Standard half pan size = four servings = FULL and happy
We love living together (when we get to see each other). Mark and I had been living by ourselves for a while. This trip back to having roommates has proven more fun than we anticipated. That could have a lot to do with the fact that we all like each other ...
Now, Melissa and Matt have allowed me to make them my guinea pigs. What's more, they are both in the trows of some serious work out regimens and a strict diet.
No problem. I am so thrilled with the way the menu and food came to fruition ... in a special addendum to their menu, I also created some lunch options for them out of the meals that became their dinners. Instead of having straight up left-overs the next day, they at least got to taste the food in a new way. I made all of the food on Monday and they needed meals for Monday through Thursday and a lunch on Friday ... here's how it went:
Baked breaded chicken breasts with hearty spinach salad.
* I'm tellin' ya', this salad was loaded with good stuff. The chicken was lean and portioned, but it was the salad that made the meal. Spinach, red onions, tomatoes, canalinni beans, parmesan cheese, red peppers, basil ... nutrient dense and high in fiber and protein, this salad left them feeling full. I recommended they dress it with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. For lunch, I took two of the chicken breasts (unbreaded) and created some chicken wraps for them for lunch with spinach, red cabbage and red onion.
Vegetarian fajitas with the works.
*This recipe blew my mind at only 51 calories per serving (without the tortillas and cheese). Tri-colored peppers and mushrooms sauteed in some olive oil, garlic, cilantro and lime juice. The other half of their filling option was sweet potatoes and black beans, some mexican chili powder, salt, pepper ... both had different flavors, but paired well together. Both would be great sides to a Mexican seasoned steak or beef tips, maybe a bed for some grilled chicken. For lunch I made them some quesadillas, a fun spin on any Mexican leftovers.
Grilled sirloin tips on brown rice with a red wine and mushroom sauce.
*This entree was the calorie heavy hitter because of the nature of the red meat. 300 calories for every .25 lbs is a lot, especially when we all tend to over eat when it comes to proteins on our plates (I'm guilty of it, that's for sure). The brown rice was a great bed for all of those flavors, a nice vehicle for whatever sauce remained. For lunch I set them up with a hearty salad to throw the leftover sirloin on to. Salad always tastes better when there's protein involved. And we stay fuller longer!
Roast chicken breasts with roasted seasonal vegetables.
*Because Matt's birthday is this weekend and Melissa is taking him out for dinner, this will be the last meal they get from me this week. It's a nice note to end on- warm and comforting, but packed full of nutrients and tummy filling fiber. I roasted butternut squash, baby potatoes, red potatoes, carrots and sweet potatoes in olive oil, garlic, salt, thyme and sage. The poultry I did separately to help cut down on the calories transferred to the veggies. For lunch, a vegetarian spin on shepherd's pie: mashing up those vegetables and putting them over a bed of corn and beans, then topping it with some cheese and popping it in the microwave to heat ... that's heaven in a bowl, one you can feel good about.
Now ... guess what all of this would have cost them?
If you have read my previous posts, you would know it would have only set them back $175. I would only have charged them an extra $25 to concoct those lunches for them, too.
Yes, I'm serious. And it was a blast to do. I put on some Pandora radio and cooked my little heart out. I was very proud with the finished product- it was all food that keeps them on their diets, leaves them feeling satisfied, and they didn't have to do anything! And I can't wait to do it again ... and again ... and again.
Will your kitchen be next? If you want to talk shop, give me a call. I'm always available. 603-568-2741
Wishing you a healthy and filling week, everyone. xo