“I’m not sure she knew where the kitchen was before her surgery.” These were the words shared by my partner Kristi with our guests this weekend after a 5 course wine and food pairing dinner we hosted in our home. I laughed because while it’s certainly an exaggeration, it wasn’t too far from the truth.
I hadn’t been much of a cook over the past few years and I think I had gotten lazy, opting for frozen, prepared, packaged or take out food to feed us. Along with so many other changes, my interest and desire to cook took a total 180 after surgery and I have loved every minute of it. I’m happy to say, so have Kristi and the friends we have over for meals these days!
When you can only eat ½ to 1 cup of food at a sitting, you find that you want that food to serve two purposes. You want it to be delicious and you want it to provide you with the nutrition your body needs. There are very few items at the drive through that meet those needs and my mantra became, “If I can only eat a little bit of food it has to be fantastic!” Out came the cookbooks and my favorite iPad apps that have thousands of recipes and a variety of ways to save, categorize and share them.
At first I was looking for simple things that I could take for lunch and below I’ve added one of my favorite go to recipes for any meal. It’s simple, tasty and protein packed which meets my cooking criteria! I’ve also gotten more adventurous when it comes to finding ways to enhance flavors, using things like Fig Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Tapanade to brighten up meats and fish.
Two nights ago Kristi made steak topped caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms and a sprinkle of blue cheese. I had never been a steak fan in the past but at 28 grams of protein for 4 ounces it was something to consider. Her amazing preparation made it easily one of my favorite meals and will be on the menu again, especially when we can take the grill out.
I’m no Martha Stewart but my shrimp summer rolls with peanut hoisin sauce are a hit and I love pulling out the mixer to whip up a batch of savory blue cheese shortbread cookies for a special occasion. I incorrectly thought that having weight loss surgery would limit my enjoyment of food but what I have found is actually the opposite. I now enjoy finding healthy and delicious meals to share with the people I love, knowing that I’m taking care of myself better than I ever have in the process.
Shelly's Confetti Bites
2 Green Onions, diced
1 (2 oz.) jar Pimentos, drained
1 Green Chili, diced (I use Ortega Whole Mild)
1/4 cup Corn Kernels, frozen defrosted
1/2 cup Colby Jack Cheese, grated
1/4 cup store bought bruschetta sauce, drained, solids only (refrigerated pasta section)
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
a few twists of Black Pepper
Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients together. Spoon into lightly greased (Pam non-stick spray works great for this) mini muffin pans. Bake for 30 minutes at 350. Let them cool a few moments they pull away and pop right out. Makes 24.
- Written by Bettina M. Straight, Employee Engagement and Communications Consultant, Human Resources, LifeBridge Health
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