It’s hard to believe that we’re in the last week of the Abundance Diet eating plan. Sometimes if feels as though we’ve been doing it forever (not in a bad way), and sometimes it feels like we just started. I’ve really enjoyed our weekend grocery trips and time in the kitchen getting things prepared and ready to go for the week. It makes the week so much much less stressful when things are prepared and prepped ahead of time! THAT is something we’ll definitely continue to do. Nick can easily grab his items for lunch and there’s no guesswork for me when it’s lunchtime. We’ve always been really good about having a weekly menu in the past, but I think this this plan has taught us to stick with what we’ve planned – and getting things ready before the week starts makes it a lot harder to skip it. We have friends staying with us right now – just overnight – but it’s kind of a bummer we can’t take them to some of our favorite places to eat! It’s all good, though, they’re understanding and have done meal plans in the past, so they know how important it is to stick with it until the end.
Breakfast: (1 serving = about 1 quart)
Annie’s Da Cherry Bomb Smoothie
First off, I will say that my smoothie looked NOTHING like the picture in the cookbook. Mine was that awkward brown color that you get from fruit and loads of greens; it wasn’t all bright and red like the picture. That being said, it tasted pretty darn good. The cherries were a bit hard to detect, but that’s the way sweet cherries are. It would be interesting to make this again in the future with frozen tart cherries. I chose the option of using extra ice in place of water to make it extra cold and creamy. I’m glad I chose that option – no one likes a lukewarm smoothie! Blech. The recipe also called for a 1/4 tsp of cinnamon, but I opted to leave it out. After last week’s apple pie smoothie (with varying amounts of cinnamon), I decided to skip it. I’m sure it does something to the overall flavor, but I find it can be overpowering and then that’s all you taste. (like mint, or ginger) There is variation on this smoothie to add to cacao powder for a chocolate covered cherry flavor. I think I’m going to try that version on Thursday when we have this smoothie again.
Green Goddess Spinach Salad
Do you like my background? I took this baby to the pool with friends to enjoy a leisurely afternoon having fun in the sun! I also realized later that both Nick and I forgot to add Roma tomato AND the tofu feta to this salad. Sheesh. You’d think we’d get it right with the recipe right in front of us! Ha! That being said, this salad rocked! This was maybe my favorite of the whole plan so far. I think it’s the cranberries that do it. They’re a great hit of sweet and sour. There are also some slivered almonds which bring a nice crunch to the dish. It didn’t hurt that we had THE perfect avocado, too! This one is topped with the goddess dressing that we made for the Hearty Vegetable Pasta Salad. There is a nice garlic-y hit and the avocado makes everything creamy.
Cozy Roasted Butternut Soup
*I forgot to take a picture of this one! I’ll catch it later this week.*
This soup was originally scheduled to be only eaten twice and eaten for the first time on day 23. We knew that this soup would make more than the soup that was originally scheduled for day 22, and we (amazingly enough) still have a bit of varying soups leftover from last week. I guess those few days that Nick was gone for work really made a difference! So, we knew that we had options and didn’t need to make 3 different soups this week. (note: the Moroccan Lentil Soup? It makes enough to feed an army! And there are only 4 servings!) This soup has nice kick from the cayenne, but it plenty sweet from the butternut squash. Roasting the squash with the garlic and onion definitely brings a nice smoky flavor to the soup as well. I liked this one, and had no problem finishing it, but it just screams for something crunchy to go with it. It’s very one texture, so it would be great with crackers or crusty bread.
Baked Nacho Cheesy Kale Chips
We used two heads of kale, and 1/2 of the sauce this time. Our heads of kale must have been smaller than last time because the 1/2 batch of sauce was plenty and it looked like we hadn’t made any chips when it was all said and done! Kale cooks down to nothing! It’s so crazy. But! They were still delicious, crisp and cheesy. Yum.
Chiles Rellenos Casserole Bake
We’re not quite sure if we made this one right. It was super creamy, spicy, and delicious, but we weren’t sure if the batter that we baked first (full of green chilies, spices and moxarella) was done all the way before we added the enchilada sauce on top. It doesn’t really matter, I suppose, because we were hungry after a softball double header (it’s so exhausting to watch Nick play, ha ha!) and it tasted delicious. The chilies gave it great spice and heat and it was super creamy. Of course we wished this had a crunchy element to it – it was all one texture – but adding the dollop of cashew sour cream and fresh cilantro made it taste bright and fresh.
Thoughts on today: as I mentioned earlier, it would have been fun to go out to dinner with friends or have a special treat while they were here, but everyone managed just fine and no one went hungry! But it’s also great to have friends who encourage us to follow through and finish it out to the end! If you’re going to cheat at something, why even do it in the first place?