All in a day’s eats – WIAW

Hi there!

Let’s talk food ūüôā

I have a confession to make, I get stuck on certain foods and just want to eat them over and over and over again.

Oatmeal? Every day.

Zucchini? Three a week.

Bananas? Can’t imagine a world without them.

My penchant for wanting the same foods over and over has solved a few common challenges that people run into when starting to eat healthier Рmainly price and time.

There’s a myth that choosing healthy foods costs more money and that cooking (especially for one) takes a lot of time, but this could not be further from the truth.

I change up what I eat from week to week, but within the week I eat the same meal for lunch every day and the same meal for dinner every day. I’m on strict budget with grocery shopping and have a crazy work schedule, but this method of meal planning has been a¬†savior¬†for time, money and my weight. Here’s why:

1. Meal planning saves money. Every Sunday I browse Pinterest and some other recipe sites for meal ideas. I make my shopping list on my iPhone and then go into the supermarket knowing exactly what I need. I always want to try new foods, and if let loose I would buy up the entire fruit and produce section, so having a plan helps me stick to my budget. Before I started cooking I used to waste so much food because it would go bad before I could eat it, but that never happens anymore.

2. Meal planning saves time. With my plan set, I can prep all my lunches and dinners on the weekend so they are grab-and-go ready for during the week. This has helped me break any dependency on frozen meals, convenience foods and it ensures that I’m never tempted to eat out. Sometimes I’ll make one big dish (like soup or chili or a casserole) and portion it out to easily reheat during the week but other times I’ll have a set protein (like a turkey burger, chicken sausages or shrimp) and a few different veggies that I know I can quickly throw together for quick and simple dinners.

Why am I talking about all of this? Because I’ve decided to participate in the blogging phenomenon What I ate Wednesday. Below is every single thing I ate on Tuesday. I get questions all the time about what a typical day of food looks like for me – so here it is!

Breakfast: Stove-top oatmeal (1/2 cup oats; 2 tbsp flax meal; 1 banana; 1-1/2 cups water; tons of cinnamon). A giant cup of coffee with a generous pour of unsweetened almond milk. I also had another coffee with soy milk mid-morning.

Lunch: 2 hard-boiled eggs; a container filled with broccoli, carrots and cucumbers; 1/4 cup hummus (homemade Рso much cheaper!); 1 cheese stick; 1/2 oz raw almonds

Snack: 100 g of grapes; 30 g of avocado (Yes, I really do weigh everything. I would cry if my food scale broke)

Dinner: 2 chicken sausages; 1/2 zucchini; 10 asparagus

Dessert: 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt; 1oo g blueberries

It’s also…weigh-in Wednesday…so here we go:

…The Numbers:

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 166.5

This week: 167

Change: +.5

Total loss: 76

Indian-spiced red lentils with kale

I’m an impatient cook. Terrible at following directions. My recipes usually start with a base idea. A recipe that lights the spark.

And then the wheels start spinning.

“What if I added this…”

And

“I wonder how it would work with that….”

But the cooking happens through intuition.

By taste.

By smell.

By feel.

But not always by look, as is proved with this dish.

It’s not pretty. But, oh, is it tasty. And packed with good stuff.

Indian spiced red lentils with kale (Inspired by No Meat¬†Athlete’s¬†Red Lentil Curry)

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups red lentils

1 16 oz bag of frozen kale

1/2 cup vegetable broth

1 tbsp turmeric

2 tbsp chili powder

1 tbsp curry powder

1 tsp (or more) crushed red pepper

salt to taste

Directions:

Bring 4 cups of water and the 1/2 cup of vegetable broth to boil. When the liquid is boiling, add the lentils, turmeric, chili powder, curry powder and salt. Reduce heat to a mild simmer and cook for 10-12 minutes. Stir occasionally.

This is where you can really see my impatience at work.

Add the frozen bag of kale. Break up any large chunks but do not stir into the lentils. Cover the pot so the kale can steam for about 10 minutes

When all the kale is soft, mix into the lentils below it and add in the red pepper flakes. I recommend adding less at first and more if you want it spicier.

Let the whole mixture simmer uncovered until you get the desired texture and most of the liquid is gone.

I poured mine into a big container to portion out for lunches during the week, but this can be served either as main course or side dish for dinner as well.

It’s the perfect meal for a day that looks like spring but still feels like winter! Light, but also warm and comforting.

Have a great Monday!