No Sugar and a Great New Soup Recipe

 

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I started the week with a sugar detox. No sugar for five days.  I have been surprised by the hidden sugar that I’ve found.  I popped a gluten free cracker in my mouth. Picked up the box, looked at the label and lo and behold, sugar. Right there in the ingredients. 2 grams in 14 crackers. Oh my! I swallowed it very quickly and put the box away. It’s harder than you think.  I gave up sweet tea three weeks ago.  Sugar in my coffee two weeks ago, so I thought this was going to be a breeze. Nope. Not a breeze. I have had to read every label.  If you’re not making it fresh, read the label. On the flip side, I’ve lost two pounds this week and I’ve had a lot more energy.  I’ve only had a few slip ups (because of hidden sugars)  but other than those few I’ve done pretty good.

Water, Waer, and more Water.  I’m really trying to get my allotment of water in for the day.  Eight, 8 oz. cups a day. Some days, more than that.  That’s getting easier every day. I like water.  I’ve just never liked it with meals and in large quantities. Now I just kind of reach for it instead of something else.  I do miss my sweet tea mixed with just a touch of lemonade.  I’ve had a craving for that little mixture a couple of times.  Nothing outrageous though.

We’ve had some really good meals.  I baked several chicken breasts on Monday and made a huge salad, enough for several meals.

One night for dinner we had salad with chicken on top with crumbled goat cheese.I used a red wine and vinegar dressing for my salad. Salad with Baked chicken.jpg

 

The next night we had baked chicken, salad  and stir fry veggies (zucchini, yellow squash, red onions and mushrooms and brown rice.

Sunday,  I made, Honey Balsamic Salmon.  So delicious.  I served it with rice and oven roasted veggies. (Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Mushrooms, Red & Yellow Peppers and Cauliflower)

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Tonight we had the Tuscan Chicken Soup.  I got the recipe off of the internet and I made a few slight changes.  The original came from Cassie, at Hi Sugarplum. I think I overdid the chicken in mine but with my husband you can never have too much meat in the dish.

Tuscan Chicken Soup

( Cassie’s is Tuscan Vegetable. Because of all the chicken in my rendering of the recipe, I’m calling mine Tuscan Chicken.) (I copied her recipe here and then noted the changes I made)

Ingredients:

1 tbsp. olive oil  ( I used coconut oil)
1 cup chopped kale or cabbage (I used cabbage and used 2 cups)
1 cup diced celery (about 2 stalks)
1 cup diced zucchini (about 1 medium)(I used 2 cups)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme (or 1 tsp. dried)
1 tbsp. chopped fresh sage (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
1/2 tsp. sea salt, plus more to taste
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper, plus more to taste
4 cups chicken broth (fat-free & low-sodium) (I added an additional cup of water)
14 oz can diced tomatoes with juice
2 handfuls baby spinach (about 2 cups packed)
1-2 cups shredded chicken (optional) (I probably had 4 cups of chicken, lol)

Directions:

1. Heat oil in medium-sized soup pan over medium-high heat. Add veggies and spices (kale through pepper), and cook until tender (about 5 minutes)

2. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, and chicken, and bring to boil. Add the spinach leaves and cook until the spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes.

And that’s the whole enchilada.  So good.  I always look at a recipe and then make adjustments, except in baking. I don’t trust myself in baking to do that.  But if it’s on the stove top, I will adjust a recipe all day long.  The next time I make this recipe I will use a jar of tomatoes that I canned from the garden this past summer.  I didn’t remember to do that today.  I also used homemade chicken broth that I had in the freezer.  It’s getting time to make another batch. Maybe I’ll share my broth recipe here.

I hope you all have a great weekend.

I leave you with this verse:  Jeremiah 33:6  Nevertheless,  I will bring health and healing to it;  I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.

Until we meet again, it’s just an Average Day on Everidge.

Fif

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Live to Eat or Eat to Live? That is the Question…

edison

I’ve done this a couple of times. Hahaha! You know, changed my eating habits. You might have done the same thing a time or two. Some of the changes have stuck. Like the time I stopped drinking soft drinks in 2004. I still haven’t started back.  I will on a very rare occasion have a ginger ale but that might happen once or twice a year at the most.  In addition, since 2004, for the most part, we eat an organic or all natural diet. It’s hard to do that all the time but we try very hard to stick to that lifestyle. We just feel better when we do. We can actually feel it if we eat out at a lot of restaurants. We call it the “preservative hangover”. Normally, I will try to find something on the menu that doesn’t have a lot of seasoning on it. For example, I will ask for fish to be broiled with just salt and pepper. I definitely try to stay away from MSG and other preservatives. Continue reading

A “Leftover” Success

 

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What do you do with leftovers? I’m always looking for interesting ways to use them. I hate to throw food away, but invariably if I’m not creative with them they will go to waste.  We forget they are in the fridge or either just get tired of them after day two or three. This past Sunday I had made a beef roast and had at least half left over.  I searched Pinterest for recipes that used leftover roasts and found one for shredded beef quesadillas. This recipe looked delicious so I decided to make it. I did change it up a bit from the original. Here is the link for the original I found on Pinterest.

It was a hit and is on the list for “let’s have this again!”  Here is my version:

Ingredients

Leftover Roast Beef (I used about 5 oz.- 2 ½ per quesadilla and warmed it just a little in the microwave, just to knock off the chill.)

Shredded Cheese (I used Trader Joe’s Shredded 3 Cheese Blend)

Whole Wheat Tortillas (I used Trader Joe’s)

Salsa ( I used Trader Joe’s Salsa)

Butter (I used Ghee-Clarified Butter)

Sour Cream

Directions

Butter both sides of the tortilla

Place in pan. Let tortilla heat on one side then flip.

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Cover in Cheese

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Once cheese starts to melt, add shredded/chopped beef to one side.

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Add a small amount of cheese to top of beef.

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Add salsa  to side opposite of beef

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Slide onto plate and add chopped lettuce.

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Flip half way over and add sour cream to the top if you like.

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Serve with your favorite chips and salsa and enjoy!

Please share your favorite recipes that you use with leftovers. I would love to see what others do.

We’re hunkered down and waiting for the snow and ice. Be safe and stay warm.

It’s just an Average Day on Everidge, Fifi

Diets, Dinners and Desserts

We are big eaters. We love food. We love it a lot.  I’ve been cooking since I was a little girl and I know my way around the kitchen pretty well.

You’ve heard the saying,

One-must-eat-to-live__quotes-by-French-Proverb-86

Well at our house we sometimes get this rule backwards.  Eating is a sport over here. An event. We love to cook and feed people and we love to hear how great the food is.  We purchase the finest whole, natural and organic ingredients. We buy our meat, hormone and antibiotic free and we practice a recipe and test it, until we get it just right. For example:  My husband’s hot wings are to die for. Seriously, they are crunchy on the outside, moist on the inside, hot, with a hint of sweet but also a hint of tangy.  He has his hot wing recipe perfected. You can ask any of our son’s basketball buds or any of his closest friends and they will tell you they are the best wings ever. We mention wings and people line up. We take this food thing very seriously.

However, most recently due to health reasons we’ve had to make some serious diet changes. My cholesterol level is off the charts, (thanks mom) and I’ve recently found that I need to exclude gluten and dairy from my diet as well (I don’t know who to thank for that.) and we agreed that losing weight would be an added bonus. We determined in June that we needed to make healthier choices. Talking about it wasn’t enough.  We thought if we chose to eat meat during only one meal a week then that would be an easy, affordable and healthy way to do both. We both are meat and potatoes kind of folks so we expected this to be a huge challenge.  What we learned was, after cutting out meat, we felt 100 times better after our meals. We had so much more energy. We didn’t miss meat as much as we thought we would and our grocery bill was much less. I had to become more creative with meal planning as well. I’m experimenting with different vegetables and changing up recipes. We were just getting in a groove when three months in I found out that I needed to cut gluten and dairy from my diet so that added challenges and restrictions that I wasn’t sure I was prepared for. I’m from the country. We use flour, butter, milk and cheese with a side of Ranch dressing on everything. I’m not going to lie. It takes some getting used to. Especially the baking.  The flour (coconut and almond) eh, still getting accustomed to the texture.  I’m learning. I will leave it at that.

Tonight’s meal consisted of Fried Cod Fish, recipe posted below,Steamed Broccoli, Mixed Rice (Brown/Jasmine cooked in Vegetable Broth) and for dessert, Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

We are still a work in progress. We’ve lost a combined 49 pounds and my cholesterol has dropped 30 points.  I think we are on a good path and will keep you posted on our progress.  We definitely feel better.IMG_2670

Breaded Cod Fillets (Recipe Modified from Original)

  • 4-5 3 oz fish fillets, fresh or frozen
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup of almond milk
  • 1 cup of gluten free panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup of fresh grated parmesan cheese (omitted in my recipe)
  • 1/4 tsp of dried parsley
  • 1 tsp of dried basil
  • 1 tsp of dried oregano
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of fresh ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbls of extra virgin olive oilPREPARATION
  • Rinse the cod under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.
  • In a shallow bowl whisk together the eggs and milk.
  • In another shallow bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley, basil, oregano, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper.
  • Dip the cod into the egg mixture then coat with the breadcrumb mixture.
  • Refrigerate for around a half hour.
  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan.
  • Fry the cod until golden brown. Around 4 to 5 minutes on each side.
  • Drain on a paper towel and serve.
  • Serves 4 people
  • IMG_2676

Gluten Free Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

Ingredients

Drizzle

  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp almond milk

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a square 8×8 baking pan. Alternatively you can line the bottom with unbleached parchment paper. The original recipe recommended the parchment paper.  I just greased and floured the pan and it seemed to work fine for me.

In a large mixing bowl add the milk, puree, apple sauce, eggs, and oil. Combine with awire whisk. Add the rest of the ingredients except the chocolate chips and combine. Add 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and fold.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 45-55 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool cake in the baking pan over a wire rack.

Heat the 2 tbsp of milk and add the chocolate chips. Whisk until the chocolate is melted and drizzle over the cool pumpkin cake.

You can follow my Gluten Free Pinterest Board here.  I’m always pinning new recipes. If you’re interested in following my Pinterest Veggie Board, you can follow it here.

Until we meet again, It’s just an Average Day on Everidge, Fifi