New Year's Eve Bites

On the New Year's Eve menu...

Shelly's Crabby Bites

3 Green Onions, diced
5 eggs
1/4 cup Italian Blend Cheese, shredded (Mozzarella, Parmesan, Fontina Blend)
2 oz. Cream Cheese, cubed
1 cup Crab Meat, broken up (imitation or real)
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 teaspoon Dried Dill
a few twists of Black Pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients together.

Spoon into lightly greased (Pam non-stick spray works great for this) mini muffin tins.

Bake for 30 minutes at 350. Let them cool a few moments they pull away and pop right out. Makes 24.

These taste just like crab rangoons. Super yummy. Perfect for parties as they can be made ahead & reheated prior to serving. They also freeze well.

The tonight's menu will also include BBQ'd ribs (a gift card redemption from a restaurant down the street), mini meatballs in some sort of yummy sauce (still working this one out), cheeses & veggies, a glass of Almond Champagne and my New Year's Eve tradition of 12 raisins...

Toss the raisins one at a time at the stroke of midnight. For every raisin that you get in your mouth that will be one month of good luck in the coming year. I've been doing this now for the past few years and it was dead on last year 8 raisins in = 8 really good months.

The first year I did this raisin thing errr... different story. The first raisin I tossed SCORE right in the mouth, second raisin BAM right in the eye. That was an INTERESTING year. Hoping I've got really good aim tonight ;) maybe I'll toss the raisins before I pop the champagne.

Happy New Year Everyone! I wish you all JOY & LOVE in 2010. May this coming year be better than all others.

"We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year... we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives, not looking for flaws, but for potential." ~E. Goodman

Chinese Food & Crazy Cat Women

Here's my quick & easy Chinese dinner from last night. Mmmm the best part of the evening.

Shelly's Shrimp Egg Foo Young

1 1/2 cups Bean Sprouts
1 Yellow Onion, sliced
12 Large Cooked Shrimp, tails removed & halved
4 Eggs, beaten
a few twists of Black Pepper
2-3 Mushrooms, sliced
1 Tablespoon Corn Starch
1 cup Chicken Broth
3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
Olive Oil for sauteing

Saute bean sprouts till they just give a bit. About 5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. Saute onions till golden. Add bean sprouts back to pan. Add shrimp. Distribute the shrimp around the pan evenly. Pour beaten eggs over. Season with pepper. Cook till golden on bottom.

The choice is yours you can place it under the broiler for a few minutes till golden on top or if you are daring flip it (helps if you cut into 4 pieces) and cook 2 minutes more. Remove from pan and keep warm while you prepare the sauce.

Saute mushrooms till golden. Mix cornstarch, chicken broth and soy sauce together pour into pan with mushrooms. Heat till thickened. Spoon some sauce over each portion of egg foo young.

Leftovers are great heated up. I use this gadget to heat most of my leftovers up. Works great. Keeps everything moist.

Other Eggface Asian Food Fixes:

Shelly's California Roll Salad
Shelly's Asian Lettuce Cups
Shelly's Chinese New Year Meatball Soup
Shelly's Chicken Chop Suey
Shelly's Chinese Shrimp Packet
Shelly's Cashew Chicken
Shelly's Naked Asian Chicken Salad
Shelly's Shrimp & Peas Stir Fry
Shelly's Foo Rangoon Bites
Shelly's Almond Cookie Protein Ice Cream

So I had my yummy Shrimp Egg Foo Young dinner then got ready for yet another coffee date. For those of you that are out of the dating scene (thank your lucky stars) "grabbing some coffee" is the new first date thing. Unfortunately the coffee is usually the best part of the date. This one was no different.

Nope, no second date is planned. The whole "I'm still married" part was kind of a turn off. What is with guys lining up the next chick before they "officially" have ended the last relationship? "Divorcing" (aka she still is living in the house with you) Why do I keep getting these guys?! Call me when you are "Divorced" (past tense.) Better yet... figure out what went wrong, the part you played in it then call me. Maybe.

No. Actually don't call me...

I officially, on the record and shit, give up on dating. I embrace my crazy cat woman future.

Note to self: Get a cat.

P-P-P-Pizza Face Tortilla Pizza

Had fun with my pal's whippersnappers this weekend. We made lunch. It was both weight loss surgery and kid friendly.

Healthy Dinner Recipes
Shelly's Pizza Face Tortilla Pizza - Mission Carb Balance Whole Wheat Fajita Size Tortilla topped with Havarti Cheese, Green Onions, mini Pepperoni Slices, Red Bell Pepper, a sprinkle of Parmesan Cheese and Italian Seasonings.

A little former teacher hint: children will eat anything thing they have a hand in preparing. I had kids eating all sorts of things they made in my class and Mom's saying, "OMG she would never eat that if I gave it to her." It really was just because they took part in the process. Have the kids help brainstorm and prep the different toppings (use that new vocabulary: dice, saute, grate), design their own creative masterpiece then slice them up for a fraction lesson.

Low Carb Family Friendly Dinners Recipes
Great Pizza Face Toppings: cheeses, fresh tomato slices, sliced mushrooms, cubed ham, pineapple chunks, bell pepper slices, green onion segments, corn, peas, black & green olive slices, grilled zucchini, spinach leaves, pepperoni slices, crumbled cooked beef, tomato sauce.

How To's: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. I put 1 drop literally of olive oil on the cookie sheet and spread it around. Place tortilla on cookie sheet. Spread the sauce on the tortilla (pesto, marinara, alfredo, bruschetta sauce, BBQ sauce, hummus, ricotta cheese, (peanut butter or ricotta for dessert pizzas ), whatever.) Put a slice of cheese on top of the sauce and then I add any combination of toppings or leftovers I can find bumping around the fridge. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan if desired. Pop in oven. 10 minutes exactly. Have the oven hot before you do the toppings **Do not let them sit. Pop them in the oven right away.

More Eggface Tortilla Pizzas

Healthy Dessert Recipe: Protein Pie

Between the milk in the pudding, cream cheese, nuts and the added protein powder in every layer it's a super yummy way to get in a ton of protein. It's a great weight loss surgery friendly dessert or heck I can make a breakfast out of a wedge of this baby...

Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Surgery Cooking Menus
Shelly's Protein Pie

1/2 cup Graham Flour (health food store, bulk bins, Whole Foods type stores or online)
1/2 cup Vanilla Protein Powder
1/2 cup Oatmeal, dry
1/4 cup Nuts, chopped (I used Pecans)
1/4 cup Sugar-Free Torani Syrup (I used SF Vanilla)
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Tablespoon Canola Oil

8 oz. Cream Cheese (or American Neufchâtel Cheese)
1/2 cup Vanilla Protein Powder
3 Tablespoons Sugar-Free Torani Syrup (I used SF Vanilla)

2 cups of Sugar-Free Pudding (prepared per package directions, any flavor - I used Chocolate)
1/2 cup Protein Powder (I used Chocolate)
1/4 cup Unsweetened Coconut or Nuts, chopped

Mix crust ingredients together and press into 11x8 Pyrex rectangle casserole dish that has been sprayed well with Pam non-stick spray. Bake at 350 for 13 minutes. Allow to cool.

Weight Loss Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve RNY VSGCombine middle layer ingredients until smooth. Spread over cooled crust. Chill while you mix up the pudding top layer.

Combine top layer ingredients and spread over chilled middle layer. I like to have some coconut &/or nuts in the pudding layer (it's a texture thing) but both can be omitted for those who would prefer not to include them.

Return to fridge for at least an hour. Serve portions with a dollop of  No Sugar Added, Homemade Whipped Cream. Makes around 15 servings.

You can, of course, use any pudding flavor. Sometimes a girl NEEDS her chocolate but my other favorites are Sugar-Free Pistachio or Sugar-Free Butterscotch mixed with Vanilla Protein Powder. SF Lemon is great too especially as a dessert after a Mexican dinner.

Early weight loss surgery post-ops: you can eliminate the crust and additions to the top layer, layer into parfait glasses instead Cutting fats: Change cream cheese to Neufchâtel (basically light cream cheese) or eliminate the middle layer.

For Santa

Santa was left this yummy cup of cocoa at my house this year. He must have liked it because the cup was empty and swag was left...

Shelly's Malted Milk Ball Cocoa - No Sugar Added Cocoa with 1 Tablespoon of Malt Powder topped with a squirt of Sugar Free Land o Lakes Whipped Cream and sprinkle of crushed SF Malted Milk Balls (or more malt powder)

Speaking of cocoa. You know how we make a few new ornaments each year. Here's this year's favorite ornament...

I hope Santa was good to you. Batteries were included. All parts were in the box. Instructions were in a language you are familiar with. Tab A fit into Tab B. Everything worked when you flipped the switch.

If not... hope the lines for returns aren't tooooo long ;) Bring a book.

Merry Christmas!

May you all receive the gifts of happiness, good health and joy this year! Hope your day is spent surrounded by those you love.

If you get carried away with the sugar cookies or Grandma's baklava... you can't rewind time, so you might as well get over it. Give away the item & start planning your next healthy meal.

Holiday Survival Tips

Dinner: Pizza Meatloaf

It's like a personal pan pizza.
Only it's meat.
And there is no dough.
K never mind.

Seriously though, it's super yummy. Golden melted cheese, bits of pepperoni, tomato, garlic and oregano... what's not to love.

Shelly's Pepperoni Pizza Mini Meatloaf

1 Yellow Onion, diced
3 Green Onions, diced
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1/4 cup Italian Style Dry Bread Crumbs (or Oatmeal or Almond Meal)
1/4 cup Milk
1 1/4 pounds Ground Turkey, the average weight of 1 package
1/4 cup Storebought Bruschetta Sauce (fresh pasta section)
1 Egg, beaten
1/4 cup Pepperoni, chopped
1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese, chunks (I used 3 cheesesticks)
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
a few twists of Black Pepper
Olive Oil for sauteing

Saute onions till golden. Add garlic & seasonings and cook 1 minute more. Set aside to cool. Soak breadcrumbs (or oats or almond meal) in milk for 1 minute. Add cooled veggies, soaked crumbs and all remaining ingredients to turkey. Mix till combined.

Divide into 8 equal mounds. Form into mini meatloaves or if you have this super groovy pan like me use it (spray with a little Pam first.)

Bake for 45 minutes in a 350 oven. These freeze well either cooked or uncooked. Leftovers are great with an egg for breakfast or crumbled into soup.

For dinner last night I served them with a green salad and my Roasted Garlic Yogurt Dip. I like to dip meats. It keeps everything headed in the right direction if you know what I mean ;) Warm marinara sauce would be a great dipper too.

I love these mini meatloaves. Not only are they are the perfect size for us weight loss surgery peeps (great portion control) they are just so flippin' cute. Very kid friendly.

Other Eggface Mini Meatloaves:

Shelly's Italian Artichoke Mini Meatloaf
Shelly's Turkey Mushroom Mini Meatloaf
Shelly's Greek Mini Meatloaf
Shelly's Mexican Mini Meatloaf
Shelly's Florentine Turkey Mini Meatloaf

Freaks on Fudge

Thank you to Mike, Toni, & Lynnda at BariatricTV for the shout out on the latest episode. Glad you guys enjoyed the FUDGE. If you haven't found BTV yet you are missing out on some great post weight loss surgery info and tons of laughs...

Here's the link to the recipe for the Cafe Mocha Protein Fudge featured on this episode.

Where I've been...

Regular readers will have noticed that blog entries have been spotty the last few days. I wanted to explain what's been going on in my world. I've been in Florida. My sister-in-law lost her 6 month battle with cancer. A healthy, active, non smoker. She had a few headaches and a cough that wouldn't go away and was diagnosed with lung, liver and brain cancer in the last stages. She was only 50 years old.

I think it's our human nature to try and find some meaning and order to the chaos that death brings. What I am taking from this sad week is that life is short. We are only guaranteed the moment we are in and none of the precious time we are gifted should ever be wasted. It should be spent doing things you love with the people you love because it can too quickly change.

Something you all know I love is the beach. It's my zen zone. Here's the one I spent each morning looking at while in Florida...

Party Time - Bacon Cheeseburger Crustless Quiches

Had a holiday get-together this week... at any party I host there's always some of my Bites on the buffet. These Bacon Cheeseburger Bites are sooooo good. Super kid and non-op friendly. If you are serving them for lunch or dinner I usually add a salad.

I made a version of these for the blog sometime last year but I've found a much easier way. I used to cook a couple of slices of bacon which is great if you have leftover bacon from breakfast to use up but not so much if you just want to make the bites. So I replaced the cooked bacon with storebought bacon bits. One less messy step which comes in handy when prepping for a party.

Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Paleo Low Carb Keto Friendly Party Food
Shelly's Bacon Cheeseburger Bites

1/2 Yellow Onion, diced
2 Green Onions, diced
1/2 lb Ground Beef
5 Eggs
2 Tablespoons Bacon Bits (Plumrose, Hormel, near salad dressings)
1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded
dash of Seasoned Salt
a few twists of Black Pepper

Saute onions till golden. Add ground beef. Cook till no pink is seen. Set aside to cool. Mix all ingredients together. Be sure meat & onions have cooled slightly before adding eggs. Spoon into lightly greased mini muffin tins. Bake for 30 minutes at 350. Makes 24.

I also made a platter of my favorite Antipasto Skewers. Always the first thing to go at a party.

Bariatric Surgery Friendly Keto Party FoodsI used:
Kalamata Olives
Sicilian Olives
Spanish Olives
Fresh Mozzarella Balls
Giant Greek Beans
Artichoke Quarters (water packed)
Grape Tomatoes
Variety of Meats (I used Coppa, Salami, Mortadella)

Also great are:
Pickled Veggies (Mushrooms, Gardinara, Cucumbers)
Fresh Veggies
Basil Leaves

Skewer them on some sort of small pick or large bamboo skewers (cut to desired length.) Drizzle with Pesto Sauce. When assembling them be sure to make a few all veggie for the vegetarians at your party. Let marinate in the fridge for an hour or so till the festivities begin.

Hope all your holiday get-togethers are a blast. Here's some post weight loss surgery holiday survival tips that help me through it all. Hope they help you too.

Pinecone Cheese Ball

Saw this at a potluck thing I went to recently and had to recreate a weight loss surgery friendly version just 'cause it was so darn cute.

Shelly's Pinecone Cheese Ball

4 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup Italian Blend Cheese, shredded (Parmesan, Fontina, Mozzarella blend)
1 whole head of Roasted Garlic Cloves (Here's How To Roast Garlic)
2 Green Onions, diced
dash of Kosher Salt
1/2 cup Pecans (try and score unbroken ones)
a sprig of fresh Rosemary

Mix all ingredients together (except nuts and rosemary) till thoroughly combined. Form into an oval shape.

Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour. Starting from the bottom working up. Arrange pecans to cover cheese oval completely. Add a sprig of rosemary at top for greenery. Serves: oodles of people.

You can make this a day in advance for a party just don't add the nuts then an hour or so before the get-together arrange those so they stay crunchy. Want a quicker version you can use storebought flavored spreadable cheese (Alouette makes one) instead of the roasted garlic & cream cheese in the recipe. I like to make my own so I know what's in it and homemade is always better ;)

Serve with a variety of dippers: celery, cucumber slices, baby carrots, soy crisps, snow peas, bell pepper strips, apple slices, etc.

"Make every day a holiday and celebrate just living!"

Bento, Shopping & Old Man Wisdom

It rained most of last week so my everyday walk was replaced with an exercise tape and power shopping... err walking the mall. Yesterday was the first day I was able to get out. It felt so good to be out in the fresh air. I walked a few times around the lake near my house and found a picnic table that had dried out to eat dinner. Here's what I packed in my super cool bento box...

Blue Box (top left): Celery & Snow Peas
Green Box (top right): Shelly's Egg Nog Protein Pudding
Pink Box (bottom left): Shelly's Faux Chicken Fajitas (Cooked Chicken tossed with Roasted Peppers & Onions)
Orange Box (bottom right): Shelly's BLT Yogurt Dip for dipping veggies

Shelly's Egg Nog Protein Pudding

1/2 cup Sugar Free Vanilla Pudding (prepared with Soy Nog instead of milk) and 1 Tablespoon of Vanilla Protein Powder added. Topped with SF Land o Lakes Whipped Cream and a dash of nutmeg.

Shelly's BLT Yogurt Dip

3 oz. Fage Greek Yogurt (I use 2%)
1 teaspoon Mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon Bruschetta Sauce (in fresh pasta section)
1 Tablespoon Bacon Bits
Kosher Salt to taste

Mix together. Great to top salads or use as a dip with veggies or soy crisps. B = Bacon, T = Tomato Bruschetta, L = Love of course ;)

One of the things I spotted while shopping would solve a common post-op problem. If it works like it says it does. The problem: after you have weight loss surgery you have to be sure you thoroughly chew your food. It's also important to pause between bites to pick up on our new body's cues telling us: "if you take one more bite it won't be pretty." Meals are eaten at a slightly slower pace, no more pre-op power shoveling. This means that the last few bites of any meal are usually cold. This gadget would solve that. My pal Amelia from the WLS Twibe ordered one and is doing a test drive. I'll let you know what she has to say.

Is everyone ready for the holiday? Got your shopping done?

Luckily my family doesn't really exchange Christmas presents anymore. My Mum and I usually do something special (a play or day trip, etc.) and the rest of the people in my life get treats I make at home. It really reduces the holiday stress.

I have to share this with you. If you are on Twitter you probably know the twitter account @shitmydadsays but if you aren't it's basically tweets by Justin Halpern who lives with his 73 year-old Dad. Justin's Pop says some funny stuff which Justin then posts to Twitter. It's gems of wisdom wrapped up in a coarse, sometimes vulgar but always hilarious package.

Justin's Dad on Christmas presents...

"Everybody's broke, so here's the rule for Christmas this year; if you still shit your pants, you get a present. Otherwise tough shit."

I agree. Wise man.

Magic Shell-y

I couldn't resist that blog title.

What a yummy dessert this was the other night. Mini Protein Ice Cream Snowballs drizzled with homemade Sugar Free Magic Shell. This is a great way to serve ice cream at a party. No time consuming scooping. The balls are already made before your guests even get there.

Shelly's Protein Ice Cream Snowballs

You need:
Protein Ice Cream (any flavor)
Small Ice Cream Scoop
Unsweetened Coconut (alternatives: Unsweetened Cocoa, Crushed Nuts)
a batch of Shelly's Magic Shell

Make a batch of protein ice cream. When it comes out of the ice cream machine it's soft serve stage, scoop it into a Tupperware and freeze till scoopable stage about 1 hour. If you freeze it more than that and it gets too hard to scoop just nuke 20 seconds or so to get it back to scoopable. Using a small ice cream scoop make several small balls. Roll in unsweetened coconut.

Freeze balls again for a few minutes while you make the Magic Shell.

Shelly's Magic Shell

2 Snack Size Sugar Free Chocolate Bars (Milk, Dark, White) (CVS, Walgreens, RiteAid, Walmart, Target)
1/2 teaspoon Canola Oil

Microwave chocolate bars & oil in 25 second increments till melted. Stir to combine. Drizzle over ice cream snowballs. In moments it will set hard like magic. Makes enough drizzle for 6 snowballs.

Some yummy combos: Mint Chocolate Chip Protein Ice Cream and Dark Chocolate Magic Shell, Black Cherry Protein Ice Cream & Milk Chocolate Magic Shell, Lemon Meringue Pie Protein Ice Cream and White Chocolate Magic Shell (SF White Chocolate is harder to find: my source is Amber Lynn Chocolates)

Food Gifts

Spent yesterday in festive and productive activities. Turned on Christmas music and made food gifts. Little baggies and boxes of yummies for neighbors and pals and of course I kept a few for me ;) It was like Santa's Workshop - Southwestern Division. They were all weight loss surgery friendly 'cause that's the way I roll but you'd never know it. Here's what I made...

Sugar Free Bark, SF Peppermint Bark Popcorn

Chocolate Mint Protein Fudge and Cafe Mocha Protein Fudge

Holiday Nuts and Roasted Chickpeas

Roasted Chickpeas are one of my favorite snacks. Perfect on the coffee table at a party or tossed in a baggie to take on an adventure. If you are having a get together seriously make these and watch as they get gobbled up.

Shelly's Roasted Chickpeas

1 (15 oz.) can Chickpeas (aka Garbanzo, Ceci)
1 Tablespoon Basil Flavored Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt

Rinse and drain chickpeas. Toss with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Spread on a cookie sheet.

Bake at 400 for 45-50 minutes. Turning every 15 minutes. Watch them in the last 5 minutes. There's a perfect point when the chickpeas become crunchy and golden nut-like globes of wonderfulness. Warning: these little suckers are ADDICTIVE.

Candy Cane Protein Ice Cream Cake: 'Tis the season for yummy desserts

I love ice cream any time of the year. This pretty peppermint candy cane protein ice cream cake was dessert last night. Super yummy and very festive but because I am ALWAYS cold after weight loss surgery helped me shed 150+ pounds I must admit I did eat it under an electric blanket ;)

Protein Powder Recipes Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss FitnessShelly's Candy Cane Protein Ice Cream Cake

You need:
Stainless Food Ring
Protein Ice Cream
Sugar Free Cookies or Crumbled Protein Bar
Sugar Free Torani Syrup (I used SF Peppermint)
Sugar Free Candy Canes, crushed

Amounts will vary based on how big a cake you make.

Crush Sugar Free Cookies or Protein Bar and add enough SF Syrup to make it clump. I needed about 8 cookies and 1 Tablespoon of Syrup. Place food ring on a plate. Fill base with cookie mixture and press to cover bottom (about 1/2 to 1 inch high.) My protein fudge would work great for the base too.

Fill with Protein Ice Cream you get right out of the machine (soft serve stage)

Cover with plastic wrap and freeze till hard.

Unmold. I used a warm (nuked 20 seconds) damp dish towel to warm sides and the ring just lifts off.

Decorate if desired.

I used crushed SF Candy Canes/Starlight Mints and Homemade No Sugar Added Whipped Cream. Other options: Sugar Free Hot Fudge Sauce, Nuts. Other flavors of cakes can be topped with fruit. My cake makes 4 big wedges. Great for a post-op birthday celebration.

The Protein Ice Cream flavor I used...

Shelly's Candy Cane Protein Ice Cream

1 cup Vanilla Soy Milk (or Regular Milk)
2 scoops of Vanilla Protein Powder
2 Tablespoon Sugar Free Peppermint Syrup
1 Tablespoon Sugar Free Candy Cane, crushed

Mix together milk, protein, SF candy cane bits and syrup. I used this gadget to mix it up. It makes it airy and lump free. If you don't have one just toss it in a blender on super high. You want it fluffy almost double in size. Pour into ice cream maker. Follow your machine's instructions for freezing. You can eat it right away it is soft serve-ish (use it at this stage for Protein Ice Cream Cake making) if you want scoops put it in the freezer to set for an hour. After that hour it will be hard (like rock hard - this is do to the lack of fat content) just nuke it 25 seconds to bring it back to scoops.

More Eggface Protein Ice Cream flavors

I heart artichokes

Christmas movies and artichokes = how I spent my rainy evening.

I love artichokes. One medium artichoke contains only 25 calories, no fat, oodles of potassium, vitamin C, and fiber. The trick is to keep the sauces you dip the suckers in from getting crazy. Most people dip the leaves in melted butter or mayonnaise which can add up fast. I made this high protein and super yummy alternative...

Shelly's Steamed Artichokes with Roasted Garlic Yogurt Dip

To prepare the artichokes: With a sharp knife slice about 3/4 inch to an inch off the tip of the artichoke. Cut off stem and peel off any shady looking outside layers. Rinse the artichokes in cold water. Squeeze either lime or lemon juice over the cut artichokes to prevent browning. Not too much. A wedge of lime/lemon will be plenty for 4 small/medium artichokes.

You can boil them at this point in water for 30 minutes or so (till fork tender) or I prefer to microwave steam them. Place 1/2 cup of water in base of steamer dish. Place artichokes on steam basket.

Cover and microwave for 10 minutes or until fork tender. To serve sprinkle each artichoke with 1 teaspoon of grated Parmesan Cheese and serve with Shelly's Roasted Garlic Yogurt Dip.

To eat: Pull off outer petals. Dip white fleshy end in Shelly's Roasted Garlic Yogurt Dip. Tightly grip the other end of the petal. Place in mouth and pull through teeth to remove the soft portion of the petal and the yummy dip. Discard remaining petal. When you get to the end of the leaves you'll find the inedible fuzzy wispy part (don't eat it, it's called the "choke" for a reason.) With a spoon scrape out the fuzzy wispy choke and discard. The remaining bottom of the artichoke is the heart. Cut into pieces, dip and eat.

Shelly's Roasted Garlic Yogurt Dip

3 oz. Fage Greek Yogurt (I use 2%)
1 Tablespoon Mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons Roasted Garlic Cloves (Here's How To Roast Garlic)
Kosher Salt to taste

Place everything in a mini food processor and whiz till smooth. Excellent for dipping artichokes, all veggies, chicken or beef kabobs, mini meatloaf, soy crisps. Makes enough for 4 medium artichokes.

Easy Dinner Recipe: Burrito Stuffed Peppers

I heart Mexican food and I am always trying to figure out ways to get my fix in a healthier way. Dinner last night fit the bill. Oodles of protein packed into a pepper that has more vitamin C than an orange. Perfect weight loss surgery friendly meal... super yummy without greasy chips, white flour tortillas or the simple carbs of rice. It's a perfect Mexican food fix for us but I promise the non-ops at your table will never miss what's not in them ;)

Weight Loss Surgery Bariatric Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve Lunch Dinner Meals
Shelly's Burrito Peppers

3 peppers of any color, stemmed, seeded, and cut in half lengthwise
1 Yellow Onion, chopped
2 Green Onions, chopped
3/4 pound Ground Beef (or Turkey) (about 1/2 a package)
1 1/2 cups Refried Beans
2 Tablespoons Taco Seasoning
dash of Hot Sauce
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
a few twists of Black Pepper
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar or Colby Jack Cheese, divided use
Olive Oil for sauteing

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the peppers in a lightly oiled Pyrex casserole dish, season with salt and bake for 20 minutes. Remove peppers, drain any water that has expelled from the peppers and set aside. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees.

Saute onions till golden. Add ground meat and saute till no pink is seen. Add beans, taco seasoning, hot sauce, salt & pepper. Mix till combined. Off heat add 1/2 the shredded cheese. Mix to combine.

Use an ice cream scoop to spoon mixture into partially cooked pepper halves. Top with additional shredded cheese.

Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes (until peppers are fork tender.) Serve with a dollop of Shelly's Spicy Yogurt Dip. I served them with a simple green salad with a vinaigrette.

Depending on the size of your peppers you may have a little extra filling. If you do sprinkle cheese on it and bake it alongside the peppers. Leftovers are great nuked for breakfast with an egg.

Other Eggface Mexican food fixes:

Shelly's Tropical Shrimp Cocktail
Shelly's Chicken Taco Bake
Shelly's Mexican Beef & Bean Bake
Shelly's Crock Pot Carnitas
Shelly's Chili Cheese Soup
Shelly's Green Chili Bites
Shelly's Beef & Bean Taco Salad
Shelly's 5 Minute Mexican Chocolate Protein Cake
Shelly's Flan