Dublin Lawyer (my version)

Dublin Lawyer
Serves 4

2 tablespoons butter
2 cans crab (or 8 ounces crab meat)
12 ounces cooked shrimp
1/4 cup whiskey
1 cup minced shallot (about 4 large)
1/4 cup half and half
1/4 plain Greek yogurt
Salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste

  1. Melt the butter in a large (10″) non-stick sauce pan.
  2. Saute shallots until they become soft.
  3. Add the cooked shrimp and crab meat. Stir together of medium-high heat.
  4. Add whiskey. Turn heat in high, and CAREFULLY flame the dish.  (This burns off the alcohol and concentrates the flavors.
  5. Stir in half and half and yogurt.  Stir until well mixed.
  6. Season to taste.

Nutritional data:
Calories:        199
Fat:                8.3g
Sat fat:           4.7g
Chol:          127.8mg
Sodium:     703.7mg
Carbs:           8.1g
Fiber:                0g
Protein:        22.8g

Note: I don’t have access to fresh crab. I used canned crab, which increased the sodium content. But the dish was still really tasty and a nice change of pace.  Also, traditionally is only uses crab, but I had shrimp on hand so I used that in addition to the crab.  It worked.

Carrots in Beer and Dill
Serves 4

1 pound bag of baby carrots
1 cup of beer
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon dried dill

  1. Cut the carrots in half the long way.
  2. Place carrots in a non-stick saute pan over medium heat.
  3. Add beer. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat.
  4. Stir occasionally.
  5. If the beer evaporates, add a little more. (It probably won’t need more.)
  6. Just before serving, add a teaspoon butter and dill.  Toss to coat and serve.

Nutritional data:
Calories:         61
Fat:                   1g
Sat fat:           0.6g
Chol:             2.5mg
Sodium:       32.5mg
Carbs:           8.1g
Fiber:            1.3g
Protein:         0.9g

Broiled Egg-Stuffed Avocado

I am always fascinated about the foods people prefer which is why I ask my final three questions of my interview guests on my podcast, Make Your Someday Today. Everyone has such interested preferences.

If I interviewed all of the readers of this blog, this would be a common favorite. This post is the most viewed food post on the entire blog. Amazing! (And this recipe is so simple and delicious!)

Broiled Egg-Stuffed Avocado
Serves two as a side dish, or one as a meal
1 avocado, cut in half and seeded
2 eggs, separated
Hot sauce (your preference)
1 ounce cheese

Place the top rack in your oven to the highest level. Turn broiler on “high”.

Choose a ripe avocado. (An avocado is ripe when the stem end yields under gentle pressure from your thumb. The skin will also be a dark brown, near-black.

Slice the avocado in half (through he poles and not around the equator) and remove the seed. The seed will be easily removed by chopping your knife partway into the seed and then giving it a twist.

Score the avocado through the meat but not through the skin, to allow the hot sauce to seep in.

Sprinkle the hot sauce on the avocado.

Fill the hole where the seed was with an egg yolk. If there is extra room, add some of the egg white.

Place on top rack under the broiler for 3 minutes.

Place cheese on top, and return to broiler until the cheese melts 1-2 minutes.


It was so awesomely delicious! The yolk was perfect (almost like a soft boiled egg.)

Nutritional data (for one piece):
Calories:         219
Fat:                  19g
Sat fat:            5.3g
Chol:             222mg
Sodium:           46mg
Carbs:            7.2g
Fiber:             4.6g
Protein:             8g

Make Your Someday Today is a twice-weekly podcast, where we talk to successful people in all walks of life and around the world on Monday, and then on Thursday, I take a specific message from the previous guest and give my “Trevitorial”, where I help you apply that message to your life. The entire purpose of the show is to help all of us overcome our challenges and fears and become the person we want to be, the person we deserve to be.

How Do They Do It? How Do We Do It?

I was listening to a book written and read by Charles Kuralt, Charles Kuralt’s America. (He has such a wonderful speaking voice.) And one of his essays was talking about the daffodil variety that was named for him. But before he got to that portion of the essay, he talked about the monarch butterfly.

The monarch butterfly spends winters in the forests of southern California and Mexico. They are the only insect to migrate 2500 miles every year. (Much more fascinating information is here.) In spring, they migrate en masse 2500 miles north, flying as far as Canada. They mate. And then they die.

But the remarkable thing is their offspring hatch and become caterpillars. The caterpillars eat milkweed and eventually form a chrysalis. Later, they emerge as a monarch butterfly and then migrate the thousands of miles south, to the same forest, and the same trees that hosted the parents.

How do the new generation of butterflies know where to fly? Which forest is “theirs”? I mean, salmon in the Pacific northwest at least are hatched in the streams and rivers before they swim out the to ocean to grow into adulthood before swimming back to the same stream. The salmon are returning to their place of origin.

Monarchs don’t return to anyplace. They fly to a new place for the first time. And I’m pretty sure they don’t have access to an iPhone5. How do they get to some place they have never been? How do they know when their journey is finished?

Many of us are on a similar journey. We are migrating to a place that we might possibly have seen only once, on our way up to greater weights. As we got older, we also got larger, but like the adult monarch we finally noticed a need, an urge, a mandate to go back.

How do we get there? The monarch flies in a flock of millions of butterflies, all moving towards the same destination. We can copy that idea, by finding fellow travelers. Myself, I have many friends on LoseIt that are supportive of me and each other as we all find our eventual resting place. Others may use Weight Watchers, or Jenny Craig, or Nutrisystem. You might find another online service such as MyFitnessPal. Maybe you will find a coach at a gym. Maybe you attend Overeaters Anonymous. (If that is you, you don’t have to identify yourself here.) Regardless of the actual vehicle you choose, the path is the same. You find people with a similar goal and you fly together.

The butterflies don’t fly thousands of miles without stopping. We won’t lose weight without pauses. That is normal. But just as the butterfly will continue flying after a brief rest, we need to continue on our journey without excessive lingering. Our destination will not come to us. We need to go to it.

How do we know when we arrive? Probably we have all set a “final number” as our goal. When we achieve it, we have arrived, right? Well, yes. But it is important not to assume that “arrival” is the same as “finished.” (This is where my butterfly analogy breaks down.) Butterflies are able to simply hang out for a few months in a tree before flying back. We can’t just hang out for a while. We need to keep on doing what we did to get to our goal. If we exercised our way to a new weight, then continued exercise will be needed (at least at some level) to prevent regression. Calorie counting will require continued counting (or at least monitoring at some level) to ensure the bathroom scale does not start to show bigger numbers.

Alternatively, we could continue to set new goals. Upon reaching a weight goal, maybe we could set a physical strength goal or a speed goal (running or swimming.) Maybe work on body fat percentage, or running/biking endurance. After I reached my goal, I set a new goal of running a 10K race. Bad knees prevented me from running it, but my wife and I walked it instead.

Become a butterfly. (Oh, I guess the butterfly metaphor isn’t finished.) Do what you need to do to transform into your new shape. 

Note: One of the other blogs that I follow is running a contest for a Keurig Mini-Plus brewing system. Since I love a) coffee and b) free things, I entered it on Danica’s Daily blog. She also has good information on her blog. It is worth reading (after reading mine, first!) 

If You Have a Pet …

Just a quick note here.

Last night, Ozzy was not acting normally. (And if you have a pet, or your child is a toddler, you know how it is when they are “not right.”) It was almost midnight. Our options were to wait it out, or to take him to the Pet ER.

Then Tammy suggested that I Google his symptoms. I didn’t find much. But then I found a website service that connected you to professionals in real time. It was www.JustAnswer.com and I was connected to a small animal vet from Hawaii.

Awesome! After a couple emails back and forth, he suggested that we treat Ozzy with Pepcid or Tagamet and see what happens. And by the morning he seemed to be better, and when I got home from work this afternoon he was back to his normal self. It was EXCELLENT service!

Yes, there was a fee, but seriously, the $18.00 that it cost was probably 5% of what the ER would have charged. And working with Dr. Michael Salkin allowed us to feel better and sleep better. Sure, ideally we would have taken him to his regular vet, but that isn’t possible at midnight. This was a great service!

Our Ozzy

Easy Guacamole

Easy Guacamole
Makes about 2 cups

2 ripe avocados
The juice of 1 lime
1 clove garlic, mashed and minced
1 tablespoon fresh minced onion (or 1 teaspoon dried minced onion)
Cumin and black pepper to taste

  1. Avocados are ripe when the stem end is soft when gently pressed with your thumb.
  2. Slice avocados with a sharp knife. Use the knife to pop out the seed. Use a spoon to scoop the meat out of the shell.
  3. Add remaining ingredients.
  4. Mash together. Cover in airtight container and refrigerate until ready to serve. Use within 1-2 days. Air will cause it to turn brown, but that does not change the nutritional values (just the color.)

Nutritional data (for approximately 4 tablespoon):
Calories:        57
Fat:              5.2g
Sat fat:         0.7g
Chol:              0mg
Sodium:       2.7mg
Carbs:          2.9g
Fiber:           2.3g
Protein:        0.7g

Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup

Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup
Serve 4
2 ounces (dry) mushroom blend. I used a blend of porcini, shiitake, oyster and black mushrooms.
8 ounces fresh white button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 Vidalia onions, diced
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1/2 cup white wine
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Rehydrate mushrooms with one quart boiling water. Let set for 30 minutes or more.
  2. In a 2-3 quart non-stick sauce pan, preheat over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil.
  3. Place onions in pan. Cook until beginning to get translucent.
  4. Add garlic. Cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
  5. In the same pan, add remaining oil.
  6. Add white button mushrooms.  Cook until they are beginning to get soft.
  7. Drain rehydrated mushrooms. SAVE THE JUICE! Squeeze the mushrooms to get them as dry as possible. Add to button mushrooms.
  8. Cook mushrooms until they are about half their volume (10 minutes).
  9. Return onions to mushrooms.
  10. Measure and add mushroom water to pan. (There should be about 2 cups)
  11. Add wine.  Season with salt and pepper.
  12. Bring to a boil.
  13. While the broth returns to a boil, make the roux.
  14. When the broth boils, stir in the roux. Simmer until the desired thickness.

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 cup skim milk

  1. Melt butter in a small sauce pan. Remove from heat.
  2. Stir in flour to make a paste.
  3. Add Greek yogurt, stir until well mixed.
  4. Add milk. Stir until smooth. Return to heat over low-medium, just to get it warm.

Nutritional data:
Calories:         253
Fat:               14.4g   
Sat fat:               7g
Chol:               28mg
Sodium:           46mg
Carbs:           18.5g
Fiber:              2.8g
Protein:         10.1g

Chocolate-Pumpkin Torte

Chocolate-Pumpkin Torte
Serves 8

This makes a dense brownie-like cake, very moist and richly chocolate. I topped this picture with melted Nutella, but I also have topped it with melted peanut butter, caramel sauce, or bittersweet chocolate. A raspberry or strawberry sauce would also be really good on top.

There is very little pumpkin flavor. I think I noticed it only because I knew that it was in the batter.

I used Splenda to greatly reduce the calories. If you prefer to use sugar, then you will just have more calories to calculate, but the recipe will otherwise be the same technique.

1 cup flour
4 eggs (separate three and reserve all)
1.5 cups Splenda, divided (or the same amount of sugar)
1 cup mashed pumpkin (canned is okay, make sure it is 100% pumpkin)
1/2 cup cocoa
8 teaspoons Nutella (optional topping, but I added those calories to the nutritional data below.)

(Special equipment needed:  springform pan and cooling rack.  See my comment at the end about alternate equipment.)

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Combine flour, cocoa and 1 cup of Splenda in a large bowl.
  3. Stir in pumpkin until evenly mixed.
  4. With an electric mixer, add one whole egg and all yolks.
  5. Clean the beaters completely.
  6. In a separate bowl, place egg whites. Mix with electric mixer, whisk egg whites until soft peaks form.
  7. Add remaining 1/2 cup Splenda, beating until the egg whites are shiny and begin to hold firm peaks.
  8. Spray springform pan with cooking spray.
  9. Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the pumpkin-cocoa mixture. Gently fold until thoroughly mixed. Add remaining egg whites, folding together gently until well incorporated.
  10. Pour batter into springform pan
  11. Bake 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  12. Remove collar and cool completely on a cooling rack.
  13. When cool, cut into eight pieces.
  14. Melt the Nutella, and drizzle about 1 teaspoon on each piece. Dress with a bit of whipped topping (if desired.)

Nutritional data:
Calories:        140
Fat:                 6g
Sat fat:          2.4g
Chol:           105mg
Sodium:         36mg
Carbs:         19.4g
Fiber:           4.3g
Protein:        6.9g

If you do not have a springform pan (and if you don’t know what it is, then you don’t have one) here is an alternate method. Take a 9″ pie tin and line it with aluminum foil. You will probably need the extra wide foil. Press the foil down so that it conforms to the shape of the tin and then spray it with cooking spray. When you are done baking, you just pick up the foil by the edges and then set it on the cooling rack.

Also, if you prefer to not use canned pumpkin, you can use an equal amount of cooked squash or cooked sweet potato.

Panko Breaded Chicken with Bourbon-Pecan Butter Sauce

Panko Breaded Chicken with Bourbon-Pecan Butter Sauce, served on Garlicky Sauteed Spinach Serves 4

20 ounces chicken (I used boneless skinless chicken breasts)
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
Seasoning of your choice (I used Penzy’s Sunny Spain.)

  1. Cut breasts into one inch wide strips.
  2. Separate the egg. Throw away the yolk. Add water. Whisk together.
  3. Place panko crumbs in a shallow dish. Season to taste
  4. Dip breasts in egg wash. Dredge in crumbs on both sides, and set aside.
  5. Preheat large (10″ or larger) non-stick pan. Add oil.
  6. When the oil is hot, carefully lay the chicken in the pan. Let cook until browned, then turn.
  7. Total cooking time will be 6-10 minutes.
  8. Removed from heat and cover the keep warm.

Nutritional data (5 ounces of chicken only):
Calories:        129
Fat:                0.6g
Sat fat:              0g
Chol:               70mg
Sodium:         147mg
Carbs:            4.8g
Fiber:             0.2g
Protein:        23.6g

Sauce (can be made while the chicken cooks):
1 ounce pecans, crushed
2 ounces (1/4 cup) bourbon (or your favorite whiskey)
1 ounce chicken broth
1 tablespoon butter (unsalted)

  1. Place pecans in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Toss frequently until getting hot and fragrant (2-3 minutes).  Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Place bourbon and chicken broth in sauce pan. Bring to a boil.
  3. Add butter. Stir until melted.
  4. Stir in pecans.

Nutritional data (1 tablespoon sauce):
Calories:        108
Fat:                8.1g
Sat fat:           2.3g
Chol:             7.6mg
Sodium:         3.1mg
Carbs:              1g
Fiber:            0.7g
Protein:         0.8g

Garlicky Sauteed Spinach:
Serves 2
1 bag (9 ounce) baby spinach
4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 tablespoon olive oil

  1. In the same large saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  2. When the oil is hot, add sliced garlic.  Toss for one minute.
  3. Place fresh spinach in pan.
  4. Toss repeatedly, until the spinach wilts.

Nutritional data:
Calories:         83
Fat:               5.3g
Sat fat:          0.8g
Chol:               0mg
Sodium:       120mg
Carbs:           7.4g
Fiber:            3.4g
Protein:         4.7g

Place spinach on the plate. Top with 5 ounces (three strips) on the spinach. Drizzle 1 tablespoon sauce over the chicken.

An alternative to the above uses tilapia fillets. Instead of 20 ounces of chicken, use 16 ounces of tilapia (four fillets). Prepare the meal as above.

Panko-Breaded Tilapia

Beef Stew and Cheddar-Chive Biscuits

Beef Stew
Serves 2 (1.5 cup portions)

2 pounds beef, cubed into 1/2 inch cubes
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2-4 cloves garlic, mashed and minced
4 tablespoons flour
6 tablespoon water
16 ounce beer (your preferred type, darker is better in this)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup low sodium beef (or chicken or vegetable) broth (I used home made broth, with no added salt.)
1 bag (16 ounces) frozen mixed vegetables
1/2 cup shredded carrots (optional, but I used them)
Salt and pepper to taste (I used no salt when I made this)

  1. Heat non-stick Dutch oven or other large kettle over medium-high heat. Add oil.
  2. When oil is hot, add beef cubes. Season with salt/pepper.  Brown on all sides.
  3. While the beef is cooking, mix together the flour and water to make a thin paste.
  4. Add flour paste to a mixing bowl, and stir in tomato paste.  Stir until well-mixed.
  5. Stir in broth and beer.  Use a large bowl or the beer will foam over and make a mess.
  6. Remove beef from heat, and keep warm.
  7. In the beef cooking juices, add onion and saute over medium-high heat until beginning to turn translucent.  Add garlic and cook for one minute.
  8. Return beef to pot. Add all vegetables (they can still be frozen) and the beer/broth mix.
  9. Bring to a boil.
  10. Reduce heat to low.  Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on how thick you want the gravy

Nutritional Data:
Calories:    312
Fat:          13.3g
Sat fat:       5.2g
Chol:          80mg
Sodium:      89mg
Carbs:      16.7g
Fiber:         2.3g
Protein:    25.4g

Cheddar-Chive Drop Biscuits
Serves 6 (2 biscuits per portion)

1 cup all purpose flour
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
0.5 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons cold butter
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded cheddar cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. Combine all three dry ingredients together in a bowl.
  3. Cut the butter into small cubes.  Add to flour.
  4. Using your fingers, pick up the butter cubes and mash them into the flour, until there are no noticeable butter lumps.  This will only take a few minutes.
  5. Add yogurt and chives. Stir until partially mixed. 
  6. Add cheese. Stir until well mixed and forms a sticky ball.
  7. Turn out on a floured surface. Sprinkle lightly with flout and kneed/fold 10 times.
  8. Grease a baking sheet.
  9. Drop by spoonfuls onto baking sheet.  You will get about 12 biscuits.  When baked, they will be about 2 inches in diameter.
  10. Bake 7-9 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.

Nutritional Data: (2 biscuits)
Calories:    143
Fat:            5.6g
Sat fat:       3.5g
Chol:          150mg
Sodium:    239mg
Carbs:      16.9g
Fiber:         0.6g
Protein:      5.9g

A Day of Food

As the request of several Lose It friends (particularly Natalie!) here is a look at what I ate on Thursday, September 27. This was a busy day. I gave Ozzy a two mile walk in the early morning. Then I had office hours on campus in the morning and a three hour lecture in the afternoon. Then I drove home, quickly walked Ozzy for a mile, picked up Tammy at school and went to watch Ethan and the soccer team play out of town.

All that activity means that my only meal eaten at a calm pace was my “first” breakfast. Like Hobbits, I like approximately seven meals a day: breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner, and supper. Except I call mine: first breakfast, driving breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack, evening meal, evening snack. It works for me.

I didn’t get all seven meals in on Thursday, but I did pretty good, and I ate almost all my calories.

Breakfast, at about 5:30am. My “Easy Breakfast” but instead of 1/4 cup of fruit, I added 1/4 cup crushed walnuts, 1 ounce dark chocolate and 2 tablespoons sweetened shredded coconut. Not a small breakfast at 563 calories, but it got my day off to a great tasting start. 

Second breakfast, or as I call it, “Driving Breakfast.”  At 10:00am, I drove to school and ate two mini whole wheat bagels, topped with 2 eggs, 1/2 a mashed avocado, and 2 tablespoons crunchy almond butter. I grilled the bagels in the pan after frying the eggs by dipping them in the olive oil,letting them absorb some and then frying the eggs in the rest. I used a full tablespoon olive oil.  787 calories.
While I was at home, between the first breakfast and the driving breakfast, I had a mug of coffee (22 ounce mug) flavored with 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses and 4 tablespoons half-and-half.  150 calories.
Mid-afternoon snack, an ounce of salt-and-pepper cashews and an ounce of 70% cocoa dark chocolate. (This is the Aldi brand of chocolate and has become my favorite.)  315 calories, and sustained me as a facilitated a three hour lecture on Communication and Collaboration.
Dinner at the stadium.  Fresh veggies, a Pink Lady apple, four tablespoons homemade hummus (in the first picture) and a sandwich thin, four ounces of pulled pork and one tablespoon KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce.  521 calories.
After returning home from the soccer match, I needed a snack with calories but not a lot of bulk.
I went with two ounces of dry roasted, unsalted almonds and another ounce of 70% cocoa dark chocolate. (I buy all my nuts and chocolates from Aldi.) And yes, I eat 2-3 ounces of dark chocolate on most days, along with 1-3 ounces of various nuts. That is how I am able to keep my fat intake as high as 50% of my daily calories. 515 calories.
Thursday’s total intake was about 2800 calories, and I was still 189 short (based on the step count recorded by my Fitbit.) Contrary to comments that I have read on my LoseIt home page, I don’t eat “gourmet” foods. I just eat good food.
The total nutrition numbers for the day:
Fat:         178.6g   56%
Sat fat:      43.5g
Chol:         761mg
Sodium:   1497mg
Carbs:     199.5g   28%
Fiber:        48.6g
Protein:   120.1g   17%
This was a school day, and a busy one at that, when you add in the soccer match in the evening. Next I will also post what I ate on Sunday, when I was able to stay at home and relax. (And do school work.)