Saturday, August 17, 2013

KISS! Keep It Simple.... Sweetie!

I just went back through and reviewed some previous blog posts.  Reading about my friend Tom reminded me that I have not been staying true to just keeping it simple and basic.  I note that I had written a blog early in the year where I committed to doing just that.  I get a little sidetracked when I start seeing all these great recipes and want to try them.  I think I need to just allow myself to try no more than one new recipe a week, and not always have it be a dessert.  I really seem to gravitate toward dessert recipes!

Last night was a huge cheat.  I had macaroni and cheese, and not a cleaned up version.  I haven't had that in forever!  It was really good, I have to admit.  I also had a piece of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.  Fabulous!  Actually, not as sweet as I might have expected, which to me is a good thing.  It was food catered by the Warrior Cafe at the National Military Medical Center at Bethesda.  The crew there really knows how to cook.  They are taking good care of our wounded warriors!

Partly because of getting a little crazy with recipes, and partly because I had all that good food last night, I decided this morning to get back to the basics.  Keep it simple!  Working 44 hours this week, plus 75 minute commute each way does not add up to time to make anything too time consuming.  Going back to smoothies for breakfast, leftovers for lunch, and easy suppers...  Remember that it's important to pair a protein with your complex carb, whether it's a meal or a snack.  And eat your snacks two or three times a day.  It keeps the hunger monster at bay so you don't munch on something you shouldn't... like the peppermint patties in the community candy dish on the secretary's desk.  Just sayin'.

A typical day might be:  Breakfast - green smoothie; Lunch - leftover black beans and rice; Supper - Burger with lettuce and tomato, and a side salad.  For my snacks in between I might eat an apple with a small handful of almonds, or a cheese stick (Trader Joe's are the best!) and some strawberries.  I like easy, portable snacks that I can munch on at my desk.

Also, remember to get some kind of exercise in every day.  Often, for me, it is just a walk.  I like to do it twice a day, but that doesn't always work, so do what you can.

So this week's menu:

Black beans and rice
This is so easy it's ridiculous!  Saute some chopped onion in a couple TBSP of olive oil.  Throw in some crushed garlic.  Then add a can of Mexican style stewed tomatoes and a can of black beans (drain and rinse the beans first).  Sprinkle in a little crushed red pepper if you like.  Heat through.  Serve over cooked brown rice.

Burgers on the grill, veggies too!
Trader Joe's sells clean whole wheat burger buns

Brown rice pasta or whole wheat pasta with marinara sauce from The Naked Kitchen
I usually brown some ground beef to go in this for protein.  The sauce is really easy to make, and makes enough that I can freeze some for another day.

Hot dogs and slow cooker baked beans
Really? Hot dogs?!  We buy Hebrew National beef hot dogs.  While I would venture to say that a purist clean eater would not eat these, they don't contain sugar, and they are required to meet a standard since they're kosher, so I figure they are okay occasionally.  If I am going to eat a hot dog, which isn't that often, it will always be a good quality one like Hebrew National.
As for the baked beans, this recipe is also from The Naked Kitchen.  These are really close to what my mom used to make in the oven in a crock.  So yummy!

We either make a whole wheat crust, or by the fresh dough at Trader Joe's.  MR makes his own sauce with a can of tomato sauce and Italian seasoning.  There is always plenty of leftover sauce so he freezes it for the next time!  Add whatever toppings you like!

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