Food Rut Be Gone!

by HEAB on January 5, 2009

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Ever find yourself eating the same thing over and over?  If I discover a new food I like, I will eat it everyday for months.  For two years, I had one or two baked sweet potatoes every night and gave off an eerie orange glow.  I looked like a walking billboard for the spray tan industry.  (By the way, don’t ever try that.  I did it once, and I did not look tan…just dirty.)  Two years ago, I swore off carob chips after ordering 25 lbs from the Internet.  What can I say?  I know a good bargain when I see it.  Carob chips poured from every crevice of my little kitchen.  I finished them off in a couple of months and probably gained a good 5 pounds.  If you’ve noticed, they are back in my life, but I limit myself to 1 to 2 TBSP a day.  I am currently on a cinnamon raisin toast kick.  Can’t stop – just thinking about that lovely cinnamon aroma gets me out of bed every morning…that and a big a$$ cup of coffee. :)

This week, I decided to challenge my normal eating habits by trying a new recipe every night.  Tonight, we dined on veggie stir-fry with Shirataki noodles and Creole sauce.

A recipe worth repeating!

A recipe worth repeating!

Sammie shared the following recipe for Creole sauce from the Tropical Vegan Kitchen cookbook.  You were right Sammie – this sauce is amazing!  I made a few changes based on the ingredients I had on hand.

1 TBSP olive oil

2 TBSP chopped red onion

1 TBSP chopped cilantro

1/4 tsp dried Tyme

1/2 cup Annie’s ketchup

1/4 cup water

1/2 TBSP white balsamic vinegar

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 tsp maple syrup

1/4 tsp hot pepper sauce

salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and let simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

I set aside the sauce and stir-fried Brussels sprouts, mushroom, bell pepper, baby bella mushrooms, red onion, and broccoli.  I boiled the Shirataki noodles for 3 minutes and drained them.  I then stirred the sauce into the noodles and added them to the veggies.  Gave everything a good stir and proceeded to eat one of the best meals I’ve made in a while.  CD agreed – we will definitely be having this again.  I will continue posting all of our dinners this week…7 days of culinary adventure!

As you know, last week I was spoiled with endless amounts of Fage, my favorite Greek yogurt.  Now, that I’m home, I’m back to making it myself.  I went the lazy route this week and just strained some Brown Cow nonfat plain  yogurt.

Creamy Dreamy Yogurt

Creamy Dreamy Yogurt

This is by far the easiest method for making Greek yogurt at home.  Place an industrial sized coffee filter in a large strainer over a bowl.  Dump a quart sized container of yogurt into strainer, cover, and leave in fridge overnight.  Look how much liquid drained out…

Almost 1 1/2 cups!

Almost 1 1/2 cups!

The result is thick and creamy…it’s no Fage, but it will do.  The straining usually reduces the amount of yogurt by half.  So, for a little under $3.00, I got about 2.5 cups of Greek style yogurt.  Trader Joe’s Greek yogurt costs about the same, but I had to draw the line somewhere.  3 grocery stores was enough yesterday!

Hit me up in the comments with some of your favorite quick, easy, & healthy dinners.  Stay tuned…tomorrow night, we’re going Indian!

{ 32 comments }

eatingbender January 5, 2009 at 11:21 pm

Ooh I’m loving that recipe! I remember seeing it on Sammie’s blog…I’m gonna have to try that because I have some shirataki noodles that need to get used soon!

Love your yogurt :) Need to get on making some of that, too…

FollowMyWeigh January 6, 2009 at 1:02 am

i want to try these carob chips…never seen them though!
and wow orange glow?! kinda wanna try that =P

Heather Eats Almond Butter January 6, 2009 at 5:47 am

FollowMyWeigh, yes you must try the carob chips. You can find them in the bulk bins at whole foods or by the bag in the baking sections of most health food stores.

sarahannmatheny January 6, 2009 at 1:02 am

I make my yogurt like this too. I’ve found if I use paper towels doubled up into my strainer it gets creamier and thicker than with the coffee filter.

Those noodles are crazy filling! Almost too filling!

Heather Eats Almond Butter January 6, 2009 at 5:46 am

Sara, paper towel, huh? Thanks for the tip! I’ll try that next time.

MizFit January 6, 2009 at 5:23 am

you and my hubby.
he gets on KICKS and then they are done.
DONE.

the fridge or pantry can be *filled* with his kickfood but when he is finished he wont eat another bite.

makes me laugh.
and eat his leftovers.

jacob c January 6, 2009 at 7:14 am

haha, i was on the sweet potatoe kick last year for about 6 months! Everyday, 2 sweet potatos before bed with brown sugar.. I quit when i got sick of them, not because of orange skin ;-p
I loved the frozen sweet potatoe casserole also!- Don’t care to much for them anymore…idk..

Heather Eats Almond Butter January 6, 2009 at 7:36 am

Hey Jacob. Yeah, sweet potatoes are great fuel for running, no? Glad they didn’t turn you skin orange. :)

VeggieGirl January 6, 2009 at 8:07 am

Haha, well as a creature-of-habit, I ALWAYS eat a lot of the same things without getting tired of them ;-) But I love your quest for new meals!!

chocolatecoveredvegan January 6, 2009 at 8:16 am

I was going to ask you to share the creole sauce recipe…. but then I saw you beat me to it ;o)

Mara January 6, 2009 at 8:47 am

I finally got around to reading your blog after seeing your name commenting on tons of other blogs! You have a great site!!

Heather Eats Almond Butter January 6, 2009 at 10:44 am

Mara, glad you found me!

Erin January 6, 2009 at 9:59 am

Ooh girl! I’m so glad you liked the noodles! They’re so chewy and easy to make and the nutritionals aren’t bad either, am I right?!
25 lbs?! Yeah!

Gina January 6, 2009 at 10:33 am

It seems odd to me, maybe not, but I can’t find vegan carob chips anywhere around here. Its kind of annoying.

I tried Shirataki noodles a few days ago, after having tried them almost 2 years ago and hating them. I think they’re way better with an “asian-y” dish. I think the first time I had them with marinara sauce or something boring. Now I’m like, holy fhufirsk84uiujkser, I’ve been missing out on this low calorie pasta-type goodness for too long!!

Sammie January 6, 2009 at 10:38 am

I am so glad you like the sauce – I ate it twice yesterday. I tend to eat the same things over & over again too. It is so hard to change it up when you find something that tastes so darn yummy – I love Cinnamon Raisin toast too. Good luck varying your meals this week. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

carolinebee January 6, 2009 at 11:04 am

What cinnamon toast do u like? Ezek?? I need to get some I used to eat it all the time in college :D ha so long ago, like 5 months. I guess veggie burgers are my go to easy meal…I gotta have fresh veggies though, once you’re used to them the frozen ones don’t cut it!

Heather Eats Almond Butter January 6, 2009 at 11:27 am

Hey Caroline, I love Ezekiel bread…everyday. So good! I’m with ya on the frozen veggies – fresh is so much better.

Nick January 6, 2009 at 11:33 am

I always thought that spray tan looked pretty fake and I know what you mean about food ruts. It happens to me when I have a dish I haven’t had in a while, like my families version of tacos that I grew up with and had recently on break. They’re not authentic by any means, more TexMex style, but still unbelievably addicting and now I just want to keep eating them.

But 25 lbs of carob chips? I once ordered a 25lb bag of honey roasted soy nuts and ate those like a fiend on the couch. Those were some bad times for the ol’ stomach. I think I’ve always been on a cinnamon raisin kick, it’s my absolute favorite flavor of peanut butter to make and I use it on pretty much anything!

Kelly Turner January 6, 2009 at 11:53 am

im the same way with food. I need to work on getting more variety

Kelly Turner
http://www.everygymsnightmare.com

Missy (Missy Maintains) January 6, 2009 at 12:05 pm

I could use some more variety as well. I have been on the Veggie burger and hummus diet for way too long now. I am finally getting sick of them. I think I am addicted to Amy’s burritos now! Time to get more creative.

http://www.missymaintains.blogspot.com

Emma January 6, 2009 at 12:51 pm

Wow I love the idea of making Greek yoghurt at go e, thanks for the tip! I have to admit, I’m the same as you when it comes to loving something so much I’ll eat it constantly for months! My fabourite quick dinner is pasta and sauce

HangryPants January 6, 2009 at 1:52 pm

I’ve never made Greek yogurt, but this looks super easy.

Sharon January 6, 2009 at 4:42 pm

I’m going to start straining now! Thanks!

chriistina January 6, 2009 at 6:53 pm

eating the same thing over and over again?
getting into a food rut?

STORY OF MY LIFE!

and i know it’s bad because i just keep eating it until i get sick of it, find something new, then go back to it some time in the future (right now it’s pumpkin oatmeal)

my favorite fast dinner:

fish tacos with fish filets, warmed whole wheat tortillas, salsa, guac, and some shredded cheese!

Rebecca January 6, 2009 at 7:31 pm

Hey – I just bought some Fage yogurt on a whim yesterday and have no idea what to do with it. Do you have any ideas? Also, do you strain all yogurt? And thanks for the creole sause recipe – I’ll be making that soon. What’s Annie’s ketchup? :)

Heather Eats Almond Butter January 6, 2009 at 8:03 pm

Rebecca, thanks for my b-day card. It made me laugh and reminded me of all those cards we used to buy in London. I love Fage all by itself, but I usually use it in place of milk with cereal and add some almond or peanut butter to the mix. It makes a great substitute for sour cream in any recipe. Great topper for chili, baked potatoes, taco salads, etc. I usually do strain my yogurt because I love the thicker consistency of Greek style yogurt. So excited you’re going to make the Creole sauce. It’s really easy. Annie’s is the brand of ketchup I use – no high fructose corn syrup. Let me know how your sauce turns out.

Erica January 6, 2009 at 8:16 pm

Um yah…I get in big time ruts. Worse one ever- second semester freshman year in college. I had, had it with the dining hall. I ate two bagels every day. Glad you are loving your yogurt!

jenny January 6, 2009 at 8:54 pm

I am loving the greek yogurt idea, I will be trying that for sure. And I remember your orange hue…..never knew it was the sweet potatoes. Never thought about why you were orange…..I guess I am not a very good friend. I mean, what if your kidneys were failing? Glad to know they weren’t.
Love all your ideas on cooking…..they inspire me.

cassandra January 6, 2009 at 10:57 pm

I totally do the rut eating! I could probalby eat the same thing all year if I had it on hand. For me it’s the comfort of knowing what is going in the meal and do then in my body, aswell as knowing how it will taste and how long it will hold me. I must try the different meal everyday! I find it hard to do only because I am a freak about throwing food away and I usually have left overs so I just eat those!

Bill Tom January 7, 2009 at 1:01 am

Ha ha, Recipe looking good, i will try …thanks for sharing. By the your site name is variety…i like it.

jacob c January 8, 2009 at 7:19 am

Oh no, those sweet potatoes did turn my hands a nice rusty color!! But i didn’t care ;-p

joelygolightly June 26, 2009 at 10:21 pm

So I was just reading over some of your past posts, and I came across this one– I am exactly the same way with the food ruts, including sweet potatoes. Rarely a day goes by this yr that i don’t have a sweet potato and some greek yogurt haha but I agree that it’s probably better to change it up and keep things interesting. Somehow I’m not orangey yet, thank goodness.. ;)

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