Perfect Protein Salad, revisited

So. I love love love this salad, but was having problems. It seemed like after eating it for a while I would get a UTI, or at least an irritation. Then I found that in certain people, soy can irritate the urinary tract. I was bummed.

Then, I found a recipe for a chickpea salad. It was just chickpeas, olive oil, cumin, lime, red onion, and cilantro, but it was YUMMY. It got me thinking.

So, I tried making the salad, but with garbanzos instead. I also wasn’t in the mood to go through the soaking and cooking process for the wheat berries, but I thought I’d try to substitute cooked quinoa instead, after having a yummy quinoa salad at a local grocery store.

In short, while it’s not exactly the same, it’s plenty yummy. Garbanzos / chickpeas do have less protein an more carbohydrates, but also have more fiber. The quinoa and red wheat berries are equal on protein, but the quinoa has less carbohydrates and less fiber.

So. There you go. A substitute for those that want it Winking smile


I haven’t written much lately as I’m at an expected plateau. When I got on the scale this morning and I’d only lost 1/2 a pound since Mid-October, at first I was upset. Excited to have finally lost a bit again as I’d gone up a couple pounds, but still…

Then I got thinking.

We’ve all seen the “Averages after Weight Loss Surgery) chart, right? (it’s at the end of the post for those that missed it earlier) Well, it tells me that at this point in my journey the average is to have lost 73% of my excess weight. I classify excess weight as the weight over my goal. My goal is a BMI of 25, so 160 pounds. That means my excess weight was 157 pounds. 73% of that is 114 pounds. Since I’ve lost 128.5 that means I’ve lost 14.5 pounds more than average.

As well, if you look at that chart the highest the average goes is the 76%. I’ve said for a while that although I want to lose that last 30 pounds, in many ways I’d be thrilled to stay right were I am (under 200, and having lost 81% of my excess weight), so it’s good to know that it’s okay to be relatively happy where I am.

Still want to lose that last 30 pounds, but it helps to really get some perspective on how far I’ve come.


Time from Surgery


Pounds to lose for me

Goal weight for me


1 Mo.





3 Mo.





6 Mo.





9 Mo.





12 Mo.





15 Mo.





18 Mo.





24 Mo.(2 Yr)





3 Years





5 Years





Perfect Protein Salad

This one is found a lot of places, but the version I followed is from here:


3/4 cup raw soybeans, cooked until tender and cooled (SEE NOTE AT BOTTOM)
3/4 cup raw rye or wheat berries, cooked until tender and cooled (SEE NOTE AT BOTTOM)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tsp. fresh fennel or dill
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Juice of 1 lime or lemon
Dash of basil
2 Tbs. dry, white wine
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 scallion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 cucumber, diced
1 red onion, diced
1 pepper, diced
1 stalk celery, diced

1 cup cottage cheese
Fresh alfalfa sprouts
Tomato, for garnish

Combine marinade ingredients in a medium bowl. Add soybeans and berries and
let marinade, 15 to 20 minutes.

Combine all ingredients along with cottage cheese and alfalfa sprouts. Serve
garnished with tomato.

NOTE: To cook the beans and wheat berries – Soak both in SEPARATE bowls for at least 4 hours, overnight is better. Drain and rinse. Place in SEPARATE pots and cover with an inch or so of water. Bring to a boil and simmer. The wheat berries took about 45 minutes, the soy beans took about 1 hour 15 minutes. You want them tender but not mushy. Then drain and rinse in cold water before continuing.

My Thoughts:

I’ve already posted this once on Facebook, so here it is again confirming how much I love this recipe. This makes a HUGE bowl, I think the next time I may try to cut the recipe in half, although I’m not sure how since it uses a lot of “one of’” ingredients. However, I made this recipe well over a week ago, there is still some in the fridge, and it’s still good. So, ‘going bad’ doesn’t seem to be as much of an issue as you might think.

UPDATE – I have found some substitutions for those that have issues with soy or don’t want to take the time for the soaking and cooking. Uses chickpeas / garbanzos instead of the soybeans, and quinoa instead of the red wheat berries.

Perfect Protein Salad, revisited

Parmesan Tuna Patties

These are like crab cakes, but with tuna, and they are YUM. Using flaxmeal instead of bread crumbs helps control the ‘bad’ carbs and adds some good fiber.

The recipe is from:

1 (6 3/4-oz) can albacore tuna
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 large egg
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons ground flaxmeal (look in the cereal isle near the wheat germ)
1 dash garlic powder
1 dash onion powder
1 dash salt

Drain tuna. Blend all ingredients in a medium size bowl and form into patties. Fry in olive oil until brown on edges. Turn. Fry until done.

My Thoughts:

As I said, these are really good. I like tuna and having another way to eat it besides on cucumber slices or whatever is great.

I think at some time in the future I will try these with crab to make crab cakes. They’d probably also be good with salmon, shrimp, etc.

Vitamins, again

Earlier this month I had my 12 month follow up. As part of that, they take a blood draw ( or 7 or 8 ) to check lots of things. I only got the basics as I was driving when they called, I hope to get a full report later.

With what I’ve been doing, only two things showed as low – protein and Vitamin D. Now, my Vitamin D was low pre-op, so that’s not really surprising and the PA has mailed me a prescription to have filled at the pharmacy. The test for the protein marker showed that I wasn’t getting quite enough in and it was recommended that I increase my daily protein by 10 grams.

So, again, here are what I take for WLS (there are other medications I take that aren’t because of the WLS, so they’re not included here, but I talked about them in an earlier post).


1 Up&Up (Target brand) Children’s Chewable with 18g iron
4 Caltrate Petites, spread out over the day (800mg calcium *citrate* total)
1 Biotin (5000 mcg, not tested for)
1 B-12 (1000 mcg)

As well I take 500mg magnesium which can be helpful in calcium absorption and therefor also helps with constipation.

Good to know that what I’ve been doing is (for the most part) working Smile

More recipes!

Heads up, I just added a BUNCH of recipes, but didn’t want to spam Facebook, etc. with all the notifications, so turned them off while I was posting. So this is just to say “Hey, there’s more recipes now”

Remember, you can always jump directly to the recipes just by clicking the My Recipes tab in the header.


Pepperoni Chicken (aka Pizza in a Pot)

This one was found in a cook book, but I can’t remember what cookbook and can’t find it online. So… someone may be mad about copyright eventually, lol

2 pounds chicken breasts, cubed
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 pound pepperoni slice (look for the lower fat turkey pepperoni if you want)
1/2 cup onion, diced (I just use 1 whole small onion)
1 cup green pepper, diced (1 small)
1/2 cup black olives, sliced (about 1 large can for us)
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon fennel seed
2 chicken bouillon cubes (or 2 tsp loose bouillon)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine (I NEVER have any on hand and so just use ½ cup water, works fine)
1/4 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

In large oven proof pan, cook chicken in olive oil. Add onions and cook until the onions are clear. Add remaining ingredients except pepperoni and cheeses, cover, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Turn on oven broiler. Remove lid and stir in pepperoni. Sprinkle cheese and mozzarella. Put under broiler until the cheese browns.

My Thoughts:

As you can see, we call this Pizza in a Pot. I do sometimes add mushrooms as well. The fennel makes the chicken taste sausagey and it really does help quell pizza cravings. And, hey, the kids like it too 🙂

“Thai” Meatloaf

This is all mine. It’s a combination of a hamburger recipe and multiple meatloaf recipes. It’s good for WLS patients as it uses oatmeal instead of breadcrumbs or crackers, as well as it has an added protein element with the peanut butter. This is another recipe that would be good with the Sesame Green Beans

2 pounds ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 handful oatmeal
1 egg
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 cup peanut butter, creamy

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Shape in to a loaf in a baking pan OR put in a loaf pan OR put into muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees until 180 degrees in the center (about 1 hour +, less for ‘muffins’)

Cassoulet-Style Italian Sausages and White Beans

I saw this in a magazine, but can’t remember which magazine, nor can I find the online link. It’s available all over the internet though, so here it is.

2½ pounds sweet Italian sausage links
3 pints cherry tomatoes
1 medium-large onion, cut into 1½-inch chunks
4 large garlic cloves, sliced (the minced is fine if that’s what you already have, 4 tsp)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons dried thyme
3 bay leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cans (about 16 ounces each) white beans, drained and rinsed

Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 425 degrees.

Mix sausages, tomatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, thyme, bay leaves, and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper in a large heavy roasting pan. Set pan in oven and roast until sausages are brown and tomatoes have reduced to a thick sauce, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven, stir in beans, and continue to cook until casserole has heated through, about 10 minutes longer. Serve.

My Thoughts:

Again, haven’t made this one in a while, but I remember really liking it. May have to add this to the next menu again 🙂

Orange Chicken

From:  but altered (serve with Sesame Green Beans)

1/3 cup warm water
1/4 cup Splenda
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon white vinegar
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (again, leave out if not ready for spice yet)
1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cubed
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons cold water

In a bowl, stir together warm water, Splenda, orange juice, soy sauce, ketchup, white vinegar, garlic, red pepper flakes, five-spice powder, and orange peel until the mixture is well combined.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat, and cook and stir the chicken until the outside is golden brown and the inside is no longer pink, 10 to 12 minutes. Pour the sauce mixture over the chicken, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and cover the skillet. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Whisk the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of cold water in a small bowl until smooth, and stir into the chicken and sauce, a few teaspoons at a time. Let the chicken and sauce cook for about 2 minutes to thicken.

My Thoughts:

This is another winner. I make rice for the kids and hubby in the rice cooker, but don’t have any myself.