Don’t Wait For The Middle Finger

white haired man in jacket with watch
Photo by Life Of Pix on Pexels.com

Young ones (well, anyone younger than me, aka 50 and younger), please don’t be like me.

I treated my body like it was immortal: nothing I did or didn’t do would have a lasting effect. Despite the little things (which just kept building up) I felt when I turned 30 years old, I kept right on rolling, downing that Crunch Berry cereal while doing virtually no physical activity. The scale didn’t matter, how my body felt didn’t matter, all I cared about was what goody I was going to put in my mouth next to drown out my emotions. I told myself I didn’t care what anyone else thought and I didn’t. The problem was, I just didn’t care, period.

I only looked in the mirror with “tunnel vision”, seeing only my face to put on tons of makeup (to cover up my blotchy skin and apply contour to my double chin) and fix my highly damaged hair but never looking at my body. I cannot remember ever looking at my body just out of the shower.

The year I turned 42 years old, after YEARS of warning signs, was the year my body stuck up its middle finger at me and said, “I’m done”. Thankfully, I have never had high blood pressure or high cholesterol but I became allergic to just about everything, I got sick if anyone looked at me funny, and I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Through diet and exercise over the past 8 years, I have reduced my A1C from 9.0 to 5.7 (my first ever fasting blood sugar was 400). I am very proud to officially no longer have type 2 diabetes and did it on my own.

Unfortunately, there is only so much proper (for me) diet and exercise can do after 42 years of neglect and abuse. Here is a partial list of the issues I am dealing with:

  • Allergy shots for the next 5 years
  • Gallbladder removal 7 months ago
  • Severe intestinal issues that were not resolved by removing the gallbladder. I am still undergoing testing to figure out what is causing this (upper endoscopy, MRI, so much blood work the technician knows me by name). Next will probably be scheduled for a colonoscopy (if none of the current tests reveal anything).
  • Just had a TIA (mini-stroke) in my eye last week. There was no permanent damage but this means more tests (went to the lab two days in a row this week and have 2 MRI scans next week), more doctors (in addition to my allergist, dermatologist, ophthalmologist, primary care, and gastroenterologist, I have an appointment with a neurologist and am waiting for a referral to a cardiologist) AND I had to stop exercising because that TIA could possibly lead to a full-blown stroke (can you say stress?).

To be brutally honest, I have no idea how much of what is still wrong with me could have been avoided if I had cared about myself earlier in life but now, I will never know. All I can do is hang on, say a few prayers, and do whatever I can to get through this so I can (once again) start over on my fitness journey. As soon as I am given some sort of clearance, I am hitting the weights and my neglected exercise bike (there will also be some digging in the yard going on, too, since I was not able to finish planting before this all happened).

So, you young whipper snappers, please. Take a good, hard look at your lifestyle. Take into account that you will not be in your 20’s forever. Our bodies age, whether we want them to or not. How old do you want to feel when you are 30, 40, or 50? Do you want to be able to do whatever you enjoy or would you prefer to get out of breath walking to the mail box? Do what is best (not easiest) for your health now so you do not end up like me.

One Week of Whining (and South Beach Ginger Chicken)

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Over the course of the last week, I have been such a whiner! I have been desperately searching for ideas about how to reduce my fat intake without having to buy a ton of new food. So, I have begun diligently tracking my foods again on My Fitness Pal. I then remembered bodybuilders typically eat lower fat, so I am eating a modified “bro” diet but with flavor (lowering my fats, raising my non-meat proteins while keeping my fiber really low). The idea of plain baked chicken breast or fish made me cry BUT I just discovered that Costco sells egg whites!

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One of the books I have been holding onto (my sister is a pathological book buyer and gives me some when she purges her inventory) is the South Beach diet. I never got a chance to even open it before last week but I am glad I did! This recipe is amazing! This would be wonderful with just any meat (I have been fantasizing about this with shrimp)!

South Beach Ginger and Garlic Chicken Breasts

I doubled the recipe, poured everything into a baking dish, and baked it at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes. The chicken was so moist and tender! If you need more fat, you can add a little bit of olive oil to the basic marinade before cooking. The resulting juices were fantastic as a sauce!

I have also bought a few new things to help me get into shape while we try to figure out what is going on with my gut:

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This recumbent exercise bike is amazing! After the first use, I did have to put a cushion on the seat due to my bum falling asleep but I have used it every day since I got it without irritating my stomach. It’s a Marcy ME 709.

 

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AND a new scale that has the geek in me squealing with delight!

So, this screen shot is the closest thing to porn you will get from me! Take note that I am currently 49 years old but the results show that metabolically I am 53. I am doing what I can right now to change that but will do so much more once we figure out what the heck is wrong with me!

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That’s it for this update! Please, try that South Beach chicken recipe! You will not regret it! Have a great week!

“Spam” and Eggs … Help!

Well, it looks like my gallbladder was just one part of my health issue. Since having it removed in October, I started feeling a little better, then slowly went downhill. All my organs look good (especially the surgical area), so last week I had my first audition for a porn movie (Upper Endoscopy). There wasn’t anything dire but they did see several inflamed areas. I am currently waiting for the biopsy results (they took several) and waiting for my insurance to approve a scan to make sure there aren’t any rogue gallstones floating around anywhere.

In the mean time, I have been instructed to change my eating to low fat, little to no fiber, nothing hot/spicy (especially black pepper) and no large solid chunks of meat that will be more difficult to digest. EVERYTHING in my house is high fat! Last week, I was whining and crying because I have no idea how to even cook low fat (and no solid meat)!

So, now that I have calmed down, I wanted to show you my way of getting at least some meat in my belly for breakfast:

This is 2 eggs, half a cup of baked on a rack so it is lower fat DRY ham, and just a bit of half and half blended and cooked in a non-stick skillet sprayed with PAM. It’s actually tasty and surprisingly filling but I need help!

Does anyone have any ideas/recipes that I might be able to tweak that aren’t all scrambled eggs? I could boil meats to remove more fat but then what? My intestines HAVE been happier/less fetal-position painful but I need ideas! All I have in my house is meat and full-fat everything else. Please help me!

Keto, Atkins, and now Carnivore? Sigh.

Watch out for health buzzwords.

I really hate fads. Atkins was the first. Then Caveman (which morphed into Paleo). Keto is just starting to be a bit more recognized but now I am beginning to see the Carnivore diet. Now that I am sitting here, writing and researching my own book (basically, a simplified companion book to the original “Dr. Atkins Diet Revolution”), I keep running into all these faddish buzzwords that cause me to jerk my fingers from the keyboard before I make a total ass of myself.

I have never (and will never) go on a fat fast (eating nothing but fat) or an egg fast (eating nothing but eggs) or a soup fast (diet? I have no idea what the buzzword associated with this one is) simply to lose weight. If this is what I need to do to lose weight, I might as well buy some Dexatrim and live off of Slimfast shakes (that way, all my hair can fall out like my mom’s did when that is what she resorted to for quick weight-loss).

Fad diets have been around for quite a while (I used to have a women’s style book from the 1920’s that included a “Hollywood Diet” that somehow left out the illicit drugs they were doing in Hollywood at the time). When I first hear about Dr. Atkins’ “Eat Nothing But Bacon And Lose Weight” diet, I viewed it as just another fad. This is why I refused to read any of Dr. Atkins’ books (until I had to).

Now that I have read the books, I am glad I was wrong. What Dr. Atkins did was brought the clinical ketogenic diet (which was designed in 1923 for treating epileptic patients) into the mainstream by eliminating most of the counting (he focused solely on carbohydrates) and, since most of the public would balk at remaining on such a low carbohydrate diet, revealed a pathway back to a somewhat “normal” way of eating.

If you do not know what a clinical ketogenic diet looks like, check out this page: https://charliefoundation.org/diet-plans/ (which has 5 variations of a ketogenic diet) or watch this short video from Charlie Foundation:

And now, there is Carnivore. What is it? Meat, eggs, butter, and cheese. Doesn’t this sound similar to the clinical ketogenic diet? All they did was remove virtually all carbohydrates (I say virtually because the softer the cheese, the more milk sugars, thus carbohydrates, it has).

It’s almost all branding (or re-branding) to sell books, lectures, courses, or products. So, which of these is the best? That is up to you. If you want to limit your food variety and never count, look into the Carnivore diet. If you don’t mind counting a little, then the original Atkins is for you. If you like to micromanage every bit of food you consume, then Keto is the way to go! Just please, do not go on the Cabbage soup diet!

Product Review: Real Good “The Supreme” Pizza

Real Good Personal Pizza

So, I have been seeing these everywhere (and even have a few friends who have tried these and liked them). I had a rebate coupon and, since I had to go to Walmart (broke my neighbor’s coffee pot while trying to clean it), I bought one. This is what I bought: Real Good “The Supreme” Personal pizza. I have never made a chicken pizza crust so I thought this would be the best way to test it out.

First, at Walmart, the price for this tiny pizza was $5.95. That is quite a bit of money for me to pay for something that can be considered a light lunch (and I was really happy I was going to get a $2 rebate).

Second, I baked this in the oven, on parchment paper (I don’t particularly like the taste of cardboard). This is what happened (it’s not the first time I have made ugly food):

Now, onto the flavor: the sauce. Remember back when frozen pizzas had the worst heartburn-inducing tomato-based sauce? Yeah, that’s what this had. I took one nibble of the melted cheese and knew there was no way for me to eat the entire pizza without paying for it all day.

So, onto the crust (since that was really why I bought this). I cut a bit and took a bite with all the toppings on there. The texture wasn’t bad and it definitely tastes like chicken but between the crust and all the toppings, it was way too salty for me. I then cut another bit off and scraped off the toppings. I don’t want to be rude but that “chicken breast” crust has to be mechanically separated meat. It tastes like a slab of ground, pressed cheap lunch meat (but it obviously is not cheap). It reminded me of the “turkey” in Swanson’s frozen Turkey dinners I had as a kid.

That crust has tainted my views of all their products. Not only will I never buy any of their pizzas again but I will never buy any of their other products.

 

Dr. Atkins Interview

While researching, I stumbled onto an interview that Larry King did with Dr. Atkins in 2003 (just before he passed). I spliced, edited, synched the audio and uploaded it to my channel. I may have missed a commercial break or two but I hope you enjoy it as much as I did (though I REALLY do not like Larry King). This was just before he published “Atkins for Life: The Next Level”. If you listen to him, what he says really hadn’t changed since he published his first book in 1972 (except in 2003 there were many more options for low carb eaters).

 

Bear Carnitas

Brenda Nolen

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Yes, you read that correctly. My son was gifted with some bear meat, so I volunteered to cook it for him (none of us had tried it). My mind usually goes to Mexican when I think of cooking meat and I was really leaning toward carne asada or colorado but I wanted to be able to taste the meat. So, I settled on this simple already-loved recipe.

Here’s the link (for those who do not know, if I post a recipe, I only post the ingredients. You have to visit the link to read their instructions).

http://www.rickbayless.com/recipe/michoacan-style-pork-carnitas/

  • 18 pounds bone-in pork shoulder (skin-on picnic shoulder is a good choice, too), cut into 2-pound chunks
  • 1/2cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2cup salt
  • About 4 gallons lard or vegetable oil
  • If using vegetable oil: 1pound piece of slab bacon, cut it into 6 or 8 pieces

First: I did not have 18 pounds…

View original post 204 more words

Grilled Turkey Breast and Mushroom Skewers

http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/3497-grilled-turkey-breast-with-chive-butter

Grilled Turkey Breast With Chive Butter, from Pierre Franey

Yield 4 servings

Ingredients
4 turkey breast steaks, about 1 1/2 pounds
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage or 2 teaspoons dried
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
4 tablespoons finely chopped chives

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http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/grilled-mushroom-skewers.html

Grilled Mushroom Skewers, from Food Network Kitchens

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
36 cremini mushrooms with 2-inch caps, tough stem ends trimmed (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
Kosher salt

A Polish Meal

http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/kielbasa-with-onions-and-poblanos

Kielbasa with Onions & Poblanos, from The Bon Appetit Test Kitchen

Servings: 4–6

Ingredients
1 large onion, cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 poblano chiles or green bell peppers, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch strips
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds kielbasa sausages, cut on a diagonal into 4-inch pieces, halved lengthwise
Mustard, sauerkraut, and crusty bread

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http://www.outernetweb.com/recipes/grandma/poultry/chickenliverkebabs.html

Chicken Liver Kebabs – Szaszlyk z Kurzych Watrobek, from Grandma’s Old World Polish Recipes

20 chicken livers
2 cups milk
Sliced bacon, enough for 20 1-inch squares
Sliced small onions, enough for 20 thin slices

Spice Mix:

1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder or garlic salt (optional, though wouldn’t be for me)

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http://www.polishmeals.com/2013/07/213/

Coleslaw – Surówka z Białej Kapusty, from PolishMeals.Com

-1 lb white Cabbage (half medium one)
-Carrot
-Onion
-Garlic clove
-1 tbsp Olive
-1 tsp Dijon Mustard
-2 tbsp Mayo
-2 tbsp Sour Cream (or natural Yogurt)
-1 tbsp Lemon Juice
-Salt & Pepper

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http://www.polskafoods.com/content/cucumber-salad-recipe-mizeria

Cucumber Salad – Mizeria, from PolskaFoods.Com

3 medium cucumbers, pealed and sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 chopped red onion
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup sour cream (or Greek Yogurt)
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
LOTS of freshly ground black pepper
(sure, you can add sugar, but try using an authentic Polish recipe with no sugar, its healthier too!)

Grilled Tuna and Soft-Shell Crabs

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/grilled-tuna-with-herbed-aioli-108291

Grilled Tuna with Herbed Aïoli, from Bon Appetit, July 2003

YIELD: Makes 4 servings

Ingredients
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons dried tarragon
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/3 cup mayonnaise

4 7-ounce tuna steaks (each about 1 inch thick)

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http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/grilled-soft-shell-crabs-with-tartar-sauce

Grilled Soft-Shell Crabs with Tartar Sauce, from Steven Raichlen, BBQ USA

SERVINGS: 4

If you want to make sandwiches, then you could try one of the various low carb roll recipes out there but why detract from the flavor of the crab and this fantastic tartar sauce?

TARTAR SAUCE
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon drained capers, finely chopped
1 tablespoon snipped chives
1 tablespoon finely chopped cornichons
1 tablespoon minced pickled jalapeños
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped tarragon
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay
Salt and freshly ground pepper

CRAB SANDWICHES
Vegetable oil, for the grill
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 small shallots, minced
1 teaspoon seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay
4 rolls, split
12 cleaned soft-shell crabs
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Seafood Salads

Let’s see how many of the hundreds of recipes I have stored I can post today! A reminder to those new here: When I post a recipe, I post the ingredients and the link (plus any pictures of the dish I can find). I figure this will give you an idea of whether you even want to make the dish or not. For the instructions, you must click on the links.

http://www.athoughtforfood.net/blog/grilled-bluefish-salad/

Grilled Bluefish (alone):
Serves 4 for dinner

Grilled Bluefish Salad:
Approximately 8-10 people for lunch

Ingredients

For the grilled bluefish
2 – 1 lb bluefish fillets, bones removed
4 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
Curry powder
1 lemon, sliced into thin rounds, seeds removed
Soy sauce

For the salad
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1/4 cup chopped cucumber
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1/2 shallot, minced
1 teaspoon minced flat-leaf parsley
2 grilled lemon slices, minced

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http://www.fishwatch.gov/eating-seafood/recipes?width=720&inline=true#seafood-panzanella-salad

Seafood Panzanella Salad, from Jim Weaver

8 littleneck clams, rinsed of sand
4 large sea scallops, muscle removed
3 ounces calamari (squid) rings
3 ounces monkfish, skinned and cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup large diced tomato
1/2 cup julienned cucumber
1/4 fennel bulb, julienned; reserve a few fronds for garnish
4 basil leaves chiffonade; plus a couple of whole leaves for garnish
1 scallion cut lengthwise into thin slices; reserve the green top for garnish
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Black pepper to taste
1 cup water
1 large baguette Maybe serve with sliced cucumber?

Dr. Atkins’ Steak and Barbecue Sauce (and copies of the Original book)

One quick note about getting copies of Dr. Atkins’ original book: I noticed, when updating my Amazon store (look over there) there are a lot more copies of the book available. I have listed the 1972, 1980, 1984, and 1990 publishing dates. I think up until the 1990 version, they are roughly the same.

Judith, this is the closest thing I could find to a barbecue sauce recipe from my books.

Steak Sauce
11 Tablespoons

1/2 cup Hunt’s Tomato Puree (sauce)
1/4 cup water
5 teaspoons distilled vinegar
1/4 teaspoon orange extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 small clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon grated onion
1/2 teaspoon Maggi Seasoning
20 drops of Tabasco sauce

Blend and refrigerate until serving time.

WAIT! I found it (I think). It was included in a Barbecued Spareribs recipe!

Dr. Atkins Barbecue Sauce

1/4 cup chopped onions
1 Tablespoon bacon drippings
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup water
1/8 cup lemon juice
2 Tablespoons tarragon vinegar
1 Tablespoon Lee & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
3 Tablespoons brown Sugar Twin
1 cup Hunt’s tomato juice
3 Tablespoons of soy sauce (how funny, the note says this can be purchased in a health food store)
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 Tablespoon Gold Seal cocktail sherry (optional)

Saute the onion in bacon drippings until brown, add garlic powder and cook 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 25 minutes.

Keto “Apple” Cheesecake Danish

Not sure about the squash but everything else … when you just need a little something. OH! Maybe a few blueberries instead!

The Primitive Palate

KetoAppleCheesecakeDanish

I’ve had a lot of readers tell me they wanted a recipe for a oopsie-roll danish, so here we are! Fluffy oopsie batter, creamy cheese cake filling, toasted pecans and baked cinnamon yellow squash!

Wait…WHAT?

Yep, you read correctly. Yellow squash. In fact, you could use zucchini as well!

A  neighbor of mine was giving away of a bag of fresh, home-grown squash today! How could I pass that up? I have actually been wanting to try this recipe for some time now, I just didn’t know exactly how I wanted to make it. One cup of summer squash has about 3 carbs…compared to apples at 13 carbs per cup!

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I am so in love with this recipe! What a great way to sneak in veggies to a dessert! You really can’t even tell that it’s not apple!

I played around with adding whey protein to the oopsie…

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The “After” Myth

Can Anybody Hear Me?

DURING

After.

It’s here.

In my first post, Before, 3 years ago, I said “I’m not to After yet, but I’m closer to After than to Before.”

I now weigh 117 – 120 pounds (depending on the day), and standing at 5-foot 6-inches, that measurement means that After is very, very here. But, before you congratulate me, dear readers…if I have any…and dear friends and family who I know follow this blog… I have to come clean with you: I don’t feel like I’m at After. I’m terrified of being at After. And, I don’t like that After is here.

After5 2

The tagline of my blog is “uncovering myself one pound at a time.” For most of this blog, I’ve spoken strongly about how my relationship with food and myself was what caused my weight struggles. I stand by that. The thing is, the symptoms have resolved faster than I’ve been able to…

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Grilled Flank Steak “Pastrami” – Pastrami-Spiced Beef Flank Steak

Richard Blais’ Beer-Steamed Clams

http://www.rachaelrayshow.com/recipe/17395_Richard_Blais_Beer_Steamed_Clams/

Richard Blais’ Beer-Steamed Clams

INGREDIENTS
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tablespoon grated ginger
24 little neck clams
1/2 bottle Amstel light
A drip of maggi (liquid MSG)
3 tablespoons small diced soppresata (optional)
1/4 cup cold butter, cubed
A baby handful chopped cilantro
2 tablespoon sliced scallions
Juice of 1/2 lime

Sausage-and-Pepper Skewers

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/sausage-and-pepper-skewers-recipe.html

Sausage-and-Pepper Skewers

Ingredients

1 cup couscous
2 bell peppers (red and yellow), cut into chunks
1 (12-ounce) package chicken sausage (preferably garlic-flavored), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large red onion, cut into chunks
1 cup cherry tomatoes
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
4 scallions, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

Marinated Grilled Calamari

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/marinated-grilled-calamari

Marinated Grilled Calamari

Ingredients

2 pounds cleaned calamari (squid), tubes and tentacles separated but whole
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons red chile flakes
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, divided
1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
1/2 loaf crusty bread such as ciabatta, cut in half horizontally

Grilled Lamb Meatballs

Leave out the bulgar. If you are worried about the lamb not holding together, either use more meat (my choice) or add a little almond flour.

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/grilled-lamb-meatballs-350175

Grilled Lamb Meatballs

Ingredients

1 pound ground lamb
2 heaping tablespoons dry bulgur, soaked in 1 cup water until soft (about 30 minutes), then drained
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, grated and drained
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 egg
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground paprika (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil

White Asparagus with Black Forest Ham

http://germanfoods.org/recipes/white-asparagus-with-black-forest-ham/

White Asparagus with Black Forest Ham

Ingredients:

1 lb fresh white asparagus

1 large ripe avocado

1/2 cup Basic Oil and Vinegar Dressing (see recipe below)

4 ripe round or plum tomatoes, skinned

4 large fresh Basil leaves, shredded

8 wafer-thin slices German imported Black Forest ham

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Basic Oil and Vinegar Salad Dressing:

Ingredients:

4 ounces rapeseed or vegetable oil

4 ounces olive oil

4 ounces German white wine or German apple

vinegar or half of each

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon German mustard

1 teaspoon German honey (optional)

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Badische Schaeufele (Pork Shoulders)

http://germanfoods.org/recipes/badische-schauefele-pork-shoulders/

Badische Schaeufele (Pork Shoulders)

Ingredients:

1 ¾ lb smoked pork shoulder
1 medium yellow onion
6 cloves
2 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves
6 juniper berries (crushed)
2 1/8 cups dry red wine
6 1/3 cups cold water
2 lemon slices
1 lb carrots, leeks, and celery
1 tbsp white peppercorns

Baked Lasagnette with Shrimp, Swiss Chard, and Ricotta

Why mess up a fantastic dish by adding pasta to it? Look at these ingredients. You don’t need the pasta (or pasta substitute) at all! Just leave it out and have a fantastic lunch or dinner!

http://www.cliffordawright.com/caw/recipes/display/bycategory.php/recipe_id/457/id/27/

Baked Lasagnette with Shrimp, Swiss Chard, and Ricotta

3/4 pound lasagnette
1 3/4 pound Swiss chard, heavy stems removed, washed, cut into strips
5 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
6 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 1/2 pounds jumbo shrimp, shelled
3/4 pound fresh ricotta cheese

Forelle mit Sauerampfersosse (Trout in Sorrel Sauce)

http://www.saveur.com/article/recipes/forelle-mit-sauerampfersosse-trout-in-sorrel-sauce

Forelle mit Sauerampfersosse (Trout in Sorrel Sauce)

Ingredients
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 (1-lb.) trout, cleaned
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups minced sorrel, or another tender herb such as savory or parsley
¼ cup heavy cream
¼ cup minced parsley

Grill-Roasted Rainbow Trout with Cilantro-Horseradish Aioli and Zucchini Mash

http://www.rickbayless.com/recipe/grill-roasted-rainbow-trout-with-cilantro-horseradish-aioli-and-zucchini-mash/

Grill-Roasted Rainbow Trout with Cilantro-Horseradish Aioli and Zucchini Mash

Ingredients

Rainbow Trout
1 cup hickory chips soaked in 1 cup wine for 30 minutes
8 rainbow trout, preferably butterflied (8 ounces each)
Salt
Black pepper, preferably fresh ground
4 green onions, cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 fennel bulb, cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 large tomatoes, each cut into eight pieces
1 jalapeno, halved and thinly sliced
1 lemon, sliced in rounds, 1/2–inch thick
1 cup white wine

Zucchini Mash
5 medium (2 1/2 pounds total) Mexican calabacitas (AKA tatume) or small zucchini
3 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil

Cilantro-Horseradish Aioli
2 teaspoons (loosely packed) chopped fresh cilantro (thick stems cut off), plus extra cilantro leaves for garnish
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 cup good-quality olive oil

Chillied Peanuts and Pumpkin Seeds

http://www.rickbayless.com/recipe/chillied-peanuts-and-pumpkin-seeds/

Chillied Peanuts and Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients

2 cups roasted peanuts (preferably without salt)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons ancho (or guajillo) chile powder (available from national companies like McCormick, Mexican groceries and internet sites), plus a little arbol chile powder if you like it spicy
Salt
1 cup pepitas seeds (pumpkinseeds) hulled

Barbazza con Sagrantino & Salvia

http://www.italianfoodforever.com/2013/07/barbazza-con-sagrantino-salvia/

Barbazza con Sagrantino & Salvia

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
20 Strips Pancetta
3/4 Cup Dry Red Wine
10 Large Fresh Sage Leaves

Brasato in Bianco

http://www.italianfoodforever.com/2008/10/brasato-in-bianco/

Brasato in Bianco

Ingredients:

2 to 2 1/2 Pounds Meat Of Choice Cut Into Bite Sized Pieces ~ See Note Above (I used A Veal Steak Cut Into 2 Inch Pieces, And A Slab Of Pork Ribs With The Ribs Cut Individually)
1 Carrot, Peeled And Diced
1 Celery Stalk, Diced
1 Small Onion, Peeled And Diced
3 Cloves Garlic, Peeled And Minced
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1 1/2 Cups Dry White Wine
2 Cups Hot Homemade Chicken Broth (Plus Additional If Needed)
2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Basil
2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Parsley
2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Thyme
Sea Salt
Cracked Black Pepper
To Serve:
Chopped Fresh Parsley

Get Keto Quick … I Mean Get Rich Quick Schemes

I just received a message from someone on Facebook about a fantastic line of products that will get you into a state of ketosis in 3 hours.  From the little I read, you drink two of their drinks (two separate products), eat their “special treat”, then subsidize the rest of your calories with meat and veg.

O.k.?  Well, if any of you have read any of my blog (at all), you can receive the same results in just a little more time for the one time low, low price of … FOOD!  No gimmicks, no special drinks, no special bars to buy.  Just buy some meat and there you go!

I will not tell you the name of the product (or the name of the person who sent me the message) but just do me a favor, everyone.  Remember these words: There are no quick fixes for better health.  It doesn’t matter which eating plan you decide to embrace.  It took us quite a while to ravage our bodies.  For me, it took 42 years to put my body into shut-down mode but it only took 12 months to recover (see that?  Not another 42 years or even 42 months … only 12).

If you truly feel the need to embrace some quick fix fad, go ahead.  I will still be here when you get back, posting recipes and occasionally being a human and posting words I type.

Tuna Tataki

http://www.wolfgangpuck.com/recipes/appetizers/Tuna-Tataki-or-Sashimi-with-Ginger-Soy-Lime-Vinaigrette

Tuna Tataki

Ingredients

1/2 cup minced ginger
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
1/2 pound very fresh, sushi-grade ahi tuna
Kosher salt
3 tablespoons peanut oil, for searing
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 medium-size, ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, quartered and sliced
2 cups mixed greens
12 thin slices red onion
1 medium tomato, peeled, seeded, and diced
Ginger Sauce, recipe follows

Ginger Sauce:
1 small shallot, minced
1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup lime juice
1/3 cup olive oil

Grilled Pork Chops with Garlic Lime Sauce

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/grilled-pork-chops-with-garlic-lime-sauce-238938

Grilled Pork Chops with Garlic Lime Sauce

Ingredients

1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
6 (1/2-inch-thick) boneless pork chops

Casserole-Roasted Rabbit with Herbs

http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/casserole-roasted-rabbit-with-herbs

Casserole-Roasted Rabbit with Herbs

Two 3 1/2 -pound rabbits
4 thyme sprigs
2 marjoram sprigs
2 rosemary sprigs
2 sage sprigs
2 bay leaves
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons water

Roasted Guinea Hens with Whole-Grain Mustard and Herbs

Roasted Guinea Hens with Whole-Grain Mustard and Herbs

Ingredients
8 garlic cloves, each halved lengthwise and germ removed if green
1 lb fingerling potatoes or small boiling potatoes
1 bay leaf (not California)
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
2 (2 1/2-lb) guinea hens or 2 (2 1/2- to 3-lb) free-range chickens
4 large sprigs fresh thyme, leaves and stems separated
4 sprigs fresh tarragon, leaves and stems separated
4 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves and stems separated
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 medium shallots (1/2 lb), lobes separated if necessary
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth

Grilled Lemon-Parsley Veal Chops

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/grilled-lemon-parsley-veal-chops-108450

Grilled Lemon-Parsley Veal Chops

Veal

1/2 cup olive oil
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
6 8- to 10-ounce loin or rib veal chops, each about 1 inch thick

Topping

3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon minced garlic

Skagenrore

Who needs bread?  A bowl and fork will do (or, I guess you could serve this with lettuce)!

https://arcticgrub.wordpress.com/2013/06/21/sankthansaften-norways-summer-solstice/

SKAGENRØRE

1 lbs cooked shrimp (small)

1/2 pound crayfish (or crab)

1 1/2 cups sour cream

3 tbsp mayonnaise

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

juice of 1 lemon

3 tbsp chives, chopped fine

3 tbsp dill, chopped fine

1/2 small red onion, diced fine

2 eggs, hard boiled and chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Grilled Stuffed Jalapeños

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/grilled-stuffed-jalapenos

Grilled Stuffed Jalapeños

2 center-cut bacon slices
4 ounces cream cheese, softened (about 1/2 cup)
4 ounces fat-free cream cheese, softened (about 1/2 cup)
1 ounce extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup minced green onions
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 small garlic clove, minced
14 jalapeño peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped seeded tomato

Trout Filets with Hot Buttered Champagne Sauce

index

http://gildedfork.com/trout-filets-with-hot-buttered-champagne-sauce/

Be sure to leave out any sugar (not sure why they would call for sugar in the vegetables).

Trout Filets with Hot Buttered Champagne Sauce

Ingredients

For the Champagne sauce:
4 shallots, minced
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1/3 cup Champagne
1 cup unsalted chilled butter, cut in pieces
Kosher salt and white pepper to taste

For the vegetables:
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups fresh, cleaned vegetables (broccoli, carrots, baby potatoes, etc.), chopped
½ cup Champagne
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon sugar

For the fish:
1 pound trout or salmon filets
Freshly ground pepper and salt to taste

Garlic-Chile Grilled Turkey Thighs

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/garlic-chile-grilled-turkey-thighs-369380

For those who are new, when I find a recipe I want to share with you, I post the link and list of ingredients.  I ask that you go to the original web page for the instructions.

Garlic-Chile Grilled Turkey Thighs

2 1/2 to 3 pounds turkey thighs with skin and bones
4 large garlic cloves
Salt
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons olive oil

Adding Fats Into Your Diet

A MyFitnessPal friend just adopted a ketogenic way of eating.  A few tips that just popped out of my head and through the keyboard that I thought I should share with all of you: how to incorporate more fat into your diet without scooping out spoonsful and eating it like ice cream.

Yes, I did that in the beginning.  I was desperate to get all the fats into my diet that I needed to.  For those who don’t know, the basic way it works with the ketogenic approach is you replace all the carbohydrate calories you normally eat with fat calories.  In the beginning, when you are just starting out, that is a lot of fat!  That’s why you see so many people (and I did this for almost the entire year I was strict keto) drinking Bullet Proof Coffee (if you google that, you might not see what I drank.  I just added a tablespoon each of butter and coconut oil to my coffee and just stirred it in … much better together than either butter or coconut oil by themselves). Or they eat fat bombs. Really. I tried one recipe and it was just cold fat with something (I think it was peanut butter) meant to make you forget you are eating a chunk of fat but it failed.

The problem with doing drinking my bullet proof coffee every day was those nights when we would indulge in a fantastically fatty rib eye steak, I would go over on my fats (a lot).  So, I slowly began skipping my bullet proof coffee days and consuming more fats with my meals.  Eventually, it got to a point I did not need my bullet proof coffee.

So, what were these fantastic tips I gave my friend?  The first tip: Starting now, buy fattier meats.  Through so many years of being told to eat less fatty meats, we had switched from 80% ground beef to 90%, bought chicken breast instead of other cuts, and purchase pork loin instead of the fat-rich cuts that didn’t require sauces to make them edible.  Now, we buy the 80% ground beef.  We buy chicken thighs instead of breast.  Did you know that most of the wonderfully smelling chicken that is grilled outside of Mexican markets is de-boned, skinned chicken thighs?  That’s why it is always so juicy and WONDERFUL!  We buy pork chops, the fattier the better and when we want steak, it is either rib eye steaks (with that glorious marbling) or tri-tip roasts.  I’ve also (as I’ve written about before) begun branching out with pork butt roasts and even some beef roasts, leaving as much of the fat as I can.  Don’t forget fish: any form of salmon has more fats but have you checked out canned fish like smoked herring or sardines?

The second tip (which I don’t think I told her): Track your fat!  When I input my meals into MyFitnessPal, I would almost always forget to track the fats I used in cooking.  On the days when I remembered, I would almost end up over my allotted fat amounts.

So, there you have it.  Two tips to ensure your intake of fats is mostly from whole foods instead of a spoon.  OH!  I almost forgot.  If you want to order fats in bulk (instead of paying outrageous prices for tiny containers at the store and do not mind if they are not organic), go here (this is not an affiliate link, I just really like them): http://naturaloils.com/shop/Default.htm

Have a great Thursday!

Brenda

Baked Parmesan Mushrooms

So, while I was at the store, I saw a huge vegetable bag of mushrooms on sale (and they have a few days until they turn completely brown and gross).  What I wanted was a recipe that I could just throw into the oven and be done with it.  I think I found it.  See, my husband is currently on a restricted diet and while he was away, I cooked for myself.  Well, I have two (out of the three in the package) cooked pork chops that I need to do something with.  I’m going to slice the pork chops thinly, and toss them in with the mushrooms here.  For anyone new to my blog, I post the link to the recipe and the ingredients.  You have to go to the web site to see the instructions.

Baked Parmesan Mushrooms http://damndelicious.net/2014/03/26/baked-parmesan-mushrooms/

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced (Brenda’s note: I’ll probably not be slicing, just making them smaller, like cut into quarters)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

I Have An Amazon Store!

I know I’m a bit slow.  I’ve been sitting here coding a website, getting feeds going, cleaning up my three blogs, and I just (last month) found out about Amazon stores!  lol  Yeah, I was on someone else’s blog and clicked on their store.

And voila!  Everything that they like was listed right there for all to see!  So, I made one up with the books, items, and foods I’ve either reviewed (and liked) or eat on a regular basis.  I know for a fact that I have forgotten a lot of things, so I will be adding to it as I remember.

Here it is: http://astore.amazon.com/atkinsketojourney-20

You can also access it from the top menu and the side bar (to the left).

OH!  And they have copies of the original Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution AND his Dr. Atkins’ Diet Cook Book (many of the recipes I have shared here).

One more note: I will be adding guar gum to my cooking ingredients since my husband was recently diagnosed with gluten intolerance (not sure yet if it’s celiac disease or not), so I’m trying to bake him some good gluten-free replacements.

With that already being in the house, I may try some of the recipes that call for it and see if that really made a difference and let you guys know.

Sausage al Pesto Putanesca

Crispy Skin Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder

So, when we went shopping yesterday, we spied Pork Shoulder Picnic roasts on sale for .99 cents per pound. I’ve never cooked one and knew that Google would once again come to the rescue. I found this and I knew this would be my cooking method because look at that crispy goodness. I’ll just be using my standard seasoning (Pappy’s).


http://www.ruled.me/crispy-skin-slow-roasted-pork-shoulder/

The Preparation

8 lbs. Pork Shoulder
3 1/2 tbsp. Salt
2 tsp. Oregano
1 tsp. Black Pepper
1 tsp. Garlic Powder
1 tsp. Onion Powder

Savory Seafood Stew: Zuppa di Pesce

For this one, leave out the beans. The carrots are there for flavor. If you really do not want to add those, you could use some carrot seeds or carrot tops (I’ve always dried them and used them in soups).

Ingredients

FOR THE SOUP BASE:
2 quarts water
1 (35-ounce) can Italian plum tomatoes with liquid (preferably San Marzano)
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
2 small leeks, white parts only, trimmed, cleaned and cut into 3-inch lengths (about 2 cups)
2 medium carrots, trimmed and sliced thick
1 large onion, sliced thick

10 sprigs fresh thyme
Zest of 1/2 lemon, removed in wide strips with a vegetable peeler
1/2 teaspoon loosely packed saffron threads
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste

TO PREPARE THE SOUP:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, sliced thin
2 small leeks, white parts only, trimmed, cleaned and sliced 1/2-inch (about 2 cups)
8 cloves garlic
4 medium calamari, cleaned, with tentacles left whole, bodies cut crosswise into 1/2-inch rings (about 1 1/4 pounds)
18 medium sea scallops (about 1/2 pound)
8 ounces fresh firm-textured fish fillets, such as salmon, snapper or swordfish, skin removed and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 cups Braised Cannellini Beans, recipe follows
24 mussels, preferably cultivated, cleaned
12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined (about 1/2 pound)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian or flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
Crusty Italian bread, optional

Creamy Artichoke Soup

Leave out the potato and you’ll have a wonderful, satisfying soup!

Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 leeks, white part only, washed well and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small potato, peeled and chopped
1 (8-ounce) package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons chopped chives, for garnish

Simon’s Easter Dinner

This is one of those emails I get where the whole thing sounds so good together that this time I refuse to break them up into separate recipes.  So, here are some of the dishes that will be served at Simon’s house today:

Steamed Artichokes with Garlic Butter or with the following Aioli or Vinaigrette recipe

Ingredients
4 large artichokes (about 2½ pounds.)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, halved
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 garlic clove, finely grated

Lemon Garlic Aioli

Ingredients:
1 garlic clove, minced
Juice of 2 lemons
Zest of 1 lemon
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups canola oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


Creamy Champagne Vinaigrette

1/2 cup creme fraiche
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons honey (Sweetener of choice)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Asparagus with Parmesan Butter

Ingredients
1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (packed) grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Snow Peas with Toasted Almonds

Ingredients
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 pound snow peas, trimmed
2 teaspoons minced shallot
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Leg of Lamb with Garlic and Rosemary

Ingredients
1 (7-pound) semi-boneless leg of lamb, aitchbone removed, fat trimmed to 1/4 inch thick, and lamb tied
4 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup dry red wine or beef broth

The Steak Breakdown: Your ultimate guide to cuts of beef

I’m not sure about you but there have been times when I either question the butcher’s sanity (for a price per pound for a cut of meat that used to be considered “poor people” food … the kinds we grew up on, like round stead which I recently saw for MORE PER POUND than Tri Tip) or you sit there, with your jaw dangling, trying to figure out if you should buy this cut or that cut and what the heck will you do with it once you get home. This page will help.

As I might have said before (I think it a lot, so never know what may have passed from brain to keyboard), I appreciate when people type/speak plainly. This article is one of those where the author shows humor while being informative and I appreciate it. “BRISKET Where it is: The lower breast, known on the human as the under-boob.”

http://www.thrillist.com/eat/nation/ultimate-steak-guide-how-to-cook-a-steak#/

Roasted Asparagus & Red Onion Quesadillas

This one I originally saved so I could post the sauce recipe BUT after reading the recipe, I don’t see why you couldn’t roast the asparagus and onions, then use those as a filling for an omelet (topped with the sauce).

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-asparagus-and-red-onion-quesadillas-10216

Quesadillas
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large red onion, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices and separated into rings
eight 6- to 7-inch flour tortillas
1/2 pound pepper Jack cheese, coarsely shredded
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh coriander

Cumin Lime Cream
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

Dublin Lawyer

Now, make this but serve it over steamed cauliflower or zucchini noodles or heck, just eat it like soup. I sounds (and looks) fantastic!

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/dublin-lawyer-recipe-recipe.html

Ingredients

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/2 cups sliced button mushrooms
1/2 cup sliced scallions
1 pound cooked lobster meat
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup Irish whiskey (recommended: Jameson)
4 cups heavy cream
2 cups hot cooked rice

Dublin Bay Prawn Cocktail and More

This recipe says it serves 20 … what a lie! lol BUT, upon looking at the link, you need to check out the rest of the recipes there. They are either naturally low carb or could easily be modified.

http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/2Kitch/Starters.html#DublinPrawnCocktail

4-5 lbs cooked, deveined medium or large shrimp
I head of top-quality lettuce, chopped and shredded
8 tablespoons real mayonnaise
8 tablespoons whipped cream
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
2 teaspoons grated fresh horseradish
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped parsley

Trio of Stuffed Eggs – Uovo Sode Imbotitte

http://www.recipelink.com/msgbrd/board_3/2012/NOV/12880.html

TUNA-AND-CAPER-STUFFED EGGS (Level 1 Friendly)

3 bard-boiled eggs, peeled and halved (see tip below)
1 (3 ounce) can tuna packed in water, drained
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons plus 1 teaspoon drained capers
1 teaspoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste (optional)

OLIVE-AND-MASCARPONE-STUFFED EGGS

3 bard-boiled eggs, peeled and halved
3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 to 8 green or Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped, plus 6 slices

TRUFFLED MUSHROOM-STUFFED EGGS

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup sliced white button, cremini, or shiitake mushrooms
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes
3 bard-boiled eggs, peeled and halved
3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon truffle oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly
Ground black pepper