Mochi Cooks: Week 4 In the Kitchen With Our Health Editor

After four weeks of writing this cooking blog, I’ve gained so much more appreciation for my mother’s home cooking. Cooking truly is an art—it takes passion, patience, and talent. Admittedly, my meals have been relatively simple to make, but that’s the reality of leading a busy lifestyle, sticking to a budget, and eating healthy. Sometimes doing less means more; in this case, I’ve been able to save a lot and dodging the extra calories and grease by bringing lunch, staying in for dinner every night, and avoiding Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts each morning during breakfast. There were times when I was tempted to order out because it’s easier, but writing this blog has helped me to be smarter with my food choices, while still enjoying the foods I love. Here is a look at what I prepared this past week: Day 1

Breakfast:

I love this cereal because it’s not too sweet but it’s still made with whole wheat and has five grams of fiber and other essential nutrients. I like having a bowl of this with a cup of blueberries or banana slices.

1 bowl of Trader Joe’s Frosted Maple & Brown Sugar Shredded Bite-Size Wheats, 1 cup low-fat milk

Lunch:

I prepared some whole-wheat pasta and tomato sauce the night before to have lunch ready the next day, and sprinkled some skim shredded mozzarella cheese on top.

1 plate whole-wheat pasta tossed with tomato sauce

Dinner:

I added some white chicken breast to this dish to add another lean source of protein. I greased a nonstick pan with a teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil and seasoned the chicken breast with salt, pepper, and dried basil. I cooked each side until the chicken breast was lightly browned.

1 plate whole-wheat pasta and 1 chicken cutlet

Day 2

Breakfast:

Sadly, I never made scrambled eggs the right way until now. My roommate Tom taught me the “right” way to make them. I greased a nonstick pan with some butter. In a bowl, I cracked two eggs and mixed it with some low-fat milk, salt, and pepper. After stirring for a minute, I poured the mixture into the pan with the melted butter. Within a few minutes the eggs started to cook, and I used a spatula to mix them.

2 scrambled eggs and 1 whole-wheat toast

Lunch:

I was in the mood for burgers, so I prepared the turkey burgers I bought from Trader Joe’s a week ago. I defrosted the burgers in the fridge earlier this morning and took them out of the package in the afternoon to season. I sprinkled some ground black pepper, salt, and basil on each side of the patty. It only takes about 15 minutes total for the burgers to cook, depending on how much you thaw them.

1 turkey burger patty and 1 whole-wheat hamburger bun

Dinner:

I had the other turkey burger patty for dinner later that night. I added a small slice of Gouda cheese for more flavor.

1 turkey burger, 1 whole-wheat hamburger bun, and 1 slice Gouda cheese

Day 3

Breakfast:

As usual, I was crunched for time this morning so I just grabbed my Chobani yogurt out of the fridge and washed some blueberries and strawberries and packed them into individual sandwich bags.

1 Chobani Greek Non-fat yogurt, 1 cup blueberries, and 3 big strawberries

Lunch:

If you haven’t noticed, I’m obsessed with sweet potato, so it’s only natural that I bought this pre-made sweet potato gnocchi dish at Trader Joe’s. I microwaved this for about 5 minutes under high-power heat and it was ready in no time.

1 plate sweet potato gnocchi in butter and sage

Dinner:

I had a very heavy lunch, so I needed something light and refreshing for dinner. The tangy and sweet raspberry vinaigrette transformed this crisp spinach salad into a savory meal.

1 plate spinach salad with 3 tablespoons of raspberry vinaigrette