A Berry Good Morning

I look forward to the mornings now.

Those first couple weeks during my back surgery recovery (I’m four weeks post-op tomorrow!), the husband stayed home to take care of me and I got a Silk yogurt*, granola, and fresh berries breakfast every morning.

Now that I’m up & about on my own, I’m sticking with that breakfast. I can’t wait for mornings now!


*Silk does not advertise on this blog, and I do not gain anything financially from mentioning Silk. I simply no longer eat yogurt made with dairy.


Yummy Italian Breakfast

Last night, I posted a vegetarian dinner I made with the help of Land O’ Lakes Saute Express Italian Herb and Quorn Naked “Chicken” Cutlets. Inspired by how tasty the cutlets were when prepared with the Land O’ Lakes – and how fast & easy dinner was made – I went in for a little more for breakfast this morning.



Here’s some images of my Quorn cutlets being prepared with the Land O’ Lakes, mixing them with one scrambled egg and serving with some tomato. And, I have one cutlet left over for dinner tonight!


Quorn chicken cutlets sauteeing with Land O’ Lakes Saute Express – Italian Herb


Mixed in one scrambled egg, which I scrambled with some light mozzarella for little extra taste. I threw the egg in the same pan where I cooked the cutlets, which gave me the chance to toss the egg with all the yumminess in the saute.


Quorn cutlet, scrambled egg and sliced tomato made for a great breakfast!


Dinner tonight: Modified KFC Bowl

A few years ago, before I learned just how evil KFC is in its treatment of chickens, I ate a KFC Mashed Potato Bowl.

And it was delicious.

But I had serious regrets after eating it – first of all, it was full of chicken, and second, it was nearly 700 calories – more than half of my daily calorie goal of 1,200.

Still, every once in a while I get a massive craving for the KFC Bowl. So tonight, I modified this dish by using mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes, vegetarian brown gravy instead of whatever unholy slop KFC uses, and Gardein chicken strips instead of real chicken. It was delicious! And I approximate my serving to fall between 300-350 calories. (I left the cheese off my bowl, but Jason added it to his – I would add probably 50 calories to his calorie intake with this meal.)

Suck it, KFC, and may your whole miserable chain drown in frying oil.

My vegetarian, low-calorie alternative to KFC's Mashed Potato Bowl

My vegetarian, low-calorie alternative to KFC’s Mashed Potato Bowl

What I’m cooking tonight: vegetarian chili

I once had a newspaper editor in Central Texas tell me there’s no such thing as vegetarian chili. According to him, only meat and tomato sauce belonged in chili.

Well, tons of vegetarians make chili, and here’s mine.

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 bell peppers, chopped (any color)

1.5 cups chopped mushrooms

1 large onion, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1.5 tbsp chili powder

1 tbsp dried oregano

2 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp salt

1 can (15 oz) can black beans, with juices

1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, with juices

Half a package Morningstar Farms Meatless Crumbles

Simmer for about 30 minutes.


Day Two: Charting for Success

Today was a day of challenges. I’m coming down with something right before the Thanksgiving holiday, and work was so busy today that we didn’t get to take lunch. So instead of going home to make the salad that I neglected to assemble this morning before work, I ate a 100-calorie pack of pretzels and some Nerds my team won last week during Office Olympics. (Out of nine teams, mine finished next to last. The end of the Olympics and the candy were the highlights of my experience.)

In summary, I went off the chart today. Even after discovering my home scale was sitting on a slant in our apartment floor when I weighed in around 134 lbs. yesterday; when I moved it to level ground this morning, I weighed in at a nine-month high of 138.8 lbs. (the scale in our office breakroom confirmed the latter number).

I find that weight loss is always rife with these little challenges: you don’t feel well, work gets in the way, you have a box of leftover Nerds on your desk.

So how do you stay on track?

While I ponder this question, I’m snacking on my faux chicken sandwich and writing out Christmas cards. Hope everyone is well and ready for buckle their belts for Thanksgiving.

Boca Original “Chik’n” Meatless Patty sandwich

Calorie breakdown for Boca “chik’n’ sandwich:

Boca Original “Chik’n” Grillers – 140

Hamburger Bun (Kroger brand) – 120

Kraft American single, made with 2% milk – 45

Lite Mayo, 2 tbsp – 70 calories

Morningstar Farms Veggie Bacon, one strip – 30

Leaf of romaine – appr. 5 calories

Two slices tomato – appr. 8 calories

Sliced red onion – appr. 5 calories


Total: 423 calories

Compare this to:

540 calories in McDonald’s Crispy Chicken Ranch BLT Sandwich

530 calories in Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich (their Crispy Chicken Sandwich, which is simply lettuce, a chicken patty and a bun with mayo, is 380)

500 calories in hate-mongering Chik-fil-A’s Deluxe Chicken Sandwich

By opting for the Boca “chik’n” sandwich, you’re saving about 80+ calories that you can then spend on nutritious kale chips – and you skip the temptation to get French fries with that!

Morning Redemption

My last 24 hours featured a lot of yo-yo behavior. I ate a huge amount of lasagna yesterday at lunch, drank a Coke in the afternoon, and tried to self-correct by eating a little bit of chickpea salad with cucumber slices for dinner.

Things took a nasty turn after I took my nightly Lunesta, apparently.

Continue reading

What I’m Cooking Tonight: Vegetable Soup

Or, rather, what’s in my crockpot right now. The recipe calls for stovetop preparation, but I like to chop up all the veggies and leave it on low in my crockpot while I’m at work.

I use 10 cups of vegetable broth instead of chicken broth because I am a vegetarian. I kick up the flavor with some extra garlic and cilantro.

At about 64 calories a serving, it’s so good and feeds us for days!

p90x Vegetable Soup