Back to the Blog!

It’s been awhile and my apologies, but life (in its inimitable way) intervened and disrupted my blogging. Part of this disruption was a flu that flattened me and left me unable to smell anything for about three weeks. The only things I could taste were sweet and sour. Not helpful for a food blogger. However, I kept on trudgin’ and here’s what I learned.

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Happy Holidays and a Song Just for You!


It’s that season again. At a Xmas potluck lunch for my Aquafit class, the dishes filled every square inch of the table. There were so many cakes, cupcakes, muffins, and cookies, it looked like a bakery gone wild.

What’s a GF, non-dairy, dieter to do? Be oh-so very, very careful. I had four choices: marinated shrimp, barbecued chicken wings, fruit, and the GF cornbread that I had brought. Needless to say, the tooth-picked pieces of melon were my mainstay.

And, this was really just the start—I still have the rest of Christmas and New Year’s to go.

Just when I was feeling sorry for myself, I discovered this musical spoof on food sensitivities, “One More Grain,” written by Michael Bihovsky, and based on the song, “One More Day,” from Les Miz.

It made me smile; it made me laugh. Enjoy!

GF Dieters: Please Be Cautious with this Cookbook!

Recently, I checked The Joy of Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Baking by Peter Reinhart and Denene Wallace out of the library. It is a newly published cookbook, and the title and claim—“80 low-carb recipes that offer solutions for celiac disease, diabetes, and weight loss”—sounded as if its recipes would be perfect for me and many of the readers of this blog.

The reality, however, doesn’t live up to the hyperbole, particularly if viewed through a Weight Watchers lens. If you’re a gluten-free dieter or a person with diabetic issues who has to keep your weight down, caution is in order. Here’s why.

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Happy Thanksgiving and Check It Out! (5)

First, to my American readers, may you have a wonderful holiday with lots of terrific food and great company!

For those of you dieters who aren’t American and for those you dieters who will have to return to real life tomorrow, here are  interesting recipes that focus on vegetables and beans plus an article about our food preferences.

The Carnivore’s Guide to Vegetables by cookbook writer, Marc Bittman. Bittman is great at providing a recipe and then showing different ways to alter to suit you, family preferences, what’s in your fridge and so on. Here are four recipes, each with variations.

40 Magnificent Mushroom Recipesat the Wise Bread web site, is a compilation of recipes and great ideas for using mushrooms—for example, Vegan Mushroom Risotto, Mushroom Paté, and Mushroom Tikka Masala. Yum!

Beans, beans, and beans! Martha Rose Shulman at the New York Time has two great-looking bean recipes: Three-Bean Soup and Rainbow Quinoa Salad With Fava Beans and Herbs. I haven’t had a chance to try them, but her recipes are always good and reliable.

Finding New Tricks To Get More Satisfaction Out Of Low-Fat Foods, an article from NPR that reports on an interesting study about the thickness and creaminess of foods and how they affect our taste buds and appetite.


Check It Out! (4)

It’s been months since the last Check It Out! post, and I apologize for taking so long. My  summer laziness just dawdled its way into fall. But do not think that lack of writing means lack of collecting.  All along, I’ve been accumulating interesting articles on food, cooking, diet, etc. for your perusal.

Does your pumpkin overfloweth? Here are 34 pumpkin recipes, gathered from around the Internet—from Pumpkin Spice Latte, to Pumpkin Overnight Oats, to Comforting Pumpkin Quinoa (gonna check that one out, for sure). A great resource!

Don’t throw out food scraps! Who knew that you can shine shoes with banana peels or save money on bird feed by offering chirpers leftover rice instead?  This article contains 12 such useful tips plus a video on how to compost kitchen scraps.

The 411 on cantaloupes and germs. Find out why cantaloupes and not, say, apples or bananas, have been responsible for at least 36 outbreaks of listeria or salmonella since 1990. Includes tips on preventive washing and cutting.

Fruits and veggies fight the blues. New research has found that seven portions of fruits and vegetables per day are optimal for improving mental well-being. With each portion being 80g or 2.5 oz., that’s a mere 560g or 1 lb. 1.5 oz. of produce to keep you cheery and smilin’.

Thanksgiving: A Dieter’s Suggestions

Arghhh…Thanksgiving, the dinner that just keeps on giving—weight-wise that is. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie…and the list goes on.

This weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving and, as our Weight Watcher leader brought us through techniques for diet-managing the bounty of food, I began to think about my own strategies.

In our house, the spouse handles most of Thanksgiving. That is, he makes the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy and is not—repeat, is not—open to diet suggestions. Daughters bring salads and desserts.

I’ll have roast vegetables, probably Brussel sprouts, to ensure there’s lots for me to eat. But here are some other dishes I’ll make to keep my Thanksgiving calories down.

Dieter’s Spiced Cranberry Relish

Dieter’s Spiced Cranberry Relish: Love cranberry sauce? Don’t waste your valuable points on the canned stuff. This relish, made with cranberries, oranges, spices, and artificial sweetener, is easy to make, delicious, and 0 points!

Sweet Potato Bean Bake with Currants

Sweet Potato Bean Bake with Currants: If you can, try to avoid the white mashed potatoes and gravy; it’s just one big point-fest. This dish, on the other hand, provides protein, carbs, and great taste for only 3 points per serving. (Think 1/8 of a pie–see photo for Crustless Pumpkin Pie.) BTW, this is my favourite bean bake, and I often have a pan of it in my fridge. Bean bakes will keep for 4-5 days when refrigerated.

Crustless Pumpkin Pie

Crustless Pumpkin Pie: At the WW meeting, the leader passed around a recipe for a “crustless pumpkin pie.” My hopes lifted but then dashed. The recipe called for evaporated milk, and I don’t know how to replicate that with soy or another alternative milk. So…what will I substitute? Pumpkin “Pie” Bean Bake, that’s what! It looks like pumpkin pie, tastes like pumpkin pie, and is creamy like pumpkin pie. And even better? WW value: 2 points per serving unless you add coffee liqueur (optional).

Can Our Taste Buds Have Orgasms?

This question begins with two stories: one about cauliflower and the other about an omelette.

First story: Being the harvest season, the cauliflowers are fresh and abundant. I microwave a head and serve it without adornment for dinner. The flavour is the essence of “cauliflowerness”: light, slightly sweet, delicious. I rhapsodize about it to the spouse.

He says, “It tastes like cauliflower.”

“But,” I remonstrate with him, “the taste is delicate and lovely.”

And he replies, “It still just tastes like cauliflower.”

Second story: We’re in a restaurant and both the spouse and I order omelettes. His is a cheese omelette; mine, plain. But the waiter, by mistake, gives me the the wrong omelette. Not realizing what has happened and not really looking to check, I take a large forkful, bite down, and…

POW! An intense and incredibly pleasur-able, salty, cheese-y taste explodes in my mouth. The thrill of it suffuses through my body. I swear I can feel it in my toes.

And not only am I hit hard, I want more of it of that creamy, salty, and rich flavour. Boy, do I want more. It takes all I have to push the dish over to the spouse and say, “This is yours.”

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Check It Out! (3)

For your perusal—five fascinating (well, to me) articles about food, eating, and dieting.

What’s your will-power quotient? As we all know, dieting takes will-power. But why isn’t it more steadfast? Why does your will-power desert you when you need it the most? This is Your Brain on No Self-Control” is the latest brain science that shows why your will-power is so willful.

Get the skinny on sugar—substitutes, that is. Start with consumer issues such as taste, choice, safety, chemical concerns, and so on and then find out the challenges that artificial sweeteners pose for manufacturers. These two articles cover the current landscape of pros and cons about sugar substitutes.

A scary fact: the typical household wastes one quarter of all perishable edibles that come into the kitchen. If you’ve ever had something go rotten in the fridge, it’s okay to ‘fess up now. It’s happened to us all, and apparently does so on a regular basis! “How to Prevent Food Waste: A Primer for Home Cooks” provides tips to help you “waste not, want not.”

Did you know that  the world’s most expensive hamburger sells for $295.00. It looks like a pretty ordinary beef patty and roll, but the list of ingredients defies sanity, in my opinion. What do you think? Oh yeah, and the price doesn’t include the tip.

When Thanks are Due…

We bloggers don’t just write for ourselves. If we did, we’d be diarists. Nope, we write to get read. That’s why we go to the effort of sending our thoughts, happenings, and doings into the blogosphere.

Needless to say, we’re thrilled when people notice us. For example, we’re delighted by “likes” and excited by “comments.” But what’s even better? When readers go that one step further…

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Ah, Joy! – On Losing 1 Pound After 1 Year of Dieting

Ah, joy!

I know that most of you are watching your weight and may be on some type of diet.

Which is why I’m convinced that you’ll know exactly how I felt when I stepped on the scale at a Weight Watcher meeting last week and discovered that I had finally lost 1 lb. after 1 year of dieting.

Who takes 1 year to lose 1 lb.? A person with a thyroid problem, that’s who.

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