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Archive for the ‘Eat In Month Challenge’ Category

While Eat In Month was actually in January, I decided to give it a try in February, because my January was just too crazy. In the end, February turned out to be almost equally crazy. We were out and about a lot, preparing for our big move, looking for a new kitchen and some bathroom furniture, etc.

I ate out a total of four times last month.

The first one was due to a movie date with a friend. The movie theater is in the opposite direction of my apartment, so going home after work would have been a long detour. I had a creamy root vegetable soup at one of my favorite cafés and it was delicious.

The second and the third meal out were each consumed on long kitchen and furniture scouting days. Both were fast food and quite bad. I really shoudn’t eat that stuff. It was disgusting.

The fourth and last meal out was a work lunch. My team mates spontaneously decided to go to our local pizza place, and I just couldn’t say no. The pizza was very good. And huge! I only ate half of it for lunch and ate the other half for dinner.

While I did it out more often than I had planned during this year’s challenge, I also managed to use up a lot of the food in my kitchen. There are only a few odds and ends left, and I also saved a little money thanks to buying less new food. So I’ll call this challenge a semi-success!

This month, eating in will be even more challenging, as I’ll have to live without a full kitchen for a few weeks. I’ll tell you more about my improvised, minimalist kitchen situation after the move.

Did you join the Eat In Month challenge this year? How was it?

See you!

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Eat In Month

I can hardly believe that January is already over. Time goes by so fast!

That also means it’s time for a recap of the Eat In Month Challenge. To be honest, I kind of failed. Oops! I ate out a total of three times during the month. The first time was on the 2nd, as I hadn’t known about the challenge, I read about it the day after. The second meal was on the 8th, to celebrate J-Girl’s 18th birthday. And the third and final one was last Saturday, the 29th. My friends wanted to go out, and as I hadn’t seen them since New Year’s Eve, I didn’t want to miss the chance to have a great time with my dearest girls. Bringing food was not an option, so I decided to bail out on the challenge.

BUT I did NOT eat out from the 9th to the 28th of January, which is 20 days or almost three weeks. So I want to call this challenge a semi-success. Always be positive, right?

I really didn’t expect this challenge to be so hard. I thought, “Oh, we hardly ever eat out anyway, so one month of only eating in will be quite easy.” Oh boy, how wrong I was! There is quite a difference between “hardly ever” and “not at all”.

But I actually liked this challenge. It inspired me to be more conscious of my spending and to get creative in my kitchen again. Eating out should be a special treat and thus be truly savoured. Quality over quantity! It also reminded me that I actually enjoy cooking and creating delicious meals. Lately I’ve become a bit lazy, leaving most of the cooking to the Guy, as he’s currently working from home. I really want to get back into cooking, at least on the weekends. I’m sure the Guy will like that, too.

February definitely won’t be Eating Out Month, but it’s great to have that option when I’m in the mood. And I will make sure that the meals are really good and worth spending the money!

See you!

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Oh my, what a week! I went on an amazing shopping trip on Saturday, getting lots of nice clothes, and a brand new notebook! I’ve been dreaming of getting one for more than a year, but I couldn’t afford it. Thanks to my year-end bonus I finally had enough extra money to buy a lovely Acer Aspire. It took some time to get used to Windows 7, though, and transferring, installing, and configuring all my software, making backups and images of the old and the new system, copy my personal data, etc. That takes quite some time!

And on Tuesday I caught a horrible cold!  I’ve spent the past three days coughing my lungs out. Ugh!

But now I’m finally feeling a bit better. At least good enough to blog. Woohoo!

After a rough start I’ve been doing really well with the Eat In Month Challenge, not eating out for twelve days straight so far! Last weekend I wanted to document my meals and put them on the blog. To make things a little more interesting, I planned to recreate some classic takeout meals.

But before we get to that, let’s talk about breakfast first.

Breakfast for me and the Boyfriend

Breakfast is very important to me! Whenever I have to skip breakfast, I get very hungry and grumpy, so I always make sure to be prepared and have something to eat within two hours after waking up.

I guess now it’s time for a confession: I don’t like oatmeal! It’s actually not because of the taste, I’m sure it can be quite yummy with the right ingredients, but I just can’t stand anything sweet in the morning! A sweet breakfast just can’t satisfy me. So my first meal of the day is always some kind of sandwich, toppings may vary, e.g. cream cheese and tomato paste or ajvar (paprika paste), Emmental or brie cheese, Tofurky (or something similar), fried egg or omelet, or a vegetable-based spread.

On weekdays I also have a sandwich for breakfast. I always prepare it the night before, put it into a plastic box and eat it at my desk at work.

Next up is Saturday’s lunch:

Tofu burger

A tofu burger on a whole grain rye sandwich thin, topped with ketchup, mustard, ajvar, and tomato slices, with a side of peas and corn. Fast and yummy!

On to Saturday’s “frozen” dinner:

Kidney bean curry with brown rice

I wasn’t in the mood to cook something fancy, the Boyfriend had made himself a spicy beef stew, so I turned to my freezer stash and found a serving of cooked brown rice and some of last weeks kidney been curry. Nuked it in the microwave, put it on a plate, topped it with yoghurt and mango chutney (love it!), ready to eat!

Sunday’s breakfast was the usual open-faced sandwich, so no photo. Lunch was homemade ramen noodle soup:

Homemade ramen (noodle soup)

In my (huge!) bowl I had buckwheat soba noodles, fresh veggies, one boiled egg, and homemade veggie broth. Topped with some crunchy seaweed. Less fat and sodium than those infamous instant ramen packs, and it also tasted much better!

Sunday night I did some batch cooking. I made a big pot of vegetarian chili with kidney beans, red bell peppers, corn, red lentils, textured vegetable protein, canned tomatoes, and hot Sriracha sauce. Served with some homemade oven “fries”. Delicious and very filling.

Vegetarian chili with baked potato sticks

So, seriously, who needs take out or fast food or prepared meals? It’s so easy to make our own, and they usually taste better and are much healthier!

See you!

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This month Diana of The Chic Life is hosting an Eat in Month Challenge. I really like this idea and spontaneously decided to join.

The boyfriend and I ate out on Sunday, but I didn’t know about the challenge then, so I won’t count that. For me the challenge starts today and will last until the end of January. While I do enjoy eating out, I’ve found that it is usually cheaper and healthier to cook our meals from scratch. As I’m already a budget and health conscious person, this challenge is just right for me. I just hope the rest of the family will agree. We’ll see.

I won’t post all of my meals, but I do plan to take a few shots of  “sample meals”.

Read more about the Eat in Month Challenge over on Diana’s blog!

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