Showing posts from January, 2009

Hoisin Orange Chicken Wraps

Who says we can't have sandwiches on game day? Okay, we can't if we're being good. But, we can have these wraps! Take my word for it, these are delicious, but heed the advice about the napkins! I'm warning you. Dice up that chicken very fine. Use a processor, especially if you're a new bandster. I didn't dice fine enough and I put more than one ounce into a wrap! OUCH! Because I'm a new bandster, I cut up a wrap into slices. It was messy, but it allowed me to enjoy the wrap without shoving too much down my greedy gullet.

Tropical Fiesta Steaks

Right click on the picture to save the recipe. You knew that, right? Okay...

251- Cheesy Herb and Beef Bites for Game Day

Who says you can't have snacks on game day? Hogwash! Here's one with ZERO carbs!

New England Boiled Dinner for a Crock Pot

Serving this delightful winter dish is a real treat in our home. If you can't find corned beef right now, be patient. It's traditional around St. Patrick's Day, so the groceries will stock it soon.

1 2-2.5 pound corned beef brisket
1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
2 medium red potatoes, quartered (You may substitute regular Irish potatoes, but peel them before quartering.)
3 medium carrots, cut into coins
2 medium parsnips, cut into coins (You may peel, if desired. I don't.)
1 medium cabbage, cut into wedges
1 medium onion, cut into wedges

Trim fat from the meat. Note: if your brisket comes with a packet of spices, you may do without the peppercorns and bay leaves listed above. Place all vegetables except cabbage at bottom of crock pot. Place meat on top. Add spices, either from packet provided or as listed. Put the cabbage on top of all. Pour in enough water to cover the meat, but not the cabbage. Cover the crock pot and turn on Low. Walk away for 6-8 hours.


Ham Cups with Egg

Let's go for something simple this morning. While normally, you might make one at a time, you can make four of these and keep them handy for when you need to "nuke and go" in the morning.

Oven 350F
Recipe for four servings (Easy to make individual servings, too!)

4 thin slices cooked ham. (Yes, those deli slices work, but if too thin, double up.)
4 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
4 tsp. heavy cream
Shredded cheese, snipped herbs (like chives), or a tsp of leftover cooked (mushie) veggie (optional)

1. Lightly spray four 6-ounce custard cups or use your muffin pan. Place on a baking sheet. Line each cup with a slice of ham, pleating meat to fit.

2. Carefully break 1 egg into the center of the ham cup. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour 1 tsp of cream over each egg.

Alternate: Break egg into small mixing bowl and whisk cream into egg and pepper for a "scrambled" effect. If you don't own a whisk, feel free to use a fork.

3. If desired, add cheese, herbs or vegetable. Cover…

PBJ Cookies on my Diet? You Betcha!

Again, South Beach saves me from a dreaded snack attack! Now if I could just keep to two cookies, which is a serving.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes Start to Finish: 30 minutes Serves: 12 (2-piece servings)
Who would believe you could get such a delectable cookie out of such a simple process and with so few ingredients? (That's right; there's no flour!)

The not-too-sweet, deep nutty flavor — topped with a touch of fruit — is perfect for kids young and old. These cookies are so good that I need to remind you to limit yourself to one serving!

3/4 cup granular sugar substitute
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup creamy trans-fat-free peanut butter
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sugar-free jam, any flavor

Nutritional Information:
140 calories
11 g total fat (2.5 g sat)
7 g carbohydrate
6 g protein
1 g fiber
210 mg sodium

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Mix sugar substitute, egg, and vanilla with an …

South Beach Sausage and Cheese Breakfast Cups

Giving credit where credit is due, South Beach has provided me with some excellent recipes to supplement the others I get from I so needed a "quickie" breakfast I could eat and run with, though I may divide each "muffin" in half. I can't eat that much! Or maybe I'll fill 12 muffin pan cups instead of six. Hmm...

Sausage-and-Cheese Breakfast Cups (Phase 1)
Makes 6 servings

These egg "muffins" make a hearty breakfast that can be eaten on the run. Make them ahead and warm them in the microwave for a fast and slimming breakfast treat.

4 ounces turkey sausage or crumbled turkey bacon
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/4 onion, chopped
5 large eggs
1 can (12 ounces) sliced mushrooms, drained
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 6-cup nonstick muffin pan with cooking spray or line with paper baking cups.
In a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, cook the …

253-- I'm Scaring Myself

Okay, I admit it. I've been anal. No surprise there, right? I've been stepping on the bathroom scale every morning and sometimes at night. Is it any wonder that I'm not seeing much in the way of results anymore? I keep expecting the same phenomenal weight loss I had when on liquids only, and that's not reasonable. Two pounds a week is reasonable. Ten is not.

I also know better than to think I won't step on that scale every morning. I'm paranoid about gaining even one pound now that I can eat solid foods again. The terror strikes every time I put a morsel of food in my mouth.

So, I'm changing my subject lines. Instead of counting the days since surgery --which I was losing track of anyways-- I'll note what I weighed that morning. Since I don't blog every day, I'll see the steady downward turn of the pounds.

Hopefully, that will stop this unreasoning and needless fear.

Efficient Meal Prep

By doing things ahead, you’ll shave a few extra minutes off your cooking time in the evening. There’s a reason those TV chefs have everything all set up and measured out before they actually cook. You can do that same thing.

1. Read the recipe in the morning! Check for those do-ahead things like marinating the meat for X number of hours, or the rice has to be pre-cooked. Check now, so you aren't surprised tonight. Now you have time to pop by the store if you need to. Get out those non-perishable ingredients like the frozen meat, the veggies, and any eggs that need to come to room temperature. I store all these in the oven and out of sight until I'm ready to cook.

2. Get out your ingredients and make sure you have everything you need in the quantities you’ll need. There's nothing worse than getting halfway through a recipe only to find out you're out of a critical ingredient. Line them up on the counter in the order you'll need them.

3. Can any of the ingredients go i…

Get the Most Out of Winter Veggies

First part is from the South Beach Diet website:

If you're following healthy eating principles, chances are you're shopping for great-tasting fresh fruits and vegetables. During the winter, this can be a frustrating experience in many parts of the country. Tasteless tomatoes, unripe strawberries, and avocados priced like precious gems are just some of the typical complaints about produce.

Your favorite fruits and veggies are either out of season or they come with a hefty price tag. So, should you give up on them until the spring thaw? Of course not! Here are three steps to help you avoid the winter produce woes.

1. Buy seasonal produce. Readily available winter fruits include oranges, grapefruit, apples, and pears. Zero in on always-tasty winter vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celery root, fennel, spinach, mushrooms, kale, chicory, leeks, Swiss chard, and collard greens.

2. Shop the frozen-foods aisle. Believe it or not, some nutrients (like vi…

Day 13-- Where'd the Spiders Go?

Okay, another small non-scale triumph from shower time. I'd already noted my feet did not swell nearly so much lately, despite a lot of walking lately. I'd grinned and moved on. That was expected. The doc had promised, and it was true. Cool beans.

What I didn't expect was what I saw --or rather, didn't see-- when I dried my legs this morning after my shower. Where'd the spider veins go? My feet, ankles, and legs used to be covered in blue and red spider veins and varicose veins, as if my three-year-old granddaughter had colored me with her magic markers.

One particularly nasty set of both varicose and spider covered an area the size of two silver dollars on my right leg, on the inside calf. It's almost gone! Yes, there's a pale blue bruise, but nothing compared to the hideous mark I've worn for years.

Excited and curious, I replaced my right leg with my left on the toilet top where I'd been drying my legs. My left has been the bane of my existence for …

Day 12 A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Fridge

Tonight I cooked a meal I couldn't have: pork chops with an apricot sauce, despite the fact it's low carb. My healing isn't done, and even chicken still presents difficulties passing the stoma. While my DH and roomie attacked the "normal" food, I hummed happily and turned to the fridge to find some mushies.

Then I stopped.

I was shocked to realize I wanted the veggies, but no meat. Was I nuts? Didn't I want a nice juicy slab of animal? Uh, no. Not really. I pondered this while I pulled out the kale, rutabaga, and broccoli I'd cooked a couple of days ago, deliberately overcooking them to the correct "mushie" stage.

Tsking over the limp and soggy state of the broccoli, I chose it first. Zapped in the microwave, that serving lasted me about the same amount of time as the guy's massive portions. (I'm really getting into this serving myself a la russe --one course at a time.)

The guys piled back into the kitchen and scooped great big second helpi…

Yummy Tuna Salad!

I'm already tired of soft foods, but like it or not, I'm stuck with this diet for awhile. After another lesson in paying attention to what I put in my mouth last night, I'm determined to behave.

Today, I mixed up this tuna salad:

2 oz tuna
1 T olive oil mayonnaise
2 T lime juice
1/4 tsp minced garlic (I buy those jars in the produce section)
black pepper to taste

Oh, it was marvelous! Thank goodness for a new taste!

Day 11--It's the Small Things

Wow, it's only 8 AM on a Monday, and I'm already experiencing the effects of being banded. First, I awakened on my stomach. As a tummy sleeper, finding myself comfortable in that position was a huge relief. I stretched until I felt my back do the Rice Krispie "snap, crackle, pop!" Whew! I've needed to do that for a long time.

I was also incredibly thirsty. I think I may already be less in need of my CPAP machine. Perhaps I'd better make an appointment with the specialist for more than a little finger stick this time. I'd love to get rid of the CPAP. It's been a friend who kept my marriage and heart from failing, but I'd really like to not be Darth Vader at night.

Shower time! I'm normally a "quickie" bather. Get in, get out. But today, I looked down and wondered if I might be able to reach my toes without using a stool to prop my feet on. So, I bend down, soap laden scrubbie in hand, and washed my feet! I did a toe touch! Then I almost…

The Joy of Mushies

Yesterday, I went to see Dr. Baptista for a surgical follow-up visit. My first fill isn't until Feb 5.

I'd been soldiering on despite the growing feeling of true hunger, and I'd begun to wonder if I'd make it until Saturday morning when I'd be allowed to eat soft foods according to the schedule provided by the doctor when I was released from the hospital after surgery.

Dr. Baptista gave me a proverbial pat on the head, very pleased I'd actually lost body fat as opposed to pure water. He also let me know my internal swelling was going down so quickly, he'd understand if I started to feel real hunger and started soft foods very carefully.

Okay, I admit it. I was starving to the point of desperation, so last night I had 1/2 cup of ricotta creme. I followed all the recommended procedures. Within an hour, at last, my hunger was down to a mere whimper instead of a roaring monster.

I've got to be very, very careful. I almost ate too much at lunch, and it's not…

Stocking Up on Veggies

Saturday starts my Soft Foods phase of learning to eat again. That means I'll be able to CHEW again! Whoo-hoo! I can't wait. I know the liquids were the only things that could pass the swollen and sore stoma from now until surgery, but damn you do miss the mouth feel of something solid to chew on.

So, today I'm taking the remaining fresh veggies from last week and cooking them. The kale, brocco-flower, rutabaga, cauliflower, and spinach will all be stored in the freezer as cooked veggies or they'll go bad before I can enjoy them in their usual steamed or raw forms. That's a week-plus a few days away at minimum. By cooking them, at least I can enjoy them very soon.

I can hardly wait. There's Turnip Fries already awaiting to titillate my eager taste buds in the freezer. They cook up tender, but I'll probably restrain myself until the middle of next week at the earliest to attempt them passing the stoma. The theory is, if you can't mash it to death with a fo…

Day 7 After Banding-- A Clothes Conundrum

OMG, more weight has fallen off me like I’m a melting snowman or something. For the first time in at least two years, when I stepped on my bathroom scale I didn’t have to do the math: “Hmm…Okay, when it passes the zero, that’s 260…so add what the scale says to 260…”

The scale says I weigh 257 lbs as of this morning. That’s still a significant loss since my banding.

Call me vain, but I’m most concerned about my clothes. I’m still swollen enough to need my “fat clothes” yet they hang off me like a clown suit anywhere but up front. Perhaps I’d better take a bit more time choosing my outfit today, since I have a visit with Dr. Baptista and a weigh-in.

I’d love to wear a certain suit I’ve not put on my body in two years, but I’m scared of being disappointed and humiliated again. Last time I tried to don this beloved denim suit, I couldn’t slide the pants past my thunder thighs, and the duster couldn’t get around the granny flab in my upper arms.

(sigh) Maybe I’d better resign myself to a perso…

Teaching An Old Dog New Tricks

Today is a milestone day on my little lap band journey. I'm now allowed regular liquids including meal replacement shakes instead of only clear liquids like broths. That's a biggie for me. I made the mistake of gulping a slug of my hot tea on Saturday evening, and paid in discomfort for a half hour thereafter, so I'm starting slowly with a cup of coffee ina Sippy cup.

Yes, I typed "a Sippy cup." You see, learning to eat in very tiny amounts requires some re-education. Besides learning not to take big mouthfuls of hot tea (or coffee, for that matter), I have to learn to sip delicately like a lady. Go ahead and laugh. I did. Me? Okay, so pain can teach an old dog new tricks.

However the Sippy cup resembles a sparkly purple travel coffee mug, I know what it is. My adult dignity is slightly offended by this ten-ounce cure to greedy gulping. I took out the plastic insert, but it still gives me some much needed control over what flows into my mouth. I need it, but I want…