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Outdoor pasta salad

15 May

I made a pasta salad for our potluck yesterday. I wasn’t planning on going, but I made it anyway. I figured the neighbors would like it and I could stay inside and hide. The heat and I are not friends.

But because it was hot outside, I didn’t want to make a normal macaroni salad because of the mayonnaise in it. So I made a Mexican inspired pasta salad.

In a large bowl, mix cans of black beans, white beans and corn. Mainly because that’s what I had. I’ve also used whatever the scratched and dented can store has on sale. I know I’m not the only one who shops there. I rinsed the beans and corn and drained them, then set aside.

I cut up a medium onion in smallish dice and put that in the bowl. I also added about a cup of celery, sliced thin. Then I poured a jar of your favorite salsa over everything. We usually use the one that’s not from New York City, as the old commercial used to say.

Then I added a half a pound of elbow macaroni, cooked to just before al dente. You want the pasta to be able to soak up the soupy vegetable mixture.

I’ve also chopped up olives and shredded some cheese and added to it in the past. But I didn’t have any yesterday. The entire thing came out of my food storage.

Season to taste with seasoned salt, pepper, garlic powder, sriracha, and a little bit of dehydrated onion. Mix well again. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until you can hand it out the door to the neighbor while you make excuses of why you can’t go outside right now.

Most of my kids like it with tortilla chips. Then they don’t need to find clean silverware to eat it.

  • I’m grateful my neighbor didn’t like my excuses. I sat in the shade with the babies. I’m grateful to not need to cook dinner last night. I’m grateful to ship the leftovers to the kid’s house so I don’t need to try not to eat them.

Night all. LOVES


Happy birthday to me

5 May

Today I am 52! I was trying to figure out how to celebrate my birthday and still sort of stay on my diet. I mean, carrot cake with cream cheese frosting just isn’t doable at the last minute. THAT would take planning and preparation that I wasn’t willing to invest after the week I’ve had. So what’s a girl to do? I made a pie! A mostly sugar-free pie.

I started with gingersnaps. I know, they aren’t on my diet but I couldn’t find any diabetic/sugar-free options at my grocery store in the time I had. So I picked up a box of some that sounded good. I pulverized them into crumbs in the blender with about 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 2 squeezes of my liquid stevia. Then pulsed in some melted butter. Put it all in a pie pan and baked it for 6 minutes at 350°F. Then stuck it in the freezer because I have no patience to wait until it cools.

Then into the blender, no I didn’t wash it, I added 3 cups almond milk and a package each of sugar-free Jello instant pudding, 1 vanilla and 1 cheesecake flavor. After blending, scraping the sides once, I poured half into the baked shell. Then I added half a container of lite cool whip to the remaining pudding in the container and mixed until mostly combined with my spatula. Then spread it over the pudding in the pan.

I stuck it all in the freezer again for about an hour. I then spread the remaining half of the whipped topping over the pie. Then drizzled sugar-free caramel ice cream topping in an interesting pattern.

Store in the fridge for at least 3 hours. Or until you can’t wait anymore. I’m sitting on my hands right now so I won’t go eat it. It looks amazing! And the bit and pieces that I tasted during the process of making it were delicious.

  • I’m grateful for ham and a ride to the store from one of my good friends this afternoon. I’m grateful that my headache has mostly gone away tonight. I’m grateful for another year. It’s had its ups and downs, but I’ve ended the last one and started this new one mostly happy with where I am.

Night all. LOVES


7 Apr

I’m having electronic device issues tonight, so this is short and sweet.

I’ve been doing protein shakes and smoothies for my new diet. So tonight I thought I would tell you my favorites.

Take a half a frozen banana, 1/2 cup semi-frozen carrots, 3 oz semi-frozen spinach, a scoop of protein powder, 2 tablespoons of oatmeal, and a cup of almond milk. Blend until thick.

My son’s favorite is 1/2 a frozen banana, 2 heaping tablespoons of peanut butter, 1 tablespoon of hot cocoa mix, and 1 cup of 1% milk blended until smooth.

  •  I’m grateful to find a protein powder that I like that isn’t milk based. I’m grateful to have enough tonight to buy groceries and still have some left over. I’m grateful for the ride to the store. Fridays are getting better as I’m getting accustomed to my shot.

Night all. LOVES

Sheet pan dinners

24 Mar

I’ve found a great new way to make dinner easier. It’s called a sheet pan dinner. You put everything on a rimmed cookie sheet, put it in the oven and in 25-45 minutes, your complete dinner is done. And only one pan to wash.

Tonight is hamburgers and roasted vegetables. I’m using preformed quarter pound patties. Put the burger patties on one end of your cookie sheet. Put your cut up vegetables on the other side. Put them in a 375 oven and set a timer for 15 minutes. Turn the burgers over and stir up the vegetables and give it another 10 minutes. I’m serving it with cottage cheese.

I also do frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts and thighs. They usually take 30 minutes, then turn over and add another 10 minutes.

My favorite vegetables are broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, onions, and zucchini. I put the broccoli tops in the middle and the harder veggies on the outside.

I put a little oil in the pan under the vegetables and a little drizzle over the top of them. Everything gets seasoned with pepper, seasoned salt and garlic powder. The chicken gets some dehydrated lemon powder sprinkled on them too.

  • I’m grateful to find easier ways to cook that don’t require me to stand at the stove. I’m grateful the oven helps warm the house when it’s cold. I’m grateful that dinner is done.

Night all. LOVES

Chicken and veggies

9 Mar

I made some chicken in my electric skillet tonight. I put some boneless, skinless thighs and some boneless, skinless breasts in a single layer. Seasoned with seasoned salt, pepper and dehydrated lemon powder. Turned it to 300 and left it alone for 15 minutes. Turned them over and left them alone for another 10 minutes. Now I have several days worth of chicken in the fridge for later.

I cut some Brussels sprouts in half and cooked them in the remaining chicken fat with a little water added. After 3 minutes, I added a package of frozen broccoli and carrots and let them all hang out for another 5 minutes. Dinner was delicious and I have lunch for tomorrow.

I’m going to a Bariatric clinic nutrition class tomorrow. I’m going to bring up that I haven’t been feeling well lately. Tonight when I was writing in my food diary, I figured out I’ve almost halved my calorie intake. Could I not be feeling well because I’m not eating enough? Definitely something to think about. I don’t want to lose the weight and be miserable while I do it.

  • I’m grateful to be inside while it’s storming tonight. I’m grateful to find a vegan protein powder that I really like. I’m hoping switching from dairy products might help my stomach. I’m grateful to Imperfect Produce delivery company. I have decided I really like Brussels sprouts.

Night all. LOVES

Peanut sauce

27 Feb

It’s been a while since I have posted a recipe. I can’t come up with new things to make if I’m mostly eating fresh veggies all the time.

But I have come up with a yummy sauce to dip the veggies in. I came up with it after eating at a Thai restaurant and I used it with spaghetti noodles. Now I use it as a dip. Still tastes delicious.

In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons peanut butter, crunchy or smooth. 2 tablespoons soy sauce, I use a light, less sodium one. 1 tablespoon fish sauce, I use the one in the blue bottle. 1 teaspoon yellow mustard. 1 teaspoon honey or a small squeeze of the bear. Mix well. Season with pepper, garlic powder and sriracha to taste.

I would mix this with noodles as is. It’s great in ramen noodle soup. I have added 2 tablespoons vinegar and 4 tablespoons vegetable oil to make salad dressing. I add 2 tablespoons brown sugar and leave the peanut butter out and it’s an amazing ‘teriyaki type’ sauce. Although I am tempted to leave the peanut butter in after watching a video on chicken satay. I’ll let you know how it goes.

  • I’m grateful that I have learned to improvise and experiment in the kitchen to make delicious food. I very seldom make something that I need to throw out. I’m grateful I’m adjusting to my diet so well. Although I WAS thinking about a pear dump cake today. I’m grateful there is so much information available online to research new tastes and ideas.

Night all. LOVES

Roasted veggies for dinner

13 Feb

Tonight for dinner, I roasted a bunch of vegetables for dinner. I started with a half pound of carrots, peeled and cut into big pieces. Threw in some broccoli florets that were hiding in the back of the fridge. (my child grumbled about that. He was gonna eat them soon.) I cut up a softball size yellow onion into big pieces(like shish-kabob size). And a half pound of Brussel sprouts that I trimmed and cut in half.

Because I had cooked some sausage earlier in the day, I took 2 tablespoons of the grease in the pan, added tablespoon yellow mustard, 1 tablespoon honey, and 2 tablespoons vinegar and brought it up to warm. Added salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste, and a half teaspoon of sriracha. Mixed well and poured it over the vegetables. Mixed it well and placed it all on a lined cookie sheet(easy cleanup!) in to a 350 oven for 30 minutes.

It makes enough for 2 meals, 3 if you’re not very hungry. Serve with the sausage patties I made early in the day.

I’m full and happy. My child had chicken noodle soup and a quesadilla while he looked daggers at me for eating HIS broccoli. So he’s full and sorta happy.

  • I’m grateful for things found rummaging through the fridge. I’m grateful to all those cooking shows I watch that give me such good ideas for making delicious food. I’m grateful my son is annoyed about not being able to eat vegetables. Life is good.

Night all. LOVES