10 Days of Real Food: Day 2 & 3 Update

Just tuning in? I’m doing the 10 Days of Real Food Pledge from 9/19-9/28. Feel free to join me at any time — but check out their website first for all the details like what the 10 day pledge is all about, what you can/can’t eat, and recipe/food ideas. (keep in mind that Lisa and her family are not gluten-free… so some of the recipes need to be converted — give a shout if you need ANY help!) 

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When I got home from work I was hungry.

Hangry, actually. (so hungry = angry, if no food)

And I took a look in the fridge, then the cupboards, then the fridge again — you know, just to be sure some super satisfying snack hadn’t magically appeared.

I had to stop and take a moment to think it out.   It made me realize what a habit that has become. Walk in. Head for the fridge. Snack, while I dream up what’s for dinner. (like having a mini-meal before the meal) No bueno.

*POST INTERRUPTION: at this exact point last night, I was sending some photos from my phone to email, so I could download them and put them into the post — I thought I’d close my eyes for just a minute… and I woke up 45 minutes later to the laundry timer going off. Guess I was tired, which is why this will now be a Day 2 AND Day 3 update. 🙂

So instead, I set out to make a simple skillet meal with what we had in the fridge/freezer.

Simple Shrimp Skillet with Smashed Chive Potatoes

For the potatoes: Cover 1lb red potatoes with water (quarter the potatoes if larger) and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until tender, then drain and return to pan. Add 1-2 tablespoons butter or olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, and some fresh cut chives. Set aside, but keep warm.

Simple Skillet: These skillet meals work best if you cook each component separately — and don’t worry, it doesn’t take as much time as you would think because you are only cooking each ingredient for a few minutes. You can also substitute chicken, or another protein if you’d like, or just go with veggies.

1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup leeks, chopped
1-2 cups garden fresh tomatoes of your choice (roughly chopped, if not cherry/grape tomatoes)
1 cup of peas
20 frozen raw shrimp, thawed and peeled (don’t use the pre-cooked ones)
2-3 tablespoons olive oil

Bring one tablespoon of olive oil to medium-high heat in your pan — add leeks and allow to cook for 1-2 minutes before adding your mushrooms, continue cooking for a few minutes, until mushrooms become tender. Remove from pan and set aside. (you can add a bit more oil at this point, if needed) Add tomatoes to the pan and continuing cooking to your preferred doneness — you may like them more firm, or in this case, I let them cook down for about 5-7 minutes to add some color and develop the flavor. Set aside.

Add 1-2 tablespoons olive oil to your pan and bring heat up just a bit. Pat dry the shrimp, add salt, pepper and the Mural of Flavor blend — carefully place in the pan (it will be hot!) and cook for about one minute on the first side. Flip them over and cook for 1-2 minutes on the other side, then remove from pan. Shrimp cook fast! This is something that many don’t know… so they end up with tough shrimp. We don’t want tough shrimp do we? So take them out just as soon as they are cooked through.

Now we need to pull it all together: Add your smashed potatoes to the (now empty) pan, then top with peas, (I know, not pictured in the final dish — I forgot them over by the sink, remembered them at the end, and we had them with the leftovers tonight) and the remaining ingredients, with the shrimp on top — shrimp like to be the star of the show. Makes four hearty servings.

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Let’s back up to lunch: a super simple salad of mixed greens, farm fresh hard boiled egg, garden peppers, green beans, tomatoes, and yellow carrots, a bit of leftover mozzarella and topped with the homemade vinaigrette from the night before.

And for breakfasts — I’ve been a bit of a “repeat offender” this week. We had several of the “Gigi’s Carrot Cupcakes” (they’re really muffins) in the freezer from the Eat Like a Dinosaur book, so I’ve been heating them up for breakfast. Served with a side of sunshine.

Or in this morning’s case — a hard-boiled egg and banana.

Today’s lunch was more of a snack — a Honeycrisp apple, some snack mix: almonds, unsweetened coconut & raisins, and a coffee with a little honey and cream. I was out and about running errands, then hit up the gym (yay — back on the food and cardio wagon!) and we chowed down leftovers for dinner.

It’s Friday Movie night — so we’re snuggled up with a beer (yes, you can have beer during this challenge, but I’m limiting it) and some “spiced nuts” made with marcona almonds and some Penzey’s seasons… of course there are two flavors to choose from, the husband likes me to have options.

Stop back tomorrow for my, “I-Miss-Almond-Joy Bars” recipe (think Larabar meets Almond Joy, then thank me later) and a super simple “Greek Tomato Salad” with an ingredient I am now semi-addicted to.

How is your challenge coming? Or are you just along for the ride — and if that’s the case, are you digging the daily food diary? Have any great ideas for me? 

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