How I've Been Losing Weight: aim for only 1500 calories a day, focus on high protein foods to ward off hunger, and don't try to exercise the pounds off. (Increased activity will come on its own as you lose weight.)

High-protein foods to focus on: lean chicken / turkey / pork, Greek yogurt, protein shakes, wheat gluten, TVP -- and count calories to make sure you're actually on target.

No foods are strictly off-limits. But 1500 calories isn't much, so choose carefully.

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Chicken Paprikash

This recipe is barely any more complicated than chopping things up and boiling them in a pot. If I use store-bought spaetzel (or TVP), I can make a complete pot of paprikash and have all the dishes cleaned in 45 minutes.

Ingredients:

24 oz. (1.5 lbs) boneless skinless chicken breasts
12 oz. sour cream
48 oz. chicken broth
1 onion
3-4 tablespoons Hungarian paprika
2 tablespoon garlic
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ginger
2 bay leaves
corn starch (or preferably potato starch)
olive oil
1 Fudgesicle
  Chacal would eat this

Make spaetzel; put in a bowl. Alternatively, you can buy spaetzel from the store, or prepare any type of noodles you prefer. OR, for a high protein alternative, use TVP. (According to my math, if you use 2 cups of dry TVP and ditch the olive oil and Fudgesicle, the total for the recipe will be 1850 cal and 260g protein.)

Chop up the chicken breasts into small pieces.

Put the chicken and garlic in a pot; sautee in olive oil.

Chop up the onion into small pieces.

Put the onions and some chicken broth into the pot. For now, use just enough broth to keep everything submerged, but don't flood it. You should have some broth left over (maybe around 16 ounces); the remaining broth will be used below.

Stir in the other spices (paprika, salt, black pepper, ginger, bay leaves).

Simmer to let the chicken and onions cook thoroughly. While it's all cooking, eat the Fudgesicle.

When the chicken and onions are fully cooked, add the starch as a thickening agent, by mixing it into the remaining broth and pouring it into the pot. (If you're out of broth, use water; but ideally you will have exactly enough broth for this.) Remove from heat and let it thicken.

Finally, mix in the sour cream, and it's ready to serve over spaetzel.

MMMMM

Other spins to put on the basic recipe:


Spaetzel

This seems to be a heretical recipe, because almost everyone I speak to, claims that the batter/dough should require cutting with a knife. I'll let this recipe speak for itself.

Ingredients:

0.5 cups milk
1.5 cups flour (Sapphire brand is preferred)
3.0 eggs

Get a pot of water going at a high boil.

Mix the milk, flour, and eggs in a bowl. The resulting batter should be a little thicker than Duncan Hines cake mix: a tiny bit stiff, but definitely not "dough".

With a spoon, drop small blobs of batter into the boiling water, and let boil for about 20 minutes. Then you may fish out the spaetzel.

Be advised that you need to keep the water at a high boil for this to work: the surfaces of the blobs really need to cook as soon as they hit the water. Then they magically don't stick together.

Also be advised that the blobs will expand as they cook, so try not to make them very large. One way or another, you'll probably have to chop them up with a spatula when you're done anyway.

MMMMM


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