Week 21: Well, That Tasted Healthy…And Not In A Good Way

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Stella playing with her toy carrot, leek and banana. 

I love eating healthy food not because someone tells me it is good for me but because I genuinely enjoy the food or the dish itself. I also thoroughly enjoy unhealthy, or “sometimes”, foods but that is another story. But when you eat something that just tastes “healthy”, you know something went wrong. In that vein I tend to avoid “healthy” baked goods unless they are completely delicious (Eating Well’s Chocolate Hazelnut Cake is a worthy exception) . Baked goods and healthy just don’t go together. Treats should be exactly that, a treat. Dinner every night is less in the treat department though and it is far more difficult to cook something healthy that tastes good than something with loads of cream, bacon and butter that is good. But sometimes healthy recipes take things a steps too far. Monday nights Crustless Quiche is a perfect example of that. It calls for non-fat cottage cheese, substituting egg whites instead of whole eggs, fat-free evaporated milk, and low-fat cheddar cheese. I mean seriously! That sounds like it would taste like plastic. And what part of that would keep me full? For us to eat this as our main dish requires some easy but necessary tweaking to bulk up the fat a little more so it “sticks to my ribs”. I also love to not have to eat an entire quiche myself to feel full, so upping the fat and calories allows Travis and I to both enjoy it as our dinner and hopefully even get a little leftover for lunch the next day. I even made one tweak to the recipe that made it “healthier” too. I substituted whole wheat flour for all purpose. This is when it comes in handy to be one of those people who are willing to wing a recipe the first time rather than having to follow it step-by-step and risk not wanting to repeat it. This backfires more often than not, but just sometimes it pays off. Meal Plan & Grocery List

Monday: Crustless Quiche and Green Salad

  • I like that this is a creative and much simpler version of a quiche as well as a one-pot meal, it however requires some tweaks.
  • Changes I make to this recipe include: using low-fat cottage cheese rather than non-fat, whole evaporated milk, 3 eggs rather than egg whites, and either no meat or chicken sausage.
  • I used whole wheat flour in place of all purpose. Not a huge difference by any means.
  • You can use any kind of greens you have on hand or like. I typically use chard since I prefer it to cooked spinach and I always do way more than it calls for.

Tuesday: Spiced Rubbed Pork Chops with Lemon Green Beans and Sweet Potato Wedges

  • I like Cooking Light’s style with their “Dinner Tonight” section in that they provide a complete meal that goes together. Often I get a main dish and struggle to come up with sides that aren’t boring same-old dishes we eat all the time.
  • I increased the quantities for this recipe and doubled everything for a family of 4. So 1 lb of pork, 2 large sweet potatoes and 1 lb green beans.

Wednesday: Silky Tomato Soup with White Beans, Garlic Bread and Green Salad

  • Despite my feelings about raw tomatoes, I am usually game to try a tomato soup so long as it has been heavily enhanced. This one sounded perfect to me since it has both bread and beans in it making it a heartier meal as well as a perfect disguise for tomatoes. It did not disappoint.

Thursday: Honey Dijon Glazed Salmon with Herbed Bulgur and Squash

  • I made this meal all by myself, which is something worth noting. Meat and fish cooking are not my strong suit so you know this recipe was super easy! Their salmon cooking directions were spot on.
  • I overflowed the honey mustard in the microwave and do not recommend that. Either use a big bowl or just skip the microwave.
  • I used green beans and broccoli (from my garden) instead of squash and they were a fine substitute.

Friday: One-Pot Cheesy Pasta Bake with Chard and Italian Sausage

  • I used Italian sausage instead of ground beef and increased the quantities a bit, and it turned out really well. I love one-pot meals so including the pasta cooking in the pot is always a win.
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