Hey y'all! Happy 4th of July! I hope you're enjoying your day off if you get one. If you don't, I'm sorry! A special thanks to you! My hope is that one day everyone is able to experience the freedom, peace and safety that so many fought for to gain America's independence! Enjoy the privileges of living free and remember those who don't have that privilege and those that died for that privilege. 'Merica, y'all!
I would also like to wish my Dad a Happy Birthday! We celebrated his 56th yesterday and last Sunday. And, we're having ribs today…so celebrations everywhere!
This is a random aside, but I wanted to share anyway that I'll be having gum surgery in a couple weeks. This is probably TMI but I am prone to gum recession and cyst tumors that get swollen and ugly. I guess more than anything, I want sympathy as they "grind" everything down. This isn't the first time I've done this and I'm not "worried," I just feel the world (or my dozens of followers) should know that for a couple days, it will be perfectly acceptable for me to eat milkshakes and my mom's homemade potato soup.
As I mentioned last month, my parents and I headed out west a few weeks ago. We visited Vancouver, Seattle and Portland (including the coast of Oregon). We had an incredible time. The area out there is beautiful. Both the scenery and the food were my favorite part. I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that in one week I gained 9.8 pounds! I was honestly impressed more than anything. I ate so many sweets and decadent foods and it was all worth it. The next week, I was able to lose around 6 of that and then the next week I lost nothing. I don't anticipate a loss this week either due to the celebrations but I will give myself a couple weeks to get the rest of the vacation weight off.
I think in the past I have shown you a corn, black bean salsa. To be honest, I don't remember. But, I wanted to show you how far I stretch the stuff. I take thawed out frozen corn (or just corn then I guess at that point), canned black beans that I've rinsed, , a drained can of Rotel tomatoes, a chopped onion, salt, pepper and garlic powder and toss it all together. On Weight Watchers, this is a "free" salsa. That means I can eat it until the cows come home. So, I use it as a dip with baked tostitos, but I also mix it up by adding chicken or fat free feta or a fried egg or all of the above. It's a versatile, filling salsa with nutrients, flavor and protein. It tastes good for about a week in the fridge which is the perfect amount of time because you have just started getting sick of it. Having it about once a month is the right balance.
I'm a firm believer that a runny egg yolk is the most sultry, delicious way to add flare to a dish. There's not much that won't be improved by slapping a over easy egg on top in my honest opinion. So, I do that a lot. Recently, I took one chicken sausage link, cut the casing and emptied the contents into a skillet sprayed with non stick spray. I let it start to render a bit and added a boat load of shredded hash browns. I can't stress the importance of these shredded potatoes enough. They are low in calories and tasty! I added my standard spices of salt, pepper and garlic and let it get cooked all the way through. Obviously oil or butter would make this a crispier, richer dish, but when I'm still trying to recover from a vacation, no fat works well too. Once this skillet of sausage and potatoes is all cooked, guess what I put on top? An egg. That's right. I actually get sad when I overcook my eggs and can't get the satisfaction of taking my fork and watching the egg drizzle out over everything. OK, I'm done now. OH! And PS, I pretty much add taco sauce to everything too so that's what you see in some of the photos.
The last food I wanted to show you today did not get an egg added to the top…though I wouldn't be opposed. These are zucchini chips. They are super easy to make. Just use a mandolin to slice the zucchini into super thin chips. Then, toss them all with a tiny teaspoon of olive oil, non-stick spray, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Lay them all out on a cookie sheet that you've set up with foil and parchment paper and then cook them at 250 for 45 minutes, turn the sheet around and cook them another 45 minutes. I know it's a long time and to be honest, that will probably be why I don't make them regularly, but it does help them crisp up. If I make them again, I will add a bit less salt because mine had too much. They are not sturdy enough for a dip or anything but pretty tasty for a healthy snack.
Have a wonderful holiday y'all! Talk to you next month!