While I have some pockets of free time since classes ended, Mr. Prevention has been on my case about getting up-to-date with all of my “preventative wellness” exams. I would say this is because he cares, but it’s because his insurance plan incentivizes regular “preventative maintenance”. I’m not opposed to this, obviously, but the little things add up and the little things + major life changes = stress. Besides, who wants to go to the dentist?
So yesterday I went in for “the works” – blood work, prescription refill (if I run out of my Imitrex – it won’t be good), well woman, etc. My doctor said, “You just had blood work done in November and everything was excellent…why are we doing it again?”
“My husband’s insurance is requiring it…and, my LDL (bad cholesterol) was a bit high.” I said.
“Your LDL was 110, that’s great!” she remarked.
I stared at her for a moment and said, “I’d really like for it to be 100 or less.”
She stared back. “Your LDL is fine, it should be less than 130…and your triglycerides were excellent!” she exclaimed.
I agree with her about the tri’s, but the LDL, we will have to agree to disagree. What can I say? I like cheese, and I will be curious to see if my triglycerides have remained low, my HDL has remained high (it was in the 70’s!), and my LDL has come down a bit.
My doctor didn’t let it slide that I had gained 3 lbs, however. This is 100% due to my recent visit up to Seattle. Other than my hike that left me waddling for DAYS, I basically sampled all that there was to sample in Seattle and did nothing other than walk. Time to get busy on getting those pounds OFF!
Coincidentally, I chose this light meal from my assigned blog, Sunny Side Up in San Diego, one of my favorite blogs written by one of my favorite people. It was recipe swap time again — Blogger’s Choice, and this recipe from Jessica immediately caught my eye. There is something about stuffed potatoes that simply never gets old and her spin with basil and chicken was clearly a creative rendition I needed to try out.
When I met Jessica at FoodBuzz Festival last fall in San Fran, I recall she and I having very similar palates…and personalities. No wonder I love her so She’s blonde and is from Ohio…all the more reason we were bound to be buds. She’s living in China right now with her hubby who is there for work. The fact that she can pull off these types of dishes is seriously impressive. When we lived in Italy, it was hard to make “All American”-style food, but…she’s pulling it off all the way from China.
We loved these chicken and basil-stuffed potatoes, and loved even more their calorie count. These are extremely filling and 1/2 of a potato with a side salad or vegetable is plenty to suffice a light, delicious meal….a meal that will help me shed my Seattle sins!
2 large baking potatoes
olive oil spray and kosher salt, for coating
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 small onion, diced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
small handful fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup (2 oz) Parmesan cheese, shredded and divided
Juice of half a lemon
salt and pepper to taste
1 (5 oz) chicken breast, cooked and shredded
Preheat an oven to 400 F. Prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper.
Scrub the outside of the potatoes, pat dry. Prick each potato with a fork several times, and place on the prepared baking sheet. Mist each potato with olive oil spray and sprinkle with kosher salt. Flip the potatoes and repeat on the other side. Bake for an hour, or until they are tender when pricked.
When the potatoes are close to being done, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute for 3-4 minutes or until translucent. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in the half and half and broth. Stir well and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for 10 minutes.
After the sauce has simmered, add the basil, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and lemon juice. Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Once the potatoes have finished baking, cut them in half lengthwise. Carefully scoop out the insides, leaving a thin shell around the edges, then return the shells to the baking sheet. Place the potato guts in a bowl. Use a fork to slightly mash the potatoes. Pour the sauce into the bowl with the potatoes and stir to incorporate. Add the cooked shredded chicken and stir.
Fill the potato shells with the filling, sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese, and return them to the hot oven for 10 minutes, switching to the broiler for the last minute or so to brown the cheese. Serve immediately.
Yield: 4 servings (1/2 stuffed potato each)
Nutrition Information (per 1/2 potato): 310 calories; 10.8 g. fat; 40 mg. cholesterol; 286 mg. sodium; 35.5 g. carbohydrate; 4 g. fiber; 17 g. protein
Result: Delish and different! I used HUGE potatoes (I counted them at just under 300 calories a piece), so to get the calorie count as close to possible, find the biggest ‘taters you can. You can cook and shred the chicken ahead of time for a quicker meal, or even prep and assemble these ahead of time for a super quick weeknight meal. These reheat best in the oven, but the microwave works well, too. Serve with a side salad or veggie for a light, but filling, meal. Enjoy!
Today is my last day of work in Ohio and in dialysis. I am split down the middle with emotions- half thrilled for the move and some time off before starting my new job in MI, but half sad to be leaving more great patients and co-workers.
I had a most enjoyable afternoon with my students yesterday. They are wonderful cooks and our picnic + hike was wonderful. It was truly one of the nicest things anyone has done for me…so thanks, diet tech students! xo!