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Chicken Cordon Bleu Scramble

We all need something to put the steam in our engine for the entire day, so I encourage everyone to try this to give you powerful protein-filled strength tomorrow morning.

The term “cordon bleu” refers to the highest rank of knights instituted by King Henri III of France in 1578.  These knights wore a sash of blue to distinguish themselves and this simple breakfast will bolster you with all the fortitude of which those cordon bleu knights ever dreamed.

In just five minutes you can strengthen you day with these few ingredients:

  • one egg, whisked
  • 2 oz. diced grilled chicken breast
  • 2 oz. diced cooked ham
  • 1 oz. diced or shredded Swiss cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnish with fresh spinach

Get a small skillet and pour a whisper of olive oil in and get the heat going until little ripples can be seen in the oil.  Add your meats.  Get them good and warm. Add the egg and the cheese and scramble it all together until the eggs are set.  Shut the flame and let the heat of the pan gently melt the Swiss cheese.  Stir in a tiny pat of butter to finish and tumble it all onto your plate and season to taste.

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This is one of those dishes with that great idiot-proof factor.  No matter your cooking skills, this one can be done on the fly with nothing but the tastiest of results.  If ham, or meat for that matter, isn’t your thing, play around.  Use mushrooms and onions.  Try beef or veal.  You can’t go wrong.  Don’t like cheese?  Use roasted peppers and garlic. What ever you choose, you will have a blue ribbon winning breakfast and the energy of the highest appointed knight to fuel your morning.

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Pork Loin Cutlets with Naked Egg Rolls

Cooking any type of cutlet is a simple process in the skillet; add a little oil, season the meat and sear on both sides until slightly firm to the touch.  I seasoned these pork loin cutlets with salt, pepper, a dash of soy sauce and mirin (a sweet white wine vinegar).  You have to be very watchful with a sweet marinate as it burns quickly.

I put four cutlets in the skillet as not to crowd the pan and get too much juice rendering and boil the meat.  You want it to brown nicely on both sides. Again, be attentive.  It only takes a few minutes to get done on high to medium high.  When the meat is nearly done be ready to deglaze with a splash of water and a lid to contain the steam.  Let the meat rest a short time to finish cooking under the lid until it feels like the middle of your out stretched palm, not squishy like the heel of your hand.  Remove the meat to finish resting aside on the counter.  That splash of water really brings the browning off the skillet and gives you a rich bit of brown broth.  I added another splash to get it all.  A little salt and pepper and another dash of soy sauce made about a third cup of sauce to cook the naked egg rolls in.

So what’s a naked egg roll?  It’s all the yummy goodness of the inside of an egg roll without the wrapper.  Here’s what you do:

  • In one big bowl, grate one half a head of cabbage.
  • Grate two medium carrots.
  • Finely dice an onion.
  • Finely dice some celery, leaves and all.  Use at least one rib; two if they are small.
  • Laugh a bit because the above sounds like something Dr. Seus would say.
  • Cook down the prepared vegetables in that third cup of juice and cover with the lid, adding a bit of water every now and then.  You want it to just scorch between water additions and bring out the sweetness of the aromatic veggies.
  • When the vegetables are quite tender and nicely caramelized around the edges lower the heat, beat one egg in a small bowl and pour it over the veggies.
  • Stir everything until the egg is set then add a few good dashes of soy sauce, some pepper, powdered ginger, and powdered garlic to taste (about half a teaspoon each).
  • Put the lid on and let it sit a while with the flame off then fluff it up here and there to distribute the seasoning.
  • Go back to the cutlets and pour the juice that will have collected on the plate into the veggies and stir that good flavor back in the skillet.
  • Plate up and enjoy a healthy, lean, low carb. delicious meal.

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Bonus:  If you don’t use all the cabbage mixture in the bowl you can add

  • about three tablespoons apple cider vinegar,
  • two tablespoons sugar
  • a teaspoon of poppy seed
  • a half teaspoon of salt
  • a healthy dollop of mayonnaise; about a quarter cup.

Stir all that together and let the ingredients marry in the fridge for a great side of coleslaw at your next meal.

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Chicken Tikka Masala the Easy Way

I love Indian food!  It is so full of flavor and aroma but I don’t always have the spices they use on hand.  I don’t know why.  I suppose I’ve been conditioned.  I suppose I’m an American used to a different set of spices.  Well, since they say, “Variety is the spice of life”, the same is true in the variety of spices.  Certain spices make foods come alive.  A little piece of chicken breast can become a masterpiece of taste with the right combination of spice in the sauce.  Places around the world have their unique flavors like Mexican cuisine, Italian, Moroccan, Chinese, Tai; but the Indian spices really are my favorite.  I found a little jar of Tikka Masala simmering sauce on an end-cap at the store and decided to try it. This is what happened.

This little chicken breast got all dressed up with just a few ingredients.

  • First I made cutlets of the chicken; little medallion size pieces seared in a skillet until just firm.  that takes about 3-4 minutes per side
  • Next, I removed the chicken, set it aside and replaced them with a bag of frozen fajita veggies; multi-colored peppers and onion and stir fried them.  That took about ten minutes
  • Then I put in half the jar of the Tikka Masala sauce (about 2/4 cup) and tossed the chicken back in for a swim.
  • Wow! the smell of India just happened!  When everything simmered together for a couple of minutes I was ready to dive in.
  • I plated up a serving and garnished it with raisins, peanuts and a sprinkle of shaved coconut.  YUUUUM!

This magic sauce is made of tomato puree, yogurt, coconut cream and those lovely curry, corriander, cardamom, and garlic spices so prevalent in the Indian cooking.  I’m not a person who goes for pre-fabbed foods and I really want to come up with my own Tikka Masala sauce some day, but this lovely dish took a mere twenty minutes start to finish.  Every bite was such an explosion of flavor!  I hope you try  it.  You won’t be disappointed.

Paleo Pork Fried Rice

It is well known that when one combines carbs and fat regularly in the diet, one tends to gain girth.  Think of the delectable donut…flour and water, fried in grease then glazed with sugar.  Probably the worst food ever; bereft of nutrition but oh so tasty!

Think of pork fried rice.  It consists of a starch fried in grease like the donut without the sugar coating.  Instead, there is some meat and a little vegetation with the carrots, onion.  This is a better food than donuts but still that starch and grease combination is a recipe for putting on the pounds.

A friend told me recently you can purchase cauliflower in rice form today.  I have never seen it where I shop but I traditionally stick to the perimeter of the store where all the natural foods live.  Processed foods can be found by the tons up and down the the aisles.  In my friends description she said this  cauliflower rice is simply shredded.  Well, I happened to have a beautiful head of cauliflower on the counter and I shredded it myself and made a big mixing bowl full of what ended up looking like a fluffy bowl of rice.  No cooking, measuring, timing or turning the kitchen into a steam sauna was required.

Cauliflower is very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol, it is also a good source of Protein, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Potassium and Manganese; a super food.  This is why it is such a great substitute in making a much healthier version of my favorite Chinese delectation.  Six ingredients simmered in a skillet about ten minutes and we’re there but without the carbolicious guilt.  Here’s what you need:

  • 1 head of shredded lightly salted cauliflower
  • 2 or so tbsp. Bacon grease
  • 1 medium shredded carrot
  • 3 fresh sprigs chopped chives
  • several strips of bacon, crumbled
  • soy sauce to taste

Truly, all  you do is heat the first five ingredients until everything is tender.  A little splash of water helps if the vegetables need the steam.  I add the soy sauce last for that hit of Asian zing.

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I hope you get the opportunity to try this healthy version of fried “rice” with tons more nutrition, way less of that horrible carb/fat combination and all the deliciousness you desire.  You could make any version you like, either plain or with beef or shrimp too.  Have fun!

 

Whopper Salad

Sometimes I get a craving for a good old Burger King Whopper with cheese.  There’s something about it that tastes so good.  It’s just not worth the  760 calories and 47 grams of fat and who knows what else; it’s fast food!  Besides, I’d rather make a trip to the refrigerator than to the drive-thru, so I was inspired to make a salad of the whopper ingredients save the bun.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head iceberg lettuce. (a bag of iceberg mix works fine but pull out as many of those nasty carrot pieces as you can; they never taste good)
  • 1 pound lean ground beef, browned in a heavy skillet and cooled
  • 1/2 of a small onion, diced well
  • 2 dill pickle spears, diced
  • 6 or sogrape tomatoes, quartered
  • dressing: consisting of ketchup and mayonnaise in equal perportions
  • shredded cheddar cheese  and salt and pepper to taste

In a salad bowl lay the lettuce in the bottom and layer on the meat, onion pickle tomato and dress it and add cheese and salt and pepper to taste and toss.  So easy. So summery.  So delicious and, I have just two more words; craving satisfied.

Just Put It Out There

It’s the weekend, you’ve got to go places and get things done.  Wake up a little early and enjoy the peace of morning while you quietly prep this beautiful fruit salad.  100_1851

  • Peel and dice one ripe mango
  • Peel and supreme slice one orange with the juice
  • cut up 6 or 7 strawberries in chunks
  • cut 1 cup red grapes in halves
  • garnish with fresh sprigs of mint

It will be there in its colorful, healthy, fruity, sparkling splendor when everyone gets up. It goes great with home made yogurt if you happen to have some. Now go relax. Breakfast, done!

What! Low Carb Pancakes?

The hubby and I are on a diet because well, we got fat.  I have a sedentary job…admin type; and working in a church, the heavily carb  fat laden pot-lucks are endless.   Hubby is a cop and yes, donuts happen too (worst food ever).

It wasn’t until I went to give blood at a drive that I discovered my blood pressure to be quite high. High enough to be turned away.  The shame was unbearable.

I was agitated with my daughter’s tween angst about something when I left the house and had a huge flight of stairs to climb just before turning left into the blood drive place.  That may have made things worse but still, I had never had a blood pressure problem before.   I decided that day to do something about it.  Not in favor of being advised to go on medication, I turned to diet and exercise

I kept checking on my pressure as I made huge changes in my diet.  A very low carb plan got me results quickly without much sacrifice.  Turns out, fat in the diet is good!  Bread and sugar not so much.  It took a few days to detox the sugar/starch out of my body but once that happened, I lost the cravings for sweets, bread, starchy food like potatoes etc.

I have been able to eat bacon and eggs with butter, steak and many other natural meats, cream, lots of greens, mushrooms, olives, pickles, nuts and seeds and have lost 43 pounds since October. My pressure is currently back to my usual 110/70.

It was a fun affair with cheesecake, chips and chocolate but I wish to last long enough to see my youngest one graduate, marry and have kids.

I did find a way to enjoy a pancake breakfast with zero guilt and when ever I do get a sweet tooth this is what I do:

  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 packet non-sugar sweetener (Equal works for me)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream

Combine the ingredients except the cream in a small bowl and mix until smooth.  A mini processor works great, but a fork and a bit of elbow grease can also get the job done.

Heat a griddle or cast iron pan and coat it with the oil. Pour the batter into the desired sized pancake and  wait for the edges to lose their glossiness, about a minute.  Take a peek with a spatula if you need.  When golden brown give them a flip, shut off the flame and let the griddle’s built-up heat brown the other side.

They don’t respond like traditional pancakes but if your spatula is wide enough they will turn without tearing.

When they are done, plate them up and splash a bit of heavy cream over them.  There is a traditional Mexican cake called “Tres Leches”  that really reminds me of how these pancakes taste…so decadent with only 4 grams of carbs per serving and this makes several 3″ diameter pancakes which could feed two.

Flour based pancakes net a whopping 30 grams of carbs per serving!  My sister diva Eva Gabor  might say, “Goodbye high carb  life, low carb pancakes are here!”  Bah da  ba dum  bum…bum bum!

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