Glorious Bastards

We all have our weaknesses. At least one. That one thing that if it’s in front of you, it’s hard to resist temptation. Some of us have more than one weakness. And for some of us, that weakness is food related. Okay, probably most of us have at least 1 food weakness. For me, it is donuts and milk shakes. Of course, I love other junk food things, pastries, candies, and such but donuts and milk shakes are my kryptonite.

So, since I’ve started on this journey of the low carb health plan, I’ve rarely had any cheat days/meals. I had a couple birthdays and such this past month in which I allowed myself to eat out and eat something sweet. At work, we even had a couple instances when someone brought in a treat such as cake and cookies, and I politely declined. However, on Wednesday, someone brought in donuts for breakfast. Donuts. How dare they. Don’t they know I love donuts and can’t eat them?!

The person responsible for them put them in our kitchen/break room. After a little while I needed to go make my second cup of coffee. So, I wondered into the kitchen, ever so carefully, so as to not startle the donuts. I started my cup of coffee in the Keurig, and just barely above a whisper I heard “Hey there”. I slowly turn around to the donuts sitting on the table. Of course, they didn’t actually speak to me, but I could almost hear them calling to me. Softly at first. Just to let me know they were there. Don’t you worry donuts, I see you. I see you.

I take my coffee and run back to my desk. Phew, dodged that bullet, I thought. I got this. I can do this. I will not allow these donuts to ruin my low carb plan! So naive.

As I continued to work, I kept thinking about the donuts. I know. You’re thinking this girl is crazy! They weren’t even my favorite kind of donuts. (Chocolate Covered with Sprinkles in case you were curious.) But a donut is still a donut. And once more, I was drawn into the kitchen. I thought to myself, one small sliver of the donut won’t hurt. I just won’t eat my daily alloted amount of peanuts today. That’ll help! So I open the box, carefully of course, and oh the smell. That wonderful smell wafted slowly to my nose as I breathed in deep. Okay, yeah, one small sliver. So I cut a small sliver of one donut, and it was the most heavenly 2 bites. So creamy and soft, still slightly warm. Okay, okay, that’s enough. That’s all you get. I closed the box, heated up my lunch, and went back to my desk. Yes, see, meat and veggies, yum so good, who needs you leftover donut!

About an hour goes by and those donuts start calling my name again. I can hear them. Rustling in the kitchen. Just a few feet away from where I sat. Calling to me like they knew. They knew how delicious they were and how much I wanted them. All of them. They taunted me, teased me. I felt as though I had the classic scene of a devil and an angel on my shoulders. Except they were both in the form of a donut. Dammit Angel, you’re supposed to be on my side! Sigh. So I thought to myself, one more small sliver won’t hurt. I’ll just eat a smaller dinner to cut out the extra carbs. Once again, I slowly creep into the kitchen and open the box. I quietly cut off another small piece and once again, enjoy my additional 2 bites. Dear god, why are these so good.

I thought it would be enough. I thought those few bites would be enough to satisfy my craving. But all I could think about was the other portion of the donut I had been slowly cutting away at. I finally broke down and called in reinforcements by telling my friend about these unfortunate, tasty morsels so he could hold me accountable if I ate it. I thought it would be enough to stop me. I kept diverting my attention back to my work, turned my music up louder, talked back and forth with my friend. Anything to keep me from thinking about the donuts. It. Was. Torture.

I typically leave work at 4pm. It was 3:15, and I had talked myself into going back into the kitchen for one thing or another. My subconscious/fat kid side would do anything to draw me back in there to have one more look at them. To dream about them some more. I go into the kitchen, keep my back to the table and fill my water bottle. And there it is. I turn to look at both shoulders, and both my devil and angel are eating donuts, whispering it’s okay. It’s okay to have another nibble. I turn around and there they are, just sitting there, looking very calm and innocent. Like they hadn’t been torturing me all day. Look at you, you glorious, delicious bastards.
donuts man
I opened the box and devoured the rest of that donut.

I had been tortured all day from a donut. A stupid donut! I, of course, felt guilty because it would mess up my ketosis state and I would essentially be starting over the next day, but there was that other, deep seeded gluttonous side of me that was quite satisfied with herself. I hated her at that moment.

What was done, was done and there was no going back. All I could do was own up to what I had done. And accept it and move on. I think the important thing for me to have learned from this is that it is okay to have those cheats. Because if not, I will go crazy in instances like today. Not only that, my will power is still a work in progress. And I have to look at all the progress I have made and how far I have come and appreciate that. I still have such a long way to go, but dammit that donut was so delicious.

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Chicken Caesar Lettuce Wraps

Chicken Caesar Lettuce Wraps with Garlic Parmesan “Croutons”

*Original recipe here!

Ingredients
1 Head Romaine Lettuce
1 lb. Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
4 Strips Bacon – Cooked Crisp and Crumbled
1 Cup Parmesan Cheese – shredded
4 Tbs. Caesar Dressing
1 Tbs. Garlic Powder
1 Tbs. Italian Seasoning
Olive Oil

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper that is lightly oiled on both sides
  • Spread Parmesan in a thin layer on the parchment paper. Sprinkle the garlic powder and Italian seasoning over the top of the Parmesan
  • Bake cheese until golden brown and crispy – About 10 minutes. Let cool and break into pieces
  • Season chicken breast on each side with a little salt and pepper.
  • In a large skillet, or grill pan over medium-high heat, sear the chicken in olive oil until cooked all the way through.
  • Pull off 6 large leaves of romaine lettuce. Chop the remaining lettuce.
  • Once the chicken has cooked and cooled, cube and add to a large mixing bowl, add chopped lettuce, crumbled bacon and Caesar dressing and mix everything together.
  • Spoon onto whole romaine leaves, top with “croutons”

Servings: 4

*Note: I made this meal exactly how the original recipe calls for it! What I love about this on is that you can really dress it up how you want. Throw in tomatoes, onion, or any other vegetable. Enjoy!

A Little Bit of Experimentation

One of the best things about doing this health plan with the low carbs is trying out all the different recipes. I go grocery shopping every Friday after I get off work because who wants to worry about having to go grocery shopping the rest of the weekend. And each week I tell myself, I will work on getting a meal plan together before Friday. And each week I am always scrambling on Friday afternoon to come up with a plan. (I’ve downloaded an app to help with to-do lists and such to hopefully assist with the procrastination, but once a procrastinator, always a procrastinator.)

Anyhow, I have noticed that more and more as I cook and experiment with different recipes, I am slowly starting to think well, this might be good with this. Or I could cook this but try it cooked this way. I find myself not only starting to alter recipes comfortably, but even coming up with my own! I am still working on spice combinations and sauces. And lord knows I need practice on making those sauces. But it feels amazing to come up with a type of creation and it actually taste good.

Tonight, after grocery shopping, I really didn’t have a specific meal in mind. I knew I had an extra pound of turkey meat and a couple items in the fridge to make more taco salads, which is what I had been eating all week for dinner. But I wanted to spice it up a bit! So I created a taco burger. I’m not making this an official recipe, as I didn’t really measure anything, but here is the run down: I combined 1 lb of turkey meat, garlic, minced onion, cumin, parsley, chili powder, cayenne, salt and pepper, and then stuffed half a jalapeno cheese stick in each burger. Cooked the burgers on the stove top, and served on a bed of iceburg lettuce with shredded cheddar cheese and a sauce that consisted of 2 parts salsa and 1 part sour cream (round abouts, I just eyeballed). Of course, there are many different things you could add to the burger or to garnish it with, but this was one of my favorite things I’ve created so far!

There have definitely been a few other creations, such as a sloppy joe casserole, philly cheesesteak casserole, and the taco sauce mentioned above. And this week, my creation is to do chicken and veggies in the crock pot with a type of soy/honey sauce, topped with roasted cauliflower rice. Fingers crossed it turns out as well as I have pictured in my head! But for all of those who are scared to dabble and experiment, don’t be. Even with my creations, they’re usually derived from some recipe or cooking style I’ve done before, but as I am getting more comfortable in the kitchen, it is become much easier to think outside the box. So, if you decide to create a different way to do something or go wild and create an entire recipe, share the love! I would love to try it!

Crock Pot Breakfast Casserole

Sausage Breakfast Casserole

*Original recipe found here!

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg. Bacon
  • 1 pkg. Jimmy Dean® Original Sausage Crumbles
  • 2 cup (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheese (I used 1 cup of each)
  • ½ cup canned petite diced tomatoes
  • 12 eggs
  • ½ cups milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Spray a 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray.
  2. Layer Sausage, tomatoes, bacon, cheese. Repeat layering.
  3. Beat eggs, milk salt and pepper in large bowl with a wire whisk until well blended.
  4. Pour evenly over bacon-sausage mixture.
  5. Cook on LOW setting for 8 hours or on HIGH setting for 4 hours or until eggs are set.

Cook’s Tips:

Substitute 1 cup chopped fresh tomato or sun-dried tomatoes, instead of canned petite tomatoes

Substitute 1 pkg. Jimmy Dean® Premium Pork Regular Roll Sausage, cooked and crumbled for Jimmy Dean® Original Sausage Crumbles.

Yield

12 servings (about 1 cup each)

*Note: I have cooked this recipe twice now for breakfast and love it! The original recipe calls for hashbrowns which I exclude to make it a low-carb recipe. I add the bacon to add in extra protein and calories. I make it on Sunday for the entire week, and it does well keeping in the fridge. I also had no issue cooking it on high for 4 hours! Enjoy!

Sunday Failday

I usually pick Sundays as my bulk cooking day. I cook my breakfast and lunch for the upcoming week, and usually break up my dinner by cooking a dish to last Sunday and Monday and then cook it again on Tuesday night. Today started out like every Sunday. I got up, cooked my breakfast, then moved on to bulk cooking my lunch. I decided to attempt to make a BBQ sauce to go into shredded chicken and use my Cheese Chive Waffles as buns. Sounds delicious right? I baked my chicken in the oven. (Normally, I would’ve used the crock pot, but it was being used to cook my breakfast at this time.) I should’ve known it was going to go awry when the chicken came out tough and hard to shred. But alas, I still had a good outlook on this whole BBQ chicken thing. Then, I started getting the sauce ready to simmer. I throw all the ingredients in the pan only to realize I don’t have enough onion or chili powder. At this point you’re all thinking, surely she knows it’s time to go ahead and throw in the towel on this bbq sauce idea. Wrong! I persevered. I thought, I’ll run to Target to get the spices, it’s only 2 minutes from my house and I’ll be back and simmering sauce in no time! I get back, add the rest of the ingredients and simmer. And simmer. And simmer some more. Taste test, add some more seasoning, add more Worcestershire sauce, simmer some more. Finally, as I slowly realize it still only tastes like tomato sauce and is extremely runny, I crank up the heat to med-low to reduce the sauce and make it thicker. And add more seasoning. I ultimately let it simmer for about an hour and a half and see that it has finally thickened up. Yay!  Dip a spoon in to taste and test, and wait, wait, what? What is this taste?? Why does this taste like a cracked out tomato sauce?? I added some salt and pepper to spruce it up, but alas. My delicious smelling BBQ sauce tastes like Worcestershire and tomato sauce with weird seasonings.

By this point I have been in the kitchen cooking on and off for several hours. I’m frustrated, hungry and very disappointed. I mixed the bbq sauce with a little bit of chicken and piled it on a waffle/pancake. Added a couple pickles hoping it would help and ate my disappointing lunch. This, my friends, is all a part of cooking and trying new recipes. I had a friend try this very same one, who actually shared it with me, and her and her husband loved it! I absolutely think this is a classic case of ‘different strokes for different folks’. As I mentioned in a previous post, I wanted to share this recipe fail and frustrating experience because these types of situations come with it and I think it’s important to appreciate both. So while I’m frustrated and disappointed that the sauce didn’t quite turn out how I’d hoped, I am still glad that I tried it and didn’t give up. I’ll still eat the BBQ chicken for my lunch this week, and my poor roommate will have to suffer through too but being able to share this recipe fail and keep a positive outlook on healthy cooking is what’s important!