Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Weight Loss Update and a Couple of EASY, fast Low Carb Dinners

I'm still on the low carb wagon! Yeeha! It's been so much easier this time and I don't know why.  Maybe I've just chilled out about the whole thing and accepted it.  Who knows?  Whatever the reason may be,  I'm happy about it.  Don't go waving a roll in my face though. Chomp!

I tested my blood with my handy dandy ketone measuring device and I got a reading of 4.1! Holy fat loss, Batman! I also noticed a surge of energy when the ketones were up.  Coincidence? I think not.  I mean I felt like I was on some kind of high! Happy happy happy!

WEIGHT LOSS. When ketones are up,  the weight is down.  Hot damn! I've lost a total of 21 POUNDS now! I set mini 5 pound goals so the next goal is 25 pounds down. I'm looking do forward to surprising my doctor next month! Woohoo!

I'll post a typical daily menu soon so you can see what's working for me.  Your mileage may vary and I'm not claiming this is the only way to lose weight.  Just what's working for me.

FOOD. You've been busy all day and you don't feel like spending much time in the kitchen. I feel ya.  I really do.  I have some dinners that I call my throw down meals. They take no thought, not much planning, they're cheap, fast, and delicious.

The first I present to you is my Throw Down Tuna Macaroni and Cheese Casserole Thing.
There's no reason to overthink this one. It's just too easy.

Mix drained and rinsed shirataki noodles (I used macaroni shaped) in a pan with some cream cheese,  cheddar or American cheese, a glob of butter, a little chicken bullion, little whipping cream,  salt,  pepper,  celery salt or celery seed,  garlic powder,  and tuna. Just whatever seasonings you like. The main idea is tuna,  noodles,  and cheesy goodness.

I topped it with crumbled parmesan crisps to mimic a potato chip topping that some tuna casseroles use. 

Parmesan Crisps: preheat oven to 400°, put parchment paper on baking sheet, spoon tablespoons of SHREDDED, not grated,  parmesan in piles,  spread them out slightly,  bake for 3-5 minutes or until browned.  Not burnt. It's a fine line.  They crisp as they cool. Can also be used as chips for dip but they're very rich! 

Throw Down Pizza:
You can't get much easier than this! I use either low carb pita bread or low carb tortillas.  Parchment paper on a sheet pan, oven around 350°, slather the lowest carb pizza sauce you can find, top with cheese and whatever you like on pizza. I sprinkle it with garlic powder and Italian herbs. Bake until melty.

An alternative method is to put some butter in a skillet and cook there. It gets the bottom nice and crispy. May need to cover it so cheese melts on top.

Throw Down Omelet Dinner: no picture because it's what I'm coming tonight! I just use whatever I have for fillings for omelets. Tonight can be ham and cheese or pizza omelets. Whatever the team wants. It's cheap, filling, and fast and uses up stuff I have in the fridge. Win win.

Not every meal needs to take a long time.  You can get creative with whatever you have and not spend a lot of time. Don't forget dinner salads too! Super Yum! 

Next post....Korean Beef! 
Have an awesome day. Keep your head high and the carbs low. :-)

Monday, November 3, 2014

24th Anniversary Trip

Friday we decided to basically just run away from heart issues and instead focus on the good things in life.  So I made reservations at the Emily Morgan Hotel next door to the Alamo and at San Luis Resort in Galveston.
I got a perfect corner room at the Emily Morgan. 
We relaxed in the hotel lobby and watched people. 
We sat at the bar and I was mesmerized by the changing lights. Oooooo. ....pretty! 
We got some tequila on ice and took a selfie in the lounge. 
I tried to get artsy fartsy with some photo editing apps while we relaxed after a long day. 
We enjoyed a very loud experience at Pat O'Brians at Alamo Plaza area. 
You can't go to San Antonio and forget the Alamo. Nay, nay. You remember the Alamo! There is no basement. Don't ask. 
Oh, how about a selfie? Only married 24 years. 
Saturday night we got dressed for a fancy shmancy place called Feast. Or feast without a capital "F" to be ironic.  Darn hipsters. I put my hair up and wore a black dress. 
Mr. Happy Texan wore one of my favorite dressy casual outfits: jeans, blazer, and shirt. Work it, Chuckie!
Feast was a feast for the senses. Music, odd lights and decor, trendy type people all flirting with each other.  Also an abnormally high count of douchy men. Chuck was ready to choke a few. Bad manners prevailed for a few. But what an amazing place! Loved it! How can you not love a place like this? 
Checking out the scenery and enjoying it all. My date had a good time. 
Selfie!  It was such a foodie paradise at this restaurant in the King William District. Highly recommend it.
We started out with a great tuna tartare.  I know raw tuna might not sound great but it's so light and refreshing.  Great! 
I had and amazing portion of lamb belly. It sounded odd but I thought I'd try it and it was amazing!
The trip was over way too soon. Sunday morning we checked out, had the valet bring the car around, then we went for brunch at one of our favorite places: Liberty Bar. It's also in the King William District but located inside of an old convent. They make most of the things there like the breads and whatnot.
I had an amazing Bloody Maria. Yum! They make their own mix. Mmmmmm
They also make their own lamb sausage and sourdough breads. We enjoyed French press coffee, house made sausage, bread, and preserves. Chuck had rosemary potatoes with his that would melt in your mouth. Amazing place! If you have a chance to try their goulash on homemade pasta do it! It's only available as a special sometimes but you won't be disappointed. They even have a hoja santa plant growing as part of the landscape and they use it in a couple of their dishes. Also known as as root beer plant. Not sassafras though.

From there we went straight to Galveston and checked in at the San Luis Resort and Spa. I had reserved an amazing room on the 12th floor with an ocean view from the balcony. Ahhhhhhhhhh. .....time to kick off the shoes and relax. 
While planning our anniversary trip, I made reservations at a restaurant called Number 13 in Galveston and had flowers delivered and waiting at the table. How romantic. :)
The restaurant is called Number 13 because during the Mexican War of Independence, brothers Jean and Pierre Lafitte both acted  as spies for Spain and revolutionaries for Mexico while taking a stance on Galveston. Number 13 was their collective allias. 

The staff offered us a complimentary bottle of champagne. How awesome is that? We had a table seated by the window overlooking the bay and yacht marina.

The interior is beautiful but not stuffy.  
Again, we ordered the tuna tartare but theirs was even better than feast with bits of fresh mango. 
Chuck got the dry aged steak with foie gras and roasted garlic. Holy moly it was good.
I got a thick cut pork chop with grilled peach and sautéed spinach. 
We split jalapeño cheese grits and loaded lobster potato skins. I don't think I even need to tell you how amazing it was.
As we finished, the staff came over and presented us with a special dessert platter with "24" written on housemade marshmallow. We were both so impressed with the service and food.  Yes,  it's expensive but worth it. 
We had to roll ourselves out of the restaurant. The valet took the car at the hotel and we went upstairs to enjoy the beach and watch the fire from the volcano at Rainforest Cafe from our balcony. We had plans to go out and see more but we both passed out and fell into a deep sleep.
We slept late and took our time checking out. Monday the 27th was our 24th anniversary. We were in no hurry to end the weekend so we visited the Strand and bought the kids some souvenirs then went to The Gumbo Bar for breakfast/lunch.
Champagne and beer because we're classy like that.
Their seafood stuffed jalapeños are so good!
The gumbo has a wonderfully dark roux. They have a few different types to choose from but we asked if we could get crab only and they obliged. Huge bowls of delicious gumbo and garlic bread=heaven.
After walking and driving around the island, it was time to get home. Someone was missing his chicken. Oh,  and the kids. 

It was a perfect trip and a perfect weekend but ended way too quickly. We're already planning a similar trip soon! As you can see, we made it into a foodie weekend. No regrets here! Now it's back to low carb.

Thanks for letting me share our anniversary trip with y'all. Now on with our regular programming of low carb goodies and a little craziness.