i think i’d starve if you cooked for me…

Some of my friends (predominately male ones), give me a lot of slack about the way I eat. If food were up to dudes, it be all meat and potatoes. Which is good to an extent… but were are my damn vegetables? Yup, those natural things that come from a garden are indeed edible guys. Half of your plate should be covered in vegetables, while the rest of it can contain your meat and potato combination ( or something similar). So in response to my friends comments of “I think I’d stave if you cooked for me” and “If you cooked dinner for me for a week, you’d’ find me half-naked passed out in the bathroom with a box of Papa Johns” (which I am sorry, but pizza IS NOT good workout fuel), I decided to take up the challenge and cook him dinner for 5 days.

The Rules
– Low carb (so no pastas or bread)
– Easy on the cheesey (my stomach doesn’t care to digest this stuff)
– MORE VEGGIES
– No quinoa (not pronounced QUEEN-OH)- personal preference of both involved parties, and I’ll just leave it at that…
– No beans
– No cream based sauces
– No vinegar

Another goal of mine is to make sure each meal has a good variety (so not just chicken and veggies) to again to prove that eating clean and healthy does not mean it needs to be bland and boring. Here is the proposed menu (with some links).

Day 1: Roasted Chicken with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Broccoli

Roasted Chicken: I bought a Trader Joe’s roasting chicken, which I find to be the easiest to prepare. Simply take out the nasty bag of bits from the inside, stuff the inside with chopped onions, smashed garlic cloves, and some slices of lemon. Then rub that baby all over with some spices, I use this Whole Foods mix my roommate got me (don’t ask me what is in it, but it is your typical everyday seasoning mix). I also added some cinnamon to the rub to give it a little sweetness. Set oven to about 350-400 degrees and roast for about 1-1/2 hours (until thermometer says it is at safe temperature of 165 degrees).

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Broccoli: So. Simple. Just chop up a sweet potato, coat cast iron with some oil (I use grapeseed), throw in potatoes and sprinkle some smoked paprika. Let that roast for about 15-20 minutes. Then I add chopped onions, roast for another 10 minutes, then add the broccoli and go for another 10 minutes.

Forgot to capture this one by photograph, sorry! Next time I will do better.

I ate mine with Lentils instead of the sweet potatoes (part of my 4 hour body routine, see here.)

Day 2: Grass Fed Meatballs with Roasted Tomato Sauce, Bok Choy and Cauliflower Mash

First, I roasted some sliced tomatoes in a cast iron for about 30-40 minutes. Then set it aside in a small pot. Then I prepped the meatballs, which I purchased the 85% lean, grass-fed ground beef from Whole Foods. In a bowl I mashed it up with some chopped onions and spice mix. Rolled into balls and baked in a cast iron at about 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes, then I added the bok choy to the cast iron and baked for another 10 minutes.

For the cauliflower mash I used the very simple recipe from whole foods, here. Added some garlic and pepper spice mix.

4 hour version: Replace tomato sauce with kimchi, added avocado and black beans.

The 4-hour version
The 4-hour version

Day 3: Chicken Thai Basil
Remember that chicken we roasted on Day 1? Time to use up the rest with some Chicken Thai!

Found a very simple recipe for Chicken Thai, here. My changes were as follows: 1) swapped ketcap manis for hoisin sauce (it’s what I had on hand), 2) used coconut sugar, 3) instead of dried chiles I added chili sauce to the garlic.

Quite possibly the favorite meal of the week, something I will definitely continue to use since it was quick, easy and tasted great.

Day 4: Seared Tuna Steaks on top of Spinach with Brown Rice and Baby Broccoli

Found this tuna steak recipe on Pinterest. Since I’m not a huge fan of cilantro I swapped it for basil. Only note I’ll make is the recipe stated to cook 2 minutes each side, where I would have been happier with about 1 minute to keep it more on the medium rare side as opposed to medium.

Certainly the best looking plate of the week
Certainly the best looking plate of the week

4 hour version: Made a side of butternut squash, no rice. Added black beans.

Day 5: Healthy “Pizza” with Roasted Tomato Soup

This was my somewhat riskier meal selection. We have a long-standing pizza battle going on so I thought I would try to make a healthier version. I found this cauliflower pizza crust to start.

I will say that the recipe urges you to dry the cauliflower out and I can’t drive that home enough. I squeezed the heck out of it and it still came out a little more soggy than I would have liked, although it would have helped to have an actual pizza stone as well.

The toppings: Kale Pesto sauce (from Whole Foods), Dry rubbed baked chicken breast (made earlier in cast iron), red peppers, green peppers, spinach and mozzarella cheese.

For the soup I simply roasted sliced tomatoes and garlic in a cast iron for about an hour with some olive oil and salt/pepper. Slightly pureed it, then set to boil on stove top with some chicken stock until it thickened (I added a pinch of coconut flour to speed up the process).

4 hour version: Nixed the pizza completely (obviously), and made myself side spinach salad with all the same toppings (except mozzarella).

The soup and toppings were enjoyed. Cannot say as much for the rest of the pizza being appreciated but I do appreciate the honesty.

Success? I think so. The man admitted he felt like he ate well all week, and definitely did not mind that “a hot girl made all his meals for him.” 🙂 AND I didn’t find him passed out on the floor with pizza so win win for me! The next challenge? He is going to try to make a meal for me on his own, and respect the rules of the 4 hour body. I’ll be sure to post the results.

Stay healthy,

Em

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