Summer Farm Share Week 8 – tracking equals weight loss
As we entered Summer Farm Share Week 8, I realized that tracking equals weight loss. I knew this. But like anything else I don’t do consistently, I needed to rediscover it.
My plan has always been to track what we do with our share weekly in order to report it here. But there are many weeks when I can’t remember what we ate, or how we prepared it. That’s when the photo tracking idea hit me and it’s the easiest method I’ve tried. I take pictures as I formulate recipes, why not pictures to track usage? Of course, Mr. Carnivore laughs at me taking pictures of my plates throughout the day. But, this has been the easiest, and most thorough week of reporting because of it, so I think I’m onto something that works for me.
No, I’m not going to post all the photos. That would be way nuttier than I really am, but at least this week you’ll get real life-tracking on how easy it is to live on a farm share. And I lost 5 pounds because of it! Take that, you naughty fat!
Week 8 of our small Vegetarian summer farm share included (featured photo at the top of this post is full vegetarian share)…
Red Potatoes – I’m not sure how many, maybe 2lbs?
Carrots – 7
Candy Beets – 2
Broccoli – 2 small heads
Peppers – 2 Medium Hot
Zucchini instead of Yellow Squash – 2
Cucumbers – to make up for missing last week – 2
Leeks – 3
My half of our small Vegetarian summer farm share (above photo) and what’s left since Wednesday, July 20…
Red Potatoes – these are one of my favorite farm share items. Always delicious. We leave the skins on for extra nutrition because they’re organic. Gone.
Carrots – 4 – I took the extra carrot and an extra leek since my parents got the two large beets – some went into the tuna salad.
Candy Beets – I gave these to my parents. One was cracked and I wouldn’t use it fast enough.
Broccoli – 1 small head – went into the Chicken and Veggies stir fry.
Peppers – 1 Medium Hot – still waiting for me.
Zucchini instead of Yellow Squash – 1 – still waiting for me.
Cucumber – to make up for missing last week – 1 – still waiting for me.
Green Beans – went into the Chicken and Veggies stir fry.
Leeks -2 – still in the fridge
I’m always taking pictures of food, so this isn’t a new concept. But making a concentrated effort to photograph to track share usage had some unforeseen results. It didn’t matter if I was preparing breakfast, lunch or dinner – I thought about what share item I could add to it and then took a picture. That was HUGE and helped me concentrate on using our share and eating healthy. You see, if there wasn’t a farm share item in it, why take the photo? Somehow that worked with my brain and got me to add more share items to every meal.
Share pick-up night is always hectic so we do something simple. I had to take the cat to the vet, unexpectedly, as well as run a bunch of errands that day, including delivering half this share to my parents after I photographed it. I was too tired to think after a full day, so we stopped for rigatoni and salad on the way home. It was good, but not half as good as everything we ate at home this week.
The first vegetable I wanted to use up was zucchini because we had some leftover from weeks 6 and 7. It was a simple supper of Salmon burgers, black olives and sauteed zucchini with onions and dill. The skins on these zucchini seemed tough to me versus last year. I’m wondering if our dry, hot season is pushing the zucchini’s limits? I didn’t plant any this year so I have no comparison.
I could not wait to dive into the 95% lean ground beef we got last week at Duma Meats. That was mainly because I had some roasted tomatoes frozen from last year’s farm share that I needed to use up before this year’s tomatoes roll in. You have never had the BEST Sloppy Joes ever until you’ve used your own roasted tomatoes in it. So easy too! I’ll work on the “official” recipe for a later blog post, but there’s no reason you can’t play with this yourself until then.
Roasted Tomatoes Sloppy Joes Recipe – Brown your meat in a skillet. Add chopped onions and peppers during the last half of the browning. Once the meat is browned (after draining fat, if there is any), add a drizzle of Worcestershire or A1 sauce, some Balsamic vinegar, a little mustard and another drizzle of ketchup. Chop up your frozen roasted tomatoes and simmer the whole lot for about 20-30 minutes until thickened. If you don’t have any roasted tomatoes, you can always use 3-4 chopped Roma tomatoes and some garlic. Since my roasted tomatoes are roasted in olive oil, I’d add a drizzle of that too just for flavor when using fresh Romas.
You can use a bun or bread to serve your Sloppy Joes, but I really like using the dried tomato and basil wraps instead. Makes it lighter and richer tasting. I also added a slice of Swiss cheese this time. I steamed some Broccoli and Peppers in some vegetable broth to go with the Sloppy Joes the first night. That’s easy to do while you’re waiting for the flavors to simmer down with the Joes. Then the second night, we added a salad of greens to further use up our share and ate the leftover broccoli from the night before.
Running out of bananas triggered me to add blueberries to my nutty oat cereal one morning. It was so good that I did it several mornings. Mr. Carnivore hates blueberries, so I’m on my own. I like them, but I need to be in the mood for them. Refusing to buy bananas is one way I convince myself to eat them everyday. HA! Yes, I can freeze them, but the whole point is that I “should” be eating them instead of bonbons or something else ridiculous.
Healthy Strawberries and Cream – Speaking of frozen…when Mr. Carnivore was smacking his lips for ice cream, I reminded him about our frozen strawberries and the farm share yogurt in the fridge. We microwave-defrost the strawberries to semi-frozen so they’re a little soft but not mushy (about 6-8 per dish). Then, we add them, and the juice that generated while defrosting, into three heaping tablespoons of yogurt. Tada – healthy strawberries and cream.
Just like leftover Sloppy Joes – I love it, but after two nights of that, I need to get creative the third night. That’s when the zucchini called to me and it was delicious. We each had one of the gorgeous red potatoes with it. Yes, I could have frozen the leftovers, but I wanted to be lazy and not cook, plus see how creative I could get with re-purposing Sloppy Joes. Next time I’m going to use them on pasta.
Tuna Salad on Toast – The next day I grated some carrots into our Tuna Salad served on toast, along with sweet onions and celery, added a sprinkling of dill weed and fresh ground pepper. Instead of mayonnaise (since I was being frugal and we didn’t have any), I used the last of the ranch salad dressing leftover from the July 4th picnic. It was a tasty substitute.
Bubby was mad because we ate the last of “his” tuna. But we sure enjoyed it!
Finally, I got lazy and rummaged through the freezer for leftover Vegetable Beef Soup from earlier this year. It’s the one I made with the Dakon radishes so it was SPICY. I kept looking at it, wondering what those strange white things were that looked like something from leftover Chinese food. Then I tasted it and realized, oh yeah, those are the crazy radishes. (Note to self — write down ingredients of strange veggies in soup)
Then, another night we had take-out pizza. Hey! I’m not perfect. 🙂
My final effort at using up the veggies in our fridge happened right before this post was finished. I made a simple Chicken and Veggie stir fry using three small chicken tenders. I do this a lot for the two of us. Three chicken tenders is plenty for two people. We’ve become so used to it that we often one leftover. Not this time — we scarfed every bit of that meal.
Simple Chicken and Veggie stir fry – I simmered the chicken in a drizzle of olive oil, topped with Montreal Steak Seasoning. Then, after I flipped them, I added in peppers and onions to cook with the chicken. (Our new pans are awesome!) Once the chicken is temped to 165 degrees, I remove it to a plate to cool. I cut it into small pieces to go back into vegetables to warm up right before serving.
Next, I added broccoli, green beans and cauliflower to the peppers and onions. I added some vegetable broth and put the cover on the pan, opened a crack to let steam escape, and then steamed the veggies for 5 minutes. I added some ribbons of Kale into the mixture, stirred it a bit, then steamed it for 5-10 more minutes after I added the chicken back in. It was delicious, filling and easy to make. We didn’t even need rice or noodles – this is tasty all by itself.
Do you track what you eat to help you stay focused?