’m putting with it, maybe inspiration will strike for how to prepare it. I look in the cabinet and find a box of instant stuffing mix. I bought this not to long ago because my mom (hi mom!) was telling me that she made some with some turkey she slow-roasted with gravy and how good it was. I decided to make the stuffing and then thought that since the stuffing would be so soft that making the chicken crispy would be a good difference.

I coated the chicken in some corn meal seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder and cooked in about 1/2 inch of canola oil in the skillet. It turned a beautiful brown color, much more than I expected, and crisped up so nicely! We paired the instant stuffing and cornmeal fried chicken and some steamed veggies and it turned into quite a nice dinner! I will definitely cook the chicken this way again, since I haven’t been able to eat deep-fried chicken since my bariatric surgery (anything greasy does not do well with “Oscar the Pouch”) and sometimes I miss the crispy texture. This was very crisp but not at all greasy.\

This experiment is teaching me a lot about being more creative, putting more thought into the meals I cook. One more day, and thankfully I have that dinner planned, so be prepared for our absolute favorite weeknight dinner!

I’m sorry that there are no pictures to accompany this post because my phone ate them. I apologize for the lack of eye candy, but instead I am attaching a picture of Zoe Dog in one of her two settings: running around crazy, or this:

 

Setting #2: Canine paperweight.

Setting #2: Canine paperweight.

Stay tuned for our exciting finale! Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel!

Cooking from the Cabinets

Hello again! Did you think I had abandoned you? I guess I kind of did. Sorry. Between earning a Master’s Degree, working, interning and having bariatric surgery I kind of left you. I’m sorry. The good news is that I’m back and have LOTS more life experiences to blog about! 🙂

So, for starters, let’s talk about what this post is about: Cooking from the Cabinets.

I hope that a lot of you are better than this, but I know I’m terrible about buying groceries every week without necessarily using what we already have. I’m good about meal planning, but I only use what I need to make those meals and miscellaneous other things begin to accumulate in the cabinets. The soup I bought when it was on sale, the extra box of macaroni that I bought thinking we needed some, the cake mixes, almonds, or salad dressings that just build up and build up until I come home with groceries only to realize that we don’t have room for them.

Cabinet

I mean, come on. It’s embarrassing. This is PLENTY of food to cook from.

What a first world problem, huh? It’s horrible and I feel terribly guilty about it when I know how many people out there go hungry. So, this week I’m doing something about it. I simply decided not to buy groceries. No advance planning, no tweaking my supplies, nothing. Just roll with what we have and figure it out. As I told my husband, we have plenty of food but we get lazy and don’t want to put it the effort to figure out how to make a meal. We’re better than that! So, here we go.

Hopefully you’ll enjoy this and maybe, just maybe, be inspired to be creative in using what you have. Enjoy!

Welcome!

Hello everybody!! 🙂 My name is Elizabeth and I live in Upstate South Carolina with my husband (the other half of the chubby couple). I’m attending grad school right now, working on my Master’s Degree in Counseling and thought this blog might be a fun way to get out some of my ideas. Hopefully, we’ll have fun doing it and you’ll have fun reading it.

Also, prepare yourselves for photos of our official mascot, Callie the Wonder Dog. 🙂

Everybody have a great day!

First portrait of Callie, also affectionately known sometimes as “Bad Girl”.