After Christmas Dinners


If you didn’t eat dinner at our house this week, you should be sorry. Remember a few posts back when I said, “They can’t all be winners…”? This week wasn’t one of those weeks. This week, I went three for three with amazing meals. If I do say so myself.

I worked on Monday while Bub was off, so I made the menu and sent him to the grocery store. Aren’t I lucky to have such a wonderful husband who would do that for me so I wouldn’t have to battle the crazies after a long day of work!?!?

Anyway, when I planned it out, I was using this new magazine I got at the grocery store one day…it is basically a monthly magazine outlining some recipes from The Taste of Home’s Comfort Food Diet.  Now, that link links up to a pay-to-participate plan where they send you your menus and grocery lists FOR JUST $2 A DAY! But, in line with that diet, they put out a couple of cookbooks and some magazines with The Comfort Food Diet label on them. I bought the most recent one, with the Sloppy Joe Macaroni on the front cover and that’s where two of our meals this week came from.

On Monday night, we had burgundy steak over whole wheat egg noodles with asparagus (and faux-lendaise sauce). The burgundy steak recipe turned out pretty good.

Theirs

image

Mine

On Tuesday, we had glazed pork chops over stuffing and mom’s green beans (left over from Christmas dinner). This meal was delicious as well (and left just enough leftovers for me to have half a pork chop with some stuffing and the leftover sweet potatoes from Christmas dinner for lunch on Wednesday :)).

Theirs

I got so excited about this meal that I forgot to take a picture of it, but mine basically looked like that above except for my glaze was more mustardy looking than brown-sugary looking. That could be because I didn’t use real brown sugar, I used the new sucra brown sugar substitute (at zero calories).

On Wednesday, I ventured away from the Taste of Home Comfort Food Diet cookbook/magazine, but stuck with comfort food. Bub and I have been on a soup kick lately (last week we had the Lentil & Chicken Sausage Stew…with vegal–lima beans, green beans, carrots and corn–added), so I made our weekly soup…another healthy, but delicious comfort food…a twist on creamy chicken noodle soup that utilized some of our turkey leftovers from Christmas dinner…turkey noodle soup served with grilled cheese sandwiches.

This chicken noodle soup recipe turned out thick and creamy and…seriously…amazing. Also, since the turkey was already cooked (as it instructs you to do with the chicken) aside from some chopping and waiting on the stuff to boil, it was super-duper easy. You could totally do this soup with one of those store-bought chickens if you wanted.

Theirs

Our soup turned out a little more hearty, with less creamy broth, than it looks like theirs did, but that’s probably because I got a little over zealous with the turkey. Also, the recipe linked above calls for potatoes, but as I read through the comments from others who have made this dish, they said that the potatoes AND noodles made it a little too carby for their liking…so I heeded their advice and used drained canned corn instead. Both Bub and I thought that was a great play.

image

Mine

My grilled cheese was made with low-fat 2% American Cheese, Kroger wheat sandwich bread and Country Crock Lite Butter. Those pickles are the sugar-free sweet Gherkins (at zero calories for two…or four :)).

Also, for kicks, since you didn’t get to see a photo of my glazed pork chops above, I’m throwing in a dish I made a few weeks ago (twice in the month of December…but only because they are delicious and we needed to use up our $5.99 tub of bleu cheese), Bethenny Frankel’s BBQ Bleu Turkey Burgers served with Ore Ida Sweet Potato Fries and salad.

Hers

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Mine (seriously one of my favorite meals)

I love this meal because the recipe makes four big burgers. One for each of us for dinner then two days worth of lunches for me. Though it is a burger, it’s pretty good for you (bun included) since it’s made of turkey and has the condiments (any BBQ sauce and mustard of your choosing) built in, so you don’t need to add ketchup or mayo or anything else.  The burger (with bun included) is about 250 calories, the fries (for approximately 22) is 150 calories, and the salad is probably less than 50 (including dressing). Also, I don’t even feel like these need the tomato or lettuce (and certainly not onion) pictured with Bethenny’s because they’re so flavorful (and juicy) on their own.

The only problem we run into is that because ground turkey is so lean, they don’t stay together as well as a regular beef burger (no idea how Bethenny’s looks so compact and neat above). The past few times I’ve made these, I’ve tried to add egg and bread crumbs to keep them together a little better, but that only adds calories and doesn’t really help, so I would just pack them big (I usually really do only make four) and try to only flip them once or twice (it takes about 20 minutes to cook these) on a cast iron skillet or grill basket instead of a grill.

So, like I said, if you didn’t eat at our house this week, you should be sorry. Especially since we’ve been making our own soda with the SodaStream Soda Maker. So far we’ve made the diet coke (tastes like Pepsi to me), the diet pink grapefruit, the orange soda and the root beer. Pretty cool…because it’s made with water, you carbonate it yourself–to your desired level of fizziness, and even the non-diet sodas are only 35-50 calories a serving! How can you hate on that?! You can’t!

I’m taking leftover turkey noodle soup for lunch tomorrow. It’s been so nice to move away from frozen meals (even though they do come in handy in a bind). Plus, it’s been great to eat some really delicious and healthy meals this week after stuffing our faces with delicious, not-so-healthy foods for the past few weeks in our Christmas celebrations. Calories don’t count at Christmas, right?!?!

Surprisingly, my fudge is still surviving (and is pretty good) in the fridge and I’ve managed to ration my leftover pistachio cake and Mom’s Homemade Chex Mix. Maybe I have a little willpower after all.

I highly suggest you check out one of those Comfort Food Diet magazines in your grocery store checkout line. There’s a ton of great stuff in them (breakfasts, lunches, dinners, sides and desserts even). So that you can eat what you enjoy…don’t we all enjoy eating…and still keep yourself in check. There are seriously enough great recipes in that single magazine to feed Bub and me for a month, plus some for lunch.

At any rate, I did make it through the holiday without putting on A.SINGLE.POUND. so I’m pretty pumped about that and Bub has done a fantastic job maintaining as well…go us! We’ll be swimsuit ready for Barbados in no time.

Beach near Ocean 2 Barbados...wish you were there!

Now…what to have for New Year’s Eve…

We’re actually looking forward to (since all of our friends will be out of town) getting a bottle of champagne, cooking a delicious meal at home and ringing in the new year together, happy in our home with our tiny little family. Suggestions? We don’t want to fight the restaurant crowds (and their pre-set menus), but want to do something festive and yummy (that does not include Hoppin’ Jon or Black Eyed Peas).

Tomorrow is my Friday, so I’ve got time to figure it out, but I also have to tackle our fridge (all this delicious food has trumped some not so delicious leftovers…not including the yummies we brought home from mom’s Christmas dinner, we’re savoring those…that need to be combined or thrown out) and our pantry…said leftovers have left our Tupperware/spice cabinet a mess as well and I will not start the new year with my cabinets out of control!

Happy almost-my-Friday, ya’ll.

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