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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

4 Minute meatloaf in a mug

4 oz ground beef
2 Tablespoons oatmeal
2 Tablespoons milk
1 Tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon onion soup mix

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and but in a microwave safe mug or ramekin sprayed with cooking spray.  Microwave for 4 minutes, or until cooked. Drain and let sit an additional 3 minutes.

I made up additional single servings,wrapped in plastic wrap and froze.  These can be pulled out and microwaved as above.  You may have to cook a little longer if you do not defrost first.   

Chicken Cordon Bleu-low calorie

Cooking Spray
6--3 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast pieces
2 slices wheat bread
1/2 cup fresh spinach
2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese 
6 slices ham*
6 slices swiss cheese
3 egg whites

*I used a package of costco that has 4 slices for 70 calories, allowing me to use 4 thin slices per portion. 
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray.

Lay slices of chicken between waxed paper and pound with a mallet to thin out slices.

Place one slice of ham and cheese on each slice of chicken.  Fold in half or roll up if you prefer.

In a food processor, mix bread, spinach, italian seasoning, and parmesan cheese.
place egg whites in one bowl and bread mixture in another bowl.

Dip chicken in egg wash and then in bread mixture, before placing on cooking sheet.

Spray top with cooking spray and cook 25 minutes or until cooked thru.  

Under 230 calories a piece.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Eggplant Parmesan Stacks

2 eggplants
1 cup crushed fiber one cereal
1 cup bread crumbs
3 TBSP flax seed
2 eggs, whisked
Cooking spray
Spaghetti Sauce
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese 

Slice eggplants in 1/2 inch slices and place in a colander with salt.  Allow to drain for 30 minutes and then rinse off salt.  Pat slices dry.
Preheat oven at 375. 
Place egg in a bowl and in another bowl mix crushed fiber one cereal, bread crumbs, and flax seed.  Dip each slice into egg and then coat on both sides with dry mixture.  place on parchment lined baking sheet.  Spray top of slice with cooking spray before cooking for 20 minutes. Turn over and spray again and cook for another 10 minutes.

Top one slice with spaghetti sauce and mozzarella cheese.  Place another piece on top and repeat.  Place stack back into oven to melt cheese.  You can add as much sauce and cheese to your liking.  I prefer this to regular eggplant parmesan because it is not as soft and mushy; but still has a great taste.   Since this is baked, not fried, you also cut a ton of calories and fat.

Lentil Tacos

We have been trying to eat healthier and add more fiber to our diets.  I made this Friday night and had to make another batch on Monday.  My family did not even miss the ground beef and in fact we told one of our teen age daughters it was taco meat and she ate it no questions(normally she will not eat anything "healthy".

1/2lb cooked lentils
1 package low sodium taco mix
2/3 cup of water

Mix all ingredients and cook until thickened.  Serve on taco shells, with toppings of your choice.  Three were a very filling dinner for an adult.

Microwave Granola

3 cups oats
1 cup 5 grain blend
1/2 cup flax seed
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup nuts
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup cheerios
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup coconut
1/3 cup raisins/craisins

Mix first 8 ingredients in a 9 X 11 casserole dish.  Mix in honey and vanilla.  Add dish to microwave and microwave on high for 2 minutes.  Take out and stir up ingredients.  Microwave another 3 minutes.

Allow to cool and then mix in last 3 ingredients.  Store in an airtight container.

This recipe can be changed depending on your individual tastes and what you have in your pantry.  I have been making this recipe for years and this last batch I added flax and chia seeds for the first time.  Adding these two ingredients made the granola more filling.

Pepper Steak

Our garden is brimming with peppers--green, red, banana; which means one thing to my husband--pepper steak time.  This is a quick and easy meal to wip up in less than 30 minutes and can be served with rice or potatoes.

1 1/2lb steak, sliced thin
1 TBSP olive oil
5 green peppers, cut into strips
3 red peppers, cut into strips
7 banana pepper, cut into strips
1 large onion,sliced thin
1 large garlic clove,minced
1 1/2cups beef broth
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 TBSP soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
2 TBSP corn starch

Heat olive oil in a wok and once heated, add steak, onions, and garlic to pan.  Stir-fry until onions are transparent and steak is still a little pink.
Add beef broth, tomato sauce, salt, and soy sauce to pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, uncover and increase to high heat.  Add peppers and cook for 5 minutes.  Add cornstarch to 1/2cup hot water.  Once mixed, add to pan and reduce heat to simmer.  Simmer 3 minutes or until sauce is thickened.   Serve over rice or mashed potatoes. 

Low calorie Yogurt Strawberry muffins

2013-07-09 11.01.15.jpg

This is a low calorie basic muffin recipe, that can be substituted with different ingredients to change the flavors.  This makes 12 muffins, and has 70 calories as written below.

1 cup crushed fiberone cereal
3/4 cup flour
2 egg whites,or 6 TBSP egg whites in a carton
12 oz Strawberry non-fat yogurt(100 calories a cup)
1/3 cup Splenda
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup low calorie strawberry jam,

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place 12 baking cups in a muffin pan.

Mix together egg whites, applesauce, and yogurt.  Stir in cereal and remaining ingredients, just until moistened.  If you want to add fresh, frozen, or dried berries, add them right before portioning out to muffin cups.  Divide batter among 12 cups, or you can make mini muffins(reduce cooking time).

Bake 23-25 minutes until toothpick comes out clean and golden brown.

**Jam is an optional ingredient,but we love adding jam, if we are making a compatible muffin.  I have also used vanilla non-fat yogurt, when making apple muffins.  I have added flax seed to replace some of the flour.  I have made batches with both wheat and white flour. I have made blueberry muffins, with blueberry yogurt and dried blueberries. These are very filling and not too sweet. 

Beef and Asparagus with Noodle Stir-fry

1 lb sirloin steak, thinly sliced
7 oz chinese egg noodles
1 tsp olive oil
1 lb asparagus, chopped into 1-2 inch pieces
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 inch chopped fresh gingerroot
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
4 tbsp beef stock
1 1/2 tbsp rice wine
2 tbsp soy sauce
sesame seeds and chia seeds for garnish, optional

1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp rice wine
Stir the marinade ingredients together and add the thin slices of steak, coating all sides.  Let this marinade at least 15 minutes, the longer the better if you have time.

 Boil the noodles, drain and set aside.

Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a wok or skillet.  Add the asparagus and stir-fry for 1 minute.  Add the beef and marinade into the wok and continue stir-frying until the beef is cooked to your taste, about 1 1/2 minutes on medium high.  Remove the beef and asparagus from wok and set aside, leaving an liquid in pan..

Stir-fry the garlic, gingerroot, and onion for about 1 minute, until onion is soft.  Add the stock, rice wine, and soy sauce, and bring to a boil.  Return beef, asparagus, and noodles to wok,  Mix all ingredients together and stir until everything is heated through.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and chia seeds to taste.

Serves 4, 356 calories a serving.
Reheats well for leftovers and lunches. 

Ground Beef and Cilantro Soup

 This soup is very filling and I normally make it with a stirfry or as a light lunch.  This reheats really well and is about 100 calories a serving.
8 oz ground beef
8 cups chicken broth
3 egg whites, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 TBSP finely chopped fresh ginger
1 TBSP finely chopped scallion
4-5 TBSP finely chopped cilantro

1 tsp salt
1 tsp splenda
1 tsp Rice Wine
1 tsp light soy sauce

 Combine all marinade ingredients in a bowl and marinate the beef for 20 minutes.

Bring stock to a boil.  Add beef, stirring to break up any clumps, and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Slowly add the egg whites, stirring rapidly so that they form into fine shreds.  Add salt and pepper and taste to check seasonging.

To serve, place gingerroot, scallion, and cilantro in the base of individual bowls and pour soup on top.

Serves 4-6. 

Low Calorie Baked Chicken Nuggets

A nutritionist suggested we start using Fiber One Cereal while cooking, to bulk up the amount of fiber in our diets.  Using this crushed, allows me to use it as a coating, in sauces, and even in granola.  The cereal to us is nasty tasting as a cereal, but it does not change the taste  when used in cooking.

1 lb chicken cut into chunks
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup wheat bread crumbs
1/4 cup crushed fiber one cereal
3 TBSP Flax seed
1/4 cup milk

1.  Mix bread crumbs, crushed fiber one cereal, and flax seed in a shallow bowl or plate.  Pour 1/4 cup milk into another bowl.
2.  Preheat oven to 400.  Spray baking sheet with olive oil spray.
3.  Dip chicken chunks into milk and then dip into bread crumb/fiber one mixture.  Press mixture into chicken and place on baking sheet.
4.  Spray chicken nuggest with olive oil spray and bake for 10 minutes.  Turn chicken over and spray with olive oil and bake for another 10 minutes or until done.  These chicken nuggets are very crunchy without the fat. 

Makes 4 servings 166 calories each.

Monday, July 8, 2013

How I went to Key West without Lymphedema compression hose for a week.

 My week of vacation without wearing compression hose and how I came home with only minimal swelling.

My husband and I went to Key West, FL for a week June 26-July 3, 2013 and except for wearing my compression hose on the plane, they stayed packed away for a week.  This is the second year that I have given myself a week vacation from my compression hose, and I caution you as you read this to look at the possibilities and see if you are able to build up to this or even go a couple of days without your hose.  I was diagnosised in 2004, and very closely monitor and maintain my full body lymphedema on a daily basis.  This works for me so that I know what I can get away with at times and also so that I know if my LE swelling is maintained.  Closely monitoring your measurements and skin condition, is a must for lifetime management, because you have to know what works and doesn't work for your body, as it is different for all of us.  

Several days before my vacation, no matter if I am riding in a car or flying, I take it easy and do not schedule any appointments or big chores.  I wear my reid sleeves more around the house and keep my legs up.  If I am flying I wear my reid sleeves on the flight.  This year we took a Delta flight instead of Southwest and it was the first time I did not have room to wear my Reid sleeves on my flight and the pain was horrible and almost unbearable, the worst was when the plane was decending.  Extra pain meds did not even help, so from now on I don't care what I need to do, I will wear my Reid Sleeves, because it makes the flight bearable.  When I go by car I keep my legs up on the dash or in the backseat and stop frequently for stretching.

As soon as I got to my room in Key West, FL it was hot and the hose had to come off.  Key West is very humid and the temperatures are in the high 80s or 90s, so humid that we sweated thru everything we had(yuck).  The island is very small--only 2 X4 miles, so we did not rent a car and chose to walk and bike everywhere.  We remained active thru the week, but by closely monitoring my limbs for swelling, taking breaks, and sometimes just not pushing it if my pain became too much.   I was able to be comfortable the majority of the days.  I was in the water a lot and when you are in the water, the water acts as compression, so stay in those swimming pools, lakes, and oceans.  Also, another added benefit is that the salt water is great for killing bacteria on our LE limbs.  I normally take 2 Extended release 40mg Ocoytins a day and take another as needed pain medicine.  During vacation since I know I want to be active and I only allow this once a year, I take extra as needed pain meds, so that I can enjoy my activities.  I normally do not take many as needed pain meds, but my doctor told me long ago, if you need to take them to do an activity you would miss doing otherwise then that is what the pain medicine is there for.  During this week I was able to snorkel 3 times, learn to scuba dive and take 2 one hour scuba dives to the Key West Reef(3rd largest in the world) jet ski, parasail, lay on the beach, swim in the ocean, walk around and sightsee, and bike.  I can honestly say, this was the best vacation of my life and worth sacrifices I made to enjoy myself.  I brought my flexitouch machine and my reid sleeves with me and while I was in the room I wore my reid sleeves and kept up with my daily cycles on my flexitouch machine and was able to come back with only 1/2-1 inch difference in my limbs, which I have been working on since vacation to get them down to where I try to maintain them.  I did have another glitch in this plan because of Delta.  They left my bags with my flexitouch and reid sleeves outside in the rain and they were all soaked when I got home and it took 2 days for them to completly dry out, delaying me working on getting my limbs back down to size, but now that they are dry, my swelling is coming down again.  I will continue to take these yearly 1 week vacations from my hose, as long as I am able to manage this treat, without putting my body in jeopardy. For me, knowing my body and what it needs, allows me to effectively manage my Lymphedema, while still living my life.  I know I need to wear my hose and daily management is very time consuming, it is worth it when I can take a little holiday and get back on track.