Sunday, October 17, 2010

All Kinds of Ugly Green Beans

I know these are anything but attractive, but you will just have to trust me when I say they are delicious. Erik and Tanner don't even miss french fries anymore when we make hamburgers and Erik even bought more green beans last week and requested that I make more.

These make a great low carb snack or a great accompaniment to any meal you might normally have fries with.

There are a couple of ways you can bake these...longer time at a lower temp (which I've heard yields better results if you are wanting them a bit crispy) or at a higher temp for a shorter amount of time. I've only done the latter so far and the result is a kind of chewy texture. I'm going to give the other method a try to see how they taste crispy. I'll include instructions for both methods.


-1 lb green beans (many swear by frozen, but so far, I've used fresh) Canned green beans have too much moisture so don't try them.
-1 to 2 tblsp EVOO
-sea salt
-Tony Cachere's Original Creole Seasoning (this is optional, but it gives them a slight kick that I love!)


1. If you are using fresh green beans, snap off the ends and throw in a ziplock baggie. When you are done preparing the beans, pour 1-2 tblsp into the baggie and close and then mix up the beans until they are completely coated with the oil. If you are using frozen, just snip off the top of the bag and pour 1-2 tblsp of EVOO into the bag and mix until coated.

2. Pour onto a shallow metal cookie sheet or baking pan and sprinkle with kosher salt and cachere's seasoning. The Cachere's seasoning has salt in it so be mindful of this.

3. CRISPY BAKING INSTRUCTIONS: If you want to try the crispy method, bake at 275º for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours until the beans are turning dark and crispy but not burnt. After about half an hour, flip using a spatula and sprinkle with cachere's seasoning and a bit more salt. You can continue to flip every 30 minutes, but I wouldn't season them more than twice. You may need to keep a close eye on them towards the end as they can go from crisp and tasty to charcoal quickly.

FASTER BAKING INSTRUCTIONS: I put the oven at 400. After about 30 minutes I use a spatula to flip them and then sprinkle the other side with Cachere's and a bit of sea salt. Bake for another 20 and flip again until they start to brown. I had a few come out crispy using this method so if you cook them long enough, they might crisp up for you however, I've been told the slower method is great for crisping up the outside and leaving the inside kind of soft and sweet (almost like a fried onion).

4. Store leftovers in the refrigerator in a baggie and microwave for a minute or so to crisp back up.

Number of Servings: 6

Get complete nutritional information for this here

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Chili Relleno Casserole with Mock Mexican Rice

Easy, Yummy and low carb. If you want to reduce the carb count, reduce the amount of chili's you use by half. I've made it both ways and it tastes fine either way.

Ingredients for Chili Relleno Casserole:

1 onion chopped
evoo 1 tblsp
1/2 lb ground turkey
1/2 lb ground beef
4 (7 ounce) cans whole green chile peppers, drained
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
8 ounces Longhorn or Cheddar cheese, shredded
4 eggs, beaten
1 (5 ounce) can evaporated milk
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 (14 ounce) can enchilada sauce
2-4 cloves of garlic minced
salt and pepper to taste

Directions for Chili Relleno Casserole:

. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Heat a pan with your tblsp of EVOO and add your chopped onion. Cook until just beginning to brown a bit (the browning will add flavor but you don't want your onion ALL browned.
3. Add your meat and brown meat. Add your garlic and cook a minute or so longer and set aside.
4. Get your pan and lay 12 oz of the chilies across the bottom of the pan. (make sure to spray it with a nonstick spray first). Add half your meat/onion mixture, sprinkle with half of the Jack and Cheddar cheeses, and cover with remaining chilies. Repeat with meat and cheese.
5. In a bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, and flour, and pour over the top of the chilies.
6. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, pour enchilada sauce evenly over the top, and continue baking another 15 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining Jack and Cheddar cheeses and broil for a few minutes (if desired, you can also just add the cheese without broiling), and serve.

Number of Servings: 12

Complete Nutritional Information for this recipe can be found here

Ingredients for Mock Mexican Rice:

-1/2 head medium cauliflower
-one large onion chopped
-half red bell pepper, chopped
-half yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped
-2 tblsp minced garlic (we like garlic, but you can reduce this if you don't)
-1 14 oz can stewed tomatoes mexican recipe
-1 tblsp EVOO
-2 tblsp Fiesta Spanish Rice Seasoning

Directions for Mock Mexican Rice:

. Using the largest set of holes on your grater, grate the cauliflower and set aside.
2. Heat EVOO in pan on med high heat and add onions and bell peppers. When they are softened and browned slightly, add the garlic and stir allowing to cook another minute or so.
3. Add the cauliflower and stir to coat with mixture in the pan.
4. Add tomatoes and some of the liquid. I crush the tomatoes in my hand as I add them to the pan rather than try to chop them up (much faster). add just enough liquid to moisten the mixture and help the cauliflower cook. You don't want to water it down too much.
5. Stir in the spanish rice seasoning and cook until cauliflower is soft, but still somewhat firm as you don't want it to turn to mush.

Number of Servings: 8

Full Nutritional Information for this recipe can be found here

NOTE: one serving of the casserole actually lasts about three meals for me so if you've had any kind of bariatric surgery, you will want to figure your nutritional info based on how much of the one serving you ate. When I add a dollop of the mexican "rice" I could only eat about a third of one serving of the casserole.

Asian Salmon with Cauliflower Fried Rice

Found a better picture, but that is obviously Tanner's portion. I think it looks like a much bigger portion because I used a smaller plate to trick him into thinking he was getting a larger portion lol.

I found this amazing blog and this was the first recipe I tried. I definitely recommend visiting her blog on a regular basis for more delicious recipes like the one below;

Has a bit of sugar so can be a bit carby, but still a tasty option.

Ingredients for Asian Salmon:

-Atlantic Salmon 6 oz
-2 tbsp soy sauce
-2 tbsp sesame oil
-2 garlic cloves minced
-1.5 inch piece of ginger (grated)
-1 tbsp brown sugar (can use splenda brown sugar blend or half brown sugar and half splenda which is the same thing)

Directions for Asian Salmon:

1. Put all in a bowl and mix together.
2. Put salmon in a baking dish and pour marinade over the salmon. Cover with saran wrap and put in the fridge. Marinate 1-4 hours.
3. When you are ready to cook it, heat a pan to medium high heat. No need to add oil because there is oil in the marinade.
4. Put salmon in top down (you can remove the skin if you prefer) and cook for about 6-8 minutes on each side.
5. top with chopped green onions and sesame seeds to make it purdy.

Number of Servings: 2 (for me, it was more like 4 with the rice)

Complete Nutritional Information for this recipe here

The mock fried rice is SO good, I dare you to make it for your family and see if they notice it isn't fried rice. Erik was skeptical and I had to practically FORCE him to add some to his plate, but he called me from work to tell me how AWESOME he thought it was!! I want to try and adapt this a bit more to make with less oil. If I come up with a better adaptation I'll tweak the recipe here.

Ingredients for Mock Fried Rice:

Cauliflower medium head
6 tblsp oil
3 tbsp sesame oil
3 cups fresh bean sprouts
4.5 tbsp soy sauce
9 stems of green onions
3 egg
1 pack of simply asia fried rice seasoning (use 2 tsp or just a pinch if you are cutting in half)

Directions for Mock Fried Rice:

1. Shred the cauliflower using the biggest holes on a grater. Put aside.
2. Heat a large skillet on medium high heat. Add oil and garlic and sauté for a minute or two (don’t let it burn).
3. Add cauliflower, soy sauce, sesame oil and bean sprouts. Saute in pan for about 5 minutes. Mix well to make sure cauliflower gets covered in sauce.
4. Push the cauliflower to one side of the pan and crack the egg. Scramble it. When egg is cooked, add it to the rest of the cauliflower mixture.
5. Add a pinch of the fried rice seasoning and taste it. A little goes a long way so be careful.
6. Add green onions and mix everything in the pan for a few more minutes and serve.

NOTE: as noted on the website, this may not keep well so you may want to make just enough for your meal.

Number of Servings: 6

Full Nutritional Information on this Recipe can be found here

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Protein Packed Broccoli Salad

It may not sound like all of these ingredients could possibly come together to make something edible, much less delicious, but I'm here to tell you that you are in for a pleasant surprise! This is another recipe I've looted from All Recipes and adapted to suit those who might be watching carbs, fat, or both.

This has become a favorite of mine because of its tangy sweet flavor and because it allows me to eat some veggies and increase my protein consumption at the same time. As a VSGer, I know that I have to get protein in first and quite honestly, by the time I've done that, I don't have a lot of room for veggies or anything else and I started to miss them. I can actually have a few bites of this without feeling like I'm sacrificing protein for the chance to nibble on something different.

This is a favorite of Tanner's too, he loves it!

• 10 slices of turkey bacon (I use Oscar Meyer)
• 1 head of fresh broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
• ¼ cup of red onion, chopped
• ½ cup of raisins or green seedless grapes (I prefer the grapes)
• 3 tblsp white wine vinegar
• 2 tblsp splenda
• 1 cup low fat or fat free Mayo (note most of the fat comes from the mayo and the sunflower seeds)
• 1 cup sunflower seeds (optional; it tastes really good without them, but they add protein and good fats)


1. Cut broccoli into bite-sized pieces and throw in a cold pot with water. Bring to a boil and then immediately strain and set aside. This will soften up the broccoli, but still leave it firm with a bit of crunch. It will also help preserve all the nutrients in the vegetable.
2. Fry bacon according to the instructions and set aside. When cool, chop it up.
3. In medium sized bowl, combine broccoli, onion and grapes/raisins. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, splenda and mayo (when I make it, I don’t do this, I just throw everything in one bowl and then mix it all together because I’m lazy like that).

If you just LOVE doing dishes and want to be a hot shot chef and do everything “by the book” then by all means, grab that extra bowl and mix the vinegar, splenda and mayo together and then pour over broccoli mixture and toss until well mixed.

Note for Bariatric Eaters: If you are a bariatric eater, you can add some unflavored protein powder like Pure Unflavored Protein Isolate to the mayo mixture. If you are adding the protein powder, then I would recommend mixing the mayo mixture separately, adding the protein powder, mixing it up well and letting it sit for about 5 minutes. Stir it again and then add to the broccoli mixture. Pure will add between 12-24g of protein to the entire recipe depending on how many scoops you use.

4. Refrigerate for at least two hours. The longer the better actually as it allows all the flavors to come together. It is great made the day before.
5. Before serving, toss salad with the bacon and sunflower seeds.

Serves 12
Nutritional Information: 130 calories, 8 carbs, 10g fat, 5.5g protein

If the fat content scares those of you who aren’t eating the minuscule portions Bariatric Eaters are eating, you can try reducing the amount of turkey bacon (which comprises 30g in the whole recipe) or reducing the amount of sunflower seeds (64g in 1 cup).

Using fat-free mayo instead of low-fat mayo may reduce your fat further, but it may also increase the carb count so if you are carb-conscious, you may want to stick with regular mayo or low-fat.

Turkey Burgers w/Bleu Cheese and Red Onion

I found this recipe at one of my favorite recipe spots online. The only change I made was to make them using ground turkey vs. ground sirloin. I was surprised at how high the fat count still was, but if you are craving a burger, this is definitely a much lower fat version with lots of flavor. I was only able to eat half so the fat count works just fine for me and other bariatric eaters.

• 2 lbs. ground turkey
• 1 medium red onion chopped
• ½ (1 oz) Packet of Ranch Dressing Mix
• 4 oz. Bleu Cheese


1. You can either make these in the oven or on the grill. If making in the oven, preheat it to 350. If on the grill, preheat grill to medium-high heat and lightly oil it.
2. Mix together all the ingredients and form into 8 patties.
3. If cooking in the oven, placed on aluminum foil-lined cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until the middle is no longer pink. If cooking on the grill, cook about 5 minutes on each side until done.

I haven’t had a chance to make these on the grill yet, but I just made some in the oven and they are SO good! The onion cooked just enough to begin to soften, but still has a light crunch that adds an interesting texture and all the flavors work really well together. They are incredibly juicy too! I bet they would be even better grilled!

Notes for Bariatric Eaters: I was only able to eat about half of one of the patties. The nutritional information below is for an entire patty.

Serves 8
Nutritional Information: 253 calories, 2 carbs, 15g fat, 26g protein

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sugar Free Apple Pie with Almond Flour Crust

I adapted this recipe and this recipe to create my version of a high protein, low carb apple pie. I made this tonight and for my first attempt, it came out pretty good. Tanner wanted to go back for seconds, but then, he'll eat just about anything lol. I think this would probably be a great breakfast food for low carbers and bariatric surgery patients. I may tweak this the next time I make this and try using a fat free ricotta to lower the fat content a bit more. I'd also like to try adding some unflavored protein powder to increase the protein a bit, but 8g of protein in a small slice isn't bad. If it works, I'll update the recipe.


• 1 and 1/2 cups almond meal or almond flour
• 3 tablespoons melted butter
• Artificial sweetener equal to 3 tablespoons sugar

Melt the butter (if the pie pan is microwave safe, melt the butter in it) and mix the ingredients up in the pan and pat into place with your fingertips.


3 medium apples or 3 cups apples sliced thinly (granny smith or any other firm apple)
¼ cup splenda
½ tsp nutmeg
1/3 tsp of cinnamon (Vietnamese cinnamon is best if you have some)
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup fat free or reduced fat ricotta (nutritional information is for part skim ricotta)
½ cup splenda
¼ cup skim milk
½ tsp salt
1.5 tsp grated lemon rind
1 tblsp Mexican vanilla


1. Mix ¼ cup of splenda with the cinnamon and nutmeg and sprinkle over the apples. Toss apples, adding more of the cinnamon mixture in until they are coated.
2. Spoon apples into the unbaked pie crust.
3. Combine eggs, ricotta, ½ cup of sugar, milk, salt, lemon rind, and vanilla and pour over the apples.
4. Bake at 425 for the first 10 minutes and then lower heat to 350 for another 30 minutes. Allow to cool a bit and top with sugar free coolwhip or sugar free caramel syrup.

Serves 8
Nutritional Information: 196 calories, 11.5 net carbs, 13.5g fat, 8g protein

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Hey all!

In an effort to combine one of my favorite hobbies with my new healthy lifestyle, I'm going to start adding recipes here that help me stay on program. I will do my best to not only provide the recipe and my review, but nutritional information to the best of my knowledge. DISCLAIMER: I don't actually use the word "Bitchen'" in my everyday vocabulary, but thought it made for a great blog name. What can I say, I grew up in the 80's.

I may include recipes that I've created or adapted or recipes I've found online. I will make sure to give credit where credit is due. The only requirement is it is really going to have to be tasty to make it to the blog. I want recipes that are so good you feel like you are cheating!! If you have any suggestions you would like for me to try and review, email me at

Keep an eye out for the first recipe!