June 11, 2020 – For thirty days we have challenged ourselves to make something different each night for dinner. No take-outs. No leftovers.
Our daughter, Kate, a third-grade teacher came to quaranteam with us in mid-April. Kate and I alternate cooking and cleaning up after dinner. I used to break up the cooking with take-out and/or dinner out a few times a week. After a month of doing it myself in the early days of the COVID-19 stay at home orders, it was getting to me. Tom hasn’t been able to cook for a few years now because of ALS. It’s been fun and fantastic to have help.
Food shopping is a BIG deal these days. We go once a week. It’s a known outing for us. We look forward to it. We try to limit our exposure by not going into public places frequently so we are diligent in preparing our food needs and wants. None of us want to bring the virus home to Tom. Tom is a vulnerable human. He is 65 years old, diabetic, and has ALS. The virus would likely consume his body, therefore, we try to reduce that risk as much as we can.
In addition to sharing cooking and cleaning, we share in food purchasing. Tom and I pay for the weekly food purchases and Kate pays for a month of meat via a ButcherBox subscription. The ButcherBox subscription has come in handy with the food supply challenges in the COVID-19 life. It has also given us the opportunity to try out different cuts of meat that we wouldn’t ordinarily have.
The challenge includes being mindful of the following factors: Tom’s diabetes and ALS complicate meals. Diabetes is best managed with small quantities of more protein than carbs. ALS often causes a high metabolism requiring more calories than the diabetic should have. For me, I have a gluten sensitivity so I avoid gluten whenever possible. I am also intentionally counting calories to lose weight. I’ve been on a mission to lose weight for a little more than a year with 42 pounds down and 28 more to go. I can’t go astray now. I will share how I manage the calories with all of this deliciousness during this series.
During “The 30 Day Dinner Challenge” I will share what we cooked each day with photos, the way we cooked it including recipes used, calorie load, and our rating of the meal.
Day 1 – Kate’s meal:
Chicken wings, coleslaw, gluten-free cornbread.
The chicken wings we bought at the local grocery store, Harris Teeter. They were huge wings and not inexpensive costing about a dollar a wing.
Kate cooked the wings in the air fryer. There were fourteen wings. She brushed them with olive oil before putting celery salt, salt, pepper, and paprika on them. Not all of them fit in the air fryer. The first half of the wings were cooked at 390 degrees for 30 minutes. The second half was cooked at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. The second half was crispier.
The coleslaw is a recipe I’ve used for decades: Miracle Whip, horseradish, some sugar, and lemon juice. Mix to taste.
This meal I did not break down the calorie load of each food as it was being made though I will from this point on.
I consumed about 631 calories. This is how it approximately breaks down:
3 large chicken wings = 371 calories
1 piece of cornbread = 110 calories
Coleslaw = 100 calories
Apricot jam 50 calories
On most days my calorie intake is 1,500 or less without deducting for the exercise calorie deficit. I run five days a week burning anywhere from 330 to 450 calories. I take a yoga class five days a week burning about 100 calories a session. A dinner of 670 or so calories works out well for my weight loss plan.
This meal is a keeper. Obviously we can’t use it again for 30 days but on day 31 it may just be the first we repeat!
Until the next time!