Fast(ing) Food - Mushroom Mini-Quiches and an Easy Veggie Side

Day 20, Feast Day #11 - Triple Feast

After my double feast day birthday I was not looking forward to getting on the scale. However, I managed to not gain anything and am still at 10 lbs lost. Another birthday present? Perhaps it was a gift from the Wizard of Oz.

Eating "reasonably" today just didn't work out. I managed to skip breakfast and not eat for 16 hours, as I had hoped to. This means I had at least a 16/8 type intermittent fasting schedule. But from there it was all downhill on Calorie Mountain. 

There was a box of strawberry cream Pocky biscuit treats on my desk this morning. That was my late breakfast at 11:30 am. Then on this rare warm and sunny late April day in Seattle, our office went on the building rooftop and had a barbecue to celebrate the April birthdays in the office. There was hot dogs, pasta salad, corn chips, rhubarb custard pie, and beer. Lots of calories.

Tomorrow I fast. I need to get back on track. I made a yummy lunch to motivate me. Zach and I like to do weekly food themes so we don't waste as much food and need to buy less in general. You may have guessed it is Mushroom Week:
Mushroom Mini-Quiches (Yields 12 pieces) ~98 kcal/piece
Takes 45-55 minutes
  • 6 large eggs ~420 kcal
  • 1/4 cup skim milk ~21 kcal
  • 6 low fat butter crackers (I used Ritz Reduced Fat crackers~84 kcal
  • 1 cup of shredded cheese (I used Parmesan since I had it on hand, I would recommend medium cheddar or mozzarella though) ~431 kcal for Parmesan
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk pancake milk ~160 kcal
  • 1/2 cup spinach ~3 kcal
  • 1 small onion, diced ~15 kcal
  • 4 medium to large mushrooms, diced (I used crimini mushrooms) ~18 kcal
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped ~1 kcal
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Cooking spray ~23 kcal
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease muffin pan.

Crush crackers (I usually just put them in a plastic bag and smash them a few times). Add 1/4 cup of cheese to the crumbs. Sprinkle crumb/cheese mixture into the bottom of the muffin tin cups. Pat down crumb/cheese mix.

Lightly spray a frying pan or skillet and heat up to medium. Throw onions and mushrooms in the pan and cook until tender (onions become translucent). Set aside.

In a medium to large bowl, beat eggs. Add milk, pancake mix, remaining cheese, spinach, parsley, salt, pepper, and the cooked onions and mushrooms. Mix.

Pour mixture evenly into muffin pan. There should be about a 1/4 to 1/3 inch of space left in the tin for the quiche to expand.

Pop the muffin tray in the oven for 25-30 minutes (until tops start turning a golden brown). Take mini-quiches out and let cool for 10 minutes. then pop them out with a knife. I also garnished with a little sprinkle of paprika.

A Quick, Easy Veggie Side Dish (Yields 4 servings) ~97 kcal/serving
Takes 15 minutes
  • 1 medium onion, sliced ~46 kcal
  • 2 carrots, sliced or cut into sticks (I leave the skin on) ~50 kcal
  • 5 medium mushrooms, sliced (I used crimini) ~15 kcal
  • 1 can of green beans, rinsed and drained ~70 kcal
  • 1 tsp of minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp butter (I use unsalted) ~204 kcal
  • oregano or italian seasoning
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
Melt butter in a large frying pan or skillet. Throw in onions, carrots, and mushrooms into the pan. Cook until onions and carrots are tender.

Throw in minced garlic and green beans. Turn heat to medium-low and cook another couple of minutes until green beans are hot. Sprinkle on oregano, salt, and pepper. Eat.


Calories: The Birthday Gift to Myself

Day 19, Feast Day #10 - Double Feast

I weighed in yesterday and had lost another pound, so a total of 10 lbs lost. I expect to reverse some if not most of the weight loss progress this week. There is a lot of social eating and drinking in my near future.

Today is my birthday and Zach and I are going out to eat at Poppy and then to see Oz the Great and Powerful in 3-D, since the original movie The Wizard of Oz is one of my favorites. Who doesn't love James Franco? I figure Poppy isn't super unhealthy cuisine, so maybe I can eat somewhat responsibly tonight?
What was on my desk this morning.

On top of giving myself extra calories for my birthday (aside from the shoes, red leather bag, and clothes I just ordered...), my co-workers were thoughtful and planned birthday treats for tomorrow, since it is normally my fast day today and they were working around my weird eating schedule. They must think I have more willpower than I actually possess if they think I am going to fast on my birthday and forego an excuse to indulge on cocktails and a nice dinner. This means, 500 calories is also extremely likely to be breached tomorrow due to birthday treats. I would be happy if I could keep things below 1,200 tomorrow like I did on Saturday... but we will see about that. This all depends on the decadence of the treats.

Then an additional feast day is happening again on Saturday, since we are doing a birthday happy hour because getting together during the workweek is a pain, especially since some of my friends live in the suburbs. With 500 calories being a decent sized margarita, I am kind of doomed this week.

I suppose I can just try to skip breakfast and at least follow an intermittent fasting schedule (16/8) by trying to not eat for 16 hours at a time, then not eat after an 8-hour period. Perhaps that will help some.

Sunday is going to be a brutal fast day.


Fast(ing) Food - Spicy Pan-Fried Shrimp & Tex-Mex Rice with Corn and Beans

Day 17, Fast Day #9

Sticking to 800 calories for my mother's birthday dinner didn't really worked out like I had imagined it to in my head. I ate more like 1,100 calories on Saturday. This is what happens when a loaf of fresh, crusty bread gets put in front of me when I haven't eaten in 20 hours. To be fair though, I would have eaten way more than 1,100 calories without any restriction.

I also went a bit overboard yesterday on my feast day since it was a good friend's birthday. We took her out to a hard cider bar in Portland and then to one of our favorite 24-hour greasy spoons at midnight. Eggs benedict happened. Then Zach's mother made us an apple pie (which one cannot say "no" to) so we ate a slice of that for second breakfast. Then actual lunch time rolled around and we had yet another breakfast. This time I had french toast. Zach's wonderful mother also made me a chocolate cake for my birthday, since my actual birthday is Wednesday. Did I mention there was a potato salad snack? There is a reason I had a mere salad when we got home for dinner. So I ended up slightly surpassing 3,200 calories yesterday.  Yikes.

As you can imagine, I really did not want to step on the scale this morning. Especially since I peeked at the numbers midday on Sunday after I had eaten and I had gained 5 lbs. Well the good news is that I gained no net weight this weekend and am still at a total of 9 lbs lost. I made no progress, but I also did not gain anything.

Today's fast day is already starting out pretty brutal since I am going back to 500 calories today. However, I have a yummy lunch to look forward to. These recipes are also very easy:
Spicy Pan-Fried Shrimp (Yields 3 servings) ~181 kcal/serving
Takes 70-75 minutes (if marinating for 60 minutes)
  • 1 lb of shrimp (this will taste better with raw shrimp, but I was cheap, lazy, and tired when I made this at 10pm last night) so I got the pre-cooked, deveined, no shell medium-sized shrimp) (~308 kcal)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (~120 kcal)
  • the juice of one large lime, you can substitute with a couple tbsps of lemon or lime juice out of the bottle (~15 kcal)
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic, or a few fresh cloves minced (~15 kcal)
  • one half of a 7 oz can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (this is normally found in the "International" aisle of my grocery store), chopped, include the sauce in the marinade (~60 kcal)
  • a handful of chopped cilantro, no stems (I love cilantro) (~3 kcal)
  • 1 tbsp paprika (~20 kcal)
  • a dash of cayenne pepper (~1 kcal)
  • a dash of pepper (not even a calorie)
  • a pinch of kosher salt (not even a calorie)
  • a couple dashes of red pepper flakes - optional (not even a calorie)
If you are using frozen shrimp and do not know how to thaw them, look at my last shrimp recipe. Thaw shrimp and start any shrimp prep first.

If you have a low tolerance for chile spice, feel free to ease off some of the marinade ingredients or marinate for less time. I like my food spicy.

Mix all of the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl. Toss in defrosted and towel dried shrimp.

Let the shrimp get happy in the marinade for an hour or two in your fridge. (This will still taste good if you can only afford 30 minutes of marinade time.)

Heat up a frying pan or skillet on medium-high to high heat (my oven burners are powered by devil fire, so I use medium-high). Toss shrimp in hot pan. Cook and stir until shrimp are opaque. If you are using precooked shrimp like me, this will only take a couple minutes.

FOOD SAFETY TIP: Raw shrimp can carry salmonella like raw chicken. If you intend to use excess marinade it is very important to make sure your marinade reaches a boil in the pan for a bit and is reduced before using. You can also not use it.

Tex-Mex Rice with Corn and Beans (Yields 8 servings) ~103 kcal/serving
Takes 25-30 minutes.
This recipe is also SUPER cheap. About 50 cents a serving.
  • juice of one small lime, you can substitute with a couple tsps of lemon or lime juice out of the bottle (~10 kcal)
  • 1 regular-sized can of black beans, drained and rinsed well) (~385 kcal)
  • 1 regular-sized can of corn, drained (~210 kcal)
  • a couple dashes of ground cumin (not even a calorie)
  • a handful of chopped cilantro, no stems (I love cilantro) (~3 kcal)
  • Mexican-style hot sauce to taste,Tapatio or Cholula works well - optional (not even a calorie)
Rice Prep:
  • 1 regular-sized 8 oz box of yellow rice (I used Zatarain's) (~98 kcal)
  • water for rice prep (2 1/2 cups for Zatarain's, but use the amount of water on the box)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (I substituted the butter in the directions for olive oil) (~120 kcal)
Boil water and olive oil in a medium to large pot with lid. Add rice. Lower burner to a low-medium heat (3/10). Cook for 20-25 minutes.

It is important not to peek on the rice while it is cooking. Otherwise it will take longer because it needs the steam it has built up in the pot. When the rice is done, the water will be absorbed.

Fluff the rice (aka, stir it up, especially on the bottom and sides of the the pot where it sticks). Dump the corn, beans, cumin, cilantro, and hot sauce in the pot. Done.