Friday, November 30, 2012

Souvlaki Pork Chops

What a lovely smelling dish to come home to.  This made a warm and filling dish with Greek flavors.  I served it with a side of buttery quinoa (Stages 2-3 only) and Roasted Brussels Sprouts.

Technically, souvlaki is served as a kabob, but if you don't have time to marinate various pieces of meat and veggie, place them on kabobs, grill and serve then let this be your saving grace. 

You could make this with chicken breasts just as well, if that's what you have.  Just please please please don't overcook the meat or it will not be as lovely as you'd hoped it would be....(don't be me!)

Souvlaki Pork Chops
makes 4 servings

4 boneless pork chops
1 lemon (wash the outside)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup water
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sweetener

In a zip lock bag combine the oil, water and seasonings.  Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the bag as well and squish the bag around to mix the marinade.  Then throw in the lemon halves (that’s why you washed it earlier, right?). 

Add the pork chops to the bag, shake to coat and marinate overnight in the fridge.

The next morning pour the entire bagful into the slow cooker and cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

When ready to serve, remove lemon halves and stir chops to coat them.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cauliflower Soup

Well, it's a good time of year to be on a soup kick.  Warm, filling and easy to make, soup is a very forgiving recipe, you can add and enhance and adjust to your heart's content.  But if you listen to the judges on Top Chef you want to keep tasting and adjusting and then if you have the time, let it meld for a bit.  With the seasonings, feel free to experiment with whatever you think might be good.  I surprised myself by adding some chili powder (just a wee bit) and it really kicked the taste up a notch.  This soup goes well with a salty topping like cheddar or Parmesan cheese.

Cauliflower Soup
makes 4 servings

1 head of cauliflower, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
4 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
seasonings - salt, pepper, sage, thyme, chili powder, garlic salt, etc.
toppings - cheddar or Parmesan cheese

Melt butter and olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.  Add onions and garlic and saute until soft (but not browned).

Add the roughly chopped cauliflower, stir quickly and then add the broth.  Bring to a boil.

Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes until cauliflower is soft.

Use a immersion blender (or regular blender) to puree until smooth.

Add seasonings to taste and then let the soup sit for about five minutes to thicken up.

Top with cheese and serve warm.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Garlic Chicken

served with a side of Tamari mushrooms and broccoli
(this piece of chicken would be considered
2 servings of protein for P10)

This dish is a kid and picky person pleaser. 

I found this on one of y'alls Pinterest boards - or maybe it was my niece's....not sure but this recipe from turned out much better than I expected.  It had mixed reviews but I can tell you that it turned out great and was a big hit with the family.

The chicken is kind of sweet so you'll want to pair this with something salty as a side dish, like Roasted Veggies or Tamari Green Beans.

If you want to add a dash of saltiness to the chicken, then hit it with a splash of tamari but only if you don't already have some in your side dish lest you become redundant and repetitious. 

By the way, the temp on this recipe is NOT a typo.  Seriously.  Yeah, it freaked me out too but I kept an eye on it and it turned out great. 

Garlic Chicken
makes 4 servings

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts or boneless pork chops
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons coconut or palm sugar
3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
(soy sauce/tamari)

Preheat oven to 500°F and line a 9x9 baking dish with foil.

In small sauté pan, sauté garlic with the oil until tender.
Remove from heat and stir in brown sugar.

Place chicken breasts in a prepared baking dish lined with foil and cover with the garlic and brown sugar mixture.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. 

I used three breasts and my cast iron pan to cook these on
the stove and then transfer to the oven

Monday, November 19, 2012

Black Bean Soup

This warm thick hearty soup was just perfect on a cold day.  It was really easy to make and very filling and it makes a lot.  I loved coming in the door and having dinner all set to go!

It’s a crockpot recipe but I think you could just put this together and simmer on the back of the stove all day and still have a great meal. 

Black Bean Soup
makes several servings

3 cans black beans (undrained)
1 can diced tomatoes (undrained)
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
16 oz frozen vegetables
1 cup salsa
1 teaspoon lime juice
garlic salt
toppings: sour cream/Greek yogurt, cheddar cheese, additional salsa
Empty the beans and tomatoes into the crockpot - do not rinse or drain the beans.
Mix in the vegetables and broth.
Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 5 hours, the longer it cooks the better it tastes.

Before serving, use an immersion blender (or carefully pour small batches into blender) and puree until smooth.

Stir in salsa and lime juice.  Season to taste with garlic salt.

Serve hot with toppings of your choice.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Just this once…

So lately I’ve had a lot going on.  My wonderful bestest ever Dad died, family came to town, things at work got really busy and my wallet is really empty -  and I’ve used all that as an excuse to not worry too much about eating right or exercising and I started comfort eating many foods I haven’t had in a long time…just this once…

Well folks, that ‘just this once’ turns into again and again and again and a GAIN!

And the stuff I wanted to eat – just this once several times– sure didn’t taste as good as I’d remembered it…it was greasy and left a filmy layer on my teeth and not to mention all the other ‘benefits’ such as:

Hungover feeling
Unable to get to sleep and unable to sleep soundly (twitchy feet)
Feeling tired and cranky and emotional
Cravings and hunger returned
Aches and pains
Headaches and exhaustion
Aching tummy with disgusting ‘musical’ accompaniment


So WHY WHY WHY would I let myself fall back into this when I know better?  Why is it so hard to get back on track when I already know the answer?

Other P10 followers have mentioned this as well, so I sat and thought about what or why we sometimes do this to ourselves – here’s some of my thoughts.

One time I read that many homeless people are actually people with mental health problems who stopped taking their meds because they ‘felt better’ and then were not able to take care of themselves.  And of course, one would say ‘well of course you felt better, it was the meds!  Why’d you stop?’

I think on P10 we start to feel so much better physically and emotionally that we forget just how BAD we felt before and so we think we can put our big toe across that line and eat like that ‘just this once’ and then we are surprised by how bad it feels.  If you get a hold of yourself you can go right back onto P10 and keep going.  Or if you’re like me, you can think ‘well I already blew it I might as well cross the line a little more while I’m at it’ and then one day you realize that you’re veeeeeeeeeery far from shore.

For those of you who have experienced childbirth, it’s the same principle.  Scientists tell us that we forget how painful it was and that’s why we are able to have other children, because we block out the pain and remember the joy.  I think that applies to P10 as well.  We’re so jazzed to feel great and lose weight we lose sight of just how miserable we were before and then we start putting a toe over the line – just this once – and then again and again, etc.

Well, let’s be frank – you’re not cheating on P10 at all.  You’re cheating yourself.  I love hearing from the new P10 peeps about how they’re losing weight and feeling great and how awesome is this?  We get in the habit of eating right and feeling good and tend to forget how far we’ve come and how hard we had to work to get this far…

I remember being able to turn my nose up at the bread plate or smiling and sweating every day after my 5am workout and I wonder where that person went.  Sure, we all have stress and issues and problems, there’s no getting around that.  What happened to that person that decided that I was worth the extra effort, the discipline, the praise and the sweat?  My ‘old self’ took advantage of me being down and out and crept her way back in. 

Time to throw her out.  Time to take back my health and P10 lifestyle.  Time to start feeling GREAT physically, mentally and emotionally.

That’s the beauty of P10.  No need to sign back up, recount your points or wait until Monday to start over.  JUST DO IT RIGHT NOW.  The next meal, and the next and the next.  And if your brain thinks it needs that grilled pastrami sandwich and onion rings or chocolate shake tell it to wait – it’s not like that stuff is going to disappear in the next five minutes.  It’ll still be there days, weeks, months and years from now. 

One meal, one day, one step at a time.  Take the time to get back on track and take care of yourself.  We use stress as an excuse to eat badly and get lazy but FOR PETE’S SAKE when you’re taking care of yourself the stress doesn’t eat you alive. 

I apologize if this rant doesn’t have to do with you.  I figure we’re all human and we all have our issues and maybe you can get a germ or two of wisdom/experience from all this.  Maybe you’re new and you’re like ‘oh that won’t happen to me, I’m doing awesome.’  And you are and I hope you continue to do so…


Thanks for listening.  I’d like to hear your constructive comments about how you worked through your own situation where you turned around and realized you were headed into deep water.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Gravy and Biscuits

Holy biscuits and gravy Batman!

I added some extra meat to Bubba's plate 'cause he was hungry!
Raise your hand if you loves you some gravy and biscuits!  Now we all know that sausage gravy is the mega bomb but I've also made this gravy with ground beef and this time with ground turkey.  Sometimes my mom made it with fried bologna and of course, you may also know it as the lovely and delicately named 'sh*t on a shingle'   But a gravy by any other name would taste as good.(?)  However, I stopped making this gravy because of the white flour in the roux to thicken it and then the soft fluffy hydrogenated refrigerator biscuits used to serve it.  So then when I saw this recipe I tried it and we liked it!

I based this recipe from the Sausage Gravy and Biscuits found on Maria's Nutritious and Delicious Journal.  She made hers with organic pork sausage and you are certainly free to do so but I'm guessing you might already have ground turkey in your freezer you can use.

As for the biscuits,  I made a batch of Almond Flour biscuits (so quick, so easy, so good!) to create a lovely landing pad for my gravy.  But I'm sure you'd also enjoy this on mashed potatoes or Mashed Cauliflower.

Gravy and Biscuits
makes 4 servings

6 Almond Flour Biscuits  (I like to use 3 biscuit halves per serving)
10 oz ground turkey
1 cup (8 oz) full fat cream cheese, cubed
1 cup organic beef or chicken broth
Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
ground sage

Cook meat in large skillet over medium heat 5-6 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently. Gradually add cream cheese and broth; cook until mixture comes to a soft simmer and thickens, stirring constantly until smooth. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Add ground sage to taste for extra flavor.

Split biscuits in half.   Place 3 halves on each plate; top with gravy.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

Happy Veteran's Day -

A big thank you to all of those who have served, are serving and will serve.

Everyone else - go hug a veteran today - and any other day.

I'm going to post a repeat today, in honor of my dad, who was also a veteran, and since it's getting to be that time of year, let's post his favorite food - sweet potatoes:

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

Bet this would be easy to throw together and reheat on Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Homemade Chocolate

A salty side and a non salty side!
I think we'd all like to thank Paula Nettles for posting this recipe on The Perfect 10 Diet page.  So simple, so quick, so easy, so I can't wait to make some more!!

There was a brief discussion about other sweeteners - you can use agave in this as well.  Experiment until you find what works best for your taste.  The amount of sweetener in the recipe will make this taste like dark chocolate and not the sweeter stuff!

I think another important detail would be what other lovely fun things could you put in your mixture to make your eyes roll back?  I for one, am a huge fan of the salty chocolate so I added some sea salt on top.

Now just because this is P10 compatible doesn't mean you can eat it all in one serving.  Remember to pace yourself and space it out over a few days!  It also might be a good way to get those who don't care for coconut oil (Bubba) to eat some without knowing it!

Homemade Chocolate

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 heaping teaspoon Stevia, agave or other sweetener
*optional add ins - chopped almonds, chili powder, cinnamon, shaved coconut, etc.

Mix the ingredients together VERY WELL and pour into a 8 inch square flat dish and freeze until solid.  Takes about 15 minutes.
Break apart and store in fridge. Yum!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Baked Crabmeat Casserole

I'm back!  I'm baaaaaaaack!  And I missed you all so much.  It's been a hell of a past few weeks.  As you know, my Dad died and I've just been SO overwhelmed trying to take care of my very large family (mother, 2 brothers, 4 sisters, feeding them all and housing out of town visitors).   So your patience was very much appreciated.  And THANK YOU ALL so much for your kind words and prayers - believe me, I FELT them (and needed them).

I'd like to write a post about lifestyles and living and taking care of yourself and enjoying life but it's still percolating around in my head for now - so maybe later.  Meanwhile, I did make this casserole a few weeks ago and remembered to take a picture so this is a great way to jump right back in.

Bubba refused to eat this, saying it was 'too fishy' so The Kid just grabbed his plate and ate his portion as well.  So I guess it would just depend on your taste and what you enjoy.

I served it alongside a green salad, go easy on the side dishes as this dish is rich and decadent.   I used an 8x8 casserole dish for this recipe.  I went to Costco and got their refrigerated canned crabmeat.  Don't use the store bought canned shelf stuff, it's nasty.

Baked Crabmeat Casserole

makes 4-6 servings

1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup diced onion
1 pound crabmeat, picked through to remove shells, drained well
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a skillet on medium-high heat melt the butter. Then add the onion and sauté for 2 or 3 minutes or until the onion is translucent.

Remove skillet from heat and add the crabmeat, Worcestershire and Dijon. Stir until just combined. Add the beaten eggs. Stir again.

Coat a casserole dish with coconut oil or butter. Pour the crabmeat mixture into the dish and top with Parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.