So, we’re a few days after Christmas festivities and boy, do I have a lot of leftovers. For the most part, it’s a little baggie of this and a small container of that, mostly leftover from the veggie, meat & cracker trays I made for my Mom’s dinner on Christmas Day. Today, I was hungry and knew that some toast and peanut butter wasn’t going to “do it” for me, so I started taking stock of what I had in the fridge and freezer. Here’s what I found:
The first one I bought was Irresistibles Chicken Carbonara in their Life Smart line. They were on sale for $1.88 each if you bought three at a time, so I thought, “Why not?” Normally, I’m leery about these pre-made meals that have chicken in them. The reason: most of these pre-made meals seem to have pre-fab chicken-like meat substances in them. The texture is usually rather disagreeable to me, so I usually avoid these like the plague. But I thought that if the chicken was nasty, I could pick them out and just eat the rest and chalk it up as experience.
In my low-carb adventures, I’ve been introduced to some new foods and new ways of cooking, but after two solid weeks of really watching what I ate, I was craving comfort foods. One such comfort food from my childhood was meatloaf dinner! I wanted meatloaf, potatoes, corn on the cob, lots of butter, gravy, etc. Well, I came up with a compromise for some of that heaviness by messing around with some of the components of that dish. Instead of a whole corn on the cob, I snapped the cobs in half and steamed them, then cut the corn off one of the half-cobs and omitted the butter. Instead of potatoes, I whipped up a homemade vinegar-based coleslaw (no carrots, as I’m not a fan). And for the meatloaf, I used ground chicken instead of ground beef. Here’s what I did:
This endeavour to make healthier meal choices has really opened up a lot of new foods for me. One thing I’ve discovered is that I really enjoy cauliflower. I used to prefer broccoli, but now I’m finding that I prefer cauliflower. I love both, however! But this story is about cauliflower, so let’s focus on that.
Earlier in the week, I had made up a pureed curried cauliflower soup, as well as some garlic/lemon roasted cauliflower for a different meal. They both needed to get used up and I was looking for an alternate to the potato hash I used to make for brunch for hubby and I on the weekends. I still wanted something similar to potatoes and had even considered some kind of potato/tuna patty, so that I wouldn’t get so much potato. You see, I love potatoes, but I know they’re not ‘the best’ food to have a lot of. So I had heard you could mash up cauliflower like potatoes, so I got cracking and ended up experimenting. Here’s what I did…
Recently, I’ve been trying to cut back here or there on my carbs. Due to my mother’s diabetes and my obesity (and therefore being in the danger zone), I figured it was a good move to make. So I’ve been browsing the diabetes-friendly recipes online and found this really interesting one: Chicken Caesar Burger at Taste of Home.
The idea intrigued me but I didn’t want the big white hamburger bun. I had bought some whole wheat English muffins, but I got to re-thinking that idea. I thought, Why do I need a bun?? So I considered deconstructing the recipe ever so slightly and presenting the patty next to a Caesar salad.
So, that’s what I did and boy, am I full! They were very filling and very satisfying. I was full after one patty and my salad. I only made a slight change to the patty recipe: I didn’t add the second bit of parmesan cheese to the top of the patty and I didn’t have fresh garlic, so I used a teaspoon of garlic powder.
The recipe itself was extremely easy to follow. Everything for the burger goes into one bowl to be mixed, while the salad stuff is mixed in another. Grill these up on your indoor grill and within 6-8 minutes, they’re done (just make sure that the internal temp is at least 160F). I think the whole process took no more than 15 minutes to throw it together and cook. While the patties cook, make the salad. And the patties are very large, being 1/4 pound a piece.
The salad was about 2 cups of romaine lettuce, 3 slices of ready-made bacon (chopped and quickly cooked up in a non-stick pan), the parmesan I didn’t put on the burgers and some Renee’s fat free Caesar salad dressing.
Delicious! Even hubby agrees! I’d recommend this to anyone.
Serving: 1 patty
There was a bunch of ground beef in my fridge that needed to be cooked up or tossed into the freezer. It’s been kind of cold as of late, so comfort food was kind of priority number one a week ago or so. I found out a few years ago that hubby loves meatloaf. It was something he never got as a child — his mother just never made it. I don’t know if she didn’t like it or maybe his dad didn’t like it, but hubby had just never experienced it. It was practically a staple food in our home, when I was growing up.
So the first time I made it was an experiment. When he took his first bite, I held my breath because I really feel that meatloaf is one of those “love or hate” dishes. He loved it. So ever since then, I’ve been trying to find new and exciting ways to jazz up this comfort dish. This time around, I originally wanted to do something with beef and teriyaki, but realized I had no teriyaki sauce (I usually have a jar of it around). I had no eggs (they had just expired), so I was thinking that I could get moisture and binding from something sticky. I started hunting around for something else sweet and stumbled across the bottle of maple syrup. Here’s what I did with it…
Why not make savoury muffins? 🙂
I’ll warn that the dough seems dry when you make them. It’s up to you whether or not you add more liquid, but I kind of like how they turn out as-is. (These are based off an old recipe I found a few years back, but I don’t recall the source. I apologize if this looks familiar to someone else’s! I did, however, make adjustments based on my own tastes.) This makes 12 muffins.