Bariatric Surgery - My Story · Dinner · soup · Uncategorized · WLS · zuppa toscana

Zuppa Toscana

Since the weather has turned for the colder here in Florida, I was wanting something warm and comforting.  Our friends had made their version of this soup, and thought it was time for me to make my own.

Brown, and drain four slices of bacon (roughly chop).Most recipes call for hot Italian sausage.  I used mild Italian sausage (out of the casing), and add red chili flakes to control the heat.  Brown the sausage in the same pan.Remove when cooked through, and drain on paper towels.

Halve and slice six to eight medium potatoes (russet potatoes work best as you want the starchiness).  I do rinse these and drain before adding to the oil.Chop one medium onion, and add it and the potatoes to the oil (I did remove almost half of the oil after browning the sausage).  Season with salt and pepper. Stir to coat.  Cook for about three minutes stirring occasionally.Add in two containers (six cups) of chicken broth or stock, and bring to a boil.  After boiling, reduce and simmer for twelve to fifteen minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.Rinse or wash curly kale.  Remove the stems, and tear or cut into bite size pieces.  Add to the pot, stir and cook for about three minutes or until the kale is wilted.Add in the sausage, and bring to a simmer.Once the soup has simmered, add the chopped bacon.  Then add one cup of heavy cream, stir and heat through.  Serve with bread or crackers.You can serve this with or without Parmesan cheese.  I love cheese on this soup, so it was a definite add for me.Enjoy!!

 

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Bariatric Surgery - My Story · Dinner · fall · friends · roasted · Uncategorized · Vegetables · WLS

Broccolini

If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know that I love roasted vegetables.  I tried roasting this broccolini to go with the Salmon and Orzo the other night.  I used the same flavor profiles in the Salmon and Orzo, and I think it work out nicely.

Two pounds of broccolini, washed, and dried off.  Place on a baking sheet (I line my with foil).  Sprinkle olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast in a 400 degree oven for about 12-15 minutes until it is partially cooked.  Grate two cloves of garlic over the vegetables, and the zest of one lemon.  Bake for another ten-fifteen minutes or until they are tender.  Sprinkle lemon juice over before serving, and enjoy!

Broccolini is a hybrid of kale and broccoli, and to me, not as bitter as either individual vegetable.  Add in the lemon and garlic, this makes a wonderful side dish.  At least for me.

Blessings.

Bariatric Surgery - My Story · cheese · Dinner · pasta · Spinach · Uncategorized · WLS

Orzo with Spinach and Parmesan

I cooked Salmon en Papillote (Salmon in Parchment) for dinner with friends, and wanted a nice side dish.

I had tri-colored Orzo pasta in the pantry, so I decided to dress it up.  First, finely chop a medium shallot.Saute’ in Olive oil, salt and pepper for about two minutes.  Add the dried Orzo to the pan, and saute’ until bits are browned.  Gentle stir to coat the orzo with the oil on a medium high heat.Add in two garlic cloves grated (won’t be as bitter as chopped, and you just want to heat it through).Bring three cups of chicken stock to a boil, and add in the browned orzo. Simmer until the Orzo absorbs most of the stock.  Taste, and add salt and pepper if needed.Add in one medium bag of spinach leaves, coarsely chopped.The spinach will wilt as you stir it into the orzo.Then add cheese (I added a half of cup of fresh mozzarella, and let it melt before adding the Parmesan).  I used about two cups of Parmesan – largely grated – reserving 1/2 cup for the table.I loved it, and it was a nice accompaniment to the Salmon.My plate with the added Parmesan cheese to the Orzo, Salmon with the fried capers and homemade dill/tarter sauce, and roasted broccolini.

Blessings.

Bariatric Surgery - My Story · Dinner · Fish-Seafood · friends · roasted · Uncategorized · WLS

Salmon en Papillote (Salmon in Parchment)

I love fresh Salmon, and used to eat it at least twice a week.  It is super easy to cook, and comes out perfect every time, especially when you cook it in parchment.  We had friends over for dinner, and I made sure to ask if they liked Salmon.  They do–score.

I purchased a whole filet, and made sure it didn’t have any bones or scales.Cut the Salmon into equal portions (I didn’t weigh them), and place them in parchment paper cut to approximate size (you will need to measure before cutting to ensure that the paper will close tightly).Salt, pepper, a bit of olive oil, and two slices of fresh lemon on each piece of Salmon. Wrapped them.  Start at one end of the parchment working your way to the other end, crimping the paper as best you can until fairly sealed.  Place on a foiled baking sheet.Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes.  If you only have thicker slices of Salmon, check them at 15 minutes.  My piece was a thin slice, and was a bit overdone (you can tell with Salmon if it ‘bleeds’ white).  But it was still super tasty and tender.  Our guests seem to enjoy the dinner as well.  I made a nice, cheesy orzo with spinach and roasted broccolini (hybrid of broccoli and kale – I think it is sweeter), both recipes to come later in the week.

Blessings.

2019 · cooking · Dinner · fall · Pork · Uncategorized

Pork Tenderloin

I made a roasted Pork Tenderloin to go with my sweet potato risotto.  One pork loin, at room temperature, and patted dry.  They are normally packaged with two smaller loins in one package.  Perfect for just David and I.Thoroughly salt and pepper all sides of the loins.Sear in a hot pan until golden on all sides.Instead of placing the pan in the oven (still over 90 degrees here), I ended up using my toaster oven (preheated at 400 degrees).  Roasted for about ten to twelve minutes.Rest for about 5 minutes (tented with aluminium foil), then slice across the grain.  My plate below.David’s plate and his has the Fig Balsamic sauce on the pork.  Recipe coming tomorrow. 

Blessings!

Bariatric Surgery - My Story · cheese · cooking · Dinner · fall · rice · Uncategorized · Vegetables · WLS

Sweet Potato Risotto

Craving Fall flavors in Florida is sometimes difficult especially when the temperature outside is 95 degrees.  Ugh…but we turn down the AC, and cook.

A simple risotto with one sweet potato (chopped and roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper for about 25 minutes at 350 degrees).Melt three tablespoons of unsalted butter and add a large, finely chopped shallot.Add salt and pepper, and cook until translucent.Add in a cup rice, stirring to coat the rice with the butter.  Cook until a bit browned.For my liquid I use 2/3’s cup chicken stock and 1/3 cup wine (warmed – not hot or cold).I also added four cloves of roasted garlic (smashed).  It adds a nutty flavor and isn’t in your face garlicky.  Add about a half of cup of liquid at a time, and stir until adsorbed.Continue this process until the rice is tender (about twenty minutes) with adding the liquid until the three cups are in the rice.When the rice is done, add in the cooked sweet potato.  Stirring gently. Then my favorite part gets added – the Parmesan cheese.  I like large bites of cheese, so I add in slices instead of grating it into the rice.David’s plate below.  I served this with a roasted pork loin with fig-balsamic sauce (recipe coming soon).And my plate (note the extra Parmesan cheese!).  I love this…and even though I am not supposed to eat rice, I think that this is okay (especially since the amount is less than a half of cup).  I do concentrate on eating the protein first especially since my gastric sleeve surgery.

What flavors are a must for you in Fall (even when the temperatures aren’t agreeing with you or Mother Nature)?

Blessings.

Bariatric Surgery - My Story · BBQ · Chicken · Dinner · pasta · Rotisserie Chicken · Summer · Uncategorized

Chicken and Orzo Pasta Salad

I found inspiration from The Kitchen (once again), but this time from Katie Lee.  She made a Greek Chicken and Orzo Pasta Salad.

I had made the Rotisserie Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole, and had about two cups of chicken left over.  I always save the skin when I break down a rotisserie chicken.  I think that it keeps the chicken moist.

This looks like a lot of ingredients, and to be honest, it is.  Below are the ingredients I used.  I would definitely recommend assembling all of the ingredients before you do anything!!

1 lb boxed Orzo, cooked for al dente, and tossed with olive oil.
2 cups of cooked chicken, chopped (I had leftover Rotisserie chicken)
1 cup of halved cherry tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic, minced (will divide)
2 cups of lemon juice
1 English Cucumber, diced
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley
1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
2 teaspoons butter
Red Wine Vinegar
Olive oil
Kosher Salt
Ground Pepper
Dried oregano
garlic powder
Greek seasoning

Cook the pasta to the box directions, drain, and add some olive oil and cool.img_3894For the chicken, the original recipe called for marinating and cooking the chicken tenders.  I cheated, and used Rotisserie chicken.  I added 1/2 cup of lemon juice, garlic powder and Cavender’s Greek Seasoning.  I heated it up in the microwave for a couple of minutes just to warm it (and for the seasonings to mingle).For the dressing, 1/2 cup of olive oil, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1 clove garlic (minced), and juice of 1/2 lemon.  Whisk together to blend.Melt the butter, and add two tablespoons of olive oil.  Saute the garlic, and once bubbly add the Panko bread crumbs.I took it off the heat, and it still got a bit darker than I wanted.  Tasted great…but looked over done.Mix together the orzo, dressing, cucumbers, tomatoes, chicken and feta cheese.  Taste, please add salt and pepper at this stage as the pasta will absorb the dressing quickly (the feta cheese can be salty so I will sometimes over salt my dish).  Then add the bread crumbs, and stir.  You can serve this warm, room temperature or cold.  I prefer it warmed a bit.David’s plate.My bowl…and yes, it is a pig face bowl.  This was so good, and I have plenty for lunches and a couple of dinners next week.

Fresh, filling, and tasty.  I really like the ease of this with the Rotisserie chicken especially since it has so many ingredients.  This would be perfect to take on a picnic or going to a cookout as you could leave the chicken out of the dish, and it would still be a great dish.

Enjoy!

casseroles · Chicken · comfort food · Dinner · rice · Uncategorized

Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole

I saw this on Instagram from @momontimeout.  She has some amazing recipes.  I found this Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole recipe on her website, and decided that we needed something comforting.

I modified it a bit…but these are the ingredients I used:

2 cups of Rotisserie Chicken – chunked
2 cups broccoli – frozen
2 cups cooked rice
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheese
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cups Ritz Crackers, crushed
1/4 cup of dried, chopped onions
2 teaspoons of unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9×13 pan with non-stick cooking spray.Mix all of the ingredients but the crackers, dried onion and butter.  Spread into the 9×13 pan.Sprinkle the crackers over the top, and drizzle the melted butter.Bake at 30-35 minutes until cooked through.Sprinkle with the cut parsley. Serve and enjoy.David’s plate, and he had seconds and thirds.My plate and I didn’t eat all of it, as it was warm, hearty and creamy. It is definitely more of a Fall or Winter meal.

Blessings.

comfort food · Dinner · FoodTV · Potato · The Kitchen · Uncategorized · Vegetables

Salt Potatoes

I am in love with these potatoes.  The Kitchen showcased these last week, and we had small potatoes so I had to make them, right?

Wash and place potatoes in a pot.  Cover with cold water.Add one cup of Kosher Salt (yes, a whole cup).Bring to a boil, and simmer for 15-20 minutes until potatoes are fork tender.They used fresh chives, and I had dried chives so that is what I used.  1/4 cup of chives, and a stick of unsalted butter melted.When the potatoes are done (fork tender), drain, and let dry on a sheet pan for about 5-8 minutes (do not pat dry or wipe off the salt).Place potatoes in a bowl (they should still be hot).  Pour butter and chive mixture over the potatoes.  Gently stir to coat the potatoes.These are NOT salty at all.  I will add black pepper next time, and fresh chives, but for items we had on hand–supper yummy.  I served these with a rib-eye steak and salad.

Blessings.

Bariatric Surgery - My Story · Cauliflower Rice · Dinner · Uncategorized · Vegetables · WLS

Cauliflower Fried Rice

This is so easy to make, and has fooled my nieces (they are eleven) in thinking that it is regular rice (they wanted seconds).  You can add any proteins or vegetables to it as you like, but since I was serving the Bok Choy and Japanese Chicken Thighs, I left it plain.

We buy the cauliflower rice already minced.  You are more than welcomed to google how to do that if you like, I don’t have that time.

I also cook this in my wok type skillet.  I begin with about a teaspoon of olive oil and heat the pan.  I cook this on high heat as well.  Begin by putting the cauliflower in the hot pan, and stir, adding salt and pepper (I don’t add a lot of salt as I add soy sauce).  Cook for about five minutes and then add about two teaspoons of sesame oil on the outside rim of the pan.  Stir and continue to cook until the “rice” browns a bit and most of the moisture is evaporated.Make a well in the middle of the pan.  Beat two eggs and add to the well.  Stir quickly, incorporating the rice.  Continue to stir and cook until the eggs are cooked.  Serve with some green onions on top and additional soy sauce.

If you want to add any kind of vegetables to this, I would add those before adding the eggs, and just heat through.  I have cooked this before with Chicken and with Shrimp (click for those recipes).

Enjoy.