Crawfish Festival

When I attended the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival earlier this month, I was able to get some great crawfish to eat. We had crawfish Friday and Saturday nights. Was it enough? Well, no. It’s never enough.

I had been hoarding a 16 ounce package of frozen crawfish tails given to me on another trip to Lafayette. Someone was cleaning out their freezer, and I was able to get that, and some other things, home to put in my freezer. I have a tendency to hoard my Cajun food, but this time, I decided to use them. I thawed them in the refrigerator, and decided to divide them into four servings. With the first 3 ounces, I made crawfish macaroni and cheese with Trader Joe’s Reduced Guilt Mac and Cheese.

tjmacncheesecrawfishI sauteed some onions and peppers in a tiny bit of butter and olive oil, and added seasonings: garlic, parsley, and Tony Chachere’s Cajun Seasoning. While the vegetables were cooking down, I put the frozen entree into the microwave oven to cook according to directions. I added the crawfish – which, of course are already cooked – and heated them up. I didn’t want to overdo it, because it is easy to make them tough. Finally, I added the macaroni and cheese and blended everything together.

I topped it all off with some shredded Parmesan cheese (only 20 calories for 2 tablespoons, I think),  I had some zucchini, artichokes and peppers that I had cooked earlier, and they made a great side item. Lucky for me, I had the ideal wine to drink: Charles Shaw Pinot Grigio from Trader Joe’s… Now known as “Three Buck Chuck”.

Now, I know what you are thinking. Gee, wasn’t that a lot of calories. Actually, no. Three ounces of crawfish (I weighed it on my Weight Watchers scale) is only 70 calories. This crawfish dish ended up being about 430 calories, not including the side and the wine.

The second experiment was with Lean Cuisine Fettuccine Alfredo. I decided to get a little more organized – and take pictures, of course. The Trader Joe’s picture was taken as an afterthought. You may notice that I got a little fancier with my photo editing… Thank you, Fotor.com.

ingredientsfettalfI love my little prep bowls! I like to get everything chopped and organized first. I also expanded my ingredients. I stayed with peppers and onions sauteed in a mix of olive oil and butter (just a tad). I added Dorot garlic and parsley cubes, mushrooms and was still debating whether my garnish would be Parmesan cheese only, or if I would chop some green onion tops to add color. There is, of course, the ubiquitous Tony Chachere’s.

fettuccinemontageI followed the same routine. Clockwise, from top left:

  • saute onions and peppers in the butter and oil mixture. Add the frozen Dorot cubes to melt into the mix
  • add the chopped mushrooms and stir. At this time, you can put the Lean Cuisine in the microwave to cook
  • toss in the crawfish and let them simmer a while so that they are heated up
  • this time, I didn’t cook the fettuccine all the way. I added it to the pan to heat up with the rest of the mix

The center photo is of the finished product. Again, the stats are reasonable. With the added Parmesan, it came to about 450 calories. And it was delicious. The mushrooms were a great addition.

lcfettalphcrawfishI spent a lot of time (probably more than I should have…) looking for other frozen entrees that would be a good vehicle for crawfish. In the end, I decided to stick with pasta. I had one entree in particular in my mind: Weight Watchers Smart Ones Rigatoni in Vodka Cream Sauce. I knew that would be great with crawfish, so I picked up a package at WalMart before school and brought it home.

Crawfish has a stronger taste than shrimp and does not go with everything. I turned to the internet for inspiration for added ingredients, too. I knew that peppers and onions were a no-brainer, as were garlic and parsley. I used some butter because it adds a lot of flavor to crawfish. I basically thought of an ingredient and did a Google search for dishes incorporating that ingredient with crawfish. I had some canned artichokes, and if I had had some cooked eggplant, that would also have been good.

sorigatonicrawfishAs you can see, I followed the same routine: prepare veggies, sautee veggies, add crawfish, then add frozen entree. I had forgotten that I purchased some Penzey’s Cajun Seasoning, so I used that instead of Tony’s this time. I was going to use a “butter substitute” that I had in the fridge, but in the end, the calorie count was similar, so I kept with butter and oil. I also garnished with green onions. It was delicious and filling. The calorie count was about 460 calories for the dish.

I still had one more serving of crawfish, but had run out of ideas. Finally, after a couple of days, I decided to just add them to a mix of sauteed veggies. The crawfish had been in the fridge for just over a week, I think. I smelled the remaining crawfish, and tasted one of them and decided they would be okay if I sauteed them. They didn’t taste bad at all, but two hours later, rushing to the bathroom, it occurred to me that I was mistaken… Oh, well. My discomfort was short-lived, and a lesson was learned.

I am headed this weekend to New Orleans on the Megabus. I just finished winning $100 in the Weight Loss Challenge at school, and I have lost 8 pounds so far. So, I am going to try not to totally blow my diet. It is, however, Memorial Day weekend, and I am SOOO happy that school is over. I am not making any promises. When I get back on Tuesday, I will get back on track.

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Salad Days Are Here!

The week that I decided to start on this diet was just before a barbecue given by a friend. Having lived with people with dietary restrictions, I have always prided myself on being a carefree guest. I will and can eat just about anything. From grasshoppers to beef tongue to weird fruits and vegetables, I will try anything once. So I was a little self-conscious when I called ahead and asked what was on the menu. Filet, baked potato, corn on the cob, chips and dip, and giant cupcakes for dessert. Okayyyy…

First thing I did was to look up the calorie count on steak. There are about 40 calories per ounce of beef tenderloin steak (lean, of course), so I figured I could have about 3 – 1-20140427_1821424 ounces. That left me with the question of what else to eat. I love cold steak salad, so I decided to bring my salad along and mix it at my friend’s house. Then, when everyone was ready to eat, I would eat my salad.

I had bought two bags of greens: a spring mix and an Italian salad mix (mostly Romaine). I took a handful of each and tossed them together. I also added some fresh cilantro and parsley leaves for flavor. I put thin slices of shallot in the mix, but I won’t do that next time – the shallot overpowered the mix. I brought little containers of sauteed peppers, grape tomatoes, asparagus, and blue cheese. I also brought my own light vinaigrette. It was a beautiful salad. I even had steak left over to add to my Beef Merlot Steamer the next day.

I used my second package of Lean Cuisine Salad Additions – the Southwest Style Chicken Salad. I tried to work with the salad by starting with less lettuce, but still ended up adding to the ingredients, which added to the calorie count. I had a can of black beans and added about a quarter cup. I added sauteed peppers and onions and corn, I think. I then topped it off with some blue cheese – everything tastes better with blue cheese on it!1-IMG_5820

My new “go to” meal at Pappadeaux’s, for example, is a dozen raw Gulf oysters (an oyster is between 10 and 12 calories each!) with cocktail sauce, and their Beefsteak Tomato Salad. It is a simple salad: a whole tomato cut in half, with purple onions sprinkled on top, followed by blue cheese. I have them add lump crabmeat and bring the vinaigrette on the side. My favorite meal was one where the waiter said, “you realize that there is no steak in this salad, right?” I wonder how many times other people have made this mistake.

Along with that, I may have a Beefeater martini on the rocks with a twist of lemon (it’s basically gin on the rocks), or I might order some white wine. Now, the calorie count is pretty low, but the price tag is pretty high. Since I am trying to budget my restaurant dining experiences, I can’t do this all the time. As it is, with a Pappadeaux just down the road, it’s hard to resist.

Now that I have discovered the amazing tzatziki dip, I can also come home to a plate of sliced raw vegetables and about a 1/4 cup of dip neatly arranged in the center. I sent a picture to my mom, and she commented that only we would arrange a plate of vegetables to eat immediately as a snack.1-IMG_5825

I have not made tzatziki sauce or dip myself yet, but I have tried two brands. The first brand I found was Otria Greek Yogurt Veggie Dip in Cucumber Dill and Feta. It was not bad, but clocked in at 60 calories a serving. It was also a bit sweet and had a ton of ingredients (read: non-natural). When I went to Lafayette, my guy wanted to try some, and we finally found it at Rouse’s. He liked it so much he almost ate the whole thing (with celery). I went on a round of shopping last week, and came across another prepared dip at Whole Foods – All Natural Cedars Tzatziki with Natural Greek Yogurt. It was only 20 calories a serving and the flavor was more authentic.

I have an assortment of vegetables that I like to eat with the tzatziki. I pick up bags of those mini sweet colored peppers, baby carrots, grape tomatoes, and Persian cucumbers. I am thinking of trying radishes, and I have eaten steamed asparagus with it as well. I am not really a raw broccoli or cauliflower girl right now. Maybe it’s an acquired taste.

 

In the mood for pizza?

I have been away for a while. Last weekend, I went back to Acadiana to visit my guy and to attend the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival. It was my first time attending. Boiled crawfish are low in calories (23-24 calories per ounce and about 370 calories for a pound!), but I have a hard time eating them without a mayonnaise-based sauce that often accompanies them. It is basically mayonnaise, ketchup and something called Cajun Power. I contemplated making some with fat free or low fat mayonnaise and sugar-free ketchup, but tried this combo at a friend’s house and found it (ironically) too sweet. So, I decided to go easy on myself about that. I had weighed in last Thursday to find that I had lost 6 pounds.

So, I celebrated from Thursday night through Monday… Oyster poboy, margaritas, Mexican food, and wine. I did have an egg white omelet Sunday, though, and ate on plan Friday until dinner and on Monday until dinner. Then, I got back on the wagon. Today, at my weigh in – I had only gained back one pound!!! And to make it even better, I won the “secret weigh-in” of our school-wide challenge. It’s done on percentage lost – and I lost 2.66%. And I WON $62.50!!!! Awesome!

I have some pictures that I haven’t posted yet. Among them is a picture of the Trader Joe’s Reduced Guilt Pizza Primavera, which has roasted vegetables on top. I have been very disappointed with this line – the Chicken Poblano was awful, as was the Filet of Sole. The Pizza Primavera (250 calories) was not as bad – I doctored it a bit with Penzey’s herbs and Parmesan cheese. I did bake it in the microwave oven, I believe. I also ate it with some olives. The eggplant was a little bitter, but it was edible.

1-IMG_5690  1-IMG_5693

I do love pizza so much. Before this plan, I would order Pizza Hut or Papa John’s at least twice a month. Meatlovers Pan Pizza from Pizza Hut was my favorite, and my own version of the Spinach Alfredo Deluxe (which was discontinued) from Papa John’s. I also like pepperoni pizza (who doesn’t?). I would make my own pizza every once in a while, with Kontos pocketless pita bread, and thought that made a great crust alternative.

I hesitate to buy regular sized or multi-serving frozen pizzas, although I know that Kashi, Amy’s and Trader Joe’s have great offerings. It usually takes about a day and a half for me to finish off a Pizza Hut or Papa John’s pizza, and I am afraid that I would eat more that my 1/3 frozen, healthy pizza (from what I can see, Kashi and Trader Joe’s pizzas are three servings.).

I found out that Kashi has come out with two new single serve pizzas. I can’t wait to try them, but I could not find them in the Store Locator in the Atlanta area. According to the Hungry Girl, they debuted in December of 2013. Where are they????  There is the Greek Tzatziki Pizza, (300 calories) and the Indian Tikka Masala Pizza (300 calories). Come on Kashi!!! Bring it on!

1-leancuisine pizza

I decided to get a Lean Cuisine Traditional Pepperoni Pizza (as opposed to the French Bread Pizza, I guess). That is very good pizza. It is small, but still is 380 calories, so one must eat it slowly, cutting it into four small pieces and supplementing the meal with veggies. A salad might be nice. Oh, they also sell them in 4 packs at Walmart, not just at Sam’s Club!

1-bulkLCpizzawalmart

So, with pizza on my mind, I went to Whole Foods after school. I went to get a new supply of Dorot frozen herbs – they have the best selection now that Trader Joe’s is only carrying the basil and garlic. They are kept in the frozen foods section, so of course I checked the case out to see what they had on sale. The answer: not much. But there were a couple of the Tandoor Chef Naan Pizzas at a reduced price of $2.69 each. They look so good! They come in a strange shape, and are two servings per pizza.

1-TC-NaanPizza-spinach-090409-face  1-Tandoor-Chef-Naan-Pizza-233x300

Don’t those look good? I may even be able to cut half to defrost and put the rest back in the freezer… The Spinach and Paneer Cheese Naan Pizza is only 290 calories for half and the Roasted Eggplant Naan Pizza is 320 calories for half. There is also a Cilantro Pesto Naan Pizza and a Margherita Naan Pizza – each worth 260 calories for half – yes, please!!! – and a Vegetarian Jalapeno Naan Pizza worth 230 calories (I think I will pass…). I can’t wait to try the ones I bought, though!

Finally, I stopped by Trader Joes on my way home and picked up one of their new specialty items: the Trader Joe’s Wild Mushroom and Black Truffle Flatbread. It looks pretty big, and half of it is supposed to be 390 calories. That is pretty reasonable, but I could also try and cut it into thirds or into strips. One third of the flatbread would be only 260 calories.

I know – lotsa pizza talk. Now I want to try something!

Feeling full

62e9ea7223e14b43579932ba958fbc8dHa ha – very funny. I get it, though. My only issue with certain Lean Cuisine entrees is that many of them have hardly any or NO vegetables. Take the fettuccine Alfredo. It’s pretty much just pasta and sauce. You need more than that. Thank goodness that this diet requires at least 4 vegetable and 3 fruit servings. It even politely says, “Although many entrees contain vegetables, you should add at least four vegetable servings to your daily consumption.” Healthy Choice actually does better in this regard, for the most part.

1-IMG_5704But, lookie here! The Lean Cuisine Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes tastes great, but it is a little skimpy. Enter the vegetable sides. On the left is a combination of red, yellow, and orange mini bell peppers with about half an onion. I make a big batch to use for several days. Sometimes I add corn or canned diced fire-roasted tomatoes, or both… On the right is from a bag of frozen broccoli and cauliflower. I microwaved them, then cut them into even pieces and sauteed them a while to make them less watery. Good stuff!

1-IMG_5708Here is the infamous Lean Cuisine Glazed Chicken. Here is the description of the entree that you find on the website: “roasted white meat chicken in a savory lemon tarragon sauce with rice, green beans & cashews.” to up the flavor, I chopped up some cashews (you can’t really see any in the dish) and added a couple of squirts of lemon. I didn’t have any tarragon. On the side, I have my faithful peppers and some beautiful steamed asparagus. It was not bad, but I still have one more left (three down).

1-1-IMG_5672Above is a plate of cheese ravioli. There are six generous dumplings and the sauce is very tasty. It’s hard to see, but underneath all of that is a serving of sauteed zucchini and yellow squash. Just what it needed – except for one more thing: grated parmesan cheese. So, don’t go assuming that you will not be well-fed on this diet. You will be okay.

Size DOES Matter…

Last night, I tried the new Lean Cuisine Salad Additions. I bought the Asian Chicken Salad and the Southwestern Chicken Salad. I bought them because they were only $2.00 each, plus the boxes are worth double the points on the Lean Cuisine Delicious Rewards website. Here is what I found when I opened the reasonably large box:

Open the box, and here's what you've got.

Open the box, and here’s what you’ve got.

Okay… A small steam pouch of chicken, yellow and orange carrots, broccoli, edamame, and pineapple. The pouch to the right is the Sesame Ginger Dressing, and in the foreground, you see the crunchy noodles. I decided to cook the packet and let it cool to put on my salad. I then proceeded to put one fistful each of spring mix and Italian mix into my big metal salad mixing bowl. I tore up some cilantro leaves to add to the greens, then took out my mini tomatoes, one baby cucumber, and some mini peppers to add to the salad.

It’s a good thing I did. I love you, Lean Cuisine, but this is not a decent portion. I picked out the chicken and weighed it on my Weight Watchers scale – about one ounce! Thank goodness I had cut up and sauteed some chicken for my dog’s dinner. I added another ounce to the mix. And, since I could barely see the shreds of pineapple, I cut some of the fresh, luscious pineapple I had on hand and added it.

myasiansaladNow, I am willing to admit that my idea of a salad portion is pretty large, because lettuce is so low calorie. I also added some sugar snap peas. I don’t think I will be doing that again. I haven’t tried the Southwest Chicken salad – maybe I will make a smaller bunch of salad and bring it to school.

This thing does work both ways. I mentioned yesterday the great deal I got on Cedar Lane entrees. I will now admit that Cedar Lane is not a diet dinner entree label. Of the four dinners I got, only the Eggplant Mediterranean was low calorie (200). The other three are decidedly more caloric. I also am only counting calories right now, so I haven’t paid a lot of attention to fat calories. That being said, since I slept in today, I decided to splurge and have the Burrito Grande with Chile Verde.

burritograndeverde1I originally took the photo with the two different sized plates, but realize now that It is difficult to see the difference. Oh, well. Notice the calorie count – 230 calories. It does not say “per serving” or hint on the front of the box that this is a two serving meal. I decided to splurge and count it as both breakfast and dinner – brunch, if you will. Before cooking the burrito, which takes about 5 minutes plus resting time, I chopped up a lovely melange of Mexican vegetables.

I chopped up half an onion, one poblano pepper, one half of a zucchini, one small summer squash, and two mini peppers. I added about a 1/2 cup of frozen corn and some chopped cilantro and a cube of Dorot garlic, and sauteed the bunch. For flavor, I added ancho chile powder, cumin, Mexican oregano, and epazote (all Penzey’s spices – so good!). I topped it off with a squeeze of lime.

big plateNow, here is the full sized dinner plate with the whole burrito and about a cup of the mixed vegetables. I knew I could easily eat that, but, just for kicks, decided to cut the burrito in half and put it on a smaller plate with about the same amount of veggies. Here it is:

small plate burritoCan you tell the difference now? Maybe I should put them side by side. I went and sat down and ate the half burrito, which was delicious, with most of the vegetables. Then, I went into the kitchen and put the other half on my plate and ate that too. I won’t buy this very often, but I have to say it is extremely delicious. More later when I try the Burrito Grande with Salsa Roja (2 servings) and the Roasted Chile Relleno (1 serving).

An Evening of Greek Food

Now, last weekend, I filled my larder – I got alerted to some good deals at Publix and Kroger by logging onto their websites. I got a lot of Lean Cuisine – meals as well as their Salad Additions were $2 each. They also had their Lean Cuisine Honestly Good meals on sale – 4/$10. There was a big “discontinued” tag on their place in the freezer. Oh, well.

I have enough entrees to last almost a month. They cost between $2 and $3 each, and some are multiple servings. Score!

I have enough entrees to last almost a month. They cost between $2 and $3 each, and some are multiple servings. Score!

I bought two Kashi entrees and one of their steam bag meals. I bought Healthy Choice Steamers, too. As for the Smart Ones, I found a deal at Publix to get one free breakfast entree if I bought two (savings, $3). Now, there is definitely something to be said for buying the Lean Cuisine and Healthy Choice entrees individually on sale rather than in bulk at Costco. Good thing number one: NO chance of getting FOUR of the same entree. (Yeah, LC Glazed Chicken, I’m talking about YOU.) Yes, it was probably 20 to 25 cents more, but you have a greater variety to choose from.

One of the best deals was on Cedar Lane entrees. I am a big fan of Cedar Lane – not so much of their breakfast omelets (a little watery and they never have the green chile on in stock), but for their ethnic offerings. I picked up their moussaka (AKA Eggplant Mediterranean), which is only 200 calories for one serving. I must have foreseen a Greek-themed evening, because I also got some Oikos cucumber dip to eat with vegetables. I also got 10 GREEK yogurts for $10.00.

When I got home last night, I already envisioned myself sitting down to a lovely bowl of veggies and a measured portion of the cucumber dip for my snack/appetizer. When I did get home, I instead thought I would try the dip with the Kellogg’s cracker chips to see if it would satisfy a craving for chips and dip. It didn’t. So, veggies it was.

Greek cucumber dip with grape tomatoes, Persian cucumbers, mini peppers, and baby carrots.

Greek cucumber dip with grape tomatoes, Persian cucumbers, mini peppers, and baby carrots.

I had found Persian cucumbers at the Buford Highway Farmers’ Market, and sliced one of them diagonally to make chips. I sliced grape tomatoes in half, chose the tiniest and thinnest baby carrots, and then sliced one of my baby bell peppers. I put all of that in a bowl and ate them with the dip. First time I have done that in recent memory. Not bad. I do, however, want to make my own dip (tzatziki is a Greek sauce made with yogurt, cucumbers, garlic, and olive oil and dill). This dip I purchased had a kajillion ingredients and was a little too sweet.

I had planned on eating zucchini and yellow squash with my moussaka. I had some parsley and lemon and garlic, so I wanted to use those to add a Greek flavor to those vegetables. I vaguely remembered that being part of the Greek flavor profile. THEN, I remembered that I have a copy of Sheila Lukins’  All Around the World Cookbook. What a wonderful book!!! I remembered that there were beautiful drawn illustrations of things like the “Tunisian Fruit Basket” and… “The Greek Palate”. Steven Guarnaccia was the illustrator, by the way, and the sketches he did were great. The only problem is that the book is not in order of ethnicity or region.

This was very good, and filling, too.

This was very good, and filling, too.

So, while I was sauteing my squash, I first added cut up fresh parsley, a cube of Dorot frozen garlic, and a squeeze of lemon. I finally located it – inexplicably towards the front of the book. I was right about my choices, but I saw that olives and capers were also a part of their customary food palate (I like that word). I chopped up the olives and even the capers into tiny pieces and mixed them up with the cooked squash. It was very good! Of course, I took a picture of it. I sat down and ate my lovely meal.

Now, I am going to address one of the things you may be thinking: “Hey, isn’t this diet supposed to be a time saver?” Yes, I know it sounds like I am doing a lot of cooking and chopping. But I often make enough side vegetables to use on many meals. Another thing that I am getting from this is portion control. I am counting my calories and using a food diary. I am planning ahead, which is a good thing. I have lost almost 6 pounds, and that is exciting. I am not eating as much yet. I will have to wait until this month is over to see if this is a money-saving plan. For dessert, I was going to have (wait for it…) Greek yogurt with strawberries. I tried to eat it, but could not finish. I saved the rest for the next day.

Before I sign off, I need to say something about the Cedar Lane entrees. Before you buy them, check the servings per box. Because they were $1.99 each if you bought four, that’s how many I got. In addition to the moussaka, I got a chile relleno and two of the burritos – one with red sauce and one with green sauce. They are soooo good, but I forgot about the serving thing. Maybe I hoped that they had changed their portions – wishful thinking. Anyway, each burrito (grande) is supposed to be two servings of 230 calories apiece. But I have never been able to eat just half. I may just have to have it for brunch on a Saturday or Sunday, when I usually sleep late and skip breakfast.

 

 

Not Cooking?

d1da6f7d4123e5eaa844d78498b63d81Okay, that is pretty funny. But the reality is that there IS some cooking involved. I am not yet in a salad mood. I am going to work on eating more crudites and raw veggies, too. But for right now, I am cooking my vegetables. And I realize that I could make something simple, like grilled chicken or salmon, mixed veggies and brown rice. But that gets boring really fast… and there is still lunch to consider.

I have to admit that, although I usually stocked breakfast options in my fridge at school, I sometimes didn’t eat them. I would get off on the exit to Marietta Parkway and would just know that I was going to make a Krystal run. I love their Scramblers. So. Much. That is the easiest breakfast fix, as far as fast food is concerned. There is also McDonald’s, but that requires a left turn – and they are often packed. There was a time when I would stop at Hardee’s – especially for their smoked sausage biscuit when it was in season – but that left turn was even more complicated.

Here is a lunch of Smart Ones Enchiladas Suizas with Rice. I added mixed greens and vegetables. Very filling and delicious!

Here is a lunch of Lean Cuisine Enchiladas Suizas with Rice. I added mixed greens and vegetables. Very filling and delicious!

As for lunch, I pretty much have always brought my own. When I was working at the middle school near the downtown area, the administration did NOT want us to leave campus during the school day. Not even during planning. My principal could see people walking to the parking lot through the main office window, and sometimes would meet people as they returned with their take out. I only got busted once, for going to Subway for me and a couple of other teachers. When I walked in the building, my principal said, “Where did you get those?” I looked at him guiltily and said, “The Subway fairy?”

At the school where I work now, things in that regard are more relaxed. I do let someone know if I am leaving, but rarely do so. If I did, it would be for a Wendy’s Baconator, a KFC pot pie (so good…) or a Chik-fil-a sandwich. Very rarely was it a stop for a salad. There are often all sorts of special occasions and teacher appreciation things going on, and that means food, too.

And then there was the drive home. I live on the other side of town from my school. The commute can be grueling – the other day, it took 2 hours to get home. If it has been a particularly stressful day, I will stop at a Mexican restaurant and order up a big bowl of white cheese dip and eat it with chips and salsa. Of course, there was a margarita or two to go with that. This past year, I would do that a couple of times a week. Since I now live alone, except for my doggie, I don’t really have a reason NOT to stop.

Except that it’s fattening. And expensive. So, I am trying not to do that any more. It is not easy. I have already had one slip last week. I am trying to make it a policy not to go out to eat alone. As it is, my friends usually want to go to that Mexican restaurant at least once a week, too. So there’s another meal out. I know that it will get annoying for my friends, but I will turn down and invite if I have already eaten out that week. This past week, it was an El Torero “slip” to celebrate the end of CRCT testing, and I met a friend at Pappadeaux for dinner. I was careful with my choices there, but it still cost about $50. Crazy.

Yes, I am rambling, but I think that vegetables and fruits and dairy product planning are do-able. Tonight, I am going to give the Lean Cuisine Glazed Chicken ONE MORE CHANCE by adding some things to it. Let’s see how it goes.

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