Meal Planning, Part 3

Posted on August 12, 2020 by prairiemoonquilts in Recipes

Since I took over the cooking back in January, due to My Cowboy’s health, I’ve been on a mission to find things that we both like, that fit our dietary restrictions and requirements, and are quick and easy to make.

I previously wrote about my efforts HERE and HERE, with links to some of the recipes I’ve tried, and I’m slowly getting better at it, and our meals keep getting healthier. I’ve also come up with a schedule I can live with as far as planning and grocery shopping, so that has taken some of the stress out of it for me.

I thought I’d start you out today with some of My Cowboy’s comments and reviews about our new eating plan.

The comment he uses most often is: “This shit better be good.”

But here are a few others he’s used:

“I think yer tryin’ to sneak a casserole on me.” (He doesn’t like casserole because he thinks you’ll be trying to sneak in something he normally wouldn’t eat!)
“I think I taste Bisquick.” (I don’t even own any Bisquick — haha!)
“The only problem I see with this is, you put corn and beans together. I’m gonna hafta be careful when I fart.”
“Everything’s better with caramel sauce.”
“Bacon does not belong IN something. Bacon needs to just be bacon.”
“I think I see spinach.”
“So am I to assume that those red things are capers?” (Bahaha!)
“Cabbage? Hmm . . . I may have to rethink my plans for tomorrow morning.”
“I think we can agree that bratwurst is better served to the barn cats.”

And still, I cook for him . . .

After mostly trying to eat healthier these past few months, we both lost 5 pounds, and we both agree that we don’t miss eating out at all. However, My Cowboy said he doesn’t really look or feel any better, so he wanted to step up our game.

He’s been doing lots of research on foods he should eat or not eat based on all his various serious medical conditions: bad heart, bad lungs, bad kidneys, severe degenerative arthritis, to name a few. I’m sure you realize that you can find conflicting information on nearly everything: eggs are bad/eggs are good, salt is the enemy/you need more salt, eat potatoes/don’t eat potatoes, etc., so it’s all very confusing.

My Cowboy’s kidney doctor told him he did not have to give up drinking Coke, but don’t eat peanuts or tomato sauces; his heart doctor told him he needed to eat more salt; he was diagnosed with CHF and told to go on a low-sodium diet; his potassium was too high, so he was supposed to give up potatoes and bananas; he started having leg cramps, so was told to eat more potassium — how on earth are you ever supposed to do the right thing???

So we started eating lots of Keto meals . . . but we weren’t doing a full-out strict Keto diet. We both like the food, but again, we didn’t notice much in the way of changes, and my doctor daughter says that doing Keto long-term is not good for My Cowboy, anyway, so if he’s not losing weight on it, it’s not worth it.

So we’re re-directing again . . . we’re still doing lots of Keto meals, but we’re not gonna worry if we eat rice or grains now and then — he’s gone back to having oatmeal for breakfast occasionally, but he’s cut way back on drinking Coke. We’ve cut out most sugar and white flour, and I found a few Keto dessert recipes we like that we will stick with.

One more important note: I’m adamantly against artificial sweeteners of any kind. I gave them up back in 1999, and have never looked back. I won’t let My Cowboy have them, either. So when a recipe calls for sugar or an artificial sweetener, I either leave it out, or use just a teaspoon or tablespoon of real sugar in place of the sweetener they call for.

So here are some of the recipes we’ve tried . . .

I’m starting off with my new favorite web site: eatwell 101

Every single thing on this site looks absolutely delicious (and healthy). They even have a dedicated Keto section, and other sections based on specific diet plans as well (Paleo, vegan, etc.). Here are a few of my favorite recipes so far, and I keep trying more new ones every week (I have yet to try one that we don’t like):

Strawberry Cheesecake Mousse

Fajita Chicken Casserole

Grilled Garlic Mushroom Skewers
Our grill is tiny, so I used their alternate suggestion, and just made these in my cast-iron skillet. Still scrumptious.

Baked Tuscan Chicken Casserole
So good I can’t even describe it. It was equal to something served in a fine restaurant, and that’s saying a lot if I cooked it and it came out that good! I hope to try this one again. Plus, it made enough for 2 meals, so it saved me having to cook another night.

Here’s another site My Cowboy found: — I haven’t yet tried anything from here, but I have plans to.

Then my sister, who recently started doing a full-out Keto plan, got me this cookbook:

In the short time I’ve had it, I can truthfully say I’ve never had a cookbook I used more recipes from. They’re all fast and super easy — 5 ingredients! What’s not to love? Some of them are no-cook/no-bake, and most of them make just enough for 2 people, which works fantastic for us. And they fit our no sugar/no flour plan to a T.

A couple of my favorites from this book are the Mississippi Pot Roast, and the Frosty Chocolate Shake (which is just like a Wendy’s Frosty — soooo yummy!)

I also made these a couple times — Pete’s Stuffed Jalapeños — I’m pretty sure they qualify as Keto.

We eat salads a lot for lunch, smoothies for breakfast, and I got My Cowboy to try chia pudding, and he was OK with it, so I’ll be making more different flavors of chia pudding that we can eat for breakfast. That way he doesn’t have to eat oatmeal every day.

So . . . if you’re looking for more meal-planning ideas and good healthy recipes, check these things out. You can get lost on those two web sites for a good long while. I think I’m gonna be sticking with those two sites for most of our meals for the foreseeable future. I see so many more recipes I want to try!

10 responses to “Meal Planning, Part 3”

  1. suzanne says:

    I started keto last year. I lost 20 pounds. I did allow myself to have treats on occasions. I maintained that weight until the pandemic started and we bought, beans, rice and I was making bread. I do not use sugar but stevia or a stevia blend. What helped me the most when I was losing was tracking the carbs each day. I used an app on my phone called Carb Manager. The basic part is free. The only way the keto works to lose and continue to work is if you are actually in ketosis. SO if like me you have more carbs or treats as you should you will just maintain. Lucky you both diet together. My husband eats differently than I so its hard

  2. Randy Menninghaus says:

    I know about that Miss pot roast!!!!

    Hello to your cowboy.

    My husband btw. knew that I was sneaking shredded. zuchinni in my spaghetti sauce last year. He said no more of that lol

  3. Suelynn Williams says:

    Thanks for sharing – I’ll take a look at the sites you recommend. After my husband’s heart attack, we were directed to a Plant Based diet! I’ll sum it up like this: very time consuming! Your Cowbow has quite a sense of humor!

  4. Angie in SoCal says:

    I know just how you feel about those doctors and what they want us to do. My urologist says don’t take calcium – forms into kidney stones. The osteoporosis doc says take calcium to strength the bones. I directed them to each other to make up their minds or come up with a plan. Cookbook looks good – I’ll keep my eye out for it.

  5. Kerry says:

    Difficult to find something that strikes the happy medium.
    Capers! Teeehehehehehehe! I like your style!
    But it is a great feeling when everything on your plate is home grown in spite of the contrary weather we’ve had.
    I agree with the artificial sweeteners, we use sugar or honey. Sometimes agave nectar and none of those leave you with a weird aftertaste which I hated – so stopped it when my mum put it in my tea – must be 50 years ago now. Switched to black coffee, no sugar at all! Same for margarine – butter most definitely and rapeseed oil (which I gather is canola over the pond), HRH does use olive oil – again don’t like the flavour.
    I’ve got some mushrooms to use, so I rather like the idea of your recipe and the others are interesting too. Cheers

  6. Rose Marie Smith says:

    I know Cowboy. He is intelligent but doesn’t like to change his mind about anything!! Welcome to old age and bad health, Cowboy. You will change!! I guarantee it.
    I will look over these recipes and see what I can try. Now that we are shut in, you have to think and cook. Can’t run out to get something quick.
    My guy can’t eat mushrooms……….that is on his no-no list, so I am no help.

  7. We never eat out anymore and don’t miss it, either. We are having so much fun finding great recipes and making new things, that turn out so much better than anything at a restaurant. (My husband has really gotten into smoking meat–wow, is that tasty!) I am going to try that Tuscan Chicken recipe tonight!

  8. paula m says:

    I did Keto from last week of April 2019 to EGGNOG season….up until then I had lost 26 lbs. felt great. My only problem, I lost a TON of hair, and kept breaking out in rashes….Primary DR and Dermatologist did not feel Keto related. Funny they both stopped when I started gaining back weight. I was too restrictive. I only missed not having my banana everyday. Sweets don’t do it for me anymore so I am grateful for keto for that! I like your way of leaning towards it, including the carbs you like. Men are funny aren’t they? Thank you for your favorite recipes!

  9. Sharon Sauser says:

    Oh Shelly. A lot of these same comments could have come from my hubby – especially about casseroles. I used to be able to cook decently, and didn’t mind too much, but got so I disliked it and quit trying. Ray used to hate it when he saw me get out a cookbook. There are very few casseroles he likes, and pretty simple foods. It sounds like you are doing good.

    By the way, with kidney disease I’m not supposed to have dark colored sodas because they have potassium and phosphorus. Then I discovered that 7-UP does, too.

  10. Candice says:

    Your cowboy sounds hilarious!!!

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