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Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Hard Hearted Chef: Slim Pickins and a Mocktail

Since I'm very unfriendly, shy, and aloof, I ended up chattering with a gal
on the phone yesterday while setting up Mom's cable and internet
(Hi, Heather in Iowa!)
who is getting married soon, but would like to drop a few pounds before the wedding.
 I mentioned I may have dropped 10 or 90 pounds.
She asked if there were before and after photos.
Oh, my, are there ever!

Allow me to remind you why I stopped eating deep fried blocks of cream cheese:
 Before, right after the fire, 195 pounds.
A few months later, a little stress eating had me at 210.
Annnnnnnnnd....220 pounds of feisty redhead later,
my health took a hit.
There is no miracle diet or magic formula, honestly.
It's about lowering calories, raising fiber, cutting fat, and moving more.
I take the stairs.
I walk to the store.
I do yoga through my insomnia.
I don't sit on the beach, I stroll briskly.
 And I shop for size 8 clothes.
It ain't braggin' if you back it up.
I'm middle aged and still managed, and you can too.
First, I do not deprive myself.
This was my Easter dinner!
Grilled lamb chops, Fettuccine with Three Kinds of Garlic,
green beans and portobellos, and lemon pepper asparagus.
Yes, I was forced to suffer through this.
Horrible, isn't it?
 This is a Martha Stewart recipe I modified to make it heart healthy
since my current personal struggle is cholesterol.
This is not only a quick and easy side dish,
 it makes a great vegan entree.

Martha Stewart's Fettuccine with Three Kinds of Garlic

 Two heads of roasted garlic
Six cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
One teaspoon garlic powder
One pound of whole grain fettuccine, cooked according to package directions
Omega 3 Canola oil
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 scallions, diced up
Grated Parmesan to garnish if desired

If you aren't just keeping roasted garlic around, you should.
It's nutty and mild, flavors things well, is fantastic spread on bread in
lieu of butter, and you can use more in your food than raw garlic,
taking advantage of the health benefits.
 Take a head of garlic and slice off the top with a sharp knife, exposing the cloves.
 Set the head, bottom down, in a muffin pan lined with foil and drizzle it with olive oil.
Fold the foil over it and bake for 35 minutes at 400 F.
Allow this to cool, then just squeeze the garlic out from the bottom.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge; it'll keep for weeks.
I think.
It's never come up.
Now, cover the bottom of a saucepan with the canola oil on medium high heat.
Add the sliced garlic and saute until they start to brown slightly.
Pour in the wine.
Throw in the pasta and the roasted garlic and toss, turning the heat to low.
Sprinkle in the garlic powder.   
Throw in the scallions and just wilt them, then serve this stuff up
with the cheese on the side!   
Easiest. Preparation. EVER.

 Lemon Pepper Asparagus

One pound of asparagus
Olive oil
Lemon pepper

Trim the ends off of the asparagus.
Plunge them into boiling water for 2 minutes.
Drain and add ice to the pot to chill the veggies.
Remove the stalks, placing them in a serving dish.
Lightly drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with lemon pepper,
toss to coat and serve.
This is a terrific side dish, but I've also offered it as an hors d'oeuvre.
 Simple is best.
This dish defines that philosophy beautifully

Green Beans with Portobellos

2 pounds of green beans, ends trimmed
5 large portobello mushrooms, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons of Smart Balance spread
1 tablespoon Adobo seasoning
 Blanch the green beans in boiling water for two minutes.
In a saute pan, melt the spread. Throw the mushroom in violently and assault them with Adobo.
Paying attention now, aren't you?
Cook for five minutes.
Add the green beans and saute for an additional 7 minutes,
until the legumes are crisp/tender.
Yeah, that's it.
 Nothing says "special occasion" like a champagne cocktail.
Alcohol doesn't mix with my meds very well, but am I going to miss out?
Au contraire.
Bonus: this is a lot less calories.
I love a good mocktail.

Grapefruit Bellini Imposters

2 bottles of sparkling white grape juice
2 quarts of reduced calorie/sugar ruby red grapefruit juice
1 teaspoon orange extract

Chill the sparkling grape juice and the grapefruit juice.
Mix all ingredients in a pitcher.
Serve in champagne flutes
Smugly swill your 50 calorie cocktail, knowing that after 5 of them
only the hot guys will still look hot.
Buy short shorts.
Take that button down you stole from a boyfriend 30 years ago and tie it off at the waist.

NOTE: I'm not a weight loss guru or expert.
I'm a wife and mother who cut down on alcohol and fat and started exercising more, period.
 Consult a doctor before starting any weight loss program.
Set realistic goals not based on super models,
and remember, you are gorgeous at any weight.
Work it, Girl.


Heather{Our Life In a Click} said...

You're such an inspiration! You're so tiny and adorable now and look years younger!!! Keep it up Sunny!!!! I am going to try that fettucini. YUM!

Unknown said...

Yay, pasta! It worked for Sofia Loren (*still* works for her!), works for you, too! Great dieting advice, all the way 'round, and great recipes, too- thank you.

-Heather, The Real Leopardstripes