Must-Haves for a Blissful Kitchen: Lunch Edition


Next up, all your helpful ingredients for delicious lunches every time. Whether you eat it at home or brown-bag it these items will hold up and keep your lunches healthy and will provide lots of variety.

 

Artichoke Hearts Dijon Mustard Vegetables: baby carrots, grape tomatoes, celery sticks Microwave Popcorn
Broccoli Florets FF/LF Cheese Canned Tomatoes Mixed Nuts
Chopped Onion FF/LF Yogurt Couscous Low fat & low calorie treats
Grilled chicken or steak Lettuce, variety Dried Fruit – variety Rice
Lean Cuisine or Smart One Meals LF Mayonnaise Dry Whole Wheat Pasta Roasted Red Peppers
Veggie Burgers Low-fat deli meats Garlic Salsa
Pickles Olives Vinegar – variety Spaghetti Sauce
Seltzer Pesto Canned Beans Stock/Broth

 


Recipes and Prep


Preparation for the week

Here is my grid for the week: Food Plan Sheet I usually print out a Blank Planner Sheet on Thursday and start brainstorming what snacks/meals I want to have. Some considerations at this point: what do I already have in the house, what is in season, what did I make/eat this week, what am I craving. I jot down all these items on a post-it or on the back of the grid – keep it all in one place! Once I have accommodated the have/want/need, I go to the WW Good Health Guidelines: 5 fruit/veggie, 2 dairy, 2 oil, lean protein, whole grains and liquids. Let’s use dairy as an example: my needs are 2 dairy servings/day and I am now on a yogurt kick. Yogurt cups super easy to grab in the morning, a good source of protein and are 6oz which is 2oz short of a single dairy serving. Lucky for me I like a splash of coffee in my coffee so I make sure I get 2oz milk/day in my coffee. I find the easiest way to get my fruit/veggie needs is to get a bit in each meal and snack. Healthy oils have always been the hardest for me to get in. This week with all the soups and salads I will get my oils in as dressing and a dip for bread.

Once I have a set of recipes/meals chosen, I write down the page number and points value for each recipe I am using and put it at the bottom of the grid. As I am copying page numbers and points values I build my grocery list. Once you have plotted dinners or major cooking I finish my grocery list based on my other meals and snacks. Then all there’s left to do is hit the store and put the goodies away. The organization and cooking/prep is saved for another day…. Lots of recipes to share today!!!

Recipes

Apple Bran Muffins: these have great texture and a subtle sweetness from the raisins and apples, they are best when served warm (especially with a cup of tea)

Preheat oven to 425. Spray 12 large and 12 small muffin tins with cooking spray (or line with muffin papers). Mix 2 1/2c bran, 1 1/3c whole wheat flour, 2 1/2t baking soda, and 1/2t salt in a large bowl. Add 2 eggs, 2/3c low-fat buttermilk, 1/2c applesauce, 1/3c molasses, and 1/4c honey and mix until combined. Fold in 1 medium Granny Smith– diced and 1/2c raisins. Fill the muffin tins until 2/3 full. Bake for 12-15 minutes, rotating halfway through baking time. Serves: 16; 12 regular (1/serv), 12 mini (3/serv); Points Plus: 4

Scallop-Broccoli Stir Fry

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 1t vegetable oil – continue to heat until a sprinkle of water sizzles in the skillet. Add 1 1/2lb fresh scallops to the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until seared and opaque – about 5 minutes. Transfer scallops to a plate. Add 3c broccoli florets and 1c sliced carrots to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes until bright and tender. Add in 1/4c warm water, 1t minced garlic and 2T reduced-sodium soy sauce to the vegetables in the skillet. Cook 2-3 minutes longer, covered over medium heat. Add in scallops to warm through, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes. Serves:4. Points Plus: 5

Unsweetened Granola: awesome for a light crunch on fruit or yogurt

Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl mix 1c rolled oats, 2T wheat bran, 1/2c sliced almonds and 4T honey; make sure all are evenly coated. Bake for 30 minutes rotating halfway through cook time. Serving size: 2T (makes 1 1/2c), Points Plus: 2

Ed Fretwell Soup: this makes a HUGE amount of soup but it is delicious and very easy!!!

Rinse beans in water- soak over night at room temperature.Drain beans and put in a large pan. Add garlic, sage and 10 cups cold water. Cook over high heat- bring to boil. Boil for 5 mins then reduce to simmer and cook uncovered for 1 hour. Skim away foam.While beans cook warm oil over medium heat in a soup pan. Add  onions, celery and carrots- cook stirring frequently  for 10-15 mins. Add zucchini and broth, increase heat to med-high and bring to a simmer. Add swiss chard, cabbage and tomatoes. Cover the pot and simmer gently for 1 hr. Then add the beans and their cooking water- discard sage. Add salt and stir well. Simmer for another hour stirring frequently. Serves 24. Points Plus: 3, per cup.

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

Heat 1t olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1 medium onion, diced and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add in 4 large beefsteak tomatoes, diced, 2t minced garlic, salt, pepper, and 1c vegetable broth. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 12 minutes. Uncover mixture, add in 1/4c tomato paste, stir and let cool about 5 minutes. Using an immersion blender (or regular blender) blend the soup into a smoother texture. Add in 3c skim milk, 2T minced basil and stir to combine. Heat over medium heat for 5 minutes until warmed through. Serve hot. Serves: 4 (1 1/2c) Points Plus: 4


Food Journal – Tuesday 1/4


Today’s Food Journal (Tuesday)

Breakfast: 1/2c Post select cereal, 1/4c skim milk, 1 piece Carver’s white bread, 1/2t honey

Lunch: 1/2 roast beef sandwich (1 slice carver’s bread, 1 slice roast beef, 3 lettuce leaves, 1/4 laughing cow cheese wedge, 1t mustard), 2 palm-fulls cashews, <1/2 oz gummy bears, 1/2 large orange

Dinner: 1/2 chicken breast, 1/2c broccoli (roasted), 1/2t grated parmesan, 1/2c brown rice