Moen 2.0

I have been promising this post to myself and a few others for a while now, but have been waiting to have everything I wanted to share gathered up here.

About a month ago my wife and I decided to make a lifestyle change. Since we met in the summer of 2010 we have taken the approach to mealtime that many have/do “Eat what’s easy/quick” or “eat what you want to.” This approach to eating (and living) has led to both of us gaining more weight than we are comfortable carrying so we decided to make a change.

It started with some casual evening walks and researching how to eat healthier. We both knew what we needed to do but we always run into the same problems when trying to eat healthy. Half of the healthy meals we find in cookbooks don’t taste that good! So we came up with a game plan. We invested in a couple tools that we felt were essential to reclaiming ourselves.

1. A chest freezer (deep freeze as they call it down here)

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By investing in a small chest freezer we can buy the healthy foods we want in bulk and not have the excuse of not having anything on hand. This will also allow us to make batches of “freezer friendly” healthy meals and keep them on hand for when we do want a quick easy meal.

We keep on hand frozen fruit, boneless skinless chicken breasts, fish fillets, an assortment of frozen vegetables from our local produce market, wild game, and if you look close enough some treats such as a gallon of ice cream and some stuffed mushroom caps. (Most of it is healthy stuff though!)

2. Kitchen scale

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Part of eating healthy is watching portion sizes, and what is easier for measuring portions than a kitchen scale? Taking the guesswork out of portioning out meals and allowing you to track more closely your intake.

3. Storage containers

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While this may not seem like something necessary, it can help when using your scale to portion out meals. Having a decent amount of quality storage containers can make lunches a snap! We make enough of a given recipe every weekend to have 10 servings (5 days of lunches for both of us). By portioning them out on the weekend when we have time, there is no excuse to not take a healthy lunch with you to work.
We also do this with our dinners. We typically have 4-5 stacks of containers in our fridge on Sunday nights so that we have our food for the week prepared and we simply have to grab and heat 2 containers.

So now that we have the tools, we looked around and found a recipe book (and a couple websites) to provide us with meals that are both simple and delicious! I can honestly say that I feel that I have eaten like a king this last month. I do miss the fast food from time to time, but to put it simply I just feel better.

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Chicken, quinoa, and veggies make a pretty delicious lunch (pictured in the containers above)

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Grilled talapia fillets on cedar planks.
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Some green beans in olive oil.
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Put it on a bed of brown rice and you have a delightful dinner.

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Jerk pork (9+ hours in the slow cooker)
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Mango salsa
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On a bed of brown rice again, but boy is that stuff good!
Broiled butternut squash on the side.

A number of the recipes we have found for ourselves take about an hour to prepare and give you quick meals to eat all week long! It takes a little thinking ahead and making a list during the week for the following weeks meals, but the food has been phenomenal and not too horrible for us!

Following the change in diet, we have both tried to increase our physical activity to be beyond a casual evening walk and have started making use of our apartments gym to get some serious cardio in regardless of the weather. So far the results have been favorable for us both.

Expect to see more posts about our meals and feel free to contact me for recipes (I may post a few favorites as well).

If you tell yourself you’re on a diet, you will fail. Only if you make it a lifestyle change will you truly succeed.

Bananas Foster

For Christmas this year my wife was given the cookbook The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food from My Frontier and we have been loving every minute of it!

We decided a few weeks back to try our hands at bananas foster but have been very busy. Today we made it happen.

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Melt some butter

 

Add brown sugar and let it simmer
Add brown sugar and let it simmer
Add nanners (pre-sliced)
Add nanners (pre-sliced)
Stir them babies in
Stir them babies in
Nuts
Nuts

 

So now the fun/exciting/dangerous part. Add in some of your spiced rum of choice and light the whole pan on fire!
Keep in mind that by adding alcohol to an already screaming hot pan you are atomizing that alcohol, so please do this with caution!

Flame on!
Flame on!

Fun fact: Cinnamon will make sparks if you add it to a flaming dish from high up.

Don't burn down the house!
That’s pretty neat!

Let the flames burn until they go out on their own, this turns the entire dish into a non-alcoholic dish that is kid friendly and fun to watch being made!
Serve hot over ice cream (homemade if possible, otherwise your favorite brand of vanilla bean)

If you're not hungry, you must have just eaten a large meal
If you’re not hungry, you must have just eaten a large meal

 

Not horribly hard to make, this recipe serves way more than just the two of us! This recipe takes roughly 10 minutes to make and is a fantastic way to impress guests with your “mad skills.”

Find this recipe and more in the cookbook available at your local bookstore or Here

Stay tuned for more.

Tin Roof

I was invited this past weekend to an event at a local brewery that I simply could not pass up.

The Main Event
The Main Event

A chance to sample some local home brews, support the food bank, and spend some quality time outside on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Each team was given a local Louisiana ingredient and had to incorporate it into their brew. There were some serious contenders.

Among the brews were some that I would never have dreamed up

  • Blackberry stout
  • Peach
  • Kumquat
  • Molasses
  • Sweet potato pie
  • Rice (Sake bomb heffe)
  • Coffee (Four different coffee roasts infused into a blonde ale, spectacular!)
  • Oyster Stout (not my favorite)
  • Maple¬†glazed bacon
  • Honey cayenne
  • Wrath of Pecan (fitting name considering the recent circumstances)
  • Rumple Figskin milk stout (rum fig)
  • Strawberry Hibiscus saison
  • Torsion de la canne

A few of them stood out above the rest. I was torn for my number one favorite pick between the sweet potato pie, and the coffee blonde (I had the sumatran). The strawberry hibiscus tasted very similar to Stones Hibiscusicity. A few of the others tasted exactly how they sound, and were pleasant (oyster excluded, they definitely drew the short straw). The surprise to me was the maple bacon, which tasted like someone had poured a five gallon pail of liquid smoke into it, and was surprisingly undrinkable.

Decent turnout!
Decent turnout!

Combine 14 local home brews, good company, and a beautiful 70 degree sunny Saturday in February and what do you get?

Louisiana.

A guy could get used to this life.

 

Be sure to check out Tin Roof Beer to see some of the cool local events they host! (Trivia Thursdays anyone?)