Friday, January 15, 2016

Feeding My Face and a Fond Farewell

This was a good week for eating. I ate a nice variety of healthy foods. The best part was that several of the meals were at least partially made or prepped ahead. My husband and I started a class this week that goes from 6:30-9:30 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I get home from work and have about an hour to get a healthy meal in us before heading out the door again. I was pretty impressed with the dinners we ate on those nights.

First, I wanted to update you on the Leftover Soup I mentioned earlier in the week. This was what it looked like at lunch time. Just looking at the picture days later makes me want to eat another bowl. Unfortunately, I will have to wait and see if the "leftover stars" ever line up again in such a way :)  Actually, I am sure when I make the Salsa Verde Chicken Tostadas again I will "save" a little of the chicken for another soup. I, also, forgot to mention that when I was cooking the soup I put half of a frozen jalapeno in the pot. A few minutes later, I tasted the soup and the jalapeno was releasing all kinds of heat. I fished it out much sooner than I had planned. The soup ended up with a nice kick and made me think it would be the perfect "chicken soup" for whatever ails you.
Tuesday, the night of our first class we ate the meal below. Remember the turkey meatloaves I prepped side by side with my turkey burgers one night. I pulled them out of the freezer in Tuesday morning. When I got home I just had to pop them in the oven and make the sides. Although, they are called "petite" meatloaves it felt like a generous serving. One adjustment I made was before serving I stuck them under the broiler for a few minutes to give a more appealing finish to the BBQ and bacon. Before broiling that they were a tad anemic looking and the bacon looked a little slimy - cooked but slimy. 

I was a bit apprehensive about this meal because my husband has never been a meatloaf fan, until I made him a particular decadent recipe with bacon and a spicy glaze. This recipe mimicked that recipe, so I hoped he would like it. After eating, he looked back toward the kitchen and said "If there were a third one I would eat it." To which I replied "..and that is why I only made two."  Portion control is tough and one of the easiest ways for us to achieve portion control is to only make enough for one portion each.
Back in September, I made Lentil and Sausage Soup. I put a couple of one coup portions in the freezer at work. This week I decided I better eat them soon. When I got to work I moved a cup from the freezer to the fridge with the sandwich I brought to go with it.  I didn't have to move it to the freezer in the morning, however, I was a bit concerned that come lunch time I would see the leftover pizza that was also in the freezer and be tempted to eat that instead. Lentil soup may be good, but I would be hard pressed to choose it over pizza on any given day.
It was still frozen by lunch time. Into the microwave it went. Admittedly, it was not looking very appetizing at this point.
The accompanying sandwich was just turkey and Swiss cheese on multigrain skinny sandwich bread from Aldi. It was a perfect meal for a cold day - warm and hearty. I have one more serving in the freezer, so I am sure I will see this meal again soon, According to MyFitnessPal the soup recipe was 132 calories a cup, so with the sandwich lunch was a filling 337 calories. If I were to make the soup again I would probably make my own calories calculations as I made it - in my mind theirs seemed a bit low.
Yesterday was another super busy day. My morning was spent in a meeting for work. We met in a new location. It is a former high school that was attended by black students during segregation. Since then the building has been purchased by a former student who now owns the Harlem Globetrotters.
We were supposed to get a tour but the meeting ran long so we had to skip the tour. I snapped a few pictures anyway...cause I am me. I liked the floating circle lights. The artwork was a little less my taste.

I am always attracted to orange. I actually liked this painting. I am not sure how it would fit into my overall decor, but it does evoke happiness. (I just realized I didn't save the photo I took with the artist's name - I will look it up and edit post later). 

I hurried home from work to make dinner before our class last night. Thanks to Mary for bringing this meal to our attention from her Cooking Light Magazine.

served with 

First, I gathered up all the ingredients.  I partly do this for the pictures, but also it it so much easier once the cooking starts to have everything out and ready.

I know my husband is going to like the rice- cilantro and lime are at the very top of his list!
I have never used the boil in the bag rice before, but that was how the recipe was written. I knew I would be in a rush and I didn't want a bunch of leftovers. There was something crazy odd about throwing a plastic bag into a pot of water. For me the rice was okay - it was cooked quickly, but it was a little wet - I prefer my rice a little drier and fluffier. I do think I would use it again in a situation like this though.

Next up I got the beans working. I supposed I could have just used a can of refried beans, but I did enjoy the little extra these beans had with the paprika. The recipe called for reduced fat cheese, but I decided on the regular far cheese and used a little less. Sometimes, I prefer a little less of the "real" thing. The bold flavor of sharp cheddar lets you get away with using a little less too.

Finally, it was tostada time. Saute an onion, add the spices and then brown the ground beef. Once browned add a little broth and cook for a few minutes.
There was a lot going on on the stove, but no component was difficult or complicated.
Tostadas were assembled and served alongside the rice and beans. This whole plate (that in no way says "diet" to me) for just under 600 calories.
This morning was my weekly weigh-in. I lost 2.2 pounds. I am very happy with that. But (yes, there is a small nitpicky but) I had hoped for 2.5. The only reason I wanted that amount was because it would put me in the next 10s. I am sure you all understand. There is something very gratifying about getting down into the next lowest 10s group. I think we would all much rather be 59.9 than 60.1 on any given day. (Of course, these are completely fictional numbers for me - I can't bear to publicly out my actual weight yet - some day).

One of my weigh-in day struggles, as I have mentioned before, is too much splurging right after weigh-in. I plan to eat the leftover pizza for lunch today, so I made sure I kept my breakfast on point. It might be an odd breakfast but I enjoyed it. Turkey avocado sandwich with an orange. Incidentally, this orange is the one that donated its peel to my orange extract experiment. 

I am ending this post on a sad note. Yesterday in all the hustle and bustle of the day I found myself dealing with an unexpected grief. I am not normally one to mourn celebrities. Sure, I might get caught up in the "on my, I can't believe he/she is gone" momentum. Not knowing them personally has insulated me from true grief. However, the loss of Alan Rickman has genuinely hurt my heart. I wish I could eloquently describe how his acting presence made me feel. Of course, he is well know for playing "bad guys", but I fell under his spell watching him perfectly portray Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility.  It is my all time favorite movie. It is the movie my husband knows to park me in front of after a particularly bad day, knowing it will make me feel better. He has now watched it so many times with me that we regularly quote from it.

One of my favorite quotes is quite simple "No doubt....Mrs. Jennings has informed you of circumstances in my past...." The line itself stands out to me for the unintended humor of the ultimate gentleman calling out a busy body with an air  of resignation. However, it is the actual tone and inflection of that incredible voice delivering that second "no doubt" that has imprinted on me. I never miss an opportunity to work my impression of him saying that phrase into any remotely appropriate conversation. In turn that makes my husband do his impression. It always makes me smile.

Over Christmas, I watched two of his movies that I feel are somewhat controversially labeled Christmas movies - Die Hard and Love Actually. Controversy aside, he plays completely different characters perfectly. I, also, recently caught part of Galaxy Quest - another completely different character perfectly played. In coming months, I think I am going to rewatch the Harry Potter series and find some of his movies I have yet to see (apparently there are quite a few).
To all my Lovely Ladies, I am so thankful for our group and our shared love of Rickman. I am quite certain he was the touchstone that sealed our friendship forever. Little did he know. I know we will continue to adore this amazing actor and carry on with the lasting impact the man has had on each of us. No doubt...our Alan Rickman will be with us forever.


  1. WOO HOO on your weight loss!!! That is fantastic!!!!

    Your food looks DELICIOUS! Now I'm drooling!

    1. Thanks Mary Fran. I have been really working on the food part to make it healthy and interesting. When "being good" it is easy for me to fall into a rut of the same things over and over.

  2. Great job on the loss!! I was so sad to hear of Rickmans passing too. It is such a loss of an amazing actor!!

    1. Thanks! He will definitely be missed. My husband offered to watch Sense and Sensibility this weekend, but I just couldn't yet.

  3. You had me right up until the cilantro part of the rice. ;) Looks like a great meal.

    I know how you feel about MFP and the calories for your soup. But, I have found, especially with soups, once I input them into recipe builders they really are pretty low in calories!

    1. Sorry - I am sure there is a way to spice it with out your dreaded cilantro that would be great with the tostadas. I might become a soup lover yet - especially if they are that calories friendly :)

  4. Those tostadas look delicious! Reading your & Mary's posts always make me hungry. Congrats on the loss - I get what you mean about the 10s but congratulations nonetheless. :)

    1. Hopefully, one of these days Mary and I can cook for you all :) I saw a glimpse of the next 10s this morning and hoping I can hold on to it (plus some)!