Thursday, April 26, 2012

Day 26 of Insanity with Curried Mango-Butternut Squash Soup w/ Curried Beef Tenderloin

Tonight is the completion of day 26 of 60 in this Insanity workout experiment.  So far I have lost about 20-25 lbs and feel great.  The workout tonight was a Plyometric Cardio workout that kicked my ass and I thought I should celebrate with a healthy tasty treat.  This is a spin-off of the Meat Luck winning Curried Squash soup with tenderloin skewers.  Most of the meals I have been making have been based on greens, fruits, whole grain and protein from egg whites, chicken & turkey.  I've been varying the flavor between spice, sweet and savory.  But tonight is about this treat.  Check out the recipes and I hope you enjoy!  Thanks again for following me through this journey!


Curried Butternut Squash & Mango Soup
By Ted Slee

Servings: 8-10
Prep: 10-15 mins
Cooking: 30 mins

2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 medium sized butternut squash (peeled, seeded & cubed)
1 large yellow onion (chopped)
2 green mangos (peeled, seeded and chopped)
2 carrots (chopped)
2 inches of ginger (grated)
3 garlic cloves (minced)
2 tsp red curry paste
½ tsp yellow curry powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1 tsp red pepper flakes (or harissa paste)
1 can coconut milk (well shaken)
1 can water (or more to cover all ingredients
Salt & Pepper (to taste)

Heat the olive oil in a medium stock pot over medium heat until oil is shimmering.  Add the onion and saute until translucent.  Stir as you add the garlic and ginger until fragrant, about a minute.  At this point add the butternut squash, carrot, mango and gently stir until contents are coated with oil.  After about a minute add the red curry paste, yellow curry, cumin, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, turmeric and red pepper flakes.  Continue to occasionally stir until spices are mixed.  Add the coconut milk and water, cover and bring to a boil.  Then reduce heat and simmer for roughly 30 minutes.  Let soup cool for five minutes then puree in manageable batches until silky smooth in a blender (be careful of steam).


Curried Tenderloin Skewers
Servings: 10-12 pieces
Prep: 10 mins
Cooking: 5 mins

1 ½ tbsp Yellow Curry powder
1 ½ tbsp Red Curry powder
1 ½ tbsp Ground Turmeric
1 ½ tbsp Ground Coriander
1 ½ tbsp Ground Cumin
1 tsp cayenne
2 cloves of garlic minced
4 tbsp vegetable oil
¾ lb beef tenderloin cut into ½” slices pounded thin
Bamboo Skewers – soaked in water

Combing all spices, garlic and oil in a bowl, mix well.  Weave skewers through meat and brush spice mixture on the meat.  Grill 1–2 mins per side on hot griddle plate brushing with spice mixture each time you turn it over.  If you prefer less spice, cut back on Cayenne pepper.  If you want to change the flavor add a tablespoon of plain Greek yogurt to spice mixture.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Day 15 Treat of Mako Shark & An Update

I have survived to day 15 with some marked results.  I have been repeating the same recipes that have been posted before with minor changes.  This work out is quite difficult, yet very rewarding!  I have learned that moderation is the key lesson of this and hopefully I can figure out a way to make that a lifestyle not just a fad.  On day 15 I decided to test my lack of love for anything seafood...  I asked the staff at a local fish market what he would suggest for a non-fish eater and he offered Mako Shark.  It was probably one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten.  Here is the simple recipe I pulled together.  Enjoy!

Mako Shark
Serves 1-2
Prep 40-60 mins

6oz Mako Shark steak about 1.75” thick
2 tbsp vegetable oil
4 cloves of garlic sliced
3-4 tbsp of cilantro minced
Zest & juice of one lemon
Salt & Pepper

Mix all ingredients together and brush liberally on the Mako steak.  Let it rest for about 10 mins prior to grilling.  Get your grill nice and hot.  Cook for 10-20 mins depending on how you want the temp to be and size of the piece of fish.  Serve with side salad or brown rice. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Day 2! Oh boy this is going to be tough but worth it!!

I’ve made it to day two!  I noticed after the first day that I was not eating enough so I bumped up the calories a bit today.  I will have a plum and some mixed nuts as snacks today.  I hope you enjoy the recipes!!

Egg white omelet – 301 cal
10 mins prep

2 eggs
2 egg whites
¼ cup mushrooms
½ tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp non fat ricotta cheese
1 slice of whole wheat toast

Whip the eggs and season with a pinch of salt and black pepper.  Cook mushrooms and garlic in a non-stick skillet with a tsp of vegetable oil.  Add egg and cheese cooking till complete.  Serve with toast and garnish with scallions.

Brown rice – 140 cal per ¼ cup
9 cups
20-25 mins prep

32 oz unsalted Chicken Stock
2 cups brown rice
1 Tbsp garlic
1 Tsp rosemary

Bring stock to boil reduce add rice, garlic and rosemary cook till done.  This will be a versatile add-on to any dish where the desire for carbs exists.  I will be using this for burritos, dinners, breakfasts etc… 

Chicken Burrito – 320 cal
10 mins prep

½ chicken breast sliced
½ avocado sliced
¼ cup spinach
1 tsp balsamic reduction
2 tsp fat free ricotta
1 tsp Cholula hot sauce
¼ cup brown rice
1 med whole wheat tortilla

Take all ingredients and roll up in tortilla

Brown Rice Stirfry – 330 cal
15 mins prep

½ cup of cooked brown rice
¼ cup of non fat ricotta cheese
1 diced chicken breast
¼ cup baby bella mushrooms
½ cup spinach raw
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Cholula Hot Sauce

In a non stick skillet, brown chicken with a tbsp of olive oil.  Turn off heat add rice, spinach, mushrooms, ricotta, mix thoroughly and cover.  Let stand for about 5 mins.  Stir again and salt and pepper to taste.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Day 1 of Instanity! Here we go!

Welcome to day one!
The next 60 days are going to be a great culinary and athletic adventure! So here are the basics of the workout program Insanity.  The workouts last about an hour and they vary each day.  The diet plan is very important and the body needs the right mix of fuel.  The menu plan is just basic ingredients with no flavor…  This is a problem.  So each time I present a daily meal plan I am hoping to take some inspiration from their cookbook and add my personal twist!

So here is the Menu for the day:
Breakfast: 294 calories
Homemade Granola with Greek Yogurt and Gala Apple
Snack: 105 calories
Lunch: 495 calories
Spinach Salad with Sirloin, Parmesan, Shallots, Gala Apple and Balsamic Reduction
Snack: 145 calories
Kashi Snack Bar
Dinner: 426 calories
Chicken Breast with Grilled Aspargus, Non Fat Ricotta and Balsamic Reduction Served with brown rice.

The recipes!
20 servings – 1hr 30mins prep            

1 ½ cup light brown sugar
¾ cup of water
4 tsp vanilla
1 tsp kosher salt
6 cups oats
1 ½ cups wheat bran
7 oz sliced almonds – roasted for a minute
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground cloves

Preheat oven to 275.  Cover two baking sheets with aluminum foil or silicon mats.  In a sauce pan add sugar, water, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves stirring until sugar has melted.  Toss the oats, bran and almonds in a large bowl with wet ingredients until well mixed.  Spread on cookie sheets and cook for about an hour stirring occasionally.

Balsamic Reduction (aka Black Gold)
½ cup – 20-25 mins cooking

17 oz bottle of balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp of any preserve
1 pinch of kosher salt

Add to a medium sauce pan and lightly boil stirring occasionally taking care not to burn.  Great for adding flavor to any dish.  Get creative with the preserve flavors!

Spinach Salad
1 Serving – 25 mins prep

5 oz sirloin steak cooked in a cast iron skillet
1 cup raw spinach
2 oz shaved parmesan
½ Gala apple sliced thin
3 tsp Balsamic reduction (black gold)
1 shallot sliced thin
Juice of half a lemon

Slice the cooked steak thin and toss with the ingredients.  It makes a simple lunch or dinner.  Can last a day or so in refridge.  Add avocado if you need more flavor or need to add some calories.
Chicken Breast with Asparagus
1 Serving – 35 mins prep

1 chicken breast – skinless
6 asparagus spears
2 tsp balsamic reduction
2 tsp of non-fat ricotta cheese
½ cup of cooked brown rice

Roast the chicken breast and asparagus after sprinkling with kosher salt and pepper.  Serve with brown rice, balsamic reduction and non-fat ricotta cheese.  The ricotta actually tastes good, I was surprised. 

A new journey!

Last week I posted on facebook that I was going to create a meal plan with healthy, great tasting food.  Well, this is turning out to be harder than I thought.  I have begun to experiment with flavors trying to adjust my diet and boy do I miss cheese, butter and bacon!  I have found that with cooking complex comfort food, a healthy diet is easily forgotten.  A few weeks ago I ordered the Insanity DVD workout series from the TV infomercial.  I have started a few of the workouts as a test, to see if I could actually do this series and stick with it.  So far I haven’t quit, which is great, but the meal plan book is less than appealing for a foodie like me.  Starting April 5th I will begin this Insanity 60 day work and diet program full time.  With each day I will produce a daily meal plan that fits my daily caloric and fat intake as prescribed by Insanity.  I am so excited to share this journey and hope you enjoy the recipes!  Any comments or suggestions will be great!