Saturday, September 16, 2017

my second stitch fix

I posted a few weeks back about my first Stitch Fix box. It was kind of a mixed bag for me, but I ended up keeping two items.

I scheduled my next fix to come this week, since I was excited and didn't want to wait another week. It arrived yesterday. Early verdict (before trying anything on):  promising, and better than the first one.

Here's what I got. (Note: The colors are better and brighter in real life. I took these with my cell phone in a room that is kind of dark.)

I really like this sleeveless shirt. It's very soft, it's the right length, I LOVE the color and it matched the tan cardigan they sent me last month. It's a little too big, though. I was going to keep it, but then realized I would be settling. I've settled for clothing all my life and I'm not doing it anymore. I'm not buying it unless it fits right, looks good, and I like it. The price on this is $38.00, which is pretty reasonable. Size is Women's 1X.

I like this flannel shirt on the hanger and I love the colors.  You probably can't tell from the picture, but the back buttons up and has a slit that goes up to the waist. I was hopeful yet skeptical, because I just don't look good in collared shirts. I was right. It looks awful on me. Plus it seems to not really hang the right way and is a little big. Sleeves are slightly tight at the top. The price on this is $58.00.  I think it's a bit much for this shirt. Size is Misses XXL.

I'm iffy about this blouse. It's better than the one they sent last month, but it's still a bit "old" and not really my style anymore. It's a blouse that I would've settled for before I lost weight. I like the colors, but it was way too big.  The price on this is $48.00, which is about what I would expect to pay at some place like Dress Barn or another store that sells business casual clothing. Size is Women's 1X.

These jeans! (Well, jeggings. They're not the typical button-and-zip jeans.) I love the color and the fit, as well as the double seam on the side. HOWEVER...I thought I was going to need to Crisco my legs to get these on. It was a struggle to get these up my legs and over my hips. It actually hurt, too, because I just got the "dog ears" fixed on my tummy tuck scar and the stitches came out yesterday. They looked great once I was able to hike them up, but it was a lot of work.  Then it was time to take them off.  I practically had to peel them off my legs. These felt slightly too short to me. The price is $78.00, which I feel is kind of high. I've never been one to spend a lot on jeans, though, so that might be reasonable to a lot of women.  But if I'm going to actually spend that much, they better be long enough (I'm 5'11"), fit well in the waist, and look awesome on me. Something weird I noticed on the tag:  it says to not sit on light colored upholstery or come in contact with light clothing.  So, yeah, another requirement if I'm spending $78.00 is that the color needs to, you know, stay on the jeans. The size is Women's 1X.  Not sure how, as they felt about two sizes too small.

And then there's the earrings. Yuck is all I can say. This is something I would never, ever wear. I didn't even try them on. I love the color, but the style is not for me. I held them up to my ears and they didn't look right at all. The price is $38.00, which is a lot for costume jewelry.

Final verdict on this fix:  not keeping it. I'm sending everything back. The shirts were too big and made me look bigger than I am, the jeans are too small and a little short, and I don't like the earrings at all.

As far as sticking with Stitch Fix, I'm going to give it one more shot. It's not that I don't like what they send me--I do for the most part.  Sure, a few things aren't to my taste, but I like most of the items. Also, they seem to listen when I say, "Send me something to match the tan cardigan I bought last month." They did--the purple sleeveless shirt. I asked for lighter colored jeans, and they sent them. The issue is sizing. After losing the weight and having the tummy tuck, it seems I'm kind of in between sizes:  I'm not consistently a Women's 1X or 16, and I'm not consistently a Misses XL or 16. I've asked that they send me Misses sizes next time to see if that helps. If not, then I plan to cancel.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

my first batch of homemade salsa

Now that summer is pretty much over, I find myself with lots of tomatoes and jalapenos, which I grew myself thank you very much! There's a certain amount of pride in the fact that I grew these edible items in my own backyard.

My regular tomatoes are finally ripening (I'm STILL waiting on the Romas....), which means I need to find a use for them fast. I'm not a fan of the seeds and goop that's inside a tomato, so eating them in a salad or on a sandwich is out of the question. Plus I generally don't eat salads and sandwiches anymore. I figured my options are: tomato sauce, salsa, roasted tomatoes, on pizza, or chopped up for tacos. I decided on salsa since I needed to use the jalapenos, too. I Goggled for a recipe and found one easily.

Making the salsa was incredibly easy. Probably because I picked a "fresh" recipe (no-cook) and used my food processor. I was done in like 10 minutes, which includes peeling and chopping the veggies.

As you can see, it's a little chunky, but not much. And it's more on the thin side. It tastes great; however, I was skeptical at first. It definitely doesn't taste like your standard store-bought salsa, which is cooked and contains vinegar and/or sugar. I was tempted to fiddle around and add more of this or that, but I resisted. It tasted like there was too much onion and it didn't seem to have any heat even though I used two jalapenos (minus the seeds). I waited a couple hours and the heat started growing. Then the next day I tasted again and it was perfect. The heat had mellowed and it tasted less like onions. (I was later told that fresh salsa takes at least a day or more for the flavors to meld and develop; they were right!)

The verdict for my first time making salsa? It tastes great, it was super easy, and I used up some tomatoes. I'd make it again.

Here's the recipe.

Fresh Salsa

6 garden tomatoes, cut into quarters
2 jalapeños, seeded and roughly chopped
1/2 large yellow onion, peeled and roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
juice of 1 lime
1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt

Toss it all in the food processor and pulse until it's at a consistency you like. Taste and adjust the seasonings as necessary.

Note: The flavors of the salsa will change the longer it sits in the fridge. If you don't need it right away, you might want to wait until the following day to make adjustments.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

the war on back pain

Back pain. Annoying, fucking back pain. It's the story of my life lately.

It seems like back pain has always a part of my life. Sometimes more than others. I've been living with chronic lower back pain for years. How many? I'm not exactly sure. I feel like what started it all was a fall in third grade. I remember falling off the monkey bars flat onto my back. We had a new school nurse start that day and she didn't know her way around the school yet. So, rather than take me in the closest door, which was the fourth grade wing, she walked me all the way around to the first/second/third grade wing on the other side, down the long hall and to the nurse's office. I think, through my school years, I probably was sore by the time I got home from school. But I just don't remember (sometimes I honestly think I've blocked out all my schooling years, because I can't remember very much). 

I have no idea when it started being a real problem, although I'm guessing probably when I started working at a desk. Sitting is really bad for the back. The pain ranges anywhere from "barely noticeable but there" to "I can barely walk." But most of the time it's somewhere in between. Meaning, I feel good when I walk around, work out, or keep moving in general, but after sitting for about 30 minutes it starts to hurt. And since I have a desk job, that means I'm generally in some level of pain for most of the workday, which means I'm generally squirmy, somewhat distracted depending on the level of pain, and have a hard time getting work done. And, I'll admit, it severely increases my "head hunger."

Head hunger is when you think you're hungry, but what's really going on is you want a distraction from some emotion you're feeling: you're bored, anxious, sad, etc. (There's an article on it here.) In other words, you're not actually physically hungry. So when my back is bothering me, like it is right now, I'm thinking about going to grab some pretzels from the department's community table, or going to see what's in the cold case in the cafeteria. (And that's why I'm fighting a 10 pound weight gain; I just can't seem to reign it in.)

So anyway, I've done lots over the years for my pain. I've gone to the chiropractor off and on since I was a young teenager, sometimes with heat treatments and sometimes without. I've used a back brace, which I'm using now. It helps quite a bit while I'm wearing it, but the pain comes back without it, so it's really something to be used along with other treatments. Muscle relaxers, which help when I have a muscle spasm. Celebrex, which is an NSAID. Unfortunately I can't use it very much since I'm a gastric bypass patient and it can cause stomach damage. Lots and lots of Tylenol. Prescription Ibuprofen, which I can't use anymore because of weight loss surgery. Ice. Heat. Exercise. Physical therapy.

At the moment, I'm in a very long pain cycle; it's been over a month. The week my brother died I had to make three out-of-state road trips, which has really done a number on my back. Obviously I couldn't avoid the road trips and I knew this would happen, so I used the back brace as a preventative measure. Also during that week I worked from home a bit, and since I don't have a proper desk chair, that also caused some pain. That lead to several muscle spasms. I'd have one, it would somewhat improve, and then I'd be hit with another. Even though I work out five days a week and try to keep moving, sitting at my desk at work all day pretty much cancels that out. I'm using the back brace, Celebrex, muscle relaxers and Tylenol. Now I'm having slightly different pain. It doesn't feel like my muscles. It feels more like my bones or nerves maybe, almost like my spine is compressed. I dread going to bed because it's not restful. I wake up in pain everyday. It's really exhausting.

I just can't stand this anymore. I never have a day when I feel "good." (I never understood when my mother would say that, but now I do and it SUCKS!) There's never a day when I don't feel some form of back pain. At 42, I don't think that I should be feeling like this all the time.

I've decided it's time for an MRI, so I scheduled an appointment with the orthopedic doctor. I plan to ask for an MRI (I had the choice last time and said no) and to also get a note stating a need a standing desk for work. Unfortunately I couldn't get in until September 22, and I'll have to drive to a more distant location since the one near me is booked. I'll report back once I know something.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

honey & chili chicken breasts

A few weeks ago I had a bunch of cilantro and didn't know what to do with it. When I bought the cilantro from the farm stand up the road, I had visions of Mexican dishes in my mind, but, as usual, the motivation to actually find and make the recipes fizzled by the end of the day. So, I was left with a whole lot of cilantro to use or lose.

I found this recipe online at one of my favorite cooking sites, The Kitchn. I grilled the thighs rather than baking. The recipe calls for baking the chicken, but a lot of the comments mention how messy the pan got and how hard it was to clean, which is because of the beer and honey. That's not for me, so grilling it was!

The marinade came together easily. Picking the cilantro was a little tedious, but not overly so. Once it was mixed, I tossed the marinade in a large zipper top plastic bag along with the chicken and left them in the fridge overnight. I made the sauce, too. The next day I grilled the chicken, stirred up the sauce (it seemed to separate a little) and then poured it over the cooked chicken.

I also roasted some red potatoes with olive oil, fresh rosemary from my garden, salt and pepper; and some green beans with olive oil and Borsari seasoned salt (love this stuff!); both were also from the farm stand. It was a very easy meal, actually.

I thought this tasted really good. I will say, however, that if you don't like cilantro, you won't like the sauce. It's quite strong. It was good, though.  I'd make this recipe again, but I would probably make half the amount of sauce or find multiple uses for it.

If you want the recipe, here it is:  Honey & Chili Chicken Thighs with cilantro Cream Sauce.

Here's the finished meal!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

what's been cooking?

I've been really awful about cooking over the last few months due to everything that's happened. But I'm getting back to it. Here are some of the things I've made.

At work we have the option to participate in the local CSA (community supported agriculture). This is the first year we've been offered this service. It's not free, though. People who want to participate pay about $19 a week for a half-share and receive enough produce to feed two to three people for one week. I believe it lasts for about 18 weeks. Each week you get a variety of produce and you won't know until you receive it what you're actually getting. They give you whatever is in season. I don't participate in it, mainly because $19 a week for produce is a bit much for me to spend knowing that either I or Bob won't eat certain things or won't be able to cook it all before it goes bad. Also, they give you seasonal items. Since kale, Swiss chard, celery and celery root are in season right now, those items have been provided every week. That can get boring even if you like those items. If you don't, it's a waste of money. I have, however, been taking advantage of the fact that someone at work doesn't like those four items I mentioned. They leave them in the community kitchen each week, so I grabbed them one week. If you're interested in finding a CSA in your area, try this website:

Here's what my fridge looked like after I brought the CSA items home. Those are some HUGE celery leaves! I chopped off the ends of the celery and removed the leaves, which I then froze for later use in making stock. The celery stalks were so crispy, nothing like what I get at the grocery store.

I used the red Swiss chard to make grilled turkey and cheese sandwiches. I just sautéed the chard in olive oil with some garlic, salt and pepper. I then added it to my sandwich and grilled it. I did the same thing with the kale, but added it to my egg muffins. Note to self: remove the stems before sautéing. It was a bit unpleasant to bite into tough stems when eating something soft like eggs.

This is my steak dinner on another night. The green beans are from the farm stand up the road. I boiled them, then added some butter, salt and pepper. I also fried up a container of leftover onions. I added a little butter, salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce.

Below is some broccoli rabe sautéed in olive oil with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. I blanched it first in order to start getting it tender. From what I understand, broccoli rabe is done when it's dead. This is definitely dead. LOL  I also grilled some turkey tenderloins with some Borsari seasoned salt in Citrus flavor. I absolutely love Borsari. It makes seasoning ridiculously simple. I brought both to work for lunch last week.

And finally, I made roasted tomatoes for the first time. My boss gave us all some plum tomatoes. I put some olive oil on them, along with rosemary from my garden and some mince garlic, then roasted them according to a recipe I found online on Rachel Ray's website. I think the roasting time would have been perfect for larger plum tomatoes, but it was a bit too much for the little ones. A few got burnt. Overall, very delicious, though. And sweet!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

my first Stitch Fix

So, I signed up for Stitch Fix at the suggestion of several people. It's a clothing styling service. You fill out your style profile online, pick how often you want to receive a "fix" (box of five items) and you pay $20 for each fix you receive. You can have a fix shipped to you every two to three weeks, every month, every other month, or every three months. You can even opt to schedule them manually, which is to say whenever you want one.  You get three days to decide if you want to keep anything. If so, you just go online and checkout. If not, you send them back in the postage paid envelope.  If you buy one or more of the items, that $20 goes towards your purchase. If you buy all five items, you get 25% off the total purchase.

I got my first box this weekend.  It was pretty surprising to see all the items fit in this one little box. The clothing was wrapped in paper and the box included an outfit suggestion card, along with the pricing and a Welcome note.

Here's the invoice. As you can see, the $20 "Styling Fee" is deducted from whatever you decide to keep. Shown is the total price if I keep everything. A few of the items are definitely a bit more than I'm used to spending, but others were about on par.

This is the outfit suggestion guide. As you can see, each outfit suggestion contains one of the five items.

Here's everything that was in the box, including the postage-paid return envelope.

OK, so here's what I got in my first Fix.

I got a pair of earrings ($44). They’re really not me, as they’re kind of big, but they actually look pretty good on me. That said, I’ll be sending them back, because I don’t have anything to go with them and $44 is a lot for costume jewelry (IMO). I may have kept them if I felt they were a good match for another outfit.

I got two blouses. This one is kind of a light grey with a lighter grey and yellow pattern ($54). It has a neck tie and fluttery sleeves. I didn’t like it when I pulled it out of the box, and it looks awful on me. It’s going back. Bob said it looks "old."

The other one is sleeveless, navy blue with a golden yellow pattern, and also has a neck tie ($44), though it's not as obnoxious as the one above. I think it would look better on me if it was a Misses XL rather than a Women’s 1X. It’s slightly big around the middle, but not swimmingly so. I may exchange it. If they don’t have XL then I'll have to decide if I'm keeping it or not. I was pleasantly surprised by this one, as I kind of cringed when I pulled it out of the box.

I received a pair of jean leggings that on the checkout page they call “skinny jeans” and they’re $78. The fit and length is perfect. Given that I’m 5’11”, that’s impressive! The color is too dark, though (I lightened the picture a bit so you can at least see them). I have a lot of cats I don’t want something that has to constantly be lint-rolled. I won’t be keeping them, both because of the price and the color. Sorry, but I’m not willing to spend $78 on jeans at the moment. If I had no jeans or was struggling to find ones that fit and look good, then I might do it. But that's not the case right now.

I got a long duster-length cardigan in light tan, though the color looks a little off here due to the lighting in the room. I was surprised at getting a XXL, but when I put it on I realized that it’s close-fitting. It’s lightweight and has a hood. I really like it and plan to keep it. It’s $58, but since I paid $20 for the box already, it will just be an additional $38.

To wrap up, I ended up keeping the blue blouse and the cardigan.  They didn't have a Misses size for the blouse; however, I decided that it's not so big that it looks terrible or doesn't fit well in other areas.

Here's what I liked:
  • It gave me inspiration and ideas when going to the store this weekend. I tried on a few sleeveless blouses that are a departure from what I would normally give a second look at. 
  • It's shipped to me for free. Also, return shipping is free.
  • I can edit my profile any time I want so items are customized better for me. I also like that I can share my Pinterest board so the stylist can see they kinds of things I like. I created a category just for this and then shared the URL on my Stitch Fix profile.
What I didn’t like:
  • Although they provided a card with outfit suggestions and the items *seem* to all go together (I think–I suck at matching colors and such), it showed only one piece along with a bunch of different items I don’t have to make an outfit. I would have preferred a card showing at least two of the items together so I know that, yes, these things do all match and look good together. It’s probably not an issue for a lot of women and is maybe nit picky, but I struggle and always have to check with my sister or a friend as to whether colors match or pieces look good together. 
  • The time frame to make a decision is a bit short--only three days. 
  • Once you go through checkout, it doesn't seem as though you can review your past orders; however, this was my first time and I didn't devote much time to poking around the website like I normally would.
I will definitely try it a few more times, though. I’ll make sure to give really detailed feedback so the choices get better. From what I understand in talking to others who use this service, detailed, specific, brutally honest feedback is crucial to getting what you like and will wear.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

funny cat story

This story is back from when we moved to the new house in July 2014. I told the story recently, and thought you'd all find it just as funny as I do; I still laugh every time I tell it. (And I need a good laugh after the last several months...)

I moved a few years ago, 45 minutes away from the old house. My sister and I transported my 12 (at the time) cats using two vehicles and nine cat carriers. One carrier held two sisters, Thelma and Louise, and another held the two brothers, Max and Bailey. They travelled in her car.

When we got to my new house, my sister complained that 10 minutes after we left it started to stink really bad in her car. Since this was July, she alternated every 10 minutes or so between closing the windows to enjoy the AC and get relief from the heat, and opening them because she couldn't stand the stench.

We started unpacking the carriers and found that the two brothers had both had an accident. Bailey was facing one way and Max the other way, so basically each cat's head was next to the other's butt. Well, apparently Max had an accident...diarrhea...and Bailey threw up, presumably because his head was Right There next to the muck and he couldn't handle it. Or maybe he was just car sick. So, we had to clean them off, clean out the carrier, and spray some air freshener in the car. And that particular carrier was, of course, one I'd borrowed from the rescue I volunteer with and I had to be back down there that afternoon to do some volunteer work. Thankfully the water had already been turned on so I could hose it out and disinfect.

Max's new nickname (which I still use)? Poopers.

Although I know the ride wasn't fun for my sister or the two cats, to this day I can't help but laugh my ass off every time I think about it. Sorry, sis!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

a year of loss

Unfortunately, I have yet another sad blog post to write.

It's been a year of loss for me.  Since October I've lost three cats, my father, and now my brother, Chuck.

My brother was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer last November. At that time he was given three to six months to live if he didn't do any treatment. Nine to 24 months with treatment.  Chemo was initially successful in slowing the spread and growth of the cancer; however, the side effects were rough. He then switched to a different treatment, which, unfortunately, was not successful and the cancer spread and grew quickly.  Although he underwent treatment, he ultimately lost his battle this past week. He was 60.

Towards the end, I mailed my brother a card to let him know I'm thinking of him and to share with him the life lessons he taught me:
  • "Don't get caught!" Anyone who knows him and his past will understand this one without another word.
  • "The Walking Dead is an awesome show!" It's not about zombies, but survival and rebuilding after most human life is wiped out by disease.
  • "Top 40 music sucks!" When I was growing up he would ask me what kind of music I was into at the time and when I would say Madonna or something similar, he would tell me Top 40 music sucks and that I should be listening to bands like Metallica. It took me awhile, but I got there. I now appreciate bands like Five Finger Death Punch and Iron Maiden.
  • "Get off the couch and LIVE!" This is the biggest and most important one. During the last nine months it dawned on me that he's done more living in the past 13 years than I have in my entire life. While I was sitting on my ass on the couch watching TV, he was kayaking. While I was playing around on the computer, he was travelling.

(BTW, I challenge you to find a card that is suitable for this type of thing (terminal cancer) and doesn't imply or state outright that everything will be OK; it wasn't easy. I finally found one, but it wasn't what I really wanted.)

I'm very thankful that he found a woman, Barbara (above), who loved him for who he was. Through her, he experienced many new things, gained six stepchildren, and 14 grandchildren. He traveled to Alaska, Maine, and Wisconsin, all places he had never been before. He also learned to take great pictures, as his wife is an avid photographer. They would have been married 10 years next month.

So, what can I say about my brother? Given the large age gap and other factors, we didn't grow up together; however, I know he was the kind of person that welcomed everyone with open arms. It didn't matter who you were, you were welcome.  He was opinionated and had no filter most of the time. He told it like it was, whether you liked it or not. Although it could be cringe-worthy at times, I really admired that about him. He was always open to trying new things.  I never thought I'd see him kayaking or developing a love for bird watching (he can name many of them on sight)!  Also, he loved kids and animals, and they were absolutely drawn to him. We always joked that he was a kid, chick, and animal magnet.  He also loved fireworks, especially firecrackers--he was a big kid at heart. We gave him a big sendoff the night of his memorial service with a fireworks display (they're legal in his state).

Through the years he fed my love for reading. Whenever I wanted to read something new, he would recommend books or authors, which I then promptly devoured in short time. Authors such as:  Ken Follett, David Baldacci, Stephen King, Douglas Preston, and Lincoln Child, among others. I'm going to miss getting my book recommendations, but every time I read a book I'll think of him.

With that, I say farewell to my big brother. You're now with mom and dad again.  Although your time and our time together was much too short, I love you, I'll miss you, and I'm glad I got to know you.

Here he is with my dad, cruising the Connecticut River in Vermont/New Hampshire on my parents' boat, about 12 years ago.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

FlapJacked Mighty Muffin with Probiotics

So, I saw this in Walmart this weekend and decided I needed to try it.

I was standing in front of the protein bars struggling with whether I should buy some or not. They're good for after my workout, but I tend to eat them like candy bars and they rarely make it until after my workout. I've come to the realization that it's just one of those things I can't keep in the house anymore.

Anyway, I spotted these protein muffin mixes. It's a muffin that you mix with water and microwave, all within its own container. They looked interesting and I liked the idea of a muffin in its own container that I could microwave at any time. I checked the nutritional information and saw that it has only 7 grams of sugar, which isn't bad. The calories are a bit high at 220, but it has 20 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber. The cost, if I remember correctly, was $2.39. That's about the same as a Quest protein bar. There were a couple different flavors:  Chocolate Peanut Butter, Peanut Butter, S'mores, and Double Chocolate. I bought the Double Chocolate flavor.

I have to admit that I wasn't able to save the muffin for when I was actually hungry or wanting something sweet. (I'm not a delayed gratification-type girl; I want it now!) I opened it up and stirred the mix around. I noticed there were some nice chunks of chocolate in it. I mixed in 1/4 cup of water and stirred with a fork until smooth. I then stuck it in the microwave uncovered. I started at 35 seconds, since I couldn't find the wattage on my microwave. It wasn't quite done, so I stuck it in for another 22 seconds.

This is what came out. It looks a bit inconsistent, but it was cooked all the way through. I ate it with a fork. Mainly because I didn't want to wait for it to cool and didn't want to burn my fingers. As far as texture, I wouldn't call this a muffin. It's more like cake. There were melted bits of chocolate in it and it tasted like warm chocolate cake. It was pretty good.  It was very filling and definitely would satisfy me if I was wanting dessert.

If you want to read up on them, there's the website:

Saturday, July 22, 2017

fried cauliflower rice with bean sprouts and edamame

This recipe came about because I had several ingredients in the freezer to use up:  riced cauliflower and edamame, both from Trader Joe's coincidentally. (I seem to find myself in this predicament quite often...) I had also bought a bag of bean sprouts at the store that I needed to use up.

I just have to say that the riced cauliflower at Trader Joe's is super convenient and inexpensive. I recently read an article that talks about Trader Joe's implementing a limit on the number of bags of this stuff people can buy. Scary! It's not nationwide, but of course it applies to my state.

I also have to say that I love Trader Joe's.  They have a lot of unique items and their prices are usually really good. I buy all my goat cheese there.

This was very bean sprout-heavy, but I was OK with that. I had to use the whole bag, because I knew I would end up tossing it out if I didn't.  If you don't like tons of sprouts, just cut the amount listed below to 3/4 or 1/2 of that.

I'm not sure of the number of servings, since I didn't measure it out. I'd say a WLS post-op will get probably 8 to 10 servings if I had to guess. Since it's veggie-heavy, that could be less, as many post-ops are able to eat a larger amount when there's no meat or grains in a dish. Recipe below.

This coloring in this picture is kind of awful, but you get the gist of it I'm sure. 😄

Fried Cauliflower Rice With Bean Sprouts and Edamame

1 12 oz. bag bean sprouts
1 12 oz. bag riced cauliflower
5 scallions, sliced, whites and greens separated
1/2 an onion, diced
1 cup shelled ready-to-eat edamame
2 whole eggs
2 cloves garlic, minced (I use the stuff in the jar since I hate mincing garlic)
3 TB soy sauce
1 TB oyster sauce (not necessary; leave it out if you don't have it)
2 TB sesame or canola oil
salt and pepper to taste
  1. Put 1 TB of the sesame oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Scramble the eggs, season with salt and pepper, and cook in the oil until done. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Add the remaining oil and cook onions, scallion whites, bean sprouts, and garlic for about one minute.
  3. Add the riced cauliflower and stir well a few minutes to heat through. (If using raw cauliflower you riced yourself, you might need to cook a little longer. Cook until tender.)
  4. Add cooked egg along with soy sauce, oyster sauce, scallion greens and edamame, mixing well and cooking for about 3 to 4 minutes. 
Note:  If you don't want the extra calories that comes with using oil, you could use cooking spray if you want. Coconut oil cooking spray would likely add a nice flavor to it.