I am surprised that I have gotten such positive response to the idea of a motivational list, and to make it public, no less. I'm working on it, and will share it of course!
Oh I kill me with my own post titles. Of course you have to chew these things - but not a whole lot. I promise that this isn't going to become the Sara's mouth blog, but my choppers won't be healed until February 1st - oy, the suffering! Here are some things you can eat when your dentist tortures you and tells you that you can't chew anything crunchy. (popcorn - oh how I miss you - we are going to get down and dirty when this whole teeth thing is through!)
But Sara, tortellonis are high in fat and carbs! I can't eat that! Au contraire mes amis, you can eat this! Here's how:
1 8 oz. package Barilla Ricotta & Spinach Tortelloni (tortelloni? Not tortellini? Yes, tortelloni.)
1 bag baby spinach - how much is that - 8 ounces? A whole bunch
2 7 oz jars of roasted red peppers - less if you like
2 3.5 oz jars of marinated artichoke hearts
1/3 cup of Pesto sauce - homemade or jarred.
Balsamic vinegar (optional)
Prepare tortelloni according to package directions. While pasta is boiling, slice the roasted peppers into strips. Drain the artichoke hearts - but reserve the marinade liquid. When pasta is cooked, drain, and then toss with the pesto - you may want to reserve some of the cooking water to use to thin out the pesto, and to help it coat the pasta. Also, you can use the artichoke marinade too. A little pesto goes a LONG way in this!
Once the pasta is coated, add remaining ingredients and toss. This is sooo good. I also splash a little balsamic vinegar on top because I love it. You could also add the artichoke marinade now too. Now you're going to have lotsa leftovers, so when you pull it out of the fridge, I nuked it, spinach and all for 30 seconds, just to take the chilly edge off. I like this recipe, because even though I only get 3/4 of a cup of pasta, I can have all that other flavorful stuff. You could add tomatoes and red onions, olives and even carrot shreds if you were feeling super veggie oriented - and you had choppers to chew it with.
Steel Cut Oatmeal breakfast
Oatmeal is one of the most heart healthy and figure friendly things we can do for our bodies. (Can I sound MORE like a commercial?) And Steel-Cut oats are better than rolled oats. But they take at least 20 minutes to cook. And I am not the kind of girl who makes oatmeal from scratch every morning. I am lucky if I make it out the door with matching socks. Also - plain oatmeal, not so appetizing. And I don't want to pour on a bunch of sugar, so here's what I discovered.
Make a batch of Steel Cut Oatmeal - one cup will yield 3 cups cereal. Then, mix it with unsweetened applesauce. Brilliant! Add cinnamon, and you're eating apple pie for breakfast, I swear. I found a great recipe for homemade applesauce - super easy.
4 apples, peeled, cored and chopped
3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 sugar (optional)
Place all ingredients into a large saucepan, stirring to coat. Cover, and cook over medium heat for 15 or 20 minutes. Mash to desired texture.
I leave big chunks of apples, add in cardamom and cloves, and I only use 2 tablespoons of sugar, because that's how we roll in the Trisaratops Lounge. We likes it spicy and not too sweet! I mix it into the oatmeal, and I take it in a container to work, and nuke a portion of it each morning for breakfast. So easy, and really, super cheap. It will take you about 1 and half hours to do this each weekend, but it isn't active kitchen time, it is put it on the stove and go read blogs time. Peeling the apples is a pain, but I can watch TV, and it is so much cheaper (and better tasting) than storebought. You can thank me later.
All Purpose Veggie "Stretcher"
Okay, I came up with this because I had a lot of veggies to use up. I added it to an instant rice mix of Jambalaya (shhh, it's not organic!)- to stretch it out a bit, and also to add to my spaghetti squash lunch. You may look at it and say ewwww - and that's okay.
2 large onions, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
2 red peppers - or 1 large, chopped
3 handfuls baby carrots ( I didn't measure, sorry!), chopped*
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 TBS olive oil
1 can tomato paste
Salt and pepper
*I have a mini food-processor - it was a godsend - otherwise, chopping baby carrots is painful. You could buy the pre-shredded carrots too!
Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add onions and saute until beginning to brown, about 6 minutes. Add peppers and carrots, and saute for 2 more minutes. Add garlic and tomato paste and stir to mix through for about 4 minutes. Salt and pepper and any other spices you like, to taste.
And voila - this will stretch out a rice, bean and meat dish, or is kind of a ratatouille of sorts for sauces or casseroles. Finely chopping the carrots made them sort of invisible, but still there in a high-fiber kind of way. Hurrah!
Spaghetti Squash lunch
This is a great low calorie lunch.
1 Spaghetti Squash - about 2.5-3 pounds
14 ounces pasta sauce
2 cups "Veggie Stretcher"
1 can beans of your choosing - cannelloni, garbanzo, great northern, whatever you like.
Add any veggies you like in pasta sauce
Parmesean cheese (optional)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Slice squash in half, scoop out seeds. Place cut side down on a baking sheet. Pour water onto the sheet until it rises up the squash's edge about .25 of an inch. Roast for 40 minutes. Pierce the squash with fork at 40 minutes, checking for soft flesh. If it is ready, then take it out, if it isn't - return to oven and check again in 10 more minutes. Fork should slide in easily. Allow the squash to cool until it is easily handled. Take a fork and scrape the inside of the squash flesh, tearing out the flesh into little strands. Like spaghetti, get it?
Toss squash strands with sauce and beans, and top with parmesean cheese if you like. Without the beans and cheese, this is a 0 point weight watchers meal. It's totally free!
Easiest crock pot recipe ever.
This is Mr. Black's favorite dinner.
1 32 oz. jar of sauerkraut
1 pound pork - you can use chops, shoulder, butt, whatever cut you like
Salt and pepper
Pour all the sauerkraut into the bottom of the crockpot - mysterious brine juice and all. Place the pork on top. Coat liberally with salt and pepper. A lot of pepper - I like to make a crust. Cook on low for 8 - 10 hours. The moisture from the kraut will make the pork so tender and fall apart on you.
Another easy pork recipe:
3 pounds Pork shoulder (super cheap cut!)
1 clove garlic
1 quart chicken broth
Whole wheat rolls or hamburger buns
Cut pork into pieces, place in crock pot. Pour broth over the pork, and cook on low 8-10 hours. Drain pork, and shred with 2 forks. Pour in barbecue sauce and toss to coat. Now you have pulled pork sandwiches!