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Today I was excited to cook. I’ve really been having trouble staying on track recently.  I do my best when I have breakfast and lunch planned for the week.  The Eagles weren’t on until later in the afternoon, so I was able to spend most of the day fixing lunch for the week and a yummy dinner for tonight.  I made black bean & corn chili for lunch, to which Joe said, “Is some of that is for me??”  I guess I’ll have to share!

I’ve had pork chops sitting in the freezer for nearly 2 months, so I was on a mission to use them this week.  I found a recipe on Taste of Home for Pork Chop Cacciatore.  I’ve found the best way to make pork is to cook it for a long time and this recipe uses the crockpot, so I decided to try it out.  The recipe said to cook for 10-12 hours, but by then I think it would end up as a pork stew because my chops were falling apart as I took them out after 5 hours.  I also replaced the pasta with roasted cauliflower.  It was so good and incredibly filling.  I had one serving and now have another serving leftover for lunch this week.

 

Pork Chop Cacciatore

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless pork chops
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil or other italian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch or flour
  • 4-1/2 cups cooked egg noodles (I replaced it with a head of roasted califlower)

Instructions:

  • Sprinkle chops with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, brown chops in oil in batches depending on size of pan. Transfer to a 4-or 5-qt. slow cooker coated with cooking spray. Saute the mushrooms, onion, celery and carrots in drippings until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the tomatoes, 1/4 cup water,  basil and remaining salt; pour over chops.
  •    Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until pork is tender. Remove meat to a serving platter; keep warm. Skim fat from cooking juices if necessary; transfer to a small saucepan. Bring liquid to a boil. Combine cornstarch (or flour) and remaining water until smooth. Gradually stir into the pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Serve with meat and noodles (cauliflower).

Yield: 4 servings.

Nutrition:  1 pork chop and 1 1/2 cup cauliflower  with sauce  ~ 360 calories per serving

Today was week 3 of gaining.  I’m up three pounds since before vacation, which isn’t terrible, but I’m trying to lose!  This weekend was tough with lots of food I normally don’t eat.  Carbs seem to be the biggest offender.  I often say “I can look at a piece of bread and gain weight”.  I’m feeling more and more that that’s the truth.  Plus 3 nights of ice cream for dessert doesn’t help.

Today is my restart.  It seems appropriate with summer ending and the school year starting.  I focused on doing what I know works for me.

  • Eat a filling breakfast
  • Bring in a prepared lunch
  • Have fruit and/or vegetables at each meal or snack
  • Have carrots and hummus for my afternoon snack

I did each of these today and came in just a smidge over my 1200 calorie goal for the day and I didn’t feel hungry at all.  Plus I did 30 minutes of cardio and Katie’s BodyPump class.  It was a great day all around.

Dinner was my take on McKenzie’s Mediteranean Salad, my all time favorite salad to have at a restaurant.  I could eat it every day….seriously!

1 head of leaf lettuce (courtesy of my CSA harvest)

1 green bell pepper (to replace the cucumbers since I was out of them)

2 scallion stems chopped

tomato slices (I love tomato, so I put in 2 whole tomatos)

Sprinkle of Feta Cheese

2 hard boiled eggs

Freshly cooked beets (also from my CSA harvest…YUM!!!!)

Croutons for some crunch

I also had 2 Marco Polo rolls leftover (from Wegmans of course- only Collegeville sells them), so I sliced them up and drizzled a little olive oil and salt/pepper on them to make crostini.  I just put them on a tray and put them in the oven at 350* for 20 minutes to crisp them up.  I sprinkled just a bit of parmesan cheese on them and popped them back in the oven for 5 minutes to melt.  If I made these again, I wouldn’t cook them as long because they definately were very crunchy and crispy, but still delicious.

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