Saturday, January 16, 2010

What I 8 Today (1-13-10)

Today was a planned carby day. Went to a highly recommended fun restaurant for lunch, got the food they're known for: burger, fries, and shakes. I ate the burger, ate only some of the fries, with chili on them, and got a small - kid sized - shake. It was my only meal of the day.

I minimized the carb impact by as much as I wanted to. If I were trying to lose weight I wouldn't have eaten the bun, and would have gotten a side salad rather then chili fries. I'd have gotten tea to drink, most likely, and the extent of my "cheat" (which it would have been in this case) might have been a taste of my husband's shake.

It was a fun family day today :).

Friday, January 15, 2010

What I 8 Today (1/12/10)

3 breakfast sausage for lunch; broiled steak with buttered asparagus and mac'n'cheese (dreamfield's, butter, swiss, cheddar, cream, cheese spread/velveeta-type) - here's a pic of supper. I was hungry so I put a lot on my plate but didn't eat it all...well, except for the asparagus. Also had heavily buttered popcorn as a snack in the evening.

We had to go to the store for some other things so we picked up some eggs (18 for $2.13 - ouch!) while we were there.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What I 8 Today

First, I think I lost a day. It was yesterday that I fixed the noodles with all the paprika, not Monday - so what did I eat Monday? I can't recall. So here we go with today:

Salad with turkey, cheese, and ranch dressing for lunch

Supper was delicious. I used a veggie mix that I get from GFS that had broccoli, cauliflower, yellow squash, zucchini, and carrots. I tossed it with olive oil and sea salt, spread it in a single layer in a baking pan, and roasted it at 425 for about 25 minutes. Then I cut up the remainder of the leftover pork roast from Sunday into bite-sized cubes and tossed it with the nearly-roasted vegetables, also adding some parmesan cheese. (There was still a lot of flavor from when I originally made the pork tenderloin also.) Returned it to the oven for another 15 minutes, during which time the vegetables browned nicely, and the pork heated through.

Can't really say the costs too easily. The turkey was 99¢ for 8 oz. on sale and the salad had maybe half an ounce. The cheese ran $2.50 for 8 oz, and I had maybe half an ounce of that. A couple Tbsp of ranch from an 8 oz, $1.19 bottle, and probably half a bag of ready-made greens that were on sale for 99¢ - a buck or less for lunch. Supper is harder; the entire pork tenderloin - about 10# - was $14.93. The big bag of vegetables, of which I used about a quarter, was $2.95ish. That last bit of roast was maybe 1.5 lbs, and I used a couple of Tbsp of olive oil which I bought for $14.95 for a gallon jug just for cooking. So supper for Pete, Casey, and I was somewhere around $3.00.

Even with the heavy cream (which I mix half and half with water in a pitcher for our coffee) and sweet'n'low and 2 pots of coffee we consume in a day, and a couple of cans of diet cola (Sav-a-Lot's Bubba brand, 20¢ per can) we ate all day for under $10, easy.

The point of this blog is to dispel the common myths that eating low carb is more expensive than eating carby, and that it is super easy, certainly no more complicated than cooking any other way. Today was yet another perfect example of that.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The "Easy" Part of Low Carb Eating! (What I 8 Today)

First meal of the day (not exactly breakfast but not exactly lunch) was a slice of leftover pork tenderloin roast and half of the single leftover roasted onion, reheated in bacon fat on the stove. It was just about as good as when I originally fixed it on Sunday!

Supper was tilapia (no coating) fried fast in olive oil/butter so the outside was browned and lots of crispy bits, but the inside was flaky, tender, and moist. On the side was a package of shiritaki noodles heated in bacon fat and seasoned with sea salt, garlic and onion powder, thyme, and paprika (lots!), then mixed with a half-cup of peas (I wanted spinach but couldn't find it in the packed freezer...there were a few frozen peas left in the bottom of a bag in there though, so I just used those) and about a cup of full-fat sour cream...have I mentioned that I LOVE sour cream? It was the color of a lovely salmon from all the paprika but totally delicious!

Both meals for Pete and I (Casey wasn't home most of the day) for about $9 too!

Shopping! The "Cheap" Part of Low Carb Eating!

I didn't post my shopping receipts in December because I bought a lot of things for the holidays that I wouldn't normally purchase. Maybe I should have done so anyway, it's not like I bought a bunch of carby stuff (although I did get a 10# bag of potatoes!) but I didn't, so we'll go on from here.

I also have a lot left over from December in the chest freezer, mostly vegetables that I had really stocked up on. I get my vegetables mostly from GFS, and the closest one is 40+ miles away. Our northern Michigan weather being what it is, I tend to keep better meat-and-vegetable inventory in the winter. Last month lots of pork and chicken on sale, not much beef. Also got some good sales on seafood and fish, most of which is now gone. So this month I was watching for beef on sale, and I found it.

On to the receipts:

I stopped at a meat market we used to frequent when we went to church in the same town; they had a sale on NY strips, sliced free, for $2.99/lb. I usually don't pay that much, even for beef, but they're NY strips after all. I bought about 15# of those, slice 3/4", and all those steaks look real nice individually wrapped and stacked in the freezer :). I also bought a loaf of dark pumpernickel bread, the little 4gN ea. party slices, as I love pumpernickel. 4 of those tiny thin slices make up 2 nice little sandwiches with ham (SF of course) and cream cheese for a nice <20gN lunch. This is the first time I've bought it, and the next day I went a little crazy and ate 10 of them toasted with butter and cream cheese; thankfully I hadn't eaten much else that day!

At Walmart I got a couple of loaves of the lowcarb (6gN/slice) that Pete likes, it's made by Aunt Millie I think, for $2.23 each; (4) quarts of heavy cream @ $3.12 each; a package of Flatout Light for myself @ $2.48 (I use half the slice, so about 20¢/serving); some chicken leg quarters @ 69¢/lb.; some 8 oz fancy shredded mixed Italian cheeses for $2.12 each; a 5# ham for $6.98 for Pete (I rarely eat it), and some baby food for my grandson :).

Then on to Sav-a-Lot: $45.61 for meat, including over 5# of chuck roasts, 4# of ground chuck, 3# of their wonderful bulk bacon (it is the best I've ever eaten!), some smoked turkey drumsticks, 3# of b/s chicken breast strips, 2 packages of sausage links and 2 packages of sausage patties; average price for the meat was $2.75ish per pound; a little high but I already have a lot of cheaper pork and chicken in my freezer. Also $4.9 for 2 heads of lettuce, 2 3# bags of yellow onions, and a 1.25 rutabaga. Then a box of cheese spread (like velveeta) for $3.99 that will last forever because we use very little of it, a box of taco shells (7gN each), 2 jars of pizza sauce (4gN/qtr.cup), and two 12-packs of diet cola for the family (again, I rarely drink it) for $13.34. A 48 oz carton of SF chocolate ice cream for $3.49 was our splurge for the day.

The month is more than 1/3 over and so far I've spent a little less than $150. I have enough meat for this month and most - if not all - of the next, and enough frozen vegetables. Plenty of cream for the rest of the month (unless I decide to do a lot of baking), and plenty of cheese. We will need to fill in with fresh produce and more eggs, and probably some snacking foods of some sort for Pete, but the bulk of our shopping for the month and into the next is done.

The cumulative effect of buying on sale is wonderful, because then there are months like this where we don't really have to buy as much, and it's great!

Monday, January 11, 2010

What I 8 Sunday/Monday

Yesterday I had a lovely 10# pork tenderloin that I wanted to roast. I seasoned it well, then roasted it with cleaned whole, medium sized onions. We had buttered green beans with it. Something so simple and so easy to prepare, but sooooo good! For an evening snack we had a dish of SF ice cream.

Today I had a late breakfast at lunchtime of my own version of oatmeal. Into a microwave-safe bowl I put a spoonful of oatmeal, 2 spoonsful of oat bran, and a spoonful of SF shredded coconut, plus about twice as much water, and nuked it for 2 minutes. When it came out I added 2 spoons of brown sugar sub (Diabetisweet is the one I use), a Tbsp of butter, and a hefty amount of cinnamon, let the butter melt, then poured on some heavy cream. Breakfast nirvana!

For supper we had some Dreamfield's. I had mine with some leftover crumbled ground beef, melted cheeses, butter, and olive oil.

Again - simple. Cheap. Delicious.

I love low carb eating!

Mixing Low Fat and Low Carb?

Last week I spent time at my sister's home as she was recovering from surgery. Her husband is on the low-fat bandwagon on the advice from his doctor (I know, I know! ) and I was working on meals that would satisfy his dietary requirements as well as ours. My sister, as far as I can tell, doesn't eat an excess of fats and has tried to eliminate processed carbs from their diets as well as gluten.

Talk about a challenge! But not impossible. Looking through the kitchen and pantry for ideas, I came up with some things that would satisfy us all, and while I wasn't as strict about what I ate as I am at home, I think it went fairly well. We didn't end up eating as many meals there as I had anticipated but I still had the ideas for a few.

Salads are great. You can start with a base of greens and raw veggies, which are common to both eating styles, and grow from there. Lean meats and croutons work for low-fatters; hard-boiled eggs, meats, and cheese are great for low-carbers, with mayo-enhanced ranch to add fats.

I was pleased to see some crispy corn tortillas without any wheat in them in their cupboard. While they were 18g per serving (3 tortillas), they would fit into many low carb plans. My sister likes hers with chopped tomato, topped with loads of melted cheese. 25g for a meal would work into my plan just fine as a lunch, with meat, buttered veg, and salad for supper - well into my 40-50gN/day. (With lots of fats and no grains I can lose well on that number; at any rate I maintain, and even lose very slowly, there.) So that was an interesting find!

One evening for supper I lightly dusted a small chuck roast with seasoned flour and seared it in olive oil. When both sides were nicely browned I lowered the heat, added a can of beef broth, and let it cook through over med-low heat. Meanwhile I sliced a carton of fresh mushrooms; during the last 15 minutes I removed the meat, stirred in a can of (fat-free) cream of mushroom soup, added the mushrooms, and put the meat back. I also had peeled and boiled some potatoes, and made some frozen chopped broccoli and some corn. At the table, I had a couple of bites of potato, a pile of broccoli, and lots of mushrooms with a little meat and a little gravy. It was delicious. The low-fatters didn't worry about the gravy or the flour or the corn of course. It worked well for us all.

These are just a few ideas. If I had to cook suppers this way every day I have no doubts that I could come up with lots of things to satisfy all. Vegetables are a mainstay for both; meats can be accomodated - a thigh with crispy skin for low-carbers, and a skinless breast brushed with olive oil and seasonings for low-fatters. Mashed potatoes for the low fatters, with some of the peelings tossed with bacon fat and crisped up for the low-carbers. There are lots of healthy natural foods that can go either way, most of the time it's in the prep (fats, sauces, gravies, etc.) that works best for one or the other.

I'm thankful I don't have to accomodate low-fatters in my everyday cooking, but now I know that, if I had to, I could.