If you know me at all, you know that I LOVE a cooking challenge. I insisted she tell me exactly what she could eat and told her to plan to stay through the meal.
- No fat or oil, including cooking spray or anything to grease a pan
- No added sugar, honey, molasses or other sweetener except stevia
- No dairy of any kind
- No nuts or grains of any sort
- No potatoes, root vegetables, or broccoli
- No alcohol, soda, coffee, or juice
- 3 oz. of one lean protein (cannot combine two proteins)
- 1 vegetable from a limited list (cannot combine vegetables or serve two in a meal)
- 1 small piece of fruit from a limited list (cannot combine fruits or serve two in a meal)
- salt, pepper and some seasonings
- the juice of one lemon or lime squeezed over something
I started brainstorming. My goal was to make something that everyone would enjoy and that would not feel like we were being deprived. Seeing as how I could (and practically do) live on bread and cheese and sugar, it wasn't easy! I should add that it was a very hot day, so my go-to of soup wouldn't have been a great choice.
Here's what I served:
- 3 oz. of boneless, skinless chicken breast, rubbed with dijon mustard and sprinkled with lemon pepper and then baked
- steamed green beans
- a small dish of strawberries, heated in a little water and then mashed like applesauce
- reduced balsamic vinegar (intended for the beans, but actually delicious with the chicken and with the strawberries
- Wild Berry Zinger herbal ice tea (no sweetener)
It definitely felt weird not serving bread, pasta, potatoes or rice. In retrospect, I should have plated the food differently because there was a big empty space on the plate that is exactly where I would have put a starch. But other than that, the meal was very satisfying! I definitely felt like I met the challenge, which was undoubtedly one of the toughest I've ever done. I can't imagine cooking this way for more than one or two days in a row. Hats off to those who prepare very restricted meals on a regular basis. It isn't easy!