365 Days of Random

Random musings about nothing at all

Fresh 20 – Week 1

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how my BF and I were going to try this ‘meal planning service’ called “The Fresh 20”. I signed up for three months of the program and we got our first week’s worth of recipes on Friday last week. With all the stuff going on we didn’t try cooking any of them until Monday night. So far, the food has been fantastic.

Generally the program provides 5 dinner recipes for a family of four. They are planned in a specific order so that by the end of the week you’re using stuff that’s left from previous meals and can make something quick and easy. Since Tuesday is generally the day that I go home for few days and that Monday’s recipe called for a blender to puree the soup, which my BF doesn’t have, we changed the order up a little bit. The cool thing about the plan is that 90% of the ingredients are fresh in season produce so everything is great and full of flavor and nutrients.

In our modified plan we cooked “Turkey and Avocado Melts” with pears and “Southwest Salad”. It took quite a bit of prep to pull together – since it was all fresh. Cook 2 cobs of corn (and let them cool). Chop peppers and rinse black beans. Peal and chop and mash an avocado, mix a salad dressing from scratch, cut and toast a baguette. Put the peppers and beans together, slice the kernels off the cobs of corn and mix with beans and peppers, add the dressing, toss and let sit. Once the baguette was toasted, brush with olive oil, add mashed avocado, turkey, tomatoes (except on mine because I HATE raw tomato), onion and top with cheese. Then bake for 5-10 minutes until the cheese is melted. Slice a couple of pears and add a bit of everything to the plate…. man it was good. We didn’t eat until 9pm but it was SOOOO worth it. I left the extra southwest (bean, pepper, and corn) salad and some Italian Turkey Sausage (plus the left over melts) for my BF to eat throughout the rest of the week.

Last night I went climbing (FF2 – Week 2 which I will write about later) and so I didn’t get home in time to make anything worth mentioning for dinner. So TONIGHT was recipe number two for me. It was a beat and pear soup with, Goat Cheese Toasts and corn on the cob. Again… lots of prep but so so yummy. After cleaning and chopping beats, celery, carrots, onions and pears it was all cooked with some chicken stock before being pureed in the food processor. The cheesy toasts were toasted baguette slices with goat cheese and black pepper. Corn on the cob was the final element to the meal. As I was cooking the soup I wasn’t really all that excited about it… I wasn’t sure I’d like it… the smell didn’t do the taste justice at all. Once it was all done and pureed and in the bowl – with everything else on the side it LOOKED wonderful and tasted even better. I am actually excited that I have enough soup and everything else left for dinner tomorrow AND lunch on Friday.

When I did groceries tonight I also bought all the stuff for one more meal (Korean style short ribs – with brocoli). Since my BF doesn’t really eat pork we’re substituting with dark meat chicken (thighs actually) and if it’s anywhere close to the meals I’ve already made from the plan this week Friday’s dinner is going to be fabulous.

My friend recommended this plan to us saying that the recipes were amazing. She also told me that she got annoyed with it after a week or two because there was so much repetition in the ingredients used in the plan each week. That’s generally not something that bother my BF and I (honestly we can really eat the same thing every day for a week without complaints). Since that’s the case for us I am actually quite confident that we’ll get along with this meal plan just fine. Especially if all the meals are as good as the two I’ve already cooked.

Looking forward to Fresh 20 – Week 2.

August 10, 2011 Posted by | Food, Health & Wellness | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Healthy Eating

Now that softball is done and we’re looking towards the end of summer and start of fall my BF and I have decided to get back into our workout and ‘healthy’ eating plans. I’d like to lose a bit of weight and just generally get back into good shape. I made a really good start of that a little over a year ago and I’ve slipped back into bad habits these last few months. Before that catches up with me and negates all the good work I did then I’d like to get back on track. The biggest most important part of that though is figuring out how to make good healthy meals that provide the right balance of nutrition for us both. He needs a lot more carbs than I do and I do better when I eat more vegetables than carbs. So crafting meals that work for both of us has been proving a bit challenging. The worst thing you can do is get bored of food. That’s when you start snacking more and craving all the ‘bad for you stuff’.

The second challenge comes from the fact that we both have about a million things going on all the time and finding the time to do groceries (so there is fresh food in the house) isn’t always that easy. Not to mention… figuring out what you actually want to eat every day of the week (for breakfast, lunch and dinner) is hard. Inevitably we end up throwing stuff out because it’s gone bad before we could use it. Last week my friend introduced me to this website called “The Fresh 20”. Basically it’s a family meal planning service that creates 5 “dinners” each week. They provide all the recipes, details, cooking instructions, alternatives if you have allergies or other food related issues, and most importantly… the GROCERY list for the week right down the quantity of everything that you need to buy to make the recipes. The plan is intended to feed a family of four for dinner 5 nights a week. Since there is only two of us I would guess that means there should be enough left over from each meal for us both to have lunch the next day. Then all that’s left is to think about breakfast choices each morning and that’s actually not that hard to do. I spent a little time today looking over the Fresh 20 website and it’s actually a very good price for the service they offer. I think I will probably sign us up for it and try it out for a month or two. See how it works.

Challenge number three that my BF and I have is that we don’t live together (and aren’t really ready to start talking about that as an option so don’t ask). We spend probably four nights of the week together so it still makes sense to do this Fresh 20 thing together and share groceries and all that. But the challenge is… what do we do for the nights we spend apart. We have to split up the groceries and each have some at our place. We have to review the recipes and figure out how to divide things up so that we both have good and healthy food to eat all week (even when we’re on our own for half of the week). I am sure with a little planning and creative thought we can sort it out though.

I will keep you posted on our progress – and our thoughts about the Fresh 20 service. I have a feeling I am going to love it – takes most of the hard part of eating healthy out of your hands and just makes sure that it happens.

August 1, 2011 Posted by | Food, Health & Wellness | , , , , , | Leave a comment