Monday, July 23, 2012

Transformation Challenge: Week Two

So far, we are having alot of fun with this challenge and have managed to stay motivated and on track!  Last week, I was in the gym six days and it felt great!  Part of the workout on Thursday was a two mile run.  I managed to run the entire two miles without walking and in just under twenty minutes.  Those of you who know me well, know that I hate running and have always considered myself "bad" at it, so you know this is a big deal!  I will admit that both Hank's and my energy levels have been down, especially around the 3:00 pm slump.  I was happy to learn that this is a natural part of modifying your diet like this and am looking forward to the increase in energy that is supposed to happen around day 14.

This process really is so much fun!  We are enjoying shopping the farmers' market, planning meals and cooking together.  By the way, if you don't take advantage of the local farmers' market (we go to Pepper Place) you should.  There are so many great deals on fresh, local, delicious fruits and veggies.  You can get a week's worth of squash for $3, zucchini for $3, okra for $3, and more than on week's worth of sweet potatoes for $5...much better than paying by the pound at your grocery store!

Okay, so on to week two's meals...I am not going to post weekly on breakfast, lunch and snacks, because we will likely just rotate through our favorites and our leftovers to cover those meals.  If you want to see what we enjoy for these go here.  As I come across new favorites, though, I will post the recipes here.


Bacon wrapped chicken skewers / fried okra / roasted carrots
Almond crusted tilapia fish sticks / sweet potato fries / broccoli
Layered “spaghetti” with sausage / marinara / mushrooms / squash / zucchini
Chicken piccata / wilted spinach with bacon / sautéed squash & zucchini

Additions to last week. (Click for recipe.)

Fried okra.
2 cups sliced okra
1 egg
2 tbsp water
1 cup almond flour
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2-1 cup olive oil or grapeseed oil
Place okra in a large ziplock bag.  Mix egg and water together and pour over okra.  Shake to coat.  Mix together almond flour, salt, and pepper and pour into bag.  Shake to coat.  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add okra and fry until it reaches your desired brownness.

Almond crusted tilapia fish sticks.
1 lb tilapia fillets
2 eggs, whisked
1 cup almond flour
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
Rinse fillets in cold water and cut into strips.  Mix flour with salt and pepper.  Dredge fish in egg wash and then flour mixture.  Combine oils in a large pan and heat on medium-high heat.  Place fish in the pan and cook for a few minutes on each side until well browned.  Add oils 2 tbsp at a time if you need additional oil for multiple batches.

Chicken piccata.
2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (1 1/2 lbs)
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
5 tbsp grapeseed oil
5 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup brined capers
Cut chicken in half horizontally and butterfly them open and pound to flatten to 1/4 inch thick.  Mix flour, salt and seasoning together.  Rinse chicken in water and dredge in flour mixture until well coated.  Heat olive oil and 2 tbsp grapeseed oil in a large pan on medium high heat.  Add chicken and brown well on each side...about 3 minutes per side.  Transfer chicken to a plate.  Add lemon juice, chicken stock and capers to the pan scrapping the bottom to incorporate the browned bits into the sauce. Cook to reduce sauce by half and then add the remaining 3 tbsp of grapeseed oil.  Serve chicken with sauce.

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