Eating Well: Peanut Butter and Jelly

I thought for sure, last night, that I’d have a new recipe to share with you today.  It seemed like it would be a win, because it was a cheeseburger macaroni casserole and I love that sort of thing.  And the calories wouldn’t even have been all that bad, really.  I did the math in advance, this time.

And then I ate it.

Well, let’s be honest here.  I ate part of it.  The first bite was just sort of, well, boring.  The second was unpleasant, and then I started getting this aftertaste.  And my son, who I’ve told time and again has to try the recipe before asking if he can have something different, gamely tried it as well.  Then, after his third bite, he looks at me.  “Dad?  This tastes funny.”

“Yeah, it does.  Doesn’t it?” I reply.

“Do I have to eat it?” he asks.

“No,” I decide, then and there.  “No, you don’t.  And I don’t either.”

So we threw it away, and we had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and fruit for dinner.  I won’t bother with the actual “recipe” for that meal, though.  Because it’s PBJ.

Man, though.  That specific cheeseburger casserole recipe was gross.

Eating Well: Scrambled Egg Enchiladas With Cheese Sauce

I’ve been eating a lot of eggs the past couple of weeks.  A lot.  See, in the interests of saving time, my family uses the Clicklist service from Kroger – we figure out our grocery list, enter it online, and let them get everything together.  All we have to do is go pick it up.  But, sadly, I didn’t notice that she’d added eggs to the shopping list and added eggs.  So, we had eight dozen of them.  In addition to the two dozen we already had in the fridge.  All of which are set to go bad at the end of the month.

Creativity was required.  Or, at least, scouring the internet for ideas.  Here’s one that worked out pretty well.

Scrambled Egg Enchiladas With Cheese Sauce



  1. Melt two tablespoons of butter in a large skillet.  Chop the onions and green pepper (I tossed them in a food processor), and saute them in the butter until the onion is translucent (about five minutes).
  2. Beat the dozen eggs with 1/2 cup of shredded cheese (I used cheddar).  Add them to the skillet, and scramble them with the onions and peppers.
  3. Spoon equal portions of the scrambled eggs into the tortilla shells, and wrap burrito-style.  Place in a baking dish (after rubbing the dish with butter or spraying a non-stick cooking spray on it).
  4. In a sauce pan, melt the remaining two tablespoons of butter.  Add two tablespoons of flour and whisk until combined.  Keep whisking for another one to two minutes.  Then add the milk and cook, whisking occasionally, until thickened.  Congratulations!  You’ve just made a Bechamel sauce, more or less!
  5. Add 1/2 cup of cheese, 1 teaspoon of chili powder, 1.2 teaspoon of cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder to the sauce, and stir until combined and the cheese is melted.  Pour the sauce over the enchiladas.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.


  1. The whole pan comes out to 3,227 calories, or 404 calories per enchilada.  I try to aim for around 800 calories for a meal right now (or around 400 for a Hobbit-meal), so two of them are a serving from that perspective.
  2. This recipe is pretty malleable.  Dice some ham into the eggs.  Top it with sour cream and crumbled bacon and chopped tomato.  Reduce it to eight eggs, and mix in leftover rice.  Add kidney beans.  Knock yourself out, and remember to account for additions and subtractions when calculating calories.

Things To Do With Leftover Ham

Yeah, I’m eating some of my leftover Christmas ham.  Why not?  I separated it into bags three days after Christmas and put it in the freezer, and now I can pull out ham and eat it.  It makes a good, quick meal.

For the meal I’m talking about in particular, I made a ham and cheese wrap.  Said wrap consists of:  6 ounces of spiral-sliced ham (320 calories), 1 1/2 ounces of Swiss cheese (162 calories), a flour tortilla (145 calories), and lettuce and tomato and a little mayonnaise.  So I’m staring at a 627 calorie sandwich wrap the size of a Chipotle burrito, only it’s about half the calories and it doesn’t wallow in that company’s anti-science fear-mongering (note to self:  must now sadly boycott Chipotle).

Oh, I also hit my calorie and my walking goals yesterday!  All of the unseasonable warmth, which sadly but thankfully seems to have gone away today, let me get out and knock out a mile after my son went to bed.  It felt pretty good, to tell the truth.

Bacon. It’s What’s For Breakfast!

All right, so the title’s a little bit hyperbolic.  I made myself a bunch of breakfast burritos last night, as a way of making sure that I eat a meal I’ve prepared myself instead of eating out.  Why?  A couple of reasons, honestly.  Portion control is one of them, because I know exactly how much of what I put into the food I make myself.  This makes it easier to track my calories.  Also, there’s a little matter of cost.  Making breakfast burritos, even with the time commitment required, costs a lot less than eating in the cafeteria at work or running through a drive through.

This time round, I made the burritos with bacon.  One strip per burrito, enough to add a nice flavor without overwhelming the meal.  The original recipe was posted here in October, so let me just recap how this works.

Breakfast Burrito

8 large eggs (70 calories each)
1 onion (46 calories)
1 red, yellow, or green bell pepper (50 calories)
8 slices American cheese (78 calories each)
8 strips bacon (117 calories each)
8 8-inch tortillas (80 calories each)


  1. Cook your bacon to the desired crispness, and set aside.
  2. Finely chop your onion and pepper.  Cook them in the bacon grease until the onion is translucent.
  3. Beat your eggs, add them to the skillet , and scramble them with the onion and pepper.
  4. Warm the tortilla shells and lay them out on sheets of tin foil.
  5. Place one strip of bacon and one slice of cheese on the center of each tortilla, then evenly divide the scrambled eggs between the eight tortillas.  Roll the tortillas, then wrap them in the tin foil.
  6. Freeze until ready to eat.  Reheating takes 3 to 5 minutes in a microwave, depending on the power of the microwave.


  • This comes out to 357 calories per burrito, although be sure to check the specific calorie content for the items you use.  Not all tortillas or bacon or cheese are created equal.  The specific brands I used, for example, actually worked out to 302 calories per burrito.
  • Much like a sandwich recipe, a burrito recipe is more of an example of how to make a whole class of food.  Use sausage or ham or fish or whatever you like instead of bacon, or skip the meat altogether.  Don’t like American cheese?  Use cheddar or provolone or Swiss or whatever else strikes your fancy.  Want more vegetables, and two different types of mushrooms?  Knock yourself out.  Just think of this as an omelette wrap, and go crazy.  Be sure to account for the calories of the items you add and subtract, though.
  • I have no idea how long these will keep in the freezer.  I tend to eat them all within a week of making them.

That was… unexpected. Not disappointing, mind.

I can eat a shockingly large amount of mashed potatoes and still be under my calorie budget.

Yeah, that sounded kind of random, didn’t it?  Here’s what I’m talking about.  Yesterday, because I did a little extra snacking, I didn’t think I was going to hit my calorie goals.  By the time dinner ran around, I only had about 600 calories left for the day, and said dinner was going to be Thanksgiving leftovers.  I looked at the food in the fridge, and looked at that number, and said “there’s no way”.  But, I decided, I was at least going to track everything!  So I put my plate on my food scale, and started weighing everything out.  Six ounces of mashed potatoes, four ounces of turkey, two ounces of corn (I should eat more, but actually eating a vegetable is a good starting point), and a third of a cup of turkey gravy.

482 calories.

I actually ended up checking those numbers twice, because I didn’t quite believe it.  But it was true!  So, with only 600 calories left in my budget, I got to have a really filling dinner.

Also, I hit all of my goals!  The walking, the exercise, the calories (as noted above), everything!  Yay me!

Eating Well: Cranberry Sauce

Yeah, yeah, I should have put this up yesterday.  Or maybe on Wednesday.  You know, so it could be used by someone.  But I didn’t actually realize I was going to make this until Wednesday around three in the afternoon, so there’s that.

Here’s what happened:  I was at Kroger, picking up the last few things I’d need for Thanksgiving.  Apples and bananas for my fruit salad primarily, but I also needed cranberry sauce.  After I picked up the cans, I thought for a minute and wondered how difficult it would be to make the recipe.  A few minutes later with the app on my phone said the correct answer to that question is “not very difficult at all”.

So here you go:

Cranberry Sauce

1 12 ounce package of whole cranberries (157 calories)
1 cup water (0 calories)
1 cup sugar  (774 calories)
1 cup orange juice (117 calories)


  1. Put all ingredients in a sauce pan.
  2. Bring the sauce pan to a boil, then simmer until cranberries have popped.
  3. I then continued to simmer the sauce until it was reduced by a third.
  4. Pour into a storage container, and chill until ready to eat.


  • 1048 calories if you eat the whole thing.  You get about 27 ounces of jellied sauce, though, which works out to about 40 calories per ounce (38.814, if you feel technical).
  • The sauce will be pretty liquid while it’s on the stove, and I actually thought I’d failed at making it.  I was pleasantly surprised by the consistency when it chilled, and you might not even need to reduce the sauce.  I would, though – it made it come out more like the canned stuff.
  • Really, this is nearly foolproof.  It doesn’t even take that much more time than opening a can, and it tastes better.

Eating Well: Breakfast Burritos

What’s this?  I’m starting off the week with a recipe, instead of talking about how things went?  Well, in a word, yes.  I am.  Because this particular recipe is how my week started off, and it is part of my efforts to get back on track and eat at home (or, at least, prep my meals at home) again.  So, go ahead and read the recipe.  I’ll wait.

A Burrito To Break Your Fast

Back?  Good.  So let’s go ahead and break down the calorie content of these things.  Please note that the version I made doesn’t use milk in the scrambled eggs, and I didn’t add the green chilies, or the hash browns (I just don’t like potato in my breakfast burrito), or the red pepper.  So, how does it break down?

Well, one breakfast burrito needs one 8 inch tortilla (200 calories for the brand I used), 1 large egg (72 calories) 1 ounce of sausage (98 calories), 1/2 ounce shredded cheese (45 calories), a tablespoon of salsa (5 calories) and a small amount of red pepper and onion (negligible calories).  That’s… let’s see… 420 calories for a burrito, and they’re surprisingly hefty – I ate two for breakfast, because I like larger breakfasts and planned a lunch that’s going to come in about 500 calories anyway.

You can cut 42 calories from the recipe by using turkey sausage (or, at least, the ones I found online run about 48 calories to the ounce).  Using bacon will actually increase the calorie count by 54 (assuming a whole ounce of bacon, which is 152 calories;  if you used a single strip of bacon, however, that would actually cut 45 calories from the recipe).  Using an ounce of ham would cut 57 calories from the recipe.  And it just struck me that you could cook a ounce or two of chopped mushroom with a single strip of bacon, chop the bacon fine, and that would be amazing.

They also freeze quite well.  I wrapped the four burritos individually in tin foil and stuck them in the freezer, then unwrapped two of them and microwaved them for a total of 5 minutes (3 minutes, then turn over and microwave 2 more minutes) and they tasted just fine.  So you can make them ahead and have your own frozen breakfast ready to go.  The perfect thing, if  you’re like me and don’t like getting moving in the morning.

What’s that?  How did I do, when I weighed in?  303.0 pounds, for a two pound gain.  More or less what I figured.  But I feel really good about this week!