dinner table discussions

I’ve been hooked to Instagram lately – one of my photos got over 300 likes and quite a few followers … I can’t take full credit because it was a Pioneer Woman recipe and when you use that tag, let me tell you – it will be seen! I’ll talk about that recipe in a minute.

Why have I been stalking IG so much? I decided to search photos with any tag related to Type 1 Diabetes. Healthy food creations, pump readings, and body builders. Yes, body builders. The diabetic diet is one that most body builders follow so it seems that a lot of Type 1-ers become a body builder by default. You wanna live? You need to work out. I don’t mean these people have thighs bigger than their head, but they sure are more muscular than your average gym goer. This has to do with the amount of protein that is consumed and the (almost) zero intake of sugars. My husband walks 12 miles a day (due to his job) and runs another 6 at least 3 times each week (again, due to his job). He’s very fortunate however we all know that depending solely on running as your workout isn’t very healthy for you. He lifts 5x per week, maybe 2 hours at the gym ON TOP of the 18 miles of running/walking each day. He’s a beast! But he’s got to, this isn’t a choice and he certainly sucks it up when he’s not feeling up to a gym trip.

What kills me is then doing a search of Type 2 IG tags. Mounds of sweets, ice cream, people saying “if I eat this I might just get diabetes” (can I smack those people?), and overweight people complaining about their pump readings. Oh man, where do I begin. First of all we know by now that eating ice cream doesn’t cause diabetes *face palm*. I know most are joking but it’s really freaking annoying. Just as annoying as people who use the R-Word to describe an object *double face palm*. I digress … on to the overweight people who complain. Y’all can do something about Type 2: get rid of it completely, maybe need 1 pill, or only evening insulin.  You can make a change FOR THE BETTER. So why not? The people who have a disease for the rest of their life are working their butts off to live a healthy life knowing diabetes will never go away. The overweight people should start working their butts off to live a healthy life knowing they could get rid of having diabetes. Although, most of the overweight people got diabetes from being lazy in the first place … they may not ever change and it’s really sad. 

I guess there are the people who take the wheel to control their lives and others who like sitting in the passenger seat. To each their own, just don’t complain about it. Please and thank you.

Roar roar roar, sorry for that rant – it’s been a discussion in our house for the last few weeks and I had to get it off my chest.

On to some of my creations over the last 2 weeks. It was concert season at my school so that means I’ve had pretty much no free time (except to cook amazing meals). I’m getting this post in real quick before I write out some music for graduation. BUSY BUSY BUSY.

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These are the yummy pork chops I mentioned in my last post … zucchini and onion “salad” with a honey mustard vinaigrette, pork chops with blue cheese/cranberries chunks, and of course biscuits. When there’s this much yummy food we can add a “no no” side like biscuits 😉

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Ok, these 2 dishes are now our favorites … I’m sure that’ll change in a few weeks when I find another amazing recipe but for now, we’re in love.  A flatbread pizza taco by the Pioneer Woman herself. This is the IG post that got over 300 likes. It’s the small things in life that make a day better. We made some healthy substitutions, as usual.  Now, that sandwich you see is by Rachael Ray .. the pierogi-wich. Sorry, there’s no cheating this one … adding pickles makes it healthy, right? Just kidding. One was filling so please do not make extra … helping yourself to seconds on a meal like this will surely send you into a food coma.

 

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Ah, ending the week with steaks … I love when my husband is home to grill 🙂 And yes you are seeing double with the rice/broccoli/cheese casserole. My version was loosely based off of the link I provided (I changed a few ingredients) but I measured for 6 servings; I wanted leftovers but not THIS much! A week later and I still have 1 casserole in my fridge 😦 .

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Here’s Cinco de Mayo! Enchiladas from the Pioneer Woman. I used corn tortillas for my husband and flour for me. They were so good!  I was feeling a little guilty from the lack of seafood on my menu so I whipped up this easy fish bake, courtesy of…. drum roll…. Rachael Ray! I used cod filets, topped with a mixture of mayo & diced garlic (A LOT OF GARLIC because we don’t care for the taste of mayo), and panko mixed with parm cheese; finished off the leftover mashed p’s from the pierogi-wich and microwaved some veggies. Don’t judge me based off of that last side dish.

 

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Annnnnd here’s our big cheat for the week. Bacon wrapped meatloaf. Sheesh, stop drooling! Oh Ree Drummond, you get me every time with your amazing creations! Yes, that’s the leftover rice casserole. From the 1st dish. I told you it was an insane serving amount!

Woo Wheeeee! That was a long post. That’s what I get for not posting after 2 long weeks.  Please don’t get mad with my opening rant, I’m not saying that all Type 2’s are lazy and don’t want to change their lifestyle … it’s the posts I saw on IG that upset me.  I’m sure the people who are changing their lives aren’t on IG (hence them actually losing weight, not being glued to their phone).  Just understand where I’m coming from and enjoy some of these delish/healthy meals before you bash me.

 

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Eat to Live!

I was determined to have a vegetarian night this week.  Back in the day (ha) I was able to plan an entire week of meatless dishes, I’ve lost my inspiration.  However Tuesday’s dinner was yummy and so easy to make – no meat!  Monday, total meat dinner … salsa meatloaf. Don’t be grossed out by using salsa – try it first.

Ok, meatloaf Monday + bacon wrapped asparagus + peas. Josh worked a late shift so I wanted to make something that would be tasty reheated (aka doesn’t turn into shoe leather after nuking it).  I put his bacon wrapped asparagus in the oven when I got the “on my way!” text message. I obviously got the peas (asparagus = aspara-gross); sorry, I don’t care for it all that much. I do like most other veggies, even lima beans!! Yeah so this salsa ingredient… it does indeed make the meatloaf soggy so you must add a good mound of breadcrumbs or panko; don’t forget eggs, you still need something to act as a glue.

I follow my mom’s cooking instructions- 350 for 1 1/2 hrs. PERFECTION! Low and slow baby, low and slow.

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I add extra red onion because we love the flavor – feel free to try a sweet or white onion.

 

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Use a potato masher to mix the meatloaf! DUH! Once things are sort of combined switch to mixing with your hands.

 

 

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And those are our yummy veggies 🙂

On to vegetarian Tuesday – delish veggie melts courtesy of Martha Stewart. Slice the mushroom caps, 1 small head of broccoli, 1 green pepper, and 1 red pepper – for 2 people it made 8 melts (or open face sandwiches).

I actually purchased a jar of mayo … OMG it’s been a minute since I’ve done that! I needed a bit more than a Chick-Fil-A packet so I caved in, got the smallest jar I could find.  Adding the garlic was crucial, it was so good! And then topping the veggies with shredded Gouda cheese – oh stop me now!

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I’m sure you recognize that side dish … opted for the yummy mushroom/orzo dish I made at Christmas.  A huge whoopsies: I forgot to buy chicken stock! Seriously … I didn’t write it down therefore it never had a chance.  Luckily I had an unopened bottle of wine so I used that in place of the stock. Holy moly was it just as good.

There you go, 2 days down and we’re at hump day. I’m so over this cold weather and no I won’t be the one complaining when it’s “too hot”. It’s never too hot in my opinion. I like the pool and I like the sun. Don’t get me wrong, sweating after a short walk to the mailbox certainly does suck but at least I’m not shivering and unable to feel my fingers. CAN’T STAND COLD WEATHER!

Cheeseburger Pie tonight; ham and pineapple pizza tomorrow; Italian sausage and peppers on Friday.  Then we celebrate Valentine’s Day on Saturday 🙂 ❤ Yes it’s early but that’s what fits our schedules.

Baby it’s cold outside!

Wowwee is it cold today! It was pretty chilly yesterday but letting the dogs out at 7:30am and it’s a brisk 37 degrees, forget needing coffee to wake me up …  I now need it to warm me up!  We’ve been in San Antonio for exactly 1 year so considering it took until that point to get cold again – no complaints from me!

I guess it’s appropriate to start planning “winter comfort food” on my weekly menus – chili, soups, and stews. Perfect timing to incorporate new menu items for our new home. 7 more days!!! Get me in my kitchen!

For now I’ll not so quietly deal with this dumpy kitchen. While making pizzas yesterday I was tripping over myself, having no where to put pans and get an efficient assembly line going. The end result was fantastic, we love pizza but feel like we can never get all the toppings we truly want.  So taking a pointer from Chelsea after having her shrimp scampi pizza, we kept it simple but the 2 mini pizzas were just as delish.

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Pizza 1: green & red bell pepper, onion, olives, mushroom
Pizza 2: sweet Italian sausage, green bell pepper, mushrooms, olives, onions
Pizza 3: jalapeno/cheddar sausage, onion, 3 slices of jalapeno (Josh’s decorative touch), mushrooms, onions
Pizza 4: sweet Italian sausage, jalapeno pepper, olives, onions

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Easy to make and easy to assemble (even in a small kitchen).  I baked 2 pizzas at a time, so 20 minutes total … I pan cooked the sausages which took another 10; “dress” each pizza and dinner was done in 45 minutes. We had fun decorating each pizza, you can really do anything you want.
IMG_4409Josh going in for that giant slice of jalapeno … it didn’t even phase him.

On Monday I finally got around to “my” meatloaf. It was intended for Friday then Sunday … you see how that went, ha!IMG_4404

I took my cue from Alton Brown, he creates some great dishes plus he’s got a good humor trying to use science to cook using different methods.  While the meatloaf turned out great, it took 2 hours! We were so hungry that we sliced what we wanted and had to microwave it for a few minutes (this was after 45 minutes/325). So frustrating, I don’t understand what happened – I followed his recipe to the T, if anything I actually used less meat.  To finish cooking it we cranked the oven up to 400 for another hour. Sheesh!

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I always make meatloaf different each time – I feel like it can be a pretty boring meal so the spices in Alton’s recipe is what caught my attention.  It had a little heat to it and the cumin smelled amazing while baking had commenced.  Carrots and red bell pepper added some sweetness and the onion cut through perfectly. I didn’t pulse it as the recipe says, I diced everything because we like a “chunky” meatloaf.  As always, top that sucker with ketchup. No, I didn’t make the “sauce” from the recipe. While I like trying new things, I feel it’s a sin to use something other than Ketchup.

2 perfectly planned diabetic friendly meals- yes, the pizzas were okay for Josh. The amount of protein and veggies used balanced out the dough. Plus the meatloaf used turkey and pork, great choices instead of the usual beef.

A while back I told y’all about one of my piano students who was curious about the cheeseburger pie I was eating.  Well it’s her turn to pick a dinner to make and she requested just that!  It was very cute though because she thought I used an actual pie crust so when I informed her it’s a Bisquick recipe and she just started laughing, saying “That makes so much more sense!”.

I love inspiring dishes for people to try; I’ve gotten a few pictures of y’all making meals from my blog.  Keep ’em coming!

Also, commenting on the budget friendly part of all this … $80 for 5 complete meals, for 2 adults (meatloaf & pizza has leftovers so far!) … that’s $8 per person, per day. I think that’s pretty good considering I don’t have a money tree in my backyard.