Friday, April 16, 2010

Today's Dinner

This is one of my favorite meals, though it does take some adjusting of the rest of the day's eating to have it. This is essentially a big burrito which I split into two and have both as dinner and as a big snack between lunch and dinner. Eating it all at once would be too much food, and eating just half of it without a substantial side (like a salad and soup) would be too little. I usually plan the day such that I have a small breakfast, snack, lunch, and then this burrito in two parts with a low calorie vegetable accompaniment. That being said, half of it would probably do if you have something else on the side, but I prefer to have the whole thing in the manner I've described.

Burrito filling:

1 tsp. oil (for frying) (40 calories)
1 small onion, diced (28 calories)
1 small green pepper (or any color pepper), diced (37 calories)
1 large tomato, diced (32 calories)
1 lb. ground turkey or chicken (1075 calories)
taco seasoning (either a packet or your own spices) (90 calories for whole packet)
total for all of the filling: 1302 calories

Heat a non-stick skillet and then add the oil. Swirl to coat or use a spatula to push it around. Add the onion and saute over medium heat until semi-translucent. Add the green pepper and cook until shiny and still crisp (about 5-10 minutes). Finally, add the tomato and cook the entire mixture over medium-low heat until the vegetables are about 50% of their original size. If they start to burn, lower the heat. When the vegetables have shrunk, add the ground meat and cook until very lightly browned and most of the residual juices have evaporated. Prepare the taco seasoning as directed. This amount of filling will make a great many burritos so you'll want to freeze the meat in small portions.

Burrito preparation:

1/4 can Rosarita refried beans (105 calories)
2 tbsp. salsa (10 calories)
2 oz. cheese (220 calories)
2 oz. burrito filling as prepared above (approx. 125 calories)*
1 large tortilla (180 calories)
chopped green onions (to taste) (negligible calories)
total: 640 calories

Place the refried beans, cheese, and burrito filling in a bowl and mix completely. Spread the filling onto the tortilla, sprinkle with salsa and green onions. Fold and seal the seam shut with a little warm water. Cut in half and wrap each half firmly in foil (this is essentially to keep the filling from spilling out of the cut end when you heat the burrito). Keep in the refrigerator until you're ready to eat. Place a foil wrapped burrito half in your toaster oven and heat for about 10 minutes.

half burrito: 320 calories
carrot sticks: 25 calories
total: 345 calories

I like having the ground meat and refried beans mixed together in this way for their respective textural properties. It's also nice to have both types of protein. On my 1600 calorie diet, it isn't too hard to fit the entire burrito into my day, but it does require some care in timing when I eat and how much I eat. Frankly though, I find that it is worth it because I'm actually less hungry when I eat half of this around 4:00 pm and the other half around 8:00 pm.

*Note that I have to guess the calories on the filling because it's impossible to measure exactly how much of 2 oz. of the filling is vegetable and how much is meat. I am making my best guess, but I doubt it is off by much more than 10 calories either way.

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