In an attempt to recover from all the delectable and amazing food we ate in Vegas, my husband and I have been trying to eat a little better. I think he’s trying to ease into a keto diet but me? I float somewhere between eating healthy and paleo. We went almost a year mostly paleo and saw a huge difference; it ultimately wasn’t sustainable because some of the things, like alternative flours and funky vegetables, just weren’t readily available to me. However, times have changed and I’m continually amazed at the variety of goods available at the grocery store to meet pretty much any dietary need.
Some of the cool things I’ve discovered along the way (with links, not affiliated or sponsored in any way):
- Cauliflower tots! I love a fresh, crispy batch of tater tots. More than fries, more than mashed potatoes… tots are just the perfect form of potato for me. Imagine my delight in finding tots made from cauliflower. I actually really enjoy this fairly bland little veggie; I spent weeks trying to perfect a light and fluffy mashed cauliflower. (I came close. It at least wasn’t gooey and soggy.) Anyway! These are frozen and super convenient. Pop them in the oven for 15 minutes or so and bam! I found them to be perfectly seasoned and even my husband, Mr. Meat-and-Potatoes, really enjoyed them!
(I recently grabbed a bag of broccoli tots from the same line. I am very excited.)
- Tastefully Plated frozen meals: FROZEN PALEO MEALS, Y’ALL. With our diets slightly differing, some nights it’s just easier for me and my husband to make our own meals. I came across these at Wal-Mart and, while they were initially a little spendy for a frozen meal, at least to my miserly self, I really like that it’s all laid out right there; what you see is what you get and it’s simple but delicious. I tried the braised beef one and, again, didn’t need to season anything, which is impressive for pretty much any frozen meal. It was a little light on calories for dinner, coming in at 250 calories, but can be easily supplemented by a side salad. I can’t wait to try more!
- Flavored olive oils and vinegars: I love using these to enhance pretty much any meal. While we were in Vegas, we found ourselves at the Vom-Fass store, which offers a wide range of whiskies, liqueurs, oils, and vinegars. Lots of things were sampled, some things were purchased, and many more landed on a wishlist. I had a super simple dinner one night consisting of a very bland lightly-breaded fish fillet; I whisked a bit of lemon juice into some chipotle olive oil and drizzled that over the fillet and got so much flavor out of it! I’m eyeing my tangerine olive oil, brainstorming ways to pair it with chicken one night. Maybe sriracha? Maybe a fruit vinegar? THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS.
I’ve found that, for the most part, there doesn’t seem to be much of a difference between brands beyond range of flavors. I’ve tried some from Naples Olive Oil Company, The Ancient Olive, and Vom-Fass; I’m no connoisseur, so take that for what it’s worth. The balsamic vinegars might be a bit more distinguishing but I’m pretty simple with my needs. Give me a good garlic olive oil and some fruit vinegars!
Eating healthy has become exciting again, and much easier on my wallet. I won’t lie, the temptation to swing by Taco Bell still rages sometimes, but then I start thinking up recipes and pairings and manage to re-focus and re-energize.
The other night, I made meatloaf on a whim — ground beef, Southwest Egg Beaters, a diced onion, and some Adobo seasoning, all topped off with “Zesty Chili-Style” diced tomatoes. It was actually really delicious! Next time, I plan on adding corn to the mix. No breadcrumbs, no ketchup, egg whites only; it was really filling and the leftovers were even better.
On that note… got any good recipes?