Meals – Day 01: No-fat, saltless food

1 Mar
It soon became clear that I made a bit of a mistake yesterday- When I woke up this morning, I had to prepare both breakfast and lunch. With only mash and rice as starchy foods, that meant cooking rice. Which in turn meant getting up early and getting behind those pots and pans. And before coffee, obviously.Fortunately, rice was going to be “good enough” both for breakfast and lunch, so I could limit myself to just cooking a single 200 gram portion of it (boiling along an orange leaf) instead of cooking 2 separate things. Lunch took most of the attention- with about a third of the onion and the finely sliced stem of broccoli, I made a quick onion-and-broccoli-stem stir-fry. I added in just a tiny bit of passata, then mixed the lot with about half the rice. Not having any fat available meant it all caked onto the wok. I set off to the office with plain white rice in one lunch box, and my rice stir fry in the other.

Ah, the office. Source of limited amounts of additives. Once I arrived, I mixed the rice with a little bit of milk and added some brown sugar. To top it off, I sprinkled a tiny amount of instant coffee granules over it. Martin pointed out that using the salt and pepper that I had brought from the Mac would be cheating. Fair enough – I had a burger at the Mac before the challenge started, so technically both condiments should be considered pantry items. I decided not to use them.

Rice and coffee breakfast

I must say, this rice-and-coffee breakfast actually wasn’t bad. I’d not mind having this flavour combination more often. The bit of instant coffee made it very breakfast-y. The only thing is that I’d have liked it to be smoother. Had I cooked the night before, I’d probably would have had time to grind some of the rice into rice flour for a more custard-like texture.

For lunch I warmed up my stir-fry. Let’s just say that it was uninspiring. A small sachet of HP sauce did improve it somewhat.

Fat-free broccoli and onion stir-fry

The big surprise came after lunch- a few coworkers had been working overtime the night before and had saved me a small slice of pizza. They can be very thoughtful!

Pizza slice

For supper I figured that was quite enough rice for one day, thank you very much. I was basically limited to mash, onion, tomato and rosemary. Once again, without fat or seasoning. I sprinkled the prepared mash with some mash powder, and popped it under the grill for a bit to make it a bit more interesting. It wasn’t great, but it was filling. It could have been worse, but exactly how it could, escapes me for now. It was probably the rosemary that made it edible altogether. With the right seasoning, this could actually work.

Gratinated Tomato Mash

Things should pick up from this point though. I’ve still got almost another 5-a-day worth of veggies left as well as starchy foods. More good news – our office provides breakfast on friday to encourage us to mingle with coworkers from other departments. You’d better believe I’ll be mingling. If I play my cards right, I’ll have a bit of room in my budget to add variation.

Overall the meals of this first day weren’t great, but for the first day that was to be expected. It did go as planned, however. I did eat enough carbs and veg. Fat and protein were both probably slightly too low, but in terms of nutrition I think I couldn’t have done a lot better. I certainly wouldn’t mind having some fat available – if anything, it reduces the amount of scrubbing needed.

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