Hey! Welcome to my first blog post. If you’re here, you either a) totally love me; b) clicked the wrong Facebook link trying to re-post a George Takei pic or c) want to know if the rumors of my culinary supremacy are true, or merely just rumors I started myself in some of sick, narcissistic game of Telephone. (Although if it were Telephone, rather than culinary supremacy, you probably heard ‘pulmonary sorcery’ and I kinda like how your brain works.)
This is primarily a food and recipes blog, so each blog entry, regardless of topic, will include a recipe I have vetted myself, just to keep things honest. I have an esoteric, highly referential writing style (I joke not when I call myself a geek) and while I won’t be dropping F-bombs — since I don’t find it necessary to describe an onion tartlet as ‘effing ace’ — I can be bawdy and irreverent and possibly not everyone’s cup of tea in the topics I choose to address. What topics you ask? I dunno, how ’bout the power of a perfectly fitted, comfortable yet supportive strapless bra for the D+ cup set? That do anything for ya? That’s levitation, holmes! (Gratuitous Tenacious D, see above ‘highly referential’).
So basically the plan was to compel readers with promises of healthy, easy to prepare whole foods (along with food porn of said prepared foods) in a blatant attempt to get people to read my quirky, self-referential ramblings. (That’s telekinesis, Kyle!)
And now, what you came for.
I’ve always had a love/hate, tempestuous relationship with food. How tempestuous? Let’s just say I’ve blocked the ‘Food’ interest on Facebook and our relationship status would be ‘it’s complicated.’ I’m wont to sit in a darkened room, dedicating Adele’s “Someone Like You” or Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” to Ben & Jerry while NOT eating a pint of Karamel Sutra. I tell myself that complex carbohydrates never made me a priority and that broccoli is *so* much better for me; rich in nurturing if un-sexy antioxidants and willing to curl up on the couch with me to watch “Steel Magnolias” and tell me how at least I don’t have diabetes. Unlike cookies, rippling with dark, sexy chocolate chips and gleaming with butter and sugar like a stripper who only bigger-booty calls you late at night with empty calorie promises that stay on your thighs FOREVER. (I totally paraphrased Joss Whedon in that paragraph, and if you spotted it, that’s why we’re friends.)
It took me a long time to change my eating habits. I grew up eating garden fresh vegetables, so I’m not immune to the siren call of leafy greens, but a childhood spent growing up in a grocery store in the Land of the Great Fried Vegetable hardwired my taste buds to Doritos and dumplin’s swimming in gravy.
Finding healthy food alternatives that please my palate while reducing my jeans size in a way I can maintain is the Holy Grail, but I think I may have finally become my own Galahad (nerd alert) and gulped that sucker like a pentinent man (bigger nerd alert).
Okay, I realize I cut my head off in the second pic, but I’m still learning photo grid, okay? Since August, I’ve lost over 60 pounds, dropped six dress sizes, increased my heart rate, lowered my blood sugar (my blood pressure is always low, I take no responsibility for anything, therefore I tick along at a clip) and grown a spanking new set of crow’s feet (damned if you do…). The question everyone asks is…how’d you do it? Unfortunately, it’s not Star Trek so I couldn’t get Bones to give me a pill and I grew a new silhouette. I had to do it the hard, slow way.
- Portion control. I used Weight Watcher’s Points to calculate the calories I was eating and, simplistic as it sounds, stopped eating when I was full.
- No eating after 9:00 p.m. and replaced snacking with a sodium-free V-8 liberally doctored with metabolism boosting hot sauce.
- Exercise. I go to the gym at least 3 times a week and do 30 minutes on the treadmill or elliptical as well as doing Pilates at home.
- I’m an emotional eater, so I tried to channel mood swings into activity, even if it was writing or watching TV that discouraged eating (“Bones,” “Game of Thrones,” i.e. gore).
- Cooking recipes from Weight Watcher’s cookbooks or light eating websites and eating fat burning whole foods like Oatmeal, Broccoli, Beans, Spinach, Asparagus, Whole Grains, Berries, Apricots, etc.
It took time. I started in August, lost 30 or so pounds quickly and then slowed things down. I still have about 15 to go (I’m short and small boned so even a size 4 is still fluffy on my frame) before I’m at my 120 pound, size two goal. I lost weight for a lot of reasons: wanting to look better, wanting to have energy to chase around a pre-schooler at my “advanced maternal age” (actual medical classification) and because my mother died of a stroke at 58 and my dad had a quadruple-bypass at 56. I may be flighty and irreverent, but no one can fault me on my logic and critical thinking skills. Dubious genes + processed food + lack of activity = deader than Flaubert in a garret (and though not riddled with VD, I wouldn’t be leaving behind “Madame Bovary” as a legacy).
I thought I would start us out with a recipe that *sounds* unhealthy and hits a lot of cravings but is full of lean protein and is only 9 Weight Watcher’s points (Calories: 371 • Fat: 17.5 g • Protein: 42.7 g • Carb: 11 g • Fiber: 1.5 g) for 2 pieces of chicken.
(Apologies for the photo quality; this was taken with my cell with the flash off, I will be upgrading my camera to do this in the future.)
Cheesy Jalapeño Popper Baked Stuffed Chicken
- 2 slices center cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 3 jalapeños, chopped (remove seeds for milder)
- 3 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
- 4 oz reduced fat shredded cheddar jack (Sargento or Weight Watcher’s)
- 2 tbsp chopped scallions
- 8 thin sliced skinless chicken breast cutlets, 3 oz each
- 1/2 cup Italian seasoned whole wheat breadcrumbs
- 1 1/2 juicy limes, juice of
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- salt and fresh pepper
- olive oil non-stick spray
Wash and dry chicken cutlets, season with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 450°. Lightly spray a baking dish with non-stick spray.
Combine cream cheese, cheddar, scallions, jalapeño and bacon crumbles in a medium bowl.
Lay chicken cutlets on a working surface and spread 2 tbsp of cream cheese mixture on each cutlet. Loosely roll each one, secure the ends with toothpicks to prevent the cheese from oozing out.
Place breadcrumbs in a bowl; in a second bowl combine olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper.
Dip chicken in lime-oil mixture, then in breadcrumbs and place seam side down on a baking dish. Repeat with the remaining chicken. When finished, lightly spray the top of the chicken with oil spray.
Bake 22-25 minutes, serve immediately.
So, that’s my blog. Recipes, life observations. Kinda like The Pioneer Woman but weight loss-focused and not written by a smokin’ hot, camera-ready redhead (and my husband’s less of a Marlboro Man and more of a Pixy Stix Guy). Here’s hoping I wasn’t annoying!