Working with Leftovers

Kimchi Chicken Stir Fry

Kimchi Chicken Stir Fry, made with leftover Kimchi Chicken and fresh veggies.

Between overestimating the amount of raw protein we need to yield two five-, six- or seven-ounce portions, and sometimes having to purchase more than we need for a meal for two (two-pound bags of frozen shrimp come to mind), we sometimes end up with leftovers — usually an odd size: not enough for another meal for both of us, too much for a meal for one.

Because we’re controlling our food intake and measuring everything, and only eating the one meal per day, it would be easy to let these leftovers go to waste. It would also be easy to stray off program by snacking on them spontaneously, just because they’re there!

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Veggie Frittata

Veggie Frittata
Eggs are a great meatless protein source. Three whole eggs constitute a serving of lean protein and 14 egg whites — which is a lot of food! — are a serving of leanest protein. (Need a refresher on the lean, leaner, leanest concept?)

For this meal for two, we used a half-and-half approach. The recipe used one full serving of whole eggs and one of egg whites. This yielded two generous servings that were half lean/half leanest — which we treated as leaner, and therefore used a bit of healthy fat in the prep. (The egg whites really bulked up the meal, hence our use of them to achieve a greater volume of food.) Continue reading

Kimchi Chicken & Salad

Kimchi Chicken

Another favorite! This was a happy accident. We had some homemade kimchi in the fridge that needed to be downsized to a smaller container, leaving us with excess marinade that had been “percolating” for over a week. Sitting right next to that was a package of chicken breasts we had no plans for. “Hey,” I said to Brian, “do you think the kimchi marinade would be good for the chicken?” We both thought it was worth a try. Poured the marinade over the chicken and added salt to make it a brine. Let it sit for two days, then grilled it. Came out beautifully! Sliced it up and served it over a salad of chopped romaine, cucumbers & yellow bell peppers in small romaine lettuce cups. (Seasoned the salad with some low-fat honey mustard salad dressing.)

Why “Healthy Noms”?

What’s up with the name “Healthy Noms,” you ask? Simple, really. Years of eating out together and with “foodie” friends had spoiled our palates for home cooking. A lot. Unfortunately, the food we were eating out features oversize portions, and includes excessive amounts of fat, sugar, and carbs. So we’re learning to cook meals that satisfy the senses while staying on program. Nom nom nom, but in a healthy way!

scuse me, HEALTHY NOMS?!

In order to be successful on this program, we had to make eating at home as pleasurable as we’d found eating out to be. To do that, we recognized that we had to put a little bit extra into the preparation of our meals. This means paying attention to details, including:

  • High quality, fresh ingredients (locally grown a plus)
  • Visually appealing plates: presentation matters
  • Packing the meals with flavor: creative use of spices and seasonings

Additionally, of course, like most families, we don’t have the time or inclination to spend hours preparing dinner when we get home from work. Quick & easy is important.

Hence, “Healthy Noms” = healthy dishes that satisfy the senses like chef-prepared meals do.