Wednesday, October 17, 2007

My Quest to Become Queen of my Kitchen!

So I got thinking last night about how Scott and I basically eat the same 5 meals on a rotation every single week and I also got thinking about the lack of time I've actually spent in the kitchen since we got married. Sure I make one killer roast beef but I only make it when we are having company or for a special occasion. Although I couldn't really tell you why. When Scott and I first got married we ate one of 5 things every single night for supper. They included:

Nachos (Topped with loads and loads of cheese - non low fat of course!)
Frozen Pizza or homemade pizza
Stir Fry

That was it. That's all we ate for supper. Lunch for me was either French fries and grilled cheese or a box of Kraft Dinner. I went through that stuff like crazy. Looking back it's hard to believe we ate so poorly for so long. We both gained quite a bit of weight after we got married (we didn't live together before we were married since we only lived about 5 mins from each other and we were saving up to pay for the wedding) I put on about 30 or more lbs in the first year of our marriage and Scott put on about 25 or so. We didn't exercise and we spent a lot of time eating and watching TV. I can't believe how much our lifestyle has changed. It's literally like we are two different people now. It's hard to believe. Anyway my point in all of this was that although we are eating healthy and we both lead a healthy lifestyle, we seem to be stuck in that same rut. We eat the same 5 meals every single week. They include:

WW Pasta with Basil Pesto and Brussel Sprouts
Soup and a grilled cheese sandwich (made with WW bread and low fat cheese)
Tacos (Leaner version than before with extra lean ground beef, double the veggies and fat free sour cream)

Wait a minute. We only have 3 regulars! Yikes. It's worse than I thought. Last week I decided to spread my wings a little and mix things up on a few nights of the week. I realized that we were eating pasta at least 3 times per week for supper. That is a lot of pasta! Although it's good to have maybe once a week, three to four times is a bit much! It's easy and so convenient when we get home from the gym. 15 mins and it's ready to go. So I bought some pork chops last week and we had them with a side of salad and another night we fried up some chicken with some red and green peppers and onions and stuffed them into WW pita pockets. Which was a nice change but it still doesn't solve the problem I am having with the kitchen. Our meals are BORING. Plain and simple. There's no variation. I want a relationship with my kitchen and right now I have been avoiding it. I just bought a new house with a beautiful kitchen and I haven't cooked anything. My oven barely sees any action at all!

When I was younger and living at home, my favorite thing to do was look through cookbooks and try new recipes. Of course it was always cookies or cakes or squares but I loved it. (guess we know why I had a weight problem eh?) I had so much fun. I would spend hours in the kitchen baking. Does any one else miss baking just plain old regular chocolate chips cookies?? Mmm raw cookie dough. Ahhh those were the days.

So....where is all this going you ask????

I'm challenging myself. That's right, a challenge I'm going to get my husband and I out of this rut and I'm going to explore the wonders of our new kitchen. I'm going to try at least 1 new recipe every week. At least. I'm going to spend Saturday or Sunday morning cooking and I'm going to learn new recipes. I'm going to try out some new ideas and I'm going to take pictures and post them on here for anyone who is in the same rut as me. I went to the grocery store today to get started.

Tonight I am going to try Anne's Banana Bran Chocolate Chip muffins

Tomorrow night, in preparation for my Mom coming into town, I'm going to make my first attempt at making Sheppard's pie. I figure it can't be that high in points right? I will use extra lean ground beef and lots of veggies. I'm also going to try to limit the potato content.

Saturday is Polenta Pie day. I picked up some cornmeal today (which I've never had in my entire life) at the grocery store and I'm going to try out a recipe that Angie tried and loved. So this is my mission. AND it would be a great way to freeze lunch size portions and mix up my lunches a little as well. So if any of you ladies have a great recipe for me to try, pass it along!!! I could use all the help I can get!


  1. 30 lbs in 3 years since we got married? check. Well 25ish. Hubby probably gained 30. That's why my goal weight was 130, get back those 25 lbs! almost there!
    Also, I think you and I need to trade a little bit. I make something newish for supper every night (well that I cook and it's not leftovers or something). So it's stressful every day for me to figure out what's going to be for supper. I need a few staples! You've inspired me to get my weekly menu in shape. I'm sure I'll blog about it. Plus I've got tons of recipes for ya that I'll find when I get home.

  2. So exciting!!! I love cooking and trying new recipes which explains my latest obsession with the food network! I'm tellin' ya, it opens the door to sooo many possibilities and even though a lot of the shows are not low cal, you learn sooo much about ways to flavour food with lots of low cal things - loves it I say, Loves it!

    The polenta was great and it was my first time making it too. I always heard of it on the American cooking shows and you can buy it already made and pre-packaged in a log and apparently you can grill, bake, fry, saute or whatever. I was at a health food store today at lunch time and actually found it and I'm going to try it fried up next time. It's 70 cals for 2 good slices, so we'll see - I'll post about it.

    I gained about 30 lbs my first year of university and met my Scott in my 3rd year. When we started dating I gained, oh about 60 lbs just eating and watching movies GOD how I EVER did that, I'll never know! Problem is that he's not as on board with the healthy lifestyle as I am and is super picky eater, so we never eat the same things ever! He eats pretty much the same things all the time, and I try really hard to mix it up for my own sanity.

    I don't know if you like fish, but I LOVE it and it's so healthy and low cal. Try shrimp and scallops in your pasta, or bake some salmon (yum) or haddock or halibut...and I just recently discovered mackerel which is the best of them all...I could go on, it's all so good and people don't give fish enough credit!

  3. I'm with Angie in her obsession with the food network. My husband and I had been in teh exact same rut, and I started trying new things, experimenting and that's probably one of the main reasons why I am so successful this time around with losing weight... I was so sick and tired of the same old foods!

    What an inspiring post!!!

  4. Wahoo, can't wait to see what you whip up!

  5. I love to cook and try new things. I've been in a bit of a rut lately though with all the flu going around here.

    I also love to do stuff in my crock pot. Easy to throw it in early and have dinner when it's convenient.

    I'll have to post some of my low point faves soon.

    Oh, and I gined about 15 pounds in the 8 months we were together before we were married...and then about 35 in the next year.

    Lost some, got preggers, lost some, got preggers...and just repeated that pattern over and over! LOL

  6. David and I have a rotation of same foods too. When we get bored I just start trying one or two new recipes a week. I don't always feel like cooking, but I do like eating what I make. I still bake too, just not all that often. It's when you eat it all the time that you get in trouble you know? If I think of it I'll post a recipe next week with photos. This week we are trying a lot of nee Trader Joe's products. All new meals this week.

  7. let me know how the recipes go! i love cooking but definitely don't do it enough!!

    i definitely love low-fat mexican variations though: tacos, quesadillas, fajitas, etc. fat free sour cream & salsa mixed together are delicious as toppings.

  8. My rut can become your excitement:

    Fish Tacos
    The red cabbage slaw with the tilapia in this is delicious!! My fiance loves them.
    Get the recipe here:

    Turkey Meatloaf
    This is a WW recipe you can find in their database. Super easy and makes for great leftovers!!

    Grilled Chicken Salads
    When the chicken breast family packs go on sale, I load up my freezer. Then at the beginning of the week, I season the whole pack with salt & pepper and throw them on the grill. We slice up an entire breast and throw it on a bed of lettuce with grape tomatoes, feta cheese, red onions and light dressing. We do the same with the leftovers for lunches.

    Turkey Chili
    Another WW recipe that's only 5 or 6 points per serving and very little effort. And we all know how wonderful chili is the next day!

    Hope this helps. I look forward to seeing what new recipes you try!

  9. I love to cook, but with Jimmy working nights at the bar, I don't cook much anymore. :(

    Here is one of our faves...VERY EASY and yummy! Since I saw that a few of your usual dishes are mexican, you might like this.

    Crock Pot Enchiladas
    -Take a pack of chicken breasts (if frozen cook on high most of the day if thawed, cook on high for a few hours or low most of the day)
    -Cover with one Large can of enchilada sauce (save about 6 tablespoons for later)
    -Cook all day long in the crock pot
    -When done use 2 forks to shread the meat
    -Then take low carb/low cal tortillas and place the meat inside them with a little low fat shredded cheese and roll up like an enchilada
    -place them (it will make a lot! we usually just eat like 2 each and save the rest of the meat) flap side down in a browine type baking pan
    -spoon the rest of the enchilada sauce over the top and sprinkle with a little more cheese
    -bake in the oven for like 5-10 min at 350 degrees until the cheese melts and the tortillas get a little crispy
    -take out and serve with a littl fat free sour cream


    good luck with all of your cooking and baking! I wish I had a brand new kitchen to cook in! :) (oh are you ever going to post pictures of your new kitchen too? We'd love to see it!)

  10. I don't have trouble trying new recipes - where it falls apart for me is the grocery list. My dream? To have a 14 day menu WITH grocery list.....oh, what a dream....guess I should get off my ass....

  11. I have an idea for your shepherd's pie - for the potato - mix half steamed cauliflower and half potato - then blend! I use this for mashed potatoes and it cuts the cals in half and tastes the same (to me, or for the most part anyway.)


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