Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sometimes it Works!!!!!

Yesterday we smoked a pork butt - for the first time, it turned out really good.  I followed the recipe from Ray Lampe's cookbook.  I am excited to try again.  Whatever recipe you use, it has been recommended that notes be taken during the smoking process.  While I followed the recipe, I also took notes on the temperature that day, how much wood I used, what time I checked the temperature of the meat, and how it turned out.

With my smoked pork, I made BBQ pasta.  The first time I had ever tried BBQ spaghetti, I was in Memphis with my husband.  I fell in love with it and recreated it at home.  What I made at home though, was very fattening.  This time I tried to be more health conscience.  It turned out very well, and the whole family really liked it.  Instead of BBQ sauce, which has quite a few carbs, I used beef broth as my base.  I ended up with a very light and flavorful pasta dish that really showed off the flavors of the pork.  I used a penne pasta as that was what I had on hand, but I think spaghetti would have been a better choice.

BBQ Pasta

1 lb. whole grain pasta - your choice
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 tbsp rub from pulled pork
1 quart beef stock
Pulled pork - your choice on how much
Splash half and half
Grated cheddar cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Saute garlic in olive oil for 2-3 minutes.  Add tomato paste and combine.  Add beef stock and bring to a boil.  When stock is boiling add pork and rub and lower temperature to a simmer.  Once meat is heated through, add splash of half and half and combine.  Add cooked pasta and serve immediately with grated cheese on top.

The only change I would make for next time is too add some flour to the oil, paste and garlic.  This would make the sauce a bit thicker.  The whole grain pasta is now a staple in our house - the kids don't even notice a difference.

Till next time!!

Monday, May 28, 2012


I love chicken!!!  I roasted a lot of breasts and thighs the other day.  Some of it I used for chicken salad, some I used in salads for my dinners, and today, I used the rest for chicken sandwiches for my family.  For the boys, I used whole grain buns, but my husband and I decided to forgo the buns and eat some healthy chips with our chicken instead.

With the only carbs coming from the chips, this meal is a no brainer.  The chicken is only about 130 calories, but it does contain some fat - but that is the only fat in the entire meal.  Overall, a great choice for a meal if you are watching what you eat.

Roasted Chicken 
Boneless chicken breasts and thighs
Olive oil
Granulated Garlic
Steak Seasoning

Preheat oven to 425.  Place cleaned chicken on a sheet pan.  Lightly sprinkle with olive oil.  Season with salt, pepper, garlic, and steak seasoning on both sides.  Cook on middle rack in oven for 7-8 minutes on one side; turn chicken over and cook until juices run clear.  Cool and store or serve as an entree.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Lunch by the Pool

For a quick lunch by the pool, I made roasted chicken wings. The recipe is from Emeril's show, Fast Food, Fresh.  The wings themselves are 100 calories a piece, but they were good.  I ate three wings and had a large salad ( the entire wing, less the tip).  This meal was good for me as there were very few carbs - means I can eat some popcorn tonight - and pretty healthy.

I know there was fat in the wings, but our bodies actually need fat, and our bodies need to process fat, so I don't feel bad about eating fattier foods every once in a while.  The only changes to the recipe I would make.  First, I added some Frank's Red Hot Sauce, and second, I will cook them for 20 minutes at 300 and then finish them on the grill next time.  They were good - messy to eat though.

With the wings, I made a salad with spinach, spring mix, olives, tomatoes, bacon, cheese, and Italian dressing.  It was a nice refreshing dressing on a hot day.

Italian Dressing

1/4 cup water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup sugar - I usually use about 1/3 cup or less
1 packet Italian dressing mix

Combine all ingredients - keeps for about two weeks in the fridge.

What makes this meal work for me is the lack of carbs.  Carbs turn into sugar and cause my blood sugar to rise - they were also the main culprit with respect to my weight.  I didn't know until I started watching my carb intake, that not all calories were equal.  I have learned that eating carbs, especially the simple carbs not only caused my sugar to rise, they also didn't allow me to lose weight.

My New Blog

I have decided to start a new blog that is focused on healthy eating.  About two years ago, my blood sugar levels were high.  Rather than go on medication, I decided to try and change my diet.  It worked.  Not only did I lower my blood sugar to acceptable levels, I also lost 50 pounds.  I feel great, and I eat. I don't starve, and most importantly - especially since I love to cook - I eat very good food.  So join me as I share my recipes with you and the tips I have learned along the way about eating and diet.

More to come soon!!!!