Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Time for a Change

About a month ago...Monday, August 3rd to be exact...
my mind, my will power, my stars, and my thighs all aligned to make a change in my eating habits. It takes a lot to get me to into this phase of "dieting". I have to be in the right frame of mind. No one can force me, nothing can flip the switch unless I'm ready. August 3rd I was ready. Perhaps it was because I was sick and tired of being chunky. Or feeling crappy, or having to buy new work slacks in a size that makes me feel uncomfortable. Everything just came to a head and I said, "Let's get on that wagon, Girl!"
 
I am not alone in this endeavor. My sweet husband could stand to lose a few pounds, especially above his belt line. Those tender love handles have to go, Honey!
Both of us have moderate health issues. Mine being borderline cholesterol levels and his being high blood pressure problems.
 
I've always known that the American Heart Association supplies us with dietary recommendations to help control the amounts of saturated and trans fats, sodium, and added sugar to help folks like me (and my honey) lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Both of these factors, when high, increase the risk for heart disease and stroke. Knowing that I'd like to live a long, healthy life, I needed to get into action.
 
What did I do? I cut out all white flour, sugar and pop (we Midwesterners call it pop. You may call it soda, but whatever.) I also got this cookbook from the AHA (American Heart Association):


It is jam packed with great recipes that include 12 different ways of preparation: Slow Cooking; Microwaving; Blending; Grilling; Stir-Frying; Braising; Stewing; Steaming; Poaching; Broiling; Roasting; and Baking. Most recipes have ingredients you'd find in your standard pantry. A few involve special ingredients that aren't difficult to find in a regular-sized grocery store.
 
My first recipe I tried was Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic. Yep, 40 cloves! My husband and I both love garlic, so I figured we had a winner here. The results? I liked it, but he wasn't so crazy about it. To him, the baked garlic tasted funny. This was a "braised" recipe and it was my first time braising anything! It was easy to prepare and was finished off the next day for leftovers.



Not a good picture AT ALL,
but this is the finished product of
Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic.
Served with a side of fresh green beans and mushrooms.
 
That night, we also had Easy Peach Crisp from the Baked Category of the book. The recipe called for light margarine, but I don't use that stuff. It's butter or nothin'  here. It made 4 portions and they were very substantial servings! We thought it tasted better warm than cooled the next day. I will definitely make this one again.

 
Easy Peach Crisp
 
 
A few nights later, I chose Chinese Chicken Salad from the Stir-Frying section. This was my first time grating a ginger root and it was so easy, I'm embarrassed I didn't try it long ago. This can be eaten hot or cold. I tried it both ways and absolutely loved it both ways! If I had another thumb, I'd give it 3 thumbs up!
 

Chinese Chicken Salad


Last night, I made Porcupine Meatballs I found in the Broiling section of the cookbook. Made with ground turkey breast and brown rice, the meatballs themselves were delicious! The tomato sauce came out rather bland, but with some help from garlic powder, Italian seasoning, fresh basil, and onion powder, it tasted great! I'm not afraid to add seasonings, but I do stay away from added salt. Tonight, I'm going to have the leftovers served on some baked spaghetti squash. Yum! (The picture below is AFTER I scooped out my portion for dinner...couldn't wait...the recipe made 16 meatballs...I ate 4 of them, which is one generous serving.)

 
Porcupine Meatballs

I've already got more recipes tabbed to try soon: Baja Fish Tacos; Chai-Spiced Pineapple Spears; Layered Mexican Casserole; and Chicken Parmesan Soup. As long as I serve up tasty, healthy meals, we are heading in the right direction. So far, I've taken off 10 pounds and feel a whole lot better!
 
If you're interested in purchasing this book, click here:  
 
FTC disclaimer:
"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."



5 comments:

  1. Whew - I'm glad it wasn't really porcupine meatballs Kathy! My goodness those dishes look good!
    That 40 clove of garlic chicken recipe is an old one. I've always wondered if it came out too garlicky.
    You really made me laugh with your lead in of "my mind, my will power, my stars, and my thighs all aligned"
    I started a diet today and printed out a graph so I can keep track. For the first time ever at a doctor's appointment yesterday, I had high blood pressure.

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  2. Kathy you got me thinking, not there yet, but at least I'm thinking

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  3. I am not into cooking right now, but all of the recipes you tried look like something I'd love. Maybe I should just come over to your house for dinner?? I come with a husband and poodle though....
    LeeAnna at not afraid of color

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  4. Kathy, I have a funny story regarding meatballs to share with you.
    My father and mother used to like to put on a Norwegian Smorgasbord at Christmastime.
    One year, there was a very large dish of actual reindeer meatballs. This did not go over very well with the kids at Christmas, all the more so because one of my pranksters put a maraschino cherry on top. (aka "Rudolph's nose") We still laugh about it today.

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