Day 10: Hot Sauce and Chickpeas

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Breakfast was “fried eggs” and “hash.” I like my eggs fried so that the yolk turns a little pink on top, and cracking some eggs on a nonstick pan with barely any oil doesn’t really provide that effect. I didn’t really like the hash because it was too onion heavy for my taste. I would have preferred more cauliflower and half the onion. The only thing that made that hash somewhat ok was hot sauce.

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Lunch was a roasted eggplant, chickpea, and arugula salad. It was the best meal of the day. The roasted eggplant and chickpeas still taste amazing and I enjoyed them much more in this salad than in the previous dish. I usually don’t like arugula, but the balsamic vinegar really masked the bitterness of it.

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The afternoon snack was hummus and red pepper. I like hummus better with carrots, and after having chickpeas for lunch, I would have preferred a sweeter afternoon snack.

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Dinner was shrimp on a kale and collard green salad with mushrooms. I didn’t really like it. The shrimp were good, but the wilted vegetables tasted pretty gross. The only thing that made me finish it was the hot sauce flavour.

The night snack was blackberries (not pictured). I like plain  fresh fruit as a snack.It’s much easier to prepare than some of the other snacks in the challenge, and it’s delicious.

Final thoughts: I was pleasantly surprised by today’s lunch meal. I never realized how delicious roasted eggplant was. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow’s smoothies and perhaps one of the other meals will pleasantly surprise me like today.

Day 9: Another Day, Another Recipe Error

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Breakfast was an apple omelet. I can’t decide if I liked it or not. Like yesterday’s breakfast, the flavours were good but there’s something so weird about eating something with the texture of omelet that tastes sweet. The recipe listed vanilla as an ingredient but failed to mention it again in the recipe, so I mixed it in with the egg mixture. As you can see, mine turned into more of an apple scrambled eggs. Apparently I’m not very good at flipping omelettes.

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Lunch was collard green turkey wraps. I didn’t like them. The flavours were way too bland. On the upside, it was pretty filling. It was kind of hard to get the collard greens to stay wrapped around the turkey meatballs, but I found that cracking the spines of the leaves  a little helped them to stay wrapped.

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The afternoon snack was a blackberry parfait. I tried to flavour the yogurt with some honey and vanilla but I don’t think I used enough because it still tasted like plain yogurt. I don’t really like plain greek yogurt so I didn’t particularly enjoy this snack.

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Dinner was a hodgepodge of peas, scrambled eggs, quinoa, and mushrooms. It tasted ok but I don’t think I would make it again.

The night snack was pears and almond butter (not pictured). This was my favourite meal of the day!

Final thoughts: I think I’m getting a little sick of this challenge because I’m expecting the food to taste incredibly good. For the remaining days, I’m going to try and lower my expectations. After all, this is “the clean eating challenge,” not “the best food you will ever eat challenge.”

Day 8: How to Ruin Tomato Sauce

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Breakfast was a blueberry smoothie. The flavours were good but I didn’t like the texture of it. It was too fluffy and light.

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Lunch was shakshuka. I was really excited for this dish, but it was a major let down. The sauce was as good as it was yesterday, but the eggs and asparagus totally ruined it. In addition to it not tasting so good, the recipe made no sense because it mentioned wilting spinach when spinach wasn’t listed as an ingredient. It also took me closer to 15 minutes (not 5-7 minutes) to cook the eggs.

The afternoon snack was strawberries and almond butter (not pictured). I like strawberries and I like almond butter, but I didn’t really like them together.

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Dinner was roasted eggplant, cauliflower, and chickpeas with yogurt. I enjoyed the roasted vegetables separately and the chickpea/cauliflower/hummus mix, but the yogurt was not good and overpowered all of the other components of the dish. The portion size also felt a little small for a dinner; this would have been better as a lunch meal.

The night snack was dates and almonds again. I had an extra date because two just isn’t enough.

Final thoughts: I had been looking forward to this day’s meals for a while and I am pretty disappointed by the smoothie and Shakshuka in particular. I hope that the remaining food tastes better!

 

Day 7: Tomato Sauce

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Breakfast (poached eggs and steamed asparagus) was pretty horrible. It took over an hour to make and wasn’t worth the wait… at all. I’ve never made poached eggs or asparagus (except for the shaved asparagus salad earlier this week) before and it turns out I don’t like either. I’m also really bad at poaching eggs (the water got super cloudy and parts of egg got lost in the whirlpool… I’m pretty sure that’s not supposed to happen). In summation, breakfast was a total fail.

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Lunch (bean salad) was just as bad as breakfast. The only good thing about this salad was the tomato and feta. There’s a reason why most people don’t eat raw green onions… they burn on the way down. Not a pleasant feeling. I also thought that there weren’t nearly enough beans in it.

The afternoon snack was a tangerine and some almonds. Nothing really to say about that.

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Despite the morning’s unpleasantries, dinner (turkey meatballs on collard greens) was AMAZING. It was by far the best dish in this challenge so far. My brother said he would order it at a restaurant. The star of the dish is the tomato sauce which was super tasty and way better than any store bought tomato sauce I’ve ever had. I definitely plan on making this again after the challenge. The only downside of this meal is that it took over an hour to make. Luckily we have some leftovers for tomorrow and later this week. This meal was also the first time I’ve ever had collard greens and I have to say… I don’t get it. What is the big fuss over collard greens? They don’t really have much of a taste and although their texture is completely different, they’re a lot like Kale. Apparently some people think they’re good enough to make a song about them (I’m thinking of you Schoolboy Q).

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The night snack was dark chocolate! One of my favourite snacks of all time. I love 90% Lindt chocolate. If you’re a beginner to dark chocolate, I would recommend starting with 70% but if that’s starting to taste too sweet, I’d increase your %.

Final thoughts: today I had some of the best (dinner) and worst (breakfast and lunch) meals of the challenge. I can’t believe I’ve been doing this for a week! It feels like much longer. I’ve learn’t how to make 7 new breakfasts, lunches, and dinners and although I didn’t enjoy all of them, I absolutely plan on making some of them again in the future. During the next week, I’d like to learn more recipes and try out more new foods. Hopefully the next weeks’ meals are more consistently good.

Day 6: Vegetarian Chilli

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Breakfast was a mango pistachio “pudding.” I don’t think mine set properly because it tasted more like a dessert soup.  The flavours were good, but the texture was pretty unappealing.

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Lunch was a a salmon salad using the leftover salmon from last night. It was the best meal of the day. The dressing (dijon mustard, olive oil, lemon…) was especially delicious. The only thing I didn’t like about this dish was the arugula because I don’t particularly like arugula.

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The afternoon snack was vegetables and hummus. We were supposed to use carrots and cucumbers but we didn’t have any left so we used cucumbers and celery. Hummus tastes way better with carrots.

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Dinner was “chilli” with a side of zucchini strips. When I think of chilli, the words wholesome and hearty come to mind. This chilli wasn’t either. Although it looks really pretty, it tasted like a bunch of vegetable tossed into a bowl and heated for an hour. I don’t know if I would ever enjoy a chilli without beef in it. The zucchini strips weren’t particularly great either. I prefer to have zucchini coated in lemon and salt and fried. Speaking of lemon, the recipe didn’t state how much lemon to put in the yogurt, so I put the juice of a whole lemon in (I make two portions of everything) and it didn’t taste too lemony. The yogurt didn’t really taste like anything except… yogurt.

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The night snack was blackberries and pistachios. Not much to say here.

Final thoughts: today’s food was pretty underwhelming. I was really looking forward to the pudding and the chilli and I didn’t particularly enjoy either of them. I was also really excited for tomorrow’s menu, so hopefully it will not be such a letdown.

Day 5: Blueberry Day

After a few days, the meals are becoming much faster to prepare and I’ve been able to manage my time much better.

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Breakfast was a cauliflower omelet. Because the cauliflower was on one side of the omelet, the egg on that side didn’t cook as well, so overall the omelet wasn’t amazing.

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Lunch was a blueberry, fennel, chickpea salad. My brother accidentally finished all of the quinoa that was supposed to be leftover for this salad, so I had it without the quinoa and I accidentally only used half the fennel that I was supposed to. That’s why it looks so small. Even with the messed up composition, it tasted great. The lime really brought everything together.

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The afternoon snack was carrots and hummus. Not much to say here. I love chipotle hummus/ extremely spicy hummus.

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Dinner was salmon, lentils and beans. I’ve never made salmon before and it was surprisingly very easy. The beans and lentils tasted a lot better with lemon. This is one of the better meals so far, I definitely plan on making salmon again.

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The night snack was blueberries and almonds. I appreciated that it was much larger than yesterday’s night snack 🙂

Final thoughts: I’m finding that making the meals has become much faster and easier after a few days, but I still feel a little hungry in the afternoons. Today I wasn’t tired though and I was able to workout and carry on with my daily routine. I’m very excited for tomorrow and this weekend’s meals, but most of all I hope that they fill me up so that I don’t have to dream of food that I want to be eating.

Day 4: Two Dates

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Breakfast was an omelette with scallions and feta. It only took 15 minutes to make and it was the best meal of the day. Mine turned into more of a scrambled eggs because the pan I was using wasn’t non-stick, but it was delicious nonetheless. This breakfast was also very filling and kept me full till lunch time.

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Lunch was a Greek salad. It was also very quick to prepare and I liked the lentils a lot more in the salad than I did last night as a side dish to the cauliflower steaks.

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The afternoon snack was a banana and chia seed smoothie. It was very quick to make since I had already prepared a freezer bag with the fruit, and it was delicious. It almost tasted like liquid cookie dough. I only wish I had a little more of it, because it did not satisfy my hunger for very long.

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Dinner was a roasted fennel salad. It took over an hour to make because it takes a while to roast fennel. I really enjoyed the roasted fennel. The tiny pieces that were almost fried were especially good. The salad as a whole however just wasn’t that filling and felt like it was missing something.

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The night snack was 2 dates stuffed with almonds. 2 dates! It definitely felt way too small.

Final thoughts: today was the first day during this challenge that I felt weak and tired. I’ve been working out daily since the challenge started but I didn’t have the energy for it today. I was very surprised because breakfast was so filling and the past few days’ meals have been so large, but here I sit, still hungry. I looked at tomorrow’s meals and the only one I’m excited for is breakfast (cauliflower omelet). Hopefully one of the other meals will be surprisingly good.