My second try at a Breakfast Casserole or Baked French Toast using multi-grain bread. This one is ‘savory’ (2 beaten eggs, then beat in 2 C 2% milk, 1/4 finely chopped pecans, 1/2 pkg Hormel less fat real bacon bits, Lawry’s season salt to taste and my advice is take it easy, ground pepper, 1 rounded Tbs sugar). Spray baking dish well. Bake at 350 for 45-50 min or till done. I had to moosh the bread down and crush the crusts to get them to absorb the liquid. It rose back up in baking. I could’ve cut off the crusts but that would’ve eliminated seeds which are healthy. ~ Can serve warm with maple syrup or honey, raspberry jam, sprinkled confectioner sugar. Or eat as is. ~ 3 servings.
In my first casserole/French Toast/bread pudding attempt I used multi-gran bread, the egg and milk bath (no seasoned salt) and apples with brown sugar. Didn’t crush the bread and it didn’t look as good coming out of the oven. I called it bread pudding, which it wasn’t. It tasted good.
BTW, there will be a third attempt. This is a work in progress. And a fourth and fifth…gotta get it right someday as I eat my way thought the test trials.
First, let me put my disclaimer out. I’m not a doctor, not a nutritionist, not a certified diet counselor, but I did slowly loose 60 lbs over a period of five years and have kept it off. In fact, I’m still slowly loosing weight and my doctor says I’m very healthy. If you are going to begin a diet or new type of eating lifestyle ~ consult with your doctor.
How did I achieve this weight loss feat? I wish I could take the credit, but I can’t…entirely. A major factor was my young adult daughters moved out and with them, so did the junk food. One got married. The other two decided they’d live with friends because they were now “adults.” I can’t take credit for the Twinkies, chips, boxed mac ‘n cheese, Chinese noodle packets, microwave popcorn, and sour gummie worms moving out with them.
The other issue I can only partially take credit for. I started walking my dog instead of letting her out in the backyard to do her business. Simply taking a half to three-quarters of a mile walk twice a day did wonders for me. It jump started my metabolism. I believe walking is the best exercise there is for most people. Still, I have to give honor and credit where it’s due. It was my relationship with God that got me walking. I heard Him say (in my inner being) that I should walk the dog and I obeyed. Then I heard Him tell me to change my diet and I obeyed again. So, these are my diet and lifestyle creds. If you are going to make changes in your diet and exercise routine, consult your doctor, and definitely enquirer of God first.
1 Corinthians 10: 31 [NASB] ~ Whether then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
I began a food research campaign. I read articles on WebMD, listened to Christian broadcasts featuring Dr. Don Colbert, and began listening to healthy cooking shows and health-conscious chefs on TV. I became serious about this and developed a very simple lifestyle/eating plan for myself. Basically, I eliminated (or nearly so) all white foods and processed foods. This include white breads, white potatoes, white pasta, white rice, sugar and artificial sugar substitutes, and salt. I eliminated (or nearly so) all white beans. My first choice in beans overwhelmingly is black beans, followed by dark red kidney beans. My choice in potatoes is a sweet potato or yam, followed at a distance by new red-potatoes with the skins left on. My choice in rice is brown rice. However, I make sure I do not eat carb loaded foods at every meal (bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, beans). I don’t eliminate carbs because many of them are healthy, but I never-ever eat them at three meals a day, seldom at two.
There are whites in dairy. I eat dairy, including white milk, mostly low-fat. NO, I do NOT stir in chocolate syrup to make milk non-white. LOL Aside from it being an excellent source of protein, I’ve been diagnosed with hypo-thyroidism which has added to my difficulty in losing weight over the years. In America, dairy products have iodine in them and the thyroid needs iodine to function properly. Salt also contains iodine. It’s my choice for me to cut way down on salt, because I also in recent years have had a tendency toward high blood pressure. Since I changed my diet and have lost so much weight, I was able to come off high cholesterol statin meds, which have negative side effects but do prevent heart attacks and strokes. It’s my goal, as I continue to loose weight, that I’ll get off my high blood pressure meds.
Various conditions require the elimination of certain foods that might be healthy for everyone else. Thyroid is one of those conditions and there are others. I find Dr. Colbert is very good in explaining this, so is Dr. Oz.
Never say never! I’m addicted to and drink un-sweetened iced tea with LOTS of lemon slices squeezed in and seltzer water with unsweetened flavor added (lemon/lime, berry, and the like). I keep my house well stocked with these. I was addicted to Diet Coke, and will on occasion order that in a restaurant, despite it being loaded with the dreaded aspartame. I don’t purchase Diet Coke in the grocery or keep it in my house. That’s the key, don’t keep it in your house. If you have others living with you, you need to enlist their support. Have a family meeting, get everyone to pray over healthy eating issues.
I’m not a killjoy. After church on Sunday I often go to lunch with a friend. I attempt to choose wisely, but have been known to order a burger with fries. On my birthday, I indulge in a slice of birthday cake. At another’s birthday party, I’ll also have a slice of cake. Ditto for rich foods and dessert on major holidays. Did you know January 22nd is National Blonde Brownie Day? No, I do not eat blonde brownies on Jan 22. Nor do I indulge on National Chocolate Cake Day. I’m also not diabetic and can recuperate from an occasional unhealthy sugar and starch laden meal.
1 Corinthians 5:8 [KJV] ~ Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
The last time I went to see my doctor for a regular check up, I’d lost another 4 pounds. That’s 44 pound gone in all (yippee). However, my doctor detected that my triglycerides were going up. That is a huge clue that means I’d been eating carbs. Yes, I had to confess; it was true.
Oh dear, found out and nothing to do but explain to my doctor. Yes, I’d been eating on the run lately. Eating prepared foods. High in carbs, sugar, salt. Not good. So, I vowed to get back in the saddle and fight the urge to eat bad carbs.
Here’s a tasty recipe, while not carb free, the carbs are all healthy veggie carbs.
Turkey Sausage Toscana Soup
Spray the bottom of a 1 pt pot. Coarsely chop 1/4 – 1/2 C sweet onion, 1/8 – 1/4 C green pepper (mine came off the vine in my garden) and saute until translucent. If you need more spray, add 1 – 2 Tbsp water instead and continue to saute.
Add 4 C chicken broth (low sodium if you’re watching salt), 1/2 package frozen spinach and bring to a soft boil. (If you’re not counting carbs you can add a 1/2 can of rinsed and drained white beans here. I didn’t add the beans to mine.)
Remove the casing off of 2 Turkey Italian Sausage links (I used Shady Brook Farms). Cut into bite-size pieces and drop into the boiling liquid. Season to taste with any or all of these (salt, pepper, celery seed, garlic powder, paprika, basil, oregano).
Add 1/4 C – 1/3 C halved cherry tomatoes. (I used red and yellow cherry tomatoes from my garden.)
Not to thicken, but simply to give body, add 1 level tsp of corn starch to several Tbsp cold water and shake until smooth. Add to the soup. Simmer about 3 minutes stirring occasionally. If you don’t want the carbs in corn starch, leave this out.
Can serve with grated Parmesan cheese, or eat as is.
Serves 3 for lunch, 2 for dinner.
In my new release, DEADLY DESIGNS, sharp-shooting, feisty and sassy female private detective Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels has embarked on a new, healthy way of eating. Even though she’s been injured by the villain, she insists upon cooking a meal with organic chicken for the hero. In the previous book in the series, HARMFUL INTENT, she went undercover at an organic cooking class and it changed her way of eating and viewing food.
“Baked fish again! That’s so boring,” ~ is the dieter’s lament, but it doesn’t have to be a breaded fish fry either. If you’ve cut waaay down on starch and carbs it’s essential to stay away from the dredging flour and bread crumbs.
Even if you’re not watching your waistline, it’s a good thing for every cook to have a basic sauteed fish recipe in their arsenal.
If I were to make a literary comparison, this would be a sub-genre, rather than a specific story.
Pan Fried Fish
Rather than a specific recipe, it’s a way to cook no starch, low carb sauteed fish. If you’re like me, every time you make it, the dish will be slightly different. This depends upon your whim and what ingredients you have on hand.
You want flavor, so the first step is to saute some veggies and garlic. I took a small tomato chopped coarsely, two sliced cloves of garlic, and 1/8 to 1/4 C coarsely chopped red onion. Saute until tender in olive oil or canola oil. I stirred in a handful of fresh basil leaves. [But, you could just as easily add some coarsely chopped red, orange, or yellow sweet pepper, or use oregano instead of basil. Or anything else you’ve got on hand.]
I have a secret seasoning (so please don’t tell anyone). I use an old Mrs. Dash shaker and mix together 1 Tbs garlic powder, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp celery salt, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/4 tsp ground black pepper, 1/8 tsp chili powder. I love garlic, but if you don’t, when you saute the veggies, use one fresh sliced clove of garlic instead of two.
Sprinkle the secret seasoning to taste (here after called SS) on one side of four average size fish fillets. I often used flounder. Turn that side down in the pan. Do this with all four fillets. Make sure the heat is on medium to medium low, so you don’t burn the fish. Make sure you have enough oil so that you don’t burn the fish, but it shouldn’t be swimming. [Get it…fish swimming. Just a wee bit of humor, very wee.]
Sprinkle SS on the other side of the fish while they are in the pan. It only takes a minute of two for the fish to cook. Turn them once and cook another two minutes. Handle as little as possible, or the fillets will fall apart.
I arranged all four fillets on a plate for the photo, but when I serve I use a spatula and place two fillets on a plate, serving two people. Obviously the recipe is easily doubled or tripled. I serve this with steamed broccoli or with a fresh garden salad.
This is a recipe my heroine Veronica Ingels, gal PI, would like. As my contemporary series progresses, she gets more and more into healthy eating (all while hunting bad guys). However, this dish is good for anyone, but is especially good for those of us in mid-life who are heart-smart and waist conscious.
All of my novels have a food angle to them. The1940s, historical Sanctuary Point mystery series presents families sitting down at the dinner table enjoying hearty meat and potatoes fare…not to mention the strudel, cake, and cookies. This depicts how people ate in that era.
My contemporary novel, HARMFUL INTENT, and my first indie endeavor, features a heroine who likes to eat. While Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels, PI, is fit and trim, she can hold her own at the table and what she eats isn’t necessarily healthy. However, in the course of the investigation she takes an organic cooking class and is surprised by how tasty the meal is. The next time the reader sees Ronnie, she’s sleuthing away in the second book of the series, DEADLY DESIGNS (coming out at the end of the year)…and she’s had a change of culinary lifestyle. She’s taken a few health-conscious cooking classes. Her diet has changed and she now knows her way around the kitchen.
Although this recipe for Summer Garden “Cerviche” isn’t written about in either novel, it’s wonderful for adding vegetables and fruit to the diet. Vegetables and fruit are essential in fighting the battle of the bulge as well as fostering all over health.
Feeds 2-3 people (can easily be doubled)
1/8 C virgin olive oil
1 juice of one lemon with some pulp, remove seeds
1/4 C red onion, coarsely chopped
1 ear of corn, shelled
1/2 cucumber, seeded, and cut into small bite size pieces
1 banana pepper, cut in half, seeded, and cut into small bite size pieces
1/3+ C of mango and papaya chunks, removed from a can or jar of Dole Tropical Fruit
3 Tbps of juice from Dole Tropical Fruit
4-5 small fresh basil leave, cut into slivers
salt and pepper to taste
Ceviche has heat. See note at bottom.
Combine all the fruit and vegetable ingredients and the slivered basil leaves in a glass bowl.
In another small bowl whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice with some pulp, 3 Tbsp juice from Dole Tropical Fruit, and the salt and pepper. Pour over the vegetables and fruit mixture. Gently fold in and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
Heat note: There are several ways to add heat. If you seed and slice 1 jalapeno pepper into slivers and marinade it with the vegetables and fruit for the entire 2 hours, there will be a great deal of heat. The slivered jalapeno can be mixed through right before serving for less heat. Or you can place a gourmet bottle of your favorite hot sauce on the table and heat can be added individually according to taste.
Chill a footed desert glass (or a martini glass, or margarita glass). Remove vegetables and fruit with a slotted spoon, draining well, and place into serving glasses. Serve cold.
Fitness Tip: increase walking. Take a stroll in the evening after you’ve digested your dinner. Walk you dog.
Note: Make sure you’re well hydrated. Take a bottle of water along for the walk.
It’s always advised for individuals to consult their doctor before going on any diet or exercise routine, and before making lifestyle changes.