Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Daily Grind

A few years ago, when I was writing a monthly newsletter, I had a column on Saints.  I was raised Lutheran, and we didn't talk about Saints.  As an adult, I became interested in the lives of the apostles of Jesus.  In my research, I found a book entitled 365 Saints:  Your Daily Guide To The Wisome and Wonder Of Their Lives by Woodeene Koenig-Bricker.  I became fascinated with this book about normal people and how their faith, their actions, their teachings and their just being have been recognized by the Catholic Church. 

The saint for today, August 13th, is St Benildus.  The title of the short essay is The Daily Grind.  Truth be told, my first thoughts went to coffee - I am a Seattle Starbucks kinda gal afterall.  Anyway, the first sentence in the essay asks "Do you sometimes feel you just can't stand another minute of the same old thing?"  Oh yeah, been there, done that.  Sometimes life is like that.  You get up, you go to work, you come home, you fix dinner, you sit for a bit, and you go to bed, only to wake up and do the same thing over and over.  And then you wonder why.  Sometimes we get the answer to that question, and sometimes we don't.  But there is something to be said for dedication to doing the same old same old.  The lives we touch.  The examples we set.  The care we give to what we do.  These all are meaningful acts.

The author of the essay finishes with this thought:

" St Benildus shows us it isn't the monumental highlights that make a saint.  It's daily life.  The sacrifices we make for our loved ones, the discipline we exercise in doing our jobs, even when we don't feel like it - these are the actions that transform our souls.  These are the actions that can change ordinary life from a daily grind into a heavenly experience."

So, sit back and enjoy a cup of coffee (or beverage of your choice) and look for ways to transform this day, and every day, into a positive experience.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Low Carb Muffin in a Minute (or Muffin in a Mug)

Found this recipe on the Atkins website.  I'm experimenting with the amount of sweetness as I like a sweet muffin, but made as is, it is pretty darn good.  Easy to make for a quick breakfast treat.

1/4 cup flaxseed meal
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 packet granular sugar substitute
1 tsp cinnamon
1 large egg
1 tsp butter, melted

Put dry ingredients in a mug and stire.  Add egg and butter.  Mix.  Cook in microwave for 1 minute or more.

Net carbs:  3.2 grams
Protein:  12.2 grams

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Checking in - 2 months later

My oh my, I can't believe it has been 2 months since I last posted a comment or random thought here.

For those of you following my weight loss progression, I'm hovering between 155 - 157 lbs.  I was hoping to be down further, but that's the way it goes.  As I came off the HCG phase 3, I found it easier to switch to an Atkins type protocol.  I try to limit my daily net carbs to 20.  To figure net carbs, you take the carb count and subtract out the dietary fiber and the sugar alcohols.  I've been doing this for a while now, and maintaining.  My typical diet goes like this:

Breakfast:  1 egg and 2-4 slices of bacon.  Or left overs from dinner the night before.  Or an Atkins bar.

Lunch:  Sliced turkey or shrimp or a hamburger patty.

Snack:  Handful of roasted almonds, 2 slices of string cheese.  A glass of red wine or a can of club soda.

Dinner:  A protein source - we tend to stick to grilled chicken, ground beef, steak or fish.  A salad and/or vegetable.  Maybe some cottage cheese.  And a few days a week, some fruit.

It doesn't sound very balanced, does it?  It doesn't feel balanced.  For the rest of the summer, I think I'm just going to eat basically what I want.  I know I need to stay away from flour products, rice, pasta and potatoes on a daily basis.  Sure, I splurge now and then, mostly on something sweet made with flour (pie, cookies, etc).  I've kind of lost my taste for potatoes, but an occasional french fry or grilled red potato is nice.

Our weather here in the Pacific Northwest as just started to improve, so I am wanting to get back to my daily walking plan.  I feel better when I do.  I think better when I do.

Mostly these last two months, I've just been working on my own shit.  Reaffirming my spiritual base and letting go of old hurts and angers that no longer serve me.  Well, technically, they never served me, but that's just all part of the lesson.  I'm feeling the need to pull back.  I'm limiting my Facebook time because I find that people inadvertantly make comments that push my buttons.  Nothing anyone says to me personally, but just random things I read that set me off on a negative thinking streak.  I found it better just to avoid the triggers.  I spend a good portion of my day with one of my grandsons, and the blessings are always compounded when my other grandson joins us, or my honorary grandson visits.  I watch a lot of TV, play word games on my Kindle as well as Bejeweled Blitz, and read.  If you are a workaholic (as I have been in the past), you'd look at my life now and either be jealous or think that I was depressed/lazy/out of my mind.  I'm happy doing nothing.  It's the perfect place for me to be at this time of my life.

If feel the writing bug itching away at me again, so perhaps I will check in here more often.  I will leave you today with this one piece of advice - one I'm sure you've heard before - but needs repeating because sometimes we out-think ourselves.  Trust your gut - Never ignore a hunch - Pay attention to your intuition.  And just be happy!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Recipe Collection: Fried Daikon Radish

Fried Daikon Radish (adapted from Dr Atkin's New Diet Cookbook)

Peel the radish.  Grate radish using the larger holed grater.  Heat about 1/4" olive oil in a hot skillet - I used a cast iron skillet.  Add garlic powder to taste.  When the oil is hot, add grated radish.  Pack down evenly around the skillet.  Flip when the bottoms brown.  Use caution as brown to black goes much faster than raw to brown.  I think it is about 10 minutes per side.  When the other side is browned, remove radish from pan onto layers of paper towels to soak up extra oil.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

If you are trying a low carb diet and missing potatoes - this is a great alternative.  I would cook them again in a heartbeat - even for breakfast with fried eggs.  With the oil used, it is probably neither low calorie or low fat, but I haven't done the calculations.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Recipe Collection: Tangy Vinegar Chicken

I got a 2 thumbs up for the chicken tonight from the husband.  It was a little too tangy for me.  If I make it again, I will brown the breasts in a little olive oil with the garlic and onion, but cook in the broth and half the vinegar the recipe called for.  The recipe comes from the HCG Diet Gourmet Cookbook.

Tangy Vinegar Chicken

100 grams chicken breast  (I cut the breast into smaller pieces)
1/4  cup chicken brother
1/4 apple cider vinegar
2 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs minced chopped onion
1 clove garlic minced
salt and pepper to taste

Combine chicken stock, vinegar, onion, garlic, salt and pepper in a sauce pan and warm.  Add chicken and cook thoroughly.  Deglaze pan if necessary with water and/or chicken broth.

Note:  I just realized I forgot to add the lemon juice listed in the ingredients.  But I also see that the author did not include the lemon juice in the instructions either.  I assume it should be added with the rest of the liquids.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Recipe Collection: Roasted Radishes

Roasted Radishes - A recipe I found on a website somewhere and jotted down.

4-5 bunchs/bags of red radishes - cleaned and sliced

On a baking sheet or baking pan (I used a glass pan, but next time I will use a cookie sheet with sides), toss radishes with olive oil (or use 1/4 chicken broth if you want a low fat option).  Season with rosemary and salt.  Bake at 350, stirring every 10-15 minutes, until browned.  Serve warm or cold.

I think I used too much olive oil as they took almost an hour to brown, and they were still pretty oily.  I will try this again because although you know it isn't fried potatoes - it's not too far off.  The sharpness of the radish disappears with cooking, apparently.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Recipe Collection: Curry Chicken

Curry Chicken - From the HCG Diet Gourmet Cookbook

3.5 oz chicken breast,cubed
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 tsp curry powder (or to taste)
Pinch of tumeric
Dash of garlic powder
Dash of onion powder
1 tbs onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and Pepper to taste
Stevia to taste
Cayenne to taste

Dissolve spices in the chicken broth in a saucepan and heat.  Add Chicken, onion, garlic and chicken and heat.  Add a little stevia to taste if you like sweet curry.  (I doubled the recipe as I was cooking for 2 and added 4 drops of stevia)  Sautee chicken in liquid until fully cooked and the liquid is reduced by half.

I added a handful of sliced mushrooms to the recipe and it was very good!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Recipe Collection: Beef and Cabbage Soup, and Chicken Paprika

The beef and cabbage soup was very good. I'd probably use 1/2 the amount of cabbage the recipe suggests, and I did add a handful of sliced mushrooms. The chicken paprika was okay.   Both recipes come from the hCG Gourmet Cookbook.

Beef and Cabbage Soup

3.5 oz lean ground beef
1 1/2 cups of cabbage
2 cups beef broth
2 tbs Bragg's liquid
2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1 tbs onion, chopped
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp rosemary
Cayenne, salt and pepper to taste.

Note:  This recipe can be made using chicken and chicken broth as well.  Feel free to play around with spice combinations that you prefer.

Chicken Paprika

3.5 oz chicken (I used chicken tenderloin strips)
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 tbs tomato paste
1 tsp paprika
1 tbs red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed and minced
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste

Combine broth, chicken, garlic and onion, and bring to a low broil.  Stir in tomato paste and spices, and reduce heat to a simmer.  Let simmer 20 - 30 minutes until chicken is cooked.

Note:  For me, this recipe made a lot of sauce that went to waste.  If I make it again, I would use half the paprika, and substitute maybe 2 oz tomato juice for the tomato paste..

Monday, April 4, 2011

Recipe Collection: Middle Eastern Spiced Chicken

The Middle Eastern Spiced Chicken was very good.  I will make it again, next time sauteeing the spices in ghee before adding the rest of the ingredients.  The recipe comes from the HCG Gourmet Cookbook.

Middle Eastern Spiced Chicken

3.5 oz chicken breast
1 1/2 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1/4 tsp allspice
Dash of cumin
Dash of cinnamon
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine spices with liquid ingredients.  Bring to a boil.  Add tomatoes and chicken.  Simmer for 20-30 minutes, until chicken is cooked.

Note:  I was cooking for 2 and substituted a can of diced tomatoes for the fresh ones.  I didn't drain them first, but when I make it again, I would drain them.  I will probably experiment with additional Indian spices the next time.  It was a very good meal!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Recipe Collection: Ground Chicken Vegetable Soup

Whew!  The steak mix up from yesterday did not result in a weight gain!

Weigh in:  157.4 lbs.  A loss is a loss is a loss.  So yay for me!

Betsy's Ground Chicken Vegetable Soup

1 lb ground chicken (I used a 1/2 tsp of coconut oil to coat the pan, but Pam would work too)
2 slices of onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
1 quart chicken broth
1/2 - 1 tsp coconut oil

The following spices to taste (I don't always measure but I think I used approximately 1/2 - 1 tsp each):

Garlic powder

Crumble and brown the ground chicken.  Add to soup pot.  In the same pan used to brown the chicken, add 1/2 - 1 tsp coconut oil (I would use Ghee next time) and allow it to melt.  Add the spices (except the salt) and saute until you can smell the aroma - about 2-3 minutes.  Add the chopped celery and chopped onion.  Cook on low until vegetables soften.  Add this to the chicken in the soup pot.  Add the diced tomatoes to the soup pot along with the chicken broth.  Add salt (and pepper if you like) to taste.  Cook on low for about 15-20 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Recipe Collection: Cinnamon Chicken

The Cinnamon Chicken was a new recipe.  I baked it early in the day when I had time and then reheated it for dinner.  I think it would have tasted better eaten straight from the oven, not quite so soggy.  The original recipe called for crushed melba toast, but I substituted crushed pork rinds - That melba toast is a bitch to crush.  The recipe comes from the HCG Gourmet Diet Cookbook.

100 grams of chicken (I use 2 small chicken tenderloins)
1 serving melba toast crumbs  (I used about 10 pork rinds for 2 servings)
1/2 cup chicken broth (Having an 'oh duh' moment - when I doubled the recipe for 2 servings, I didn't double the chicken broth)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of cardamom
1/8 tsp curry powder
Dash of garlic powder
salt, pepper and stevia to taste.

Regarding spices - I'm not one to measure.  I eyeball it.  I'm not sure what the difference is between a dash and a pinch.  Because I like garlic, I added approximately the same amount of garlic powder.  I did not add stevia.  Next time, I may add some tumeric.

Mix the dry spices in a small bowl.  Crush melba toast into fine crumbs.  And 1/2 of the spice mix to the melba toast crumbs. Dip the chicken in the broth, then in the melba toast mixture (next time I would probably do this shake and bake style with a ziplock bag).  Place the coated chicken in a shallow baking pan.  Add the other 1/2 of the spices to the chicken broth, and add to baking dish.  Use any left over melba toast mixture to cover the top of the chicken pieces.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

I would make this again - I wonder how it would taste if I substituted almond meal for the crushed crumbs?  .

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Recipe Collection: Choux Glorieux (Glorified Cabbage)

This is a recipe that I got from my mother.  I've included 2 versions.   Note that I substitute pork rinds for the breadcrumbs.

1 medium head of cabbage chopped fine
1 onion chopped
1/2 stick of butter
1/2 lb of Velvetta (yes they still make it - I found it in the cracker aisle) cubed
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup bread crumbs (or ground pork rinds)
Seasoning to taste

Steam cabbage.  Saute onions in butter until limp.  Add Velvetta.  Stir until melted.  Add cream of mushroom soup and stir until blended.  Add cabbage and stir.  Add crumbs and season to taste.  Put in a casserole dish, sprayed with Pam, and bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

Alternate version:

1 medium head of cabbage chopped fine
1 onion chopped
1-2 tbsp olive or coconut oil for sauteeing (or spray pan with Pam)
1-2 cups grated sharp cheddar
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup bread crumbs (or ground pork rinds)
Seasoning to taste

Steam cabbage.  Saute onions until limp/clear.  Add soup and grated cheese to pan, and stir until combined and cheese is melted.  Add cabbage and crumbs, and stir to combine.  Season to taste.  Place in casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

Other adaptions: 

1.  Leave out crumbs all together - they don't add that much to the dish, in my opinion.
2.  My mom avoided fat whenever possible.  She used the Velvetta recipe, but she used dehydrated onions which she combined with the mushroom soup and cheese and heated that up.  Then she added the cabbage.  Seasoned it and put it in the casserole for baking.

I've had this dish in all the ways described.  It all tastes pretty good, I think.  Even our 10 year old grandson said it was the best ever - okay, not as good as canned green beans, but it was close!  Gotta love kids!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Recipe Collection: Best Ever Meatballs, Ranch Chicken, Shrimp Tidbits

Best Ever Meatballs

1 14oz can of Jellied Cranberry Sauce
1 12oz bottle of Heinz Chili Sauce
1 2lb bag of frozen, precooked cocktail size meatballs

Combine suaces in a large pan.  Sitr and cook over medium low heat until smooth.  Add meatballs.  Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until meatballs are heated through, stirring occasionally.

Ranch Chicken

4 chicken breasts
1 pkg Hidden Valley Ranch dressing packet (dry)
4-8 slices of bacon

Wash and pat dry chicken.  Put the dry dressing contents into a large zip lock bag.  Add chicken and shake.  (Or you can whish some eggs, dip the chicken in the eggs and then dredge in the dry dressing).   Wrap uncooked bacon around the chicken pieces.  Place in a baking pan sprayed with Pam.  Cook uncovered for 20 - 30 minutes (or until done - depending on thickness of breasts) at 350 degrees.

Shrimp Tidbits

A family favorite!

1 block of Cream Cheese (we use the 1/3 less fat kind)
1 lb little shrimp cooked
Seafood Cocktail Sauce

Mix the shrimp with the cocktail sauce.  Plop on top of the cream cheese.  Serve with crackers (Wheat Thins are the best). 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Recipe Collection: Angel Wings, Cabbage Patch Soup, Caraway Beef Stew, Angel (Chicken) Wings

Angel Wings (from the Low Carb Comfort Food Cookbook)

20 chicken wings (or really any parts - I used wings and legs)
1 1/2 cup grated Parmesean cheese (the dry in a can type, not freshly grated)
1 tsp dry chopped parsely
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tsp white pepper (I used black - I didn't have any white pepper and at $9+ per small jar, I decided black was fine)
1 cup butter, melted (I used only 1/2 cup - I'm sure a cup would have been dandy, but I have a family member on Weight Watchers and I was accomodating her)

Wash chicken and pat dry with paper towels.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease an oven proof baking dish or two (allow room for all the pieces with space inbetween) with olive or coconut oil.
In a side shallow bowl, combine dry ingredients, and mix well.  Put the melted butter in a separate bowl.  Dip chicken in melted butter first, then in dry ingredients, turning to coat all sides.  Bake uncovered for 45 - 60 minutes (originally recipe says 60, but my oven cooks hot and they were done in about 45 - 50 minutes).

This recipe is a bit like shake and bake, but much better - plus you control the ingredients.

Cabbage Patch Soup 

Brown 1 - 2 lbs lean ground beef/ground sirloin in a fry pan.  Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste.  Put the browned meat in a large soup pot.  Saute 1 small chopped onion and 3 stalks of chopped celery in a little coconut oil, unless the onions are clear and the celery is soft.  Add to the soup pot.  Now add 1 box of low sodium beef broth (the large size), 2 tsps dry beef boullion (or up to 4 cubes) 2 cans of diced tomatoes, 1-2 tsp chili powder.  Heat to boil and then reduce to simmer, and cook 1 hour.  Then add 1/2 head cabbage chopped to soup and cook another hour.  Add additional seasoning to taste.  I always think it needs more chili powder and more salt.

This can be made in a crock pot as well.  Cabbage can be added at the start if you like.  Do brown meat, onions and celery first though.

Grilled cheese sandwhiches for those that can have carbs makes a good additional to the meal.

Beef Caraway Stew  (From The Low Carb Comfort Food Cookbook)

2 TBS  oil
2-3 lbs beef stew meat  (I'd say closer to 2 if you are feeding 4-6 adults)
2 TBS paprika
1 TBS caraway seeds (My family thought this was too strong, so unless you like caraway, maybe try 1 tsp)
1 TBS dried marjoram
2 tsp salt
10 small yellow onions, sliced (I used pearl onions, but I spent more than I wanted to.  I would use 1 sweet yellow onion, sliced)
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 TBS lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)
1 TBS flour
1 TBS tomato paste  (I didn't have any tomato paste, so I substituted 1 can of diced tomatoes added directly to the cooking pot)

In a dutch oven or stew pot, brown the meat on all sides in the melted oil.  In a small bowl, combine the paprika, caraway seeds, marjoram and salt, and mix well.  Add 1/2 of this mixture to the pot, once the meat is browned on all sides.  Add the onions, red wine and lemon juice.  Stir to blend.  Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender, about 2 hours. 

Once the meat is tender, remove 1/2 cup liquid from the pot and put it in a small jar.  Add the remaining spices, the flow and tomato paste (Note:  I added a can of dice tomatoes to the pot, in lieu of tomato paste.  I'm guessing one could substitute ketchup if you wanted).  Shake mixture and add to pot.  Stir to blend and simmer 15 minutes more.

My experience was that the meat was not as tender as I would have liked.  I think I would try this in a crock pot next time and let it cook all day on low, adding the last mixture 30 minutes before serving and turning the heat up to high.  I'd also offer a side of sour cream to add to the dish.

I made little red potatoes for my carb eaters and foil steamed cabbage to go along. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Recipe Collection - Flank Steak Marinade and Baked Cauliflower (Phase 3 recipes)

Flank Steak Marinade

3 TSB red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic crushed
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 TBS Bragg's
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

Combine ingredients in a large zip lock bag.  Add 1-2 lbs of flank steak, and marinade 2-4 hours or longer.  I did overnight.  Turn bag over every few hours when you think of it.  Broil or grill 3-4 minutes per side for rare, 4-5 for medium, etc.  Allow to sit a few minutes before slicing.  Slice thin.  Left overs make a great mid day snack if you are a little hungry and need something to take the edge off.

Baked Cauliflower

2 TBS coconut oil, olive oil or butter
1/2 onion chopped/minced
3 cloves garlic chopped or crushed
2 cups cauliflower, chopped
2 eggs or 1/2 cup egg beaters
1 cup grated parmesean
handful chopped cooked bacon (approximately 5 slices)

Saute onions and garlic in oil/butter.  When they begin to brown, add cauliflower.  Sautee 1-2 minutes.  Transfer to bowl.  Add eggs, cheese and bacon.  Transfer to baking dish that has been sprayed with Pam.  Bake at 350 for 45 - 60 minutes. 

This recipe is from Dr Atkin's New Diet Cookbook.  Their directions say 60 minutes for baking.  My oven cooks warm, and I took it out at about 45 minutes.  The family loved it!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Recipe Collection: Dry Rub Roast and Roasted Vegetables

Dry Rub Roast

1 sirloin tip roast (2-4 lbs)
dry rub mix without sugar

The night before, rinse and pat dry the roast.   Using a dry rub mix (see the spice section at your local grocery or make your own), rub the mix into the meat on all sides.  This is not just sprinkling it on.  You must rub it into the meat.  Wrap and put back in the refrigerator. 

You will need one hour for the roast to cook, plus 15 minutes standing time, plus 2 hours at the start to allow the roast to come to room temperature.  So 3 1/2 hours before the planned dinner time, remove roast from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature. Put in a roast pan and roast at 325 - 350 for one hour.  Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness.  We like our meat medium rare, so I removed the roast when it reached about 130 degrees.  It will continue cooking during the standing time.  Let stand 15-20 minutes lightly covered, which makes it easier to slice.

Roasted Vegetables

Any assortment of vegetables will do.  I use brussel sprouts, onions, mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, zucchini.  Adding some chopped fennel/anise gives this dish a very nice taste - I often use anise in the place of onions.  Place on a  shallow baking pan covered with foil.  Drizzle lightly with balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, or coconut oil.  Use seasonings to taste - I use salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Roast at 350 for 20-30 minutes.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Recipe Collection: Chicken Cordon Bleu

OMG, the chicken cordon bleu turned out so good.  I got the recipe from a cookbook called The Hungry Girl. 

Chicken Cordon Bleu

1 chicken breast, washed and dried, and pounded to 1/4"
1 wedge Laughing Cow Lite cheese
2 paper thin slices of low fat ham (the cheap lunch meat package is what I used)

Lay out pounded chicken breast.  Spread cheese on top.  Put ham slices on top of this.  Roll up like a blintz and secure with a wooden toothpick.  Back in a baking dish, sprayed with Pam, covered in foil for 20 minutes.   Remove foil and cook an additional 15 minutes.

Note:  I made these regular size portions for the rest of the family.  For me, I cut the breast in half, used half a wedge on each, and 1 slice of ham.  This way I had one portion for dinner last night and one portion for lunch tomorrow.  I made 8 regular portions, plus my 2 little ones, and I extended the cooking time by 5 minutes.  It was so good - even the 10 year old was impressed.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Recipe Collection: Crab and Shrimp Fry

The Crab and Shrimp recipe is adapted from Caroline Sutherland's Crab and Shrimp Cakes recipe in her The Body Knows Cookbook.  I served it on sliced English Muffins topped with cheese for the rest of the family.  It got thumbs up all around.  I limited my portion to 3.5 oz.

1 lbs cooked crab (I used imitation crab/surimi  and my crab loving daughter said it was good - she couldn't tell)
1 lb cooked little shrimp
1 cup pork rinds, crushed
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp curry powder
1 clove garlic minced
1/2 red onion, minced
2-4 tsp low fat mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix crab, shrimp, garlic and onions.  Add in pork rinds and mix some more.  In a separate bowl, mix mayonaise with cumin, curry powder, salt and pepper.  Mix with crab and shrimp mixture. 

Heat this mixture in 2 tsp of coconut oil on medium heat until warm. 

Initially, I tried to make these into cakes, but I could not get the mixture to stay together.  I'm guessing it had more to do with the crushed pork rinds than anything.  The original recipe calls for crushed rice crackers.  I may have needed 2 cups of crushed pork rinds.  I may try this again, leaving out the mayo this time and heating the spices in 2 tbsp of coconut oil, then adding the onion and garlic to soften before adding the shrimp and crab.

Recipe Collection: Inside Out Cheeseburger

Inside Out Cheeseburger  (2 servings)

8 oz ground sirloin/lowest fat hamburger available
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp Worchestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Mix above together with hands, and form into 2 thick patties/meatballs.  Make a thumb sized indentation/crater in the top of the patty, being careful not to have a donut hole when you are through.  Take 1 wedge of low fat/lite Laughing Cow soft cheese.  Divide it in half.  Put a half in each of the holes.  Pinch the top of the meat over the cheese, and flatten the meatball to make a patty.  Cheese should not be seen through on either side.  Grill or pan fry in nonstick skillet.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Recipe Collection: Turkey Balls

The turkey ball recipe is an adaption from the one in Caroline Sutherland's book, The Body Knows Cookbook.

Turkey Balls

2 stalks of celery, finely sliced/chopped
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 tsp Spike or similar seasoning blend
1 lb ground turkey
1 tbsp Braggs

Sautee the onion and celery in a pan sprayed with Pam, until the celery is soft and the onions clear.  I added just a little coconut oil to the pan as well.  Add the seasonings to the cooking vegetables.  (I think the recipe needs more salt - but that is my personal taste.  I don't have high blood pressure, so I don't feel I need to limit my salt intake).  Mix ground turkey and Braggs in a bowl.  Add veggies.  Mix/mush with hands (spraying a little Pam on your hands helps).  Form into balls, and fry in a pan with a little coconut oil.

Note:  Caroline's recipe calls for 1 medium carrot in place of the onion.  She uses olive oil instead of coconut oil.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Recipe Collection: Tuna Patties

Tuna Patties:
1 can albacore tuna in water
1/2 onion chopped
1 small clove garlic chopped (or a dash of garlic powder - probably 1/8 - 1/4 tsp)
1/4 tsp thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg or 1 egg's worth of eggbeaters
2 - 3 tsp coconut oil

Drain and flake the tuna in a bowl.  Add onions, garlic and seasonings.  Mix well.  Mix in egg (the recipe actually called for 2 eggs - I used just 1 and it was fine.  I would have used Eggbeaters if I had some on hand).  Melt coconut oil in frying pan, medium high heat.  Drop spoonfuls of tuna mixture in patty form into hot oil.  This should make about 4 patties.  Flatten with a spatula and cook for 3-4 minutes per side.  When browned, remove from pan, put on paper towels to drain.  

The original recipe called also for adding 12 chopped pecans.