Beer-marinated pork chops with cheese topping

I followed this recipe, only I used oatmeal stout. Obviously, beer is something I consume sparingly, but I’m not convinced that much of the carbohydrate in the beer ends up in the pork chops. They were some pork chops I bought for $2.88/lb on sale. The first time I cooked one, it was fairly tough so I decided to marinate the rest. Definitely a recipe I’ll make again. 

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TOPS weigh-in – down 1.2 lbs to 211 lbs

Woo-hoo! I made it to my new group 2 weeks in a row and had a loss both weeks. I’m at 36.5 lbs lost since I started at TOPS in October 2012.

Then we had fruit salad with nonfat yogurt since we were celebrating the start of a new executive. I chose to have some – there wasn’t any added sugar, but it’ll definitely make it a high carb day.

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“Canned” tomatoes

I bought 20 lbs of grade B tomatoes at the market for $5. (They’re local tomatoes that are a bit soft, or a bit strangely shaped, or that have blemishes on their skin – perfect for canning.) I cored and quartered them and cooked them for a couple hours to soften them, then ran them through my food mill to remove the skins and seeds. I put them back int the pot on the back burner, uncovered, and cooked them at 2 (just warmer than low) for about 12 hours, then reduced the heat to low and continued cooking them for another 18 hours. I stirred them when I thought to, which wasn’t very often. By the end of their 30 hour cooking, they’d reduced by half and thickened nicely. I put them in 8 ounce, 12 ounce, and 1 L jars for various purposes and froze them. They’ll be great in soups and, of course, tomato sauce.

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Chocolate panna cotta

Combine 1/2 cup cold water with 1 Tbsp. gelatin. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat 2 cups of heavy cream over medium-low heat to a low simmer. Remove from the heat and stir in 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, 20 drops caramel stevia, 3 packets sodium cyclamate sweetener, a pinch of salt, and 2 Tbsp. splenda. After the chocolate is fully incorporated, stir in the soaked gelatin. Pour into a mold (or a lidded pyrex bowl, in my case) and refrigerate until firm. I’ll refrigerate it overnight.

Next time, I want to make some espresso, refrigerate it, and soak the gelatin in that.

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Peanut butter chocolate chip blondies

I followed this recipe, with these changes: 3 packets sodium cyclamate sweetener + 2 Tbsp. splenda instead of the swerve, 20 or so drops of caramel stevia extract instead of the plain stevia extract, and 1/2 cup chopped 70% cacao Callebaut chocolate instead of the chocolate chips. They remind me more of a breakfast-y oatmeal bar than of blondies, but they do taste good so I’ll definitely make them again.

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Sesame flour bagels

I made the batter for Italian cloverleaf rolls from the Joy of Gluten Free Sugar Free Baking, minus the herbs. I baked it in my doughnut pans. I filled a large one that holds 6 and the remaining batter filled 8 of the 12 tiny doughnut holes in my other one.

Making sesame flour was very easy – I did it in my blender just as I do ground flax. The bagels are strong tasting, but since sesame is a normal flavour for bagels, I think it works. Sesame seeds cost about $3/lb at Johnvince Foods (a great bulk store in Toronto I visited on the weekend), making this a less expensive recipe.

It’s been very novel to have a toasted bagel with cream cheese for breakfast. I recommend toasting them lightly – they get a bit crumbly and more strongly sesame flavoured if they’re toasted for longer. I must get some smoked salmon!

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New TOPS group (and time) and down 2.3 lbs

My new TOPS group is in the evening (so my weight is likely to be marginally higher) and they record weights using the granularity of their scale (0.1 lb), not rounded to the nearest 1/2 lb. But after missing TOPS for more than a month I was still down 2.3 lbs to 212.2 lbs. Yay! My total loss is now 35.3 lbs.

I need to watch the low carb proselytizing – I mentioned it to a friend who worked his butt off to lose a couple hundred pounds eating low fat and has started to regain it and he was pretty angry. It’s hard knowing that people are working so hard to lose weight and maintain weight loss because of bad nutritional advice. But I need to be more sensitive.

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