Week one went by without too much agony. I only cheated twice. 1-I was force fed a half of a French fry by an angry friend, and 2-I put regular creamer in my coffee while I was on a trip to Birmingham. I would say the hardest part of eating super strict is just finding all the stuff you thought was “healthy” and “clean” reading the label and finding that the 3rd or 4th ingredient is SUGAR. It’s always sugar! Also you would be surprised to know how much soybean oil they sneak into everything. What is fun (to me) is making your own sauces, mayonnaise, and Ghee. Ghee is clarified butter, it’s expensive, but you can make it yourself by melting regular unsalted butter and scraping the separated milk solids of the top. It will last a really long time in the fridge so don’t worry about making too much!
Another thing I love is dried fruit. However, almost all dried fruit has sugar added, except for raisins and apricots. I made a snack for myself yesterday while cooking dinner that consisted of cut pears, almond butter, and raisins. It was fantastic and looked nice! After I ate my beautiful snack I realized my almond butter had a sell by date of 8/12/10, so I threw that away and put almond butter on my grocery list. What’s on my menu this week so far? Chicken and Brussels in a mustard sauce, and turnip root hash with scrambled eggs.
Chicken and Brussels in Mustard sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 package of skinless, boneless chicken breast halved
3/8 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth, divided
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 apple, cored and grated
4 tablespoons whole-grain Dijon mustard (sugar free)
1 tablespoon clarified butter or Ghee
1 1/2 lbs Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
• Preheat oven to 450° • Heat a large ovenproof skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper, then add to sauté pan. Cook 3 minutes or until browned on one side • After browned flip chicken over in pan and place the pan in oven. Bake at 450° for 9 minutes or until done • Remove chicken from pan; keep warm • Heat pan over medium-high heat. **I leave a towel or pot holder over the handle(s) of the pan to make sure I don’t burn myself at any point during the remainder of the cooking process!** Add 1 cup broth, apple cider vinegar, and grated apple. Bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits • Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 4 minutes or until thickened. Whisk in mustard, 1 tablespoon clarified butter.
• While the sauce is cooking, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat • Add Brussels sprouts, sauté 2 minutes or until lightly browned • Add remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/4 cup broth to pan. Cover and cook 4 minutes or until crisp-tender • Serve sprouts with chicken and sauce.
Turnip Root Hash
4 medium turnip roots peeled and cubed
1 small yellow onion finely chopped
½ cup celery chopped (optional)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
•Peel turnip roots and cut into small cubes •Steam them for about 5 minutes or until crisp tender •Meanwhile, chop onions and celery. I like to use a food processor to get a fine chop with little effort •Then in a large skillet, over medium high heat, heat oil, onions, and celery sautéing until lightly browned •Next add steamed turnip roots to pan with onion mixture and sauté until golden brown. If you need to you can add more oil to the pan.
Hint: One thing I do to make my mornings easier is to make my breakfast for the whole week and put them in separate containers. This makes my mornings effortless and ensures I have a great meal to start my day off with.