Tag Archives: healthy

A Week of Easy Meals

Well, good morning.  Let’s continue on with my recent confessions, shall we?

  1. I spilled a little chunk of brownie and ice cream from a Dairy Queen Blizzard on the center console of my car last week and haven’t cleaned it up yet.
  2. Until this weekend, I hadn’t grocery shopped properly for at least a month.  Just didn’t feel like it.  Nothing sounded good except ice cream.  When I had other things to pick up at Target, I would throw some random food items along with coffee grounds and 25-calorie hot chocolate packets (the essentials) into my cart and eat those.

I finally snapped out of it on Saturday and decided to make a meal plan for this week, which I’m sharing today.  The shopping list and portion sizes are for one, with the exception of the yellow cake baked oatmeal which serves 10.  You can eat this “oatmeal” at any time of day and pretend it’s healthy, so it’s nice to have on hand.

groceries

What, you don’t unpack your groceries like this?

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Healthy Blueberry Muffins

During my recent Advocare cleanse, I wanted to eat a lot of dessert as usual but obviously couldn’t indulge in regular baked goods.  HOWEVER.  I had hoped to improve my cooking and baking skills through writing this blog and realized I’d been given a golden opportunity to work with some new ingredients.  Isn’t my life exciting?

I decided to use almond flour, which is actually just a bunch of super-finely ground almonds, and coconut oil, because I read that its neutral flavor is good for baking, to make some muffins.  I also might try oil pulling with the coconut oil – have you guys ever heard of this?  Apparently you can eliminate bacteria that causes everything from gingivitis to breakouts around your chin and jawline by swishing a mouthful of the oil around for twenty minutes every morning.  Super weird but intriguing to me for some reason.

Moving on…I developed this recipe on my own, so I’d keep your expectations low.  But it’s actually healthy – the sweetness comes only from honey and blueberries – and pretty satisfying as an alternative to heavier desserts.  Let me know if you decide to try it!

blueberry muffins 2

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whole foods bulk bins

Red Lentil Soup

This past Saturday, my mom promised me at least four times that the soup she served that night would soon make an appearance on this blog.  I ignored her but naturally proceeded to wake up on Monday with a headache and sore throat.  When I hadn’t improved the next day, I thought I should eat something more nourishing than pasta (read: macaroni and cheese) for dinner, so I texted her for the recipe and here we are.  Also, I was confused to discover when I unpacked my groceries that in my feverish haze, I’d bought a variety of tea that supports healthy lactation instead of whatever I intended to.  So there’s that.

This soup is simple, healthy (lentils have plenty of fiber and protein but no fat), and soothing – perfect for the chilly, rainy spring we’ve had so far.

whole foods lentils

soup ingredients

Tomato paste that doesn’t come in a can you have to throw away after using 1/16 of it!

red lentil soup

red lentil soup 2

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new year's resolutions

Low-Key New Year’s Resolutions

Rather than having highly specific goals and timelines for my life, I’ve always believed that hard work will somehow take me where I need to go.  This leaves me open to new experiences but can also be overwhelming – sometimes the possibilities spin through my head so fast I can’t even figure out what to do on average weekend, much less feel confident that my more consequential choices are bringing me closer to my happiest, most fulfilled life.  Over the past several months, I’ve realized I need to slow down, chill out, and be a little more deliberate in my decision-making.  Here are a few strategies I came up with – I’m calling them my New Year’s resolutions because it’s still January.  They’ll require some effort but cost nothing and only take five minutes a day. Continue reading

A Fresh and Easy Lebanese Meal

I’ve discovered a few personal cooking principles over the years.  I avoid making dishes that require more than two pots.  Nothing you might also see on a plate of chicken wings can be involved (e.g. ranch dressing, celery, fiery orange buffalo sauce).  Fruit is not a valid dessert.  Luckily, my mom got me a Lebanese cookbook for Christmas that includes many recipes that meet my criteria.

Rose Water and Orange Blossoms

Rose Water and Orange Blossoms by Maureen Abood

I used two of them to make easy meal you can pull together in half an hour or so.

Fattoush Salad and Hushweh

Hushweh and Fattoush

Hushweh is a mixture of rice, chicken, ground beef or lamb, and toasted almonds.  It’s seasoned with cinnamon, and you stir in several tablespoons of butter at the end that make the chicken nice and juicy — it’s perfect for a cold winter night.  I’ve adapted the ingredient list to use a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken instead of roasting your own.  Whatever you do, I’d advise against trying to butcher a raw chicken with a steak knife. Continue reading