Week 3: Things are looking promising. (And more wonderful recipes.)

Week 3 has come and gone and my trainer says that he can already notice me changing!  He’s told me a few times in the past week or two that my cardio fitness level has noticeably improved since our first week together.  But this time he meant that he could actually see my body starting to change.  Which was SO EXCITING to hear!  It was also a little unbelievable because I keep getting on the scale and I’m not really seeing any progress. :/

I know that normal, healthy, weight loss usually averages 1-2 lbs. per week.  But it’s now week 3 and I haven’t really seen the scale move.  In fact, my weight keeps yo-yo-ing within the same 3 pound range.  That being said, I know that I’m building muscle because we do a lot of strength training during our sessions.  And of course sometimes the scale doesn’t move because although your body is losing fat it is also gaining muscle which will offset any progress you may see on the scale…  I’m really hoping that’s what’s happening here.  But just in case it isn’t, I’m going to step it up and put in some more cardio to see if that tips the scale at all.  That being said, I do see a bit of progress in my body.  The scale may not be moving but I do feel like I look different.  So yay. 🙂

And week 3 was full of more delicious Cooking Light recipes, of course!

Seared Scallops and Roasted Tomatoes

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Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 4 1/2 ounces scallops, about 1/3 cup tomatoes, and 1 1/2 teaspoons basil)

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups grape tomatoes
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds sea scallops
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Arrange tomatoes in a single layer in a shallow roasting pan; lightly coat tomatoes with cooking spray. Sprinkle tomatoes with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; toss well to coat. Broil 10 minutes or until tomatoes begin to brown, stirring occasionally.
  3. While tomatoes cook, heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Pat scallops dry; sprinkle both sides of scallops with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add scallops to skillet; cook 2 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Serve scallops with tomatoes; sprinkle with basil.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving

  • Calories: 204
  • Fat: 5.1g
  • Saturated fat: 0.7g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 2.6g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1g
  • Protein: 29.6g
  • Carbohydrate: 9.4g
  • Fiber: 1.4g
  • Cholesterol: 56mg
  • Iron: 1.1mg
  • Sodium: 519mg
  • Calcium: 49mg

Pork Tenderloin with Orange and Red Onion Salsa

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Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 3 ounces pork and about 1/4 cup salsa)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped orange sections (about 2 oranges)
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons minced seeded jalapeño pepper
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 450°.
  2. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle pork evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Add pork to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Transfer pan to oven. Bake at 450° for 17 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160°. Let stand 5 minutes; cut across grain into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
  3. Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, oranges, and remaining ingredients. Serve salsa with pork.
  4. Rice and beans: Cook 1 (10-ounce) package frozen long-grain brown rice (such as Birds Eye SteamFresh) according to package directions. Combine cooked rice, 1 cup rinsed and drained canned black beans, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, and 1/8 teaspoon chili powder.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving

  • Calories: 220
  • Fat: 8.5g
  • Saturated fat: 2g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 4.1g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.5g
  • Protein: 23.6g
  • Carbohydrate: 13.6g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Cholesterol: 65mg
  • Iron: 1.5mg
  • Sodium: 342mg
  • Calcium: 44mg

Dijon Mustard Chicken Fricassee

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Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 5 ounces chicken and 1/2 cup sauce)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, divided
  • 3 pounds chicken pieces, skinned
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion (about 1 large)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

PREPARATION

  1. Combine mustard, 1 tablespoon parsley, 1 1/2 teaspoons thyme, and chicken in a large zip-top plastic bag; toss well to coat. Chill 8 hours or overnight.
  2. Remove chicken from bag, and discard marinade. Sprinkle chicken with salt and black pepper. Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan, and cook 5 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove from pan.
  3. Add chopped onion to pan, and sauté 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add garlic to pan, and sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine and chicken broth, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in 1 tablespoon parsley and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons thyme. Return chicken to pan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken from pan with a slotted spoon. Keep warm.
  4. Cook sauce, uncovered, over medium heat 4 minutes or until slightly thick. Pour sauce over chicken, and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons parsley.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving

  • Calories: 244
  • Calories from fat: 0.0%
  • Fat: 10.6g
  • Saturated fat: 2.4g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 5.2g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 2g
  • Protein: 28.2g
  • Carbohydrate: 7.8g
  • Fiber: 1.5g
  • Cholesterol: 80mg
  • Iron: 2.1mg
  • Sodium: 527mg
  • Calcium: 44mg

Beef Filets with Pomegranate-Pinot Sauce

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Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 steak and about 2 teaspoons sauce)

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 (4-ounce) beef tenderloin steaks, trimmed
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallots
  • 1/3 cup pinot noir or burgundy wine
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1/3 cup fat-free, lower-sodium beef broth
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces

PREPARATION

  1. Heat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle steaks evenly with salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add steaks to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove steaks from pan; keep warm.
  2. Add shallots to pan; sauté 30 seconds. Add remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, wine, juice, broth, and thyme sprig; bring to a boil. Cook 7 minutes or until reduced to about 3 tablespoons. Remove from heat; discard thyme sprig. Add butter to sauce, stirring until butter melts. Serve sauce with steaks.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving

  • Calories: 227
  • Fat: 12.3g
  • Saturated fat: 5.7g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 4.2g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.5g
  • Protein: 24g
  • Carbohydrate: 3.8g
  • Fiber: 0.1g
  • Cholesterol: 82mg
  • Iron: 3.4mg
  • Sodium: 354mg
  • Calcium: 15mg

Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto with Sugared Walnuts

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Yield: 8 servings (serving size: about 2/3 cup risotto, 1 1/2 teaspoons cheese, and 1 tablespoon nuts)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
  • 4 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 ounce pancetta, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 1/4 cups uncooked Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup chardonnay
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh lemon thyme or 1 1/2 tablespoons thyme plus 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Arrange nuts in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan. Bake at 400° for 5 minutes or until toasted, stirring twice. Place nuts in a bowl. Drizzle butter over warm nuts; sprinkle with sugar and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Toss well to coat.
  3. Combine squash and 1 tablespoon oil, tossing to coat. Arrange squash in a single layer on jelly-roll pan. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until squash is just tender. Remove from pan; stir in garlic. Set aside.
  4. Bring broth and 1/2 cup water to a simmer in a saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.
  5. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add pancetta to saucepan; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently. Add onion; cook 3 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add rice; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add wine; cook 1 minute or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next (about 20 minutes total). Stir in squash, thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Top with cheese and nuts.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving

  • Calories: 259
  • Fat: 10.7g
  • Saturated fat: 2.7g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 2.6g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 3.8g
  • Protein: 7.5g
  • Carbohydrate: 35.5g
  • Fiber: 3.9g
  • Cholesterol: 9mg
  • Iron: 1.3mg
  • Sodium: 397mg
  • Calcium: 95mg

I turn the big 2-8 tomorrow so my next post will likely be about how I struggled to celebrate my birthday without wholly ruining my diet.  I visited my folks this weekend to celebrate and of course we had cake.  This bad boy, to be exact:

White Russian Cake

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Chocolate cake flavored with coffee liqueur, whipped cream topping also flavored with coffee liqueur, and drizzled with chocolate syrup.  I only ate the tiniest sliver – I swear.  Eating fatty food makes me feel really guilty these days.  To the point that I lose my appetite.  I guess that is just one of the side effects of how hard I’ve been working to slim down and get into shape!

Till next week… TTFN! 🙂

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