I'm challenging myself to prepare all of my meals this week using Shalane Flanagan's cookbook. I've been so busy cooking over the past two days that I've fallen a bit behind in the blogging department.
Yesterday I was busy catching up with Monday's meals, so today I'll consolidate all of Tuesday's meals into a single post.
Breakfast. I had an easy run + strength day yesterday. I'm not usually as hungry after this workout as I am after a swim (my Monday workout), so just one bowl of Shalane's Ginger-Molasses Granola (which I had prepared on Sunday) was plenty satisfying. As you might expect, the granola holds up well after two days, tasting just as good as it did on Monday.
Snacks. I had plenty of leftover Spelt Banana bread, which I kept in the fridge after making it on Monday. Monday's bread was delicious, but I was a little disappointed with it on Tuesday. Normally banana bread stays nice and moist if you keep it in the fridge, but this bread seemed quite a bit dryer. I don't know if that's due to the cold storage or just that it doesn't have a great shelf life. Today I will try letting it warm up for an hour or two before I eat it to see if that makes a difference.
I also made a snack that wasn't in the book, a staple of mine that I modified to fit Shalane's philosophy. I like to puree frozen bananas in the blender to make an "ice cream." Normally I put a little chocolate syrup on it but in the spirit of her book I put maple syrup and walnuts in the mix instead. It was delicious!
Lunch. I had another serving of the Carolina Chicken Tarragon Salad I made Monday. This held up very well! I added another diced avocado and that gave it just the level of unctuousness I felt it was missing yesterday. Normally I have a Diet Coke with lunch but I substituted some mint tea I bought in India last year, and that was great on a cold afternoon.
Dinner. Despite having plenty of leftover meatballs, I decided to make a new meal for Tuesday -- Shalane's Breakfast Meets Dinner Bowl. This is a bowl of brown rice topped with sauteed kale, black beans, and a fried egg. The book suggests adding some "Avocado Cream," a separate recipe which is basically guacamole. The recipe says you can wilt the kale in a little olive oil, but I wasn't getting the results I needed, so I added some chicken stock and was able to cook it down. I opted for canned Goya black beans (the book suggests making them from scratch), and I poached the eggs instead of frying them (the recipe calls for one per serving but I made two). I thought it tasted great but wanted a bit of an extra kick so I added some black pepper and Tabasco:
Shalane's dinners so far have been fairly carb-heavy. One serving includes a half-cup (before cooking) of brown rice. I like this and don't think it's too much food, but my wife would probably not agree; I think she'd probably take about half this much rice. Then again, she doesn't work out as much as I do, so it only makes sense for her to consume fewer calories.
I've been cutting down on my drinking this week but I did allow myself to indulge in a beer to accompany dinner. It was great too!
I'm pretty sure I could convince my wife to try both the dinners I've prepared so far. I think she'd feel the other items were too much food for her, but I don't think she'd disagree that they taste pretty good. In terms of taste, so far everything tastes just about as good as what I'd normally eat, with a couple of exceptions mentioned above. What remains to be seen is how this diet affects my weight and fitness. We should get a better sense of that as the week progresses.