Wednesday, October 8, 2014

What Makes A Man (or at least ManO) Happy and Healthy

Poor ManO. We get back from his business trip to Hawaii just in time for his birthday and for him to have skin cancer surgery.  PSA: USE SUNSCREEN and check any strange bumps or moles. Head to the doc ASAP.

This baby face has had it rough over the years.


Yep, it's been a fun month, a fun year. So I decided I needed to make him an extra special birthday dinner. I even planned ahead. But it had to be a healthier version. No excuses.


The main dish: ManO loves meatloaf but it had to be healthier.

But meat loaf and healthy don't go together! Yes they can.

Going low carb? Substitute in sauteed celery and onions for bread crumbs. I use about a half onion and a half of a bunch of celery. Put it in the food processor and pulse down. Be sure to saute it with a little olive oil and let cool before adding to your other ingredients. Cooking the veggies will keep them from drawing moisture away from the meat. The things you learn!


Dropping that cholesterol count? Use lean meat and substitute half of your beef with turkey.

Watching out for heart stress and bloating? Don't use a lot of salt. Put a little bit bacon on top. Bacon makes everything better. We didn't even miss the salt. You can also use any number of spices.

And most of all, serve smaller portions!



The side: ManO loves scalloped potatoes but they had to be quick and less fattening.

Going low carb?  I went with Yukon potatoes this one birthday celebration. This foods to reconsider article in our local paper made me feel better about a not so orange potato being served.


Dropping that cholesterol count? Instead of cream, I used lowfat milk with one pat of butter and a dash of salt for flavor.

Strapped for time? I discovered pre-cooking in the microwave saves a lot of time. I just cooked my yukon taters, sliced them and laid them in my baking dish. I just baked them the last thirty minutes while the meatloaf was cooking.

Again, serve smaller portions

Veggie: ManO loves green veggies. A shocking turn of events. So sauteed spinach it was! 

Dessert?  Jetlag sent me down the street to our French bakery. I got their brownies, made of Ghardelli chocolate and very little flour but cut them into small bites. No whole brownies for us any more.  Again, per that newspaper story, the infamous they have shown that folks who cut out indulgences totally are doomed to failure. And smaller portions are plain and simple cheaper!!!

So, we've talked a lot about programs and ideas that lead us to healthier eating. What is the once a year indulgence you can't give up? Have you had success with remade recipes and your family's reaction to them?   

19 comments:

  1. We need the whole meatloaf recipe! I've never seen bacon on meatloaf in my life. YUM.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Virginia, I hadn't either until a high school friend posted pictures of her meatloaf! Just take whatever meatloaf recipe you love, sub in veggies for the breadcrumbs and put bacon on top. It really is that easy.

      Delete
  2. Amen on the PSA for sunscreen!

    I agree, Virginia. That bacon looks like it would be great on there. I love meatloaf but my family doesn't. So I don't ever make it. I need to come up to NC to eat some! :)

    One thing I do when substituting turkey is to season it with Montreal Steak seasoning like I do my beef. I think it tricks my mind. LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tricking the mind is what it's all about! And feel free to drop by any time!

      Delete
  3. when I have time to cook I use leaner meats - 93% or leaner for meatloaf- I usually use a little bit of breadcrumbs(I don't stretch my meat too far!) but I remember my mom using oats a long time ago and adding diced onion and bell pepper. I made one recipe once that had mushrooms chopped up and a mexican meatloaf that was pretty tasty (but had cheese in it along with salsa) I need to try that oen again.
    I can't handle cutting up brownies- not even freezing them - just better off skipping them. and meatloat if hard because it's married to mashed potatoes(thought I use low fat cheddar and make them from scratch if I can with skim milk and just al ittle bit at that) and green beans. that 's the meatloaf meal. I have a recipe somewhere for a trukey/spnach meatloaf I haven' t tried yet but the person who posted it says it's delicious (she also said you could taste the spinach and that was the point - I wasn't wanting to taste the spinach at the time so it didnt make my short list...)
    I need to get back in gear- I slacked off after the dr visit but got a call from the nurse today - liver function still down but othe rtests negative so I have fatty liver and the best wayt o control it is to 'lose weight' sigh. I wonder how heatlthy vietnamse spring rolls and the vermicelli bowls are? sure the grulled pork ain't the best option..it tastes too good but the spring rolls seemed lean with chicken and shrimp...
    I really need some time off and not being tired to do some cooking and freezing. a friend of mine did the pampered chef freezer meal party and plans on doing another. she cut meals in half when she made them at the party and still has about 20 meals to cook later that ara already made up.
    Susanna

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I'm sorry to hear about your health issues but you're on top of them. I like to hide veggies myself. And I would love the mushroom addition but they give ManO the willies.

      I love the idea of freezer parties. I only have gone as far these days as making enough so I don't have to cook days in a row.

      Delete
    2. Susanna, I'm sorry about the health scare. I think freezing meals is a great idea--if you can just find the time to do it! A party sounds like a fun way.

      Delete
  4. I love this dinner! So awesome! And I agree with the smaller portions. These days if we eat out, I order the kiddy meal for me and let DH have the adult meal, even though he has officially crossed the kiddy meal line. I don't think I can keep up the ruse much longer....*sigh*

    Man O looks exactly the same as he did when he was a baby....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. With no kids in tow, we have to eat half the meal and box the rest. I would much rather have a high quality meal with European sized servings than gigantic processed food.

      Delete
  5. I'm such a foodie. I crave food, and that's always an interesting conundrum, and while I like eating healthy I won't pretend that's my natural inclination.... but this all looks lovely, Julie! Ol' Dave would scoff at the turkey substitution so we use lean beef, but he loves regular turkey.... So go figure!

    So ignore my pumpkin spice chocolate chip cookies tomorrow because they will instantly unhinge all of your hard work! :) But honestly, they are totally worth it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Im there on the cookies. Pumpkin and chocolate are healthy!

      Delete
  6. Yum! Your meal makes me hungry and your smarter choices are great! I am working at losing weight and getting healthier so thank you!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hang in there, Melanie and thanks for commenting.

      Delete
  7. Ree Drummond uses bacon on her recipe for meatloaf. It's yummy!

    Must try subbing out the bread crumbs.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Theres a cookbook where this woman sneaks veggies in a lot. Cant remember but seems like her hairs in a blonde ponytail on the cover and it's geared towards tricking kids.
    Susan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know what you are talking about. My DIL does it all the time. But only when she is sure the kids aren't looking.

      Delete
  9. The meal looks fabulous and taste, Julie! And happy birthday to Man-O!

    It can be easy to eat healthy - watch the carbs, increase the veggies, use high-quality protein, etc. But what always trips me up is the convenience food when life gets hectic - and it's when life is at its worst that we need to eat the best, isn't it? Susanna's idea of freezing meals for later is a great one. Healthy convenience foods!

    We're so blessed to be able to buy local, grass-fed beef from a rancher my sons work with. And then we have it processed at a local butcher. They trim the fat off the meat before making ground beef, and it's delicious.

    And I save my turkey for turkey days. No mixing at our house :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Checking in late here, Julie. Poor ManO. He's been through the wringer this year.

    We're very familiar with the skin cancer stuff. Hubby spent years working as a lifeguard and he's paying for it now. Fortunately, nothing has been malignant. Will be keeping ManO in my prayers for a clean bill of health.

    ReplyDelete