Thursday, August 30, 2007

My Goodbye

Dear Kimkins friends,

I am so sorry that the circumstances of my absence from the site have caused confusion and consternation. I have never meant to hurt anyone there in any way, and I am sorry. You have meant so much to me, and I treasure you, the wonderful relationships we had there, and the time we shared. It was so special to me --- the encouragement and support and just plain fun we often enjoyed. It is amazing how so many people, most of whom I haven't even met yet, could become so dear to me. Many of you know me better than some of my 'real life' friends do.

I loved cheering for your victories and being there in your time of need, and I truly appreciate, more than I know how to express, how you did the same for me. I know I would never have made it this far without you. Because of what we had there for a while, I not only lost the weight, I got my life back. I got hope back, when I had almost given up hope. I am healthy and strong and active again, and I wanted that for all of us. I still do. I tried to make a positive difference, in my own small way. I would have preferred for things to have turned out differently.

What led to my dawning awareness that it was time to go was more than irreconcilable differences of opinion, more than self-protective concern, and more than current controversy. What led to my regretful realization that I would have to leave is another story for another time. I assure you, though, that it has nothing at all to do with diminished affection for the members. The members of Kimkins made the site what it was, and made it better by far than it would have been otherwise. Many of you had a part in that, and I thank you for your input into my life.

I am not hiding, and I am not hard to find. I posted my email address on the site a few weeks ago, the first time my password quit working, in case I ever disappeared suddenly. If that cannot be found, I can always be reached here.

Be well, friends. You've touched my heart. Keep in touch.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Interesting Times!

I suppose we have all heard the expression meant to be either/both a blessing and a curse: May you live in interesting times.

Well, lately my life has been . . . interesting.

I will probably want to talk about it someday.
Perhaps even someday soon.
But not today.

Today I just want to say that I and all my family are well and fine.

In fact, I feel more peaceful and content than I have felt in a long time.

I have so very much missed being online, and missed my many dear online friends, more than words can say. Being absent has felt at times empty and lonely. Though I have a loving family around me, you, my online friends, have become important to me, too. I hope to reconnect with many of you.

I had reasons for my absence, interesting reasons. I'm still processing information and sorting through all my thoughts and feelings in my own slow, methodical way. I am generally a careful and cautious person, gathering my own evidence and coming to my own conclusions.

Interestingly, Wikipedia has this further to say about the referenced proverb:
It is reported that it was the first of three curses of increasing severity, the other two being:

May you come to the attention of those in authority
May you find what you are looking for

Here's hoping for a less interesting life!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Monday Menus: August 6

Here is this week's menu, with recipes following. I often simplify or rearrange things in the actual cooking, as events come up, but this gives me a plan for my shopping list and prep-aheads. I usually only end up making 5 or 6 of the entrees, because of going out or over to someone's house for dinner, or eating leftovers some nights when the kids are all out and it is just DH and me.

I usually have a protein shake for breakfast, or some kind of eggs. For lunch, I rotate a few basic 'lunch of the week' ideas. In that way, things stay simple and uncomplicated.

For dinner, I try to make a basic meal the whole family can eat, with variations.
I add the higher-carb, higher-calorie menu items for my non-Kimkins family [in square brackets].

B: Mocha Cappuccino Protein Shake
L: Grilled Chicken with Dijonaisse Dip
D: Taco Salad, [sliced avocado, sour cream, tortilla chips]

B: Strawberry Protein Shake
L: Tuna Salad on Revolution 'Bread'
D: Chicken a la Queen, salad of baby mixed greens, steamed broccoli, [parsley-buttered egg noodles]

B: Chocolate Mint Protein Shake
L: Egg Salad on Celery Sticks
D: Black Pepper Beef and Cabbage Stir-Fry, [rice, melon]

B: Denver Omelet with Canadian Bacon
L: Diet Coke "Float" Protein Shake
D: Texas-Style Low-Carb Chili, [favorite fixings, tortilla chips]

B: Fuzzy Navel Protein Shake
L: Texas-Style Low-Carb Chili
D: Salmon Bundles with Rosemary, Capers, and Lemon; Romaine/Red Onion Salad; [Steamed Red Potatoes}

B: Chocolate Peanut Caramel Protein Shake
L: Tuna Salad on 'Revolution Bread', Celery Sticks
D: Chili-Lime Chicken, Garlic Cauliflower, [Corn with Mixed Bell Pepper Bits]

B: Strawberry Kiwi Protein Shake
L: Rosemary Pork Loin Medallions, Lemon-Pepper Green Beans, [Seasoned Potato Wedges]
D: Any leftovers of choice from week

Drinks: Water, Coffee, Iced tea/Sugar-free Lemonade, Green tea, Peach tea
Snacks and Desserts: Sugar-free gelatin, Sugar-free slushies/snowcones/popsicles (homemade)

Taco Salad

This one is easy!

Taco Salad
Serves 4


1 lb. ground white turkey (or extra-lean beef)

1/2 to 1 tsp each: garlic powder (or minced garlic) salt, ground cumin, chili powder (to taste)
1/2 cup chopped onion (opt. - to cook with meat)
6 -10 cups lettuce of choice (I like romaine, sliced in thin shreds.)
1 - 2 tomatoes, chopped (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup chopped green onion (or regular onion, for people to add to their own salads.)
1 cup cheese, Cheddar, or Mexican Blend, shredded
1/2 to 1 cup Salsa of choice (I use Pace Picante, or homemade)

Extras (for family, or maintenance):

1 ripe avocado, peeled, seeded and diced
1 can black olives, sliced
1 can black beans, drained
1/2 to 1 cup sour cream
Tortilla Chips

Salad Dressing, as desired (I just use salsa, but Light Ranch works, too.)


1) In large skillet sprayed with non-stick spray, brown meat with seasonings (and onions, if using). Drain, if needed.

2) Place lettuce on large serving platter. (Or divide evenly among four salad plates.)

3) Sprinkle with layers of meat, cheese and tomatoes.

Serve with additional extras (salsa, green onions, olives, avocado, sour cream, beans, chips) for to add, as desired.

Chicken a la Queen

I like the cute little pearl onions, but you can skip those and just use egular onions, chopped, if you need to.

Chicken a la Queen
Serves 4


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I just eat 4 oz., but my family eats the rest)
Salt and pepper, to taste OR Montreal Chicken Seasoning (so good!)
1/4 cup green bell pepper, diced
1/3 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup red wine (or, use another 1/3 cup chicken broth instead)
1/2 lb. mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup pearl onions
1 tsp thyme


1) Spray large skillet with non-stick spray (olive oil in sprayer works well)and heat to medium-high.

2) Season chicken, and saute 5 -6 minutes per side.

3) Add bell pepper, and saute a few more minutes until chicken is cooked through and peppers are tender-crisp.
Remove from skillet, set aside, and keep warm.

4) In the same skillet, add broth and wine; bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits from pan bottom. (Deglaze.)

5) Add mushrooms, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer about 5 minutes.

6) Raise heat to medium, add pearl onions and thyme, and cook uncovered for 5 more minutes, until sauce is reduced.

7) Spoon mushroom/onion sauce over chicken and serve.

Black Pepper Beef and Cabbage Stir-Fry

Well, this simple dish looks better than this, and tastes even yummier. (Of course, I really like cabbage!)
Black Pepper Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry
Serves 4

non-stick spray
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound extra-lean ground beef
1 small head cabbage, shredded
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips

2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon ThickenThin not/Starch thickener (low carb, in place of cornstarch)
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon ground black pepper


1) Spray a wok or large skillet with non-stick spray, and heat over medium-high heat

2) Saute garlic for about 5 seconds, then add ground beef. Stir-fry until beef is evenly brown. (Drain if needed, but it shouldn't be if you used extra-lean beef.)

3) Stir in cabbage and pepper, and cook until vegetables are tender, and beef is fully cooked.

4) Stir in soy sauce. Mix together cornstarch and water, and stir in. (Or, omit thickener and water if you do not have the low-carb thickener.) Season with pepper. Cook, stirring, until sauce has thickened.

5) Serve, with rice for family, or plain for low-carbing.

Simple and delicious!

Texas-Style Low-Carb Chili

This recipe is made with no beans and no tomatoes - but you can add a can of spicy Rotel tomatoes if you like!

This recipe is made with no beans and no tomatoes - but you can add a can of spicy Rotel tomatoes if you like!

Texas-Style Low-Carb Chili
Serves 8


2 pounds extra-lean ground beef (or lean white turkey)
2 medium onions, chopped
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder, or to taste
2 teaspoons cumin
1-2 teaspoons ThickenThin not/Starch thickener


1) Brown meat, with onions and garlic.

2) Add seasonings, and enough water to barely cover the meat. Cook 1 hour, adding more water if necessary. (Add tomatoes, if you want.)

3) Towards the end of the cooking time, thicken with ThickenThin not/Starch thickener. Start with 1 teaspoon, stirred into a bit of liquid first, and increase amount to taste until the gravy is thick enough.

Serving Ideas : Dress with chopped tomatoes, onion, shredded cheese, sour cream, etc., as toppings for the family.

This tastes better the next day, and freezes well, too.

Salmon Bundles

This is so easy --- under 30 minutes, and no clean-up! (If you don't like salmon, try another fish, like tilapia.)

Salmon Bundles, With Lemon, Capers,and Rosemary
4 servings

4 (6 ounce) salmon fillets
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (or, olive oil spray)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
8 lemon slices (about 2 lemons)
1/4 cup lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
1/2 cup wine (white or marsala wine, or vegetable broth, if you prefer)
4 teaspoons capers
4 pieces aluminum foil


1) Spray or brush both sides of salmon fillets with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and rosemary.

2) Place each piece of seasoned salmon on a piece of foil large enough to fold over and seal.

3) Top the each piece of salmon with 2 lemon slices, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of wine or broth, and 1 teaspoon of capers. Wrap up salmon tightly in the foil packets, folding edges to seal well.

4) Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill.)Or, heat the oven to 375 degrees.)

5) Place the foil packets on the hot grill and cook for 10 minutes for a 1-inch thick piece of salmon. Serve in the foil packets.

I like it when my husband grills this outside on the patio, because then the house doesn't smell fishy. (I skip lemon on his, because he doesn't care for them.)

Chili-Lime Chicken Strips

I don't always cut the chicken into strips, if I am in a hurry. The flavor penetrates better, though, if you have the time.

Chili-Lime Chicken
Serves 6 - 8


2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into thin strips
2 Tbs. lime juice
1 Tbs. chili powder (or, to taste)
1 tsp. cumin (or, to taste)
1 tsp. salt, (or, to taste)
non-stick spray


Early in day:
Combine chicken strips with lime juice, and spices.
Marinate in refrigerator, if you have time. (Can skip marinating and proceed to cooking, if desired.)

Heat generous amount of nonstick spray in heavy large skillet over medium - high heat.
Saute seasoned chicken strips until slightly browned, about 5 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium, and cook for another 5 minutes or so, or until no longer pink inside.
(If chicken begins to dry out, add a few tablespoons of water or broth and continue to cook until done.)

*This makes a great grab-and-go lunch, too! Leftovers go nicely atop salads, as lettuce wraps, or in stir-fry.

Rosemary Pork Medallions

Rosemary Pork Medallions

Serves 4 - 6


1 clove garlic , pressed (or to taste)
1 tsp. rosemary (or, to taste)
1 tsp. sage (or, to taste)
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. salt, (or, to taste)
2 pork tenderloins (8 -12 oz. each)
2 tsp. lemon juice (opt.)
2 Tbs. chicken broth (opt.)
non-stick spray


1) Make a paste of oil and spices.
Rub this paste into pork (and let marinate for a while in refrigerator, if you have time.)

2) Slice tenderloins crosswise into chops almost 1 inch thick.

3) Heat generous amount of nonstick spray in heavy large skillet over medium heat.
Pan - grill pork medallions about 4 minutes on each side, or until nicely done, but not dried out and tough. (Add more spray if needed.)

4) Optional step, but recommended - deglaze pan by simmering lemon juice and/or broth in skillet, scraping to mix in browned bits from bottom.

5) Plate up medallions, and drizzle with broth/juice glaze.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Lost Week

A week and a half ago, I had a new grandson, Gideon James, 10 lb., 9 oz. of joy.

I expected that this last week I would blog every day, and publish a full-featured newsletter on Thursday, with a week's menu and PDF files for recipes and a shopping list, together with practical pointers of tools, tips, and strategies.

Well, those of you who are my friends from will know that Gideon ended up quite ill and in the hospital. I greatly appreciate all the outpouring of love and prayer and support so many of you expressed. It means so much! I am happy to report that Gideon made a complete turn-around and is home from the hospital!

Needless to say, though, the newsletter and blogging (and everything else) have slipped this week. Still, I'll put out my menu, a couple of recipes, and a few thoughts to help us through the next week of good weight loss.

Now, I sincerely hope the next week goes as planned!