First order of business: announcing the giveaway winner! I picked a winner for a copy of Diane’s book, 150 Pounds Gone Forever: How I Lost Half My Size and You Can To. The winner is:
#14 – KATHIE!
Kathie- email me asap so I can get the book out to you.
Dinners are my favorite meal. I love trying new recipes, and also eating some of the same basic types of meals. It’s comforting to know how many calories my meal will be because dinner is usually a combination of protein + veggie + salad. Dinners change with the seasons. In the summer time, it’s more fresh produce from our garden and there’s lots of grilling involved. In the winter I tend to try out more recipes than in the summer time simply because of the busy factor.
Here is a week’s worth of dinners at home to give you an example of a standard week.
It was the kind of Monday where we were both tired and not in the mood to cook anything complicated. Blackened salmon with steamed broccoli, and a side salad. This is a good standby dinner because we always have salmon in the freezer.
It’s also a good low-calorie dinner. This runs about 500 calories.
I cannot remember the last time Michael and I made burgers out of ground beef. The only time we have ground beef is in a restaurant. Our usual burgers are turkey burgers. But it was such a gorgeous day out that we wanted to grill something.
I have to say, there is just something amazing about a ground beef burger from the grill. The flavors were outstanding, from fat of course, but delicious.
I had a few chips with my dinner and a beer, too. Michael measured out 4 ounces of meat on the kitchen scale and topped it with a slice of Havarti. Delicious!
This dinner was out of the norm and completely bizarre, but it worked. I got home from the gym and Michael said nothing was defrosted. Ooops! He wanted to get a quickie meal from the grocery store but I suggested shrimp instead. Shrimp defrosts very quickly.
We cooked some spinach raviolis, topped them with the cooked shrimp and then added sauteed Brussels sprouts.
The flavors worked well together and dinner was around 500 calories total.
One of my favorite dinners was on the menu! Fajita salads. Why I love this dinner: it tastes great, it fills me up with the protein in the steak and the fiber in the beans, and I get lots of veggies on my plate.
This time was a little bit different; usually we have Michael’s amazing homemade guacamole with this salad and of course some chips. Doing that adds a ton of calories and make for a gut-bomb kind of dinner where I usually feel like I ate too much.
We skipped the chips and guacamole this time and I was pleasantly satisfied. On the salad was the following: lettuce, black olives, jalapenos, cooked red peppers and onions, steak, salsa as dressing, black beans, steak and sour cream.
Fridays are long days for me. I am usually off to the pool right after work and don’t get home until fairly late. Michael is a sweetie and always has dinner planned and nearly ready when I walk in the door since I’m usually famished. It’s appreciated in so many ways! This time, I got home first. Michael was taking his friend Shoe to the airport so I made dinner for us after swimming.
I wanted to use up the red curry lentil soup that had been in the pantry far too long, yet it was only 140 calories a serving. I needed more than that! I decided to use it as a base and sauteed some carrots and onions and added that to the soup. It went together really well but I wished that I’d added chicken or rice to it. Next time.
We had the leftover sourdough bread from the night we had grilled cheese as a side with the soup. The soup was really tasty, with a hint of ginger and cinnamon. It was a tad on the sweet side and I bet chicken would really balance that out.
It’s been months since Michael and I did a homemade pizza night! Michael got it started and I helped with the toppings. This time we used pepperoni, black olives, fresh Roma tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.
It tasted great and it was nice to have it again after so long.
Pork chop night! I have become a fan of pork chops, even though I thought pork was bland for so long. What changed it? Proper seasoning (thank you Michael) and combining the pork chops with my new favorite veggie: Brussels sprouts.
And I admit it, there might have been a teeny bit of bacon in that sautee of sprouts. But in my defense, it was only one slice of bacon. So we each had 4 ounces of boneless pork chops seasoned with steak seasoning from Costco. It’s a good seasoning for most meats–basically just salt and pepper.
I also had a spinach salad with some croutons, crumbled feta cheese, pepper, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. This has quickly become one of our “staple” dinners because it’s easy and healthy and fairly low in calories.
QUESTION: What are some examples of a typical dinner in your house?
Nom nom! All look delish! Is a career as a food photographer blossoming for you?? 🙂
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I’m *still* waiting to be able to quite my day job and earn a living taking pictures of food…… 😉
What lean-ness did you use for your burgers? I LOVE grilled burgers though! We don’t have a grill right now, but I hope to get one before the end of the summer. I’ve just been using my GRILLA grill pan from IKEA for now, but it’s just not the same! There’s something about charbroiled grilled burgers (and hot dogs too!) that I just love!
On the topic of pork chops though…I figured out an amazingly delicious way to cook boneless chops that you might like: mix fresh grated (not shredded) parmesan with some dried basil, rosemary and garlic (I have a McCormick blend I use), salt, pepper and a pinch or two of red crushed pepper. Brush some grapeseed oil on the pork chops and then coat in the cheese/seasoning. Cut some asparagus spears in half and toss in some grapeseed with some salt, pepper and parmesan cheese, lay out in a glass baking dish and lay the porkchops on top. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, and they come out delicious. If you’d rather sauté the asparagus, you can, just bake the porkchops separately.
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I don’t remember–Michael bought the ground beef. He did say it was leanest one he could find. We usually eat turkey burgers at home. It was quite a different flavor using ground beef.
Your pork chop recipe sounds delicious. I will have to try this. I love Parmesan and asparagus is a staple in my house.
It is SO good, especially if you bake the porkchops on top of the asparagus, because it kind of absorbs some of the flavor of the pork. mmmmm, now I’m hungry!
Esther recently posted..Look Before You Pin – Why I’m Leaving Pinterest
I really want this dish now!
Maybe next time. 🙁 LOL.
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I wish I could’ve given out more! It’s such a good book.
My go to meals during the week are:
Chicken stirfry. Quick and easy, 1 board, 1 knife and a wok to clean (I cut the veggies first, then the chicken, so no cross contamination!)
Tacos – I grate heaps of zucchini into the ground beef, and add onion and even some finely chopped broccoli if it is cheap. Then we pile the salads on top, so it ends up being a fairy healthy meal (we don’t use cheese or sour cream either, because my mum and I are lactose intolerant).
Chicken fajita – Again, quick and easy and minimal dishes.
I also buy a lazy meal to keep in the freezer, like some chicken nuggets and oven fries that I can just stick in the oven and have with a salad. Cheaper and better for me than McDonalds!
Your tacos sound fantastic. I love the idea of grating veggies into the meat. I am definitely trying that next time. I have little baggies of zucchini frozen from last summer’s garden.
I always forget about stirfy. That’s always a good option.
I’m trying to find a nice long list of recipes both the bf and I actually like, which is hard because he’s *picky* and he won’t even admit it. About 4 weeks ago, I planned out 6 weeks worth of dinners. A few got booted to the end of the list because we went out that night, or we ate separately.
Because we eat a lot of out of the box stuff (I don’t like to admit to it but its true 🙁 ) I made two rules when setting up our menu plan. We try 2 new recipes a week, minimum. We don’t eat hamburger helper or any of its sisters more than twice a week. The new recipes were chosen by both of us, each picking 10 from my new cookbooks, so hopefully we’ll find common ground there.
Tonight we had a chicken & veggie quiche which I really liked, but bf called boring. I asked him if he’d eat it again if I added bacon, used a different rice mix, and seasoned the hell out of the chicken. He said yes, so maybe it has a chance… lol.
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That’s really good, Deb. I like that you’ve planned that far in advance and have some ground rules for cooking. It’s so easy to get lazy or tired and pick something not quite as healthy (ahem, can we say pizza?).
Your quiche sounds interesting. I’d love to see the recipe when you try it again.