Saturday, April 20, 2013

So What Have I Been Eating?

I mentioned in my last blog that since I've been on the Lean Eating program I am more concerned with cooking according to my nutrition guidelines than I am about creative recipes.  The silly part of that line of thinking is that creative and healthful cooking are somehow mutually exclusive.  My Lean Eating habits include eating lean protein at every meal, eating five servings of vegetables a day, and eating "smart" carbohydrates?  Why am I being so silly in thinking that I can't make creative recipes along those guidelines and share them on TERP?

Today's post is about lots of food, but only one recipe. I'll share a little bit about what I'm cooking and eating these days with a few photos.  Some of the things I have been cooking are simply slimmed down versions of foods I have cooked before. 

"Supershakes" - That's why the coaches call the smoothies we make for snacks or breakfast.  Mine always consist of two or three fruits, a vegetable, coconut milk, and plain whey protein powder.  I might also add some flaxseed meal, vanilla, or a spoonful of nut butter.

This shake had mixed cantaloupe and honeydew chunks along with a half a cucumber.  I blended that with coconut milk, a handful of fresh mint, and a scoop of protein powder.

I also do shakes where I mix frozen berries and occasionally peaches with spinach or kale and mix that with protein powder and either cashew butter or flax seed meal.

Lentil Soup - I made a great lentil soup this week.  I started by caramelizing two onions and then mixed them with cumin, garlic, and ground coriander.  Then I browned some chunks of spicy chicken sausage in the mix.  Finally I added a bag of lentils and four cups of water along with a 15 oz can of diced tomatoes.  At the very end of the simmering I threw in a block of chopped frozen mustard greens (I wanted more veggies in the soup and I just happened to have the greens in the freezer).  It was the best lentil soup I ever made.

Turkey Chili - I used my Almost Perfect Chili recipe, but I modified it a bit.  I used just one pound of turkey meat and no sausage.  Then I threw in an extra can of pinto beans instead.  It's still a little farther from perfect than the original since I like a meaty chili, but I keep the same tasty flavor profile in there, so it's not so bad.

Cauliflower and Leek Puree - I roasted a chicken on top of a bunch of leeks.  I cooked cauliflower florets in boiling water until they were tender.  I whirled them in the food processor with the cooking liquid and the leeks until smooth.  It was a great substitute for mashed potatoes to have with the chicken.

Garlic Roasted Carrots - I prefer my carrots raw, but I decided to experiment with giving them a long, slow roast.  I like to roast heads of garlic now whenever I have the chance so I always have some garlic puree to smear on various roasted dishes.  I smeared it on carrot sticks and roasted them at 400 degrees until they were nice and caramelized.  It's a nice variation on raw carrots and hummus.

Frittata - I bake them in muffin tins so I have a nice portion size at the ready that I can just warm up and eat for breakfast on the go. These have bell peppers, ramps, and a little goat cheese.  My teammates call them "egg muffins".

Pasta - I made my homemade turkey bolognese and served it over zucchini "noodles".  I simply shave the zucchini with a vegetable peeler.

New Recipe 

This is another slimmed down version of something I made in the past.  Years ago I roasted a chicken with orange and sage and it involved lots of butter.  Now I use chicken cutlets and cook them with a pan sauce of orange, sage, and a little wine.  I served them with those garlic roasted carrots and spinach sauteed in a bit of coconut oil and tossed with some sesame seeds.

Orange Sage Chicken Cutlets


  • 2 pounds thin chicken cutlets
  • 2 shallots, minces
  • Juice of one orange
  • 1 orange sliced
  • 1 Tbl chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 Tbl olive oil
Heat olive oil in a large pan.  Add shallots and cook until fragrant.  Brown chicken cutlets well on each side, about 5 minutes per side.  Remove from pan.

Add juice, sage, and wine to the pan, scraping up any bits from the bottom.  Return the chicken to the pan with the orange slices and cook another 5-10 minutes. 


bellini said...

Eating healthily is definitely not boring. Such a misnomer.

Sue said...

That doesn't sound like a "diet" plan. It just sounds like good food! Is the coconut milk that yummy creamy stuff in a can or some "healthy" watery thing?

I love everything you made. Add a spoonful of red wine vinegar to your lentil soup for an added zip.

I just made an amazing cauliflower and kale soup. The cauliflower gave it the consistency of potatoes...somewhat. And it tasted like pea soup. Dunno why, but it did.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Val - All it takes is a little creativity in the kitchen and a willingness to make occasional sacrifices.

Sue - Yes, I used canned coconut milk. I think coconut water is gross and I love coconut. I tried buying the cartons of homogenized coconut milk, but they had weak flavor and I didn't trust the additives needed to keep it from separating.

Thanks for the soup tip!