Do Better

Arancini (Sicilian rice balls) were a typical meal at my house before weight loss surgery. They are a mixture of meat, sauce, onions, peas and mozzarella sandwiched in a ball of rice, covered in egg and breadcrumbs and deep fried, they look like oranges hence the name arancini (the Italian word for orange is arancia.)

Last night I made a more healthified version. Of course, it's a low carb, riceless version since rice is off my personal list post weight loss surgery. I used the same filling I know and love but made a few key changes...

Shelly's Zucchini Arancini

1 yellow Onion, diced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 1/2 pound package of Ground Beef (Ground Turkey could easily be subbed)
1/2 cup Marinara Sauce
1/2 cup Frozen Peas
1 teaspoon Oregano
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese (divided use)
2 Cheesesticks, diced
3 medium Zucchini, halved

With a tablespoon measure or melon baller scoop out the middles of the zucchini halved creating zucchini boats (save the guts to drop in some soup) and set aside.

Saute onion till golden. Add beef (or turkey) and saute till no pink is seen, drain any fats rendered and discard. Add remaining ingredients (except 2 Tablespoons of the Parmesan and the cheesesticks). Cook about 3 minutes till warmed through.

Spoon mixture into zucchini boats.

Top with remaining 2 Tablespoons of Parmesan and dot with mozzarella cheesestick pieces, you could use fresh mozzarella balls, I used what I had on hand. Bake on a cookie sheet (I lined mine with foil for easier cleanup) at 350 for 45 minutes.

I just wanted to note for those of you that may be new to my blog. I choose not to eat bread, pasta, rice, white potatoes, crackers, chips since having weight loss surgery. I rarely crave them and with yummy (dare I say, tastier) adaptions like the above you can see why. This is my personal choice, plenty of post-ops eat them, and in moderation few foods have no redeeming value, well there's not a whole lot of redeeming value in a Ho Ho or Ding Dong but you know what I mean. Not opening the door to a few items is what I have to do. Those things pasta, rice, BAGELS, basically all white carbs were my pre-op demons. I had little control over them, I often ate triple and quadruple portions in one sitting, they and my lack of control over them were a big reason I become super morbidly obese (BMI 54 at time of surgery) so as part of my lifestyle change 5 years ago I chose to say goodbye to a few frenemies (I loved them but hated them too.)

(That's me in the black apron with a plateful of spaghetti about a month or so before Weight Loss Surgery in 2006)

Maybe white carbs weren't your demons maybe it was sweets, candy, cakes or greasy fried stuff like french fries and chips, maybe you snacked all day or were an emotional eater. You know what your pre-op "thing" was. If you don't... figure it out and find a better path after weight loss surgery.

Weight loss surgery is not a do-over (repeat the same mistakes = get a similar outcome.) Weight loss surgery is a do-better (make some lifestyle changes you can continue forever.)

Every post-ops journey is different. We didn't all get fat the same way or for the same reasons, so the path we take after surgery will be different too. You have to find what works for you.

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