|October 26, 2015||Filled under Recipes: Dressings, Sauces and Marinades, Recipes: Salads||
This is a quick to put together dish and, while I’ve included a recipe, you can toss just about anything in. Use your favorite veggies, swap out the cheese or even replace the sliced salami with diced chicken breast. You can even replace the salad dressing with your favorite kind. No matter what you use you’ll have a hard time creating a bad pasta salad.
Greek Lemon Pasta Salad
- 8 ounces of pasta, cooked
- 1 cucumber, sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
- 4 ounces shredded carrot
- ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
- ½ of a 8 ounce jar of Kalamata olives, sliced in half or quartered
- 4 ounces mini mozzarella balls
- 4 to 5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 4 to 6 ounces salami, cut into thin slices
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon honey
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the pasta as directed on the package, drain and cool.
- In a large bowl combine the pasta, cucumbers, bell peppers, carrots, onion, mozzarella balls, feta cheese and salami.
- In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, shallot, garlic and honey.
- Pour dressing over pasta blend and mix until combined.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Allow the mixture to sit for 30 minutes before serving.
Tips: use whole wheat pasta for extra fiber. Try adding sliced tomatoes, jarred roasted red peppers, some thinly sliced fresh spinach leaves, cubes of roasted squash or sweet potatoes, small broccoli florets or any other favorite vegetables. Replace the sliced salami with diced chicken breast for an added boost of protein.
WLS Tip: while this recipe was originally intended to be a main dish it’s best as a side dish for us. Serve with your favorite protein. My favorite is baked boneless chicken thighs that have been marinated in some of the dressing mix before being baked.
Got a favorite pasta salad dish? Why not leave a comment below as well as a link.
|October 20, 2015||Filled under Nutritional Information, WLS Tips||
I love the internet. It’s an incredible source of shared knowledge. Of course, sometimes that knowledge is flawed and then the internet because a source of passing along myths. I’m going to point out one of these myths that never seems to die thanks to the internet. I know many won’t believe it because it’s been around for so long but here it is……
Drinking soda will NOT stretch your pouch.
There. I’ve said it but it had to be done. This is one myth that has gone around and around most likely since Al Gore invented the internet. But it really needs to be put to rest. Why? Because by focusing on this myth we avoid talking about some of the real reasons you should avoid soda and other carbonated beverages after having weight loss surgery. Why should you avoid drinking soda (these reasons apply to EVERYONE and not just WLS folks)?
Gas. Yes because of the gas. Want to feel bloated, uncomfortable or even down right pain? The build up of the gas from the carbonation can do just that. While we do have a built in mechanism to help relieve that pressure (burping) many of us post surgery are surprised when we discover that we have a hard time doing just that. Drinking soda and other carbonated drinks can leave us feeling sick sometimes for hours.
Soda also encourages old habits that we are probably trying to change. Stop and think about when and where you drank soda. Was it with certain foods that you are now trying to avoid? Where you an all day drinker? Did you drink in the car while eating other things like fast food? For many people drinking soda is a trigger that encourages their old ways of eating that were most likely not healthy.
If your soda drinking previously occurred at meal times continuing to drink it will create slider foods. A slider food is one that you eat that passes through your pouch quickly. This not only will leave you hungry sooner but it allows you to consume more calories than you should be eating. When the food in your stomach mixes with liquids it creates a slurry that quickly passes through. Drinking any liquid, even water, will do this. However, if your soda drinking was previously during meals then this can lead to unwanted weight gain. See the paragraph above about continuing with old habits.
Speaking of weight gain. Drinking high calorie liquids, such as regular soda, is a source of calories with no nutritional benefit. Liquids pass much quicker through your pouch and drinking these sugary drinks will contribute to weight gain. That doesn’t let you off the hook if you are drinking sugarfree soda. Just look at the reasons above to see why you should avoid those as well.
So there it is. Some of the real reasons why you should avoid soda and other carbonated beverages even if they are not sweetened. These drinks aren’t evil and having them once in a while isn’t the issue. But, if you drink them on a regular basis perhaps you might want to take a look at some of the reasons above especially if you are experiencing weight regain.
What other things have you heard that you should or shouldn’t do after WLS? Leave a comment below and perhaps we can bust some other myths.
|October 13, 2015||Filled under Freezer Tips, Time Saving Tuesday|
As a single mother with three daughters, a house, cats and a job working close to 50 hours a week, the only way I can keep up my wonder woman persona is to find things that save me time. This can be a good thing when it comes to not slipping back into former habits that contributed to hurting my health. Over the years I’ve come up with lots of tricks that work for me and, thanks to Pinterest and the many websites out there, I see lots of others that I’d like to try one day. Each week I thought I would share either a tip that I use or something that I’ve seen on another site. Perhaps some of these will work for you to help save you time and make things a bit easier. If you’ve got a great time saving tip to share why not post it in the comment section below.
This week’s TST tip is to help save you time and money is to prepare meat ahead of time so it’s ready to be used in a meal.
Why make enough for one meal when you can prep enough for a few at the same time. There are certain things that we tend to use frequently such as ground beef and diced chicken. When I go shopping I will buy a large package of ground beef (3 to 5 pounds at a time), bring it home, put it right into a large pot and brown it. Then, once it’s cooked and allowed to cool down a bit, I divide it into a couple of containers so they can be frozen. When I want to quickly cook a meal I can pull a container out and add it frozen to soup. Or, I can thaw and warm it up to be used for other meals such as tacos.
Chicken can be prepped the same way. I spend a little time dicing up boneless chicken breasts or thighs and portion them into freezer bags or containers. Then they are ready to be pulled out of the freezer to be used in a recipe.
Got a favorite marinade recipe? Why not purchase chicken breasts, steak tips or pork in bulk, portion into freezer bags and top with your favorite marinade. The night before pull out your package and thaw in the refrigerator before using.
Do you like meatloaf? Why go through all the hassle of mixing and making just enough for one meal. Why not prep two or more meals at the same time. Simply double or triple your favorite recipe. Portion out one to use as your meal for the night. Shape the additional loafs, wrap in foil and place in a freezer bag. Don’t forget to mark what’s inside. Next time you need a quick meal pull the frozen meatloaf out and allow to thaw in the refrigerator over night.
3 quick reasons why I prep food ahead of time:
- It saves you money. Buy in bulk or stock up when your favorite cuts of meat are on sale. You can even do things like make your own stew beef.
- It saves time. Cutting and browning meat takes a good amount of time. On busy days you’ll be glad this step is already done.
- It encourages other family members to help with cooking. With some of the work already done it’s easy to get other members of your family to measure, add and stir ingredients if the dicing and chopping is already done for them.
Check out Pinterest for some ideas on creating “dump” chicken recipes. These are recipes that you simply dump into the crockpot. WLSers take not that many have sauces that are high in sugar which could lead to a dumping or RH episode.
Got a favorite tip to save time and money? Why not leave a link in the comment section below.