Thursday, July 3, 2014
Chicken legs are a favorite in our house. And by our house, I mean 4ft. He loves chicken legs. And these are his favorite. Sweet, tangy, and best of all sticky. And I love that they're seriously easy to throw together and taste like they were major effort.
As 4ft was devouring his chicken he told me I should make them for Thanksgiving. That's my boy, always thinking ahead. I always start planning holiday meals in summer. What? Everyone does that, right? They don't? What's wrong with you people? It's more fun to start the stressing and food line-up in July. gives you lots of time to tweak on the whole process. I live for food tweaking. Doesn't everyone?
Anyway, So it got me thinking that turkey legs would be awesome roasted in this sauce too. I wonder if you can just buy turkey legs? If not, I wonder how much my family would complain if I roasted the whole bird in this sauce. I bet it would be amazing.
Great, now I want sticky turkey legs. Thanks a lot 4ft!
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
A hundred years ago (okay, so maybe it was only a month or two) my sister was bragging about making Bruschetta chicken and I was jealous. Since then I've whined about how she hasn't made it again and drove it to my house at least once a week. You'd think she'd cave and do just to shut me up, no such luck. She's as stubborn as me. Brat kid that she is.
Well last Friday, I found my Farm Fresh To You box on my porch filled with tomatoes. Heirloom (which unfortunately were mashed and bad -- damn them), slicing, and a huge basket filled with cherry tomatoes. HA! KELSEY! I can make my own Bruschetta chicken now and it's going to be better-er than yours. (No, no sibling rivalry here)
So on Saturday I sliced them in halves and marinated them in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, basil, parsley, and garlic. I was going to cook the dish on Sunday but I ended up going to an Origami Owl party (bought some super cute charms) and by the time I got home it was too late to cook. So I made it yesterday. It looks seriously impressive but really it's totally not that hard to make. I strongly urge you to marinate your tomatoes ahead of time. The longer they sit the more splendiferous they are. 4ft ate this. He hates tomatoes unless it's ketchup, barbecue sauce, or marinara and he inhaled this.
And yes, Kelsey, my Bruschetta chicken is better than yours because...
Everything is better with BACON!
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Jalapeno Popper Cauliflower Casserole is one of my favorite go to side dishes and you have got to try it! It's like mashed potatoes on steroids except like way better for you because it's made from cauliflower and not potatoes. It's a great side dish with grilled chicken or meat, or a main course with a salad, or as leftovers -- it's delicious rolled up in sliced turkey lunch meat.
4ft loves it and asks for it all the time. Even the husband who hates all things cauliflower says it's not bad and will eat it if it's there. The Littles thumb their noses up at it but they don't like mashed potatoes at all either and that's what they think it is.
Monday, June 9, 2014
OMB people! This stuff is like crack. I'm completely addicted. It's splendiferous all by itself but add it to some yogurt with fruit (my favorite being vanilla greek yogurt with fresh blueberries) and it's magically splendiferous. I can't get enough of it. It smells and tastes like banana bread with a crunchy granola texture. It's an entire mouth feel extravaganza (yeah, I've been watching cooking shows again...so?).
You should absolutely try this, but know up front you will be addicted. I've already hidden a couple bananas from Bear so they can get super gross ripe so I can make it again and I haven't even finished this batch yet. That's how good it is.
Thursday, June 5, 2014
I had planned on just throwing some barbecue sauce onto a couple chicken breasts and grilling them. Nothing fancy. Super easy. I really didn't feel like cooking anyway and calling for pizza for the family and drinking a protein shake was sounding better and better. Then...
My sister called. She started raving about this Bruschetta Chicken recipe she was going to make and how she'd been marinating grape tomatoes in balsamic and something else since the night before and how fabulous it was going to be. And to top it all off the selfish brat wasn't going to bring me any. Can you believe that? We won't talk about how she lives over an hour and a half away. An awesome sister would've said, "I'm on my way." I don't have an awesome sister. I have a selfish selfish selfish one. So no splendiferous Bruschetta Chicken for me and now just plain ol' barbecue chicken wasn't good enough.
It's all her fault. See what I have to live with?
Unfortunately, I didn't have any of the Bruschetta Chicken ingredients and really it wouldn't have done me any good if I had because the grape tomatoes wouldn't have been marinating overnight to be extra delicious (I'm not bitter) so out of what I had in my fridge and cupboards -- I threw together this chicken dish. And while it's not Bruschetta Chicken, it was pretty splendiferously delicious.
I am still waiting for that Bruschetta Chicken though...
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Who wants a normal fudgesicle when you can have a Mexican "Hot" Chocolate one? I mean a regular one will do in a pinch but why settle when you can throw these together in no time at all. Sure it takes at least 4 hours to freeze but that doesn't count -- you can watch tv or read a book to distract yourself long enough for these pops to set up. And trust me, they're worth the wait.
I love Mexican Hot Chocolate -- the beverage -- with the cinnamon spice and a soft kick at the end. I don't like a lot of cayenne pepper but a little really wakes up the chocolate especially with the cinnamon. It's too hot in the summer for hot chocolate. I'm ridiculously OCD when it comes to when it's appropriate to drink hot chocolate. I know people, like 4ft, who would drink it all the time if they could but when it's 90+ degrees outside no one should be drinking hot drinks (not even coffee -- I switch to iced as soon as it's past 70 degrees out) even if they are chocolate. No one. Especially me. No matter how badly I want it. Which is what led me to create a hot chocolate popsicle.
All the flavor and fun of Mexican hot chocolate and the bonus of having it cool you down on a hot day or after working out or while you're sitting watching tv or just out of a shower, just waking up, before going to bed...you know...whenever.
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Every once in awhile I jones for a grilled ham & cheese sandwich. The problem with them is now they give me "bread belly" which I try to avoid when all possible. So I wondered if I could feed the craving with a substitute. I gotta say, this came pretty close. My new favorite thing is putting a filling inside chicken (I get on these kicks and every recipe includes them til I find the next thing to rev on). So, when the sandwich craving hit, I filled the chicken with ham and cheddar. It was surprisingly delicious with little fuss and a short list of ingredients.
Picky Eaters' Seal of Approval: turkey noises as they gobbled it up and went back for seconds!
Monday, June 2, 2014
Yay! Excitement. My box came.
Once a month I get a Farm Fresh To You box delivered to my front door with locally grown fruit and vegetables. It's wonderous. And this month was a total winner -- they sent me a couple eggplants. I love eggplant. I forget how much I love eggplant, and never notice it in the usual produce areas I haunt so I never get any. Well, I have some now!
So, I had to make eggplant parmesan of course. You can't have eggplant in your house and not make eggplant parmesan. Well, okay, maybe you can, but this girl can't. It's one of my favorite dishes and I always get it when I go to Italian food. So, it being me, I had to healthy it up a little. No deep frying for this girl. And let me tell you, it turned out splendiferous.
The breading was crunchy and flavorful. (The trick is to put the seasonings in the dredging flour and egg wash. It also makes dredging in panko easier because you don't have to worry if you didn't measure enough, you have to make more than you need to match your spice ratios.) I wished I had a full stomach so I could eat more than two eggplant steaks it was that good (so it's probably a good thing I don't). 4ft thought it was fabulous and inhaled his and tried to horn in on mine. I had to stab him with my fork. It was a vicious battle but I'm proud to say I won and the eggplant on MY plate went into MY stomach.
It makes quite a bit and since 4ft and I were the only ones eating it we had quite a bit left over. I let it cool completely to room temperature and then put it in a ziplock (without sauce -- just the oven-fried eggplant steaks). Let me tell you, it's just as good reheated, IF you bake them to reheat. I had the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and baked them for about 10 minutes. They were just as crispy and wonderful. I'm totally stoked because it was so delicious for lunch. Especially cuz I have mine with meat sauce -- hooray for protein!
Coming soon... Sesame-Crusted Eggplant w/ sticky dipping sauce and eggplant pizzas (I have a whole other eggplant to use)
Friday, May 30, 2014
I got new popsicle molds! It was totally going to happen as I completely have a popsicle addiction, it was just a matter of time. And that time is now. I got little ring pop molds for the Bear too (perfect kid-sized popsicles on a ring, how awesome is that? Sooooo awesome), I just haven't had a chance to photograph them yet because she has popsicle radar and starts climbing up my leg the second I get them out.
|Edit: Derp. Just take a picture of me wearing one.|
And what better way to celebrate the maiden voyage of new pop molds but to fill them with banana splits! Everything you love about a banana split down to the chocolate, strawberry, and pineapple topping in one splendiferous popsicle. I know, right? Genius idea. These popsicles are so splendiferously delicious I dare you to try and only eat one. The only way these could possibly be any better is dipped in chocolate. Mmm magic shell, anyone?
These are a new favorite in our household. 4ft can't get enough of them and Bear growls at hers as she eats it (I'm pretty sure that's a good thing) The banana haters of the house make gross faces but we ignore them because there's something wrong with them anyway. How can you not like banana?
Thursday, May 29, 2014
This all started with having a craving. I wanted something fried, crunchy, and dippable in ketchup. French fries are high in starch which my body likes to gain weight just looking at. I rarely eat potatoes. I used to miss them like crazy but now I'm all, "Meh" about them so it's not so bad. I love oven-fried zucchini but I didn't want ranch, I wanted ketchup, and while 4ft has no problem dipping everything under the sun in ketchup, I can't. I had half an onion sitting all alone in the fridge looking for love in all the wrong places (that vanilla yogurt isn't interested, leave it alone for goodness sake).
Normally, I'd do onion rings because they'd be prettier and anyone who knows me, knows that food doesn't only have to taste good, it has to look good too. Say it with me, "We eat with our eyes before we ever eat with our mouths." I know some of you are rolling your eyes at me (my best friend hears this a lot when she's trying to tell me how crazy I am -- so I know her eyes are) but it doesn't make it any less true. However, I couldn't do rings because I had half an onion cut the opposite way so I did what I had to do and made peels instead.
It actually worked out better that way because I made slider burgers to go with them (OMG best slider burgers ever -- recipe is coming) and the peels held more real estate on the burger so I got some onion-y goodness in every bite. They made better scoops for dip (which is totally my thing. I love dipping things) and they were easier to keep the breading on when making them.
4ft ate a couple, but the rest of the family are firm onion haters unless they're cooked in something and can't be seen (as they are with most things delicious), and they were missing out because these onion peels were delicious and tasted like regular onion rings without all the grease. Definitely worth the effort to make them!
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
When I posted the Witch Doctor's Angry Chicken one of my friends told me she did something like that but put bacon in it. I thought that sounded like an amazing idea and I just so happened to have a partial package of bacon in the fridge. Serendipitous, you say? I agree. I also had some Apple-Bourbon Barbecue Sauce in the fridge as well and I thought that sounded even more amazing. Bacon, barbecue, and jalapenos -- could it get any better than that?
I'm telling you now my friends, it CANNOT! This chicken was amazing. It's a little more work what with pounding the chicken super super thin and rolling it up like a burrito but it's totally worth it. You get jalapeno cheesiness with barbecue bacon in every bite and you don't need toothpicks to hold it closed like when you stuff the chicken like pockets.
Picky Eaters' Seal of Approval: Big eyes, wide smiles, and lots of piggy noises as the food was devoured.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
I've got to be honest, I feel a little silly for posting this recipe because it seems like such a no brainer, but what if it's not? I mean, I've had my sleeve for nearly 8 months now, and this is the first time I've ever thought to do this. Mix ranch dip powder with plain Greek yogurt? Uh yeah, why not? Genius idea, right? Get all the go to protein power of Greek yogurt with the delicious taste of veggie dip with veggies? It's like a vegetable platter on steroids! And let me tell you, it's truly splendiferously delicious.
This is my new go to dip and the whole family loves it. They don't even know how good for them it is. Insert evil genius laugh here. I love it when that happens.
So... if you knew about this the whole time and you're all like, "Derp, Lisa, ya noodle, I've been making this a hundred years!" why didn't you tell me? We need to talk about our serious lack of communication. And if a light bulb just went off over your head and you're all like, "Lisa, you total gorgeous genius, I never thought of that but how amazing it is you did!" you're totally welcome!
This is my new go to dip and the whole family loves it. They don't even know how good for them it is. Insert evil genius laugh here. I love it when that happens.
So... if you knew about this the whole time and you're all like, "Derp, Lisa, ya noodle, I've been making this a hundred years!" why didn't you tell me? We need to talk about our serious lack of communication. And if a light bulb just went off over your head and you're all like, "Lisa, you total gorgeous genius, I never thought of that but how amazing it is you did!" you're totally welcome!
Monday, May 26, 2014
I love frozen bananas. I mean who doesn't? Well, those who don't actually like bananas in general but they're just sick and twisted so I pretend they don't exist. Which makes being married to my husband and having a Grumpers hard because they loathe bananas. There is something just not right about that but atleast Bear and 4ft love bananas as much as I do, so I'm not alone in my love affair. But now that I think of it, I kind of wish I was because when I make this snack, I'd get to eat them all myself instead of having to share with my munchkins. It's a good thing they're cute and I love them.
These are a great snack on a hot day (who am I kidding? Any day). You get all the health benefits of a banana, protein from the peanut butter, crunch from the pretzel, and sweet from the dark chocolate -- which actually has health benefits. So, it's like dieting when you eat these. Okay, it's really not but don't you love how I justify some of the treats that I make.
And really they're so good at being filling and silencing the sweet cravings, it's not a problem to share a banana with the kids because I can only eat a couple anyway. And if you need another excuse, other than they're splendiferously delicious, to make these -- it's just fun! My kids love making these with me. They dip their banana slices in chocolate and then add sprinkles -- candy, pretzels, nuts, sea salt, granola, grape nuts, rice crispies, (the list is as long as your imagination).
Friday, May 23, 2014
Drool with me now. Can you say, "Never going to buy store bought barbecue sauce again?" This sauce will blow your mind! (Okay, so I lie when I say I'll never buy the store stuff again -- the husband and 4ft eat a lot of barbecue sauce and I don't want to be chained to my stove making barbecue sauce 24/7) but if barbecue sauce is an ingredient for a dish, you can bet your butt, I will be using this instead of the store bought kind.
I invented this sauce for pork, because really what goes better with pork than apples? But after tasting the final product (it was one of those lets throw a bunch of stuff in a sauce pan and see what happens moments), I would use it on EVERYTHING. At this point the protein is an excuse to get the sauce to my mouth. Seriously, it's that good.
Because the key ingredient is applesauce it has that consistency and is pretty thick, next time I might run it through a food processor or blender to see if I can break it down a little more -- cooking it down for 10 minutes didn't liquefy it very much. However the bonus of it being so thick, it really stuck to the meat and glazed to it instead of running off into the bottom of the casserole dish. I'd had plans to take the drippings from the meat and the sauce that went with it and reducing it to drizzle over the meat. There wasn't any to reduce. It all stayed on.
(edit: I made the sauce again to put on bacon wrapped stuffed chicken and ran it through a blender, it cut down on some of the consistency but still really thick and still really really delicious.)
Picky Eaters' Seal of Approval: No words, too busy gobbling it up, making piggy noises and getting seconds! I'll take that as one of the highest compliments ever!
And these totally happened for dinner the next two nights because I ended up doing two tenderloins because that's how they came packaged and I didn't realize it:
|Sliders and Quesadillas oh my....|
Thursday, May 22, 2014
This is the perfect sandwich for me since my surgery. Well, since passing the food restriction phases anyway. And I'll tell you why: I feel normal eating it. As normal as it can get for me. Ha! Beat you all to it. Take that!
It's the perfect size. I can eat the whole thing. I don't have to take a couple bites and then pull it apart and eat the meat only. You wouldn't think that would be a big deal but you'd be surprised at how focused people get when you eat outside of the norm. Sometimes I get tired of the attention. And this way I don't eat too much bread and get the horrible dreaded "bread belly". Since I have to focus on protein, it's the perfect ratio of bread to meat. They're also fun and when you can't eat a lot, and love food (I looooooooooove food. I love cooking it, eating it, playing with it. I live for menus and thinking of new ways to use it. I can't get enough of food), it draws out the experience more and you don't pine away as much for the relationship you used to have.
So I cut a single roll in half, spread a little guacamole or mayo and load that bad boy up with lunch meat. Then I sit down and eat a sandwich. I don't pick at a sandwich, I don't dissect a sandwich, I eat a sandwich and feel like everybody else who doesn't have to worry about how much protein they're getting or if the bread is going to make them sick or if everyone is watching and thinking, "What a freak!"(which probably happens whether I do evil experiments on food at the table or not -- I do have pink hair and stick out in a crowd).
Now it could be that that's just me and no one else has those thoughts while they're dissecting their food or loves everything there is to love about food like me. But maybe, I'm not the only one who feels like this, and maybe this sandwich might be good for you too. So, okay, Hawaiian Sweet Rolls might not be the healthiest bread choice on the planet, but really, let's face it, when you only get to take about 10 bites at best of something, shouldn't it be the best 10 bites you'll ever eat? And on top of that, I don't get the dreaded "bread belly" from these like I do with a lot of other breads and if that's something you suffer, maybe these rolls will work out for you too.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Three words. Oatmeal. Raisin. Cookies. Did I have you at hello? (Yeah, I know bad Jerry McGuire pun, I couldn't help it) And you can eat as many as you want! I mean they're made with oats, they're practically health food, right? So eating them is like dieting! Well, okay maybe not that healthy and maybe not eating them all in one sitting, but these cookies are pretty darn close to being health food with only a small amount of brown sugar and no added fat. They're also gluten-free.
They're chewy, moist, and oh so splendiferously cinnamon-y spiced delicious. I could seriously eat the whole batch. Oh if only my tummy would let me. They also delicious crumbled up with vanilla greek yogurt for a snack or with a cup of iced decaf coffee. Or, you know, completely by themselves.
My mother-in-law (who is also an executive chef with all that fancy chef-erizing training) called me yesterday and asked me for a low sugar/fat cookie recipe so she could make a treat for her clients that can't eat a lot of sugar. So I sent her this recipe to try out and she did! They were a total hit and here is a picture of two gorgeous ladies enjoying them. It totally made my day. Yay!
She also asked for my Cranberry Ricotta Bread recipe to try out as well. She said if these recipes work out she's going to snag even more to showcase my healthy recipes in her company. How exciting is that?! Super exciting!!!
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Anyone who has followed this blog for any amount of time knows how much chicken we eat. I'm surprised we haven't turned into a family of cannibal cluckers as we eat that much chicken. And as I was trying to think of how to make the chicken breasts I'd gotten out for dinner and trying to contain the urge to bawk and scratch for bugs, I noticed another can of peaches in my cupboard. Why I'd felt the need to buy two cans for my soft food stage, I'm not sure, as I didn't eat any peaches, but there they were.
I felt like something different and the different singing its siren's song was the peaches. Some of my favorite cooking is on the fly, throw things together, cross your fingers, and hope it comes out at least good while hoping for splendiferous. So that's what I did. Luckily for you guys, since I started this blog, I measure everything I throw in and write it down.
This chicken turned out amazing covered in a fruity, slightly sweet, glaze. I know it takes a little more time than most my recipes but it's really worth it and the glaze can be made ahead of times (cuz, hey, that's what I did) and stored in the fridge until you're ready to use it. The key to the flavor is cooking down the peaches, it really enhances the peach flavor.
Picky Eaters' Seal of Approval: Two thumbs up and seconds! 4ft has decided there is nothing I can't make delicious. He's a sweetie, that boy.
Monday, May 19, 2014
Bariatric patients are encouraged to do food diaries. To write down what you ate and why you ate it. It's supposed to help pinpoint problem areas and keep you on track to achieve and maintain your goals. Here's today's "A Day in the Sleeve".
Friday, May 16, 2014
This one is for my mom, well kinda. When I posted the Strawberry Cheesecake Protein Popsicles, my mom asked if she could omit the cream cheese (cuz she's one of those people who doesn't like cheesecake -- weird, right?) and just make strawberries and cream. So I told her I'd create something without the cream cheese. But when I did just the "cream" bit, it was boring. Blah. Nothing spectacular. So I tossed that and went for something with a little more pizzazz (insert jazz hands here).
While I was blending up the strawberries, for whatever reason, my mind tripped on this drink that I used to get at Red Lobster. A Sunset Passion Colada, I think it was called. I'm not even sure if they make them anymore. But it was basically a pina colada topped with strawberry puree. Well I can't do alcohol anymore (but I bet this would be delicious with some Malibu added to the "tropical cream") and a daquiri mix has a lot of sugar in it (not too mention I don't just keep that stocked at my house) so I threw together stuff I did have on hand to make the pina colada part and then made it creamier.
It is tropical heaven on a stick (and in a bowl -- because as with all my recipes and lack of molds, I always have leftovers) and makes you think of slushy tropical drinks and lazy days in a hammock. And bob knows I could use a lazy, sun-soaked day in a hammock, sipping on a fruity slushy drink. I mean, doesn't everyone?
Thursday, May 15, 2014
So, after making the Peach Pie a la Mode Protein Popsicles with huge success, I decided it would be fun to see what other desserts I could make into popsicles. I've also been dying to use my new juicer. Voila! Wouldn't carrot cake make an awesome popsicle? Well yes, it does.
But Lisa, I'm not the kitchen gadget whore you are (no one is really, don't feel bad) and I don't have a handy dandy new juicer. Never fear, you can still make these. You could use a food processor (O.o what you don't have one of those either?), you can also just grate the carrots and throw the gratings into a blender and blend the crap out of them. I would run the pulp through a fine mesh strainer so you don't get too much juice into the popsicle concoction, and ta da! You have carrot juice and pulp. Yay!
These are not only deliciously spendiferous but they taste fun too. I love that the flavor is that of cake but frozen into a lickable form. I'm also one of those people who absolutely adore butter-flavored Jelly Belly's also. Mmmmm Jelly Belly. I haven't had any in ages. 4ft's been nagging me to go to the factory. It might be time to make a trip.
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
I eat a lot of leftovers. A lot of them. Which isn't to say a bad thing because thanks to the convenience of a sandwich, if I have leftovers, then I don't get "bread belly." That's an official term by the way (yeah, not so much) but that's what I call it when I eat bread and then deal with the mid back and gut pain for 30 to 45 minutes while I'm digesting it. So leftovers save me from throwing together a half sandwich and then paying for the ease of the meal with the pain of digestion.
However, because I eat a lot of leftovers I tend to get bored with having the same thing I had for dinner for lunch so I like to change it up a bit. Which is what I did today. There was leftover grilled steak and corn in the fridge so add some lettuce, avocado, salsa, and spicy corn chips and you've got yourself a banging salad of splendiferous proportions. Completely delicious, completely filling, and lacking only in the "bread belly" blues after eating. Yay!
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
food porn of peach pie that I happen to see on the internet and that equals: Peach Pie Popsicles. Because, yes, I really am addicted to popsicle recipes and I really need more molds. It's okay though, I can stop any time (really) and with the summer heat setting they're perfect. (insert maniacal crazy laughter here)
These popsicles are splendiferously wonderous. The vanilla pudding compliments the peachy spice perfectly. It's really like eating a frozen peach pie a la mode and a perfect protein snack on a hot day or after working out or just because. Really, does peach pie need a reason for consumption? No, it does not.
Even better. How can it get even better? Let me tell you. This recipe makes more than my set of molds can handle (which is why I need more molds. More. More. More!) so I put the leftovers in a freezer safe container and then ate it for lunch. I thawed it out for about 30 seconds in the microwave, added some sliced banana, and some granola and it was a perfect splurge-feeling meal -- without the actual splurge. Yum!
Monday, May 12, 2014
I had a hankerin' for a California Chicken sandwich, you know -- it's just a chicken sandwich but because they put bacon and avocado on it, it makes it Californian and therefore more special or something. Seems silly to call it a California Chicken sandwich when you're in California, right? These are things that I trip on. I know, I'm weird. And I digressed.
I was feeling like a sandwich, but bread and I, while I can eat it, still aren't the best of friends and I didn't feel like dealing with the back pain after eating last night. Weird, right? After I eat certain things my mid back hurts. Does anyone else get that? One of my doctors' said it was because of a sleeve being a high pressure system or something. It's ridiculously painful for about 30 - 45 minutes after I eat. And I digressed again. Sheesh.
Back to not wanting to eat bread (stay on topic, Lisa), I figured making a salad out of the sandwich was the next best thing. The mashed avocado was perfect as a "dressing" so it didn't need any salad dressing and it tasted just like the sandwich. Well, without the bread (duh, right?) anyway. And totally filled a craving without the back pain which made it even more awesome.
Friday, May 9, 2014
I'm going to have to get more popsicle molds. I have all these popsicle ideas whizzing around my brain and not enough molds to hold them. For reals.
Of course, I had to do more than one strawberry popsicle -- it is one of my favorite fruits after all. Strawberry cheesecake is definitely in the running for top 5 favorite strawberry desserts so what better way to celebrate a streak of hot days and my love for strawberries (not to mention they needed to get used before they went bad) than to whip together strawberry cheesecake on a stick.
These are splendiferously delicious. I'd probably do the layers thinner next time as to get more strawberry with cheesecake together action or perhaps even do it as a swirl (which I did with the leftovers and ate as a parfait), but even with the fatty stripes they were still devourable. 4ft really loved these as well but I'm pretty sure if it comes out of a popsicle mold he'd love it.
I really like protein popsicles because it's a great treat, packed with protein, and while they're filling, they're still super easy on the stomach. I wish I'd thought of these when I'd been in the early stages of my bariatric diet and was so tired of pudding and yogurt. So hopefully someone in those stages and equally sick of pudding and yogurt will stumble across this blog and see these.
Thursday, May 8, 2014
I'm now seven months out from having surgery and still can't do breakfast in the morning. Every time I try, I get sick. And to top it all off if I take my fist full of vitamins with anything other than a protein drink, I get sick too. So after a lot of trying to eat actual food and take vitamins with water and a lot of time being sick from it, I decided enough was enough.
Meet my breakfast: Iced Decaf Coffee w/Protein. Iced Coffees are like smoothies in that you can change up the flavors and never get bored with them. Add different flavored sugar free syrups and different flavored protein powders and voila, something new. My current favorite (pictured) is Decaf Cinnamon Vanilla Nut coffee, with a splash of sugar free cinnamon syrup, with a scoop of cookies & cream protein powder. It a snickerdoodle you can drink. It's awesome. It doesn't make me sick, I can take my vitamins without getting sick, it counts toward my fluid intake, and it's totally filling -- keeping me full until lunchtime.
Iced Protein Coffees are especially handy on busy mornings when you've got kids to get ready for school and don't have time to make eggs (blech, eggs. I still can't stand them. I used to at least tolerate them. Now I loathe them. *sigh*). And to be completely honest, I only drizzled the chocolate syrup and dolloped the whipped cream because it makes a prettier picture. I drink it without all the flash and pizzaz that makes it look like it was a professionally made drink. It's delicious with the chocolate and whipped cream, I mean I totally drank it, but it's just as yummy without all the pomp and circumstance not too mention quicker and easier in the morning.
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
I have a new addiction. Popsicles. I even asked for a juicer for Mother's Day so that I could get more sneaky with the veggies and really make my popsicles pack an even healthier punch. I might need an intervention. Just saying.
However, before my family gets that organized, you've got to try these pops. They are seriously splendiferous. Two words. Vanilla, Cinnamon, Swirled. Okay that was three but still, do I really need to say more?
4ft and I just ate two a piece and you know what? We did it guilt free. Although, 4ft might cop to the fact that they're healthy sooner as opposed to later because I never let him eat two ice cream cones or store bought popsicles ever. The look of surprise on his face was worth it when he jokingly asked for another one and I said sure as I got one for me too.
Picky Eaters' Seal of Approval: Two thumbs up (didn't last long enough to make them sticky) and a cinnamon swirled sticky smile (I've yet to see a kid who can eat a popsicle without getting it all over their face).
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
My family hates Chinese food. I believe I've mentioned this. I believe they tell me all the time, with great passion, how much they dislike and abhor Chinese food which is why I never get to have authentic delicious Chinese wonderfulness. Yet, every single time I make Chinese food at home -- THEY EAT IT! The entire family ate this dish. Yes you read that right. Even Grumpers and Bear ate the noodles.
After 4ft declared it was seriously the best ever, he decided that maybe he does like Chinese food after all and has graciously offered to go to Panda Express with me. He's a giver, him. I'm sure he said Panda Express because we drive by it all the time and he knows it's Chinese food. Because when I go for Chinese food, I don't go for Panda Express. Not to say that it's not good but since I so rarely get to eat it, I want the splendiferously delicious stuff. You know?
Picky Eaters' Seal of Approval: 8 Thumbs up, Yummy noises, and a grudging admittance to perhaps liking Asian food after all.
(And if Szechuan Chicken isn't really Chinese food but from a different Asian culture, I apologize. I didn't know any better.)
Monday, May 5, 2014
So 4ft talked me into getting popsicle molds. Okay, so he didn't have to talk too hard to get them, it is Sprummer (that's what I'm officially calling this Spring because it's too much like Summer, darn it) after all and nothing tastes so delicious as a popsicle after having walked home in the heat from school. I know this for a fact, as we just got done eating them and it was heaven in my hot, parched, just pushed nearly 100lbs of stroller in the hot hot heat (not to be confused with the band) mouth. 4ft, who only had to carry his backpack, said it was pretty amazing as well. (NooOoooOoo I'm not bitter)
Shhhh, don't tell him there were vegetables in the popsicle he was raving over, okay?
That's right. Vegetables. Kale to be exact. I got a Farm Fresh to You box today and along with all the other delicious goodies was a bunch of kale. So when I blended up the banana and key-lime Greek yogurt, I threw some in. What the heck, it was green already, right? How would he know? He wouldn't. Well, unless someone snitches on me.
The kid slurped up that popsicle like a man on fire doing the "yummy tummy" dance as he got it all over his face and hands.
Picky Eaters' Seal of Approval: Yummy Tummy dance with a sticky two thumbs up and drippy sloppy faces.
Friday, May 2, 2014
|aka Jalapeno Popper Chicken|
So, my husband is a huge gaming geek, which is as it should be when you're a video game designer, I guess. He found a contest on Eat Game Live to create a signature dish for Diablo III (for those who don't know that's a video game) and asked me to come up with something. As I hemmed and hawed over not knowing enough about the Diablo universe to come up with something, he promised whatever I made, he'd come up with a name to incorporate it to Diablo III. Well heck, I can do that, I invent recipes all the time. Count me in.
So the Diablo franchise is about demons trying to take over the world and Hell on Earth, that sort of thing (but it's not Earth, the world is called Sanctuary). So something spicy seemed like a no-brainer to go with the dark eternal fire and damnation theme. I'm sure there are going to be a billion spicy recipes which is why I'm going to do something with caramel and chocolate too but I couldn't resist the spicy idea.
My favorite spicy food is jalapeno poppers. When I was pregnant with Grumpers, I couldn't eat enough of them. And 4 years later, I still can't resist them. So I thought I'd make a popper filling and stuff it in something. While I was toying with this recipe idea, I decided it had to be something that incorporated protein and that my family would eat (well the ones of them who actually do eat. darn picky eaters) because hey, I still had to make dinner and feed the family too. Solution: Chicken! It's an excellent vehicle for flavors because it has such a mild one of its own. Perfect.
And it was perfect too. Picky Eaters' Seal of Approval: THIS IS THE BEST CHICKEN EVER!!! Two thumbs, a cartwheel, a round-off, and the "this is so yummy in my tummy" dance that 4ft is famous for.
And the Husband, true to his word, came up with the name: Witch Doctor's Angry Chicken. The Witch Doctor is a character class in the video game and has a Hex that turns the player into an angry chicken that explodes. This dish could cause spontaneous combustion with how splendiferously delicious it is. Appropriate, no?
Thursday, May 1, 2014
You had to have seen this coming, right? I'm on a total strawberry kick and what better way to cool down on a summer day (it's supposedly spring but you couldn't tell by the 90 degree temps we're having). This is the Hulk of Strawberry Shortcake (like it took steroids). Perfect for breakfast or an after workout snack. Oh heck, I'd replace this for any meal in a heartbeat. For reals.
You could totally make it a little less filling and a little more healthy by omitting the almond protein shortcake crumble in the center and it, but what's the fun in that? Am I right? Of course I am.
Protein Parfaits are our favorite after school snack right now. I love the mouth feel of them the best. You have smooth yogurt, sweet fruit, chewy almond shortcake, and crunchy granola -- it's a mouth-gasm waiting to happen. And how could you ever get bored by parfaits? Switch up the yogurt, switch up the fruit, and it's a whole different snack. I love it!
Picky Eaters' Seal of Approval: 2 thumbs up, way up... and a cartwheel.
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Strawberry Shortcake has to be my most favoritest dessert on the planet. Galaxy even. I pretty much don't say no to any dessert really (life is about moderation after all so yeah, I still eat dessert on occasion, just instead of a portion the size of my head, I eat only a couple bites) but shortcake is my absolute favorite. Come on now, drool with me. Doesn't this look so splendiferous? I promise it tastes BETTER than it looks. No really, it does! And even better you can throw any fruit filling that you want if strawberries aren't your thing (if they aren't, I'm totally giving you a "you're so weird" look but pretend you don't see it). Peach, lemon curd, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, cinnamon apple, cinnamon pears, only your imagination is the limit.
Growing up, my family ate Strawberry Shortcake with the berries smashed to a bloody pulp and mixed with equal (my Papa was a diabetic) poured onto the store bought shortcake cups, drowned in Half & Half, and topped with whipped cream. I'm pretty sure we drowned the cakes in Half & Half to make them less rubbery and really we put so much berry pulp and whipped cream on them you could have held the cake and we probably wouldn't have noticed. They looked disgusting as it was a melty smooshy hot mess but it was splendiferously wonderful and I was always heartbroken when my bowl was empty -- which was too soon because I horked it down so fast.
However, since my surgery, if I'm eating baked goods it's going to be goods I've baked. That way I can control the amounts of fat, protein, sugar, and healthiness of them. Because while I believe life is moderation and there is room for dessert, why not try and make it somewhat good for you too if you can do so without sacrificing on the flavor? Exactly. There's no reason not too.
I've pretty much given up all-purpose flour when I bake. Not because I'm allergic to gluten or have an intolerance or that I don't like it but because the healthy aspect of almond, coconut, and oat flours is so high and with higher grams of protein why wouldn't I switch? I like to mix them up for different textures, light versus dense, and of course I always add in at least one scoop of protein powder. When you can only have a handful of bites you need all the protein punch you can get.
And do they get the Picky Eaters' Seal of Approval. Yes they do! Two thumbs and a big toe up. Way up. Neither the husband nor 4ft (Grumpers and Bear want nothing to do with this dessert. Strawberries, bleh -- they really are sick and twisted kids) had any idea how healthy these were for them and both of them loved them. They're requested again and again... and that's just fine by me because if I could, I'd eat them all in one sitting. They're that good.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
When it's springtime I can't get enough strawberries. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the fruit year round (it is my favorite), but spring just screams strawberries! (How'd you like that alliteration?) And you really can't go wrong with anything that has strawberries in it. I don't do a lot of baking in warmer weather because it makes my apartment hell hot and me a cranky sweaty evil person, but I had a craving for muffins. Chocolate Strawberry Muffins to be exact.
So first thing in the morning, while it was still pretending it was going to be a cool and comfortable day, I preheated my behemoth of a hot beast oven and got to work on cranking out some delicious muffins. I hoped I'd get them done and the heat blasting, house heating, make you feel like you were in the seventh level of hell (which is awesome in the winter) oven turned off and the apartment cooled back down before it got unpleasant outside and even a little less so inside.
Yeah, that didn't work.
And while it feels like summer in my apartment instead of spring, the muffins are more than worth it. They got picky family seals of approval and 4ft wanted to take not only one for snack at school but one for his lunch too. He pretty much told me he wants to eat them for every meal. If that doesn't mean good eating, I don't know what does!
Monday, April 28, 2014
Who doesn't love a chicken salad on a spring day? Or any day for that matter. Can I get an, "Amen!"?
Stop drooling. I've already had to wipe up the drool puddle I made.
Now it used to be that I could cheat and use the canned chicken, toss in some "everything but the kitchen sink" type stuff into it, add some mayo and call it a meal. Don't judge. I knew it was cheating and I did it anyway... So there! Anyway, since my surgery I cannot stomach that swill out of a can anymore (which really does hurt my feelings because it was quick protein fix on days when I didn't feel like cooking or eating leftovers, you know?) So now anytime I grill chicken, I grill extra. Which was what I did for dinner the other night. On top of that, I accidentally (on purpose) grilled too many asparagus spears. At first, I thought, well I've got dinner leftovers for tomorrow night so I can make the Husband and ankle biters (Okay so 4ft could totally bite higher than that, but you know what I mean) a no dietary restrictions dinner. Well as I was slaving away on Sloppy Joe's (which are delicious but too much sugar and bun for my poor tummy) I was uninspired with just leftover grilled chicken and asparagus.
Then lightning struck:
Booyah! Chicken Salad. Even better chicken salad with ASPARAGUS (I kid you not when I make chicken salad I raid the fridge and throw anything that looks delicious into the mix) Heck to the yeah, hook that up. I could've had a sandwich (who am I kidding? just half a sandwich) as I can fin-a-lly eat bread again but spring days and sunny weather just make me want to eat salads. And with the lettuce boats as a vehicle, I could eat MORE of the crunchy, sweet, mayo-ny, chicken goodness without filling up on the bread so fast. Oh yeah, bonus!
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
So yeah, these happened by accident. I wanted a barbecue chicken sandwich. Kind of like the charbroiled chicken sandwich from Carl's Jr. Which always looks so delicious but is always such a letdown when you get one and eat it. So I tried slicing my chicken breasts lengthwise, you know to make them thinner. All I can say to that fiasco is I need sharper knives. Yeah, I mutilated the chicken.
No problem. We'll just have loose meat barbecue chicken sandwiches except we didn't have any bread.
No problem. We have sandwich wrap spinach tortillas. That'd be delicious, except we only have one wrap in the bag. Yeah, that's not going to work there are five of us.
No problem. We have flour tortillas, except for they're taco sized so they won't really do wraps.
No problem. We'll just have quesadillas. Barbecue chicken quesadillas should be good, right?
So I grab an onion except as I slice into it, I realized I grabbed an apple instead. Oops. What the heck, let's throw that in there. So I actually pay attention and grab an onion and slice that bad boy up too.
4ft looked at me like I was crazy putting an apple inside a quesadilla and expecting him to eat it. I don't know why he still doubts me. Why wouldn't it be yummy? Absolutely no reason why it wouldn't be. It was splendiferous. The entire fail turned into one heck of a WIN! I'd make these quesadillas next time on purpose. ON PURPOSE I TELL YOU!!!
I could only eat half of it (the front one in the picture) and I had to beat my family off the other half (and they looked at me like I might be feeding them poison) because I'm eating that one for lunch!
Monday, March 10, 2014
I love baking. 4ft loves baking. So when we bake together we usually do quick breads. There are a lot of things to measure, which 4ft loves, and mix, which I love. And quick breads are one of my favorite things to bake because they're so versatile. You can eat them at breakfast, have them for a snack, and they work for dessert too. It's a three-in-one-delicious food. How could it get any better than that? It can't and your brain will explode if you try to come up with something. So stop trying.
Quick breads are also very good for experimenting because as long as you have a couple of key ingredients -- flours of some sort and lifters -- they're very forgiving and the results are usually splendiferous. Which would be the case with this bread. It's seriously delicious and my new favorite and 4ft's too.
This bread was the brainchild of trying not to waste food. I had some ricotta cheese in the fridge that was going to go bad if it didn't get used and I didn't have enough for like a lasagna or something. So I tossed the 3/4 cup I had left into my basic quick bread recipe and then threw in some cranberries too -- because hey, they're delicious and why not. 4ft was a little apprehensive putting cheese into a bread meant to be sweet but I explained that cheesecake was made with cream cheese and that was pretty good so why not give it a shot. So he agreed. We did. And the rest is taste bud history. It's absolutely splendiferous.
Saturday, March 8, 2014
I love Mexican food, not as much as Chinese food (but I think that's because I never get authentic Chinese and always have access to Mexican -- family actually eats that) and Carne Asada is one of my favorites. So when I had a couple steaks thawed in the fridge and didn't feel like having straight steak (cuz Mexican steak is crooked?), I threw a bunch of spices together that scream "Mexican food" flavors to me and did a spice rub. And of course nothing says Mexican food like onions and peppers so I had to throw them in as well. 4ft and the husband won't actually eat the onions and peppers (well except for on the Turkish Pizza because they didn't know they were there) but they both like how it flavors the dish (which is cool cuz more for me -- I love onions and peppers).
I love how versatile this dish is. While I ate it like steak, smothered in onions and peppers with lettuce, tomatoes, lemon, and sour cream, the boys sliced their steak up and melted it into quesadillas with a salad on the side. The Littles just had cheese quesadillas of course because heaven forbid they eat meat that didn't come from McDonalds. The meat would also be great as fajitas as well, but I didn't want all the extra filler from the tortilla as I'm still struggling to get my protein needs met for the day, otherwise I totally would've gone fajita on it's butt.
It's even better the next day (and the day after that) and I know, because I've been eating on it for three days now.
Friday, March 7, 2014
I love garlic. Everything is better with garlic, kind of like bacon, but not. Okay, maybe ice cream isn't better with garlic... but still, our house would never be a candidate for a vampire invasion. Zombies would get us first because I'm pretty sure brains are better with garlic! And my family is probably pickled with garlic because I put it in just about every recipe I make (well not the Littles -- so we'd have to save them from the vampires but I bet the zombies wouldn't eat them.)
The apricot preserves give a hint of sweet without overpowering the garlicky goodness and the siracha sauce gives it a little extra kick. And not a hard kick -- I've developed quite the pansy palette since my surgery and can't handle super spicy things at all and 4ft has always been a wuss when it comes to hot spices. So this recipe is really kid friendly, if 4ft's snorting noises as it horked it down are any indication, and easy on a sensitive stomach because I had no problem putting my portion away either sans the pork noises of course.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
4ft loves "chicken on the bone" (that's what he calls chicken legs or a whole roasted chicken), it's like his favorite chicken ever. It doesn't matter if it's psuedo-fried, roasted, barbecued, baked, whatever -- maybe even raw. His eyes get saucer big and he starts licking his lips the second he knows we're having it. Normally, I get whole chickens when they're like 79 cents a pound (I'm cheap like that) and then roast them with potatoes and carrots but they're not always that cheap and I have a little teeny eeny weeny freezer so I can't buy them in bulk and store them up.
So when they're not cheap, it's too hot to bake for hours on end, or I just don't want to go through the hassle of carving it, I just buy a package of chicken legs -- that's his favorite part of the chicken anyway (you should see this kid around a turkey leg. He's a leg guy). And, of course, the best thing to do with chicken legs is fry them except it's too much oil for my stomach and it makes me nauseous. Luckily, there is panko bread crumbs which gives chicken an amazing crunch without frying it in oil. And oven-pseudo-fried chicken is even better when marinated. Especially if it's a yogurt and buttermilk marinade. It gives the meat great flavor as well as tenderizes the meat. I love me some marinades.
My family actually likes this chicken recipe better than the regular fried recipes I used to use (back before I had my surgery before it made me want to yak). 4ft would eat the entire pack of chicken legs cooked this way if I'd let him. I'm not sure where he puts all the food as he's only nine (I don't know what I'm going to do when he hits the teenaged years and eats even more -- I guess it's a good thing I don't eat so much anymore). Even my husband, who hates "chicken on the bone" because it's effort to eat (yeah, he's that lazy), gobbles these up too.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
So here's another installment of "I haven't traveled but I wanna and am doing so from home with food". Well sorta. I have to get creative because while I'm game to try anything, my family -- not so much.
This week, we traveled to Greece, by way of gyros with tzatziki sauce. So, I know gyros are traditionally made with lamb. My family won't eat lamb. My husband swears he doesn't like it, but I'm not sure as if he has ever tried it, and 4ft would rather have one as a pet than *gasp* eat one so I knew that was a no go. From what I can tell it's the spices that make the gyro not the meat so much as they have them with ground beef and chicken too. Well I figured why the heck not and used pork. I had it in the freezer and it needed to get eaten before it died of freezer burn but these spices would work with any meat. I also cheated more, gyros are usually served on flat bread which has hurt my stomach in the past, so we used whole wheat, low carb, tortillas. Seriously yummy and 4ft said it was one of the best tacos he's ever had. Taco? I know, right? Sheesh. That would explain why he put ketchup on his. Where did I go wrong?
Tzatziki sauce is usually made with plain Greek yogurt of which I had none of (I thought I did but somehow I don't think key lime Greek yogurt would've been delicious) so I cheated and used light sour cream -- they're pretty close -- but it would've been nice to have the protein from the plain Greek yogurt. Next time. I also didn't use cucumbers because 1.) I didn't have any and 2.) my family loathes them. But the sauce turned out pretty delicious regardless of all my substitutions and complimented the meat really well. My family (except for the Littles who just had cheese quesadillas -- another reason 4ft thought they were tacos I'm sure) thought so as well if their cleaned plates, full bellies, and satisfied smiles that accompanied their belches were any indication.
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
I was bouncing around on the net, looking at food porn (I love looking at well pictured food and then try to make my own), when I came across a "Better Than Twizzlers" idea. Basically, if you roast strawberries at 225 degrees Fahrenheit for 3 hours, it dries them out and makes them like candy. Yeah... that so did not happen. They turned brown and soft and soggy. Not only did they look unappealing there was nothing Twizzlers about them.
However the strawberry flavor was intense and I'd done about a cup and half of them -- I hate to waste food. What could I do with strawberries that looked gross, had a gross texture, but tasted amazing? Say it with me, "Ice Cream!" This ice cream is the best I've made to date. If I'd had strawberry protein powder it'd probably had been more amazing -- I ordered some by the way, so I'll let you know.
3 hours is effort for ice cream, I know. You could always just tell yourself you're making "Better Than Twizzlers" and then when it doesn't work for you can go for the ice cream save (however if it does work for you, tell me what you did because I was majorly let down).
Monday, March 3, 2014
I had a yen for Chinese food (see what I did there? I'm ever so witty) and it's always fun to make my brain feel like it's going to explode when I make Asian persuasion food and my family who are sworn Chinese food haters gobble it up with little pig snorts and happy dances (well except the Littles but they'll break eventually -- 4ft did). And yet, they still stand by their stance that Chinese food is up there with beets and liver in disgustingness. There are really things wrong with my family. Seriously.
This dish was no different. They gobbled it up making foodgasm noises and telling me how delicious it was. My parents stayed for dinner and they, like me -- us normal people, really love Chinese food and they said it was really good and tasted like it'd come from a restaurant. It tasted pretty authentic to me too not that it necessarily means that it is as I have no idea what goes into "real" Chinese food. I just throw a bunch of things from the Asian aisle of the supermarket together and call it good. Thank goodness they have international theme'd aisles or I'd really be in trouble.