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Biggest C&R Loser 2013

Biggest_CR_Loser_2013

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Welcome to the 7th week of Biggest C&R Loser 2013! This year we’ll be keeping all of the results and placings secret until the end of the contest. We’ll also be pooling our cash to award the 2013 winner the largest prize we’ve ever awarded … a whopping $40!  This week’s theme is always a Biggest C&R Loser favorite!  It’s time for: “What’s Inside Your Fridge?” Let’s see what our contestants are hiding behind the refrigerator door!  This week each of our contestants will show you a photo of their fridge and describe the contents. Here we go!


Nathan

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My fridge at home looks a lot like the one in this photo. Now that I’m leeching off my parents for practice teaching, they only have healthy things in the fridge. It should be good for me as long as I don’t splurge on my own! Which I won’t, because I’m broke.


Polt

photo (13)

Ah yes, this week is the fridge picture. And here we go! Top shelf: OJ, milk, butter, Ginger ale; next shelf: eggs, carrots, celery, salsa; next shelf: Salad stuff, and meat (to make chili tonight); next shelf: Diet Coke, baking soda, two bottles of wine, one bottle of beer; In the lower drawer is an onion, for the chili; The door shelves contain condiments, then yogurt, the applesauce. Healthy, I know! But now I’m really looking forward to the chili tonight!


Tam

fridge

So. Our fridges. I tried to have it neater this time so Adam wouldn’t freak out. I only got groceries on Sunday so I’m surprised it’s not fuller (more full?). My freezer is stocked up and yes, that is two containers of Hagen Daas. But come one, it was $3 off, and it’s next to the box of Weight Watchers egg mcmuffins so I think that has a moderating effect on the ice-cream calories. I tend to fill up the freezer, then don’t buy anything until it empties out. Just restocked. Our top shelf is usually lunch stuff, pudding, juice, etc. There are some leftovers in there this time, I usually have an average number of fruits and veggies in the bottom and we have lots of juice and soda in the door along with various bottles of sauce, relish, whipped cream in a can, marinade, salad dressing, etc. Oh and that little drawer inside is chock full of cheese. (Sorry Michelle) So an average fridge? We take our lunch to work/school every day and we cook dinner at home 13 out of 14 days, so we usually have a lot of staples on hand to make it fast and easy.


TwoPi

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Atop the fridge are several boxes of cereal, bottles of dishwasher detergent, and vitamins. Freezer is packed, mostly with frozen fruit, ice cube trays, and coffee. The main section of the fridge has waaaay too much stuff in it, with the bottom shelf dominated by a pot of broccoli-bean-and-lemon pasta, and various other containers of leftovers. Good luck finding what you’re looking for in there!


Adam

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In the freezer I have some frozen veggies and pitas. On the fridge door I have some condiments, seltzer, rice milk, canned fruit and water. In the fridge I have some Fresca, veggies, fake cheese, leftover taco “meat”, apples, hummus, peanut butter, tofu and tempeh. YUM! Now I want to go eat it all.


Michelle M.

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We always have the following in the fridge: juice, salad dressings, condiments, fruits, veggies, Harry’s beer and my zinfandel (Beringer’s!), dill pickles (Adam’s favorite) and salsa. There are usually ingredients for a meal or leftovers from my cooking, but I didn’t cook this week (lazy!), so the fridge is a little bare. There are some leftover fajitas from the Mexican restaurant where we had dinner the other night. And the yogurt (yuck!) is Harry’s, he’s been making smoothies.

freezer

In the freezer: 1st drawer: frozen veggies. 2nd drawer: popsicles (Harry had a cold/sore throat), ice cream and vodka. I find when I freeze Thin Mints, the box will last longer than a day. That hummus is soooo garlicky – when Harry eats it, the house reeks of garlic. That’s why it was banished to the freezer (until I’m out of town or die). 3rd drawer: Lots of leftovers (in the back), some Lonely Man dinners and a big old bag of strawberries for Harry’s smoothies.


Mikey

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What’s in my fridge? Not a lot at all as you can see. There are a lot of condiments though…I’m on the all condiment diet you see. Lots of flavor…very little health.


Mr. Sombrero

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Now that I look at this picture I realize how crammed, small, messy and badly-lit this fridge is. Maybe I should be on Food Hoarders, if there is a show like that. It does have good things in it. Lots of veggies and fruits, some protein and leftovers. Yummmmm!


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Biggest Cock & Rudest Loser 3: Week 6

Our fifth week is complete! Today our contestants celebrate five weeks into the cockiest and rudest weight loss competition evahhhh! It’s Biggest Cock & Rudest Loser 3!

Our dieters are doing great! Have you ever wondered what their average meal looks like? This week we invited each of our contestants to submit a photo and a description of a meal that they’re particularly proud of. Here’s what they’re eating:


Mikey
The food pictured here is your typical diet food: tasteless and full of vegetables. Sometimes vegetables have flavor. These do not. These are the lengths I have gone to in order to lose weight…which appears to be stopping at the moment.


TwoPi
Weight loss did a bit of backtracking this week, which isn’t so surprising. Work is getting stressful (end of semester), and I’ve had some lapses of the between-meal snacking variety. I should have planned my photo better and gotten images from earlier nights cooking Mollie Katzen dishes, but instead it was “oh no I need to photograph what we’re eating TONIGHT” and so here is a pretty typical meal: homemade split pea soup and cornbread. Healthy in that there is fairly little fat (apart from what goes into the cornbread dough itself) and there are lots of veggies in the soup, which is thick enough so that one cup is quite filling.


Polt
This week, it’s our Meal Plan. Upon starting the competition, I had no meal plan, none at all. Since then, my new doctor has thrown me on low to no carb diet, so now, yes, I DO have a meal plan. Here is a typical meal: twice baked potato (37 grams of carbs) (I’m allowed 45 per meal), steak (although there’s also been a lot of ham, burger patties, and sausages), a small side salad (having one of those with EVERY meal), Diet Coke, and the current book I’m reading. I do not, however, eat the book, I just read it while eating. And yes, this is basically what my meals consist of nowadays (although asparagus or green beans take the place of the potato).


Ryan
I’ve been continuing my culinary experiments. The photo shows off my latest trial before I cooked it. My goal was to increase the beans to non-beans ratio and therefore the protein to carbohydrate ratio, and that was a success. However, cooking that much stuff at once is pushing the limit of my Crock Pot, and the black beans made everything else a lot less colorful. I think next time I will cook the non-beans separately.


Tam
Okay, so I was a total loser and didn’t know about the picture thing, so here is a mock-up of a meal I had. Steak, rice and roasted orange cauliflower. My steak didn’t look quite like that, but close enough. That’s pretty typical. We do eat pretty healthy. Breakfast is usually cereal or toast and juice, lunch is either a salad or sandwich with fruit and dinner is a protein, carb and vegetable. I’m really frustrated though because I have been so good for nearly 2 weeks, recording everything I’ve eaten, am ALWAYS under the total allowed and this week, nothing. Arrgghh. I’m considering trying the Polt diet. Maybe I need to go low-carb and shock my system into realizing it’s not playing fair.


Mr. Sombrero
I am very proud of this meal because it looks like a pool of barf, and C&R readers can appreciate a good barf pic. Apart from the snacks (which are my downfall), my meals are pretty healthy. Granted, they are not always vegan, but I try. 😀


Michelle M.
This was my dinner Tuesday night. Half a turkey burger light (Harry had the other half) with bbq sauce and a side of steamed vegetables. I was going to submit a photo of a vegetable stir fry, a light pasta, or a soup or something, but I didn’t feel like cooking that night. In general, my meals (especially the ones I cook) are healthy – it’s the junk I snack on at night that is turning me into fat Betty.


Adam
This is a dinner that I make every week or so. What you’re looking at: grilled tempeh (grilled on my George Foreman Grill), avocado, broccoli, grape tomatoes, cubanelle peppers, baby carrots, baby portabella mushrooms and mixed greens. All that is topped with a mix of balsamic vinegar and a little bit of olive oil, some spices and a shake of ground flax seeds. I gave up all soda (diet and otherwise) a few weeks ago, so that’s unsweetened iced tea in the glass. My issue has always been snacking on junk food AFTER dinner … but I’ve been trying to give that up too. Maybe my straight line on the chart will actually move next week!


And now the week’s results:

Stay tuned each Thursday for the stunning weight-loss success stories of our eight contestants. Who will win this year’s competition? Find out on May 31st … just in time for bikini season!

It’s Taste Test Time!

There are certain brands that I always buy or order because I think that they are superior. But am I just being blindly loyal or do I really think they are the best? The only way to know is to compare them with their competitors in a blind taste test. So Harry and I decided to do just that.

We started with citrus sodas.

We tested them blindfolded to get the full soda experience.


Here is what we thought:


7up:

Michelle– it was okay – it was more limey/citrusy than the others
Harry – very sweet with a lemon/limey taste

SunDrop:
Michelle– did not like at all – it had a chemical, artificial taste
Harry – had more of an upfront sugary taste

Mello Yello:
Michelle – supersweet and articial
Harry – too sugary – not happy with that one

Sierra Mist:

Michelle – has a weird aftertaste – not very citrusy
Harry – good – lemon-limey

Sprite:
Michelle – okay, I guess
Harry – sugary – not very good

So the winner was:

Michelle – Sprite

Harry – Sierra Mist

And the loser was:
Mello Yello. We both hated it.

Next up was soup – chicken noodle.

Except for the Organic brand, they all kinda looked the same.
Some definitely had bigger chunks of chicken and carrots.

Here is what we thought:

Wolfgang Puck:
Michelle – had a weird herby taste? Maybe fennel. I hate fennel.
Harry – some saltiness, decent flavors, good

Progresso:

Michelle – had a canned taste and a sweetness – like caramelized onions
Harry – had a bright taste

Healthy Choice:

Michelle – watery, no flavor, tasteless, needs LOTS of salt
Harry – a sharp, burnt taste, tastes like catfood, canned tuna, weird, blech

Campbell’s:

Michelle – had a weird taste – like dirt. It’s the worst!!
Harry – had a sharp, herb taste, pungent. It’s better than catfood.

Organic:
Michelle – alright. The chicken was dry
Harry – the chicken was big, not as salty. The flavors come through.

And the winner was:

Soup in a box! We both chose the Organic brand

*Of course, the best chicken soup is my own not in the running homemade
(even when I forget to add in the celery).


The loser was:

Michelle – Campbell’s. The next day we got this coupon in the mail.
Maybe I should ask for a a refund…

Harry – Healthy Choice.

Which cracked me up because he bought a case of it at Costco.

We didn’t want to confuse out palates, so we saved salsa for last.
As you can see, Chachies is the brand we usually buy.

So how did our favorite measure up?

Rojo’s:
Michelle – good heat, too vinegary. I would not buy this.
Harry – was the spiciest heatwise – had strange tastes

Margaritaville:
Michelle – had a strong cilantro flavor. Not much heat. Was mushy in texture (except for some crunchy onion bits)
Harry – not too much tomato taste. Had more of a vinegar pickle relish taste

Chachies:
Michelle – tomatoey, nice heat. I like it.
Harry – Lots of tomato flavor. Not as hot as some of the others.

Santa Barbara:

Michelle – Had an oregano or thyme? flavor
Harry – Had some heat, a vinegar taste, muddled flavors

Sabra:
Michelle – nice, had an herby taste, not much heat, tastes like something you’d get at a restaurant
Harry – okay. More herby than the others.


So which salsa came out ahead?

Just like Joanie, we love Chachies!

And we both rated Rojo’s last. Ay caramba.

So, do you have a favorite soda, soup or salsa? And are you sure?
Maybe you should have a taste test of your own…

Make sure to join us next time in the M. test kitchen as we taste the letter P!

The Unadventurous Eater: Adam’s Beanie Burgers


No pork. No seafood. No cheese. No tofu, mayonnaise, yogurt, eggs, horseradish, mustard, mushrooms, etc., etc. I’m a little picky when it comes to food. Harry and I have determined that if I ever had a cooking show it would be called “The Unadventurous Eater.” I’m always on the lookout for new recipes with ingredients that don’t gross me out. So when Adam told me about his Black Beanie Burgers – Mr. Sombrero Approved! I couldn’t wait to try out the recipe. Here it is:

2 15oz cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, minced
2 tsp. Creole seasoning
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup flour
1 cup frozen corn
optional: Add some hot pepper seeds or cayenne pepper to give them some extra flavor.

Makes about 10-12 burgers (depending on how big u make your patties).

Mix and smoosh (works best if you use your hands) all ingredients. Form into patties and freeze for a few hours or until they’re fully frozen. If you’re in a big rush, don’t bother freezing them and just throw them on the grill — but they stay together better if you freeze em first.

Cook frozen patty on a George Forman-style grill or frying pan with a little bit of olive oil spray until they brown a bit (maybe 10 minutes? I’ve never really timed it). I liked to squish them a little in the GF grill about 1/2 way through.

Suggested topping: grilled cubanelle or bell peppers, grilled mushrooms, lettuce and a smear of roasted red pepper hummus. Serve on a toasted English muffin instead of a hamburger roll. Mmmm.

When I cook, I like to put on some music. I thought Adam Ant would be appropriate, but I don’t have any on my player, so I put on some Andy Gibb. Adam, Andy, whatever.

Next I had Harry pour me some wine. When I cook, I also like to drink. Harry is having a beer, because as he says, “If you’re not drinking with me, you’re drinking against me.” When Harry is hungry his eyes turn red. And stop looking at our brown lawn. That’s going to be replaced this summer after we tear out the patio.


Here I am enjoying my beloved Beringer’s in a plastic champagne glass. Klassy! I do have fancy wine glasses, but I have to hand wash them and that is just too much for me to deal with. Cheers!


Here are the ingredients. I bought the Creole seasoning especially for this recipe. Speaking of Creole, I just finished watching season 1 and 2 of True Blood. My favorite character is Lafayette! Isn’t he the best? LOVE him!


Exactly! HBO is free for us this weekend, so I get to watch Season 3. By the time you read this I will have had a True Blood pajama marathon! It’s good to be me.


How big is a small onion anyway? The store pretty much has one size. So I just cut it in two and used half.


Doesn’t this look delicious? The smooshing was fun.


Balls! Tee hee. After I flattened them, I froze them for about 2 hours.


If you don’t have a George Foreman grill, I highly recommend one.


Here is Harry assembling his burger. He put everything Adam suggested on his. I skipped the mushrooms, peppers and hummus (I don’t like tahini). Luckily for Harry and for Adam, the hummus was not too garlicky and Harry didn’t have to sleep on the couch. Yay!


Here is the beauty shot. I also made sweet potato fries and steamed some broccoli. So what did we think of Adam’s Beanie Burgers – Mr Sombrero approved!?

*Yes we eat on tv trays. Once again, keeping it Klassy.


They were terrific! I think next time I make them, I’ll put in a little more cayenne pepper. We like it spicy. I might also see what happens if I put in a little less flour. But in all, Adam’s Beanie Burgers – Mr. Sombrero approved! were delicious. They taste great, are easy to make (not much prep work is needed), are super healthy and are very versatile. The next day Harry put one on a tortilla and I had my burger with barbecue sauce, chips and a pickle. I’m going to try one tomorrow with salsa.

*That’s berry flavored iced tea (yuck). I totally had more chips than are in the photo. I didn’t want to look like a pig.


On my peas in a pod scale, I give Adam’s recipe 5 peas in a pod! Thanks Adam!

If you have a recipe for me to try (that doesn’t include any yucky ingredients) send it to me and I’ll make it and rate it next time on “The Unadventurous Eater”!