Considering high-fat foods are built-in to the Thanksgiving holiday, and that I was spending mine in Texas, where everything worth eating is fried, I fully expected to do some backsliding on my health-improvement regimen. Alas, it was not to be.
I returned from Texas last week and was shocked to learn I’d not only not gained any new weight, but had lost some more of the old. Two pounds worth, as a matter of fact. And since then I’ve lost two more, bringing my weight loss total to 22 pounds in 3 months. Considering I ate turkey and all the fixins plus steak plus chicken fried steak … I’m a little shocked. But I guess it goes to show that showing restraint and being good with portions can mean that you’ll still get to eat the good stuff – just less of it. Plus, abstaining from hard alcohol certainly helps. I’ve been drinking nothing more than a glass or two of wine per day since mid-November or so. I’ll still have a martini or a manhattan every once in a while, but for the most part, I haven’t missed the booze, and I’ve been feeling great.
The tricky part for me, at this point, is figuring out where to go from here. I was at 190 when I started making changes and stepping up my exercise routines. My goal weight was 170. I’m now at 168 and I think I could still comfortably lose a few more pounds without turning skeletal. Anyway, whether I want to or not, due to my diet choices and exercise regimen, I’m still losing about two pounds per week, so unless I start eating less well, or taking poorer care of myself, I’m going to get slimmer regardless of my intentions.
So the new plan is to keep on keeping on and reassess at 165 or when I can comfortably fit back into my size 34 jeans, whichever comes first. I’m doing about 30 minutes of strength training three days per week and about 30 minutes of cardio twice a week and that is certainly sustainable. And the food choices we’ve been making lately are not only healthy, but delicious so that seems to be sustainable, too. If I pass 165 and am still dropping weight at this rate, then I’ll probably have to slowly add some fat back into my diet, but until then, I’m content to feel good about what I’m doing and leave well enough alone.
Speaking of food, we had two very delicious things this past week I feel I should share: Leftover Turkey Mole Enchiladas and a Jerusalem Artichoke Salad with Parsley, Shallots and Parrano Cheese.
Leftover Turkey Mole Enchiladas
1 pound or so of leftover turkey
jar of mole sauce base (I buy mine from the store, but you can make it fresh)
Shredded cheese of your choice (I use Colby and Monterrey for this)
1. Fry the Turkey in a pan with some oil and sprinkle liberally with the adobo until it’s a little charred, then set aside.
2. Add two Tbsp of the oil into the pan and lower heat to very low. Dip each tortilla into the oil until it starts to inflate, then remove.
3. Place a small handful of the turkey meat into the center of each tortilla and wrap like a cigar.
4. Place enchiladas seam-down into a baking pan.
5. Meanwhile, prepare mole according to instructions. The brand I use calls for a heroic amount of chicken stock and must be slowly heated to near-boiling while allowing the mole paste to dissolve. It takes about 20 minutes, but is well worth it.
6. Smother the enchiladas in prepared mole sauce, sprinkle with a tiny amount of cheese for looks and place into an oven at 375 until the sauce is bubbling, about 20 minutes.
7. Enjoy. Delicious served with rice and black beans.
Jerusalem Artichoke Salad
We got some jerusalem artichokes in our latest vegetable delivery and I had no idea what to do with them. So I looked for recipes online and found this one, from Brooklyn Farmhouse. I prepared about three times the amount called for in the recipe and added halved grape tomatoes for color and extra flavor. I also swapped out the delicious Parrano cheese for the parmesan-reggiano called for. Perrano is a hybrid of parmesan and gouda and is simply to die for. The result was simple and delicious and outclassed the blackened catfish I served it with. Next time, I’ll sprinkle some blackened chicken or tuna chunks on top and serve the salad as a main course.
10-15 thinly sliced Jerusalem artichokes
4 Tbsp thinly sliced shallot
Juice of one whole lemon
Two handfuls of parsley leaves
Small chunk of Parrano cheese
Two cups of grape tomatoes
Extra virgin olive oil
As Brooklyn Farmhouse says, the secrets to this salad are using extremely good quality ingredients and cutting the jerusalem artichokes and shallots as thin as possible. I used a porcelain knife, but BF calls for a mandoline. Either way works.
1. Slice chokes and shallots as thinly as possible.
2. Place chokes into a bowl (or bowls – I just prepared this into two salad bowls for serving) and sprinkle with juice of half your lemon.
3. Add shallots and cheese and sprinkle with the remainder of your lemon, 4-6 Tbsp of oil.
4. Add parsley for garnish and fancy salt and/or pepper to taste.