I don't know about you but work is a diet killer for me. For one, I work at a hospital so there's a cafeteria. Now, I always thought in a hospital the cafeteria would have healthy food, right? Ohhh, so wrong. There's still all those burgers and fries and pie, oh my. Not to mention a wonderful deli with fabulous cake masquerading as muffins pretending to be healthy breakfast choices but are really just sugar held together by bleached flour. Then, there's the fact that I just got switched from the day shift with it's 2pm arsenic hour, you know the hour when your body slumps and all you want is a Coke and a candy bar to get you through, to the evening shift, which is when you go home at 11pm and mysteriously your car drives through Taco Bell every night no matter how many names you call it.
Well I have a plan and that plan got placed into action last night in the form of a brown paper bag:
This worked out pretty well all the way around. First, with the Sausage, Potato, and Kale soup, I didn't even have to go to the cafeteria. I had all my bases covered, even the ones at home. Let's start there. One of my concerns about going to evenings was that Gene wouldn't eat right. He tends to eat the bulk of his meals in the afternoon and evening so if I'm gone I'm afraid he'll eat fast food or junk food so I'm determined to still cook and keep good food for him in the house. He has a history of heart disease and I've worked very hard over the last few years to rid our house of transfats and keep him on a heart-healthy diet. I don't want my work schedule to ruin that so I'm going to let that help motivate me. I can keep both of us on our diets at the same time by leaving him at home with a crockpot or something to warm up and by me packing food to work.
Second, I had snacks for later in the evening to beat the Taco Bell run. I'm always hungry when I get off work, no matter what time that is. It's simply a fact and I need to deal with it. And third, I love soda but I know I can't have it. That's where the Crystal Lite comes in. I don't mind drinking water most of the time, but there are times when I really want something with flavor so I don't mind buying the bottled water to put Crystal Lite in to have that soda feeling in my hand. This little brown bagged beauty worked great for me last night. I felt satieted, had lots of energy, didn't feel deprived which is very important, and I didn't feel the urge to hit a drive-thru on the way home from work. With a little extra planning before work, I think this is going to work well for us.
This soup is an excellent choice for us too. It has the feeling of heft for Gene but is light enough to be diet for me. I told Gene "It's meat and potatoes, your favorite. Eat it." He said "It has green stuff in it." I said "It's good for you. Eat it." He said "I can pick around it." I said, "What are you, four?" He said, "If I wanna be." Puh-lease. I came home and a big portion of the pot was gone. Don't know if he picked around the kale or not but he obviously liked it. I never told him that the "sausage" was low-fat turkey sausage and that the "cream" was fat free half and half. He didn't need to know that.
Also, with the addition of kale, and I'm hoping Gene DID eat it with all it's yummy antioxidants packed in, the Sausage, Red Potato, and Kale soup is my addition to Cate of Sweetnick's ARF Tuesdays Blogging Event where she hosts all kinds Antioxidant Rich Foods good for the body. Just one more observation on kale: Isn't it sad that in America, the healthiest green on the salad bar is the one we tuck in between the bowls to decorate with? That's so.....us.
Click below for the recipe and nutrition counts.
Red Potato, Turkey Sausage, and Kale Soup
(Copycat Olive Garden's Toscana Soup)
1 medium onion, diced
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1/2 cup celery, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp dried rosemary or 1 tsp fresh rosemary
1 1/2 lbs small red potatos, chunked
1 lb smoked turkey sausage, chunked
2 qts chicken stock
1/2 cup fat free half and half
1 large bunch kale, stripped from stems and cut into approximately 1" pieces
1. Saute onion and celery in olive oil over medium heat until tender. Add garlic and saute for a minute or so.
2. Add all ingredients except half/half and kale to dutch oven and bring to boil. Turn down and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
3. Add half and half. Simmer another 30 minutes until soup reduces and thickens slightly. Stir in kale and serve.
Makes 14 cups:
Per 1 cup: Calories 103; Protein 7; Carb 6; Fat 4;
(The container in my picture is a "small" round 2 cup disposable from the grocery store so I had a double portion and actually wasn't able to eat it all for dinner. Also, the protein bar is pictured below, tastes like a marshmellow brownie, and is available from Carriage Park Preventive Health Care www.DrWells.info Honest, they're not paying me to plug them, I'm just letting you know where I'm getting my stuff if you want to know. :-) )