SOLE on SNAP Day 27 and a convo with a farmer

I heart the Farmers Market. Naturally. I heart farmers, and that’s where farmers are. Especially farmers like John Crihfield.

I had some time to kill yesterday evening after work. I had somewhere I needed to be at 5:15. Not enough time to run home, and too much time to just leave work and sit around for 30 minutes. I decided to stop at the Capitol Market to see if they still had apples, because I want to can some soon. I could kill an afternoon walking around the farmer’s market. Especially on days like that because it wasn’t busy at all, and I got the chance to chat up the farmer at the stand I usually buy from.

He’s like you picture a farmer, I think. White hair, trucker hat, leathery skin, soft spoken.

I was looking over the apples, and he asked if I needed help. “How much longer will you have apples?”

“Monday is our last day.” They lease space from the Capitol Market, a non-profit, quasi governmental organization. And their leases end on October 31st. Period. He told me he has hundreds of bushels of tomatoes still on plants that he won’t be able to sell. I asked if he had a farm stand at his farm that he could sell them from. No, he was going to Florida at the end of next week. He would most likely just donate them to Manna Meal, the local soup kitchen, or let them rot on the vine, he said nonchalantly. He already donated hundreds of bushels of green beans and corn to Manna Meal. I’m sure they appreciate the generosity of farmers like him. He said he had another load of beans that he wasn’t planning on picking. He planted the tomatoes at the end of July for late tomatoes. Only, they were a little too late. I asked he sold to Kroger or anything like that, and he said he did once. In 1949. He got something like 15 cents per bushel of green beans back then. But he said now there’s too much paperwork involved. You have to fill out paperwork saying how many times you spray pesticide, and what kinds of pesticide, and it just wasn’t worth it. (Alarm bells going off in my head actually as he’s saying this…) He actually sold just about all the other vendors at the Capitol Market green beans to sell. I didn’t realize that farmers had arrangements like this. He said sometimes a customer will look at his green beans or corn, and then to the booth right beside him and buy green beans that he sold that farmer, and he just chuckles.

I can’t beleive the Capitol Market has an end date of October 31st for the leases, though. Especially if the weather cooperates. The outdoor space they occupy will be empty for at least 3 weeks, since the Christmas tree vendors don’t come in and set up until the week of Thanksgiving. Why not let the vegetable farmers stay?

We talked about what kinds of vegetables he grew. He grows a hybrid called a Volunteer green bean. When I asked him why, he said it’s because they taste better. He said he bought the apples directly from the orchard. It was Shanholtz Orchard in Romney, WV. He said he didn’t sell anything but West Virginia apples because they are the best.

I had to go, but I could have stayed a chatted with him for an hour. I told him about my blog. That I write about gardening and eating, but he seemed pretty unimpressed. I’m not sure he knew what a blog was, actually…

Well, Mr. Crihfield, if you’re reading (or anyone on your staff), thanks and keep up the good work. I left with two irrestible purple Cherokee tomatoes and a zucchini.

I had a 1/2 cup of oats with 1/3 cup of frozen blueberries from my mom’s bushes. I had a splash of half and half in my oatmeal and 1 Tb of honey. I had a cup of coffee and half and half in it, also. Jeremy didn’t eat breakfast, but had a cup of coffee with creamer.

We celebrated two coworkers’ birthdays that fell on the 26th and 27th by going out for Mexican food at one of our favorite joints. I had half an order of vegetarian fajitas with refried beans, lettuce, pico de gallo and guacamole and corn tortillas. I also had some of the obligitory chips and salsa before our food arrived, but I measured out 12 chips on a napkin and just ate those to help me keep my calories in check. I also had a medium margarita. Bad, Jennelle! But it was so good. Jeremy had two leftover deer BBQs with slaw on whole wheat buns, some BBQ almonds, a stick of Sargento snack cheese, a Fiber One 90 calorie bar and some tortilla chips and humus.

I had a cup of coffee at work with French vanilla creamer.

A completely SOLE meal: I made chicken marsala with polenta. The chicken was pastured chicken from Almost Heaven Farm via the Monroe Market. The polenta was made from cornmeal from Reed’s Mill Flours, some chopped fresh organic sage, and a pat of butter from Organic Valley made from pastured cows. The marsala sauce had a tomato was leftover from the box I bought to can at the beginning of the month and from John Crihfield’s younger brother, Ron Crihfield’s farm (the elder Crihfield didn’t have canning tomatoes the day I went to buy them). It also had an organic, but not local, onion. The recipe also called for chicken stock, and I used some of what I made from the bones/carcas when we had the drunken chicken earlier this month. The only non-SOLE things in this were the marsala wine, a little bit of olive oil, kosher salt, pepper and some dried thyme. I cut up one of the Cherokee Purple tomatoes to have with dinner. I don’t recall ever having eaten one raw before, if at all, but I was disappointed with the taste. I don’t know why, but I thought it would be super sweet. Only it wasn’t. At all. These tomatoes would actually be good to cook with since they have such a tangy, unsweet taste, but they wouldn’t be very pretty in a sauce or something. I also cut a couple pieces off the huge pineapple tomato that I took off my tomato plants when I tore them down for the winter.

EXERCISE: I burnt 345 calories (which still wasn’t enough) at the gym doing 20 minutes of elliptical and 20 minutes of stationary bike at a moderate pace.

Calories 2,542  (2,887 less 345 from exercise)
Fat 90 g
Sat Fat 38.7 g
Cholesterol 264.3 mg
Sodium 3,534 mg
Carbs 362 g
Fiber 43.2 g
Sugar 144.4 g
Protein 88.5 g

The myplate report on my LoseIt! app says I didn’t meet my fruit or vegetables quota for the day, but oddly enough, has the vegetarian fajitas listed under protein sources. I’m not sure why.


SOLE on SNAP Day 26: Navigating the "work lunch away from work"

Yesterday, some of my coworkers and I went to an Indian buffett for lunch. This seemed like a situation that could be fraught with disaster. The good news is that many Indian dishes are vegetarian, which helps with the calories and helps out those of us that are trying to eat SOLE. Eating vegetarian isn’t simply SOLE on its own, but you score a bunch of “ethical” points here. I did a quick consultation with Eat This Not That for an Indian restaurant, and I was on my way. If you’re unsure eating out, which I am for Indian food, as I am not totally familiar with what is in all the dishes, this is a great way to get some guidelines before you eat out.

I had a cup of instant oatmeal at work since I was running way behind yesterday morning. I bought it and brought it in. I also had a cup of coffee with some french vanilla creamer. Jeremy had two blueberry muffins I made last weekend.

I should mention, I suppose, as it is day 26, that we have a sorta “community” drawer of food at work. We have a pretty good system, and we all replenish it from time to time without being asked. Sometimes my boss will contribute $50 or so and send someone on a grocery run for the drawer. It has stuff like snack crackers, oatmeal, bread, peanut butter, and chips in it, because sometimes it is hard to get downstairs to get lunch from the cafeteria or sometimes you didn’t pack anything. Things can get pretty hectic around here from time to time, and we always have some snacks on hand. Anything in this drawer is fair game for anyone in the office. And we all eat out of it, and restock it, pretty frequently.

I went with my coworkers to the Indian buffett. I had some basmati rice, vegetable korma, saag paneer, channa masala, and some chicken tikki masala sauce (I picked around the chicken) with some naan bread. I also had a small greek salad on the side with some humus. I also had a tandoori chicken thigh. It is probably the healthiest thing on the menu. It was more calories that I usually eat, but wasn’t terrible. Jeremy had a peanut butter and black raspberry jam sandwich, stick of Sargent snack cheese, chips, fiber one 90 calorie bar, and a Kroger-brand diet green tea.

I tried to eat one of the blueberry muffins I made last weekend, but it was terrible. I should note that Jeremy has been eating them for 3 days. I asked him why he didn’t say something, and he said he was “trying to be a team player” which I thought was hysterical, and that he just wanted to hurry up and get rid of them. I think it was the muffin pan that I used at my mom’s. These muffins tasted metallic. We also made some mini muffins, which I had, and they didn’t taste like this. Makes me wonder what kinds of heavy metals we were ingesting every time that muffin pan is used. Gross.

Jeremy made deer BBQs for dinner. I had slaw left over from the fried fish last week. He put the BBQ meat on the jalepeno tortillas I bought at the beginning of the month and made them into wraps. They were really good. The deer meat was from a deer he killed and canned by his mom last December. I made us a baked potato. His parents brought back a huge box of russet potatoes and sweet potatoes from Amish country a couple weeks ago, and they gave use a handful of each. When I say they gave us and handful, I mean they gave us like 5 of each. But these are no ordinary potatoes. Jeremy and I shared one, and it would have been like two large potatoes. They are football-sized. We had some natural sour cream on the potatoes, and jeremy had a little bit of shredded cheddar.


Calories 2,086
Fat 52.9 g
Sat Fat 14.4 g
Cholesterol 186.7 mg
Sodium 2,342.9 mg
Carbs 288.2 g
Fiber 26.4 g
Sugars 49.8 g
Protein 107.7 g

SOLE on SNAP Day 25: My observance of Food Day

Yesterday was food day. No, I didn’t forget, I just didn’t get a chance to celebrate it. It looks like it would have been fun to take part in some of the observances.
New York City had a big sit down lunch at Times Square with foodies, food writers and celebrity chefs breaking bread together. I would have liked to have had a bite of that lunch. Since I didn’t eat any meat, and ate very sustainably today, I’m going to say that I celebrated Food Day on Tuesday, October 25th instead of Monday. My lunch and dinner were noticeably void of processed food and were pretty much SOLE. I think that really embraces the concept of Food Day. I should be trying to eat like this more often. It was so delicious. More delicious and satisfying, actually, than would have been a lunch dinner that had processed food as a part of it or was not SOLE.
I had 1 cup of Cheerios with 1/4 cup of 2% milk and a hard boiled egg. I did make myself a cup of coffee with Natural Bliss creamer this morning, too. I needed an extra lil’ sumthin to get me going. Jeremy had a coupon for a free breakfast sandwich at McDonalds. He got a McGridle with a sweet tea… breakfast of champions.
I had (the end, finally) leftover cream of tomato soup and a salad that I grew with homemade buttermilk ranch. I also had a handful of Garden of Eatin’ blue corn chips from a bag I brought into work to share. Jeremy had a sandwich made from the leftover fried trout, buttermilk ranch and lettuce, a stick of Sargento sharp cheddar snack cheese, a chobani yogurt.


Sweet Roasted Butternut Squash and Greens over Bowtie Pasta from my How to Eat Supper cookbook. Another homerun recipe. I haven’t found anything in this cookbook yet that we don’t LOVE. I chopped everything, and the Hubs pretty much did everything else. I substituted Red Russian Kale for the curly endive the recipe called for, which came from Cozy Hollow Farm, via the Monroe Farm Market. I also substituted dried basil for the fresh, and shredded parmesean for the asiago, both from Krogers, along with the bowtie pasta. The squash came from Spangler’s Greenhouse via MFM. The half and half is Homestead Creamery. The sage was fresh and organic, and also from Krogers. This meal pretty much hit all the tastes, salty, sweet and bitter, except no sour, unless  you took a drink of the Pinot Grigio that we had with it. This dinner was so hearty and tasty, you wouldn’t even miss the meat.
After dinner, Jeremy said he felt like he was getting a cold and should drink some orange juice. I told him the kale probably had more vitamin c in it than orange juice does without all that sugar, and he looked at me like I was crazy. He said he would have bought 100% orange juice so it didn’t have all that sugar in it. According to wikipedia, 3.5 oz. of kale has 41 mg of vitamin c, which is 41% of your daily recommended amount. However, Tropicana 100% orange juice has 130% of the daily recommended amount in a 6 oz. glass. So, maybe it does have more vitamin c, but at 110 calories for that tiny 6 oz. serving still sounds like you’re better off to go with the kale. The ingredients say 100% pure orange juice, but for the calories to be that high, I’m skeptical there’s not some sugar hiding in there.
I had a Fage greek yogrut, small apple and a stick of Sargento snack cheese. I also had a chocolate covered strawberry and apple wedge from a coworker’s birthday Edible Arrangement. I had a cup of coffee with dry non-dairy creamer in the morning, and small cup with hazelnut flavored creamer in the afternoon. I also had a Fiber One 90 calorie bar before walking. I had one more glass of white wine after dinner.
Jeremy and I walked at G.W. High School for 35 minutes at about a 4 mph pace. That burnt 186 calories.
Calories 2.038 (2,224 les 186)
Fat 67.5 g
Sat Fat 13.1 g
Cholesterol 260.1 mg
Sodium 1,671.1 mg (HOORAY!)
Carbs 267.3 g
Fiber 44.7 g
Sugars 85.5 g
Protein 59.2 g
This was a really good day. Would have been even better had I not had those two glasses of wine. But that wine was much enjoyed (and in moderation) with dinner and after, and that’s what eating should be all about. I’m pretty happy with my stats, now, if I can just keep up the pace.
I did have to get half and half from the store, which was 2.89 plus a 2.00 deposit for the glass bottle. With tax the half and half was 2.98. This brings my total food budget for the month up to $310.99, still well under the $367 in SNAP benefits we would recieve.

SOLE on SNAP Day 24

I mentioned that I was reflecting on my project now that I’m in the homestretch. I’m going to make a better effort to stay in my calorie budget. That means more exercise and less noshing on junk food mostly at work. Discipline! I’m putting all my chips on the table. Oh, and I need to eat more fruit.

I had 1 cup of Cheerios with about 1/3 cup of 2% milk and a hard boiled egg. We had a coupon for a free oatmeal from McDonalds that expired next Monday, which Jeremy used today.
I had another serving of the cream of tomato soup I made last week and a salad with the homemade buttermilk ranch. Jeremy had a fried trout sandwich, a Fiber One 90 bar, a Chobani vanilla greek yogurt, a Sargento cheddar cheese stick, the rest of the guacamole and some baked tostitos, and a bottle of Kroger brand diet green tea.
I had a can of Progresso vegetable soup because I had a meeting to go in the evening and didn’t have time to cook. I also had a “pocketbook sandwich” made from 1 slice of whole wheat bread, natural PB and some blackberry jam I canned. Besides, Jeremy had a “guy’s night ” scheduled for wings and beer at BW3 with my dad and brother.
I had a Chobani greek vanilla yogurt, a small apple from Morgan Orchard via the Monroe Farm Market, and a stick of Sargento snack cheese. I also had a Nature Valley Granola Thin. When I got home, I was super hungry, so I had some baked tostitos. I did really well all day until my meeting. I knew they’d have food, and I suppose I did okay dodging some of the more egregious caloric offenders. I had a small cup of punch, a scoop of Chinese chicken salad (pretty healthy), a tiny scoop of pasta salad that looked like it had Italian dressing on it, a 1″ piece of peanut butter fudge and a brownie with marshmallow topping.

Calories 2/216
Fat 69.4 g
Sat Fat 15.2 g
Cholesterol 255.4 mg
Sodium 3.549.1 mg
Carbs 337.8 g
Fiber 32.7 g
Sugar 135.1 g
Protein 65.2 g

Now, what was it I was saying about this discipline, thing? Baby steps, I guess.

SOLE on SNAP: Days 22 & 23

Ah, the weekend. Why do they go by in the blink of an eye? I’ve scattered in a handful of pics that depict how my weekend went, even if it did go by way too quickly.

I’m in the home stretch of SOLE on SNAP; I am in the last week. I’ve been doing some reflecting on the project and it’s coming to an end. There are definitely some things I wish I’d done differently, and some things I am really proud of.

First, I wish I could have devoted more time to the project. I can now appreciate thoughtful substantive blogs by people who hold down full time jobs. Where do they find the time to do it? I really don’t like to even turn on the computer when I come home from work since I sit in front of one all day. I would have liked to include more entries with outside stories in them like news bits about eating healthy on a budget. But somedays it was all I could do to post my food diary and stats without including any other content.

Secondly, I wish I would have more diligent in my eating and exercising this month. I was just telling my mom yesterday that since I started this project, I don’t think I came in under my calorie budget more than a handful of times, let alone hit all the marks on the recommendations. It wasn’t that I couldn’t do it, I don’t think. I absolutely believe that I could have met the challenge of this project with more effort. But then again, that would translate into more planning, thought, and of course, time. See above.

And, finally, one other observation. The timing sucks, though. I was playing around on my LoseIt! account online last week and discovered there is a tracker feature that shows you on a day-by-day basis if you’re meeting the recommendations. How awesome is that?! I just wish I would have discovered it before the last week of the project.

Saturday, October 22nd
I made a big breakfast for us. We each had 2 eggs sunny side up, 2 pieces of bacon and a piece of toast with some homemade carrot cake jam I made last year. I had two cups of coffee with creamer and Jeremy had 1 cup.

Not the best pic, but just look at the color of that yolk! Farm eggs rock! They are tastier and healthier.
For lunch, we both had leftover Chinese from the night before.

I went shopping with my momma Saturday evening and she treated me to dinner at the new Panera Bread at the mall. I had the “You Pick Two” combo. I had a greek salad and the Natural Steak Chili. The good and bad thing, I suppose, about this dinner was that we got there withing 30 minutes of closing. So we got full salads for the price of the half on the “You Pick Two” combos, but they didn’t have much left to pick from. I had my heart set on their black bean soup, but they were out. The chili was pretty good, though, but salty. Jeremy was hunting near his sister and brother-in-law’s house, and his mom came by Saturday evening and brought him some meatloaf leftovers.

I had some tortilla chips and humus and some saltines and natural peanut butter.

I was SO busy Saturday at my house. I did a ton of yardwork and started cleaning my house, but didn’t get finished. I burnt a TON of calories, while getting stuff done around the house, which I totally love! My LoseIt! app says I burnt 698 calories, and I believe it, cause I was beat Saturday night.

Tearing out my tomato plants. I hate to see them go.
Lettuce and radishes in the raised beds. Hopefully my growing season lasts several more weeks. I have “cold frame” lids for these to protect them from the frost and cold temps, although both of these crops are best suited for cooler weather.
Calories 1,426 (2,124 less 698 exercise)
Fat 119.7 g
Sat Fat 21.3 g
Cholesterol 487.6 mg
Sodium 5,297.3 mg
Carbs 182.2 g
Fiber 22.4 g
Sugars 54.7 g
Protein 87.5 g
Sunday, October 23rd
I had old-fashioned oatmeal with a handful of last year’s blueberries from my mom, a few walnuts, a splash of 2% milk and a tsp of turbinado sugar. Jeremy had frozen waffles, natural peanut butter and 100% pure maple syrup (worth the money…). We both had a cup of coffee and Natural Bliss creamer.
I had a sandwich made from Thursday night’s leftover fried trout and a salad. The sandwich was BANGIN’! I am also trying to finish up that buttermilk I accidently bought, so I also made some homemade buttermilk ranch dressing for the salad. It’s a bit too thick. I probably should add some more buttermilk to thin it out. I got the recipe from my Betty Crocker Cookbook Bridal Edition. I also had some leftover guacamole from last week and some Baked Tostitos. Also, the salad was 100% grown by me!!! Makes it taste even better. Jeremy went golfing with my brother and dad, and they stopped at Burger King for lunch.
Isn’t that salad absolutely beautiful? It tasted pretty awesome, too.
We had KFC at Jeremy’s mom and dad’s house. Not the healthiest dinner, so I’m glad I got in some exercise and had eaten relatively well throughout the day.
I had a Gold Peak Sweetened Tea. They use sugar. I try not to eat any artificial sweeteners, but I’m not sure which is the lesser evil: sugar or artificial sweeteners??? At my mom’s we baked blueberry muffins, and I had a few mini muffins. We also made South of the Border stuffed peppers and stuffed tomatoes. I had half a stuffed tomato and a couple of the small stuffed peppers.
I tried to finish up the house cleaning that I didn’t get done on Saturday, but I still didn’t get done. I also took a 45-minute walk with my mom at her house. It was such a beautiful day. I burnt 326 calories.
Calories 2,070 (2,396 less 326 exercise)
Fat 95.1 g
Sat Fat 19.9 g
Cholesterol 198.8 mg
Sodium 3,756.2 mg
Carbs 280.4 g
Fiber 30.7 g
Sugar 112.6 g
Protein 117.2 g
Now, I did try to get the report saved as an image that I could post on this blog, but I couldn’t get it to work out. However, Sunday appears to be the first day that I can see that I did hit all the recommendations on, according to LoseIt!

SOLE on SNAP Day 21

I ordered from the Monroe Farm Market Monday, and I picked it up yesterday. It was hopefully the final spending on groceries for this month. I spent $25.19, which brings my total for the month to $308.01.

I bought 1 dozen eggs from Breezy Knoll Farm (3.25), 1 3-lb bag of Jonamac apples from Morgan Orchard (4.64), 1 small butternut squash from Spangler’s Greenhouse (3.00), a 5-oz. bag of Russian Red Kale from Byrnside Branch Farm (3.00), and 4 4-oz. filets of fresh rainbow trout from Wilson Mill Farm (11.30).

I had 1/2 cup of old fashioned oats with about 1/4 cup of frozen blueberries (from my mom’s last summer), 2 Tb of chopped walnuts, a splash of milk and 1 tsp of turbinado sugar. Jeremy had a cup of coffee with creamer and a Kashi TLC bar. He also bought a latte from Sheetz, which he said was really good.
I had a cup of the cream of tomato soup I’ve been eating on all week and a salad. I also made a piece of Italian bread with herbs, olive oil and shaved parm that we have here at my office. Jeremy ate out. I think at Sheetz.
Jeremy was hankering for Chinese food all week. I already had it once this week for lunch, but you don’t have to twist my arm too hard to get me to go for it twice in one week. Good thing I went to the gym… I had the same thing I had the other day for lunch, Broccoli with Garlic Sauce over white rice and a hot and sour soup.
20 minutes of elliptical and 20 minutes of stationary bike burns 345 calories.

Calories 1,912 (2,257 less 345 from exercise)
Fat 92.5 g
Sat Fat 18.3 g
Cholesterol 109.6 mg
Sodium 6,039.4 mg
Carbs 256 g
Fiber 20.5 g
Sugars 90.2 g
Protein 99.5 g

SOLE on SNAP Day 20: Classic fried fish for dinner

 Oh, how I heart the Monroe Farm Market.
I ordered some fresh rainbow trout filets from Wilson Mill Farm. I just learned by adding that link that they are Certified Naturally Grown producer. Score! Apparently, it is the “Grassroots Alternative to the USDA’s National Organic Program meant primarily for small farmers distributing through local channels…” I’d already decided after eating the fish last night that I’ll be buying more of it soon, but the cerfication makes it even better.
I see why they call it rainbow trout now. These pictures don’t do it justice, but it was so pretty!
I soaked it in buttermilk. The whole reason I made fried fish was because of that buttermilk and that I recently watched an episode of The Best Thing I Ever Ate in HD with Sunny Anderson talking about Southern fried catfish. Talk about food porn… At the beginning of the month, when I made my big grocery run, I accidently bought buttermilk instead of half and half. They have the same color cap. I didn’t wanna waste it, so I’ve been sneaking it into things. Like polenta. It wasn’t that great in polenta. Too sour. But it was heavenly with some cornmeal on this fish.
What else goes with fried fish than fries? Because I was frying the fish, I wanted to bake the fries. Minimize the calories, you know. I used this recipe from a blog I love. One caveat, though. I had to bake them about 30 minutes before they even began to get crispy though. The recipe says 10-15 minutes. I’ve tried oven fries with cornstarch, too. Apparently, if you dust them in it with the oil, they will dry up the water and get crispy in the oven, but I don’t recall that yielding any crispier of a fry either.
I had a cup of Cheerios with a tsp of turbinado sugar and about 1/3 cup of milk, and a hard boiled egg. Jeremy had a Kashi TLC bar and cup of coffee with creamer.
My office ordered Chinese today. There’s really no “safe bet” when you’re trying to order healthy Chinese food. Even Eat This Not That wasn’t really helpful. So, after scanning the data on my LoseIt app for PF Chang’s menu, I was able to pick the least onerous lunch on the local Chinese joint’s menu. I had the lunch combo, which is a smaller portion, but includes a soup. I had a hot and sour soup and broccoli with garlic sauce on steamed white rice. Although it was more calories that I would normally eat for lunch, it wasn’t a diet sabotager. However, the sodium on this meal is what’s going to be killer. I packed a PB&J on wheat for Jeremy with a Fage greek yogurt, a stick of string cheese, some BBQ almonds and the rest of the pepperjack Tostitos. I also packed a random bottle of water we had in the fridge (I never buy bottled water… it’s basically free when it comes out of the tap.) and a Crystal Light raspberry green tea flavor packet to put in the water.
DINNER: Fried trout, oven fries and cole slaw. The fries aren’t in this picture because they weren’t done yet.
I mentioned the fish was from Wilson Mill Farm. The cornmeal is from Reed’s Mill in Monroe County. The canola oil is from Kroger and the buttermilk was from Homestead Creamery in Wirtz, VA. Jeremy actually fried the fish, and he put some spices in the cornmeal. I bought a bag of pre-cut broccoli slaw mix because I had a coupon for it. I always use the recipe for coleslaw in my Betty Crocker Bridal Edition Cookbook. It’s a good comprehensive source to have for basic recipes and techniques, because you do need those from time to time. And the slaw recipe is really good, too, BTW. It had Kroger brand natural sour cream and Kraft Light Miracle Whip (the only kind of salad dressing I’m allow to buy as per the hubs…) as the two main ingredients, with a little bit of sugar, mustard and spices. The fries were made from Private Selection organic potatoes with canola oil and a little kosher salt on them.
None (insert sad smiley face here…)
While this dinner was fabulous, the calories were a little high. Surprisingly, the potatoes were the culprit.
Calories 2,366
Fat 99.2 g
Sat Fat 16.3 g
Cholesterol 417.1 mg
Sodium 5,744.7 mg
Carbs 242.3 g
Fiber 28 g
Sugars 57.1 g
Protein 125.8 g

SOLE on SNAP: Day 19

And How to Eat Supper continues to deliver hit after hit. Seriously, go buy this cookbook if you are interested in cooking REALLY good food from scratch on a weeknight in under an hour. Who wouldn’t be into that? Look, it’s even on sale!!!

I had 1/2 cup of old fashioned oats with a handful of frozen blueberries, about 1 Tb of honey, and a generous splash of 2% milk, with a cup of coffee and a Tb of natural vanilla creamer. Jeremy had a Kashi TLC bar and a cup of coffee with creamer.
Jeremy and I went to the new Firehouse Subs to check it out. I had a medium veggie sub on wheat with Sun Chips. Highly recommended! Jeremy had the Engineer and Funyons. I heart Funyons, BTW. This restaurant is great, too. It had a big mural painted on the wall of firemen dressed in mountaineer buckskin suits helping a coal miner away from a fire coming from a coal mine. Not totally realistic, but pretty cool.

Chicken caccitoria from How to Eat Supper. I also made polenta, and added a dab of buttermilk and butter to make it creamy.  The chicken was from Almost Heaven Farm in Monroe County that I bought back a month or so ago. The cornmeal was from Reed’s Mill Flour in Monroe County also. Its amazing because it’s open pollinated corn, and the mill is one of the oldest continually operated mills in the country. The garlic is from my mom and the tomatoes are from Jackson County. The was a splash of white wine on the chicken, and organic red onion and Private Selection salami.

I’ve had chicken caccitore before, but it wasn’t like this. It was like shredded chicken in spaghetti. But according to wikipedia, that’s not the traditional way to make it. Food for thought, literally!
SNACKS: I had a Kashi TLC bar, 2 saltines and 2 Tb of natural peanutbutter.
I went to the gym and did some CAR-DIO! (It it like Oprah. It sounds more fun…) I burnt 384 calories

Calories 1,779 (2,163 less 384 calories from exercise)
Fat 113.4 g
Sat Fat 28.8 g
Cholesterol 190.7 mg
Sodium 2,850 mg (YAY!!!!)
Carbs 211 g
Fiber 23.8 g
Sugars 60.4 g
Protein 85 g

SOLE on SNAP: Day 18 Pesto Risotto for dinner

There’s something quite magical about risotto. Maybe you don’t think about risotto much, but I can assure you that when you have it made right, your life will never be the same.

The first time I had it was actually when I made it the first time. So I didn’t have anything to compare it to. I got an Italian cookbook for Christmas from my aunt when I was in college. I cooked my way through that cookbook, and buttery mushroom risotto was a step along the way. When you put that much butter and cheese in something, it’s just not possible for it to be bad.

The risotto I had been making was good, but not even in the same league as some of the risottos I’ve had in restaurants. The most memorable might be the seafood risotto I got at some little mom and pop Italian restaurant in Boston’s North End. It was so simple and straight forward. But it was aaamaaaayyzing! With a crisp glass of pinot gris it was the perfect dinner.

Really good risotto is made by someone who has patience. Perhaps that’s why mine doesn’t quite rise to the level of the Italian mama’s that I had in Boston. If you’re patient with it, the arborio rice will release its starches in the most sublime way. And from a little bit of butter, stock and a handful of rice, you get something so seemingly fancy. But its a humble peasant dish, actually.

BREAKFAST:I had 1 cup of Cheerios with 1 tsp of turbinado sugar and 1/3 cup of milk. Jeremy had a Kashi TLC bar.
We each had a cup of coffee with about 1 Tb natural vanilla creamer.
I had more of the cream of tomato soup and a salad. I also had a piece of toasted Italian bread with a little bit of shaved parmesean and some olive oil on it that my gracious coworker brought in. Jeremy had a salad and a Michaelina’s Lean Gourmet microwave meal.
I made Quintessential Pesto Risotto from How to Eat Supper. I wish it was on the website, but it is not. You’ll have to buy the book. It was AWESOME.

I had a piece and half of “breakfast bread” that a coworker made and brought in. (We sure do know how to eat at my office…) In the afternoon, I had a cup of no sugar added hot cocoa, a stick of string cheese and a small apple. I also had a handful of Garden of Eatin’ blue corn chips, that I took into the office to share. When I got home I had a Kashi TLC bar.
It was the last pretty day for a while, so I did a bunch of yardwork that needed done before the winter. Sadly, I put my beds to bed… haha. I pulled up all the plants in my garden except the radishes and salad greens. I also raked up the ground in the bare spots in the yard and planted grass seed, fertillized, and covered it with hay. It was a pretty good workout.

Calories 1,885 (2,155 less 270 exercise)
Fat 92.3 g
Sat Fat 27.9 g
Cholesterol 126.6 mg
Sodium 4,571 mg
Carbs 268.5 g
Fiber 34.7 g
Sugar 71.7 g
Protein 70.3 g

SOLE on SNAP: Day 17

I know a guy who was doing a “public humiliation” diet. Every morning he’d weigh himself and tweet it. I guess if you feel like you have to be accountable to cyberspace, you’d be more apt to mind your p’s and q’s. I don’t know if it’s working for him or not, but that concept definitely hasn’t worked for me.

I had 1 cup of cheerios with 1 tsp of turbinado sugar and 1/3 cup of 2% milk. Jeremy had a sausage biscuit from McDonalds and a sweet tea.
I had a bowl of cream of tomato soup and a salad. The soup was a variation recipe from the tomato soup recipe in How to Eat Supper. It’s pretty good, but not as good as the original recipe. Jeremy had a salad and I made him a wrap with guacamole, chopped sweet pepper from my garden, shredded cheddar and lettuce in it. He also had a bottle of diet green tea.
I made chicken nachos. I love nachos. I’m kinda an aficionado. These are exceedingly good for them to be healthy. I’m not even kidding. Here’s the recipe.
I had a couple cups of coffee and non-dairy creamer, greek yogurt, 1 oz. of Lay’s kettle chips that someone opened at work, and in the afternoon a cup of no sugar added hot cocoa, small apple and and stick of string cheese. Jeremy had a greek yogurt, a stick of string cheese and some BBQ almonds.

Here’s where the train ran off the tracks. I had a meeting last night for a community group I’m in. We usually have refreshments. I usually don’t eat much, if any, but I did at this meeting. I had two mini red velvet cupcakes (one of my favorites) and about 5 ritz crackers with a few slices of pepper jack and about 2 Tb of cheese ball. But the calories definitely added up…

Calories 2,568
Fat 105 g
Sat Fat 36.1 g (Thank you, cheese…)
Cholesterol 154 mg
Sodium 4,347 mg
Carbs 315.3 g
Fiber 51.4 g
Sugars 115.7 g
Protein 112.4 g