Bad foodie, very bad.

Or maybe I’ve been a good foodie and a bad healthy foodie. Hmm. Either way, I’ve been really enthusiastic about all food-related pursuits lately… a little too enthusiastic, if you catch my drift. I’ve been back on Perricone for the past week, and while I’ve been (mostly) obedient, I went a little overboard once or twice, and worst of all, I haven’t been working out. So, naturally, I was beginning to get pretty frustrated when I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted to see.

No, these pelmeni were not gluten free. And yes, they were delicious.

So, for my August resolution, I will 1) stick to Perricone for as long as I can stand, and 2) work out every day, even if it’s only for 15 minutes. I got this app called MapMyWalk and walked a total of 5.87 miles today. I’m going to get back into this walking thing. I feel so much better about life when I’m exercising.

And, because this is a foodie blog, I feel I must share a photo of tonight’s scrumptious and healthy dinner:

4 oz. coconut breaded chicken fingers (from Whole Foods); pesto dipping sauce; grilled vegetable kabob (from Trader Joe’s); romaine salad with roma tomato, red onion, fresh basil and parmesan cheese, dressed with olive oil-balsamic vinaigrette.

As you probably figured out, I used my new grill for the veggies. It was only the second time I’ve used it, but I’m getting markedly less nervous about the smoke. I really enjoy cooking on this grill. It cooks things fast and it smells like summer.

I’m going to be better about posting, I swear. I feel like it’s the only thing that keeps me honest about what I’m eating, aside from logging everything (and that takes a lot more time).

Day 12.

Breakfast

On the menu: Scrambled eggs (3 egg whites and 1 yolk) with a little chopped onion and green bell pepper; 2 slices turkey bacon; 1/2 cup strawberries.

The reality: Scrambled eggs with a little chopped onion and green bell pepper; 2 slices turkey bacon; 1/2 cup strawberries.

Summary: This was fun. I kind of like chopping in the morning. I do wish I’d utilized less of the onion and green bell pepper, because there ended up being a high veggie-t0-egg ratio, but the flavor was still good. Lots of protein happening this morning! Hopefully it will help me stay awake at work today.

Lunch

On the menu: 3 to 5 ounces of chicken salad (made with 2 ounces chicken saved from last night’s dinner, mixed with chopped red onion and celery, and dressed with 1 tablespoon olive oil and lemon juice) served on a bed of romaine lettuce; sliced tomatoes; 1 cup chicken-vegetable soup.

The reality: 2 ounces Vietnamese-Style Caramel Braised Chicken (yep, still eating those leftovers); romaine lettuce salad with chopped red onion, celery, and sliced tomato, dressed with olive oil and lemon juice; 1 cup chicken-vegetable soup.

Summary: I like my protein warm. Also, the salad wouldn’t have been quite right with that particular chicken recipe.

Afternoon Snack

On the menu: 1/2 cup plain yogurt; 1/2 cup blueberries; 3 almonds.

The reality: 1/2 cup plain yogurt with cinnamon and Splenda; 1/2 apple; 3 wasabi soy almonds.

Summary: Due to the sudden lack of blueberries, I had to do some substituting. The only fruit at the little convenience store in my work building consisted of fresh apples and canned peaches, so I went for the former. The apple was fairly large, so I chopped it in half and cut it into little pieces (with a plastic knife, I might add). I ended up adding a little more cinnamon and Splenda to the apple pieces and mixing them up with the yogurt. The result was reminiscent of an apple crisp, minus the just-out-of-the-oven part.

Dinner

On the menu: 6 ounces grilled salmon; salad of romaine lettuce, sliced tomato, and avocado, dressed with olive oil and lemon juice; grilled zucchini and mushroom kebabs.

The reality: 6 ounces baked sesame salmon; salad of romaine lettuce, sliced tomato, and avocado, dressed with olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic; zucchini and mushrooms sauteed in olive oil and garlic.

Summary: The sesame salmon is from Safeway, and it was delicious! They have these individually packed frozen salmon portions (they have lots of other fish, too – I swear, I stared at the freezer case for ten minutes in overwhelmed awe trying to decide how much I could carry home). I don’t have a grill, aside from the George Foreman, so I decided to try a saute, which was also a success.

Bedtime Snack

On the menu: 2 ounces tuna salad (water-packed tuna mixed with onion, celery, pepper, and a touch of mayonnaise); 4 almonds; 1 pear.

The reality: 2 ounces tuna salad; 4 Tuscan almonds; 1 pear.

Summary: I was more in the mood for a cottage cheese dessert, but this ended up being yummy. I probably added too much mayo to the tuna salad, but oh well… it was delicious anyway.

Today’s Exercise

I walked to and from work, then I walked to and from Safeway – two miles round trip, one of which is uphill, the other of which was while carrying at least 10 pounds’ worth of groceries. True story. Then I got back and made that ikra, which required chopping and standing.

Summary

I may have snuck a little bit of ikra while I was cooking… and maybe a little parmesan cheese while I was making my lunch for tomorrow… and maybe a little more ikra. It’s going to be a tasty batch, I can tell.

I loved dinner tonight. I was surprised the saute turned out so well, considering I was improvising and that’s usually when my cooking goes awry. I was very pleased with the salmon as well. Definitely a happy food day. I think I’ve been feeling so tired because of the cold, because it often hits me after my walk to work. I wish it would get warm here already. It’s springtime… maybe Seattle didn’t get the memo.

Day 11.

Breakfast

On the menu: 4 ounces smoked salmon; 3 ounces plain yogurt; 1/2 cup blueberries; 1 tomato slice.

The reality: 4 ounces peppered smoked salmon; 3 ounces plain yogurt with Splenda and cinnamon; 1/2 cup blueberries; 1 tomato slice.

Summary: A tomato slice? Really? That was random. I almost replaced it with almonds, but I decided to just go with it, see if it surprised me. Turns out slices of tomato are not full of surprises. This did make for quite the colorful breakfast, however. I very much enjoyed eating all that smoked salmon – 4 ounces is a lot. I probably would’ve been fine with 2, but I decided to do as I was told, for once.

Lunch

On the menu: 6-ounce can crabmeat, dressed with 1 tablespoon mayo; 1/2 cup lentil soup; large romaine lettuce salad dressed with olive oil and lemon juice.

The reality: 6-ounce can crabmeat, dressed with 1 tablespoon mayo and a little salt and pepper; 1/2 cup lentil soup; large romaine lettuce salad dressed with olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic, topped with a little parmigiano reggiano.

Summary: Canned crabmeat doesn’t have a lot of flavor to it, so I added some salt and pepper. Next time I think I’ll add lemon juice, or maybe some olive oil – that would probably be tasty. I should get sea salt at some point, but I think kosher salt is acceptable. I also added cheese to the salad because I like it.

Afternoon Snack

On the menu: 1 hard-boiled egg; 4 cherry tomatoes; 4 almonds.

The reality: 1 hard-boiled egg with a little salt and pepper; 4 cherry tomatoes; 4 wasabi-soy almonds.

Summary: Didn’t I just have a hard-boiled egg yesterday? Oh well… good thing I like them.

Dinner

On the menu: 6 ounces roasted chicken breast; 1/2 cup Manhattan clam chowder; 1/2 cup grilled tomato topped with sliced tomato and 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese.

The reality: 6 ounces leftover chicken serenada; 1/2 cup Whole Foods Spicy Manhattan Clam Chowder; 1/2 cup misto alla griglio topped with sliced tomato and 1 tablespoon parmigiano reggiano.

Summary: I was very happy to discover that my leftovers had not gone to waste. The misto alla griglio was really tasty with the tomato and parmigiano reggiano. And I really enjoyed the clam chowder. Mmm. Whole Foods knows what it’s doing.

Bedtime Snack

On the menu: 1/2 cup cottage cheese; 1/2 cup blueberries; 4 almonds.

The reality: 1/2 cup cottage cheese with a little cinnamon and Splenda; 1/2 cup strawberries; 4 cinnamon almonds.

Summary: Yay! Cottage cheese! But my blueberries went bad… boo.

Today’s Exercise

Walked to and from work, then spent an hour on the stationary bike reading Harry Potter. I burned just over 300 calories on the machine, so it actually wasn’t too bad – this is my favorite exercise when I just feel like being cozy.

Summary

I keep thinking about Russian food and what I’m going to eat on Sunday. I think that’s a sign I’m getting bored with my diet. I’m going to have to get more creative with my cooking, I think. I just got some cookbooks in the mail and fully intend to try them out next week.

Maybe I’ll have dim sum… or Thai food… or sushi. But I’m definitely doing the Russian Easter Sunday thing. Then I’ll go right back to my meal plan on Monday.

Anyway, besides the food boredom, I still feel pretty good. I’m almost out of krill oil, so I ordered more, but I don’t know when that will get here and there may be a few days I go without… we’ll see how that works out.

Vietnamese-Style Caramel-Braised Chicken

Serves four.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup fish sauce
2 large shallots, finely chopped
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 to 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 3/4-inch-wide strips
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:

In a small bowl, mix the fish sauce and 1/4 cup water. In another small bowl, mix the shallots, garlic, and pepper flakes, and 1/2 tsp black pepper.

Put the sugar and 2 tbsp water in a 10-inch straight-sided saute pan over medium heat and cook, swirling the pan occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Let the melted sugar come to a boil and cook, swirling the pan occasionally at first and more frequently as the sugar browns, until it has caramelized to a deep amber color, 5 to 8 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and, standing back to avoid spatters, slowly add the fish sauce mixture to the pan. Swirl the pan to combine, return to medium heat, and bring to a boil. Add the shallot mixture and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until the shallots soften, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the chicken pieces to the pan in a single layer, reduce the heat to medium-low or low, cover, and cook at a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve sprinkled with cilantro.

Et voila.