When I started this blog I didn’t intend to only give you food, but a bit of myself as well. (Food is boring without personality, and I have personality in spades.) I do not want to be one of those bloggers who glosses over their life and makes everything sound like it is perfectly fabulous all the time. Life just is not that way. So I will share the good, the bad, and the ugly with you. Honesty is the best policy, right? I am only human after all. As you may already know I am working to lose some weight; it is one of my New Year’s resolutions. Growing up I danced ballet and was quite fit and in shape. In fact I was rail thin. Too thin sometimes, but I was proud of my body, especially my abs. I do not believe I owned a shirt that covered my stomach. I worked really hard to look that way; ballet is not an easy sport (yes, I said sport). I dreamt of being a professional dancer. Two bad knees and the threat of surgery caused me to give up that dream and only dance a few classes in college and eventually just around the house.
As much as it pains me to disclose the next fact to you, especially my readers who knew me in those glory days; I am no longer rail thin. (I find this humiliating) Not even close to thin, though not unattractive, just outside the “norm” or current standard of beauty. It started when I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease; they give you steroids to treat “flare ups” and apparently my body and steroids do not agree with one another. On the plus side I finally developed a chest, and could put away the “chicken cutlets” I had been using to fill out my bra. The downside is I become ravenously hungry for those long periods of steroid treatments. Each time I am put on a steroid treatment I gain weight and every time have to work the weight back off. This last summer (for my 30th birthday) I was in the hospital again and back on steroid treatments and took some home for further treatment. This time I gained around 30 pounds without even trying. I fell into a deep depression because I hadn’t finished getting the last weight gain off from the previous treatment. I swear to you I could eat anything and gain weight. A bag of carrots could mean five pounds. It is insane what steroids do to my metabolism. I have come to the conclusion that the next time I have a flare up I am going to refuse steroids and tell them to work their medical magic some other way. So now I weigh around 200 pounds, though no one believes me when I reveal that fact, I guess that is a good thing… it means I carry it well. (I am pretty tall for a girl. My measurements remain proportionate, which is a plus.) However having a bra size that could be a vowel except for my refusal to accept that… is all getting to be a bit much and I do not believe I should feel humiliated by my body if I can change it.
I am also working to give up another bad habit… I tend to turn to smoking when I get stressed out. (Bad habit I picked up when I lived with a total loser). Smoking is bad for anyone, but especially “foodies” because it alters how you taste foods. (Also makes you stinky, which as a perfume junkie I find repulsive, don’t ask me how I got started in the first damn place.) It is especially bad for me and my Crohn’s disease. My quit date is set for the 31st of January… I am working a program online. So this New Year is full of changes! Good ones. I look forward to sharing my progress with you along the way.
Being a foodie queen however there are certain things I cannot give up entirely. For example Fat Free cheese is just nasty plastic and I refuse to eat it. You will also not find me ever buying skim milk unless I am having a house guest who drinks it. Skim milk is not milk, in my opinion, it is blue water. I will still use butter when necessary, but not as much. I have given it up all together except in baking, or if a recipe specifically calls for it. I also refuse to give up my “mini” cokes. I love Coca Cola and I am not ashamed to admit it. While I have certainly decreased the amount I drink; 12 fl. Oz. is a far cry from the liters of it I could drink in my younger years. Increasing my intake of water and Crystal Light has really helped me cut that habit. So if you are still reading at this point then you probably know more about me than you ever bargained to. But this is what my life is, and what drives my cooking.
Without further ado, my recipes for Salmon Cakes and Cucumber and Grape Tomato salad.
2 5 or 6 oz. cans of Boneless Skinless Pink Salmon, like Bumble Bee.
1/3 cups dry bread crumbs (plain)
3 tablespoons chopped green onions
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill (or dried, I didn’t have any fresh)
1 large egg
½ cup finely chopped pine nuts (can increase or decrease this based on preference)
Salt and pepper to taste
Garlic Powder to taste
2.) Shape mixture into small patties.
3.) Heat about two tablespoons of either canola or olive oil in large skillet over medium high heat.
I serve these with a quick and easy Low Fat Tzatziki Sauce. They would be equally good alone though.
Serves three to four people based on how big your patties are.
**Worth 9 Weight Watchers points.**
Cucumber and Tomato Salad
1 package (1 pint) of grape tomatoes, halved.
1-2 large sliced cucumbers (based on your preference)
½ cup 2% Mozzarella Cheese Shredded (Or you could buy the really good stuff and slice it into chunks)
2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice (based on your taste)
1-2 tablespoons of fresh chopped basil (again more or less based on your taste)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste.
3.) Pour lemon juice and olive oil over the salad and mix well.
4.) Stir in Mozzarella cheese.
This will serve about five people and is worth an amazing 2 Weight Watcher points! Thus the reason I serve it with the higher point salmon cakes!
Quick and Easy Tzatziki Sauce
1 peeled, seeded, and grated cucumber
½ teaspoon grated lemon rind
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice (based on how tart you like it)
Salt to your preference
(The recipe does not call for it but I always throw in some dill, because I love, LOVE dill.)
2.) Serving size to stick with points is ¼ of a cup. (Though you could use up to a half cup)
**Worth 2 Weight Watchers points. **