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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Shrimp-Tortellini Soup

This was dinner tonight!!! Another great recipe from our forthcoming Neighborhood cookbook. This is so delicious, so easy and so quick. It meets every need of the health conscious WLS post-op. And it was created by none other than our multi-talented LAWLS webmaster scoop-diddy! Enjoy this sneak-peek at the Neighborhood Cookbook! It's what's for dinner!

boiling water
1 c. dry cheese tortellini
pinch salt
1 T. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 small onion, minced
1 large portobello mushroom, coarsely chopped
1 tsp. Old Bay Seafood seasoning
1 (14-0z) can diced tomatoes
1 lb. ready-to-eat shrimp
1/4 c. asiago cheese
2T Parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste

Heat a medium pot of water to boiling. Add a pinch of salt and the tortellini, lower heat to a simmer. Cook tortellini to al dente and drain. Set aside. In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the minced garlic, finely chopped onion, and chopped mushrooms. Saute' stirring frequently. Add Old Bay Seafood Seasoning to vegetables and garlic. Add tomatoes with juice, stir and bring to a simmer. Remove skillet from heat. Stir in ready-to-eat shrimp and cooked tortellini. Top with crumbled asiago cheese. Cover and allow to rest 10 minutes. Serve in soup bowls topped with Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste.

Contributor's note: This is a healthy take on a classic Italian stew. It is quick, tasty and healthful. Editor's note: It is important to cook the tortellini separately from the stew. If you cook it with the stew too much starch will be released and the tortellini will become mushy.

Recipe note: Serves 4. Per serving: 276 calories, 30 grams protein, 9 grams fat (3 saturated), 16 grams carbohydrate and 2 grams dietary fiber.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Vegetarian Omega-3's
Nature's Fatty Acids

Cold Pressed Organic High Lignan Flax Oil

Several of our LAWLS Neighbors supplement their diet with Flaxseed - - I am one of them. Here is some information on why I add a Flaxseed supplement to my daily vitamin cocktail:

- Flaxseed is the most concentrated plant source of Omega-3s (good fat) found in nature.

- Flaxseed contains linolenic acid and linoleic acid which are essential fatty acids that cannot be made by the body therefore they must be obtained through diet.

- Flaxseed is a source of heart healthy nutrients and can support healthy cholesterol levels.

Huge Vitamin Sale: Buy 2 Bottles Get 4 FREE. No Coupon Code Required.

Dr. Andrew Weil in "The Healthy Kitchen" p. xxiii writes:

"One special group of good fats deserves particular attention. Omega-3 fats are a group of polyunsaturated fats that are absolutely essential for optimum health. The body needs them on a regular basis to synthesize hormones and build cell membranes, including those of nerve cells in the brain. Dietary sources of omega-3s are few and probably, most American's are deficient in them. That deficiency may underlie our susceptibility to heart disease, inflammatory diseases, some forms of cancer and a variety of nervous and mental disorders...The main source of these good fats is fish, especially fatty fish from cold waters: salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines and (to a lesser extent) albacore tuna. Non-fish sources are few: walnuts, flax seeds, hemp seeds and the oils extracted from them."

Because my diet is low calorie and low fat I feel the addition of a flaxseed supplement in my diet is an intelligent and informed way to ingest these good omega-3s. It is believed by many bariatric nutritionists that flaxseed oil in softgel supplement form is favorably absorbed by patients with a malabsorptive WLS procedure (gastric bypass).

I take Puritan's Pride product #1450 (1000mg Organic Flaxseed Oil).

Cold Pressed Organic High Lignan Flax Oil

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Many of you know LAWLS is sponsored in part by Puritan's Pride Quality Vitamins. For the next few weeks they are having a fabulous sale - Buy 2 - Get 4 FREE. In other words, for the price of 2 bottles of Vitamin C you get 6 bottles.

Puritan's Pride Quality Vitamins

In addition to the link above, you can link to the Puritan's Pride website through any LAWLS Library page such as this one on Calcium. The Puritan's banner is front and center just below the search box - click it and you will be directed to this fabulous vitamin superstore. You can also find a link to Puritan's right here on the LAWLS Blog in the right-hand column. A small procede of your purchase goes to support LAWLS, but more importantly you get a great product at a great price.

In addition to my post-WLS vitamins, we purchase all of Jim's vitamins from Puritan's and pet vitamins as well. They also have a wonderful selection of children's vitamins and holistic products. Jim has been buying from Puritan's for many many years and personally swears by their products (and he is a picture of health!) I hope you'll give them a try. Let us know what you think. . .

Oh, one more thing - Shipping is $3.95 on any sized order! Can't beat that!!!

Puritan's Pride Shipping is Only $3.95 on Any Size Order!

If you have a question about any of their products post it here. If I can't answer it we will contact their nutrition support team. If you have used Puritan's in the past let us know what you think too!

Here's to our partner in good health Puritan's Pride Quality Vitamins!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Creamy Butternut Squash Bake

This recipe was featured in the LivingAfterWLS Recipe of the Week on October 1. It's quickly become a Neighborhood favorite with great reviews from all who have made it. Give it a try tonight.

Creamy Butternut Squash Bake

1 large butternut squash
1/2 cup sour cream, light
2 Tablespoons margarine/butter blend
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Wash and dry butternut squash. Leave whole. Pierce skin with a carving fork in 4 or 5 places. Place squash on a baking sheet lined with foil and bake in a 350F degree oven for 40 minutes or until soft. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

When squash is cool enough to handle cut lengthwise in two pieces. Remove and discard seeds. Spoon out sqash into a casserole dish. Add sour cream and 1 tablespoon of the margarine/butter blend. Mash all ingredients together with a potato masher. Smooth mixture in casserole dish.

In a small bowl melt the remaining tablespoon of margarine/butter blend. Stir in breadcrumbs and parmesan mixing to moisten. Sprinkle crumb mixture atop squash and sprinkle with grated nutmeg. Bake in 350F degree oven for 25 minutes.

Serves 4. Per serving: 199 calories, 7 grams protein, 10 grams fat (5 saturated), 22 grams carbohydrate and 2 grams dietary fiber.

Subscribe to the LAWLS Recipe of the Week

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Cranberry Apple Cream Cheese Mold

Since WLS I've become a Jell-O aficionado. Who among the WLS crowd isn't some kind of Jell-O expert since it is one of our early "safe" foods? The Kraft website has some terrific recipes and this is one of my favorites. Of course I always switch out the regular gelatin for sugar-free and in this case use the 1/3 fat cream cheese rather than full fat. This recipe is particularly good this time of year when the apples are so crisp and delicious. It makes a terrific side salad or dessert. If you can't find the sugar-free cranberry the sugar-free cherry flavored is a nice substitute.

Cranberry Apple Cream Cheese Mold

1-1/2 cups boiling water
1 pkg. (8-serving size) or 2 pkg. (4-serving size each) JELL-O Brand sugar-free Cranberry Flavor Gelatin
2 cups cold apple juice or cold water
1 medium red apple, cored, quartered and thinly sliced
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA 1/3 fat Cream Cheese, softened

STIR boiling water into dry gelatin in large bowl at least 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Stir in juice. Remove 1 cup of the gelatin; set aside at room temperature. Refrigerate remaining gelatin 1-1/2 hours or until thickened (spoon drawn through leaves definite impression).

SPOON half of the thickened gelatin into 6-cup mold sprayed with cooking spray; top with single layer of apple slices, with slices slightly overlapping. Cover with remaining thickened gelatin. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until set but not firm (gelatin should stick to finger when touched and should mound).

BEAT cream cheese in medium bowl with wire whisk until creamy. Gradually add reserved 1 cup gelatin, beating until well blended. Pour over gelatin layer in mold. Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm. Unmold onto serving platter. Store leftover gelatin in refrigerator.


How To Soften Cream Cheese
Place completely unwrapped package of cream cheese on microwavable plate. Microwave on HIGH 15 seconds or until slightly softened.

How To Unmold Gelatin
Dip mold in warm water for about 15 seconds. Gently pull gelatin from around edges with moist fingers. Place moistened serving plate on top of mold. Invert mold and plate; holding mold and plate together, shake slightly to loosen. Gently remove mold and center gelatin on plate.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Update from the LAWLS Test Kitchen

Hello WLS Bloggers!

I can't believe two months have slipped by since my last post here at the LivingAfterWLS blog. Boy time flies when a person gets busy. And busy I've been - testing and editing recipes for the first ever LivingAfterWLS Neighborhood Cookbook.

Earlier this year we enlisted the help and expertise of community members to share their recipes for our cookbook. We wanted recipes that complied with the weight loss surgery dietary requirements (high protein, low carbohydrate, low fat), recipes that were fast and easy to prepare and dishes that were refreshing and delicious to enjoy. After all, if you can only eat a few bites what you eat should be delicious!

The response to our recipe request was fantastic - we received over 300 recipes ranging from simple make-n-take protein roll-ups to elegant entrées for romantic dining WLS style. We even scored some pretty terrific healthy snack recipes and sensible desserts for everyday and special occasions.

Once the recipes were submitted it became my job as the lead cook in the LAWLS kitchen to test each recipe, calculate the nutritional content, double check ingredient lists, instructions and even spelling. Most of the time this was fun and exciting. Some days it got to be a drag when the weather was so pretty and I would have preferred to be playing outdoors. Overall, however, it was a pleasure to step inside the "kitchens" of my fellow WLS'ers and learn how they cook, what they eat and what is working for them.

What resulted from this collective effort is an original cookbook by WLS patients for WLS patients. I'm very proud of the contributions and effort by the Neighbors to share their recipes and tips for making life healthy and good through smart WLS cooking. The book is in the hands of our publisher now and will be ready for shipment come mid-November. I can't wait for the Neighbors to see their creation.

Order the LivingAfterWLS Cookbook: $14.00 (SAVE $2 off cover price)

Here are a few things I learned while editing the cookbook:

Ketchup, catchup and catsup are all correct spellings for a seasoned pureed condiment made from tomatoes. We used catsup in our book.

Chick pea is often written as two words, it is really one word: chickpea.

Parmesan is capitalized.

Spinach (fresh or frozen) is a favorite ingredient for many WLS cooks.

Most contributors made use of a variety of seasonings and herbs to enhance the flavor and appeal of their recipes. Fresh ingredients were emphasized by many. Processed ingredients were seldom called for.

There are an infinite number of ways to make stuffed eggs and most home cooks believe their recipe is the best.

Chicken, turkey and shrimp are top favorites for clean mean protein. But salmon, halibut, pork, beef and even scallops each make impressive appearances in the cookbook.

Finally - the most important thing I learned is that the LivingAfterWLS Neighborhood abounds with great cooks who are feeding their bodies well and succeeding with WLS. Congratulations to all my Neighbors!