Saturday, July 30, 2011

N Is for New

I think I need a new scale. I know in the early days of following a low carb diet you can see some significant weight loss but my scale said 249 this morning. I tried it three times to be sure. I just don’t feel as if I’ve lost 6 lbs. since Monday and usually I can feel that kind of weight loss. Oh well, I am not going to obsess about it.
Yesterday morning I made a new recipe, sausage and egg muffins for breakfast. I used Johnsonville Four Cheese Italian sausage because the recipe called for Italian sausage and these are my favorite kind. I loved them though the husband was unsure. He’s a little quirky sometimes. If he’s expecting a certain taste and doesn’t get it, he then judges the dish not to his liking rather than judging the dish on its own merit without expectation. He expected the typical pork breakfast sausage and when it wasn’t, he thought the dish tasted “off”. Personally, I enjoyed it immensely. The recipe calls for you to bake the eggs. I’ve never cared for the texture of baked eggs in the past but this dish really worked. Here’s the recipe:
Sausage and Egg Muffins
6 oz. Ital. sausage
6 eggs
1/8 cup heavy cream
3 oz. cheese
Preheat oven to 350. Spray large muffin pans with cooking spray. Cut sausage links and place them 2 to a tin. Mix eggs with cream, salt and pepper. Pour into tins over sausage. Sprinkle with ½ cheese, layer on remaining egg mixture and top off with cheese again. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until eggs are done.
Yields 3 servings
Total Net carbs: 2.3 grams per serving
I used 2 full Italian sausages, added 1 egg and a pinch more cheese to stretch this to 4 servings.
The bacon cheeseburger recipe I tried was less impressive and will need a major overhaul. It just wasn’t flavorful enough as written. I won’t share the recipe since in my book it was a flop. When I get it right I’ll post it.
Still getting over a summer cold that has settled in my lungs, I didn’t exercise yesterday but I have plans of doing so today. The cold seems much better this morning – it doesn’t hurt much when I take a deep breath. Also on the agenda is some house cleaning, a little time out on the riding mower before the jungle takes over and canning tomatoes.
Yes, in the 90+ degree weather, I am canning. I’m not sure why tomatoes have to ripen in the hottest time of the season but they do so I will be blanching and canning all morning. 25 lbs. will go into salsa and 25 lbs. into diced tomatoes with garlic, basil and oregano. Yummy!

Friday, July 29, 2011

L Is for Low Carb Menu PLanning

I’ve been away for a while, in part because I completely fell off my plan and I really didn’t want to come here and admit it again. We’ve been hit by scorching heat for weeks. Because my home is more than 100 years old and we cannot afford to install central air conditioning, we only have window air units in a couple of rooms. The room I can use to exercise is not one of them. With temps in the 90s for weeks and the heat index well above 100, I gave up exercising. Coupled with the 4th of July holiday weekend spent out town followed by oldest son’s 18th birthday and high school graduation party 2 weeks later, I’ve managed to gain back 10 lbs. Disappointed in myself does not even begin to cover how I feel.
My husband called me from work earlier this week to say his company was starting another round of their version of “The Biggest Loser” and he decided to go for it. Since it is always helpful when your spouse is on board with weight loss plans, this got me a bit fired up again.
I spent the better part of the day researching low carb meals I could actually live with. In the past, I’ve had trouble with this because in order to make recipes taste decently, low carb meals often call for expensive, exotic or specialty items. These can be hard to find or way out of my budget. I’ve tried using Atkins Baking Mix and few other products, low carb bread. These things just don’t taste good – to me. Plus, they ARE expensive.  So I needed a menu plan I could live with and I think I’ve put one together.
It is my hope to try out these recipes and then report back here the next day on how they turned out and include any tips I discover for making them easier or tastier.
I am also starting to exercise again though moderately in the heat. Wednesday I did 32 minutes of the Wii “Walk It Out” and remembered how much I enjoyed that.
I am starting out at 255 again, as of this past Wednesday and the 2 days of low-carb & exercise has me down to 251 today (Friday). I am encouraged.

Yesterdays’ Lunch: Cucumber Tuna Boat
3 cucumbers
1 6 oz can tuna
2 hardboiled eggs, diced
1/2 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons dill relish
1 Tablespoon chopped onion
1 Teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 Teaspoon salt
Cut cucumbers lengthwise and de-seed. Cut a small slice off the bottom to make cucumbers lay flat. Combine remaining ingredients in mixing bowl to make tuna salad and spoon into cucumbers. Serve immediately.
Yields 6 servings
Total Net carbs: 5 grams per serving
This was delicious! I omitted the relish because I have never been a fan of it. I don’t generally make things where I worry about presentation for just myself but I have to say, sitting down to eat this, I felt like I had indulged. I suppose you could simply slice the seeded cucumber and mix it in with the tuna too but there’s was something fun about feeling like I had catered to myself a bit. I will be having this again today and I’m trying it out on the hubby. I don’t have 6 people to feed in my house at one sitting and I can’t afford to waste the leftovers. Whenever I make this, it will last for 2 or 3 days, depending on how many of the kids are home for lunch that day.
Today I am trying sausage and egg muffins for breakfast though there is no “muffin” involved and bacon cheeseburger with a side of broccoli for dinner. I’ll let you know how those turn out.

Circle 8 Anthologies Featuring my Short Stories