A Down And Dirty Sweet Treat: Lemon Cream Something In A Jiffy

Ok a temporary detour from clean eating. Just a bit 😉

  • 8oz container of Truwhip or coolwhip
  • 4oz cream cheese, softened a lot
  • 3T heavy cream, half and half, milk, whatever
  • 1 packet crystal light or other lemonade flavor drink mix, the kind for a water bottle size serving

Into the very soft cream cheese, mix the drink powder and the heavy cream until completely blended.

Fold as gently as possible into the truwhip.

Now, you can either spoon this into small bites onto a cookie sheet and freeze OR you can stash it in your fridge, hidden from prying eyes, and just eat it by the spoonful out of the container lol.

Why? Because sometimes you just need a creamy lemony something!

This is a total ramble: facebook and oversharing negativity

Rottenecards_61622050_b7csnnkzfk
neg·a·tiv·i·ty
ˌneɡəˈtivədē/
noun
noun: negativity; plural noun: negativities
  1. the expression of criticism of or pessimism about something.
    “he was taken aback by the negativity of the press”

If you’re on facebook, you probably have “friends” like these:

  • They’re always posting negative things
  • They hate everything
  • They don’t seem to have any joy in their lives
  • They trash talk others/make rude comments
  • If you dare post something positive, they have a downer comment to add
  • Nothing is ever good enough

You get the picture, and I’m willing to bet you know at least one.

I try to be upbeat and positive.

I recently asked my facebook friends to post one thing a day positive about their lives for a week.

“Negative Nancy” posted “I don’t want to play this stupid game”.  She went on to say these things are dumb and no one can be positive all the time.

I agreed with her, but explained I only wanted 1 thing a day for a week, surely she could find that. Is it a beautiful day? Did you have a really great meal? Did you cook or craft something that you were proud of? Did your kid(s)/pet make you smile? Did a stranger do something nice like hold the door for you? Did someone let you onto the street in traffic so you didn’t have to wait 5 minutes?

Simple things can help adjust your attitude, and positive thoughts can impact you in ways that benefit not just you, but your loved ones and even the strangers around you.

So… look for the good things in life!

Pondering Cheese and Low-Carb Recipes

I love cheese, I really do!

But: why is it every low-carb recipe seems to want to cram as much cheese as is humanly possible into it? Aside from masking the flavor of the dish, it also jumps the calories up tremendously.
Not to mention can cause some serious *ahem* bathroom issues!

If I want that much cheese, I’ll, you know, eat cheese lol.

I love strong flavored cheeses, and as a finishing flavor, not the bulk of the dish.

A nice sprinkle of mozzarella or Asiago or Parmesan. A really nice crumble of goat cheese or a strong bleu cheese. A few cubes of super sharp cheddar or Manchego. A crumble of feta. A few thin slices of a sharp horseradish cheese.
These are the things that make my cheese-world go around.
When you add a little cheese to a dish, it elevates it, but doesn’t eliminate the taste or texture of the body of a dish.
I want meatballs topped with a little mozzarella, not meatballs in cheese dip lol.

I’m not above adding a load of cheese to something occasionally, but usually not.
Same with bacon, but that’s another story(and low-carb blasphemy!) 😉

Just a rambling thought for today.

Simple Cooking At Its Finest: Chicken Soup, No Noodles Needed

There’s a fairly long cook time to coax the flavor out without adding funky ingredients BUT if you have an organic chicken broth/stock you like, certainly skip the longer simmer and just add that and skip to the next step!

Chicken Soup, No Noodles Needed

  • 2lbs Chicken thighs, with skin and bones (6-8 thighs)
  • 2T olive oil, coconut oil, duck fat, whatever cooking fat you like
  • 8 cups water, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced thick
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 4 large carrots, sliced (I wash but don’t peel them)
  • 3 large zucchini squash, or other squash, cleaned, quarter and chop
  • 15oz can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1tsp each: dried marjoram, thyme and pink sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Heat the oilve oil in a deep pan.

Saute the veggies, including the garlic, until they just start to soften and have a light color on them. Remove the veggies from the pan.

Place the thighs in, skin side down, and cook until lightly browned. Do this in 2 batches if necessary to not crowd the pan.

To the pan with the chicken, add 4 cups water. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked.

Remove the chicken, and when it’s cool enough to handle, pull all the meat and skin off. Return the bones and skin to the pot, add the remaining water and simmer over low for another hour. (This is the part you would skip if using a prepared broth).

Chop the meat into bite size pieces.

Strain the broth and add the meat, veggies and spices to the pan. Simmer until the veggies are the texture you like, and serve.

Nutrition Facts
Servings 6.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 163
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10 g 15 %
Saturated Fat 2 g 10 %
Monounsaturated Fat 3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 32 mg 11 %
Sodium 486 mg 20 %
Potassium 516 mg 15 %
Total Carbohydrate 11 g 4 %
Dietary Fiber 3 g 14 %
Sugars 6 g
Protein 8 g 16 %
Vitamin A 112 %
Vitamin C 50 %
Calcium 14 %
Iron 8 %

There Are 365 Days In A Year. Out Of Those, I Eat Breakfast About 30 Times

I’m not a big breakfast fan.

When I do eat breakfast, I want something fast and easy to cook.

I did throw this together today and was pleasantly surprised.

I have a little 1 egg skillet that’s perfect for it, too! Like a pancake size.

  • 1 extra large egg, organic if possible
  • 1tsp coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise (I used my own parmesan pepper one)
  • 1 tablespoon kerrygold or other good butter

Beat the egg well, then beat in the coconut flour until it’s well incorporated, then beat in the mayonnaise until it’s all blended (I just used a fork). Add a pinch of salt and pepper.

Heat a small pan over medium heat. Melt the butter then swirl to coat the pan, add the egg mixture and let it cook for about 30 seconds, until the bottom is set. Gently life the edge and let the uncooked egg flow under to the pan, and then cover it and turn off the heat for 2 minutes to finish cooking the egg.

That’s it!

I topped mine with a tablespoon of homemade chimichurri sauce and it was a nice start to the day!

Nutrition Facts
Servings 1.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 275
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 28 g 43 %
Saturated Fat 10 g 48 %
Monounsaturated Fat 3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 7 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 240 mg 80 %
Sodium 253 mg 11 %
Potassium 70 mg 2 %
Total Carbohydrate 1 g 0 %
Dietary Fiber 0 g 2 %
Sugars 0 g
Protein 7 g 14 %
Vitamin A 16 %
Vitamin C 0 %
Calcium 2 %
Iron 5 %

Recipe: Cauliflower Salad with a Mediterranean Twist

Cauliflower Salad with a Mediterranean Twist

  • 1 bag frozen cauliflower (12oz), thawed and “riced”, then well drained
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced fine
  • 1 small onion, diced fine (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced fine
  • 1 handful flat-leaf or regular parsley, or cilantro if you like, rough chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped (optional or use dried mint, about 1tsp, reconstituted)
  • Juice from 2-3 lemons – you want about 1/3 cup
  • 4T good extra virgin olive oil, a fruity and flavorful brand
  • 2T toasted pine nuts, pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds (shelled)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • black and/or green olives, sliced, about 1/3 cup

Very simple, just prep everything and toss in a large bowl with a tight fitting lid.

Shake vigorously to blend and refrigerate at least 2 hours, shaking occasionally.

This is better the next day, giving the flavors a chance to develop.

Today Marks Two Weeks Free Of: Allegra, Advil and Sudafed

Why is this a ballergiesig deal? Because I have allergies. And I was totally dependent on these products, daily, for months on end.

It seems like the “allergy season” here is now year-round.

I was rotating between Allegra, Claritin and Zyrtec, 1 week then switch, to see if I had better results, but the Allegra seemed to work best for me.

I didn’t want to take an antihistamine/decongestant combo product, because I don’t always need a decongestant.

I started this as an experiment to see if I felt worse not taking them than I do when taking them.

The up-side: fewer morning headaches; less lethargy; less weird taste in my mouth all the time; sleeping more soundly at night; not drowsy during the day as much. This is an odd one, but I don’t use a lot of sweeteners daily anyway, but I found that I need a lot less, like half, to get the taste I want, than I did before I stopped the medications. Weird, huh?

The down-side: every evening, around 7pm, I have a round of sneezures – I sneeze about 10 times in a row, have a few minutes reprieve, then do it again. This lasts about 30-45 minutes.

I’m starting to think I’m allergic to my husband lol.

Bottom line is: I don’t feel worse. And I’m sure my liver appreciates not being assaulted with Advil constantly.

Home Made Spicy Pimento Cheese Spread

This makes a really large batch, so please feel free to scale it down. It does not freeze well.

Home Made Spicy Pimento Cheese Spread

  • 8oz Sharp Cheddar cheese (I used Tillamook)
  • 8oz Pepper Jack cheese (I used Tillamook)
  • 3 oz Roasted Red Pepper (about 1 medium roasted pepper) or jar pimento
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise (I used Dukes)
  • 1/4 tsp Pink Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground Black Pepper (optional)

In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powders.

Chop the roasted red pepper, or drain the jar pimento well.

Shred the cheeses (I use a food processor to make fast work of it) and fold into the mayonnaise mixture along with the red peppers or pimento.

Taste for seasoning and add salt or pepper, if needed.

It will probably need salt, but it’s easier to add than take it out once you’ve made it!

*If this is too dry for your taste, don’t add more mayonnaise, add half -and-half to reach desired texture. This will also make the finished product “softer” and easier to use as a dip for celery, bell peppers, carrots, etc.

**You can cut 400 calories from the total recipe by using Dukes light mayonnaise instead of regular mayonnaise. As far as taste goes, Dukes light tasted the most like regular mayonnaise to me.

***There are a lot of recipes for low carb pimento cheese spread that use cream cheese in addition to mayonnaise. I find these too heavy and much to dense, especially well chilled.

This makes about 20 servings of 2T each:

Nutrition Facts
Servings 20.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 131
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12 g 19 %
Saturated Fat 5 g 27 %
Monounsaturated Fat 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 28 mg 9 %
Sodium 243 mg 10 %
Potassium 2 mg 0 %
Total Carbohydrate 3 g 1 %
Dietary Fiber 0 g 0 %
Sugars 0 g
Protein 5 g 10 %
Vitamin A 6 %
Vitamin C 4 %
Calcium 17 %
Iron 2 %

I Love My Keurig, But I’m Cheating With a French Press

oh-la-la!

I really love my Keurig, especially with the new pods that are less waste/landfill. And since there are refillable cups that work with the 2.0 system, like these (http://www.amazon.com/FROZ-CUP-2-0-Refillable-Reusable-Brewers/dp/B00ZW7LW6W/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1439991606&sr=8-3&keywords=2.o+k-cup), “K-lovers” didn’t get totally locked out with Keurigs 2.0 system.

Now, that being said, a friend recently talked me into getting a French press. I was dubious at first, but now I love it.

My Keurig is still my go-to, but once a day, I cheat with my French press, usually my 2nd cup of the day.

It’s easy to just boil the water, spoon the coffee into the press, pour the water over, quick stir,  and let it steep while I get dressed. When I get back to the kitchen, the perfect, STRONG, cup of coffee is waiting for me.

Although I probably committed some national crime by microwaving the water (sacrebleu!).

French Presses are inexpensive, and easily found. I did try one, years ago, and hated it because the whole thing was plastic. Get a glass one. Better yet, once you’re hooked, get an insulated glass one that holds 32oz of water so you can have 3 cups of great coffee without it getting too chilled.

Disclaimer: although I do include links at times to products, I am not an affiliate for any of the sites/products, I’m just sharing where and what with you 🙂

It’s Nearly Pumpkin Season!

Hard to post that when it’s 100 degrees outside, but it is.

While we enjoy pumpkin puree in a can year round (Like Farmer’s Market Organic Pumpkin http://www4.netrition.com/farmers_market_pumpkin.html), do we give much thought to pumpkin seeds or oil  and their benefits?

Cholesterol lowering, great for the skin and minor skin ailments, good for eye health, good for arthritis, good for bladder function.

I ran across a couple of pages with information about them:

http://superfoodprofiles.com/pumpkin-seed-oil-health-benefits

http://superfoodprofiles.com/pumpkin-seed-oil-nutrition-dosage

Personally, I like the oil as a drizzle over salad, chicken or fish. I tried adding a couple of tablespoons to my homemade mayonnaise, but the green color was rather off-putting, and calling it “Hulk Mayonnaise” didn’t help lol.

Pumpkin seeds, shelled, are a great addition to salads, added to your muffins (mug muffins, too!), you can add them to ground beef for taco type dishes and they add some crunch and flavor as well. I’m thinking my bread-free sausage dressing for Thanksgiving could benefit from them as well.

Have a great day all!