Monday, July 26, 2010

Today's Lunch

With the summer heat on, I'm finding it difficult to prepare some of the foods that I came to rely on in less oppressive weather. In particular, I miss my homemade soup. Like many people, I'm going with what is cold and salads work pretty well in that regard.

When it comes to salad, I won't sacrifice flavor or textural improvements for calories. I won't do without full fat dressing nor will I exclude croutons. I love crunchy food, and I'll add in what I want and deal with the extra calories by cutting out a salty snack later if necessary. I'm sure many dieters who are more serious than me would be all over how this could be healthier or lower calorie, but I need to be satisfied with how my food tastes. I enjoy this salad immensely as is. That makes it easy to choose to have it rather than something I choke down because I think it's "good" for me to have vegetables.

Today's lunch came in two parts, both inspired by high humidity and temperatures over 90 degrees. First, I had this salad.

I always have croutons on the side so I can eat them proportionally with each bite. 

  • 2 cups red leaf lettuce (9 calories)
  • 1 whole small-medium tomato (22 calories)
  • 2 thin slices onion (7 calories)
  • 1 small hard-boiled egg (53 calories)
  • 1 tsp. Parmesan cheese (7 calories)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. Caesar salad dressing (102 calories)
  • 2 servings garlic butter croutons (70 calories)
  • salt and pepper

total: 270 calories

I followed this up with a banana frappe drink. This is the sort of thing that you find recipes for all over the web. I don't think my preparation is in any way unique, but I'll include it anyway for those who haven't come across these recipes before or just don't want to look them up. The consistency of this is halfway between soft serve ice cream and a thick milk shake. In hot weather though, it melts fast so you have to eat in an air conditioned room or eat it a little fast.

Note that I tend to eyeball these measurements, but these are pretty close to what they are. This makes an immensely large drink, but a portion of it is essentially water.

Banana frappe

  • 1/2 cup crushed ice
  • 1 medium banana, cut into medium slices and frozen (flat, not stacked) (105 calories)
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • sweetener (to taste - I use two packets of Splenda - I like it sweet)
  • 1/2 cup skim milk (40 calories)

total: 145 calories

Add all ingredients to your blender and frappe or mix on the highest setting for one and a half to two minutes. It should start to expand in size as air gets whipped into it. It's ready when it's light and evenly mixed and quite creamy. Garnish by sprinkling a little more cinnamon on top.

Cinnamon is supposed to aid in the metabolizing of sugars, so I like to include it where I can. It has the benefit of being very tasty with the banana and vanilla as well!

Today's lunch:
salad: 270 calories
banana frappe: 145 calories
total: 415 calories

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