Lunch & dinner, lunch & dinner

More dinners made from the London Broil we grilled on Monday: 
• Wednesday: London Broil on a big bed of red leaf lettuce with vinaigrette, homegrown tomatoes and blue cheese crumbles. 
• Thursday: London Broil stir fry with green peppers from the garden and baby portobello mushrooms from YDFM (side of baked sweet potato).

Lunch (x5): stewed black beans with a dollop of Greek yogurt

Steak fajitas


One $16, ethically raised, London broil from YDFM made five nights of different, homemade, delicious dinners for two. That's $1.60 per meat portion per meal! Two of the dinners included something we grew in the garden. Two more of them COULD have if we'd tried broccoli this winter or if it were summer and our pepper seedlings were bigger.

Add to that, the pot of oatmeal we ate from for every breakfast and the pot of black beans we ate from for every lunch - this may go down as one of our cheapest, most delicious, real food weeks ever. Even Oliver's dinnertime beer was homebrew!

Wednesday leftovers

The left overs from last night's dinner were reassembled for tonight's stir-fry dinner. This time the green's came from the last the bok choy growing in our backyard (it was flowering - hence the pretty garnish).  Dessert was Greek yogurt with cinnamon, nutmeg, honey and berries. Lunch was a salad of bibb lettuce (picked this morning from our garden) with a delicious homemade sesame ginger dressing. For breakfast we enjoyed steel cut oatmeal with yellow raisins and walnuts. On my way from work to kickboxing I ate a banana. And in the spirit of truthfulness: I ate about 20 Jolly Rancher flavor jelly beans at work... I'm only human! - Cullen

What's for dinner? Meat and four

Dinner for two, grilled over charcoal in the backyard. Hanger steak, sweet potato and leeks from YDFM. Kale and arugula from our garden. Red wine from Trader Joes. 

Why this red meat and booze meal still counts as heart healthy:
1. Hanger steak is a comparatively leaner cut of beef. 
2. Sweet potatoes are a super food! They're high in: dietary fiber, vitamins, protein, iron and calcium. Kale is one of the healthiest vegetables around. And arugula is pretty good for you too.
3. And enjoyed in moderation, Red wine is still considered beneficial for hearth health (I say "still" because the reasons are debated).

What's for dinner? Slow cooked chuck roast and vegetables

The chuck roast went into the crock pot first thing Wednesday morning (Oliver was simultaneously grinding coffee beans and chopping onions ). By the time I got home from work (12 hours later) the house smelled UNREAL. On the stove were mushrooms a jus and fennel braising in a bit of butter and chicken stock. I could hardly wait for him to finish up so we could eat. Truly a delicious meal. Thursday we (happily) ate the same dinner. This time on the front porch (it was 70 degrees at 7pm) and with some roasted kale.


Valentine's Day - let's eat!

For dinner: strip steak, medium rare, with a mushroom wine pan sauce. Sides of asparagus, quartered roasted Yukon gold potatoes and a wilted spinach salad with goat cheese.
For lunch: deli sliced turkey, cucumber, mixed greens, red onion and cream cheese on YDFM whole wheat sourdough. (Along with a surprise delivery of two dozen, long stem, red roses and my favorite chocolate bar!)
Pregym: slice of bread with avocado, lemon juice and red pepper flakes.

Weight Loss Update
Day 22
(weigh in is Thursday)
It can be difficult to lose weight in an environment that often offers free sweets... but I am relieved to say I made it through Valentine's Day without giving into temptation. It was not easy (especially when I found myself hungry at 3pm) but it was doable. One co-worker brought in a dozen heart shaped Dunkin' Donuts. Another brought in homemade mini "Pop Tarts". And because said "Pop Tarts" were both mini and made with homemade cherry filling (from real cherries) I had just enough of an excuse to eat one... but I did not. Instead I enjoyed the small Valentine's snack I'd brought from home: three mejool dates and ten raw almonds. Even so, I'm doubtful that I'll have lost weight this week so my current goal is to not have gained any back.

Winter's stew (on a very springlike night)

When Oliver purchased the chuck roast on Tuesday he put aside a portion for stew. Thursday he cubed it, dredged it in flour/salt/ pepper/cayenne and browned it in olive oil. To this he added low sodium beef stock, garlic, cinnamon, paprika and onion. Two hours of simmering, then in with carrots and celery. Twenty minutes later he added the very last peppers from our garden. Ten more  minutes of simmering and the stew was ready! Oliver topped our dishes with homemade mashed potatoes - Mmm!

The only thing that could have made this great meal better would have been a winter night! It reached 70 degrees today. Warm enough that I went to the gym in a tank top (no fleece pull over for the car ride) and then came home and opened a few doors and windows. I doubt we'll be having a white Christmas but I'm very happy that our kale, bok choy and lettuces will have time to continue growing. 

On a separate note, I've been continuing to watch the first season of the Beekman Boys. In an episode I watched tonight they slaughtered their first barnyard animals (Porky and Bess, a pair the cutest pigs I've ever seen). I agree with their mentality but still found a few tears rolling down my face. People are often surprised to learn that I believe I will one day be able to not only keep chickens but also slaughter and eat them. I believe Brent explained it best. Knowing that this had been their plan all along they chose to give their pigs the best life possible. Now every time they enjoy a meal from them they will remember them. Most notably he concluded by saying "raising and slaughtering a pig did make me realize that never again should I eat a .99 cent hamburger - because that meat has  a much greater value then a dollar menu". I agree.