Companion Foods…and a Couple of Recipes

Cheeseburger & Fries
Cake & Ice Cream
Peanut Butter & Jelly
Biscuits & Gravy
Chips & Salsa

You get the idea, foods that “go together” so well that it’s almost automatic to think of them in pairs. Before I decided to take a healthier trek through life, I ate all of these combinations. Not all at once, but it wouldn’t have been unheard of to have all of these in the same week. Now I don’t have them all in one year!

With 100 pounds to lose, it was clear to me at the beginning that some of these companion foods needed  adjusting. The infrequent cheeseburger I have is now accompanied by a side salad. If I’m available for a splurge, I choose between cake OR ice cream. (Cake always wins!) I still have peanut butter and jelly, but the layers are much thinner and the jelly is an all-fruit spread. Or I have peanut butter & banana and leave the jelly for another day. Biscuits and gravy are a once-a-year (if that) splurge. There simply IS no acceptable tweak for biscuits and gravy that wouldn’t be sacriligious.

That brings us to chips and salsa. I present to you my favorite new, healthier companion foods:

Yep, that’s celery & salsa! Crispy, crunchy, slightly sweet, and delicious tomato spiciness! I highly recommend it as a lovely side dish for…well, just about anything. It’s also a really tasty and filling snack!

What were your favorite companion foods before you shifted to a healthier way of eating? Have you been able to tweak them or adjust to make them fit your new way of eating? Or would you rather have the original less frequently? Have you added any new companion combinations?

Here’s a new-to-me-combination: Pan-Seared Tilapia
and Wild Rice with Apples and Cranberries
fish & rice
I’ve been trying to try new foods and/or new recipes every few weeks, and apparently tonight was a two-fer. (The third item is sugar-free bread & butter pickles. Yum.) I followed both recipes as shown in the links above, with the addition of a splash of apple cider vinegar to the rice and dash of Cajun seasoning to the fish coating.

The cranberries and apples in the rice dish give it a lovely sweetness that wasn’t offset by my light hand in seasoning the fish. Will add more spice next time. I’m also eager to try the rice with chicken.

But that will be another day. Now I’m off to prepare my other new favorite food combo: vanilla yogurt with a sprinkling of mini-chocolate chips! :)

19 thoughts on “Companion Foods…and a Couple of Recipes

  1. That rice dish looks yummy! I'll have to try it sometime. I love chips and salsa soooooo much, I can't bring myself to dip veggies in salsa yet. I just avoid salsa for dipping altogether. I do use it on eggs though.

  2. For dinner tonight I had a cheeseburger (no bun) and a huge amount of green bean fries. My husband even likes them now! I eat PB with apples all the time or thinly spread on bread thins, no more jelly. I haven't encountered the other combos yet but don't like celery and have never understood biscuits and gravy!!

  3. I have veggies with my meals when I can. And instead of pizza and soda, I have pizza and juice or water.

  4. I was thinking YUM LOVE EATING HEALTHY LOVELOVELOVE and then was left with:
    oooh Id forgotten those minichips :)
    I do love me some minichipage.

  5. Major yum. Love those new food companions.

    The ones I'm loving right now?
    Hummus with cucumber discs
    Almonds mixed with honey & NF greek yogurt.


  6. Bagel with cream cheese!

    I used to get sugary, enriched bagels topped with sweet cream cheese. Now I go for whole grain and light cream cheese.

  7. I love the idea of salsa with celery! That's a great combination, maybe even carrots?

  8. I really like hard boiled eggs and hummus together. I know it sounds strange, but it is very, very good.

    I like the idea of the apples and cranberries added to rice; I will try that for sure.

    I USED to love chocolate ice cream and grape soda together as a float. I don't see myself finding a healthy alternative to that!

  9. You have NO idea how excited I am right now. Chips have been my toughest junk food to kick. I've never been able to find a suitable substitute. If celery and salsa are as good as I think they will be, then I owe you a giant hug.

  10. My husband eats cheese with banana pudding. Doesn't that just sound groce. Thanks for the reminder to get own with it. Don't give up on me. Now I'm off to get the tilipa recipe.

  11. oooh I like the idea of celery and salsa! My favorite salsa (an olive kind) is only 10 cals per serving. It's those damn chips that pack on the pounds.

    My favorite combo food… That's a tough one but I'll have to say strawberry shortcake with vanilla ice cream. So, so bad and so, so fattening. And of course I couldn't stop at just one serving. And my "servings" were much bigger than they should have been in the first place!

  12. I love the salsa! I like to dip all kinds of things in that!

    I make a pretty good extra lean turkey meatloaf that I love. I think we can tweak a lot of reipes if we put our mind to it. Now, if only I was a good cook! :-)

  13. also another "love the celery and salsa" idea… great one! lots of great ideas here…

    not so much the banana pudding and cheese tho. ugh.

    tis good to catch up with you, Cammy!

  14. My old stand by was always Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches!

    My new go together is the Thomas Bagel thins with Laughing Cow cheese.

    I had tried to respond using my Crackberry, but it was just too complicated for me to figure out. :)

  15. I like to have the original whenever I want it and to add time to my workout. But I also don't tend to want completely unhealthy originals all too often. My fave combo is pizza and beer. But I load up on veggies on the pizza, so at least I get some nutritional value out of it. And I prefer sw pot fries to reg fries, so maybe that mitigates a bit of the damage when I want a burger and fries. But if I really want it, I eat it and focus on burning it off!

  16. Mmmm recipe looks great! I'm big on tweaking… I can healthify just about any "treat", heh. I still ocassionally have the real thing, but it's nice that I can "indulge" in a healthier version more frequently (air-popped popcorn, homemade muffins sweetened with fruit so I don't need to add extra fats/sugars… yummy!).

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