Saturday, February 25, 2017

Low Carb Enchilada Casserole (with Low Carb, Grain Free "Tortillas"!)

Something I really enjoy is a good dinner of enchiladas. But I've been avoiding them while eating lower carb, because the corn tortillas are pretty high in carbs (about 11 grams each). Then the other day I was deciding what to do with my fresh, whole butternut squash and as I started to cut it up I thought... hey, the neck of this squash would look a lot like corn tortillas if I sliced it into thin rounds! And so I did! I peeled the neck, cut 1/4" slices, and tossed them with a tablespoon or so of avocado oil, salt, and pepper. I laid them on a cookie sheet lined with nonstick foil, ready to roast!

low carb tortillas

After 12 minutes at 450 degrees, I flipped the slices over. Then I continued to roast them for 12-13 more minutes, until they had just started to brown.

When they were cooled, I used them in place of corn tortillas in this recipe: Best Enchilada Lasagna.

Here is the basic recipe:

2 cups of shredded cooked chicken
2 cups of shredded colby jack cheese (reduced fat, if you prefer)
2 - 2 1/2 cups of enchilada sauce (check the carbs, or make your own using the recipe in the link above)
about 16 roasted butternut squash "tortillas"

Layer in a casserole dish as follows:
layer of "tortillas"
1/3 of the chicken
handful of cheese

repeat twice, end with "tortillas," sauce, and cheese. I also added some diced green chiles.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Let rest about 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

low carb enchilada bake

1 ounce of corn tortilla has 62 calories and 13 g carbs.
1 ounce of butternut squash has 13 calories and 3 g carbs, saving you 49 calories and 10 g carbs per ounce. Plus with the squash, you get all the nutrition of this delicious veggie, including 60% of your RDA of Vitamin A! Plus it just tastes better.

I will definitely be trying this again, using seasoned lean ground beef in place of the chicken. Hope you like it too!

Saturday, February 18, 2017


As of this morning, I have not lost ANY weight in February.

My blood pressure has been higher and my doctor increased the dose of my blood pressure medication.

Just eating what I want, in smaller portions, and choosing lower carb foods IS a good way for me to eat, but it keeps me over 250 pounds.

I have been fairly sedentary due to illness, weather, and just plain not being motivated to exercise.

And so the hamster wheel continues. The only thing improved, and it IS a big one, is that I am not experiencing any eating disorders anymore: no binges, no food obsessions, no compulsive eating. There's peace, but is peace enough?

I am quickly approaching that 10 year anniversary of blogging. In less than 6 months I will hit that milestone. I said if I was not at goal or making serious progress towards a healthy weight, I'd do weight loss surgery... and/or quit blogging.

I don't know what I am doing right now. I won't whine on about family medical issues and things that make it "hard," because all those reasons are not going to help me be the healthy, non-obese mom I need to be.

This week may turn back to restriction. I just have to do it without triggering ED. I also have to exercise whether I like it or not, because my age and health are big factors in... in everything. Everything.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Been Sick...

This week I caught a virus from a person I sat next to at church last week. She was blowing her nose a lot, and when she started coughing during the service I knew I was in trouble. I could hear the congestion as I was thinking, "ugh, you should have stayed home!" I tried not to breathe but alas, the germs got to me anyway. So I've spent the week going from what felt like a mild tickle in my throat and sneezing, to full blown miserable cold symptoms. Today I think I am past the worst of it but am still blowing my nose and coughing a bit. Should feel better soon, I think!

Now that the weather is getting a little better, I'm going to start walking every day outside. Lately I've only walked once in awhile when it's not cold and yucky out. I've had my son and daughter walking the dogs more than I have walked them myself, but I am ready to get back out there and move. My diet continues to be the same: lower carb, not counting, smaller portions. Nothing new and exciting here, not even a weigh in. Just wanted to give a short update and say hello. Sorry so boring!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Low Carb Loaded Cauliflower Nachos

The other day when my son and his girlfriend were making a huge plate of nachos, I thought, now there is a food I miss eating! I've always loved nachos, but while I am eating lower carb, corn chips just aren't a good choice. So I searched online for a healthier, lower carb option and found these: Cauliflower Nachos!

You just cut up some raw cauliflower into thick slices and toss them with a drizzle of olive or avocado oil and a sprinkle of salt, paprika, chili powder, and cumin.

cauliflower nacho chips low carb recipe

Then roast them in a 425 degree oven for 35 minutes, top with cheese and cook another 5 minutes. You can add any nacho toppings you like: black olives, tomatoes, green onions, salsa, avocado, jalapenos, sour cream, and any kind of meat like shredded chicken, pork or beef. I used reduced fat shredded colby jack, lean cooked taco meat, sour cream, salsa, and guacamole.

low carb cauliflower nachos recipe

Mine were not as gooey as the ones in the recipe video, but they were really tasty! I think to get that overly-cheesy, gooey effect you'd need to use full fat cheese... and a lot of it! Go for it if calories are no object :)

These were very satisfying and delicious. Using cauliflower instead of corn chips saves about 13 grams of carbs and 120 calories per serving, plus adds plenty of nutrition to your plate of nachos. I'm always looking for new ways to fit in healthy vegetables while lowering carbs. Do you have any ideas you'd like to share?

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Eat Your Veggies: Romanesco

This week at the grocery store my daughter and I came across a most unusual-looking, new-to-us vegetable that looks like a pointy, geometric cross between a cauliflower and broccoli. It was so beautiful that we both stopped to check it out! The sticker on the vegetable said "Romanesco;" The label on the stand said "Romanesco Broccoli" and then, when checking out, the same veggie rang up as "Romanesco Cauliflower." So what is it??

Romanesco broccoli cauliflower

Well, it's all of the above! It's a cross between cauliflower and broccoli that grows in a gorgeous fractal pattern and has many of the nutritional benefits of both vegetables. It's really good for you and you can prepare it the same way you would either vegetable: raw in salads, steamed, roasted, baked, or in casseroles.

Romanesco pointy broccoli cauliflower

I decided to steam mine. I washed, trimmed, and quartered the Romanesco and then cut out the thick core and stem. I gently broke apart the pretty pieces and steamed them for about 10 minutes, until fork tender. They tasted so good! It's more of a firm cauliflower texture, with a nuttier, more interesting taste (more like cauliflower but not exactly. Better, and sweeter, but not as strong as broccoli!)

steamed Romanesco

I ate some of the Romanesco warm with salt. The rest, I immediately rinsed with very cold water until they were cold (to stop them from cooking further and getting mushy) and saved them in the fridge. They have a perfect texture and taste to go into a salad, cold! They remind me of the texture of those little tiny corn cobs you find in salads sometimes. Plus they are so pretty, they would be stunning in any simple dish.

One cup of Romanesco contains approximately 4 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein, and provides 94% of the RDA of Vitamin C, all for just 20 calories. Are you ready to try this new vegetable? I think you'll like it!