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In yesterday's "Cooking with Kaye" newsletter we featured some terrific recipes using lamb as the primary protein. In response to so much favorable feedback from our readers I'm adding another lamb recipe to our collection, this one is for Lamb and Bean Soup. You can use leftover lamb cut to 1/2-inch cubes. Or braise fresh lamb shanks in the soup adding the marrow and flavor from the bones in addition to the tender shank meat. If you are feeling extravagant use shanks and cooked lamb and enjoy. The navy beans add beneficial plant protein to your bowl - one cup of cooked navy beans provides 16 grams protein. Give this recipe a try!
Lamb and Bean Soup
1 (1-pound) package dried navy beans
2 tablespoons canola oil or olive oil
2 lamb shanks or 1 pound cooked cubed lamb (or both!)
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
1 rib celery, sliced
1 large white onion, diced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut to 1-inch pieces
2 teaspoons reduced sodium vegetable bouillon granules
1/2 cup pearled barley
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper
Early in the day place the navy beans into a large Dutch oven or soup pot and cover them with 2 to 3 inches of water. Place over medium high and bring water to boil. Cover and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat, keep covered, and set aside for 2 hours for beans to soften. Drain and rinse in a colander and set aside. Wipe the Dutch oven or soup pot dry and place over medium heat. Add the canola or olive oil to pot. Add the lamb shanks or cooked cubed lamb and cook and stir searing well on all sides. Add the carrots, celery, white onion, garlic, green beans, and bouillon granules. Top with 10 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 90 minutes until meat comes off shanks and vegetables are tender. Remove the shanks to a rimmed plate that will catch any juices and allow to cool enough to handle and remove meat. return juice and meat to soup. Add pearled barley and raise heat to a low simmer; cook 10 minutes longer until barley is tender. Stir in chopped fresh parsley and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm and enjoy the filling benefits of protein and vegetables in a comforting warm bowl of soup.
Thank you for joining me in this issue of Cooking with Kaye. Today I'm sharing some of my favorite lamb recipes. Did you know that lamb is the most widely consumed animal protein in the world? And the United States is a leading producer of open range grazed lamb with lamb being produced for consumption in nearly every state. For many years I only enjoyed lamb in restaurants fearing it too difficult to prepare correctly. A move to Wyoming where is lamb is abundant gave me the opportunity to cook lamb (and mutton) and in so doing I learned to appreciate it prepared simply with fresh ingredients, while keeping a watchful eye on cooking temperature. Overcooked lamb, sometimes called gray lamb for its unappealing color, can be chewy and dry. Cooked just right pink lamb is succulent and tender reflecting the flavors of garlic, olive oil, and fresh herbs. I hope you give these recipes a try and add variety to your high protein menu rotation by including lamb once in a while.
Cheers! Kaye Bailey
Lean Lamb is suitable for WLS Protein First diet: On average, a 3-ounce serving of lamb has only 75 calories and meets the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) definition for lean*. According to FDA guidelines, lean meat has less than 10 grams of fat, less than 4.5 grams of saturated fat, and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol per 100 grams (or 3.5 ounces)
A 4-ounce serving of broiled/grilled leg of lamb provides 213 calories, 19 grams protein, 15 grams fat, and zero grams carbohydrate. A single rib-chop (often cooked as rack of lamb) provides 165 calories, 10 grams protein, 14 grams fat, and zero grams carbohydrate.
*FDA definition of lean (per 100 grams or 3.5 ounces)/Average value for 3-ounce cooked portion of lamb.
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Talk to any gastric bypass, gastric banding or gastric sleeve patient and they will tell you occasional stomach discomfort is part of life after weight loss surgery. After bariatric surgery patients secrete fewer digestive enzymes which means the stomach has greater difficulty digesting food that has been inadequately chewed or is high in fat or fibrous carbohydrate. Poorly tolerated foods quickly cause stomach or pouch discomfort. Many bariatric patients report finding relief in gentle homemade soup sipped slowly. Consider this recipe for spinach and ginger soup if you have experienced gastric pouch discomfort from eating poorly tolerated food.
Spinach and Ginger Soup
Delicate, Soothing and Healing
This creamy green soup is delicately flavored with ginger and onion serves to soothe stomach discomfort and detoxify the body. The spinach is a natural immune system booster. The monounsaturated fat in the olive oil will help our bodies absorb the nutrients and minerals from the vegetables making this an ideal soup for pampering the gastric system.
Ingredients: 2 Tablespoons olive oil 1 medium onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely chopped 5-6 cups young spinach leaves 4 cups vegetable stock 1 medium potato, diced 1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar* Salt and pepper, to taste 1 teaspoon sesame oil, optional
Directions:Heat the oil in a large 8-quart stockpot. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
Set aside 4-6 small spinach leaves. Add the remaining leaves to the pan, stirring until the spinach is wilted. Add the stock and potatoes to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, then cover the pan and let simmer for about 10 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool slightly. Pour the soup into a blender or food processor and process until completely smooth. Return the the soup to the stockpot and add the rice wine vinegar. Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Heat until just about to boil.
Finely shred the reserved spinach leaves and sprinkle some over the top. Drizzle a few drops of sesame oil into the soup. Ladle into warmed soup bowls and sprinkle the remaining shredded spinach on each, then serve the soup at once.
Serves 4, 1 cup per serving. Per serving: 38 calories, 3 grams Protein; 2 grams Fat; 2 grams Carbohydrate.
*Rice Wine Vinegar: There are Japanese as well as Chinese rice vinegars, both made from fermented rice, and both slightly milder than most Western vinegars. Chinese rice vinegar comes in three types: white (clear or pale amber), used mainly in SWEET-AND-SOUR dishes; red, a popular accompaniment for boiled or steamed crab; and black, used mainly as a table condiment. The almost colorless Japanese rice vinegar is used in a variety of Japanese preparations, including SUSHI rice and SUNOMONO (vinegared salads). Rice vinegar can be found in Asian markets and some supermarkets.
Dining Out With Your Weight Loss Surgery Pouch at the All-You-Can-Eat Buffet By Kaye Bailey
From cruise ships to gambling meccas to hometowns across America the all-you-can-eat buffet is ubiquitous for plentiful choice and good value in dining. A recent survey revealed that most people who dine at buffets enjoy them for the variety and value, and most admit they eat more food than they feel they paid for. The atmosphere of the all-you-can-eat buffet encourages copious consumption with a never ending supply of clean plates and a busy waitstaff on hand to remove the tell-tell evidence of mounding dirty dishes on the table.
Listen to conversations in line at the buffet and you will hear many dieters of sound mind admit they are taking the meal off from their otherwise strict dietary compliance. Not long ago I heard one AWOL dieter confess, "Tonight I'm pulling out all the stops and giving myself permission to eat as much of anything I want. No rules. No limits." Perhaps that worked out fine for her, but for me and my gastric bypass stomach pouch, taking the night off from all the rules is not an option. No matter the day, the meal, or the occasion my stomach pouch has only the capacity to hold about one cup of food at a time. Anything more brings great discomfort and disruption to my life.
For myself, and gastric surgery weight loss patients everywhere, the all-you-can-eat buffet can be a living purgatory where watching others take culinary delight in choice and abundance is pure torture. We would never be so heartless to take a diabetic child to a candy store with instructions to look at the candy but do not eat any. Yet here we are as adults, fighting a morbid illness with surgical intervention, sitting in our own kind of candy store with rules and restrictions. Some may suggest that we simply avoid having meals at buffet-style restaurants. But in this country many social events and gatherings are conducted at just such places. Chances are good we will saddle-up to a buffet now and again.
Here are some smart ideas for navigating the all-you-can-eat buffet to emerge nourished and comfortable:
Protein First. Take this rule of weight loss surgery to the buffet with you. Select good quality protein including seafood, hand-carved meats, omelettes, and main dishes. Avoid all protein that has been battered and fried. Remember, battered and fried food is likely to cause dumping syndrome for patients of malabsorptive procedures. Quality protein dishes are the best value for your dollar at the buffet.
Skip the Starch. Rice, pasta, breads, and other grain dishes take up precious pouch real estate and they are not a good value for your dollar. At most buffets these side dishes tend to be bland and common; eating them is a waste of space and money. There will always be rice and pasta and breads to eat so when dining at the buffet leave them for other less savvy diners.
Pace Yourself. Remember, you are in charge of your fork. Others at your table may be eating at a sprinters pace, but you are in a long race. Take your time, put your fork down between bites of food, chew your food completely, and enjoy your dining companions. Slow and steady wins the race.
Experiment. The buffet is a good opportunity to explore new food choices as you become more comfortable with your weight loss surgery stomach. Try a new kind of fish or taste a different fruit or vegetable. Take time to explore the flavors and texture of food. Our tastes change dramatically with surgery and eating at a buffet is a terrific opportunity to explore a variety of different things for very little cost.
Keep in mind that after weight loss surgery we eat to nourish our bodies: food is fuel. That must always be our first concern when putting the fork to our mouth. But we live in a social world where dining plays a key role in many workplace and family activities. Give yourself space to respect your body and the surgical pouch that is providing treatment for your debilitating morbid obesity. At the same time enjoy the company of your dining companions knowing you will leave the buffet feeling nourished and healthy without suffering eaters remorse.