Category Archives: quick meals

Day 293: Trying a new chicken piccata recipe

Total weight loss: 41 1/2 pounds

Sunday morning and we decided to stay in for breakfast. It was a chilly, but sunny day and it was nice to eat in our cozy home. I had a leftover egg/sausage/cheese bowl that Rick had made for my Friday breakfast at work. I didn’t get around to eating it, and it was a perfect easy-peasy breakfast for someone who doesn’t love to cook. I ate that while attempting the NYT puzzle. This week’s was a bear!

On to the busy day: we went for one last clean out at the house we sold. I spent the day washing out the fridge, washing floors, vacuuming, sweeping, and for the grand finale: carrying old boxes, paints, and sundry items out of the basement. It was good exercise, but I was achy when finished.

We took a mid-day break at the Del Taco nearby. I wonder if that’s the last lunch I’ll have there, now that the house is sold. I ordered the macho beef burrito and was eating it without the tortilla, when I realized that it had beans in it. The guy taking our order did keep messing up, so I wasn’t surprised. I decided to eat it anyway, since I already had planned to have a cheat lunch due to the addition of 2 churros.

Eating the cheat lunch didn’t stop me from trying out a new keto-friendly dinner recipe. I think I am getting the hang of being balanced about this plan. I used to be so “all or nothing” that I would have just eaten a lot of carbs for the rest of the day since my lunch consumption was far from perfect. After more than 9 months on keto and nearing the 50 pound mark (woohoo!), I have learned to jump back on the wagon right away.

Chicken piccata ingredients include chicken (duh), garlic, white wine, lemon juice, and capers. I added mushrooms to make it similar to the meal I had at Angelo Brothers a few nights ago. Rick kindly shopped for the ingredients, and even cut the chicken and pounded it flat with a mallet. After that, the whole recipe took me less that 20 minutes to complete.

I sauteed the chicken in olive oil and butter, then transferred to a plate. Then I sauteed garlic and mushrooms, added wine and lemon juice, then added capers. I let this simmer.  

I put the chicken back in the pan and simmered some more. Unfortunately, here’s were I goofed up. I decided there wasn’t enough liquid, so I added more wine and lemon juice. I think adding these at the end made the recipe too lemony-flavored. I believe these ingredients need to be set early in the simmering stage so as not to be such a prominent flavor. It was good, but not exactly right.I had some leftover cauliflower mashed potatoes and those made a great side item, since the soaked up the delicious gravy.

All in all, it was pretty good, but I need to work on it. I was tired from a long day, and didn’t feel like cooking, but it was a really nice and quick meal. I’ll attempt it again next week and see if I can get the proportions right, then I’ll post the entire recipe on the blog.

Day 285: Yummy steak with onion blue cheese sauce

Total weight loss: 41 pounds [I like typing that]

Saturday morning breakfast at the diner – cheese/onion omelet with a side of bacon

We worked on emptying and readying the house we  [finally] sold. We packed and cleaned for a few hours. This stuff seems to multiply. Afterwards, we went to Del Taco. I had the usual macho beef burrito and opened up and ditched the tortilla.

My 2 pounds weight loss yesterday morning buoyed my spirits. I’m sometimes tempted to “reward myself” with some kind of cheat meal, but realized it would be better to save that for when I’m not losing, to perhaps shock my body into responding to the diet. So, I didn’t have a cheat meal, but my compromise was eating 1 1/2 cinnamon churros. I have to admit they were good. Now I will look at the carb count…..egad – 21 carbs per churro. So much for being in ketosis. Sigh. So, I had approximately 32 extra grams of carbs yesterday. Not good.

Oh, another tip: carry a “real” fork with you. I carry one in my purse and it comes in handy when I order things like this burrito, or a burger with no bun. I HATE using a plastic fork, and some of those burgers actually break them.

Dinner was legal and delish. Rick grilled steaks. I made the accompanying blue cheese onion cream sauce and some cauliflower mashed potatoes. Before dinner, I cleaned the house, put the tv/pc back in order (the old hard drive had failed), and generally spruced up the place. While cleaning out the sold house earlier in the day, I had grabbed Brandon and Lindsey’s lamp set, which they aren’t currently using, and I put one on each side of our Ansel Adams print next to the table. It looked warm and elegant, so we ate our gourmet dinner using cloth napkins and each had a glass of cabernet. I had one more glass out on the deck [oh, what the heck? I already ate 30+ carbs of churro earlier – bad attitude, I know].

Dessert was the usual choco/peanut butter low carb treat.

Day 103: Let the weekend begin!

Total weight loss: 24 pounds. Next weigh-in: Saturday, April 28th

Saturday morning began with a small breakfast of leftovers: the pizza squasherole with some almonds. I worked at home on the budget and some web design.

For lunch, we went to Del Taco. I must admit, after my bad weigh-in, I was a little frustrated. I ordered the mucho burrito and tossed the tortilla, but I was really really tempted to buy a churro. I thought about it, but decided that eating a cheat meal after a bad weigh-in is a bad idea. I need to thoughtfully, carefully, plan a cheat meal, or even a cheat day, not do it emotionally. I did have 4 of Rick’s french fries.

We worked on installing doors at the rental house, then went to visit my dad. It was late when we arrived home, and I, of course, had nothing planned to eat. I got out 3 pieces of sliced ham, spread cream cheese on them, and topped them with onion. I rolled each into a loose sandwich and that was dinner. Oh, I had some almonds as a light accompaniment.

Dessert was 2 pieces of 70% cocoa bar with peanut butter.

Day 96: Inches coming off

Total weight loss: 26.5 pounds. Next weigh-in: Saturday, April 21st

I measured myself this morning. I’ve lost 2 inches in the bust and hips, 2 and 1/2 in the waist. I’ll take it!
Yesterday morning after weigh-in, I threw on my one size smaller jeans, and we hit the local diner. I ate a cheddar cheese and onion omelet with a side of crispy bacon and gave Rick all my extras.
We headed off to work on the rental. We are very close to completion, so we go to do at least a little every day. We finished putting up the new house numbers, then did more kitchen molding. Will it ever end?
Back home at 6 pm, we did some more chores around the house. I ate a handful of almonds for snack until dinner.
Dinner was late again. I heated up some Indian butter chicken and chopped up frozen cauliflower for the rice base. Rick made chocolate mousse all by himself! I think it tastes better when he makes it.
I drank a few glasses of water and got to bed by 1:30 a.m. Trying to get ready on my early rising work schedule which starts Tuesday morning. I’d also like to get some food ready for the week. I have some leftover chili for lunches, but I’d also like to make a batch of bacon trying the oven cooking method Brandon and Lindsey use.

Day 80: Anyone else like cream cheese?

Total weight loss: 21.5 pounds   Next weigh-in: tomorrow!

I started work at 8 a.m. Another crazy day at work, another missed breakfast.

At noon, Rick took me to get coney dogs at the local diner. I asked for them without buns, and all was well.

Around 4, I ate the usual handful of almonds.

At 7:30 p.m., I left work tired and hungry. Thankfully, I had a serving of Indian butter chicken and cauliflower rice left over.

Around 9 p.m, I wanted a little snack. I still had about 8 carbs left. I ate 3 oz of cream cheese. Odd, I know, but delicious.

As a side note, I found this about the benefits of eating cream cheese. Okay, it was a site for pregnant women, but the bennies still hold true for the rest of us.

Benefits of cream cheeses:

  • Cream cheeses, unlike other unsafe cheeses are made from pasteurized milk which makes it safe to eat.
  • They are a good source of protein.
  • Calcium and phosphorous content of cream cheeses can be trusted highly in preventing bone decalcification.
  • The carbohydrate content of cream cheeses is in a minimum extent so would not add on weight to your body.
  • They have considerable amount of vitamin A.

I was still well under carb count (and calorie count) for the day. I just hope I don’t UNDER do it and trigger starvation mode (if it even exists!).

Day 78: Yummy chicken tacos

Total weight loss: 21.5 pounds   Next weigh-in: Sat., March 31st

I finally started the day with breakfast. I made time to heat yesterday’s uneaten eggs and sausage.

Rick and I went out for lunch again. I’ve really enjoyed taking an hour and leaving work to hang out with Rick. All of these young friends of mine that have died recently have made an impact on many of my decisions. I used to work 10 hours and eat at my desk while working. Now I say the heck with that and I leave for an enjoyable lunch with my husband.

We went to the local diner and I ordered the jalapeno chicken club. I just told the waitress to keep the bun and I enjoyed a large grilled chicken breast topped with bacon, jalapeno cheese, and tomato.

Eating a full breakfast and healthy lunch left me with no need for a snack during the afternoon. I was pretty hungry by 6 p.m., but before going home, we stopped by to visit my dad. He’s not looking very good, and obviously wanted to sleep, so we didn’t stay long.

My new bicycle seat was delivered today, so Rick helped me mount it to my bike, and I took a quick ride. It felt much better than my old seat, and I look forward to getting some exercise when it warms up a little outside.

By the time we were done, it was nearly 8 p.m. I chopped up some leftover chicken and filled 3 Mama Lupe’s shells with the chicken, onions, cheese, salsa, and sour cream. The tacos were really really good and a quick, nutritious dinner. I skipped dessert and was well under on my carb count.


Day 76: Not much intake; lots of activity

Total weight loss: 21.5 pounds   Next weigh-in: Sat., March 31st

Yesterday was Sunday and it was a day of accomplishment.

We stayed home for breakfast, but I awoke with lots on my mind. I still had lots of paperwork to get in order for my dad, I had items to complete a the rental house, I had a messy house, 3 loads of laundry, and George and Beccy coming at 5.

I have been reading alot lately about taking control of one’s life and one thing that stuck out was that I should choose the 3 most important things that need to be done and do them FIRST. I decided that I wasn’t hungry and couldn’t really relax and enjoy my NYT Sunday puzzle over breakfast when all these chores looming over me.

I headed for my desk and knocked off some of the paperwork. I paid some bills. I did some of my own paperwork. I organized a list of what I could accomplish in the day, the week, the month.

Finished with that, I showered and went downstairs to throw in a load of laundry. While there, I found my grout sponge to take with me to the rental. While cooking eggs for breakfast, I put a pot of eggs on to boil and to devil later, and I cleaned the kitchen.

Finally, by one pm, I sat down to enjoy 3 scrambled cheesy eggs with sour cream. I had a leisurely breakfast and finished my puzzle.

I hopped in the truck and went over to finally finish tiling the kitchen and foyer. I had left all the little intricate doorway corners for last.  Then I jumped back in the truck and headed home, where I cleaned the living room and bathroom and vacuumed the whole house. More laundry, then time to make chili cheese dip for our guests.

The dip is okay on a low carb diet: Hormel turkey chili with no beans, cream cheese, and onions. The problem is finding a conveyance to get the dip into one’s mouth. Pork rinds crumble, and it just doesn’t taste that great with cheese chips. I used 3 pita chips but made sure to pile lots of dip on each.

I ate a Beddar Cheddar and had some lime “cheesecake” for dessert. I had eaten so little that I only used up a few carbs. Rick and I made the deviled eggs and I ate them for a late night snack.

Day 68: Beautiful weather: time to get out the bicycle

Weight loss: 17.5 pounds; next weigh day: Sat., Mar 24th

It was a beautiful Saturday and we had lots of work ahead of us: more garage cleaning, plus finishing that floor tile. I also needed to to bills, arrange some of my dad’s paperwork, and, in general, get some of my affairs in order.

Rick arose earlier than I did (no surprise) and ate breakfast alone. I showered and got right to my desk. Around noon, I decided to have brunch at Del Taco. Rick was off riding his bike and met me there.

I ordered a steak taco Asada and a chicken taco and removed both tortillas. That did not assuage my hunger in the least. I looked around online to see what else was recommended low-carb fare at Del Taco. They didn’t have the taco salad on their menu, so I went with another choice: a beef burrito. It was made up of seasoned ground beef, cheese, onions, and sour cream.

I unrolled my giant tortilla and found that it was very similar to eating a taco salad with no shell. It was really really delicious, so I have now fortunately added another fast food menu option to my growing list. I plan to be on the keto diet for around a year until I reach my goal. It’s always nice to have some choices along the way.

I finally got to the tiling I’ve been attempting to finish. Unfortunately, I was one or two tiles short, and Rick couldn’t get them at the local Home Depot. We’ll have to go to the one in Canton tomorrow. We did get another truck load of Salvation army donations together and will deliver those tomorrow, as well.

It was a gorgeous day and we both enjoyed working outside. By the time we got home and unloaded the truck, it was close to 8 pm, and I had been hungry for hours. I took a quick spin on my bike, just to get my sea legs back. Then I set out to find a meal idea.

Rick said he felt like hotdogs. I felt like something more, and wanted to make him a treat because he had worked so hard. I looked around online for “keto appetizers,” keto snacks,” then started thinking…doesn’t macaroni and cheese sound great with hotdogs? My next search for “keto macaroni and cheese cauliflower” did the trick. I just KNEW cauliflower would be involved. I made this recipe for Mokafoni and Cheese.

I was a little short on the cream cheese, so I subbed with a little parmesan. It was a hit! I’m going to add it to my list of favorite keto recipes, since mac and cheese is an old comfort food of mine.

While the mock and cheese was baking, I took a glass of vodka and Diet Coke outside and sat with Rick under the gazebo. I didn’t want to miss a March summer night. We ate a late meal and skipped dessert.


Day 66: Chili dogs at the diner

Weight loss: 15 pounds; next weigh-in: Sat, Mar 17th

Now that our textbook is off to the printer, the pressure is off a bit. However, now it’s time to get our software finished. I was running late in the morning, plus we were out of breakfast sausage, so I grabbed a yogurt.

Around 11, I was getting hungry, but Rick was out delivering a client’s newsletter, and I wanted to wait for him to finish and meet me for lunch. We didn’t get to the diner until around 2 pm. I ordered 2 chili dogs. I never bother asking restaurants to remove the bun, since that always seems to get complicated (don’t know why). The buns did make nice little beds to hold my dogs and chili. I treated myself to a Diet Coke as well. I knew it would be a long day and I wasn’t getting off work until 7 pm.

Once I finally arrived home, I heated up some Indian butter chicken and the rest of the cauliflower from the fridge. Even after dinner and mousse, I still had carbs left again. I have to plan better.

One discovery I forgot to blog about was in the “healthy” isle at Kroger. In the refrigerated section where they keep the soy milk, I found hummus that had only ONE  net gram of carbs per 2 tablespoons. …and it was on sale! I microwaved little piles of cheese to make some handy little crackers. The whole snack was only the amount of carbs in the hummus, because the cheese was zero.


Day 63: Trivia night

Weight loss: 15 pounds; next weigh-in: Mar 17th

Back to work yesterday. Rick was still under the weather so I let him off the hook for breakfast. I planned to eat a yogurt, but when I took it from my bag, I realized it was the high-carb variety. Oh well. I ate a handful of almonds instead.

Lunch was 2 beddar cheddars. The pickings were slim, so for a late afternoon snack, I had another handful of almonds.

I worked until 6:30, and rushed off to trivia. It seemed forever before it was time to order, and I ordered the chicken club salad again. It was so filling, I could only eat half.

Back home, we had some chocolate mousse for dessert. I was well below my carb limit, but fell asleep before I could muster up the energy to make a piece of low-carb toast with almond butter.

I did manage to drink about 10 glasses of water yesterday. I hope eating below my carb limit doesn’t trigger some type of starvation mode. I need all the metabolism movement I can get.