Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Healthy Italian Dinner Recipe: Ricotta Pancake Pizza

So you guys know I make ricotta pancakes all the time. They are a staple post weight loss surgery breakfast for me. Over the years, I've made sweet versions and savory ones. I've made mini versions both sweet and savory. I've even made sandwiches out of them but I've never thought to turn them into little pizzas till last night. What... I know right?!


Growing up when my family ate something for dinner that was a little too British (Steak & Kidney Pie) or Sicilian (Squid) for my kid palate I had a couple of go-to meals I would eat instead: one was pasta with just butter and Parmesan cheese or I'd have a toasted English muffin pizza. This dinner I made yesterday totally reminded me of my little muffin pizzas except these have way more protein and way less carbs. Soooo good! I can't believe I haven't been making these for years.

Pizza Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Low Carb Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve RNY VSG Recipes

Shelly's Savory Ricotta Pancakes 

1 Egg, beaten
1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese
3 Tablespoons Multigrain Pancake Mix
1 Tablespoon Parmesan Cheese
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 Tablespoon Chives
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
1 Green Onion, diced fine
dash of Salt
a few twists of Black Pepper

For Ricotta Pancake Pizzas:

Store bought or Homemade Tomato Sauce (I love Rao's brand Tomato Basil Marinara)
Italian Blend Cheese, shredded
Optional: Mini Pepperoni or any other pizza topping you love (cooked sausage, beef, veggies)

Mix pancake ingredients together. Spray non-stick pan with Pam. Cook on low till bubbles appear, flip. Cook till done. Makes 8 pancakes (about the size of the container those BreathSavers 3 Hour Mints that I love, about 3"-ish across.) These pancakes can be made ahead and reheated.

Cook's Note: I used whole milk ricotta if you use part skim. Drain through a mesh sieve lined with a coffee filter for several hours or overnight in the fridge. Avoid ricotta that says "creamier formula" you want regular ricotta.

To Assemble the Ricotta Pancake Pizzas:

Line a baking sheet with foil and place as many of the ricotta pancakes as you are turning onto pizzas on the tray.

Pizza Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Low Carb Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve RNY VSG Recipes

I topped each cooked pancake with a little store bought Tomato Sauce

Pizza Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Low Carb Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve RNY VSG Recipes

I sprinkled each with a little shredded Italian blend cheese and a couple of them I added mini Pepperoni

Pizza Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Low Carb Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve RNY VSG Recipes

and broiled them in the oven (or toaster oven) for about 2 minutes just till the cheese was all melty.

Pizza Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Low Carb Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve RNY VSG Recipes

These reheat great in the microwave not as crispy edges of course but still delicious.

More Eggface Healthy Italian Recipes
More Ricotta Pancakes

Friday, July 14, 2017

Repurposing Leftovers. Easy as 1 2 3.

Post weight loss surgery it's a given there will be a lot of leftovers... or sadly some waste. I hate wasting food and frankly I don't have the money to not use leftovers. You could just heat them up but that would be... BORING. I much prefer "repurposing" them...

Repurposing: Transforming leftovers into something equally as yummy. The goal is for them to taste and look so completely different you don't realize you are having leftovers.

Mission accomplished. Here are three delicious and very different meals and it all started with an extra piece of chicken...

1. I made a batch of my Unbreaded Chicken Tenders. I just dredge chicken breast tenders in beaten egg then in a combo of almond meal and Parmesan (1/2 cup almond meal to 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese) and seasonings (salt, pepper, sprinkle of Zaatar.) I sauteed them in a small amount of olive oil but for an even lighter version you can bake them. I do 425 (foil lined, non stick sprayed, baking sheet) for 15-20 minutes depending on thickness. They are great served with a homemade Greek Yogurt Dipping Sauce (add herbs or a little BBQ sauce or mustard to plain Greek yogurt to change it up.)

They made a great bento box lunch with some Egg Roll Slaw, Chocolate Microwave Protein Cake, and a great big Strawberry.

Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Low Carb Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve RNY WLS VSG Recipes Menus Food

More Eggface Bento Box Recipes and Ideas

2. The leftover chicken tenders were the perfect protein addition to this Pesto "Zoodles" Zucchini Noodles dinner the next night.

Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Low Carb Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve RNY WLS VSG Recipes Menus Food


Shelly's Chicken and Pesto "Zoodles" Zucchini Noodles

1 Yellow Onion, sliced
6-8 Mushrooms, sliced
3-4 small Zucchini, spiralized
2 Tablespoons storebought Pesto Sauce
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
a few twists of Black Pepper
Salt to taste
Parmesan Cheese
Leftover Cooked Chicken, sliced

Saute mushrooms and onions till golden, remove from pan. I used my spiralizer to make zucchini noodles, sauteed those till limp about 5 minutes, drain any liquid.

Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Low Carb Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve RNY WLS VSG Recipes Menus Food

Add back onions and mushrooms, pesto sauce, and seasonings. Top with cheese and leftover chicken (or steak or shrimp would be great too!)

Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Low Carb Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve RNY WLS VSG Recipes Menus Food

More Eggface Healthy Italian Dinner Recipes

3. And finally... the leftover Pesto Zucchini Noodles became this Frittata (Italian Omelette) in the morning...

Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Low Carb Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve RNY WLS VSG Recipes Menus Food

I warmed about a cup of leftover Pesto "Zoodles" Zucchini Noodles in a saute pan. Add 3-4 beaten eggs. Cook till almost set. Sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese and toss under the broiler till top is set and lightly golden.

Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Low Carb Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve RNY WLS VSG Recipes Menus Food

More Eggface Breakfast Recipes and Ideas
More Eggface Repurposed Meal Recipes and Ideas

Hope you give one (or all three) of these a try. If you do, let me know what you think of them.


Saturday, July 8, 2017

Post Weight Loss Surgery Menus: A day in my pouch

A day in my pouch is a series of blog posts to show what a typical daily menu looks like in my post weight loss surgery world. Today's healthy and delicious menu...

Breakfast: We are in the middle of a hideous heatwave. I debated going to the Farmer's Market but I did need a few things. I didn't have a single onion or any garlic in the house... an Italian with no onions and garlic is sacrilegious. I was in and out though. I grabbed my list items, some zucchini, a couple of peaches, strawberries, avocados, carrots, celery, a little bag of red walnuts. It wasn't even 9 AM the sun was blazing hot... no one tell me there's no global warming.

I stopped in Starbucks and got those Sous Vide Egg Bites for breakfast. I asked last month and got the heads up from a Barista that they were coming back at the end of June. I spotted them a few days ago but it was after breakfast. Nice to have them back as an option. If they aren't back in your hood yet, they should be soon.


I came home and quickly made up dinner. I had a little lump of ground beef from the night before. I hoped the zucchini would be good to make zucchini boats but I figured if all else failed I would have made bacon cheeseburger deviled eggs or one of my other ground beef recipes but the zucchini was perfect. I made little zucchini boats so all I would have to do is heat them up in the microwave come dinner time.

Lunch: It was 108° (this is day 3 of this) so the entire middle of the day I consumed nothing but liquids and survived. Water bottles with my latest favorite drink stick flavor: Sugar Free Squirt (99 cent store)

Bariatric Surgery Low Carb Weight Loss Healthy Fitness Recipes

This new flavored water from Trader Joe's. Comes in 2 flavors: Lemongrass Spearmint (haven't tried it) and the Lemon Ginger which I LOVE...

Bariatric Surgery Low Carb Weight Loss Healthy Fitness Recipes

I also made a Celebrate Vitamins Wildberry Protein Shake...

Bariatric Surgery Low Carb Weight Loss Healthy Fitness Recipes

Speaking of Celebrate... tune in tomorrow I have some summer fun starting ;) Are you following me on Instagram? Believe me you'll want to.

Dinner: Yay! It was easy thanks to my work earlier. This is a great make ahead dinner. They reheat great! I just nuked them 3 minutes when we were ready to eat.

Bariatric Surgery Low Carb Weight Loss Healthy Fitness Recipes

Shelly's Stuffed Zucchini Boats

1/4-1/3 lb Ground Beef, browned (could be Turkey, Pork, whatever you like)
3-4 Zucchinis, halved
1 Yellow Onion, diced
8-10 Mushroom, sliced
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 cup Storebought Tomato Basil Sauce (I use Rao's)
1/4 cup Shredded Italian Blend Cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan, grated

Take the halved zucchini and using a melon baller or a small spoon to scrape out the middle (not all but enough to get a nice amount of filling in.) Place them on a non stick baking sheet. Brown the ground beef, drain any fats. Set aside.

Bariatric Surgery Low Carb Weight Loss Healthy Fitness Recipes

Chop the zucchini middles up and toss it in with the the onions and mushrooms and saute till golden. Add sauce and beef. Stir till combined. Fill each zucchini boat. Top with cheeses.

Bariatric Surgery Low Carb Weight Loss Healthy Fitness Recipes

Bake for 350 for 30 minutes.

Bariatric Surgery Low Carb Weight Loss Healthy Fitness Recipes

Snacks: I made a Chocolate Microwave Protein Cake about 5 minutes ago and when I hit publish this awaits... and some mindless TV. Oh I did end up cancelling DirectTV and went with YouTube TV (w/Live TV) so far so good... $35 versus $86. Woot.

http://theworldaccordingtoeggface.blogspot.com/2016/01/its-national-chocolate-cake-day.html

http://theworldaccordingtoeggface.blogspot.com/2016/01/its-national-chocolate-cake-day.html

Mmm Chocolate... OK gotta go. Remember check in tomorrow!!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Summer Dessert Recipe: Protein Jello Gelatin Cups

If you live in a city with a large Mexican population you have undoubtedly seen those little jello cups in markets, some look like traditional jello cups but some have a milky, creamy look. They are called Gelatina de Leche, it's Jello with sweetened condensed milk mixed in. I always buy a few for my Mum. She loves them because in England where she was raised they have a similar dessert called Blancmange which is very similar though usually slightly almond flavored. I decided I would try my hand at a sugar free version I could eat. I axed the sweetened condensed milk (sugar & fat) and opted instead for protein-packed, Greek yogurt and for a bonus protein bump added protein powder.  

This is a great one for newer bariatric surgery post-ops. It's a way to get a nice amount of protein in something other than a shake. For us older post-ops and non-ops (my Mum loved these too) they are just a yummy and refreshing, summer dessert... perfect after a BBQ. If you make them in disposable cups you can cover them with plastic wrap and take them with you to a movie in the park or on an evening walk... just remember to bring a spoon. 

Weight Loss Surgery Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve VSG RNY WLS Recipes Pureed Soft

Shelly's Protein Jello Gelatin Cups

1/2 cup Very Hot Water
1/4 cup Cold Water
1 small (3-ounce) package Sugar Free Jello Gelatin, powder (any flavor)
1 cup Greek Yogurt (any flavor)
1/4 cup Protein Powder (any flavor)
Disposable cups 

Heat the 1/2 cup of water in the microwave. Pour hot water over sugar free Jello gelatin powder and stir until dissolved. Pour in cold water. Set aside. Mix yogurt and protein powder (I used a whey isolate) together till well combined. 

Weight Loss Surgery Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve VSG RNY WLS Recipes Pureed Soft

Pour into gelatin mixture. Stir till both are combined. Pour into cups (I love 4 oz plastic cups filled about 3/4 full) and refrigerate a few hours. 

Weight Loss Surgery Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve VSG RNY WLS Recipes Pureed Soft

Cook's Notes: You can use plain Greek yogurt or flavored (just watch for added sugars in the flavored ones) stick to brands your dietitian has given the thumbs up or create your own flavor with plain, Greek Yogurt and a little Sugar Free Torani syrup mixed in. If you go that route and add syrup just reduce the cold water a Tablespoon or so to compensate for it and not effect gelatin setting.

Weight Loss Surgery Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve VSG RNY WLS Recipes Pureed Soft

If you are allowed fruit you could drop a few pieces (chopped strawberries, peaches, pears, whatever you like) into each cup before they set but they are great without (pictured), or topped with fruit or a squirt of homemade, no sugar added whipped cream, or more Greek yogurt or cottage cheese.