As I mentioned yesterday, I spent a good portion of Sunday cooking up some meals for the week (and beyond, hopefully). I used to do this a lot more because I’m the type of person who can eat the same thing for lunch at work all week and really not get sick of it. So, I’d make a big portion of a recipe (I was on a tofu/veg stir-fry/brown rice kick for a while, which was AWESOME), portion it out, and then take it to work every day.
I wanted to get back into this. BF and I are trying to be more cognizant of our food spending habits, because we spend an ungodly amount on groceries each month for two people. Even when I try and justify it by saying that we never go out for dinner (because really, we don’t) and we cook all the time, and we buy a lot of produce … it’s still way too much money for two people. Much of that comes from meat.
So, we’re trying to start eating vegetarian more often (BF suggested 1x/week, but I am running as far as I can with this). I made a huge batch of Mark Bittman’s basic split pea soup, cooked with 2 ham bones I froze after we bought a ham a few months ago, carrots, celery and onions. I also made these Cuban black beans with a pound of dried beans I bought in the bulk section at Publix (SO CHEAP).
When all was said and done (minus the sink snafu, which is a-ok now), I had a buttload of food, portioned into baggies and put in the freezer.
Now that BF is working later, and I hit the gym after work (or happy hour or some other engagement), it’s been harder to cook a decent meal and eat before 8 p.m. And, rotisserie chickens are expensive and starting to not taste so good to me lately. I was hoping to get around that by making all this food.
It’s been great. When I got home from the gym at 7:30 last night, I had some of the split pea soup (beans were a little more al dente than I wanted, but whatevs), toast with some cheese slices on it — dinner ready in about 3 minutes. This was what I was going for.
The problem I run into is that I have no idea how many calories I’m eating … especially with the split pea soup. I looked on caloriecount.com at the calorie load for 1 c. of cooked split peas and it was around 300 … does that sound right? I thought it sounded high. Regardless, what does cooking the beans with ham bones do to the calorie load? Chicken stock? HOW DO I MEASURE THIS?
Now that I’ve been on the food diary kick for a week, I’m starting to see why calorie counting is a problem for some people. It really does make you neurotic. It’s the first thing I do every day when I get into work — fill out info from the night before, spend some time on calorie count … I’m not estimating anymore. I want exact numbers, dammit. And that’s why these meals are frustrating me.
I know that these black beans (and the soup, I hope!) are good-for-me meals that pack a lot of protein and fiber. I’m getting hung up on the calorie load, and that’s problematic for me. Anyone have any suggestions on how to a) calm my neuroticism or b) be more mindful of the calories in these homemade meals?
In other news, the weather sucks in Orlando today, and I have to go get my oil changed at lunch. Pretty much my least favorite errand ever (I hate when they try and sell me on stuff for my car! Just change my damn oil!). Good thing Mom_D sent me a belated birthday gift box with the two newest House of Night books in it … ^_^
book image from Amazon
soup image from myveggiekitchen’s Photostream