Yummy, Lo-Cal Chicken Vegetable Plate

With careful attention to the chicken, I was able to sauté it to perfection without using a coating, or overcooking it. I was happily surprised at the outer “crust”. Maybe it was the induction burner, but this is the first success of this magnitude!

They cutlets were joined by the last of the fettuccini, steamed broccoli, and my usual mélange of mushrooms, peppers, and scallions. For extra interest, I sprinkled some sesame seeds all over everything, and made an impromptu sauce of mayo, lemon juice, mustard and horseradish. Sounds pretty tart, but it was just right for complementing the chicken breast cutlets.

After the picture, but before dining, I sprinkled on some coconut aminos, and toasted sesame oil.

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Shrimp in the Shell

I tend to forget how really tasty these big shrimpies are. I have found that the larger ones, with the shells ON, tend to be more satisfying than the ones that have had the shells removed before packaging.

What you see is my old standby stir-fry mixture of baby peppers, mushrooms, lacinato, and scallions getting cozy with a serving of fettuccini. I had some broccoli – not sure why it didn’t join the party.

I ate only half of the shrimp, and there was a little less than half of the veggies/fettuccini mixture left. I feel a very fancy omelette lurking in my future!

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Mini-Quesadilla by DASH

Today’s lunch is brought to you (and to me!) by the DASH eight-inch Express Griddle appliance.

First, I preheated and slightly crisped two tortillas. Then I sautéed some freshly cut-up yellow pepper and leftover cooked cauliflower bits, and set them aside. When the grill had reheated, I put one of the tiny tortillas on it, added a light layer of hot pepper cheese, the pepper and cauliflower, and topped it with a thin slice of deli ham.

Adding the other slightly crisped tortilla made a lovely-looking quesadilla that was just the right amount of crunch. It held together nicely because of the cheese, and eating it was a delight in flavors and crispy!

The Cole slaw is simplicity itself. I have found that the deli Cole slaw is way too soupy for me, so I use it in place of Cole slaw dressing with my own thinly sliced raw cabbage. The ratio is about three or four parts fresh cabbage shreds to one part of the commercial slaw.

This makes having a healthful side dish very simple and without a bazillion calories.

Hint: This combination of cabbage and commercial slaw makes a great “spread” on just about any sandwich that you would like to have a bit more moisture, but not a big blob of straight mayonnaise.

And wait until you see my dessert! (Tomorrow or the next day.)

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Tortellini and Lacinato

Cooking for one is a whole new experience for me. The fun part is figuring out delicious things to eat utilizing the items already in the refrigerator from prior meals.

Tonight I had leftover thick Cream of Mushroom/Onion/Potato soup (yes, homemade) to work with. So I boiled up some Buitoni Tortellini and sauced it with the soup, and added in a few shreds of salami to point up the Italian influence.

That pretty, dark green leafy stuff is Lacinato, also called Black Kale. It is mild – more like spinach than kale. It melts down a bit when cooked, but nothing like the disappearing act that spinach does when cooked!

I sprinkled some Smoked Paprika on the tortellini, and some French Thyme on the mushrooms.

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Battery Powered Fruitbowl

I absolutely gorge on these tangerines in the winter. So handy in their own packaging, and no added garbage ingredients.

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The Bleu Cheese Dressing Drama Continues

Without my trusty taster at hand to encourage me, to smack his lips in pure joy, and mostly to eat up the results, I am finding that I don’t have enough of an outlet for the food to really support a whole food blog.

So I will share my experiments here, and show you the fun things that I am doing with the tiny DASH products, the new-fangled portable power stations, and whatever else crosses my path.

I’m using the smaller DASH units while plugged into my small Bluetti power station that I keep on the kitchen counter – just for these experiments. I plan to get an expanded power station to accommodate the larger requirements for some of the other countertop cooking units.

The power station handily runs my six-cup Black + Decker Rice Cooker, which I use every morning to make my cooked Bob’s Red Mill Five Grain cereal.

From earlier experiments, I have found that this unit does an admirable job at producing two portions of rice in the main compartment, whilst saving room for a generous portion of vegetables and/or warming up other leftovers, or steaming a smallish piece of fish in the perforated steaming tray that nestles in to share the main compartment.

Right now it seems to be Bleu Cheese that is holding my attention. Today’s combination turned out to be very good, and I will make it again in the future.

See below for narrative.

Ingredients: Use whatever amounts appeal to your particular taste.

I am just getting to know mayonnaise. My mother always used Miracle Whip, and when I got out on my own, I made my own mayonnaise, so the jarred variety is all new to me. It has a different consistency than what I made, but I like it, and it blends well with other ingredients.

In this case, it is a scoop of mayo, a scoop of Bleu Cheese, and a scoop of sour cream – in just about equal parts. Adjust to suit your own proclivities.

After these three main ingredients were mixed together and tasted, I contemplated additions, tasted again, and came up with a perceived need for lemon juice, Italian Seasoning from Simple Truth, and Greek Seasoning from Penzey’s.

Before the salad, I had slurped a small bowl of leftover burger, cabbage, and chopped tomato soup. And after, I had some of my famous healthy chocolate pudding.

I think I will try out the rice cooker to see how it does with simmering spaghetti sauce.

The invitation is out for your suggestions as to dishes, or entire meals, that you think might be done easily in one of the DASH units, or in the rice cooker. I’m always up for a good experiment!

Also, anyone with experience with the portable power generators? I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to comment below on any aspect that you think would be of interest here. Let’s share our knowledge! ;->

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Behind the Scenes

Instead of just showing you the final result, I took an extra moment (even though I was starving!) to lay everything out first and take its portrait.

So two pictures today.

The pound-size of mixed salad greens that seem to be so ubiquitous these days make a wonderful and quick way to get a massive serving of them into one’s meal plan for the day. Sprinkled a bit of Bleu cheese on the salad, and then for the dressing, I mixed some of the bottled dressing with the Wholly Guacamole. Then on went the tomato bits from the plate.

The grilled cheese is bread I made at home from a mix from Prepared Pantry, and into which I had added some Bob’s Red Mill potato flakes. The cheese part was just Pepper Cheese from Safeway.

The bread slices came from the end of the loaf, and there was an oddly-shaped “heel” left to deal with, so I cubed it and put it into the little DASH griddle and let them dry out quickly. Half went into the salad, and the half into a jar for later consumption.

So all that to produce this:

 Virtual hugs,

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Everything has changed, especially WordPress

Is anyone still receiving my page? I am thinking about utilizing all of the food photos that I have taken over the last year or so, along with a bit of narrative about what I have found in testing out different appliances, most of them in the Tiny Tot camp.

No clue what I am doing here, but if I see any action, I’ll make an effort to figure it out.

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It’s been six plus months, and I finally made this breakfast again.

Inside of this fabulous omelette is more of what you see on the outside, i.e. Cheddar cheese, mushrooms, yellow pepper, Mexican onion tops, and ham.

More Cheddar on top of the omelette, and Swiss/Gruyére on the polenta, with roasted Hatch chiles. Liberal sprinkling of smoked paprika. Blueberries, and apple slices (sprinkled with cinnamon sugar after the photo was taken).

Not shown: Orange juice and the perfect mug of coffee – inspired by the Aero Press method – now made in an entirely new way for wonderful smoothness.

NB: I have no idea how this will look upon publishing. Many changes have happened within WordPress while I was away, and I know nothing at this point!

All hints/criticisms gratefully accepted! ;->

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NOLA Boy Needs Your Good Thoughts

NOLA Boy needs your best wishes.  He took a sudden turn for the worse on Saturday, and has been in the hospital since then.

We like to think like his blood type – B positive!

The house is so empty without him here!  Sniff . . .

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NOLA BOY – Magician

It takes powerful concentration and skill to encourage a rubber band through its routine of tricks.

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Modern Day Chuckwagon

Just a quick whistlestop en route.

Believe it or not, this bakery on the outskirts of town was a going concern at the time. Whilst set up to take these photos, several people emerged from the building. I did not investigate the contents of the bakery, though. Others in the party were anxious to move on.

A quick stroll through Google enlightened me that there is a business with this same name within the town of Tombstone, but no information on whether it was the same owners as pictured above.

Personal investigation may be in order.

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Chubby Cheekers

He’s starting to fill out nicely!

It’s been a long, hard, uphill slog, but NOLA Boy is now eating everything in sight – just like old times. He has gained back at least 15 pounds from the nadir a few weeks ago. Now that his mouth has healed, no food is safe around here!

The six weeks of radiation was a force to be reckoned with, but time eventually passed, and the calendar finally released him to home recuperation and the healing began. It took a couple of weeks for his mouth to heal sufficiently to begin stuffing in the calories.

But now? Katie, bar the door!

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Mildred Pierce – Chicken and Waffles

There are two movies called “Mildred Pierce”. The original one in 1945 starred Joan Crawford, and the later one in 2011 starred Kate Winslet. We saw the Winslet 2011 version as a mini-series, and so tracked down and watched the Crawford version. Both were good. The 1945 movie version won at least five Academy Awards. Fun Fact: This was the first Academy Awards ceremony after WW II.

But – Back to the Future

I made my version of this iconic dish with a mini-waffle and some chicken salad, topped with a dollop of potato salad.

I first purchased a package of frozen mini waffles when they were on sale one day for a dollar. They were pretty good when fresh out of the toaster, but turned rubbery as they cooled.

Enter the mini-waffle iron and its friends.

The recipe is just a cup each of milk and flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, an egg, and oil, and the output is about ten of these mini waffles that freeze very well (or keep in the refrigerator). They perk up quite nicely in the toaster, and are once again nicely crunchy. Then they can be utilized as a main course, or as an adjunct to a breakfast or lunch, or just smeared with a bit of peanut butter/jam/honey/maple syrup/cinnamon for a snack.

Comforting to know that a healthy snack is easily obtainable when the mood strikes.

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NOLA Boy Wins Another Round

After six weeks of daily weekday sessions on the table with all of those screws holding him in place, NOLA Boy has come through another round smelling like a rose. Well, if he could smell, that is.

His sense of taste and smell are pretty much gone, but expected to return – slowly – over the next few months. He has lost THIRTY pounds, but is now doing better in the eating department, so should show some signs of progress soon.

Meanwhile, high caloric meals and treats are in order! Life is tough! ;->

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Four Tenths and Eight Tenths

After an incredible “pound a day” weight loss for three weeks, NOLA Boy, upon weigh-in yesterday, had actually GAINED four tenths of a pound! Doesn’t sound like much, but the down slide was becoming a very serious thing.

This morning he actually requested solid food! Even though it is just a tiny portion of a cinnamon roll with the icing scraped off, it is a real breakthrough. The routine breakfast of soft-scrambled eggs, with heavy cream and Cheddar cheese is waiting in the wings.

The “eight tenths” in the title is the percentage of the radiation treatments that have been accomplished by this courageous man. The doctor said yesterday that he had expected NOLA Boy to be far worse by this period in the treatment regimen. But his stalwart constitution has had him pushing through the five-hour daily commute and lack of sustenance and sleep on those days to appear (at least to me!) to be holding his own, as opposed to the downhill slide that is expected at this juncture.

I have been reading the comments and “likes” to him at every post, and he has been overwhelmed by the care, concern and well wishes that have jetted his way. He is not a very social person, so the outpouring has been especially poignant for him. His total humble thanks are sent out to each and every person who has offered comfort and encouragement in this extremely challenging life experience.

Now – we need to pack about thirty pounds back on those bones!

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NOLA Boy Goes Liquid

He is supposed to get a feeding tube, but is giving Mama Judie’s Real Life Food another chance.

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Here we go again

Into the abyss . . .

Two down and 28 to go.

Posted in Gary, Radiation, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Lookin’ Gooooood !!!

It’s been a bit over a month since the surgery, and NOLA Boy has had his ups and downs. The tumor was not benign, so there will be 33 sessions of radiation coming up.

Meanwhile there are a lot of books to read, and the deck is way behind in being sat on!

On another subject . . . whose idea was it to change WordPress all around? It will likely take me a while to figure this all out for coherent postings – hopefully soon.

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Celebration Breakfast

It’s been a whole week since the surgery, and NOLA Boy is doing well.  That week has been spent eating and sleeping, but that’s what a body needs to heal.

His appetite has improved daily.  The above repast, and a glass of orange juice, disappeared in a flash.

Ingredients:  Cheesy Polenta, asparagus, grape tomatoes, bacon, cornbread, and a steam-fried Hickman’s Jumbo Egg!

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