MacGyver Meals, Part 2

First off, I did decide to weigh-in this morning afterall, and was thrilled that I met my goal of 136 pounds.  At this point, I imagine that the weight loss will be pretty slow since I’m down to the last 10 pounds, so my new goal will be 1 pound per week.  I’ve also decided to do the next Cinch Detox the week of March 7.  I have a wedding to attend that Saturday (March 12) and I’d love to wear a dress that has always been a tad tight.


Starting Weight:   144 pounds  (December 28, 2010)

Current Weight:   136 pounds  (February 25, 2011)

Total Loss:   8 pounds

Next Week’s Goal:   135 pounds (March 4, 2011)


I’m on a role with my creative recipes (aka “MacGyver Meals”) this week!  I made the Crabacado Tacos last night and they were A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!  And even better, it helped me use up some random ingredients I needed to get rid of.  The only thing I’d change is next time I’ll use a wheat flour tortilla instead of corn.  I just don’t like the strong taste of a corn tortilla – kind of overpowers the other ingredients.  I think I’ll even suggest these to our [Ruby Tuesday] Executive Chef as a possible dish for our restaurants since we have all of these ingredients in-house.

  1. 2 taco-size whole wheat flour tortillas
  2. 2 oz crab meat (I used Ruby Tuesday jumbo lump – leftover from a food show)
  3. 1/4 avocado, chopped
  4. 1/4 cup red cabbage, chopped
  5. Lime wedge / splash of lime juice
  6. 2 Tbs pina colada sauce (mine is leftover from Red Lobster, but you could also make your own.)


Since I had most of the can of crab leftover, and also a bunch of frozen asparagus (more Ruby Tuesday food show leftovers), I found a recipe for Asparagus Crab AuGratin.  I prepped everything last night and plan to bake it and try it out tonight.  I forgot to take a picture of the ingredients, but you can go to the recipe by clicking on the below picture.  I made it as directed except I used low-fat cheese, whole wheat flour, and omitted the butter in the last step.  Looks yummy – we’ll see if it tastes as good as it looks tonight.

I also made some more Sugar-Free Coconut Brownies (click here for the recipe from my January 31 post), and I swear they are the most delectable brownies I have ever had!  I know they would not be deemed “healthy”, but I’d rather have my 100-calories of daily chocolate in the form of a brownie!  They have no sugar and the fat is all healthy coconut oil fat, so they’re really not that bad for you.  I debated trying to make the mix from scratch rather than use a mix, but let’s be honest, Pillsbury really does do it better than I can…

MacGyver of the Kitchen

My husband recently complemented my culinary abilities by dubbing me the “MacGyver of the Kitchen”.  That might be giving me too much credit, as I’ve never created a culinary masterpiece out of duct tape, but I was flattered nonetheless.  For those that don’t remember, MacGyver was the 80’s TV show with a guy that made all sorts of wacky gadgets out of everyday materials (usually involving duct tape) to get himself out of a dangerous situations.  

So for me, that means using all sorts of leftover ingredients in my refrigerator and pantry to come up with meals, which happens most every weekend as I clean out and make my next grocery list.  That was one of my biggest complaints about Cinch, or any structured meal plan for that matter – I always ended up with too much of certain items.  I tried eating the same meals for several days but that doesn’t always work since the ingredients come in various pack/sizes.  Case in point – I made the Edamame Ginger Stir Fry last week (2 portions), then made it again Monday (4 portions) and still have a 1/4 cabbage leftover!! 

So I have lots of random ingredients in my fridge right now that I’m trying to use up before starting over on Cinch detox.  Here are a meal ideas I’ve come up with:

  • Pasta bake with beef, spinach, tomatoes, and mozzarella
  • Crabacado (crab & avocado) tacos with red cabbage
  • Sweet & sour red cabbage with apples
  • Crab & asparagus casserole

I made the Beef & Spinach Pasta Bake last night and it was amazing!  It’s hard to believe it was so good given it was a bunch of random ingredients tossed together!  Here’s what I did:

  1. 3 cups of cooked whole wheat pasta
  2. 1/2 pound of lean ground beef, cooked & drained
  3. Several handfuls of spinach (it shrinks significantly), or any other leftover veggies that might go well with pasta, such as onions, mushrooms, peppers, etc)
  4. 1 can of natural tomato sauce  1 can of spicy garlic tomatoes
  5. 1/2 cup fat-free mozzarella + 1/2 cup low-fat cheddar
  6. Fresh or dried Italian herb blend (parsley, oregano, basil, etc)

Preheat the oven to 350.  Cook and drain the pasta, and do the same for the ground beef.  Mix all ingredients in a large saucepan, then pour into a 9×13 baking dish.  Top with 1/2 the cheese and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove and top with the rest of the cheese, then bake an additional 5 minutes.  Makes 8 small servings of approximately 300 calories each.

It’s Thursday now and I’ve been doing great this week – sticking to my diet and workouts and resisting some pretty strong temptations.  I’ve had a few mini-candy-hearts, but that’s it in terms of sugar.  I’ve been tempted to weigh-in, but I think I obsess over the scale sometimes, so I’m just going to stay on track and let my clothes do the talking.  Here’s my meal plan for the next couple of days:

  • 6am – 1/2 almond butter sandwich & strawberries
  • 10am – Grape nuts with skim milk, macadamia nuts, 1/2 apple
  • 2pm – Beef & spinach pasta bake with 1/2 apple
  • 6pm – Crab & avocado taco