Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Vegetable Mind Games- Return of the Butternut

I've been avoiding it... this vegetable that is actually a starch. I want to like it, but why would I give up pasta and rice to go with this thing instead?

The squash I picked up more than a month ago is still on the floor of my pantry. Not many things, human or otherwise, can say that they are more stubborn than me, but that damn squash has won.
So into the oven it went. Don't be alarmed, I chopped it to bite-sized pieces first.

This revisit was about roasting because I needed something that was warm and comforting.
Easy Roasted Butternut Squash 
1 Butternut Squash
Minimal olive oil
4 tablespoons garlic
4 tablespoons parsley
Peel and chop squash into evenly sized pieces. Toss with a scant drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper. You only need enough to barely coat the pieces.
Bake at 425 for about 20 minutes until a fork pierces a piece easily. Remove from oven.
Saute garlic and parsley with 2 tablespoons olive oil so it makes what seems like a paste.
Poor this paste on top of the roasted squash and toss to evenly cover all the pieces. Serve sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

Obviously I made more than I was allowed to eat when I roasted that, so I had planned on making 2 different versions of Butternut Bisque. Unfortunately (and fortunately) I fell in love with the first one that I made. I immediately made a second serving of the same thing and shared it with the neighbor.

I love this recipe because it is uses a lot of free exchanges.
Curried Butternut Bisque (Hypo Style)

1 cup leftover roasted butternut squash (1 carb)
1 cup water (duh... free exchange)
1 tsp chicken boullion powder (free exchange)
2 tbs shredded unsweetened coconut flake (1 fat)
3 tsp chopped ginger from the jar (free exchange)
1/2 tbs curry (free exchange)
2 tsp cumin (free exchange)
1 tsp olive oil (1 fat)
Combine leftover squash and water in a blender. I used the Magic Bullet and it was indeed magical. Blend until it resembles baby food and there are no visible chunks. Heat the ginger and coconut in olive oil in a small sauce pan for a few minutes.  Pour in the squash blend. Add boullion, curry, cumin and stir until heated through.
Serve with 1 tbs fat free sour cream (free exchange) and enjoy.

Next time I make this for myself I will try to make it a full meal. I think I'll incorporate steamed chicken, carrots, celery and bean sprouts into the mix.  

I already admitted defeat to the Butternut, but I'm actually happy about this.  I finally have a recipe with this mighty foe that is worth sharing. Plus, it is low calorie, and it is a good source of fibre, vitamin C, manganese, magnesium, and potassium. It is also an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin E.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Pico De Luncho

Some would say that my recent obsession with Pico De Gallo is that I say "Bullshit, did you read my last blog post?"
It is totally healthy, and remember it is a free exchange.
So I've had this for lunch and snack ummmm... about 4 days in a row. I would be totally willing to eat it for another week straight.

Pico De Wrappo- Hypo Style
1/4 cup Hypo Pico
1 whole wheat tortilla
1 piece string cheese
Shred string cheese evenly over tortilla. Microwave tortilla for 30 seconds or until cheese is fully melted.  Add pico down the middle of the tortilla. Fold up one end and roll like a burrito. Enjoy!

Serve with raw carrots and an orange to meet the 1 carb, 1 veggie, 1 protein, 1 fruit requirement.
This lunch doesn't include the 1 allowed fat, but can you imagine if you threw in a slice of chopped up bacon?! Yum!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Vegetable Mind Games - Tomatoes

Many years ago my husband and I reached an agreement. He would learn to like mushrooms if I learned to like tomatoes. At that point I picked them off of everything, and I didn't really care for most tomato sauces unless they were heavily processed.
Now that I'm all growed up I treat them with a little more respect.  After all they are good for me...right?
Right! Did you know that a tomato has more health benefits than an apple?
Let's get nerdy for a moment:
  • The antioxidants in tomatoes are protective against many cancers including colon, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic cancers.
  • Phytochemicals present in tomatoes (like Lycopene and carotenoids) can protect cells and other structures in the body from oxygen free radicals. Studies have shown that lycopene protects skin damage from UV rays and from prostate cancer.
  • Zeaxanthin helps protect eyes from "age related macular disease" in the elderly persons by filtering harmful ultra-violet rays.
  • They contain good levels of vitamin A, and anti-oxidants such as alpha and beta carotenes, xanthin and lutein. These compounds are known to have antioxidant properties and are essential for vision. Vitamin A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural vegetables and fruits rich in flavonoids helps to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • Good source of  vitamin-C, folate, iron, calcium, manganese and other minerals.
  • Fresh tomato is very rich in potassium. 
Now I've talked before about my infatuation with Bruschetta thanks to my dear friend Lindsey, but I'm certain I could eat anything that had been marinated in balsamic and garlic. You can find that recipe here.
This is different... my new love is Pico De Gallo. When I eat it I really taste the tomato, but I don't mind it at all. The best part is that this recipe counts as a FREE EXCHANGE according to a similar recipe published by As someone who is struggling with food restrictions, this discovery is huge for me.

So here it is with my modifications...
The Hypo Girl's Pico De Gallo
2 cups diced tomatoes
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
1 lime, juice only (heat it in the microwave to help release the juice. About 30 seconds does the trick.)
1 teaspoon salt
The instructions are simple....Mix together. Eat.
The hardest part about this recipe is limiting myself to the 1/4 cup serving size. also says you can make and keep it in the fridge for up to a day. I have had mine refrigerated for 3 days so far and it tastes just as great as it did the day I made it.

    Tuesday, April 12, 2011

    I am human hear me roar

    Someday, when I am older and wiser, I will understand that I don't need to be perfect. That will be a happy day, with less stress, and more celebrations.  I hope that day is soon.

    To recap, I had my 3 month check-up with my endocrinologist yesterday. I was a wreck leading up to it. I knew that I hadn't followed all the diet rules 100% of the time. I knew that I let my knee injury keep me from working out. And I knew that I could either have excuses or results and this time I had excuses.

    I don't keep a scale at home, my weight loss has been measured by how the pants fit. I knew that they were loose, but I also anticipated them being much looser at the 3 month mark. Because of this I was ready for a verbal lashing from the doctor. Anyway... in 3 months I have shed 15 pounds. At 5 pounds a month it isn't a dramatic change, but it's still in the right direction.

    There was no verbal lashing from the fact he was very supportive. I've had success such as giving up sugar and accepting this change.  I've also learned to tell when my blood sugar is low and when my crazy emotional outbursts are sugar related and when they aren't.

    So here we go... 3 months till the next check-up and a 12-hour fasting blood test.  This round I'm aiming for 20 pounds. That means about a pound and a half to lose a week...that's totally doable...right?

    Monday, April 11, 2011

    Nerves and Priorities... a quick rant.

    I have been soooooo hungry lately...and tired...and this headache is a constant occurrence in my life.
    I can blame it on my lack of transportation, and the fact that I haven't had a B-12 injection in 3 weeks. (Side note, in addition to Hashimoto's and being Hypoglycemic I also have Pernicious Anemia and get B-12 injections every 2 weeks. Yes, I'm broken.)
    But really, the reality is that I haven't made myself a priority. I do ok in the morning when the desire to do the right thing is strong... but during the rest of the day it slowly unwinds.
    Snack times have been few and far between and I find myself moving the carb and protein snack to add in my lunch or dinner. I understand that the purpose is to eat small meals that will sustain me throughout the day, but it is really hard to schedule them. It's easy to make work or friends or family a priority, but how do I make snack time a priority?
    Of course, this is much bigger than snack time. My priorities come into play with work outs, and weekend meals and don't even get me started on social events.
    So back to the title... the nerves. I realized this week that my follow-up appointment is looming uncomfortably close. I'm not ready. I have NOT been great about following the rules 24/7. I don't think I've lost enough weight to pacify the evil doctor. And every single excuse I have thought of comes down to me not having my priorities in the right place.
    I don't want to go.

    Tuesday, April 5, 2011

    Smoked Salmon Stuffed Mushrooms

    I really love mushrooms, and I could put them in almost anything. This week I wanted to create an appetizer to rival those I would find at a restaurant on the water. 
    Here in the Pacific Northwest we love our salmon, and from this thought process my latest obsession was born.

    Stuffed Mushrooms for the NW Hypo Girl
    3 tablespoons fat free sour cream
    3 tablespoons fat free cream cheese
    4 ounces smoked salmon, finely shredded
    1 absurdly large roma tomato, thinly chopped
    1 stalk green onion, thinly sliced
    Johnny's salt, (or seasoning salt of your choice) to taste
    Garlic powder, to taste
    1 pound fresh mushrooms

    Preheat the oven to 350. While you are waiting for it to heat up, combine everything except the mushrooms until it is well blended. 
    Wipe the mushrooms clean with a damp towel. Remove stems. Spoon out the gills. Discard gills and stems. 
    Fill the mushroom caps with the filling, and place them in an ungreased shallow baking dish. 
    They take about 15 minutes to bake.
    Round out the meal with a few slices of grilled pineapple chopped up and tossed into a 1/3 cup of plain couscous.

    After my family steals a few mushrooms (which they always do) this meal satisfies my dinner requirement of 1 carb, 2 veggie, 2 protein, 2 fat, 1 fruit.

    This same recipe also works well with imitation crab instead of the smoked salmon.
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