Resolution, Schmesolution…..Gimme a Pizza!

Do you have your New Year’s resolutions ready to go?

Why?

This ritualistic vow has always seemed odd to me.

I mean, really….If these life changes are so important, why don’t we start them the day that we’ve identified the need?  Why put off this necessary change until January 1st?

Are you pledging to be nicer to your fellow-man, give more to charity, volunteer at the animal shelter? Go ahead and put it off…..

I’m sure Fido will understand if he has nobody to walk him or love on him until January 1st.  I’m just sayin’….

If you figure out in October that you have literally gotten too big for your britches, why wait until January to quit eating Ho-Ho’s and foot long Philly Cheesesteaks?  For God sake, put down that double-double with large coke and commence with the salads. Now.

The resolution to lose weight always baffles me because being overweight tends to happen long-term, not overnight in December…Yeah, you might put on a few pounds of holiday weight, but weight gain usually happens the same way weight loss does…..Over the long haul.  Just as long-term poor eating habits cause weight gain, only long-term change in eating habits causes sustained and healthy weight loss.

I know, because I have been extra fluffy for a long time.  But once I decided to change all that, I did not wait until January to do it.

My lifestyle change began in July, when I had bariatric surgery….I have lost 65 pounds, which is halfway to my goal. I look better, I feel better—way better—and I am a much happier person in general.  Since I didn’t want to blog my favorite recipes for chicken broth, chicken broth, or chicken broth, I didn’t blog for a period during this time.

At first I thought I was taking the easy way out….But, it hasn’t been easy.  Old habits die-hard, and after weight loss surgery, you can’t “cheat” like you can on a diet. It’s like a prolonged period of forced dietary torture.   For about 6 weeks after surgery, I had serious buyer’s remorse.  I could only broth for a few weeks, followed by beans, finely ground meat, and green olives (that was weird), but desperately craved a pizza with everything on it.

Even now, six months later, and at my “new normal” capacity, sometimes I want nothing more than a big ol’ bowl of pasta carbonara.  And I COULD eat some of it. But after only a very small amount—an amount that doesn’t even satisfy– the pasta swells, leaving me very uncomfortable for several hours. For this reason, I tend to follow doctor’s orders and avoid bread, rice and pasta. Because I would rather be satiated, I stick with the lean protein that I am supposed to eat, and fill in the margins with vegetables and a little fruit. 

The surgery has made possible for me what my own will power was too weak to allow.

But, I no longer feel that I am missing out on ANYTHING.  I have found ways to replace ALL of the starchy, high carb foods that cause me trouble, and they are delicious, fully satisfying replacements.  Since you may be contemplating a New Year’s resolution around healthy eating, I am glad to share these with you.  If you are reading this post after January—don’t feel like you have to wait until next New Year’s to try these out, because your butt will only get bigger in the meantime.  For real.

 Eatsa Pizza

Your family will never know they are eating cauliflower instead of pizza crust.  I won’t tell if you won’t.

Sauce:

  • 1 32-oz can high quality crushed tomatoes (I use Cento)
  • 1 4-oz jar tomato paste (I use Cento)
  • 2 tablespoon sugar, Splenda, or agave syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves minced garlic

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan, and mix well. Heat to simmering, and allow to cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool while preparing crust.

Crust:

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup shredded fresh parmesan cheese (not the jar of powdered mess)
  • 1 cup mozzarella
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 cloves finely minced garlic

Cheese and toppings of your choice

Preheat oven to 425*

Break cauliflower into florets. Place half of the florets into a food processor, and pulse until the cauliflower is the about the consistency of rice. Place in a large, microwave-safe bowl.  Repeat with the remaining half.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes.   Allow to cool for a few minutes.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment, and spray lightly with cooking spray.

Combine the cauliflower with the other ingredients to form a dough. Press dough into 3 or 4 squares, about 1/3 inch thick on the sheets.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and set. 

Top with a thin layer of sauce (saving the remainder for future pizzas), and cheese, and your favorite pizza toppings.  I love a combination of mozzarella, asiago, parmesan, romano, and provolone cheese, with thinly sliced red onion and black olive…..

I lost the memory card that had pics of this dish…But my friend Adam at The Unorthodox Epicure was kind to let me use his…pictured both with pepperoni and with eggplant.

image

image

Chicken Faux -ried Rice

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup diced or shredded carrot
  • ½ cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper
  • ½ cup frozen peas, or 1 cup snow peas
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 3 tablespoon soy sauce, divided
  • 3 teaspoons sugar, Splenda, or agave syrup
  • ¾ cup chicken broth

Break cauliflower into florets. Place half of the florets into a food processor, and pulse until the cauliflower is the about the consistency of rice.  Repeat with the remaining half, and set all of it aside.

Slice chicken into thin slices, and toss with salt to season.

Cook chicken until done and golden

Cook chicken until done and golden

In a large skillet or wok, heat oil over medium high heat.  Add chicken and cook until starting to turn golden.  Add the carrots and cook for 3 minutes. Add yellow onion, bell pepper and peas, and cook for 3 more minutes.  

fried rice chicken and veg

Push all of the ingredients to one side of the pan.  Mix one teaspoon soy sauce into the eggs, and pour into the open space in the pan, tilting pan to keep eggs from mixing with the meat and vegetables.  Cook just until the eggs are done, and break them into bite-sized pieces with your spoon or spatula. 

Try to avoid the eggs getting all up in the other ingredients' grills.

Try to avoid the eggs getting all up in the other ingredients’ grills.

Stir all together.  Sprinkle sugar over the top, and then add the cauliflower, remaining soy sauce, and broth.  Stir and cook until broth is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately.

Delicious, and satisfying fried rice..without the rice.

Delicious, and satisfying fried rice..without the rice.

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10 Comments on “Resolution, Schmesolution…..Gimme a Pizza!”

  1. 2013/12/31 at 2:57 pm #

    Congratulations on the new you! My wife had the surgery a few years ago, despite my protests. I remember telling her ‘If you eat like a person who’s had the surgery, you’ll lose the same amount of weight.’ Much easier said than done, though. — I can loan you a photo of my cauliflower pizzas if you like. Our recipes are almost identical. By the way, I use Cento almost exclusively and find that it needs absolutely no additional sweetener. (Yep. They’re that good!) Happy 2014!

    • 2013/12/31 at 7:04 pm #

      Yes….Cento is delicious. I can eat them out of the can. And they make amazing salsa…..I will use your photo shamelessly…..and link to your site! Thanks a TON

  2. 2013/12/31 at 3:51 pm #

    good for you Christine-how amazing!

  3. Lance
    2013/12/31 at 3:59 pm #

    So going to try the pizza dough recipe.

  4. 2013/12/31 at 6:12 pm #

    That`s really cool ‘fried rice”. I try to stay off of carbs…the week or so after a doctor`s visit. And then I revert to old trends. The biggest change of my life happened in June. I decided I wanted to eat like I had been told people with gastric bypass surgery do. (It seems my info was wrong now, but it got the job done for me.) I heard they ate one cup of food every two hours to stay full on a tiny stomach. I starting breaking three giant meals a day into six well spaced mini meals, and I`ve lost some weight. the biggest thing is that I`ve lost a lot of inches, and grown muscles faster. On the resolution thing, I think it is an excuse all year to procrastinate and never really start to change old habits.

  5. 2013/12/31 at 11:21 pm #

    Now you are giving out recipes even I can use. Carbs are addictive. I’m an addict. One leads to all. So I really have to cut them out big time. Whatever it takes to feel better is what’s important. What others think, isn’t. Good for you. I don’t do resolutions either. Each day is it’s own new beginning.

  6. 2014/01/04 at 1:03 am #

    Your recipes are a great Christmas present. Thank you! Wishing you the best of health in the new year. They say it only takes 21 days to ingrain a new habit and it sounds as if you’re there already. Congrats!

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