Thanksgiving Pledge – My Plate

My healthy, low carb Thanksgiving plate: Turkey, broccoli casserole, cauliflower mash with chives and garlic and stuffing with sage and chives.

My healthy, low carb Thanksgiving plate: Turkey, broccoli casserole, cauliflower mash with chives and garlic and stuffing with sage and chives.

Last night the hubby and I celebrated our Thanksgiving. And in honoring the Thanksgiving Pledge I took a photo of my plate and didn’t have any seconds. Not that I had time anyway. I still had to bake 2 pies for the real Thanksgiving dinner we’re having at our friends home.

So far so good. While the stuffing was low-fat, both the broccoli casserole and the cauliflower mash were low carb. Everything was filling and thankfully I ended up only going with half servings of each side dish.

The real test comes today. But my strategy is the same — load up on turkey and small portions of everything else.


Stuffing with Sage & Chives

I ended up modifying this Weight Watchers recipe. Sorry, but to call a dish stuffing and not cubed bread, moisture is key. The recipe called for 2 cups of chicken broth and no eggs. I ended up using 3 cups of broth, 2 eggs and 1 tbsp of fresh parsley.

Perfect…almost. If I make this next year, I would add 1 cup of diced granny smith apple and fresh sage. Talk about yum! I had an apple left over from the pie and I’m kicking myself for not adding it. Oh well.

With my changes the stuffing tasted yummy.  I know my changes add 1 point, but you can probably skip the eggs and still have a tasty 3-point serving of stuffing.  I ended up only eating ½ a serving anyway — very filling.

Stuffing with Sage & Chives
Net Carbs: 19g
Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 4 (3 points w/o eggs)
Serves: 8

Ingredients

  • Cooking Spray
  • 12 slices whole wheat bread, cubed*
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp light butter
  • 1 C uncooked onions, diced
  • 3 rib(s) uncooked celery, diced
  • 2 tsp dried sage
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp table salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 3 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 3 C water
  • 1 Tbsp parsley, fresh chopped
  • 2 Tbsp chives, fresh, chopped

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 and coat a 4-quart shallow baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Arrange bread cubes on a large ungreased baking sheet in a single layer (use 2 baking sheets if necessary). Bake until lightly toasted, about 8-10 minutes. Remove bread from oven and set aside. Leave oven at 350.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil and butter together for 1-2 minutes. Add onion and celery and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes. Add thyme, sage, salt and pepper; stir to coat. Cook until herbs are fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • In a saucepan, bring 3 cups of water to boil. Add in bouillon cubes and parsley; stir until cubes dissolve. Remove pan from heat.
  • Transfer onion mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add bread and chives. Slowly add in broth, mixing as you go.  You want mixture moist, but no liquid forming at the bottom of your bowl. Be sure to mix well to absorb liquid.
  • Spoon mixture into prepared baking dish and cover with foil; bake 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until top is golden brown, about 15 minutes more.
  • Divide into 8 pieces and serve. Yields 1 piece per serving.

* Leave the bread bag open and somewhat uncovered for 1-2 days at room temperature before making recipe.  

 


Back-2-Back Thanksgivings Next Week

low carb thanksgiving, weight loss,

I’m cooking up a healthy, low carb post-Thanksgiving turkey feast for me and the hubby. (Image: An awesome Turkey with Brown-Sugar Glaze via marthastewart.com)

Since the husband and I are visiting friends for Thanksgiving, we’ve decided to prepare our own little, low carb turkey feast on Friday. The beauty of going low carb is we don’t have to fear leftovers.

I don’t want to prepare something that we eat everyday. I want something out of the ordinary. Considering I’m weighing in the next day, I don’t want to go too crazy.

Friday morning I’m planning on a muscle workout, followed by a spinning class and finally some yoga. That means it’s a “high-carb” day (100g of carbs). So stuffing is on the menu!

Low Carb Thanksgiving Menu
I’m going with a turkey breast and not a whole turkey. There’s only two of us for this meal, so no need for a full bird.

I came up with a lot of options including pumpkin-macadamia soup, apple-topped mashed sweet potatoes and garlic cauliflower mash. But I’m focused on keep the carb count under control. I’ll only have 30-40g of carbs available for dinner. Other than the stuffing, I’m keeping the net carbs for each dish at or under 5g.

  • Roasted Turkey Breast (0g)
  • Broccoli Au Gratin (4.1g)
  • Stuffing with Sage and Chives (19g)
  • Crustless Low Carb Pumpkin Pie (5g)

On paper the recipes look tasty. I’ll post the recipes if the dishes actually taste good.


Seared Ahi Tuna with Wasabi Vinaigrette Recipe

I enjoyed seared ahi tuna for my fish challenge last night. It was delicious. Is sushi in my future?

I enjoyed seared ahi tuna for my fish challenge last night. It was delicious. Is sushi in my future?

My fish food challenge continued last night with a delightful Seared Ahi Tuna appetizer. My husband took pity on my sore legs and treated me to a date night at the Outback Steakhouse.

I noticed the tuna on the menu and decided to try it.

It was yummy! The tuna tasted amazing. Seared perfectly, the fish and had the right amount of seasoning – it didn’t over power the taste of the tuna.

After I ate the tuna, my husband pointed out that I essentially had sushi. He wants me to visit a sushi bar next week. Not sure if I’m ready for that adventure yet.

If I had a complaint about the dish it was the choice of lettuce for the “salad.” Ice burg…really? Why bother?  I skipped the lettuce and devoured the tuna.

The wasabi sauce was nice, although I wanted more heat. I only tried a small amount – I have no idea what’s in it but assumed it would do nothing to help me lose weight.

This is something I need to try at home, but as a proper salad. I found this little recipe on The Food Network. It had me at the mixed greens!  The recipe calls for using all the vinaigrette on the salad. That’s actually too much for my taste.  I recommend making the dressing as the recipe calls for, but using only one tablespoon on the mixed greens. You can use the rest of the dressing over a couple of days before trashing it.

Seared Ahi Tuna with Wasabi Vinaigrette
Net Carbs: 2
Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 6
Single serving

Ingredients

  • 1 Ahi tuna steak
  • 1 Tsp. coarse salt and coarse black pepper
  • Cooking spray or olive oil
  • 2 C mixed greens
  • ½ Tsp. wasabi paste
  • 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. virgin olive oil

Directions

  • Season your tuna with salt and pepper.
  • Spray grill pan or lightly oil with olive oil and then heat grill pan on grill
  • Add tuna steak on to the hot surface and sear tuna for 2 minutes on each side. Remove tuna from heat.
  • In a small bowl, whisk wasabi, vinegar and soy sauce. Whisk in oil to combine dressing. Drizzle 1 tbsp. of dressing over your salad and toss to coat evenly.
  • Slice Tuna on an angle and arrange on the salad.

Slow-Cooked Pork Shoulder With Low-Carb Coleslaw

low carb pulled pork and coleslaw

A delish and healthy dinner tonight: pulled pork, low-carb coleslaw, and as a nephew calls them, “trees.”

I picked up a pork shoulder a couple of weeks ago and last night I was in thee mood for some pulled pork.

And what goes best with pulled pork? Coleslaw.

Both low-carb recipes are compliments of the Atkins community. The pulled pork I found in my trusty Atkins cookbook. The coleslaw I stumbled upon online.

For my pulled pork, I don’t add BBQ sauce.  I’m sure that’s getting boos from BBQ fans. But I haven’t perfected a low-carb BBQ sauce yet. Great BBQ sauce requires too much sugar. Last thing I want is to jack up my insulin levels.

A note to all you Weight Watchers out there: My ‘slaw focuses on lowering the net carb count. You can easily make it more point friendly by substituting the regular mayo and sour cream with their low-fat kin.

Slow-Cooked Pork Shoulder
Net Carbs: 1g
Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 6
Servings: Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 1 boneless pork roast, about 4 lbs.
  • ½ C beef or chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp. tamari (gluten-free substitute for soy sauce)
  • ½ tsp. hot sauce
  • 2 tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. sugar-free pancake syrup
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin

Directions

  • Pre-heat oven to 325 F. Set pork in a casserole dish or Dutch oven with a lid. In a small bowl, combine broth, tamari, hot sauce, vinegar, syrup and cumin and mix well; pour over pork. Cover and bake until fork-tender, about 3 hours.
  • Let the meat rest for 10 minutes before chopping or shredding.

If you don’t know how to shred or pull the pork, just watch the video below.

Low-Carb Coleslaw
Net Carbs: 4.7
Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 6
Servings: Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 lbs. medium head of cabbage, halved and cored
  • ¾ C mayonnaise
  • ½ C sour cream
  • 2 tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. granular sugar substitute
  • 2 tsp. celery seeds
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper

Directions

  • Cut cabbage halves in half and thinly slice. Transfer to a large bowl.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together mayo, sour cream, cider vinegar, sugar substitute, celery seed, salt and pepper. Pour over cabbage and mix until thoroughly combined.
  • Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving for flavors to blend.

How To Pull Pork

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Easter Dinner – Turkey & Cumin Green Beans

Happy Easter all!

Today’s Easter dinner will be real simple and healthy.

Roasted Turkey
Green Beans with Lemon and Cumin
Mixed Green Salad

Nothing to fancy with the turkey today. Normally I would do a maple glaze (very yummy, but very high carb). So today the turkey will just go in a roasting bag and into an oven. For folks who have never tried a roasting bag before, your turkey will consistently come out juicy.

I normally I add my spices to about 1/2 stick of soft butter. The spices can be simply salt and pepper or chopped rosemary and thyme. Today will be just salt and pepper. I rub the butter mixture over the turkey and under the skin. Then truss your turkey.

I add 1 tbsp of flour to the roasting bag and shake the bag to make sure the flour coats the inside of the bag. This is to make sure the Turkey skin doesn’t stick to the bag when cooking. Just follow the instructions that come with the roasting bag on oven temp and how long to cook the bird. The beauty of using the roasting bag is that you don’t have to baste the turkey or constantly check on it. You just need to be sure that when you place it in the oven, the bag has room to expand – you don’t want it to make contact with your oven walls.

Green Beans With Lemon & Cumin
Carbs: 3g
Servings: 6

Ingredients
1 lbs. Green Beans, trimmed
2 Tsp Butter
2 Tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3/4 Tsp Ground Cumin
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Freshly Grated Lemon Zest
2 Tsp Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
1/8 Tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Directions
Bring pot of salted water to boil and add green beans and simmer until tender – 3 minutes. Drain pot and plunge beans into a large bowl of icy water to stop cooking. Drain beans again.

Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add cumin and saute until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add beans, salt, lemon zest, lemon juice and pepper. Saute beans until they are tender crisp and lightly browned – 4 minutes. Serve hot. Yum.


Quick & Tasty Caprese Salad

Caprese Salad - quick and easy lunch that is only 6g of carbs.

Caprese Salad – quick and easy lunch that is only 6g of carbs.

Behold! The simplest and most delicious salad. Caprese salads are my favorite. I made this in 2 minutes.

It looks small but I find it filling. Plus, I normally snack at about 2:30, so this carries me well into my snack time.

When making this for friends, I normally would layer the fresh mozzarella slices on top of tomato slices, but I was hungry. No fancy presentation needed. 

If you’ve never had this before, I encourage you to try it. Now normally I would use balsamic vinegar and olive oil. I went with apple cider vinegar this time because balsamic is slightly higher in carbs.

Caprese Salad – Serves 1
Carb Count: 6g

Ingredients
1 Roma Tomato, cut into large chunks
4 ounces Fresh Mozzarella, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1-2 Tsp of Cider Vinegar Dressing
4 leaves Fresh Basil, cut into thin strips

Directions
Place tomatoes and mozzarella into a bowl. Add dressing and toss. Sprinkle fresh basil on top.