Chef’s Post Vacay Meals

On Monday morning after being away from home for seven days, I was excited to be back in my own kitchen usually brimming with familiar, healthy foods. Though coming back to a nearly bare fridge creates a challenge.

Two and a half weeks into my 40-Day Freezer Challenge and I’m ready to dive back in. I poured nearly two cups of frozen pineapple (Freezer Challenge), half of a banana (brought with me on the plane), a big spoonful of cottage cheese, milk, and a dash of cinnamon into a blender to create a pina colada smoothie. A whole grain English muffin topped with buttery spread added the savory side to this meal.

I had spinach in the crisper before my trip and I knew it could hang until I returned. I layered reduced fat cheddar shreds, a handful of spinach, and a little more cheese between two 100% whole wheat tortillas and cooked it on both sides over medium heat in a pan coated with vegetable oil spray. A sad-looking avocado half survived, so I scraped off the browned surface, diced it, and stirred it into chipotle salsa. I polished off the four quesadilla wedges you see in the photo, plus one more. Baby carrot sticks played a supporting role.

Scarlet celebrated her second birthday 2 months ago and I’m still buying whole milk. On the rare occasions I drink milk, I do so with cookies, cake or pie. Today I accidentally ate four cookies instead of three. I popped one before taking the photo and plated three for the composition which I then ate. Oops.

This face makes my heart melt and laugh at the same time. Scarlet expressed sadness when she had to say goodbye to everyone when the reunion came to a close.

At home today I jumped rope and lifted free weights. I like to get a caffeine rush an hour before my workout to push me through, and on occasion that means Diet Coke. Something is wrong with this picture. I should brew some iced tea to resist the temptation. The Diet Coke was a flowing during vacation as most of my family drinks it. I blame Steve for being my enabler.

And more chocolate. I made myself a second one too. I love these Carr’s Whole Wheat Crackers with chocolate hazelnut butter. They’re like comfort food, yet gourmet at the same time.

I used up some frozen meatballs (Freezer Challenge) and a couple of Aidells Habanero & Green Chile Chicken Sausages (Freezer Challenge). Steve eats hot sauce like ketchup, but since I wanted some leftovers for Scarlet’s lunch, we saved the spicy browned sausage for sprinkling on top while plating. Steve steamed broccoli for a side dish and spritzed it with buttery spray and lemon juice.

For dessert, I dipped ten dark chocolate chips into natural peanut butter.

I happily indulged my chocolate cravings today. Tell me about one food or drink you just can’t say no to?

Estimated Calories: 2385 (436 breakfast, 539 lunch, 670 dinner, 740 snacks)

You may also like:

Pork Lo Mein Recipe (Michelle’s Version)

Salmon Cakes, Homemade Starbucks Frappe, and a Skinnygirl Margarita Weekend

Mango Macadamia Caramel Rolls Recipe


  1. Nina McHale says:

    Dark chocolate and a dry red wine are my weaknesses. Separately or together they are delicious. Homemade chocolate chip cookies are a close third… I don’t drink diet soda any more and when I have a sip now it doesn’t taste good to me.

    1. Nina,
      Ha, sounds like we have similar tastes. Oh gosh, chocolate chip cookies, there’s no way I could keep those in my house. I rarely say no to one of those, and never say no to one of good quality! Good for you for saying no to the diet soda.

  2. Suzanne says:

    Definitely any homemade baked goods are a weakness (but not cake). Chocolate chip cookies, brownies-yum! Especially the homemade chocolate and peanut butter chip cookies my fiance makes!!

    1. Michelle Dudash says:

      Congratulations on your engagement Suzanne! And on the fiance who makes you cookies.

  3. Rebeca says:

    Hi Michelle, your daughter is insanely cute 🙂

    1. Michelle Dudash says:

      Aw, thank you, Rebeca:)

  4. Gail Russell says:

    My ultimate weakness is a delicious and icy cold margarita…or two…it just oozes relaxation to me!

    1. I will agree with you on that one, Gail!

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