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Taking the Training Wheels Off

Lisa Eirene

About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and

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  1. kalin

    I’m mostly not a recipe follower but what I do when I’m making something new is look at recipes that are similar to get basic ideas of what to do, and then make up my own. So, on Wednesday I made chicken pot pie for dinner, and I looked at probably a dozen recipes for things to get an idea of about how much chicken to use, and how much flour the roux needed, and then made the pie by winging it. Gives me a blueprint so that I don’t discover I needed more chicken or the gravy’s too thin after I’m done cooking!
    kalin recently posted..Recovery

    1. Lisa Eirene

      See, I should adopt your method and try that for creating my own recipes. Seeing a few different versions and taking bits and pieces from them to create my own might be the perfect way for me to learn. How did your pot pie work? Sounds delicious.

  2. Lisa

    I only follow baking recipes. For everything else I don’t think I am able to follow a recipe. I usually end up tinkering with the ingredients. Frequently I do what Kalin does and get a general idea but sometimes I just make up stuff. Now that I’m thinking about it, I even mess with baking recipes too but usually it’s things like substituting applesauce for oil and adding other flavors.

    My husband is a recipe follower. The bad thing about not following recipes is that you can’t make the same thing twice, which is why after making chili that tasted really good I went back and wrote down what I had done 🙂

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Yes–with baking I found it crucial to measure.

      My aunt cooks like that, where she just throws things together and it’s always amazing!!! But when I ask her for a recipe to recreate it on my own, she can’t.

  3. Carbzilla

    I also sorta get a general idea like Kalin if I’m not following a recipe exactly to get a ballpark. When I saw your recipe, I could tell the oven temp was too high right away. Not that it doesn’t work, except that you don’t need it that high, and it could dry out at that temp. Many casseroles only broil for a few minutes if the ingredients are already cooked, and others heat the oven to about 350. That’s awesome you’re experimenting more, and I’m glad it turned out ok. I’ve only had one recipe that turned out completely inedible (Spicy Chicken – I was trying to recreate a recipe I’d had on NW 23rd), and Chris ate it anyway. 🙂

    Happy Cinco de Mayo – I think we’re heading to Departure tomorrow night if you want to come out with us. EMail me.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Your spicy chicken disasters sounds like a funny story. Good job Chris still eating it!

      My casserole was rather soupy with the sauce so the oven temp actually worked great. It wasn’t crispy or dried out at all. And I’ve been eating the leftovers for lunch all week.

  4. Deb

    Mmm! That sounds good! I get bored following recipes, so I tend to read them and then kind of wing it from there.

    I agree too that nutritional info doesn’t look right- for the most part, 2 oz of uncooked pasta (which is about a cup) is around 220 calories. Then again, how many servings is that divided up into?
    Deb recently posted..Basic Cheesecake Cupcakes

    1. Lisa Eirene

      That’s cool that you can wing it.

      I had no idea uncooked and cooked was that different. I divided the casserole into 6 servings.

      1. Deb

        The nutrition might be pretty close then if its six servings. I read labels of everything I use and then add it all up myself, but that can take forever!

        Trust me, I have had some total failures that I wouldn’t even eat to keep my pride intact! And my bf is kind of picky, so sometimes even though I love something, he might hate it. When I bought some cookbooks recently, I asked him to go through and write down 5 recipes out of each one that he wanted to try. I did the same thing. Some of them were the same, amazingly. Then I sat down and worked out a menu plan for dinners for several weeks. Its been almost 3 weeks, and we’ve mostly stuck to the plan. The overall plan is to try 2 to 3 new dishes a week, and eat “just add meat & water/milk” meals no more than twice a week.

        The broader goal here is to come up with 100 things that we both really enjoy so we can have a wide selection of menus without any complaints. 🙂
        Deb recently posted..Basic Cheesecake Cupcakes

        1. Lisa Eirene

          That is a really smart way to figure out dinners. I should try that.

  5. Lori

    I ballpark recipes all the time because there is usually some ingredient that I don’t have or don’t like to use that I want to fiddle with. Or I want to change the macros like giving it more protein.

    I often just calculate the calories myself using the nutritional labels on my ingredients (or looking up fresh stuff). I don’t fully trust the online calculators and can find them to be wonky. The error might come in with the pasta. Is it 2 cups of cooked pasta or dry pasta – huge difference.
    Lori recently posted..What’s Blooming today!

    1. Lisa Eirene

      I think your method is probably a more accurate representation of calories.

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