Sunday, October 30, 2011

More Cooking Adventures - Mrs. J's Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

About two weeks ago, I got a craving for gumbo.  We had a touch of fall here and it bought to mind a nice, gumbo.  My bestie's is from Louisiana and her mom taught me how to make gumbo.  When I posted the pics on facebook, she and her sister thought I had taken fabulous lessons.  I beg to differ, I had a great teacher!  Here's my version of Mrs. J's Chicken and Sausage Gumbo.

2 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons flour
1 chopped onion
3 stalks chopped celery
1 chopped bell pepper
3 cloves of garlic chopped
2 cups chicken broth, stock or water
No Salt Seasoning - We use the House Seasoning on EVERYTHING
Cayenne Pepper
2 bay leaves
2 cups chopped chicken
1 pound of Italian Turkey Sausage

First, take 2 tablespoons of oil (I used vegetable) and heat it in a heavy bottom pan until hot over medium low heat.  Sprinkle in 3 tablespoons of flour and stir until blended with the oil.  This makes the roux.  The roux should should be stirred until it reaches a dark brown color but not burned!  It should look like this:

Once the roux has reached the right color, add all the veggies and let them cook until they have softened.  

In a separate pan, cook the sausage and drain away the excess fat.  Turkey sausage has less fat than pork sausage so there may not be a lot of fat to drain away.  Set aside.

Once the veggies have become soft, add two cups of chicken broth or water and all the seasonings.  Add the chicken and sausage and let cook for at least 30 minutes over medium low heat.  The longer it simmers, the better it gets.  Taste and adjust seasonings to your personal preference.

This can be served over rice but because I'm limiting carbs I ate mine as is.  It was great! This recipe can also be used with seafood.  That's another post for another time!

Friday, October 28, 2011

It's Friday Night and I am...

Washing clothes!  I figured since I was home, why not?  That way, it's one less chore for the weekend and hey, we need clean clothes!

I guess I'm going to share recent cooking adventures.  I still haven't conquered my fear of the scale and so I don't own one yet but I can tell by the way my clothes are fitting (or not! LOL) that the weight is still coming off.  I'm thrilled and terrified.  It's been ages since I've been this size and the fact I'm still "The Incredible Shrinking Woman"  somewhat disturbs me.  I suppose it's the fear of the unknown.  You know, "What do I do with this new body?"  " Will it change how people react to me?"  Wild and crazy things like that.

So I've been trying to work out meals that are easy, healthy and low carb, possible.  I thought I was going to be stuck eating the same old things forever but I found this wonderful blog called "The World According To Eggface"!  She is a WLS post-op and advocate and is 5 years out from her own RNY.  She also has the most fantastic recipes ever!  They fit into real life and even non-WLS patients will enjoy them.  Borrowing a page from her blog, I decided to make pizza!

Here is the recipe in case you're interested:

1 low carb tortilla - fajita size
3 tablespoons Veggie Chili
2 tablespoons Cheddar Cheese (I use the full fat stuff)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spread chili on tortilla and top with cheese.  Bake until hot and crispy  and cheese is bubbly.
I could only eat two slices but I'm sure some one who has not had the surgery could enjoy the whole thing.

You can add any toppings you like!  I know this will be my easy-peasy dinner staple from now on!

I love the fact that Eggface has taken the time to show how WLS post-ops can enjoy many of the treats we had before surgery and in a healthy manner!  It makes the whole experience much more enjoyable and I feel less deprived.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

My First Recipe To Share!

I made my first veggie chili from scratch.  My biggest issue lately is not wanting meat.  I'll eat it but I really haven't had a taste for it lately.  I have, however, discovered a love for beans and this was a way to incorporate that along with a craving for chili.  It's low-fat and low-salt (if you use salt free beans) and so tasty.  I shared with a couple of friends and they loved it, even without the meat.  One even told me she used it as a dip with tortilla chips!  I hadn't thought of that!  This is really a free-form recipe.  You can add or delete to taste. One of my friends love to add Tabasco to his, making it super hot! It's up to you, just enjoy!

Karen's Veggie Chili

2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped (or more if you prefer)
Half cup chopped onion
1 can of black beans (low salt)
1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed (low salt)
1 large can tomatoes puree. (salt free) 
Salt free seasoning, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Chili powder, to taste. *See note about chili powder below*
2 tablespoons powdered Cumin or to taste
2 tablespoons dried Oregano or to taste

Heat oil in pot on medium heat.  When hot, add onion and garlic and cook until softened.  
Add all the other ingredients and if needed, a cup of water.  
Check seasonings and adjust to your taste.
Allow to cook until desired consistency, usually about 30 minutes on medium heat.

Note - Chili powder can vary in heat.  Some brands are mild while certain brands are much hotter than others.  If you are unsure of the brands, add in small amounts and taste test as you go.

This recipe is flexible.  Feel free to add more veggies or spices to it.  I plan on making adjustments the next time I cook it and I'll post the results here! Let me know how you like!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Saturday, Saturday!

This video brings back so many memories!  Saturdays were skating rink days for us growing up.  We all learned how to skate the hard way (outside on the driveway!) but we love to hit the rinks with our cousins and the latest music.  Skating rinks really need to come back!  No skating in the plans for today but we are hitting a car show to drool over British motor cars.  Have a wonderful Saturday and enjoy the video!