Sunday, July 24, 2011

Day 1 on the "beach"

3 days ago I embarked on The South Beach Diet. I'll be blogging meal ideas, progress etc.
I don't have much weight to lose, simply want to get in tip-top shape before my life as a working girl begins and trying to undo the damage of grad school. I carry the most weight around my middle and the "beach" is supposed to work wonders for this.

For the dieters or wanna-be dieters: I'll be offering my tips and experiences along the way.
For the non-dieters: My carb-addict boyfriend (no, he's not fat) has been oggling my food and even occasionally finishing off my meals, so I can attest that most of what you will find below is truly, yummy, even if you aren't on a diet.


Day 1

Breakfast
Open Faced Egg Sammy
I got this idea from the South Beach Super Quick Cookbook's "Fried" Eggs in Mushroom Caps Recipe, although, my version is far from it. I used spray olive oil instead of the whole water & margarine process described in the book. The ingredients and the process isn't really what is important here though. What you should take from this is: You can use portobello mushroom instead of toast/english muffins for egg sammy meals! I'm sure this would work equally well with some canadian bacon, cheddar cheese, etc.
How to:
  1. Dip the mushroom in some balsamic (or drizzle it on). Spray some (olive) oil in a pan (I think i added some garlic in there too because I always think garlic is a good idea), cook for a few minutes, flipping half way through.
  2. Add a little bit of water to the pan, throw in the spinach, cook until soft.
  3. Put the spinach on top of the mushroom, belly up.
  4. Spray a bit more oil in the pan, now cook your egg how you like.
  5. Sprinkle some cheese on top (I used parm).
Lunch

Turkey Salad

My first salad of many. I asked the guy at the Whole Foods deli to slice half of my turkey thick so that I could put chunks into a salad. I recommend Whole Foods for lunch meat, btw. Free of nitrates, ethically raised, hormone free, all that stuff. Actually, as an ex-veg, I recommend Whole Foods (and farmer's markets), for meat in general for those reasons.
How to:
  1. Chop up some mixed greens (I used salad greens I got at the farmer's market),
  2. Add in (arugula), tomato, onion, blue cheese, and chopped turkey.
  3. Add dressing of choice. Remember that on Phase 1, dressings should have less than 3 g. of sugar per 2 T. You're best bet is probably to make your own dressing, but I'm too lazy for that so I bought this.
Note: La Croix. If you're on the South Beach Diet --BUY IT. If you're not on the diet, stillbuy it. AMAZING.


Dinner

Chicken with Wine-Braised Mushrooms and Roasted Zucchini

Another adaptation from the South Beach Super Quick Cookbook. I apologize in advance for my sketchy amounts, I'm more of an eyeballer than a measurer. Hardest part about this recipe was not drinking the wine. Luckily my boyfriend was making risotto that used wine, so I didn't have to feel like it was all going to waste. Although not-eating risotto is also not the easiest thing to do. Unfortunately I don't have a magic recipe for will power, just do it! But here is the recipe for the chicken:

Ingredients

  • Skinless, boneless chicken (however many you want to eat). Again, I bought mine at Whole Foods. They sell meat from Bell and Evans who use super-humane ways of raising/killing chickens. Check it out.
  • A few tsp. of Extra-virgin olive oil (or spray olive oil -my preference)
  • Mushrooms (white or baby bella's). You'll want about 1-2 cups per chicken breast. This is really up to your preference of how many mushrooms you want. We love mushrooms around here, so we used a lot.
  • 1 small shallot, minced or thinly sliced.
  • Dry white wine (about an 1/8 cup per chicken)
  • 1/2 - 1 tbsp of fresh squeezed lemon juice (I eyeballed it).
  • ~ 1/2 tsp of dried tarragon (again, I just sprinkled in)
  • Salt and Pepper. Duh.

How to:

  1. Salt & Pepper your chicken.
  2. Cook your chicken. Spray or pour in a tiny bit of oil in a pan. Cook the chicken on 1 side for about 3 minutes, flip, cook til cooked through. (My chicken wasn't actually cooked through at this point and it was fine, because you have an opportunity to cook it more later. If its not totally done in the middle yet, don't freak out!)
  3. Set the chicken aside. Start cooking the mushrooms and shallot in the pan until they start to get soft (~ 5 minutes).
  4. Add wine, lemon juice, tarragon, cook and stir for a few more minutes. This is where I added the chicken back in and cooked it covered, with all the spices and such. If you're chicken is already done, just cook the mushroom-wine mixture and then put it on top of your chicken.
Roasted Zucchini
Most of my roasted veggie wisdom comes from this book ---> How to Boil Water. This book is really great for other simple things too, like cooking meat (something I'm still not very confident about).
General veggie roasting how to:
  • For the zucchini, I sliced thinly because i wanted a little bit of crispness, but you could probably throw it in the oven in whatever shape you want.
  • Cover in olive oil (spray oil works great for getting nice thin coverage).
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Roast in oven at 425˚ for ~ 30 min.
  • I added some left-over pesto we had in the freezer and sprinkled some Parm. on top.
Note: Zucchini is a great Phase 1 food. It was a nice break from salads and gave me the satisfaction of having chips or potatoes or something even though it wasn't.

Dessert Fail
On Day 1, I was craving something sweet, so I tried to whip something together. It didn't work out, so I won't be posting it here. Lets just say, it involved lemon, ricotta, cream cheese and truvia. More on desserts later.


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