Bariatric Surgery - My Story · Fish-Seafood · Hello Fresh · Salmon · Uncategorized · WLS

Hello Fresh Creamy Lemon Salmon

The third meal that we prepared was the Hello Fresh Creamy Lemon Salmon.  (Instructions copied from the Hello Fresh Site):

Wash and dry all produce. Core and seed tomato, then cut into ½-inch pieces. Zest lemon until you have 1 tsp zest, then cut into wedges. Trim, then thinly slice scallions, keeping greens and whites separate. Mince or grate garlic.

Make Crema

In a small bowl, stir together sour cream, half the lemon zest, and a few squeezes of lemon juice (to taste— start with about ¼ of the lemon and go up from there). Season with salt and pepper. Taste and add more lemon zest or juice, if desired.

Cook Couscous

Melt 1 TBSP butter in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add couscous and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted, 2-3 minutes. Add 1 cup water, then bring to a boil. Lower heat slightly and let simmer until al dente, 7-9 minutes. Remove couscous from pot and set aside.

Stir Couscous

Heat another 1 TBSP butter and a large drizzle of oil in pot used for couscous over medium-high heat. Once butter is melted, add scallion whites and tomato. Cook, stirring frequently, until slightly softened, 2-3 minutes. Lower heat to medium and add garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in couscous. Season with salt and pepper, then remove pot from heat.

Cook Salmon

Heat a drizzle of oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat (use a nonstick pan if you have one). Pat salmon dry with a paper towel. Season all over with salt, pepper, and fry seasoning. Add to pan skin-side down. Cook until skin is crisp, 4-6 minutes. Flip and cook to desired doneness, 2-3 minutes more.

Plate and Serve

Fluff couscous with a fork, then stir in half the scallion greens. Divide between plates, along with salmon. (TIP: Arrange the fillets skin-side up to keep the skin crisp.) Drizzle salmon with a spoonful of crema. Sprinkle with remaining scallion greens. Serve with any remaining lemon wedges and crema on the side.  Photo of their dish and David’s:This time the tomatoes disappeared, and the seasoning was too much (what they had provided), but this was my favorite meal of the three that we tried.  My plate:

I had enough for lunch leftovers the next day.  I will try to make this again.

Bariatric Surgery - My Story · Chicken · Hello Fresh · Uncategorized · WLS

Hello Fresh Presto Pesto Panko Chicken

The second meal that we cooked was the Hello Fresh Presto Pesto Panko Chicken.  (Instructions copied from the Hello Fresh Site):
Preheat and Prep

Wash and dry all produce. Adjust rack to upper position and preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut potatoes into ½-inch cubes.

Roast Potatoes

Toss potatoes on a baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast in oven until browned, 20-25 minutes, tossing halfway through.

Make Crust

In a small bowl, combine panko, mozzarella, a drizzle of olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Roast Chicken

Place chicken on another, lightly oiled baking sheet. Brush 1 TBSP pesto onto top of one piece. Repeat with other piece (you will have some pesto left over). Cover pesto-brushed sides with crust mixture, pressing to adhere. Roast in oven until chicken is no longer pink in center, about 20 minutes.

Toss Salad

Halve lemon. In a large bowl, toss together lettuce, a squeeze or two of lemon, and a large drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Plate and Serve

Divide potatoes and chicken between plates. Serve with salad on the side.

Our comparison plate to their photo plate.  Not bad.  We ended using way too much of the coating of the panko mixture.  It doesn’t indicate how much to use, so of course, I used all of it.   David’s plate:My plate:

Due to the amount of breading the chicken wasn’t dry, but we didn’t care for this one as much.  I would be willing to try it again to my error in the recipe.  David isn’t a big fan of pesto, so there is that as well.


Bariatric Surgery - My Story · Beef · Budget · Hello Fresh · Uncategorized · WLS

Hello Fresh Meatloaf Balsamico

The first meal that we prepared was the Hello Fresh Meatloaf Balsamico.  (Instructions copied from the Hello Fresh Site):Preheat and Prep

Wash and dry all produce. Adjust rack to middle position and preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a small bowl, mix 1 TBSP vinegar (we sent more) and ketchup. Mince 1 clove garlic (use other as you like). Chop parsley. Halve and peel onion. Using the large holes of a grater, grate one onion half into a large bowl (use the other half as you like).

Shape Meatloaves

Add garlic, parsley, ¼ cup panko (we sent more), beef, and ½ tsp salt to bowl with onion. Crack in 1 egg (use the other as you like). Season with pepper, then mix with hands to combine. Shape into two 1-inch-tall loaves, then place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Brush with ketchup mixture.

Cook Meatloaves and Sweet Potatoes

Roast meatloaves in oven until cooked through, about 25 minutes total (we’ll check on them after 10 minutes). Meanwhile, peel sweet potatoes, then cut into ½-inch cubes. Place in a medium pot with a pinch of salt and enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.

Roast Green Beans

After meatloaves have baked 10 minutes, remove baking sheet from oven. Toss green beans on same sheet with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. (TIP: Use tongs to avoid burns.) Return to oven and roast until meatloaves are cooked through and green beans are tender and lightly crisped, about 15 minutes more.

Mash Sweet Potatoes

Drain sweet potatoes and return to pot. Mash in pot with a potato masher or fork until mostly smooth. (TIP: If potatoes have cooled, quickly reheat over medium-low heat.) Add 1 TBSP butter and honey. Continue mashing to combine and melt butter. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Finish and Serve
Once meatloaves and green beans are done, sprinkle almonds over green beans and toss to combine. Divide meatloaves between plates and serve with sweet potato mash and green beans on the side.  The photo of their meal, and David’s plate in comparison:
My plate:
We will definitely do this meatloaf again.  David really enjoyed it, as did I.  He isn’t a fan of sweet potatoes but we both enjoyed these. Overall, really easy instructions, well laid out in timing and portions sizes.  So far, this one is a winner.
Bariatric Surgery - My Story · blessings · Budget · Hello Fresh · Uncategorized

Hello Fresh Meals

We were given a week of meals from a friend from Hello Fresh.  We chose the two person meal plan with three meals for the week.

I loved that the box was prepackaged per meal.  I didn’t have to sort or figure out what ingredient went with what protein.  It was also packaged with recycled foam instead of Styrofoam which made my heart happy.  Overall, I was extremely please with the packaging of the fresh ingredients.The sizing of the portions were perfect for David and I.  He eats more than a normal serving, and I can’t eat a whole serving.  Perfect.

I will post on each of the meals the rest of the week.


Bariatric Surgery - My Story · grill · Lamb · Uncategorized · WLS

Lamb Chops

Every Spring I crave lamb.  Part of my up bringing I suppose.  I love it.  David is not a fan, and so I cooked these chops just for me.  He still had leftover pull pork to eat on, so don’t feel to bad for him.

I marinated the chops in some olive oil, minced garlic, and dried rosemary.  (One of these days I might be able to have and maintain a herb garden.)  I grilled them on our Cuisinart Grill Panni Press.  I need to use it more often as it cooks evenly, and I love the clean up.  The grill pans just pop off, and I can put them in the dishwasher or hand wash them.  I loved these chops.  I had them with some of asparagus.  My plate:


Asparagus · Recipes · Uncategorized · WLS

Prosciutto Asparagus

I love asparagus.  I love it steamed, roasted, in a salad or as a side.  I have seen it in restaurants with it wrapped with prosciutto, and decided to give it a try in my new toaster oven (with the convection setting).img_3732I cleaned the asparagus, and took half of a slice of the prosciutto and wrapped the bottom half of the spear.  Placed it in a oven safe dish (my small baker for the toaster oven).I baked them for about 20 minutes on 350 degrees.  I loved how even they cooked.  They turned out perfect.  Crispy, nutty, and not overcooked.  I will be making them again!!


Bariatric Surgery - My Story · Instant Pot · Pork · Uncategorized · WLS

Instant Pot Pulled Pork

I Googled Instant Pot Pull Pork (Pork Shoulder), and got a ton of different recipes.  All of them said to pressure cook the pork for 90 minutes.  All of them had some sort of spice rub and searing of the pork.  All of them had a sauce.  So I got flavors that David and I enjoy, and made the following:I used about a 2 Tablespoons of garlic powder, paprika, ground mustard, and about a 1/8 of a teaspoon of red pepper.  About 4 Tablespoons of the BBQ seasoning as well.Trim away as much fat as possible.  Sprinkle with the dry seasoning. Coat completely.Sear on all sides in your Instant Pot, with a bit of oil.In the bowl where I added the seasoning to the pork, I added 1 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar, 1 cup of tomato sauce, and 1/4 cup of Worcestershire.  Add the sauce to the pan, and scrap the bottom gathering the bits off of the bottom.  Add the pork back to the pan, and cook on Pressure Cook for 90 minutes.  Manually release the pressure, and rest for 10 minutes.Take the pork out, and reserve the sauce.  Shred – this was incredibly easy – I used my slotted spoon.  I added some of the juices back in.  David loves pulled pork sandwiches.  So, we got some Hoagie bread, and added some bread and butter pickles to his sandwich.David’s plate:He added some additional BBQ sauce to his pork, and it was amazing.  My plate:

Kim-chi cucumbers, homemade cheese crisps and pulled pork.


Bariatric Surgery - My Story · Chicken · Instant Pot · Recipes · Uncategorized · WLS

Chicken & Mushrooms

Another Instant Pot… You can find the original recipe idea at for her One Pot Garlic Chicken Thighs and Mushrooms.

  • 4 tbsp butter, divided
  • Season Salt and Pepper
  • 4 chicken thighs, bones removed (skinless or with skin OK)
  • 6-10 cloves garlic, sliced in half or finely diced (I like minced instead)
  • 8 oz cremini mushrooms, stems removed and wiped clean
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 pinch to 1 tsp red pepper flakes, depending on your desired spicy level
  • ½ cup diced Parsley (optional)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Sauté in Instant Pot. Add butter, swirl around pan, and let melt. When butter is foamy and melted, add seasoned chicken thighs. Cook until golden but not completely cooked.

Remove from pan – do not drain pan grease. Add garlic to pan, stir well. Add mushrooms to pan, stirring occasionally to keep mushrooms and garlic from burning.  Add second half of butter to pan, let melt. Let garlic and mushrooms brown – about 4-6 minutes.

Add red pepper flakes (add slowly according to your taste) and parsley when chicken and mushrooms are lovely golden browned. Add stock, lemon juice, and cheese. Stir well, being sure to scrape up any browned bits from bottom of pan.  Stop saute cycle.

Add chicken thighs back to pan, pressure cook for 13-15 minutes.  Manually release.  Check thickness of sauce, if to your liking, serve.

David’s plate served over rice.

My plate. I would like more seasoning or spices to this, but the overall flavor was wonderful.


Bariatric Surgery - My Story · Carrots · Indulgence · Uncategorized · WLS

Parmesan Carrot Fries

6 large carrots
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup Olive oil
garlic powder
salt and pepper
Cut carrots into strips.  Mix together all of the other ingredients in a bowl.  Add the mixture to the carrots.Toss gently to coat evenly.Spread evenly on a baking sheet.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, bake for about 15 minutes, then turn, baking for another 10-15 minutes or until crispy.My plate with the shredded BBQ Chicken.img_3578

These tasted a lot like sweet potato fries, but not as sweet.  I really liked them.  Carrots are always available, and these make a nice vegetable side alternative.






Bariatric Surgery - My Story · Carrots · Chicken · Instant Pot · Uncategorized · WLS

BBQ Shredded Chicken-Instant Pot

Another Instant Pot recipe.  🙂

6 chicken thighs
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup tomato sauce
5 tbsp Maggie
4 tbsp Worcestershire
Season Salt & garlic power
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup Angry Orchard Cider
Grated orange zest
4 shakes of Tabasco


Mix together in a bowl, tomato sauce, Maggi, Worcestershire, brown sugar, Tabasco, garlic powder, orange zest. Stir until well blended.Pat the chicken thighs dry, then season with Season Salt, Pepper and Garlic Powder.  Sear chicken on both sides, and remove from the Instant Pot.Saute the onion, and once translucent, add the cider and vinegar.Stir, and scrap the bits from the bottom of the pot.  Add the chicken and the sauce mixture then add the parsley.Pressure cook for 15 minutes.  Manually release, and remove chicken.  Shred with two forks.Add chicken back into the pot and pressure cook for an additional 7 minutes.  Manually release pressure.  Stir well.My plate.  I liked this.  Need to get rolls for the boys, but it had great flavor, and super easy.  I would also suggest serving this on chips or nachos.