ERIC FINDS HIS SCHEDULE THROWN OFF
I went for a high protein day, but not intentionally. I was really short on time and so the pre-planned menu went out the window.
Breakfast was two slices of wholemeal bread and peanut butter with a sprinkle of flaxseed. I also went old school with two half-boiled eggs. Still, it was filling and I left for the office feeling sated.
In my morning grogginess I didn’t realise that my toast was burnt but luckily not too badly. But having my sweet and spicy pork chop sandwich with tomatoes became problematic later in the day because I had munched on potato chips during a video shoot. “This is the first time I have binged on junk food this week!” I loudly proclaimed, only to have Melody remind me that I was seen popping jelly beans the day before. 🙁
I rushed home to make sure I had enough time to make my stove-top chicken pot roast (a dish I learnt from Jane) and still have enough daylight to take pictures. Wasn’t easy and the rain didn’t help. I cut up potatoes, two large onions, carrots and some vegetables and threw it all into a pot of water with a pinch of cinnamon powder and a clove of garlic; this was the liquid for the roast. I halved a chicken keel (one of the cheapest cuts), marinated it with salt and pepper and put the pieces on top of the veggies to cook. I managed to snap a picture of the dish just before the daylight ebbed.
MELODY BLENDS LIKE CRAZY
Today I put my blender to good use.
For breakfast I decided to drink my greens – avocado (superfood!), cucumber and celery, all mixed into one gooey concoction. I put in some Greek yoghurt and honey for sweetness but things got a little too thick so I had to add milk, too.
The actual recipe calls for some ginger as well but I didn’t have any on hand.
The result? Gross. I am definitely not a fan of the “drink your veggies” fad.
Lunch was a simple serving of hummus, which I ate with celery sticks and cucumber. Hummus is considered a “power” food these days because of its many health benefits. It is a protein-rich food that can fight hunger, balance blood sugar levels and keep your cholesterol in check.
It is also part of the hip and happening Mediterranean diet, which many people are trying out these days. Plus, it’s so easy to make.
Just get a can of ready-to-eat chickpeas (cheating?), throw them into your blender with some lemon juice and olive oil and blitz away. I substituted the tahini with a teaspoon of cumin and decided not to add anything else to flavour it.
But FYI, you can also add roasted bell peppers or sundried tomatoes to the mix.
Dinner was a delicious serving of pulled pork, lentils and cauliflower mash. The night before, I had put a big cut of pork shoulder arm into my slow cooker with tomato purée, some spices and half a cup of lentils.
By morning, everything had cooked perfectly. I actually wanted to have that for breakfast instead! But I stuck to The Plan and in the evening, all I had to make was the cauliflower mash to go with the pork.
If you make this, you can use up the leftover meat in a sandwich the next day. Really, the slow cooking trend is one that I truly believe in and love, and will keep on following for a long time to come.
JANE IS NOT AFRAID TO BE YELLOW
I AM CRAVING NASI LEMAK BUNGKUS. Sorry for the all caps, but my craving is that intense.
Since we have to prepare all our meals in this challenge, I can’t stop by my usual petrol station and get my favourite packet of nasi lemak from there. I am really trying to eat just the meals that I prepare myself but the office snack table, very conveniently positioned just behind my workstation, often beckons with its jelly beans, chocolate and other items with generally empty calories.
Day 4 was dedicated to yellow/orange. Lunch was a Thai yellow curry with chicken and sweet potatoes. I made the rempah (spice) paste the night before which made it easy to cook up the curry the next morning with the poached chicken from Day 1. It looked as if something was missing from the meal, so I bought a small portion of stir-fried long beans from the office canteen caterer for a side dish. A little cheating, but it meant a healthier diet. The meal was nice and filling.
When I was preparing the curry, I realised I had forgotten to plan a “yellow” breakfast. So I slapped some apricot jam on a slice of corn bread – as I typed “corn”, I just realised that the bread is from the yellow group!
I had more sweet potato than required for the curry, so I used what was left over along with half a fat carrot to make soup for dinner. To give it an Asian spin, I added kaffir lime leaves, chillies and torch ginger, also left over from making the curry spice paste.
My meals yesterday were tasty and quick to make. They didn’t help get the thought of nasi lemak out of my head though.