Thursday, June 16, 2011

Day 4 = Stressed!!

For some reason, I've been really feeling the pressure of next week's menu bearing down on me today.  I enjoyed the things I have eaten this week, but I started thinking about next week and how I will be cooking for two (because Derek comes back to town this weekend - yay!).  (I should also mention that I decided to carry on my no-grain fast into next week because one week really is barely enough time to let the body reset anything.)

Coming up with another week's worth of food ideas (especially when there's special requirements) is tough enough when it's just you, but taking another person into consideration is much more complicated!  Not just because we'd both like to enjoy what we're eating, but because Derek eats A LOT (and stays thin as a pin)!

Between budget concerns and trying to find recipes that accommodate our preferences (no carrots for me, no onions for him), as well as trying to make things healthy, I felt overwhelmed.  I know, I know, this is definitely a  first world problem.

After getting flustered enough to close all my recipe-searching windows, I gathered myself and calmly thought about what would make for affordable/tasty breakfasts and lunches.  Derek and I only eat dinner together, so I figured we could decide those together later.  Doing this definitely made me feel a lot better!  I even got creative and came up with some recipe ideas!  (I will share those momentarily.)

I am one of those people who would much rather cook for a few hours on a Sunday to prepare for the rest of the week instead of making something each day.  Here's what I came up with:  Breakfasts will be an adapted version (recipe below) of the oven omelet I made this week and lunches will be chicken vegetable soup (recipe below).  I do like the greek yogurt I have eaten all this week for breakfast, but I really miss chewing stuff.  For me, greek yogurt is much better enjoyed as a snack instead of the main event.  Also, after eating about half a cup of yogurt, I feel dairy-ed out!  Ok, enough babbling and onto my perfectly designed estimated recipes!  Keep in mind that I just came up with these today, so I don't have any pictures.  Sorry!

Breakfast:  Greekified Oven Omelet (adapted from The Spunky Coconut's recipe)
**Makes 1 pie
6-7 whisked eggs
1 clove minced sauteed garlic
1.5 cups sauteed, thinly sliced broccoli
1/2 cup sauteed, chopped mushrooms
1 cup sliced Applegate Farms, Chicken & Apple Sausage
1/4 - 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 cup fresh spinach, slightly wilted
2 tbsp feta pesto spread (this is basically pesto with feta cheese blended in, or you can just use regular pesto)
Salt/Pepper to taste*

*Could also be good with a little red pepper or cayenne pepper for a slight kick.

  • Mix all ingredients.
  • Pour into lightly greased pie plate.
  • Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes.

Lunch:  Chunky Chicken Vegetable Soup (keep in mind, this is all estimation because soup is flexible)
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tbsp oil
3-4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (my favorite is from Pacific Natural Foods)
1 lb boneless raw chicken, diced 
1 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano - undrained
1 small can plain tomato sauce
1 small can tomato paste
1 small-medium zucchini, cubed
1 small-medium yellow squash, cubed
1 small-medium bunch of broccoli, chopped small
1 14.5 oz can navy beans, drained and rinsed
Any other veggies you like (carrots, spinach, corn, peas, potatoes, etc.)
Seasonings to taste:  salt, pepper, Italian seasoning

  • In a large pot, sautee garlic in oil over medium high heat for about 1 minute
  • Pour in chicken broth, diced chicken and seasonings, bring to a rolling boil and then turn down to medium heat, simmer for 10 minutes
  • Add in the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste.  Mix thoroughly and bring back to a simmer.
  • Depending on what veggies you are putting in, first add the ones that take the longest to cook  (e.g., potatoes, carrots, etc.).  Check your amount of liquid.  I like my soup to be chunky and thick, so I try not to make it very liquidy.  If you like a thinner soup, just add more chicken broth (but make sure your pot will be big enough to accommodate the rest of the veggies you'll be adding later!).
  • When you are about 10-15 minutes away from serving the soup, mix in the rest of the veggies and the beans and any more seasonings you want.  Simmer until the veggies are slightly soft.
  • This is a great dish to make ahead of time and freeze in individual servings or to keep in the refrigerator if it will be finished within 3-5 days.  Make sure to let it cool for a little while before putting in the refrigerator / freezer!


Leolene said...

Do you have a grill? If so, grilling vegetables is a great option. Think of the seasonings! The cheese! It's changed my life. Love you!!

Carys said...

Your Greekified Oven Omelet sounds amazing! Think I may be making that tomorrow! Yum! Keep up the good work! I think you are doing a great job-don't let yourself get overwhelmed by worrying about feeding Derek...I know he eats massive quantities of food but aside from the onions he is a pretty good sport about eating whatever (and I have to agree with him on the onion thing haha)

Melodious said...

Olivia - my roommate has a grill, but Derek said the bottom is rusted out and he wouldn't use it. Otherwise, I'd be all over grilled food this summer. :-(
(I want a grilled peach - so good!!).

Carys - Let me know how it tastes! Lol. And about Derek, at least he's very good about helping in the kitchen!

Leolene said...

I LOVE grilled peaches! We had some for dessert the other night with goat cheese and I think mint. Clearly, this is a dish a-la-Ty. I'm totally impressed that you are making an omelet for breakfast, by the way. It looks so great.

INVEST,your world will open up:

Carys said...

The Greekified Oven Omelet turned out soooooo good! Thanks for adapting the recipe! I didn't have mushrooms or spinach on hand so I just left them out. And since I was an egg short I added a couple 'Just Whites' egg whites to bulk it up a bit. I used about 2 cups of chopped broccoli from the freezer and a chicken and sundried tomato sausage. YUM! We both loved it!