One more week has come and gone, and I find myself still firmly on target. I'm getting close to 8 hours of sleep most nights (even if I have to drug myself with Benadryll to do it) and feeling better as a result.
The good stuff: I'm down another 2.5 lbs this week! Woo Hoo! *commence happy dance*
The bad stuff: My car has been in the shop since Thursday, so I only got to the gym on Tuesday and Wednesday.
So... I haven't been as active this week as I would like to be, and didn't meet my gym goal of 3x a week or more. I have a good reason, but I'm also not making excuses for myself. I suppose I could have gone walking around the neighborhood, but it's COLD! I believe we've established I don't do cold. In any case, most of my activity this week came from puttering around the house doing chores, and grocery shopping. (You better believe I count all of that in my activity points!)
I think part of the reason I'm still losing well in spite of all of that is because I'm being very strict on my points. I'm still not using my extra allotment of weekly points at all (49 pts) and I've only been using 20-25 of the activity points I've earned. I'm also getting better about not eating as late at night (one of my biggest challenges.) When I do eat later, I try to make it protein, and not carbs or fruit. I read somewhere that if you eat carbs close to bedtime and don't work them off that they just turn into sugar and go into storage (read: fat.) I don't know if that's true or not, but I'm going to try to stick to that guideline. I'm also making a point of eating a small meal or dinner before going to the gym rather than after.
Friday night came rolling around and I realized I still hadn't figured out what to do for my Recipe of the Week. I've been trying to be good about using what's already in the house, so after rummaging around in the pantry and fridge, I turned to teh interwebs for a good cauliflower soup recipe. The ones that caught my eye tended to include lots of butter, cream, and cheese. *sigh* But no... I can do this! It's going to be light, and it's going to taste great. I found a basic recipe for a roasted cauliflower soup, made it as directed, and then decided it wasn't nearly good enough. It was okay, but a little bland for my tastes. Not nearly enough punch. So, I dug out the vinegar, rosemary, mushrooms, and truffle oil and turned a so-so soup into an entree that I'm pleased to share with all of you.
As with most of my recipes, some of the measurements are aproximate, and some ingredients are optional. Feel free to play around with it and do what tastes good! The vinegar and the truffle oil are probably the biggest "optional" items this time around. My BFF Tabitha gifted me with two kinds of truffle oil and truffle salt for Christmas, and I've been putting it to good use. The salt is awesome. Especially on popcorn. But, I digress!
Roasted Cauliflower and Mushroom Soup
1 head of cauliflower, rough chopped in smallish pieces.
10 cloves of garlic, (More or less to taste. I love garlic!)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp butter
1 Onion, diced
2 Shallots (optional, but I had them laying around.)
3 Tbsp flour
1 14 oz can broth (either chicken or veggie)
1 cup non fat milk
2 Tbsp red wine
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tsp rosemary
8 oz white mushrooms, sliced
3 Tbsp garlic chili paste (optional)
* The original recipe called for 1 TBSP dry sherry, but I didn't have any. This gave me an excellent excuse to open a bottle of wine! Nevermind that I only needed a thimble full... hee hee...
1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees
2. Place your chopped cauliflower and garlic in a small-medium sized roasting pan. Add salt, pepper, and drizzle with olive oil, then toss to more or less coat the veggies.
3. Toss that bad boy in the oven and roast about 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so until your cauliflower is golden and tender. Remove from the oven and set aside.
4. While cauliflower is baking, melt butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Sautee onion about 10 minutes until golden brown.
5. Sprinkle flour over the onions and stir to coat. Slowly pour in broth and milk. Stir with a whisk until all of the flour is dissolved. Stir continuously as you bring this to a boil. Once your soup base is thickened, reduce to low.
6. Transfer soup base to a blender, and add cauliflower until everything is pureed. You may need to add up to a cup of water or your soup may be too thick to blend properly.
7. Return pureed soup to sauce pan and add rosemary, wine, chili paste, and vinegars to taste. *I think next time, I may try this with a dry white wine instead. (I also added about a quarter of a cup of fat free half and half because I got a little overzealous with the vinegar.)
As far as I'm concerned, this stuff is ambrosia. Spicy, garlicky ambrosia. As evidenced by the nearly empty bottle. Also, I need a manicure.
8. Add sliced mushrooms and simmer on low until mushrooms are tender. If you would like to add a little truffle oil, now is a good time.
Makes about 7 cups. (4 points per cup)
Serve with a sprinkle of truffle salt and devour along with your "leftover" bottle of wine.
You can also add a little sliced ham at the end like I did if you want to make a meal of it.
If you've been drinking as you cook, there may not be much left! Haha!
The wine I cracked open was recommended to me by a very nice sales associate at Total Wine (my happy place.) It's nothing incredibly fancy, but it's their best seller under $10.
It's an artisinal blend of zinfandel, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and petite sirah, tasting of velvety, rich berries. Perfect for a casual evening in. Just remember to track it. At 8 points per cup, it adds up fast!
The highlight of my weekend was going out to a sushi lunch to catch up with a good friend that I hadn't seen in a few months. It was WONDERFUL. I used to have a weekly sushi date with my girlfriends, but then my schedule changed and that was the end of that. This time I hadn't had any in almost two months! I nearly died! Seriously.
I love the little fishies... I love them GOOD!
Sushi really is one of my most favorite things on the planet. I love that so much of it really is about the combination of super fresh, light ingredients. Sure, there are lots of tasty Americanized deep fried rolls stuffed with cream cheese and avocado, smothered in mayo that someone on a diet has no real business going near.
And I love them.
But there are tons of great choices that are low in calories and fat. The heaviest part of most rolls is the rice. (Your average roll uses about one cup of rice.) Beyond that, avoid the heavier fatty items, and you're good to go with an amazing weight watchers friendly meal that will keep you full for hours. (6 hours later, and I'm STILL not hungry.) My favorite roll of the day was a salmon roll wrapped in more salmon, topped with paper thin slices of lemon. It was so light and fresh. I'm sure that it's a little bit of what heaven must taste like. Ha!
With my car in the shop, there's not much more to tell this week. Hopefully I'll get her back on Tuesday morning, or Wednesday at the latest, and then I can get back to the gym. I had a little pity party for myself Saturday afternoon and got down on myself thinking about the weekend fun I was missing out on, and the huge pile of money that I'm certain my mechanic is going to charge me for all of the repairs. I've been working so hard to get ahead... but there's nothing to be done about it. I just have to suck it up.
I'm reminding myself that sometimes life is going to throw a wrench in my gears. I can either let myself get thrown off track, or choose to stay focused and get back on the horse as soon as I can. It would be so easy to get lazy and slack off, but I'm not going to do it. So there. In the meantime, I'll stay active where I can. I may even break out a yoga or bellydance DVD and get moving at home.