Monday, January 5, 2015


I hate mornings.
I hate everything about mornings including food.
I get hungry at 10:30am.
I married a morning person.
I have a morning person work schedule.
Quite a conundrum.

I spent the first couple decades of my life skipping breakfast and the next couple trying to figure out some kind of fuel source that doesn't make me hurl.

I'm not a fan of eggs.  Traditional breakfast options are too greasy or too sweet.  Oh and while I'm being whiny, I should point out that when hubby retired and was home when I was getting ready for work, it made me late and forgetting lunch...simply because he made the mistake of "talking to me".

 My solution is breakfast burritos.  Frozen in batches.  A month's worth left at work to re-heat.

I buy a 1.5 pound package of spicy, Italian bulk sausage and the same amount of ground pork or turkey (whichever is cheaper).  I bake that on a rimmed 1/2 bun pan at 450 for about 20 minutes. After it cools, I break it into smaller pieces with my fingers and add 2 packages (2 pounds total) of frozen vegetables (any combo you like). Normally I add onions and mushrooms for filler and flavor, but I skipped them because of the new veg mixes.  Saved time. :)

I also roast about 5-6 small potatoes, diced, using the same pan I cooked the sausage, using a small amount of the left over fat from the meat.  That also takes about 20 minutes and can be done at the same time as the meat with a small amount of olive oil.

I heat the tortillas 5 at a time in the microwave for 30 seconds to make them soft.  Then I add about 2/3 c of the filling to each.

No 2 batches of my breakfast burritos are ever the same.  This combo makes 20 burritos, about 470 calories and 45 carbs each.  They cost $1.25 each and re-heat in the microwave in 2 minutes.

Size Matters

You may have read about the trick to use smaller plates to help with portion control.   Here's last night's supper as illustration.  Hubby's on a 10.5" plate.

Compared to mine on an 8" plate.

The coleslaw and pineapple portions are the same.  On the other hand, I made my sandwich with 1 slice of bread instead of 2.  It also used an ounce less meat.  I also skipped the butter on my sandwich and put some of the slaw on my sandwich after the photo.

Difference between the 2 meals?  230 calories.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

High Nutrient, Low Cost Challenge

Like many people, I am re-focused on my health and nutrition goals in the new year.  As I was running errands Saturday, I stopped at Albertsons for a few things to get us through to my normal shopping day (Monday). I also threw away the receipt, but here's the list with some recalled costs.

I didn't think at the time to take a photo, but here's what $30 bought:

1 deli roasted chicken ($6?)
3 tubs of fruit - pineapple & cantaloupe. (3 for $10, usually $4 each)
2 1 pound bags of "baby carrots" ($5)
1 small head of cabbage ($2?)
1 bag of organic romaine lettuce hearts ($4?)
2 heads of broccoli ($3?)

For meal 1 (2 people), I cut of the stem of the broccoli and saved it for coleslaw and added 1/2 package (8 oz) of baby carrots and steamed in the microwave for 3 minutes.  Added 2 tsp butter while hot and tossed to spread the flavor.

Served 2 cups of mixed veg with legs and wings of the chicken and 1 cup of mixed fruit.

$2.50 per person
40 carbs, about 400 calories
loaded with vitamins C and A
4 minutes to prepare.

Meanwhile, I found a KFC coleslaw knock-off recipe.  I used 1/2 of the small cabbage, 4 carrots shredded along with the broccoli stems, 1/4 onion, plus the mayo, lemon and milk I had on hand for the sauce.  1 cup per person,

I served this for dinner with baked halibut (stashed in the freezer), 3/4 c of brown rice (staple) and 1 cup of a frozen mixed veg blend.

A fair estimate for the side dishes would be about $1.25 per person.  Halibut cost would depend upon where you live and the season.  I think I won this fish at a fund-raiser.

Currently, the chicken bones are becoming amazing broth.  I saved the breasts to use for sandwiches (to buddy up with the remaining cole slaw).

The odd bits of chicken, I'll add back to the soup.

I put all the bones and skin from the deli chicken into a pot.  I also rinse out all that "jell" from the bottom of the container and included that in the pot.  After I took the photo, I added 1/4 onion, 2 cloves of garlic and some dried herbs: tarragon, rosemary & a bay leaf.  It will simmer for a couple hours.  I will then pull out all the bones and bits, then let it cool overnight to solidify the fat.

So...are you SURE you want to try to convince me that eating healthy is expensive?