About Me

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Raleigh, NC, United States
I am encountering a midlife food crisis. Tired of the same old thing and as a food addict I am always trying to lose weight. I enjoy the low carb way of life - when I adhere to it. But I need a culinary challenge: Enter Flexitarianism - the less meat challenge. Add the Internet for research and watch out kitchen.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Project Food Budget

This is my first week participating in Project Food Budget. My budget during the month of March is $65.00 per week. This is a bit high simply because I am still stocking the pantry with "staples" as I try out new dishes. Ultimately I would like to eat for under $50 a week soon and I do believe I can get there. I have found that since I am eating less meat I am saving a ton of money. I had stocked up on beans, rice, and those sorts of staples but after 2 weeks of eating that way I decided that not watching my carbs was a mistake. (I did not want to eat less meat and carbs at the same time) The project now is to slowly move those beans and rice dishes out while I revamp the pantry.

This week I concentrated on simply getting a decent breakfast made ahead of time and getting lots of fresh veggies in the house. I went to my local grocery store this week. I do attend the Farmer's Market and Whole Foods here every few weeks, but both are a little trip so for ease I chose the local store. I stayed in under budget and find that I have plenty of food. I spent $55.00. I got both fresh and frozen veggies so that I had quick options and planned my purchases around things I already had at home as well. The only thing that I was really "missing" was fruit and salad mixings. I decided that I needed to choose though if I was going to stay under $65. So mid week (I shop on Monday's typically) I bought some oranges and pickles. I know a strange combo but I was a BJ's and they have my most favorite pickles. This was just under $10 so I did make it on $65 and then some

This weeks menu's included:
Breakfast Egg Bakes - made two different ones for the week great for anytime
A Portobello "pizza" - sauce, cheese leeks on top of cap - yum
The Veggie Stir Fry w/ Peanut Sauce listed

I also had left over soup - Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili - that I had made and freezed. I have plenty of food in the house still (Mon-Sat) I did go out to dinner last night and spent way too much $ but I feel like I am allowed to treat myself now and again after a long week. I don't count that as my budget either, however two drinks a super meal and tip left me spending moe than half of my food budget. It was then I knew that I needed to watch this too! :)

What is everyone else doing this week?

Participating Blogs:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Peanut Sauce - Who Knew?

Ok so why have you all been hiding the fine taste of peanut sauce? True, its a bit high on the calorie count for a sauce, but a girl who does not eat bread on a regular anymore still needs her peanut butter. Tonight's meal was a Veggie Extravaganza  and it was delious!! Red and Green Cabbage cut into thin slices and tossed in pan with olive oil for 10-15 minutes - still crunchy please as this is going to be my "mock rice". Seperately: Leeks, Red & Yellow Bell Pepper Tofu and Bean Sprouts all cooked in Hot Chili Toasted Seasame Oil. Then basic peanut sauce - used the crunchy natural peanut butter with no heat added as was a first attempt. And then layer Cabbage, Stirfry and Sauce on the side - just in case I did not like it - but no I loved it and used my whole "side" upon the stirfry. Can you say YUM

Cabbage Mock Rice
Stir Fry before laying
Peanut Sauce and YES it is better than it looks!
So pretty all together (except sauce)

And that was dinner under 500 Calories! Worth all the work for sure!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Love it, Make it, Eat it - Miraculous Make Over

It has been a spinach and feta weekend - two ingredients together that I just adore. I wanted to make a Spanakopita, which is something that I love but have never attempted. For those of you that have never had,  its a yummy Greek dish of mostly feta and spinach between phyllo dough. I set out to try and make one on my own after reading a few versions.  Too many tablespoons of olive oil and a pan full in my belly within 24 hours left me realizing this dish needed a big make-over to fit into my new lifestyle. Yes it was meatless which is a priority, but it was loaded with a lot of calories and fat that I did not need at all - I knew that I could get a similar taste with less abuse to the body. It also made me realize that the carbs in it were contributing to my cravings - its not normal to eat this in a day - unless you ARE a crowd!!!!

Enter: The Spinach Leek and Egg Bake (Full Recipe)
As an on and off low carber I tend to eat a lot of eggs and adore making any sort of egg bake that I can find. They freeze well and make great last minute dinners and lunches not to mention breakfast of course. I found that eggs along with the creamy cream used in most of these egg bakes were the contributing factor to the majority of my calories the last time I was low carbing so I have chosen to find "fillers" this time when I do egg bakes so that I still get protein but lower the calories per serving and of course not sacrifice the taste. The Spinach Leek Egg Bake does all of this and let me tell you I started to have my doubts for a moment as I thoought maybe I needed less spinach or more egg - but no this was PERFECT. I might go for a wee bit more feta next time but I am a big feta freak so I will leave that decision up to you!

If you like Spinach and you like Feta you must give this a try, it was great. It was a make over winner at 130 Cal a serving 3 Net Carbs and 12 grams of protein! It is not Spanakopita, but its a great alternative when your craving such. I also know that it will not need to be eaten hot, cold spinach/egg bakes taste great. Also cut it up as an appetizer. So functional!

This was my lunch portion!

Full Recipe Found Here: Spark Cookbook