Monday, February 08, 2016

juggling calories

Most grocery stores planned their sales last week with the upcoming Super Bowl in mind.  We weren't doing anything big for the game, but I'm aware that some of the best buys on certain items are geared toward things people might be serving at their parties; sometimes there are even items I seldom buy because of price, and yet at times like these they are wonderfully affordable.

Here's the item that really caught my eye in Price Chopper's ad:
Wow, what a steal!  We do most of our shopping at Walmart, and I do realize they price-match.  Their produce, however, leaves something to be desired.  Since we happened to be in Blue Springs anyhow, I made a quick run into Price Chopper and picked up two heads of cauliflower and two bunches of broccoli... HUGE bunches and heads were there for the taking!  I figured if I didn't use them in our meal plans in a timely manner, I'd blanch them and freeze them for later.  

You local folks might want to hit Price Chopper today or tomorrow while that price is still good.  If I lived closer to Blue Springs, I would certainly be getting more, if only for the freezer.

We had some steamed broccoli yesterday with our beef tongue and baked potato.  I planned to have cauliflower with today's meal; our favorite way to eat cauliflower is with a cheese sauce, but oh, the calories.  I went to and put the ingredients of my Better Homes and Gardens cheese sauce into the recipe calculator, so I'd have it there for future reference.  142 calories per serving, which sounds terrible, but when you realize you're putting it on cauliflower that has practically no calories at all (60 calories for two cups), it's not bad.  The problem with calorie-dense foods is that we can only afford one of those at a meal.  I decided on an old recipe I used to make years ago with from chicken breast, Rice-A-Roni, and cream of chicken soup.  But wait, that's two sort-of saucy items in one meal.  Maybe I'll just cook two chicken breasts... or better yet, one chicken breast and split it between us.

I juggle things like this constantly, trying to take care of certain cravings without stepping out of bounds on calories, and it can be time-consuming.  Anything that involves using the Sparkpeople recipe calculator ends up taking thirty minutes or more, simply because it's sometimes difficult to find the proper ingredient in the right amount on the website.  Often the process involves my going to the kitchen and weighing something on my recently purchased kitchen scale, which works SO much better than the old spring scale I used to have, and translates to either ounces or grams.

I'm just saying it takes up a lot of my early-morning hours.  But once the recipe is stored, it's there forever.  I may forget for two years at a time, but it never forgets me.

I'm glad I have so many casseroles and one-dish meals at my fingertips.  It saves me a lot of trouble entering them on my daily tally of calories.  

One of the wonderful things we have discovered is that I can make a batch of my home-made spaghetti sauce, pour it on 10 ounces of cooked spaghetti, and we can eat spaghetti for two days in a row and when we weigh the next day, we our weight is less; sometimes only a fraction, but it's down every single time.  This is especially great for Cliff, since spaghetti is his favorite food.  Of course we can't have bread with it, but that's a concession he's willing to make.

Cliff is down fourteen pounds so far, I've lost eleven.  

It's working.  

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