Leftover, yum

I had cooked a chicken breast, and 1/2 of it was still in the fridge.  Looking to use up leftovers, I made this into a dish for SpecialK.

He only wants sweet onions at home, so I cut out last one (shopping alert) and put in a frying pan with light olive oil.  I added approximately 1/4 of a bag of Trader Joe’s (frozen) Mushroom Medley.  I then added a can of diced tomatoes, with basil, garlic and oregano.  I then realized I should have added more garlic, so I added 3 cloves of roasted garlic.  I cubed the remaining chicken breast, and added it to the pan.  Finally, I added one sliced green onion.  Salt and pepper were the seasonings.

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SpecialK topped this with shredded Parmesan cheese, and ate it over soy noodles.

How do you do leftovers?

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In Memoriam: Our trip to Chicago

Early Saturday morning, we headed to the airport.  We were flying to Chicago, with plans with friends and family.

We landed on time Saturday morning and headed directly to our hotel.  Our first plans were at 1:00.  SpecialK’s aunt, who lived in Chicago, had recently been diagnosed with leukemia.  She had to have transfusions, to keep her alive.

SpecialK’s youngest brother (a nurse)  had been visiting his aunt, and had decided to stay with her, once the diagnosis had been made.

Roz was doing this on her own terms.  She took transfusions long enough to get all of her affairs in order.  She had her last transfusion last Tuesday.

We had lunch with her and SpecialK’s brother.  She was in good spirits, ate lunch, and we had a nice visit with her.  She had welcomed me into the family with open arms before we got married.

After leaving her, we went back to the hotel, and got ready for our dinner plans with Owen (age 3) and his parents.  Speaking for myself, a good time was had by all.

On Sunday, we walked around the loop, and wandered through the parks.  We found the bean, and played an 18 round game of mini golf.

Monday morning, I messaged SpecialK’s brother, and inquired as to the aunts comfort and his own comfort.  He shared with me that the aunt was resting comfortably in bed on Monday, pain free.

Our next plan was brunch, with my cousins.  Lisa and I grew up together, and Jeff (and Tracy) grew up in the Midwest.  A good time was had by all.

After brunch, we debated what we would do until it was time to go to the airport.  We had talked about taking an earlier flight home, but due to the storms, we were satisfied when we found out that earlier flight had been cancelled.

We ended up hitting up an outlet mall, mere miles from the airport.  A few new pieces for each of us, and we headed to the airport.

With all the road flooding, it took quite a while for us to get to the airport, but we finally landed there 2 hours before our 7:01 pm departure.

7:01 departure became 9:30, became 10:15, became 11:20.  We landed approx 2:15 am, and got home at approx 2:45 am.  SpecialK went right to sleep; it took me about an hour.

I awoke at 7:30 his morning, and saw a message that had come in during the night.  SpecialK’s aunt passed away in her sleep, while we were driving home.

She did it her way, and was ready to go.  I respect that about her, and hope I have the same opportunity for myself.

Goodbye, Roz, you will be missed.

Lettuce-less salad

I was playing in the kitchen again!  Cheryl gave me some green onions, and we discussed my desire for a bean salad.

1 Cucumber seeded, 2 tomatoes seeded, 2 green onions, sliced.  When I finished chopping, I realized my cannellini beans were oversized, so I cut them in half.  2 T each EVOO and white wine vinegar, 1/2 T apple cider vinegar.  Salt and pepper.

Sounds so easy, but it does take time to chop fresh veggies.  I am thinking to cook some brown rice to make a complete meal.

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What have you made lately?

Review: Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Pizza, pizza, pizza!  SpecialK decided he loved the cauliflower crust pizza we tasted the Costco.  It has peppers on it which I won’t eat.  I found this pizza at Trader Joe’s and decided to give it a try.

SpecialK won’t let me make a cauliflower crust pizza, because he knows I won’t put enough starch in to make him happy.  (Yet he denies that his taste buds are programmed for sweet and starchy.  Ah, but I digress!)

Sitting snugly on a freezer shelf, I decided it’s residency had ended and it was time to bake it up.

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I preheated the oven, and put this pizza on a sheet of parchment paper onto our pizza stone and baked it.

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Their photo looks more red,   I like this picture, showing their artfully created version versus my cooked version.

It tasted like the frozen pizzas I ate as a teenager.  I tried to think of how to doctor it up, maybe some ricotta cheese?

The interesting note here is that it did not taste like cauliflower.  It tasted like a frozen pizza.

Final verdict, I would buy again.

What have you tried lately?

 

 

 

Magic sweetener

I have shared before that I am going to inherit diabetes.  I am fighting that inheritance with every fiber of my being, but the writing is on the wall.

Growing up, my Mom had a cup of instant coffee every morning.  She put a saccharin tablet in, some milk, and that was how she became human in our craziness.

Saccharin was vilified in the nutrition world, then it t was declared ok, again.

SpecialK has been encouraging me to use substitute sugars sparingly.  We have lower sugar jams here and he has discouraged me from using any sugar free products.

I know I can’t have sugar, and walk daily to counter my inheritance.

Imagine my surprise when my general practitioner recently talked with me about sweetener choices. After a brief conversation, during which my head spun around, she asked me if I was willing to stay with one group of sweeteners.  I said yes, so here’s the lowdown.  No more purchases of Maple Grove Farms sugar free maple flavored syrup.  No more baking with Xylitol.  She wants me to use maple sugar and maple syrup as our sweetness.  She told me that maple syrup/sugar is absorbed by the body slower than white sugar, and has vitamins and minerals that white sugar does not possess.

I contacted my nutritionist and she echoed the same statement about vitamins and nutrients.

I will be going back for more bloodwork in the beginnning of November, and will assess the impact to my blood sugars.  We buy maple sugar from Amazon, and get maple syrup often at Costco.

SpecialK was happy to kick Xylitol to the curb.  Will you try these changes with me?894A6B7C-E71B-4F0E-9017-3E452B535DD4

Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil salad at home

True story time.  I went shopping earlier this week, knowing we had fresh mozzarella in the fridge.  I had promised SpecialK a tomato mozzarella salad, so I bought a couple of pints of grape tomatoes and a package of fresh basil.

We had purchased a bottle of Trader Joe’s Balsamic glaze, and SpecialK asked that I used that.  I did, and made the salad leaving the basil out.

We finished it off, and while SpecialK was traveling, I made it again, remembering to use the fresh basil.  Honestly, I was heavy handed with the balsamic glaze, lesson learned.

I had made this salad earlier this year, before we had the balsamic glaze.  Use 4 part oil on the tomatoes to 3 parts balsamic glaze on the mozzarella.

Want to grab fork and join me?

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To make this salad:

tomatoes

mozarella balls or sliced mozzarella

fresh basil

extra virgin olive oil

baslamic glaze or balsamic vinegar

Salt

Directions:

1) Wash and dry the tomatoes, add them to a large bowl.

2) Place mozzarella in a small bowl, cutting into bite size pieces if necessary.

3) Add extra virgin olive oil to the tomatoes , and toss.  Add salt and pepper, to taste.

4) Add balsamic to the mozzarella, and toss.

5) Rinse and dry off the basil.  Roll the leaves together and cut into thin strips.  Add to the tomato bowl, carefully mixing with the tomatoes.

6) Add the mozrella to the tomatoes bowl, and toss together carefully, so as to keep the mozzarella bite size.

Add serving spoon and enjoy!

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Me and My Fitbit

It’s a very interesting note on our behavior.  Just when I felt I couldn’t push through one more day of steps, I called my nutritionist to discuss.

She told me that just because the American Heart Association recommended 10.000 steps a day, it didn’t have to be every day.  Then, my group of international walking pals started another challenge, I am on Team Purple.  So I started my steps again and pushed through the 28 day challenge.

The challenge ended yesterday, and Team Purple did not outwalk Team Yellow.

Today, my inner 3 year old wants to throw a tantrum. I don’t want to walk today, then I look at my steps for the day, and wonder if I could somehow pull this one out.  The weights are on my hands and I am pushing through the resistance.

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Are you committed to a workout plan?

Meal Planning

Do you meal plan, sketch out a list of meals per day for a week or a month at a time?

I have considered the idea, however SpecialK travels for work.  I don’t usually cook when he travels.

We often buy what we like, and create meals from these items.  We had salmon, Brussels Sprouts and peaches here last week, and SpecialK knew I wanted to try grilled peaches, so he grilled all three items.

 

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I did take a second peach half after trying it; this was a good meal.  Teriyaki sauce on the salmon, some white cheddar on the Brussel Sprouts and some olive oil on the peaches.

Since then, SpecialK has been actively avoiding dairy.  There is a cheese drawer full of cheese.

Guess who gets to eat the cheese?

What is one of your favorite grill meals?

He made some, too!

Imagine my surprise when I got up last weekend, to find SpecialK making pancakes with our new flour blend.  He likes it Mikey!

He didn’t want me to make anything with my latest gluten free flour find when he wasn’t home, as he wanted to try it too.

So one morning, a week or , I made the pancake recipe from the back of the flour bag.  He liked them!  (I did too!)

He made them himself last weekend.

This is our new flour blend, you can purchase here:

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The pancake recipe is on the back, and we have cut the sugar in half, replacing white sugar with maple sugar.

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This flour is 18 g net carb per 1/4 C, the lowest I have found yet.

Your favorite pancake recipe?

We upgraded!

I was so excited a year and a half ago to buy our first instant pot.

This year, I decided to upgrade to the Instapot Ultra.  Thank you Amazon for making this possible.  I was able to resell our original one to a person who was delighted that it came from a gluten free house.

I have been lazy with this one, instead of manually doing everything, I pushed porridge and my steel cut oats were cooked.  Instead of wrapping my original Instapot with a towel for 8 hours, I push a button and yogurt is made.  I still love my Instapot, and happy that I now use the buttons instead of researching everything.

When Amazon puts it on sale again, you should get one too.  Won’t you?