You guys!! I am overwhelmed with the comments on my last post, the email messages, Facebook messages and messages in Instagram about me quitting my job. It only solidifies that I am making the right decision. It seems there is a general consensus that “it’s about time!” that I do something I love. And I do think that having that Chef coat on last week officially flipped the switch that it is time. Time to find work that I look forward to getting up and going to every day and living a life with passion. I cannot wait!
I think my office is getting a bit nervous. At first I think the initial reaction was pure shock (I’ve been working with some of these people for 11 years – Hannah was in 8th grade!), but after all the cooking I’ve done at the office, from grilling to baking bread in our old office space, to making lunches on Friday’s, I think they had a tiny bit of an idea that I am a bit obsessed about all things food. I bet they’ll miss my grilling and dressing up like Guy Fieri come Halloween!
But here’s the deal about my role at my office. I am kind of like the glue that holds everything together. If there is ever a problem, I am the go to person. I hardly ever know the answer, but I’ll find it. From looking at Youtube videos on how to program the office Samsung cell phones, to figuring out who to call if for some reason we walk in the office and there is no water. (I just have to flip a switch in the electric room to bypass the water softener system and then call Culligan!). So it’s all these little things that add up to big things and I am already on page 12 of a list of things I do on any given day. I know anyone can replace the work I do, but not gonna lie, it’s going to be hard to replace ME. I think the whole office vibe is going to change after I leave because even though you all know I haven’t loved going into work every day, I always put on a good face, laugh and be the ray of sunshine the office needs. I see some cloudy days in the office after I leave. I think they kind of just took me for granted for so many years, but as every day ticks by to my last one, my smile gets a tiny bit bigger every day.
So I am eating good eats on week #2 of WW. I will admit that this week the night snacking has kind of come back, and I think I was kind of telling myself that maybe I wasn’t eating enough of my weekly points or activity points, but as a bunch of you aren’t following WW I did a calorie break down and turns out I am eating enough calories. Just need to turn that night time snacking switch off. I did track all my snacks though! Turns out 21 flaming hot Cheetos are 5 points. Not that I would know that personally, but you know, just in case you had some in your pantry and didn’t have the WW app with the scanner. You’re welcome.
- Brinner for Dinner! Tony HATED breakfast for dinner. In fact if we went out for breakfast and it was after 10:30, he would order off the lunch menu. Aldi has a 35 calorie bread that is really good – it’s slightly sweet which I don’t mind, and each one is 1 smart point. I made scrambled egg, egg whites, spinach and Cabot cheese toasts with Trader Joe’s uncured turkey bacon with an orange on the side. This was 8 smart points and comes in at 364 calories, 13 fat, 27 carbs, 6.7 fiber and 31 protein.
- For lunch on Sunday I picked up a breaded chicken tender from the grocery store. God dammit if they don’t put the fried chicken bar right by the check out – genius! I used this low carb wrap (1!) and came home and made a buffalo chicken tender wrap with red cabbage and had a bowl of fruit from Fresh Market. Here is a tip from me to you: Fresh Market sells a big container of mixed fruit for $11.99 and on the bottom of the container it says it’s 2 pounds 4 ounces of fruit. But weigh them! The box I picked up weighed 3 pounds 6 ounces! I couldn’t buy all the fruit separately that comes in that container for that price, plus the time spent cutting it all up. I just eat the kiwi and blueberries first as that’s the first to start to go bad and then eat the grapes, melon and pineapple later in the week. So worth the $$. That plate of food is 9 smart points and comes in at 402 calories, 11 fat, 58 carbs, 8.7 fiber and 14 protein.
- Saturday night the kadults and I went out to dinner. After my whirlwind cooking day for my bosses dinner party, the last thing I wanted to do was think of what to make for dinner. I ordered a cheeseburger and asked for veggies as my side, but they gave me fries by mistake, and by the time the server made it back, it was kind of pointless to return the fries. I ended up making a leftover burger french fry hash for Sunday morning. 3 ounces of my burger chopped up, 2 ounces of french fries, 2/3 cup of egg whites and 1/2 a cup of baby spinach. With a sliced orange on the side – this was 10 smart points or 425 calories, 15 fat, 30 carbs, 4.6 fiber and 36 protein.
- I posted the recipe for this barbacoa on Monday, which is even more amazing the longer it sits in the fridge. If you make this, store the beef in the pot liquor that it cooks in – just keeps the meat so tender. That plate was 10 smart points, or 531 calories, 23 fat, 52 carbs, 16 fiber and 38 protein.
5. Hannah got her Chef’s coat on Tuesday night. She LOVES any type of Asian food. While she planned a completely vegetarian dinner, Jacob and I did add a bit of chicken to our noodles. She kind of made the pasta dish up as she went along – I kind of eye balled what she was doing – it had soy sauce, oyster sauce, lots of garlic and fresh ginger. I measured out a tablespoon of the sauce and tossed that with one cup of pasta and we added red cabbage – it was absolutely delicious – I’ll do a separate post with just that recipe because it was that good. The spring roll though? It was kind of soft on soft on soft. Even though we had romaine lettuce and shredded carrots and water chestnuts on the inside, it was too many of the same textures. And Jacob couldn’t stand the feel of the spring roll wrapper, and after one bite, spit it out. My dinner ended up being 10 WW points for the pasta dish alone, and came in at 400 calories, 6 fat, 53 carbs, 22 protein and 3 fiber.
6. BANANA OAT PANCAKES! I am shouting that because these are so good. The recipe will follow at the end of this post – but the two pancakes and berry syrup ended up being 6 smart points and with the Trader Joe’s bacon this breakfast was 8 smart points. I could eat this breakfast every single day. The calories for that plate though: 462 calories, 10 fat, 58 carbs, 9.2 fiber and 23 protein.
7. My store had bone in chicken breasts on sale for $.99 cents a pound. I baked up a bunch for myself and Jacob for the week. Well, I ate one and Jacob ate the rest – he’s easy to feed. I used Tony Chachere’s creole seasoning I found at Walmart after my brother Charlie told me about it. Holy cow, where has this seasoning been all my life? So good! So while I knew I wouldn’t be eating the skin, I always bake the chicken with the skin on, and I rub some of the seasoning under the seasoning before baking them for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. I just reheated the chicken under the broiler of my office toaster oven for about 8 minutes and it was delicious. The rest of my plate was pretty much zero – the cucumbers, carrots and fruit. The 2 ounces of tzatziki sauce was 1 point and I ate 6 ounces of the chicken, so that whole plate of food was 5 smart points. Tip from me to you: if you can get in and out without buying cheese fries, most beef stands will sell those little containers of tzatziki sauce for .50 cents each. I buy 4 at a time and they last a couple weeks in the fridge. The calories for that plate: 485 calories, 14 fat, 33 carbs, 3.3 fiber and 57 protein.
8. Spaghetti and meatballs! You guys all know how much I love balls in my mouth. I used 3 ounces of ground sirloin and mixed that with some garlic, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning and made tiny meatballs. I had a cup of pasta, a cup of broccoli and 1/2 cup pasta sauce with 1 tablespoon of shaved Parmesan cheese. 9 smart points or 403 calories, 13.5 fat, 44 carbs, 4.2 fiber and 28 protein.
9. I am SO excited about this. I haven’t made my chicken tikka masala in a long time, but it’s an office favorite and so I brought some to work. With homemade naan too – how nice am I?! I ended up changing the recipe just a bit by reducing the one cup of heavy cream with just 2 tablespoons of half and half – it was just enough to make it creamy and I have to tell you that the sauce MAKES this dish. It is so flavorful spicy. I rewrote the recipe on the original blog post nearly 6 years ago! When I entered it into the Weight Watcher recipe builder, one 4 ounce serving of chicken with sauce is only 3 points! It makes sense because other than the chicken, the rest is really just tomato sauce and seasonings. I had it with 1/2 a cup of cooked white rice and I picked up steamed green beans from the Chinese restaurant from across the street. 8 smart points or 411 calories, 41 carbs, 17 protein 6 fat and 2 fiber.
MAKE THESE PANCAKES! You will thank me later. So here’s a tip from me to you. Because there is not a lot of flour to hold this together, you almost need to fully cook the pancake on one side before flipping it, otherwise the batter is too loose on top and you’ll throw pancake batter all over your stove. Not that I know that personally. So cook for about 4 minutes on one side before flipping, then just another minute or so on the other side. This makes two pancakes.
- 1 medium banana, microwaved for 20 seconds
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup oats
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 2/3 cup frozen mixed berries
- 1/4 cup sugar free pancake syrup
My bananas were a bit firm, so I nuked it for 20 seconds to soften it up. Mix everything together. Heat skillet over medium low heat. Spray with Pam. Pour half the batter in the pan. Cook 4-5 minutes on the first side until nearly cooked, then flip and cook for 1-2 minutes longer. Keep an eye on it, you’ll know it’s okay to flip when the batter doesn’t jiggle on the top. Pretty sure that’s the best culinary instruction right there. Wait until it’s not jiggly.
For the syrup: I took 2/3 cup of Trader Joe’s mixed berries and nuked them for 30 seconds and put them in a separate skillet while the pancakes cooked. As they start to cook, the juice from the berries will come out. Simmer the berries for 4-5 minutes, then stir in the sugar free pancake syrup and simmer another minute or two. Serve the syrup over the pancakes and prepare to be amazed at the flavor. You know why I love these pancakes so much? They aren’t sweet. The only sweetness is from the banana and syrup, but the berries offer just enough tartness to balance out the sweetness. Usually if breakfasts are too sweet, after eating half of it I either can’t eat another bite or want to throw up. I think my twin sister is the exact opposite, she loves sweet breakfasts! She also loves ketchup and I love mustard. Go figure.
Thanks for making it all the way to the bottom of this post. I love having you guys cheering me on to my next adventure in life! I hope you have a great weekend. I signed up for the spin class again for 8:00 tomorrow morning – now that I know what to expect I am looking forward to it. Hugs! Make it a great day!