Meal prep week of 7/23/2017 – Broccoli and cheese casserole with baked chicken; spaghetti with zoodles and side salad; low-carb blueberry cobbler

Hello again everyone!  First, my apologies for being away and not keeping up with things on the blog.  I’ve just been so incredibly busy, and time easily passes by if you’re not careful.  So again, I’ll try to be much more diligent about posting…not just for you, the readers, but for me.  Posting my meal prep and other articles about weight loss surgery on the blog is part of how I keep myself in check.  And believe me, the results of my lack of diligence has definitely shown up on the scale!  Yes, I’ve still been exercising, but I have not been losing.  I’m stuck at 90 lbs lost.  I’m certainly glad I’ve lost that amount, but the mission is far from over and I know in my heart I could have done more had I just stayed on track.  So let’s get back to the program!

For this week, I made a broccoli and cheese casserole, adopted from Ms Happy Homemaker. My boyfriend was in the mood for spaghetti, so I made up some for meal #2.  I also thought to make a dessert, so I made this easy, low-carb blueberry cobbler, which I found on Low Carb Yum.  All of it came out pretty good, but as usually I added my own tweaks and have some recommendations.


Broccoli and Cheese Casserole with Baked Chicken

With the typical broccoli and cheese casserole, you might use rice, but was looking for a lower carb alternative.  I was going to use spaghetti squash but was rushing at the store and forgot to get some.  I did happen to have some quinoa in my cupboard, and decided to use that instead.  I only used a 1/2 cup (dry) of quinoa in the entire recipe to keep the amount of carbs in check (I cooked the quinoa in low sodium chicken broth, then added to the broccoli and cheese mixture).  I used a 32 oz bag of frozen broccoli.

I basically made the dish according to the recipe, except that I sautéed the onions first in olive oil.  To make it a bit more flavorful, I used white and green onions.  I did use cream of mushroom and mayo, but I omitted the eggs.  Also, instead of using regular shredded cheese, my mom suggested using Ragu Double Cheese sauce to make it creamier.  I thought to use both shredded cheese and cheese sauce, but since too much cheese does not always agree with me (sorry, TMI!), I just went with the cheese sauce, which is fine since the carbs are not too crazy (3g per 1/4 cup serving).  It came out great, but I’d recommend to stick to the serving size if you are especially sensitive to sodium (460mg per serving just with the cheese sauce alone).

For the baked chicken, I just took some drumsticks and seasoned with black pepper, Ms Dash Fiesta Lime seasoning, just a small dash of Tony Chachere’s, and baked until well done.


Spaghetti with zoodles

My boyfriend really wanted some spaghetti, but wanted to use regular noodles.  So for him, I used Barilla Protein Plus spaghetti noodles.  I did eat a serving yesterday at dinner (38g of carbs per serving, YIKES!), but it hit me later that I had a leftover zucchini in my fridge (10g of carbs for one whole large zucchini).  So the next day, I put a zucchini through a spiralizer for the noodles to pair with the leftover spaghetti sauce.

For the sauce, I purchased Great Value Italian Chunky Pasta Sauce, to which I added a packet of McCormick Thick and Zesty Spaghetti Sauce Seasoning Mix, one pound of Jennie-O ground turkey I browned in a separate pan (and seasoned with Italian seasoning), as well as a can of diced tomatoes and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper and stevia.  Came out very zesty and hearty…and with the zoodles, a pretty healthy option. However, this is another dish to be mindful of if you are watching your sodium; the spaghetti seasoning packet alone has 410mg of sodium per serving (and 5 servings in the whole packet) and the jar of pasta sauce has 450mg of sodium per serving.  So go easy and have just a serving, and watch your sodium intake for the rest of the day.*

I paired the spaghetti with a basic garden salad, which included romaine, red onion, carrot, and radicchio.


Low-carb blueberry cobbler

I was in the mood for dessert, but didn’t want to go overboard on the sugar.  So I was delighted when I found this recipe for a low-carb, sugar free cobbler.  I made the whole thing according to plan, except that I used a half cup of stevia instead of a whole cup because I personally feel like when too much stevia is added, the dish has a very artificial taste.

I do recommend that if you serve this dish, make it a day in advanced.  It was ok the first day, had a very light taste, but tasted much better the next day.  It seemed to have a much sweeter taste that is more in line with what you think of when you eat a cobbler.  But I want to tweak it next time so that the crust hardens at bit more.

I did serve it with a single serving of Blue Bunny vanilla ice cream cups.

 

What are you all having this week?  I’d love to know!


* The American Heart Association recommends a limit of 2300mg of sodium per day, but please be sure to discuss this with your doctor so you can make the adjustments that are right for you.

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