Fake Mashed Potatoes

Everyone is on a health kick these days. One of the biggest things, other than kale chips, is the cauliflower. In the 90s, you either steamed it or added cheese and bread crumbs to it. However, since 2010 cauliflower seems to have been deemed almost a “super fruit” in the veggie world. You can mash it to make it a pizza crust. You can hide it in casseroles. The favorite is as a healthy alternative to that starchy potato.

I made my own recipe and l’ll be honest, it was amazing.

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Fake Mashed Potatoes

1 medium head of cauliflower
3 oz of cream cheese
1 tablespoon of butter
2 dashes of pepper
2 dashes of salt
1 clove of garlic, chopped

DIRECTIONS:

Boil cauliflower until tender. Drain water.

Mash cauliflower with masher.

Add cream cheese, salt, pepper, and butter to mash cauliflower. Stir until nicely combined.

Eat as is OR put it in the oven for 20 minutes at 350° until the top of the mashed cauliflower is a little roasted.

Serves 6. Calories: 80, Carbohydrates: 3 grams, Sugar: 2 grams

The After Thanksgiving Breakfast

There’s always leftovers. Always. What do you do with these leftovers so that you won’t end up eating the same thing for what seems like days on end?

If you made some sort of roasted veggie dish – green beans, mushrooms, or a sweet potato carrot dish with onions and mushrooms like I did, then you can make a simple breakfast that is amazing, filling, and succulent.

Yummy breakfast

The day after Thanksgiving Breakfast 

sunny side up egg
roasted vegetables

DIRECTIONS

Make a sunny side up egg in a frying pan.

While cooking the egg, place roasted vegetables on a plate and heat in the microwave for 1minute.

When egg is done, put onto of roasted vegetables.

Makes 1 plate. Obviously I can’t put the nutritional value because I have no clue what roasted vegetables you used. If there’s potatoes, then you will have a starch. Chopped sweet potatoes, all though a starch, does lower blood sugar. The egg is packed with protein needed to start your day. Therefore it is important to have a protein in your breakfast.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Turkey day!

This is the first Thanksgiving dinner I have ever made. Mumika drove up last night and commented on how great it was not to have to cook. Usually she starts cooking around 7AM. I, however had a game plan. I put together all this dishes that needed extra time yesterday and spent all of today chopping veggies. In the end, I only spent about 3 hours in the kitchen total cooking.

Although, I do find it interesting how we take a whole week off of our lives just to cook one meal all day. We cook, and we cook, and we cook, then the dinner is finished after what seems like forever and we never think of eating while we’re cooking so we are starving on top of that, and then we spend like 15 minutes eating this one meat, four sides, two bread meal. At least there is this thing called left overs. However, by the time you’ve eaten all the left overs, Christmas is near and the whole process starts over again.

My Thanksgiving Table

My Thanksgiving Table

 

My yummy plate of awesome Turkey!

 

My husband deep fried an awesome turkey. On half was injected with this creole spicy awesomeness known as Texas Butter. Had a good kick to it. And the other half of the turkey was injected with a herb and garlic marinade. We had to strain because it was way to think and pieces in it that kept blocking the hole of the injector.

Needless to say we are definitely doing fried turkeys from here on out. No more taking 5 hours to roast a turkey and you can fry one in under an hour. And next time, it’s going to be Puerto Rican Turkey we will fry. Nomnomnomnom.

 

 

Pound Cake

If you have seen my Thanksgiving Menu, you would have noticed that a Tiramisu is on that menu as one of the desserts.

Mumika has been making Tiramisu since I was a teenager. But this post isn’t about her awesome tiramisu. Nope, it is not.

Tiramisu is made by using sponge cake, lady fingers, or pound cake. We use pound cake. For years, Mumika used the Sara Lee pound cake but since I’m making her Tiramisu, I’m doing it my way. All from scratch. Which means, I have to make the pound cake.

This is a plain pound cake. It calls for the normal stuff and one weird one – sour cream. I wouldn’t call it a secret ingredient because I came across a whole spew of huh, I didn’t know that was in it ingredients. I went to the grocery store today to get everything I had forgotten yesterday and still managed to forget the sour cream. Luckily, I had some at my in laws. Also, this recipe called for 2 cups of sugar and 4 eggs. I reduced the sugar to 1 cup and decided to take an egg out so it wouldn’t taste eggy. I decided to use 2% milk instead of whole because a) it was my in laws gallon, b) there was hardly anything in that gallon, and c) even though there is usually another gallon of milk in the fridge, there wasn’t one this time. That and the fact that I’m using their eggs so that they won’t go bad is bad enough.

It makes two loaves.

poundcake

Pound Cake

2 sticks of butter
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup 2% milk
1/2 cup sour cream (I used fat-free)
1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

Spray two loaf pans with cooking spray, then line them with wax paper and spray cooking spray on the wax paper.

In a small bowl combine milk, sour cream, and vanilla. Stir until combined. You may see flakes of sour cream in the milk mixture before you use it.

Mix butter and sugar in separate bowl until light and fluffy.

Beat eggs into the butter and sugar one egg at a time.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Make sure it is well integrated.

Add the flour and milk mixture to the eggs, alternating between the dry and wet mixtures. Always start and end with the flour mixture. You are going to have to use those are muscles for stirring the batter. That’s ok, just think of it as a work out. Burning calories to allow you to eat one slice.

Divide the batter between loaf pans and smooth top with a spatula.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Take loafs out and let cool in loaf pan for 10 minutes. Take pound cake out of pan and have it cool down some more.

Serves 30, 1/2 inch slices. Calories: 135, Carbohydrates: 17 grams, Sugar: 7 grams, Protein: 2 grams.

Keep in mind this is a plain pound cake recipe. If a recipe calls for pound cake and you have the time and ingredients to make it, this would be the recipe to use. This way you don’t have to go into the freezer section of the grocery store, look at how pretty much there is only Sara Lee pound cake and it only comes in butter flavor. Not to mention one slice of Sara Lee has 135 calories, 25 grams of carbs and 15 grams of sugar. Now you know why I stress the importance of controlling what goes into your body by making things from scratch. Sure you could go the easy way, but I don’t know if you have noticed – pound cake is pretty addictive, you can’t eat just one slice. I’ve watch Mumika eat 1/2 a Sara Lee loaf in one sitting. Okay it was more or less, much on the pound cake while cooking dinner but that is beside the point. Make the pound cake and have no guilt. Besides, this recipe make two loaves! Use one, freeze the other and save a trip to the grocery store. Win-Win for everybody!

I would wait until it is completely room temperature before eating it. I usually can’t so the first slice is always ruined on me.

This pound cake is suitable to use for tiramisu and strawberry shortcakes.

 

Fake Mashed Potatoes – cream cheese vs. milk and butter

Two Christmases ago, Mumika had to radically change our holiday dinners. Originally we would have candied yams with marshmallow topping (which Pamina and I never ate), stove top stuffing, green bean casserole, creamy mashed potatoes, carrots and potatoes that were around the turkey while it cooked, the Puerto Rican turkey, cheesecake, tiramisu, trifle, gravy. And there usually was only three of us – Mumika, Me, and Pamina. Later it would be Mumika, Me, and Bryan and then recently Pamina finally made it home for the holidays and brought her husband Warren with her so we would be up to 5.

In 2011, the day after black Friday, I went into diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) where my blood sugar was nearly 1500 and I nearly shot out my kidneys. After a week of being in a medically induced coma, I woke up to being on dialysis (which thank god I’m off of) and was discharged literally 12 days before Christmas. Mumika decided to revise her holiday menu so that I could eat everything and not worry about carb count. The two major things she replaced was the candied yam casserole thing with baked sweet potato slices and the mashed potatoes with a mashed cauliflower/potato mixture. She also made her own stuffing instead of stove top. Everyone loved the new mashed “potatoes” and claimed it was better than the real dish.

Last Christmas, she tried to make a fake mashed potato without doing a half cauliflower half potato like the year before. It was good but not as great as the year before.

I think the problem was she only used milk and butter. So I went to the internet looking up 15 different cauliflower mash recipes. A lot of them had pointless ingredients and as always I try to find the most simplest. I don’t want cheese or chives or green onions and what have you in my fake mashed potatoes.

But I noticed, cream cheese was a constant. Mumika’s mashed potatoes always used cream cheese with a small amount of mayo. I’m definitely not putting mayo in this, but maybe what was missing was that cream cheese.

Needless to say, I’m making up my own recipe from all the other recipes I went through. Hopefully it will work.

Thanksgiving Menu

Thanksgiving is upon us. Seeing that the in laws will be in the Dayton area celebrating with one of their daughters, the hubby and I are left to our own devices. Bryan’s brother lives in a north Houston suburb and his other sister lives next to his parents. Usually his parents host Thanksgiving, but one of their daughters are pregnant, therefore she will be hosting the parents.

I know what you’re thinking. Why not go to the sisters house? A) I don’t believe we were invited and B) both Bryan and I work black Friday. It’s just easier if we stay home and make our own traditions. That and I don’t want to impose my dietary requirements on anyone. Also, I have never made a Thanksgiving dinner. Mumika usually does it. And yes, I am totally okay with influencing my Mumikas dinner because she likes to eat healthy.

I think the big thing is Bryan wants to start traditions, which I am totally for. And Mumika may come up. Its major. Very major.

So it took me a few days but I came up with my menu.

There will be no appetizers, because it’s pointless with only 2 or 3 people there. 6 maybe. 8 and over, definitely.

Fried Turkey – hubby will make it.

Fake mashed potatoes

Asperagus and green bean wrapped  in bacon

Roasted carrots and sweet potatoes

Mushroom stuffing muffins

Gravy

Dessert : Apple cinnamon tart

                 Tiramisu

 

Look for pictures and recipes on Thanksgiving and after.

 

Slow cooker Lasagna

A few days ago, I had a day off. I usually have Sundays and Mondays off. Sunday because my boss is a devout Christian and believes Sundays are for family. Monday because my boss is usually at the studio she owns working.

So it’s my day off. I wake up, take care of the puppies, feed the puppies, read for a few hours, go to the store to get food and snacks, shower, water my garden, play with the puppies and have dinner cooked by the time Bryan gets home. It’s called being a good wife. And I know I’m a really really good wife. Obviously I was born for this. Well this, motherhood (one day), and being a daughter. And a loyal friend. It’s extremely Virgo of me despite the fact that most people have a hard time believing I’m a Virgo.

What I don’t understand, and please don’t get mad when you read this, is housewives that don’t do anything all day? They do nothing. And when their husband comes home starving, there’s nothing on the table. I would think you could at least put dinner on the table, but some fail to do even that. If the husband works, brings home the money, that means you cook and keep everything in order. I’m not damning housewives in general, I know for a fact I could never be one, I would go insane. But if I can have a meal on the table at the end of the day after coming home from work, why on earth are some housewives not be able to? Piecing together a meal is not that hard. Or is it? So if you’re a housewife that takes care of the house, the kids, and has dinner ready by the time your husband comes home, I applaud you. Because, there is no way I could do that. I have to go to work, it’s the only way to stop me going on massive killing sprees induced by boredom.

But I had a day off, and stressed to my husband how I was able to cook a delightful meal and get other things done before he came home. Because that’s what wives are supposed to do. Blame the English/Puerto Rican upbringing on this very old way of thinking.

This recipe originally called for 29 oz of tomato sauce. I just could not do that, the amount seemed absolutely ridiculous to me. So I decided to do one can of tomato sauce and one can of stewed tomatoes which put together equaled 29 oz. The stewed tomatoes really give you that tomato-y taste that everyone loves in homemade lasagna.

lasagna

Slow Cooker Lasagna

1 pound lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 (14 oz) can of Italian stewed tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2  (12 ounce) package lasagna noodles
15 oz of ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
16 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoon of Italian seasonings

DIRECTIONS

Season ground beef with Italian seasoning and brown it until no longer pink, drain the fat.

Add garlic and onions and cook until onions are tender.

Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, stewed tomatoes, oregano, and salt. Mix until well combines. Bring heat up to a simmer.

Simmer until meat mixture if fully cooked.

While meat is simmering, combine parmesan, ricotta, and mozzarella cheese together in a small bowl.

Once meat mixture is cooked, remove from heat.

Get crock pot/slow cooker. Put a little of the meat mixture into the bottom of the crock pot. Then add a layer of uncooked lasagna noodles (you may have to break the noodles to fit). Then cover the noodles with some of the cheese mixture.

Continue this layering (meat, noodles, cheese) until all mixtures are used up.

Put setting on low for 4 – 6 hours, or put on High for 1 hour and then low for an hour.

serves 8. Calories: 561, Carbohydrates: 40 grams, Sugar: 11 grams, Fiber: 5 grams, Protein: 47 grams.

Remember that fiber rule I wrote about (4 grams or over you can deduct from the carbs)? The new carb count will be 35 grams. So even though this can be considered a mid level carb count, this version of Lasagna is very healthy for you. 1 serving will fill you up to the point of bursting. Not only that, but since you’re only using roughly 10 strips of lasagna in a huge slow cooker, it reduces the calorie and carb count without sacrificing flavor.

Honey Fried Bananas

I’m on a less than 5 ingredient kick lately.

I found this on recipe on facebook and was intrigued. I love fried bananas. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. I’m half Puerto Rican, it’s in my nature. When I was little, Mumika would bring home baby bananas and fry them with eggs for breakfast. Hell, A good dinner to me is tostones (fried plantain) with two sunny side up eggs. I dip my tostones in the yolk, so amazing. If fried bananas are on the dessert menu, trust me – I always order them. Brazilian Steakhouse with their fried banana as a side makes me insanely happy. So, I bought me some bananas and gave this recipe a go.

After I ate this version of yumminess, I looked at the carb and sugar content of honey.

17 grams of Carbs for one tablespoon of honey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 16 grams of sugar!!!!!!!!!!

There are ONLY 12 GRAMS of carbs and sugar in 1 TABLESPOON of WHITE SUGAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 14 GRAMS of carbs and 13 GRAMS of sugar in BROWN SUGAR!!!!!!!! 8 GRAMS of carbs and sugar in POWDERED!!!!!!!!!!!

And they CLAIM HONEY is BETTER for you than SUGAR! I’ll eat sugar any day of the bloody week. Honey can take it’s overabundance of carbs and sugar and shove it. What the bloody hell are these crazed supposed health freak homeopathic idiots thinking?!?! Honey is glorified sugar with the health food stamp of approval.

So yeah. This has become more of a warning post instead of an actual healthy eating post. It’s a warning that sometimes healthy eating is not healthy eating but horrible eating posing as a hey sugar is bad so try this instead. Bullocks! Bloody Hell, my whole bloody breakfast is shot from eating these damn “Healthy” bananas. So angry and frustrated. I mean, I just blew my breakfast carb count on this and can only drink water to make sure I don’t go over. Juice, nope. Not even watered down. Milk, nope. Tea, nope because I put milk and sugar in it. Coffee, I do the same with my coffee as my tea so no go there.

The only thing that’s good about this whole disaster is that the bananas are slightly green meaning less sugar but it won’t cancel out the damn honey.

At least it tasted good.

honeybanana

Honey Fried Bananas

1 slightly green banana
3/4 tablespoon of honey
1 tablespoon water
sprinkle of cinnamon

Directions:

Slice banana. Spray skillet with cooking spray and toss banana slices in once skillet is hot.

Flip bananas over for an even sear and remove from heat.

While waiting for bananas to cook, whisk together the honey and the water in a small bowl. After bananas are removed from heat, pour honey mixture over bananas. Lots of bubbling will occur as the honey mixture evaporates.

After bananas cool down, sprinkle with cinnamon and eat.

serves 1 person. Calories: 100, Carbohydrates: 25 grams, Sugar: 18 grams, Fiber: 4 grams, Protein: 1 gram.

There’s 4 grams of dietary fiber. Awesome. This means I can deduct those grams of fiber from the carbs making it only 21 grams of carbs. 4 and over you can deduct. But it’s only 4 grams of fiber or over. But still, Honey – you are evil.

Oreo Truffles

You might have started noticing, I have a sweet tooth. It’s the diabetes. The only thing I craved before my diabetic days was cookie cake and ice cream sundaes and trifle and Mumika’s cheesecake. And then I got the diabetes.

Sugar. It’s the devil. It runs through my veins begging me to get more of that glorious sweet sweet nectar. I crave sugar every second of every hour of every day of every month of every year.

It also doesn’t help that my father was English and the English do love their sweets. Growing up, Mumika always had a cake or brownie or pie in the oven twice a week. My husband also has a sweet tooth and gets the munchies. It only makes sense that I bake at least once a week some sugary confection. It’s part of my upbringing, heritage, culture, and diabetic makeup.

However, I rather bake than buy these baked goods off the shelf. I might not be in control of my sugar cravings (when I go to the grocery store, I walk around the bakery to smell the sugary goodness that way I won’t buy anything), but I am in control of what ingredients I put in my mouth.

These oreo truffles are a cinch to make without breaking your budget and perfect for those horrid potluck parties that seem to spring up during the holiday season. Even better, there’s only three (3!) ingredients! Also, you can either use white or milk chocolate, or a combo of both. There are two ways to make these truffles. The easy and the give you a little workout before you eat the truffles that way everything cancels out way.

oreo 2 oreo1

Oreo Truffles

30 oreos, crushed
1 8oz block of cream cheese, softened
10 oz of chocolate, melted

DIRECTIONS

Easy:

Put 30 oreos and the cream cheese in a food processor and chop until the consistency of dough forms.

Boring!

Put some muscle into it:

Put 30 oreos into a bowl, get out a sturdy glass and crush them until they are a powdery dust. It’s a great way to develop arm muscles and get rid of stress and anger. Imagine everything that has been problematic and crush those oreos!

After the oreos are crushed nicely, add the softened cream cheese and mix it in the bowl until it resembles cookie dough.

I personally like the put some muscle into it – it’s a work out and a stress reliever! Perfect for diabetic everywhere.

The rest of the directions:

Form little 1 inch balls with your hands or a melon baller and place on a wax paper lined baking sheet. Then put the truffles into the fridge for an hour to firm up.

Right before you take the truffles out, heat up the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl for 1 minute. Stir around 30 seconds. Make sure the chocolate does not harden.

Dip truffles into chocolate with forks and coat. Place the coated truffle back on the baking sheet and put back into the fridge so that the chocolate becomes a hardened shell of yumminess.

If you want to be all fancy, take 4 oreos and crush them to sprinkle over chocolate coating.

Makes 45 truffles. Per 1 truffle: Calories: 73, Carbohydrates: 8 grams, Sugar: 6 grams, Protein: 1 gram.

I found these to be highly rich. My husband warned me they were rich. He likes to warn me about the sweets before I eat them, I don’t know why, but he does. Must be a manly protect wife from her diabetic ways kind of thing. My husband ate 5 of these and downed a glass of milk. Turns out they go great with milk. Maybe Santa would enjoys these, for those of you with kids. I, on the other hand, could only eat 1. ONE! I got through one and was like, okay I’m done.

Beef and Rice Stuffed Tomatoes

When I came home from undergrad, I took over the dinners. It was one of those, hey thanks for letting me live here sort of deals.

I was tired making spaghetti like every week so I made this up and gave it to my mumika. It was originally stuffed bell peppers. She said it was okay but thought it would be better with tomatoes. She also liked the meat mixture by itself.

When I got married and made this for my husband I wasn’t sure if he was going to like the peppers so I used two tomatoes along with the peppers. He loved the tomatoes. He prefers the tomatoes. Hence the tomatoes and not the bell pepper. Besides, stuffed bell pepper seems to be a norm when stuffing things.

beef tomatos

Beef and Rice Stuffed Tomatoes

6 tomatoes, pulp taken out and saved
1 green pepper, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 pound ground beef
1 cup cooked rice
shredded cheese, garnish

DIRECTIONS:

Take the pulp out of the tomatoes and set aside pulp. Put hollowed tomatoes in a 8×8 baking dish.

Brown ground beef until no longer pink. Drain the fat.

Add onions, garlic, bell pepper, tomato pulp, and rice to the ground beef. Stir until well combined. Cook beef and rice mixture until the onion and tomato pulp is tender.

Spoon beef and rice mixture into hollow tomatoes. Sprinkle cheese on top and put in over for 15 minutes at 350.

serves 6. Calories: 455, Carbohydrates: 42 grams, Sugar: 7 grams, Fiber: 3 grams, Protein: 31 grams

If there is a little bit of the beef and rice mixture left over, don’t fret. Freeze it for next time. Or eat it the mixture the next day. You can also use bell peppers instead of tomatoes. If you choose to do this, chop one large tomato up to put in the beef mixture.