Although I am down to the five-shakes-a-day phase of my “liver diet”, I thought I’d share some of our favorite “lean and green” recipes that we discovered during the first two weeks. All I can say is thank goodness for the Internet (and Pinterest)! We were quite pleased with many of the dishes we made and I’ve pinned them for future reference.
- Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Asian Sesame Glazed Brussels Sprouts (probably one of my favorite ways of cooking brussels EVER)
- Grilled Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms and a steamed artichoke to share (with this delicious, tangy dipping sauce made with a Greek yogurt base)
- Stuffed Bell Peppers
- Baked Chicken with Zucchini and Feta (this might have been my favorite overall)
- Crockpot Balsamic Chicken
The whole experience was made extra special by the fact that Steve and I cooked many of these meals together (when I wasn’t working). He is definitely the culinary master in this family, but I have always enjoyed being his sous chef, and it was really fun to try new ingredients and combinations, and enjoy the whole experience of food prep. Our version of a date night ;-). Ironically, I’ve been more interested and involved in cooking these past few weeks, mostly because I am bound and determined to make sure that I can still enjoy food (just healthier versions of it). And I’ve been watching reruns of Top Chef like it’s my job – you would think it would be torture, but somehow it’s comforting.
As for the famous shakes, my morning routine has been a splash of fresh-squeezed orange juice, a serving of frozen fruit, and vanilla protein powder, blended with a bit of ice. In the afternoons I’ll usually blend chocolate protein powder and water with a teaspoon of PB2, or vanilla protein powder and unsweetened almond/coconut milk with a teaspoon of cinnamon and a dash of vanilla extract (I swear it tastes just like a cinnamon roll). They’re actually not bad overall, I’m just tired of them.
The high protein snacks were so-so. I had to buy these soy “crisps” that had different savory flavors – the flavoring left a bit of a chalky texture, but they weren’t terrible and it was honestly nice to eat something that wasn’t sweet. The protein bars they wanted me to get were just plain nasty, so I crowd-sourced on Facebook and discovered the wonder of Quest bars. These babies helped me pull through my afternoon slumps.
Next on my culinary to-do list: research pureed options that aren’t store bought applesauce/pudding/baby food. I’ll be on liquids only for two weeks post-op and then the pureed phase begins for a week.
Any suggestions? 😉