Menu of Meals: Week 2 of Our “Clean Slate Diet” Challenge, Plus a Recipe Poll

Dieting is hard. After completing the first week of our “clean slate diet” (where we eliminate gluten, dairy, beef/pork, added sugar, and other allergens like eggs), I honestly feel great. Scarily, I have a lot more energy throughout the day (I’m already known to be quite hyper), my attention span has lengthened a great deal, and I’ve weirdly lost five pounds. However, I cannot stop craving the following foods: pizza (I have dreams of shotgunning a large everything pie), mac n cheese, porchetta sandwich, soft boiled eggs, and steak. Though I’ve done all I can to make the first week of meals as exciting as possible despite this diet’s hard restrictions, there is something I miss not only about the taste of these forbidden ingredients, but also the texture. I haven’t yet been able to figure out how to recreate the creaminess of melted cheese, the dual texture of things like bread (crispy on the outside, soft on the inside), or the chewiness of red meat, and I find myself wanting those things more than anything, right now.

I’ve heard that the first few days of a diet is the hardest. My husband and I are committed to competing this six-week regimen, but it’s a little sad. This isn’t to say that each meal hasn’t been delicious. Here’s a sampling of what we ate last week:

Meals (clockwise starting on the top left): ginger/scallion chicken soup with rice noodles, shredded chicken and garlic sautéed bok choy; mushu chicken with brown rice; brown rice noodles stir-fried with vegetables in almond butter/soy sauce with broiled salmon and roasted broccoli and cauliflower; turkey meatball soup with escarole and kale; green lentils with roasted brussel sprouts with jasmine rice

Meals (clockwise starting on the top left): ginger/scallion chicken soup with rice noodles, shredded chicken and garlic sautéed bok choy; mushu chicken with brown rice; brown rice noodles stir-fried with vegetables in almond butter/soy sauce with broiled salmon and roasted broccoli and cauliflower; turkey meatball soup with escarole and kale; green lentils with roasted brussel sprouts with jasmine rice

True to form, I went overboard during week one and spent an unnecessary amount of time in the kitchen to compensate for what we were going to miss. But let’s be real. A cheese-less and bread-less life is not the merriest life. In any case, this week, I’m not going to be as insane in the kitchen because I don’t want to burn out. Without further ado, here’s the menu for the week.

Menu of Meals for Week 2 (January 10th-17th):

Sunday, January 10th

  • B: Sliced apple with almond butter
  • L: Nha Minh smoked fish rice bowl
  • D: Roasted butternut squash, chickpea, and coconut curry w/ white rice
    * Make hummus

Monday, January 11th

  • B: Fruit
  • L: Leftover butternut squash, chickpea, and coconut curry with white rice
  • D: Scallion ginger shrimp with brown rice and roasted broccoli/cauliflower

Tuesday, January 12th

  • B: Chocolate chia seed pudding with berries
  • L: Leftover scallion ginger shrimp with brown rice and roasted broccoli/cauliflower
  • D: Lamb and mint meatballs with brown rice and salad
    * make chicken broth

Wednesday, January 13th

  • B: Quinoa porridge with frozen berries, banana, and walnut
  • L: Leftover lamb and mint meatballs with brown rice
  • D: Hainanese chicken with garlic rice and garlic bok choy

Thursday, January 14th

  • B: Coconut milk yogurt with fruit
  • L: Leftover hainanese chicken with garlic rice and garlic bok choy
  • D: Broiled salmon with quinoa and roasted brussel sprouts and cranberry beans with radicchio

Friday, January 15th

  • B: Brown rice porridge with fruit and almonds  
  • L:  Leftover salmon with quinoa and roasted brussel sprouts and cranberry beans with raddichio
  • D: Roasted cornish hen with brown rice, salad, and roasted brussel sprouts

Saturday, January 16th

  • B:  Chia seed pudding
  • L: Leftover roasted cornish hen with brown rice and roasted brussel sprouts
  • D: Braised collard greens with cranberry beans and turkey andouille sausage and brown rice
    * Make chicken broth

Sunday, January 17th

  • B: Fruit  
  • L: Leftovers
  • D: Roasted butternut squash risotto with roasted vegetables 

I know I owe my little community of readers a post on meal planning when cooking just seems like the worst thing ever, and I promise it will come sometime this month. This diet is taking more of my time than I thought it would. Plus being back at work full-force after a 10-day break is harder as a supervisor. But I’m on it, my dears!

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