Sunday, March 28, 2021

PANDEMIC DIARY - How I Spent My Sequester - Pt. 9 - To Keto or Not To Keto...

 ... that is the question.

Richard making a spaghetti squash supper

When the god/desses introduced me to Richard, I was young, and tho I was no longer modelling or dancing (other than club-type dancing), nor was auditing Luigi's jazz dance classes along w/ Bob Fosse on occasion, I was thin and could eat cheeseburgers w/ a side of fries or pizza or a bowl of fettuccine alfredo everyday and not gain an ounce.  

In the beginning of our love affair, I was the main bread winner and cook in the house, but that didn't last ... Richard's career took off as did his culinary skills.  He won an Emmy and was nominated for more AND became our 'chef in residence' when we entertained - I made "pretty" and did clean-up.  

As we got older, his cooking prowess grew, but, sadly, so did my waistline.  My dress size went from 4-6 to 8 to 10 to 12 (I had 3 sets of jeans - from thin to 'menopause-aly plump'... you get the picture.  I was not a happy camper.  I went on Fen Fen (remember Fen Fen?) and returned, if not to my "model/dancing" weight, close to it.  I bought clothes again.  Looked and felt great...  but Richard had discovered these wonderful pasta recipes, learned to make bread, as well as rich, creamy sauces.  It was  then I started this blog shortly before we went to Europe in 2001 right after 9/11.  He was writing and producing a series of show for the Food Network about the best chefs, foods and wines in Europe (I tagged along and ended up doing set design and various other little jobs to "pay my way").  See my "Five Guys & Me" series written in 2001-2002.

Well, as you've probably guessed, I began to gain back the weight.  (Yeh, it's all Richard's  fault - not the cheeseburgers, french fries, hot dogs, pizza, as well as Richard's meals I wolfed down.)  Then  a couple of years ago, I discovered NuAtkins which morphed into Keto, and I lost most of the weight.  As a meat, chicken and fish lover, not to mention a cheese-aholic, this was the perfect diet for me and Richard was happy to oblige.  I haven't lost all the weight I want to (do we ever?), and this pandemic isn't helping, as I 'graze' a lot during the day, but I've maintained, pretty much, with a little cheating now because Richard has been making amazing NuAtkins/Keto meals.  He hates cleaning up and doing dishes, I don't mind - so as we've sheltered in place this past year, he's made most all of our dinners.  

Here are some of my favorite of his "eat fat to lose fat" low carb suppers.

I'll start with bangers and cauliflower mash w/ a side of broccoli...

Speaking of cauliflower -- cauliflower mac & cheese - yup - my mouth is watering...

 ... and

Cauliflower carbonara

Moving on to chicken dishes - he's made a zillion over the pandemic - here are just a few of my favorites...

Joanna Gaines' chicken Florentine

Chicken in a creamy tarragon sauce

Chicken & arugula w/ summer squash in an orange/butter sauce

Let's go fishing...

grilled cedar plank salmon w/ a brown sugar (just a tad) and mustard sauce

plated w/ mashed broccoli

shrimp scampi w/ spinach

Golden bass Piccata 

Jamie Oliver's roasted white fish wrapped in bacon in lemon/mayo sauce

sheet roasted salmon Nicoise 

scallops in lemon/basil sauce & mashed broccoli

shrimp w/ garlic, spinach and spaghetti squash

swordfish Piccata

tilapia w/ crushed almonds in a butter/orange sauce

Besides grilled steak or lamb chops w/ veggies (favorite meals always) here are a few of Richard's NuAtkins/Keto low carb meat meals...

rack of lamb w/ mint, mustard crust and sauce

roast pork shoulder baked in cream and milk

grilled pork chop in garlic, butter/orange sauce

So to answer the age old question - To Keto or not to Keto - hell, yes!!!