How are you doing with getting your water, vegetables, and exercise in? I have really loved hearing from you so far, and I hope you’re feeling great about your own Fresh Starts!
Today, I want to tell you an ugly secret …
Pretty ugly, huh? Well, I’m certainly not a food photographer (although I’m going to TRY to use my DSLR as much as possible and spare you from iPhone food photos!), but even if I were … there’s really no way to make this meal pretty.
This is my absolute favorite last-minute-“I-have-no-energy-to-think-about-making-a-real-recipe-but-I-still-want-something-healthy-and-quick” meal. And the good news is that you can customize it to fit your nutritional needs, taste preferences, and what you have in your fridge/ freezer. It’s very healthy, and very filling … and a great way to get in a few servings of vegetables for your Fresh Start challenge!
Here’s what I do:
1. Preheat the oven to 400.
2. While it’s heating up, slice whatever vegetables you have around into bite-sized pieces. (Side note: when I’m traveling 4 days a week like usual and I arrive home late on Thursdays without time to go to the grocery store, I sometimes use frozen mixed vegetables/ spinach/ broccoli, and just microwave it instead. Do what you gotta do! Thankfully, I’ve been traveling a bit less the last couple of weeks, so I’ve been able to hit the Farmer’s Market and I had fresh veggies on hand for last night’s dinner.)
3. Spray a foil-lined baking pan with cooking spray or olive oil (a Misto is a great tool for this!). Spread on your chopped vegetables and a source of lean protein. (Last night, I used a Boca Vegan Veggie burger – made with non-GMO soy. In a perfect world, would I avoid processed products like this? Yes. Is this a perfect world? Not yet :). Feel free to layer some tofu on the baking pan with your veggies, or add in grilled or baked chicken/ fish/ shrimp, a serving of canned beans, or even a scrambled egg or two, after baking). Give everything another spray (on top of the veggies), and season with salt and pepper, or the spices of your choice.
4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on how hot your oven is and how full your pan is. The veggies should be slightly browned (I like mine just a little crispy).
5. Put everything into a big bowl, add some tomato sauce (I look for the canned kind with no added sugar, and get low-sodium and/ or organic if it’s available), and sprinkle on some shaved or shredded Parmesan cheese. Then mix everything up and dive in. I promise, it’s delicious!
You can see it all laid out here … I used broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli slaw (almost looks like pasta if you want to think of this as one big Italian pasta bowl!), baby Portobellos, and a kale/ leek mix (sauteed separately since I had time). Veggie burger in the middle! This was clearly before the tomato sauce and Parmesan … don’t forget that part!
In case you’re wondering, I don’t plan to post every single day, just because I don’t think it will be feasible with my real-world job. This week, though, I got an unplanned (but very welcome!) break, as our clients are pausing work for a week … which corresponded perfectly with my sister-in-law’s wedding in San Diego! I leave tomorrow, and couldn’t be more excited!
Because I’ll be by the beach in San Diego and will NOT want to miss any running days while I’m there, I took my usual Friday day-off of running today, and went to a spin class instead. Also hoping to get a little yoga in before dinner tonight! I’m still getting used to the whole “selfie photos in public places” thing, and I was paranoid that someone in the locker room would walk by naked and think I was taking a picture of them!! So I took one afterwards at home, just in case! Here’s to posting sweaty, gross pictures of yourself on the internet for all the world to see :).
Tell me in the comments … do you have any ugly (dinner) secrets? How are you doing with your water, veggies, and exercise?
(By the way, I do realize that the set up is a bit wonky here … I’m trying to get the “Blog” page to actually show my posts, and then have the front page be a summary of the posts. Bear with me … the least technical person ever (me) learning code is a scary thing!)