Doing time … in the kitchen

Since the Boyfriend had to spend the weekend in Prescott, I ended up at home Sunday, with access to my kitchen — and, thanks in part to a Saturday visit to Trader Joe’s, I took full advantage of it.

Beet slaw with PopChips and a turkey burger on a Sandwich Thin.

Beet slaw with PopChips and a turkey burger on a Sandwich Thin.

First off, I slept in until 11 a.m. Then I made a turkey burger (from TJ’s) and that Sweetheart Slaw from GoFitGals’ Skinny Jeans Challenge. I was skeptical about eating raw beets, but it wasn’t terrible. Actually, it was pretty darn good, even if I do still prefer my beets pickled.

If I divide it into six servings, instead of the four the recipe calls for, the slaw is just 1 WW Point per serving. And really, since I’m not wild about raw beets, I doubt I can eat more than one-sixth of the recipe at once.

After lunch, I headed to Starbucks for writing time, then took myself to see “Sliver Linings Playbook.” (I also treated myself to a small bag of unbuttered movie popcorn. I had the Points for it …) The hype is true: It is one excellent flick. An unconventional love story with a very conventional happily-ever-after. No steamy scenes, but enough tension to keep things interesting. Plus, it has Bradley Cooper. I could watch him read the phone book and be entertained. Robert DeNiro is also in it, along with Julia Stiles and the girl from “The Hunger Games,” Jennifer Lawrence. If you haven’t seen “Silver Linings Playbook” yet, I highly recommend it.

When the movie ended, I made a quick trip to the grocery store to pick up some cauliflower to make cauliflower rice — and ended up grabbing some butternut squash, jicama and green beans, too. I roasted the squash and beans after I made a delicious dinner.

I tried the Mideast Shepherd’s Pie from the Jan./Feb. 2013 issue of Weight Watchers Magazine. Ground beef, mixed veggies, some unusual spices, sweet potato topping — it was very good. My only complaint is one you’ve heard me make before. It used way too many dishes.

A serving of Mideast Shepherd's Pie.

One of four servings of Mideast Shepherd’s Pie.

I had to dirty a pot (to make the sweet potatoes), a skillet (for the beef/onion/sauce filling), a mixing bowl (to mix the saucy gravy in), a colander (to drain the potatoes), a casserole dish and two bowls (one to thaw the beef, one to eat the finished product from). Countless measuring spoons and other utensils also made their way into the sink.

Oh well. At least I now have two portions in the freezer and one more in the fridge. My stockpile of healthy meal options is growing. I’d much rather have homemade frozen dinners than SmartOnes — but I keep those on hand, too. There are so many, many times I don’t have the time or inclination to cook, and frozen meals save me from eating out.

Whatever it takes, right? While a SmartOnes may not be optimal whole food, it’s better than fast food. Of course, I’m not immune to fast food, either — and I doubt I ever will be. I had a “Little Hamburger” from Five Guys Saturday night when I got back to Flagstaff (emotional eating, because I was unhappy about being separated from the Boyfriend for the weekend). Not so little, actually — it was 13 WW Points. But I had the FlexPoints for it, so I’m not going to beat myself up too much.

At least I looked up the stats before I ordered on autopilot. I wonder how many Points are in a regular, two-patty burger …

A Trader Joe's find. Hope it's good — and not too hot.

A Trader Joe’s find. Hope it’s good — and not too hot.

The cauliflower I picked up at Safeway Sunday is going to become a batch of cauliflower rice that I can eat with the Thai Curry Chicken I put in the slow cooker to cook overnight. I picked up a jar of simmer sauce at TJ’s, and couldn’t wait to try it. I just hope it’s not burning hot.

I have plans for the jicama, too: Jicama Tacos. I’ve seen this idea a couple of different places, and can’t wait to try it for myself. Maybe it’ll be my lunch today.

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