Saturday, February 28, 2015

Spicy Chicken and Kale Soup (17 Day Diet Friendly)

Spicy Chicken and Kale Soup

As we were driving out to Holiday Valley Ski Resort, the cars temperature gauge registered at -18! A few days ago I posted that The Buffalo News front page headline was "February our Coldest Month Ever!" At -18 today, that record month will remain a record for a loooong time. But trust me, -18 temps don't deter the Siwiec family (excepting me) from skiing; they are hardcore skiers. Dave was like a kid out there today he was so excited to ski.  He bought a new pair of Volkl skis last week so he couldn't wait to rip tup he hills in them this weekend. He came back to the lodge and loudly cheered "Best ski day EVER!" Once he took his helmet off, a woman at the table next to us started laughing and said "Before he took his helmet off I thought it was your teenage son running in to tell you that it was his best ski day ever!" Yep, he was just like one of the boys today. I must agree about the best ski day ever comment because it truly was. As cold as it was, the sun was out, not a cloud in the sky, and there was no wind. The skiing conditions were perfect, and so was our lunch!

(Best ski day ever) + (-18 temperatures) = Spicy Chicken and Kale Soup. That's what we had for lunch and wow, did that warm us up. Dave and the boys devoured 2 bowls each. I'm so glad my boys love veggies because I'm on day 6 of the 17 Day Diet and my recipes have been loaded with veggies. Kale, carrots and tomatoes were the veggie highlights of this soup. I added orzo pasta on the side for the boys to add a little more substance. Plus they were skiing pretty hard today so the extra carbs were good for them. The italian chicken sausage and fire roasted tomatoes in this soup added a spicy kick which helped to warm us up even more. Dave and the boys love a soup that bites your mouth.

I love a soup that's bursting with palate pleasing flavors and this soup fits that bill. I also love a soup that is 17 Day Diet friendly and this soup fits that bill as well. I used a fat free chicken broth as the base, and added the veggies and italian chicken sausage. I made this in the crockpot but it could be made quickly over the stovetop too. This recipe took 10 minutes to prepare and it heated in the crockpot for 3 hours. The chicken sausage was already pre-cooked so I just sliced them and tossed them in the broth. I used kale that was already pre-washed and cut. You spend a little more money but the pre packed veggies are so worth it. Everything about this soup is good…it's healthy for you, it's tasty, and it's satisfying. What more could you ask for in a soup?  

Today was the most difficult day on the diet (read my impressions below) so I only give a semi-salute to successfully completing day 6 of the 17 Day Diet, but a full salute to a Spicy Chicken and Kale Soup that's sure to warm you up even on the coldest winter day! See recipe below.

Cycle 1, day 6 of 17 Day Diet Menu and Impressions

Morning Beverage: Hot water with fresh lemon. 

Breakfast: Greek Yogurt with fresh blueberries and a cup of green tea. 

Lunch: Spicy Chicken and Kale Soup and a cup of green tea. 

Dinner: crudités with a lemon yogurt dip and a mesclun salad with an olive oil and red wine vinaigrette and 2 cups of green tea.

Exercise: Two hours of skiing!

Impressions: The Negatives: Today was the most difficult day because we were invited to our dear friend's house tonight for dinner. The hosts, who are amazing cooks, made homemade pizza, chili, pasta fagioli, a mesclun salad and also served some killer wines. These wines were brought back from vineyards in Napa that had recently visited. How could I resist all of this amazing food and wine? Why would I want to resist all of this amazing food and wine? Trust me it took every ounce of me to resist. But tonight, resisting wasn't the most difficult part…the absolute most difficult part was declining our friends food. How incredibly rude is that? I felt awful. They put time, energy and passion into the food they made for us and I had to say "I'm sorry I can't eat any of the food you are serving because I am on Cycle 1 of the 17 Day Diet." One may say "good for you for maintaining such willpower and dedication to your diet" but I say "how selfish of myself." Our friends were absolutely gracious about me declining their over the top good food and wine and said "no worries", but that didn't matter to me. I still felt like an ill-mannered guest. As we were pulling up to their house I reminded the boys to behave, be respectful and be well mannered, and they were. But how hypocritical of me to preach those words when I broke all of those rules myself. So because I want to loose a few pounds and look good in my bathing suit, I declined an amazing meal while feeling like a total buzz kill and offending my friends. It's one thing to decline food because of an allergy or a medical reason, but to decline food because of vanity didn't sit well with me. I guess I could have declined the invite but that would have been just as selfish and rude. So my deepest apologies again to our gracious hosts. This has truly been the most difficult part of this diet so far. You may say I'm being harsh on myself but the premise and subtitle of my food blog is: The joy of making lasting impressions on my family and friends through my love of cooking." I always frowned upon people who couldn't enjoy a night out with friends because of a diet they were on. In the back of my mind I would be like seriously??? What a party pooper!!! So here I sit, that person. I couldn't enjoy a glass of wine with my husband Friday night because of the diet; I have to decline attending a super cool wine tasting event with my girlfriends this Thursday because of this diet; I can't enjoy a piece of the homemade artisan bread that my son Zachary made this weekend for a school project because of this diet; or I can't even enjoy the chocolate chip banana bread or the rice krispy treats I made for my family because of this damn diet. So these are some of my impressions so far on this diet,...I know mostly negative…but it's how I feel. So today the hardest thing for me about this diet is how it's affecting others. I'm really looking forward to Cycle 1 being over. And for all I'm giving up, which is a lot, this diet better show results on this body. 11 more days, Cycle 1!

The positives: Anything positive about the diet today you ask? Yes there are! Luckily, Stephanie, who introduced me to this diet, was there with me tonight. So I wasn't the only one not eating the scrumptious food or drinking the amazing wines. Stephanie brought the crudités platter with the greek yogurt dip which was super good…I will post the recipe once I make it this week. Stephanie showed up with a box of green tea in hand and I stashed a few tea bags in my coat pocket too! It was actually pretty hysterical. So we munched on veggies and salad all night…trust me it was very satisfying but hard to watch everyone else stuff their faces with yumminess. So it REALLY helps when you have a friend or family member doing this diet with you. If Stephanie wasn't at the party too, I may have caved, so thanks Steph! I'll admit I did have a few sips of red wine…I had to taste test, plus I couldn't be that rude. Even with the guilt I felt tonight I must admit I feel really good about how my body feels. The diet has helped my body to detox impurities and that feels really good. So far I've eliminated coffee, alcohol and significantly reduced sugar and carbs. My body is loving me for it. I added lots of water, green teas, and probiotics which are all helping me to feel this good too. Dave is now implementing the hot water and lemon in the morning. The boys have been drinking more teas and they are enjoying it. I haven't tried on my red shorts at all this weekend since they are in Buffalo but I do feel a bit lighter and feel that my boobs and arms have thinned out a bit. Unfortunately, thats not where I need to loose fat…it's in my buttocks and thighs! So Monday morning I'll try them on and see…fingers crossed. The other positive is that I'm really enjoying the recipes I've been making like the Spicy Chicken and Kale Soup! Yum. I guess you have to take the good with the bad with some things…and trust me there is the good and the bad with this diet! I keep plugging away though.

17 Day Diet Friendly
Orzo added, not 17 Day Diet Friendly
Chicken sausage, kale, fire roasted tomatoes, carrots, and chicken broth. 
Make it in the crockpot or on the stovetop
Simple, easy, delicious, spicy and healthy 
It's -18 and we're skiing anyways!
Dave and Zachary warming up with Chicken and Kale Soup
Nate and me!
My 17 minutes of exercise is completed, skiing!
Dave's new Volkl skis and his best day ever!
Spicy Chicken and Kale Soup: (Click to print recipe)

Preparation and cook time: 10 minutes prep and 2-3 hours in the crockpot. Stovetop 30 minutes.

Serves: 8-10


  • 10 pre-cooked italian chicken sausage, sliced
  • 2 cups of sliced carrots
  • 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups chopped kale
  • 8 cups fat free chicken broth
  • salt n pepper
  • optional: pasta on the side like orzo or elbows
Add all of the ingredients in a crockpot and cook on high for 2-3 hours or until carrots are tender. Optional: add pasta to the soup. Enjoy!

Morning beverage at the lodge…hot water with lemon
Breakfast at the lodge: Greek yogurt loaded with blueberries  with a cup of green tea
Lunch at the lodge: Spicy Chicken and Kale Soup with a cup of green tea
Dinner: Crudites with lemon yogurt dip, mesclun salad with olive and red wine vinaigrette, and 2 cups of green tea. 
The boys and Gabriella enjoying all of the food at the party…I wish I could have enjoyed it too…damn diet!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Spinach Feta Frittata Bake (17 Day Diet Friendly)

Spinach Feta Frittata Bake

Hello morning and hello Spinach Feta Frittata Bake! Those who know me know I am not a big morning person or a big breakfast person. I'd be happy if I could sleep in everyday and skip breakfast all together. When I woke up today I sprung out of bed knowing that I made a delicious frittata casserole last night. I've been eating a lot of hard boiled eggs this week on the 17 Day Diet and they are getting kinda boring. So I thought why not make a large frittata casserole that we could eat throughout the weekend. That's much more exciting than hard boiled eggs.

Many people ask what is the difference between a quiche and a frittata? Well, it's very simple: quiche is made with a crust, which means added carbs and calories; and a frittata is made without a crust which means no carbs and less calories. So when I was choosing which type of egg casserole to make, I opted for the better for you frittata instead. Dr. Mike would for sure approve of my healthier choice. 

I made the casserole yesterday while I was making the Southwest Turkey Lettuce Wraps (click to see recipe). Yes, I was multi-cooking, which I often do. But trust me the frittata casserole was a breeze to make so multi-cooking wasn't a problem. It took like 5 minutes to toss together. So while you're making dinner one night, whip up this frittata casserole along with it. Baking it was the longest part which was only 25 minutes. After it was done baking I let it cool and then put it in the refrigerator for the next day. Before I left this morning I grabbed a piece and took it to work. Once I got there I popped it in the microwave for 1 minute and had a fancy breakfast. Much tastier and much fancier than hard boiled eggs, I tell you! 

I made this frittata casserole because it's a 17 Day Diet friendly recipe. And I love recipes are healthy, nutritious and waistline slimming. Everything in this casserole is is good for you...eggs, baby spinach, mushrooms and tomatoes. I also added free feta and fat free mozzarella cheese to elevate the favors. Instead of milk, I added a cup of plain Greek yogurt which gave it a nice creamy taste. Not only did it taste good but it looks pretty enough to serve guests at an elegant brunch! 

Salute to waking up early and enjoying a nutrioious, easy to prepare, delicious Spinach and Feta Frittata Casserole on my 17 Day Diet! 
Cycle 1, Day 5 of 17 Day Diet Menu and Impressions

Morning Beverage: 2 cups of hot water with lemon.

Breakfast: A piece of Spinach Feta Frittata, super delicious!!! A cup of green tea. 

Lunch: Hearty Cabbage Soup (Click for recipe), leftovers from 2 days ago. Yummy! And a cup of green tea.

Dinner: sautéed tarragon Baby Bella Mushrooms over Chicken and Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes. (I will post this absolutely incredible recipe…my family devoured every last bit.) 3 glasses of water, no green tea. 

Exercise: nothing today:(

Impressions: My biggest challenge about the diet today, has been the elimination of wine. To have a glass or not, that has been the debate in my head today. Why you ask...It's Friday!!! That's when I really look forward to having a glass of wine with Dave and winding down from a busy week. Plus, during the winter months we are at our ski house in Ellicottville every weekend. You don't come to this ski town without a cocktail in hand! Can I give up two weekends without enjoying a glass of wine? Of course I can. The real question is do I want to give up two weekends without enjoying a glass of wine? I'm not so sure!
Imagine waking up to this dish in the morning!
Assembled and ready to bake in the oven
Just out of the oven! Fancy looking and flavorful tasting!
17 Day Diet Friendly, low carb & low calorie
Baby spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes and feta
My Tyler baby

Spinach Feta Frittata Bake: (Click to print recipe)

Preparation and Cook Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 8

  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup of plain greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup fat free crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup of fat free shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach
  • 1 cup of sliced mushrooms
  • 8 slices of tomato, about three tomatoes 
  • salt n pepper
  • non stick cooking spray
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9x12 baking dish with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl whisk eggs, water and yogurt until well mixed. Add feta, mozzarella, spinach, mushrooms, salt and pepper and mix with a spoon. Pour egg mixture in baking dish and add the tomato slices to top. Sprinkle with salt n pepper and a little extra mozzarella cheese and bake in oven for 20-25 minutes. Cut into 8 slices and serve. 

Dinner: sautéed tarragon baby bella mushrooms over chicken and cauliflower mashed potatoes. Yum!!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Southwest Turkey Lettuce Wraps (17 Day Diet Friendly)

Southwest Turkey Lettuce Wraps

Dave got home really late last night from a business trip in Boston. I was sleeping when he got home I didn't get to see him until this morning. He immediately said "Oh my gosh, where are you? There's nothing left of you. What has that 17 Day Diet done to you?" I laughed knowing he read my blog posts  while he was away. I knew he was kidding, but totally wished he wasn't! He grabbed me to give me a big hug and kiss and said "you actually feel like you lost some weight." I was like really?! He said "Yes, and don't go loosing too much weight because I like to feel a little something when I give you a squeeze in the bee-hind!" I laughed again thinking well I'm glad someone likes a little extra junk in my trunk! Whether Dave was serious or not about me feeling lighter, it didn't matter because his little squeeze inspired me to continue on this diet. 34 more days!

Today was an awesome food day. How many people say those words while on a diet? Not many I know. I love to cook and am always thinking of new and creative recipes to make for me and my family. So this diet has not stopped me from making amazing meals and that's what's made everyday an awesome food day. The only difference is that there is more preparation and forethought that goes into my menu planning. It's not a huge deal but then again it's only been four days. Dave has been out of town, the boys have only had basketball this week, and I've had nothing so it's been easy to plan this week. So back to my awesome food day…let me tell you what I ate. I started out with a cup of hot water with lemon, which I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. For breakfast I had greek yogurt, strawberries, green tea and a probiotic supplement. For lunch I had my incredibly delicious Hearty Cabbage Soup (click for recipe) and a cup of green tea. For dinner…another drum roll please….Southwest Turkey Lettuce Wraps. I've never used "lettuce" wraps before. I know they are the rage now, but I've always thought why bother. Is a piece of lettuce really going to trick your mind into thinking you are eating a scrumptious soft shell taco or a piece crusty white italian bread? I don't think so…or at least that's what I thought until I made these lettuce wraps. I consider myself a pretty open minded person especially when it comes to food, but there are a few things I just never cared to try…number one being "lettuce" wraps!

I was really in the mood for tacos but knew I couldn't dare touch a soft shell taco, so I figured hey, this may be a good time to try these "lettuce" wraps. Boy am I glad I did because they were ridiculously good, like really good. Ok, certainly not as carb-a-licious as a shell, but they were not too far behind. It tasted like I was eating a taco salad in a new kinda way. And I love taco salads. I bought taco shells for the boys thinking they would never want lettuce wraps…well I was L-wrongo! They totally wanted to try them so I gave them one soft shell and one lettuce. They loved them! And the best part of this recipe is that they are 17 Day Diet Friendly! Don't knock it til you try it is my motto of the day!

Salute to a 4th awesome food day and salute to trying new recipes like Southwest Turkey Lettuce Wraps!

Cycle 1, Day 4 Daily Menu and Impressions

Morning Beverage: 2 cups of hot water with lemon.

Breakfast: Greek yogurt, strawberries and green tea. Probiotic supplement.

Lunch: Hearty Cabbage Soup and a cup of green tea.

Dinner: Southwest Turkey Lettuce Wraps, 3 to be exact! A cup of green tea.

Exercise: Leg squats, yes that's my problem area!

Diet Impressions: Today was the first day that I was not digging the green tea so much. I am beginning to feel like an old lady drinking coffee or tea at every meal. I know it's good for you so I'll plunge away and keep drinking. Love the hot water with lemon..this ritual won't stop even after the diet is over. Let's talk about will power…tonight I took the boys to see McFarland, USA at the theater. Amazing, amazing fell good family movie. So before we left Tyler and Zachary made me a hot cup of green tea to take to the movies…knowing full well I couldn't have any movie theater good but really bad for you snacks. I am happy to report that I did not eat one kernel of popcorn. Yep, not one! The three of them sat there and chomped all night on succulent buttery and salt popcorn. As difficult as it was I refrained from reaching over and sticking my face in the ginormous bucket! Proud moment.
Never thought I'd like lettuce as a soft taco shell.  Ridiculously good and it's 17 Day Diet Friendly.
Add your fixings to this delicious healthy taco
Saute the ground turkey and peppers, and add the
tomatoes and seasoning 
Carefully remove lettuce leaves from the head
Add the greek yogurt or sour cream, and cheese
Put a large spoonful of seasoned turkey
And you got yourself a Southwest Turkey Lettuce  Wrap
Make yourself 2, 3 or 4 of these bad boys…without guilt!
Your kids will even love them…Zachary did!
My 17 Day Diet Dinner! Yum!

Southwest Turkey Lettuce Wraps (Click to print recipe)

Preparation and cook time: 30 minutes

Serves 4

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 package of taco seasoning (I used low sodium for diet)
  • 1 head of iceberg lettuce with 8 leaves carefully removed
  • plain greek yogurt, or fat free sour cream
  • low fat shredded cheddar cheese

In a large non stick skillet, add turkey and bell pepper over medium heat until browned. Using oil isn't  necessary but if you want to use a little cooking spray feel free. Add taco seasoning according to package and stir. Add canned tomatoes and stir and let simmer for 5 minutes or so. Add a teaspoon of greek yogurt to bottom have of lettuce leaf. Add a sprinkle of cheese and add a large spoonful of turkey to lettuce. Now add a little more cheese and carefully roll wrap. Serve 2 per person.
I had major will power tonight by not eating a single kernel of popcorn!
The best part is that we had the entire theater to ourselves!
McFarland, USA was a terrific feel good family movie.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Hearty Cabbage Soup (17 Day Diet Friendly)

Hearty Cabbage Soup

Today on the front page of The Buffalo News the headline was titled "February Our Coldest Month Ever!" The average temperature this month has been 11.6!!! Repeat….11.6! We may as well be living as eskimos it's so arctic cold, brrrr! I couldn't bear finishing the article so I perused the others and came across one titled "Where to Find the Perfect Soups." I enthusiastically read the article. It highlighted 5 local restaurants that make incredible soups that keep customers coming back for more. They all looked so good. Well, I have a an incredible soup recipe that will keep you coming back for more….Hearty Cabbage Soup. Not only is this a 17 Day Diet friendly soup but it's a coldest month ever friendly soup! And it's ooooh so delicious!

This soup is hearty because it's packed with not only cabbage, but cauliflower, spinach, celery and carrots as well. This cabbage soup will seriously satisfy the hungriest appetite. It's filling but won't fill you with extra calories. So you can have 2 or 3 bowls without the guilt. Bonus, right? Cabbage soup is known for being healthy and nutritious. Every spoonful I took I felt like I was nourishing and doing my body good. What I really like about this soup is it's simplicity…simple ingredients, simple preparation, simple taste. The boys and I loved this soup…Zachary actually said "Mom, this soup is the best soup that doesn't have meat in it." He's right! I'm glad I made a double batch so we could enjoy leftovers for lunch or even as a snack with the cold days ahead.

Salute to completing my 3rd day on the 17 Day Diet and making the perfect soup on a cold day!

For another great 17 Day Diet Friendly Soup try my Spicy Chicken and Kale recipe (click here)
Cycle 1, Day 3 Daily Menu and Impressions

Morning Beverage: two cups of hot water with lemon.

Breakfast: two hard boiled eggs, an orange and one cup of green tea, and a probiotic supplement.

Lunch: leftover Sicilian Caponata and one cup of green tea.

Dinner: Hearty Cabbage Soup and one cup of green tea.

Exercise: 17 minutes of squats and arm weights.

17 Day Diet Impressions: I'm on day 3 of the 17 Day Diet and so far so good. I tried on my red shorts this morning hoping they would be a tad loose, no such luck. However, I do feel like I lost a little weight and feel really good. I know Dr. Mike recommends weighing yourself on this diet, but I'm not going to do that, just yet anyways. I will continue to use my little red shorts as my scale. The one thing I am really enjoying about this diet is the recommended hot water with lemon in the morning. The past couple of mornings I've had two cups, that's how much I like it. Plus, knowing that there are so many other health benefits to drinking this simple concoction besides weight loss, makes it even better! Experts claim that it rejuvenates the skin by reducing fine lines and stimulates a radiance and glow! I'm all over that claim! Whoot hoot!
A Cabbage Soup that's perfect for the 17 Day Diet
Healthy, nutritious, low calorie
Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery and Carrots in a
Clear Chicken Broth
Saute the Veggies First
Then allow the vegetables to cook in the broth
The perfect soup on a cold winters day!
Hearty Cabbage Soup: (Click to print recipe)

Serves 8

Preparation and cook time: 50 minutes

  • 1 head of cabbage, cut into large pieces
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into small pieces
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 2 tb olive oil
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 8 cups fat free chicken broth
  • 1 t dried parsley
  • 1/2 t thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt n pepper
In a large stock pot, add olive oil and cook over medium heat. Add cabbage, celery and carrots and cook for 10 minutes until cabbage is wilted. Add parsley, thyme, salt n pepper and bay leaf and stir. Now add chicken stock. Turn heat up to medium high and cover. Let cook for 15 minutes or until cauliflower and carrots are tender. Turn heat back down to medium and add spinach and stir. Let cook for another 10 minutes. Serve and enjoy! 
Breakfast and a cup of green tea
Lunch…leftover Sicilian Caponata and a cup of green tea
Dinner: Hearty Cabbage Soup and a cup of green tea

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Sicilian Caponata with Chicken (17 Day Diet Friendly)

Perfect dish for the 17 Day Diet
Today is day 2 and I have another delicious 17 Day Diet recipe for you…Sicilian Caponata with Chicken! I am an eggplant lover along with my son Zachary, so the fact that eggplant is on the 17 Day Diet "acceptable" food list is a total bonus! Plus, this is a recipe that's near and dear to my heart because it originated where my family is from, Sicily.

Caponata is an earthy rustic eggplant stew. It is known for being a versatile dish. It can be eaten warm or at room temperature. It can be served as a main dish or as a side, or even as a relish spread. It can be roasted or sautéed. Even the ingredients can vary depending on your preference or taste. I love caponata served over pasta or on bread but since I'm on day 2 of this diet there will be none of that deliciousness for me right now! So for the sake of the diet I decided to serve it over chicken breasts. It would also go well with fish, like a tilapia or cod. The aroma of the eggplant and tomatoes roasting in the oven were heavenly. The boys came home from basketball practice, walked into the kitchen and just about melted they thought it smelled so darn good. As I was preparing and cooking this meal it brought me back in time to a warm place in Sicily. I was imagining my ancestors sitting around a big wooden table feasting on a giant bowl caponata, served with warm crusty bread and glasses of bold red wine. Okay, I better stop before I ruin this diet! I'm so craving bread and wine now! 

Now let's talk about it's taste... Oh my, this dish was so incredibly flavorful and chock full of Sicilian goodness! Roasted eggplant, tomatoes, capers, green olives, celery, onion and herbs made this caponata burst with flavor. The tomatoes added a bit of sweetness and the olives and capers gave it bit of sourness. The caponata was a perfect pair for the chicken. Everyone loved this dish. It's too bad Dave is in Boston on business...he totally missed out on this fabulous meal. Although I'm sure managing just fine as he is dining at some 5 Star Restaurant
So far, I'd say the 17 Day Diet has been going amazingly well...especially with meals like Sicilian Caponata or like the Stuffed Peppers with Turkey and Cauliflower Rice that I made last night! Yummo!

Salute to successfully completing day 2 and enjoying an earthy rustic Sicilian meal, and surviving without bread and wine! 

So here is the menu of what I ate today: (Day 1)

Morning Beverages: Hot water with lemon. Green tea with lemon. Probiotic supplement.

Breakfast: An orange, two hard boiled eggs and green tea. 

Lunch: A spinach salad with spiralized cucumber, onion, tomatoes and red pepper. For the dressing I added 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. 

Dinner: Drum roll please...Roasted Caponata over Chicken. Green Tea. 

Exercise: 17 minutes of squats and stepper. 

My 17 Day Diet Impressions: 1) After being on the diet for 24 hours I tried on my red shorts this morning... they still fit the same, bummer! I was hoping for an overnight miracle! 2) Because I've been drinking so much water and green tea I've been pee'ing like all day long... super annoying especially while at work, ugh! 3) I'm surprising not missing coffee. Although a friend suggested I add coconut oil to give it a nice flavor, I just may try that! Thanks Therese! 4) I have to wake up a little earlier to prepare breakfast and lunches to take to work, so that hasn't been so great, especially not being a morning person. I'll persevere…36 more days!!!
Sicilian Caponata with Chicken
The perfect dish for the 17 Day Diet
Roast the Eggplant with salt and a touch of olive oil
Saute the tomatoes, onions, celery, garlic, capers and olives
Add the roasted eggplant and you have yourself caponata. Add it to chicken, seafood, pasta, bread or eat it by itself
Saute chicken breasts
Now you have yourself Sicilian Caponata over Chicken
Sicilian Caponata with Chicken: (Click to print recipe)

Preparation and cook time: 45 minutes

Serves 4

  • 2 medium sized eggplant, largely diced
  • 2 cups of tomatoes, largely diced
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 2-3 celery stalks chopped
  • 1/4 cup sliced green olives
  • 2 tb capers
  • 1 t basil
  • 1 t oregano
  • 1 t parsley
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup red or white wine vinegar
  • salt n pepper
  • olive oil
  • non-stick cooking spray
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with non stick cooking spray and add the diced eggplant. Generously season with salt and let rest for 10 minutes before roasting in oven. Drizzle 2 tb olives oil over the eggplant and toss until coated. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until eggplant is tender but not mushy. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan add 1 tb of olive oil to medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and celery and cook for 10 minutes until slightly tender. Then add tomatoes, olives capers basil, oregano, parsley, and vinegar and salt n pepper, cover and let simmer on low for 15 minutes. When eggplant is cooked through add it to the sauté pan with the tomato mixture. Cook chicken breast in a sauté pan or bake in the oven until cooked through. Plate chicken and pour a heaping spoonful of caponata over the top. Enjoy!
Morning beverage: Hot water with fresh lemon
Breakfast: 2 hardboiled eggs and an orange
Lunch: Spiralized Cucumber Salad with spinach, tomatoes, onion and red pepper. Dressing is olive oil and fresh lemon
Dinner: Sicilian Caponata with Chicken