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