April 4, 2012

This Week In Food...Vacation Detox!

Aaaaaannnndddd, we're back! Vacation was awesome (hurray!). There really is no better way to take a vacation when you have small children, than with multiple grandparents! If they had just slept a little better, it truly would have been perfection. Still, it was great!

However, vacation bliss, at least for me, comes at a price...and that price is paid by my gut! You see, when I "fall off the wagon", I REALLY fall off (as anyone who has seen me pregnant can attest to--Whoa Mama!!)! One week with zero workouts and non-stop food indulgence means I came home not only looking worse-for-wear, but I feeling it! So it's time for vacation detox!

In addition to planning meals for this week that would allow both Rolland and I to detox from our crazy eating last week, I am also trying out a new diet in an effort to drop the last five pregnancy lbs...but we'll leave that for another post! Really, what it all means for this week's menu is that I'm doing simple, basic, healthy meals that are easy on our waistlines and easy for me to make (since I'm too busy catching up on laundry and cleaning and general whatnot to spend much time on food). So here's what's on the specials' board this week:

- Moroccan Rub Tilapia with Mango Chutney with Steamed Broccoli and Couscous
- Grilled BBQ Rub Chicken with Asparagus and Long Grain & Wild Rice
- Chicken, Rice and Edamame Salad
- Pear and Walnut Sandwiches, Baked Sweet Potato Fries and Salad
- Grilled Chicken TBD with Steamed Carrots and Couscous
- Deluxe Chopped Salad

These are all dinners I have made many times before, and are all, obviously, very basic. From this simple menu, I will share three things...

First, the asparagus...I suggested last week that you get some and grill it- a fantastic way to do it. Another great way, that's super simple, is this: Prep your asparagus (wash, break stems at natural break point), then chop each stem into about two inch sections. Heat a little bit of oil and minced garlic in a pan, then toss in the asparagus. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let cook about 10-15 mins, tossing occasionally. Don't over stir or they won't get a chance to brown up a little and get crispy. So yummy. Even Portia likes these.

Second, the tilapia...Tilapia is my go-to fish at home. It's easy to prepare and everyone likes it and it doesn't make the house smell fishy. And this is my go-to way to prepare it: measure out equal parts cumin and coriander (assume 1/2-1 tsp of each per fillet) and mix together. Rub the mixture over both sides of each fillet. Spray your skillet with cooking spray and heat on medium. Add fillets and cook for about 4 mins on each side, or until done. Remove and top with any fruit chutney you like. I use mango chutney most of the time, though Old Farmhouse Chutney from Stonewall Kitchen is THE BEST (I just can't find it anywhere nearby). Everyone loves this tilapia (yes, even my 3 yr old).

And finally, here's the recipe for the chicken, rice and edamame salad. This is SO simple and SO good. I highly recommend it!

Chicken, Rice and Edamame Salad
2 pouches of microwaveable brown rice (such as Uncle Ben's)
2 1/2 c. frozen shelled edamame (I often just use the whole bag, no measuring!)
A few tbsp water for cooking the edamame
2 c. diced cooked chicken breast (you can buy already cooked, diced chicken at the store and use that; I usually just cook up two large chicken breasts with salt and pepper in a skillet and use that)
2 tbsp grated peeled fresh ginger
4 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp canola oil
1/2 tsp salt

Cook chicken and dice, if not already prepared. Combine edamame  and a few tbsp water in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high about 3-4 mins. Let stand 2 mins then drain. Microwave rice according to package directions. Combine ginger, rice vinegar, salt and oil in a large bowl. Then add chicken, rice and edamame and toss to combine and coat. Delish!

So there you have it, vacation detox! I hope to be feeling great and looking good within the next few days. Just in time for my diet cheat day Saturday...lock up your breads and sweets, I will be on the prowl!

Until next time, happy eating!

P.S. The pear and walnut sandwiches are also the bombdiggity. I will share that recipe at some point too!

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