Thursday, November 29, 2007

Back to the (Low Carb) Grind Again

After a few months of truly slacking off (meaning "eating lots of potatoes and sweets"), my doctor has chewed me out and said I need to get back in the low carb mode again. I can do it. I just need to plan better. Blogging about it is going to make it "public," and this should also help me get back on track.

The first thing I did after my doctor's visit was run to the grocery store to get lunch, since I need to stay away from all the fast food places near my office. (My office shares a building with the best fried chicken place in southern California, and it's so hard not to eat it when I smell it all the time!) I got a South Beach Diet frozen chicken meal. It was the Garlic Herb Chicken with Green Beans Almondine. Verdict: I have to start bringing lunch from home. I really didn't care for the chicken in this dish. The taste of rosemary was, in my opinion, overpowering. The chicken pieces were of good quality, though - not gristly or fatty. The green beans were okay. But I didn't finish all of this, so I'm filling up by drinking a Coke Zero. If you've never had one, because you've always drunk Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi, you have to give Coke Zero a try. It really tastes non-diet. I don't know how they did it. But I don't taste the artificial sweetener in it like I do with Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi.

The second thing I did was go back to Kalyn's Kitchen. She's the queen of low carb cooking and eating. Really! I've already figured out the conundrum of what to do at my weekly Friday breakfast with my pals. Oatmeal. I like oatmeal. And Kopper Kettle makes a great oatmeal. I can bring my own Splenda to sweeten it, and I'll be good all morning. I could even bring in a little peanut butter to add to it, as Alanna does. Speaking of Alanna, that's another great place to go for ideas, as she can tell you how to cook any vegetable under the sun. I like vegetables, too, which is a good thing if I have to back off the potatoes again.

So, now that my lunch break is almost over, mind mind is whirling with lists and ideas, and I can't wait to get to the commissary for my monthly grocery trip on Saturday. If I pack the right foods for our camping trips, then I'll be fine. It's when we're home that I come up with all kinds of not-good-for-me treats. Don is glad I'm doing this - he's trying to lose a little weight and get back in shape, so we get to do this together.

Stay tuned! It'll be fun!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Lake Mead, Nevada and Some Great Fried Fish

With a week off for Thanksgiving, we returned to one of our favorite winter camping places, Lake Mead. Gary had moved his motorhome to Echo Bay since Overton Beach had closed, and he invited us there to do some fishing. (Well, he invited Don to do some fishing - I enjoyed hours and hours of uninterrupted stitching time.) The bucket above represents only one afternoon of fishing, and was turned into 4 meals' worth of boneless striper fillets - plus one catfish. We ate fried fish two nights, and brought home 5 meals' worth of fish. So now I need to share with you the best way to make fried fish! This is how Gary makes it.

Fried Fish (Striper or Catfish)

1 cup Stovetop Stuffing mix (any flavor)
1 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash seasoning
1 cup flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
8-10 boneless striped bass or catfish fillets
vegetable oil (about 1/2" deep in a large skillet)

Put stuffing mix in a plastic or brown paper bag. Use a rolling pin (a can of vegetables will do in a pinch!) to crush the cubes. Combine stuffing mix, cornmeal, and Mrs. Dash in a large bowl. Place flour in a large plastic or brown paper bag. Combine eggs and milk in a shallow bowl. Shake fish fillets in flour until coated, and place in egg-milk bath. Then dredge in cornmeal-stuffing mixture, and add to hot oil. Fry until lightly browned on each side.

Sauteed Mushrooms

So simple to make, and so tasty. I used to make large pans of these, and the kids and Don and I fought over who would get the last one. I made these on our trip to Lake Mead last week - and we decided just one basket of mushrooms wasn't enough!

Sauteed Mushrooms

1 8-ounce box fresh mushrooms, stems removed
1 cup red wine (any will do)
2 Tbsp dried onion (not fresh)
1 tsp beef or chicken bouillon

Combine all ingredients in a skillet. Cook over medium heat, turning mushrooms once, until wine is almost evaporated. Serve hot.