Saturday, September 26, 2009

For The Love Of Leftovers

This kitchen wallpaper removal/painting prep/nasty cold is not leaving me with much creativity in the food department.  The kitchen is a mess, so minimal “cooking” is going on.  So, I thought this is a good opportunity to stress the importance of “being prepared” with respect to staying the healthy eating course.  As the saying goes, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”!

During the weight loss journey, I have heard many people (including myself) say that they didn’t have time to cook healthy foods or didn’t have the right ingredients in their pantry, fridge or freezer.    This lack of time and staples makes it all too easy to opt for takeout, especially when you’re getting in late from work, activities or when your kitchen is a huge mess!  It is so important to have a basic stock of pantry staples, so that you are able to throw something together at a moments notice.  I always keep some canned soups for quick lunches or dinners paired with salad or grilled cheese.  Also, cans of diced tomatoes make great quick pasta toppings;  just saute with garlic and extra virgin olive oil, pour over some whole wheat pasta and finish off with some grated parmesan.  Canned beans are a good option, too.  You can add some chick peas or cannellini beans to a pasta dish for an extra protein punch or just add them to your salad for more staying power.  Some of my fridge/freezer staples are bagged salads ( I make my own by cutting up romaine hearts and placing them in large zipper bags), tortillas, baby carrots, apples, cheese, eggs, yogurt, veggie burgers (homemade or store bought), soups, precooked taco meat (turkey or beef), chicken cutlets and frozen veggies, just to name a few.

But, I have to say that my saving grace many days and especially during this kitchen project has been having leftovers in my fridge and freezer.  I used to balk at leftovers.  Why eat the same thing over and over??  Unless, it’s brownies, of course.  However, there probably wouldn’t be much of those leftover!  Now, I look at leftovers in a whole new way.  Leftovers allow me to have a quick and healthy option with minimal effort or fuss.  Knowing that I had those meals and fridge/freezer items made it easy for me to make good choices during this tiring project;  just heat and eat!  Gotta give props to the microwave!!!   Having these options, besides being a real time-saver, allowed me to “plan” to stay on track.  Failure was not an option!  Love it when a plan comes together :)

Onto the food!  Warning:  prepare to bored out of your mind.  Not much creativity here, just necessary eats!

Thursday

Started the day off with a hearty bowl of leftover oat bran.  I have to say, I wasn’t quite sure how precooked oat bran would translate, but it was just fine with the addition of a little extra water to thin it out while reheating.  I morphed it into PB&J Oatbran with a bit of grape jam and PB2

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Lunch was a Cedarlane Beans, Rice and Cheese style Burrito with a side of POPchips and a peach…

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After tons more wallpaper scraping, I decided I needed a break.  I couldn’t shake another Starbucks craving!  The crack is back!!!  This time, I went for a Pumpkin Spice Light Frappuccino

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OMG!  Loved it and a Grande is only 150 calories, .5 grams fat and 3 grams fiber.  Heeeelloooo!!

Scrape, scrape, tape, tape, paint the trim.  UGH!

Dinner was a Dominex Eggplant Burger topped with leftover Hot Artichoke-Cheese Dip and baby spinach on a deli flat, a side of carrots and a Chobani nonfat strawberry yogurt for dessert…

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Wallpaper on…

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Wallpaper off ---thank, gawd!!!

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Now to choose a color….

Friday

I felt a lot better this morning!  Still stuffy, but no fever and head throb.  Since I was on the mend, I decided to make a quick run to the gym.  The Arc Trainer was calling my name!  Brought my breakfast to-go…

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The Arc Trainer whipped me good for 30 minutes which was all I had time for since I had a late morning doctor’s appointment.  On the way to the appointment, I munched on a Blueberry Apricot Oat Bran Muffin (from the freezer)…

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I went for a routine physical and all checks out, except for my hip which the doc thinks is bursitis and wants me to consult with a Sports Medicine doc for it.  Yikes!

I made it home for a “leftover” lunch before running out the door again to pick up paint and supplies.  I went with Chickpea Croquettes and the ever easy side of carrots and apple…

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Later, a Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar was needed to help with the paint color choosing…

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And dinner was leftover crock pot chicken with a side of sweet potato fries (pre-cut from Trader Joe’s)…

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Thanks for hanging in there with this marathon post!!!  Hope you have a great weekend!  I’ll see you tomorrow for the “reveal” :)

ONE GOOD THING: Leftovers!!!!!!

15 comments:

Thinspired said...

PB&J oatbran is a great idea! I'll have to try that.
I completely agree with your leftover love. So often now I *intentionally* set out to have leftovers, either for lunch the next day or to put into the freezer for another dinner. I've frozen lasagna, meatloaf, soups and chilis and they all turn out great :)

The Incredible Shrinking Family said...

Walpaper or not, I LOVE your kitchen !!!

TJ said...

I am getting that Pumpkin Frap TODAY! YUM! :)

TJ said...

oppss...I hot publish too soon! I wanted to say that I love that you have leftovers to help you when times get a lil crazy and you cant cook in your under construction kitchen. It always helps to be prepared!

If you plan it, you will succeed! :)

lorse said...

As I always say"If it's good the first time ,it will be good the second time." I love leftovers!

Andrea@WellnessNotes said...

Great post! I LOVE leftovers and usually try to have some for lunches or for dinner the next day. And freezing them is great too!

Being prepared makes ALL the difference when it comes to healthy eating. I, too, used to think that I didn't have time to plan and prepare healthy meals. But then I realized that the little extra time to plan and shop made my life so much easier...

Have a great weekend! :)

Dutch said...

I have a big project of pulling off all my wallpaper in the kitchen. I was thinking about doing it in the spring but I might start now.
I have never tried those Pumpkin Frap but I think I will since I love Starbucks.
I really get some get food ideas from you. I love all the wraps. I haven't gotten a chance to try that yogurt yet but I am going to very soon.
Have a wonderful weekend.

operationmuffintop said...

Everything looks great!! Sometimes "boring" (aka: The Usual) is best.. ;) Can't wait to see "the reveal".. love your kitchen though... SOOOO much room! Wow!

janetha said...

“if you fail to plan, you plan to fail” is one of my favorite quotes OF ALL TIME. love it! pb&j oats are so freaking delicious. i need to have some soon. you should enter those croquettes in this week's BSI! it is garbanzos! nice job on the wallpaper :)

THE ACTORS DIET said...

i love leftovers - i actually ate someone ELSE's leftovers for dinner last night!

myworldinmywords said...

that's it! this is the 4th pumpkin spice latte variation that i have seen on a blog this afternoon! I must go to Starbucks, immediately!

Jessica said...

Hey - I'm a new fan to your blog. Love it and you're inspiring me with new meal ideas!

Diana said...

I love leftovers! I'm weird though and could eat the same thing every single day. I try not to do that because I know variety is important.

Your kitchen looks fabulous. Great job...and I'm sure you burned more than a few calories with all that hard work.

Yum Yucky said...

Ooo! I peanut butter cookie Larabar?? Why haven't I seen this! This is outrage!!

(good job on the wallpaper, woman)

Laura@FindingAHealthyBalance said...

Love you kitchen, white is my favorite......so clean looking!!! =) Laura