Seven Day Meat-Free Challenge!

Meatless WeekWith all the seafood goodness from Groomer’s at our disposal, we’re already eating fish for half the week, so last week we decided to go the distance and avoid meat the whole week. We had a really great week, coming up with some great flavor combinations and refining our approach to our frittataContinue reading

Kimchi Chicken Stir Fry

Kimchi Chicken Stir FryAfter making ourselves some Kimchi Chicken for dinner one night, we had some leftover chicken that was really moist and yummy. How to reuse the remainder in a way that complemented the flavorful chicken without drying it out? First, we stir fried some vegetables in a little bit of olive oil: zucchini, broccolini, red and yellow bell peppers. When they were about half done, we added the chicken and some of the leftover brine from making the kimchi. The addition of the liquid kept the chicken from drying out as it reheated while the veggies finished cooking. Voila! A yummy one-pot meal from leftovers!

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

Lean, Leaner, Leanest?

Healthy Noms recipes involving proteins are tagged lean, leaner or leanest. What’s up with that? Simple: portion control.

The guidelines we’re following sort proteins into those three categories. Basically, there’s little or no protein out there that you “can’t” have when eating healthy. (Well, OK, sausage isn’t a great choice, neither is bacon. But neither of those actually offers much protein either, just mostly fat. You get my drift.)

Lean, Leaner, LeanestInstead of saying we “can’t have” something, we’re saying go ahead and have what you want, but adjust portion sizes and added fat accordingly.

For example, for the proteins that fall in the “leanest” category we can have seven ounces (cooked!) and we can add two servings of a healthy fat to the meal. This category includes many fishes, most shellfish, game meats, and very lean ground meats (>97% lean).

For the proteins that fall into the “leaner” category we can have six ounce portions (cooked) with one healthy fat serving permissible. This includes chicken breast, light meat turkey and ground meats (>94% lean), as well as some fishes.

Finally, for the “lean” category of proteins we can have five ounces (cooked) with no additional fat servings. This includes some fishes, lean beef, lamb, pork, ground meats (>84% lean).

This exercise in portion control has been a real eye-opener. Shrimp falls into the leanest category. Seven ounces of cooked shrimp is a LOT of food! No feeling hungry after gettin’ that down!

By the way, the program does account for meatless options in all three categories, but they often carry their own measures. For example, three whole eggs is a serving of lean, while 14 egg whites are a serving of leanest. Tofu, veggie burgers, EggBeaters and other meatless options can all be worked into the program.

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.)