Balsamic Pork Chops Review: 5/5 Stars

I haven’t had much time to post over the past couple of days, but I did want to drop in to say that the Balsamic Pork Chops recipe posted in the 11.8 Meal Plan is my favorite to date. I think I’ve just been getting really sick of chicken.

Not only are the pork chops dead easy to cook in under 10 minutes, they tasted delicious with the balsamic glaze. In fact, I returned them to the pan with the reduced balsamic vinegar/chicken stock sauce and flipped them over a few times to make sure they picked up the sauce. My husband has stolen the second pork chop from the pan before I could put it away as leftovers both times I’ve prepared the meal. Yes, I said “both times”. I loved it so much the first night I was craving it the second.

The cucumber, tomato and onion salad was great too, but these pork chops are such a simple, flavorful and low-calorie protein that you can serve them with just about anything. Maybe next time I’ll do some fresh steamed green beans.

These will definitely be showing up in meal plans for future weeks. I think that next week I may also only do four meals. I’m finding that the leftovers find their way onto my plate for the next meal, making it hard to fit in 5 separate meals + leftovers each week.

Try these pork chops! You will thank me!

Posted in Recipe Reviews

Cream Cheese Salsa Chicken Review: 3/5 Stars

Yesterday was a banner day for me. For the first time, someone who is just an acquaintance, and who doesn’t know that I’m trying to lose weight, stopped me in the hallway to say, “You look great! Have you lost weight?”

All I can say is, it’s about damned time. 25 pounds it took. I think the office is too politically correct to say anything about someone’s weight, as if it’s a damning of them at their previous weight. My non-PC friend, however, made my day.

On to the recipe review…

I was really looking forward to cooking the Cheesy Salsa Chicken recipe last night. I was incredibly hungry by the time I got home and so I immediately put the oven on to 400 degrees to start baking the chips. (That’s a change I’m going to make in the recipe, by the way. I think you ought to bake the chips at 350-400. “Broiling” them is asking for trouble.)

After I got changed, I came down and set up my mise en place as it were. Two things to note – First, six ounces of chopped chicken seemed like a lot of chicken at first. This is the pile of chicken after I chopped it from the rotisserie chicken we purchased. It was one full breast.

Second, just as a reminder, if you’re following a LC Meal Plan to lose weight, weigh everything in order to make sure the calorie and carb counts are right. Here, I was weighing out my 32 ounces of salsa. As you can see, I stopped at 30 to take a photo. This little WW scale has been with me for eight years and it works like a champ.

You’ll notice that oftentimes I include gram weights next to instructions like “1.5T”. That’s because I’ve discovered that what I think is 1.5T isn’t really the same as what the manufacturer thinks 1.5T is. So I go by weight for a lot of things.

Once the oven preheated, I cut up the tortillas and put one on each pizza screen. (Pizza screens are the best, you can use them as cooling racks, pizza screens, anything.) I put them in the 400 degree oven and they definitely required some watching and moving around to make sure one side didn’t get too brown.

Finally it came time to cook the “Cream Cheese Salsa Chicken” itself. I poured in my 32g of salsa, just like the recipe said, and it seemed rather dry.

I thought that maybe adding the cream cheese and feta cheese would loosen things up, maybe give me a nice gooey consistency.

As it turned out, it really didn’t. The cheeses melted, after a fashion, but they served almost to act as a “binder” for the chicken. The end result looked more like cheesy chicken nachos than anything else. I’m glad I decided on the chips for the “side”! In fact, it looked so much like nachos that I was inspired to grab some jalapeno pepper rings for garnish.

Overall, the whole meal was too “dry” for my tastes. The chips were very dry – but as a side note, they’ll go great with something like guacamole, so bake up a batch anyway! And the chicken was fairly dry too. It all tasted very good, I just wished for more salsa to wash the whole thing down, as it were. However, since I was reviewing the recipe for this website, I figured I’d make and eat it as-is.

If I were you, I’d budget in for another few tablespoons of salsa (it’s low cal, so just check the carbs and go for it) to loosen things up.

Overall, I did enjoy the recipe and it will be one that I make often, although it won’t be an every week staple for me, or for this site. I don’t know that the feta was absolutely necessary. I might bring this recipe back without the feta and with a few more tablespoons of salsa and see what that does for me.

I will say that I am looking forward to eating this as leftovers for lunch! I saved half (after carefully measuring out the weight and taking only half last night) and I’m contemplating using a low carb tortilla and a cup of shredded lettuce and turning this into a wrap for lunch. With a little extra salsa on top, of course!

Taste: Good, but a little dry
Prep & Cook Time: Very quick, 15-20 minutes
Cleanup: Easy, 10 minutes (soak the pan for a couple of minutes in hot water before cleaning and be sure to use a nonstick skillet and cooking spray!)

Posted in Recipe Reviews

The First Shop

In case it isn’t obvious, this LC Meal Plans site and idea is totally in its infancy. As in, I had the idea to put up the site and share the meal plans just yesterday, after I finished my first one. Someone suggested that I reach out to some folks in the “LC world” to publicize my site and the approach I’m working on, but I’d like to make sure I can maintain doing the work for at least a few weeks first!

Yesterday I did my first shop for the items on this week’s LC Meal Plan list. I bought a lot of stuff that wasn’t on the list (toilet paper, cling wrap, Powerade Zero, etc.) and ended up spending $50 for the trip, so that’s not too bad for the totals for a week.

I was impressed with how quickly I was able to get in and get out of the store following the list. I arranged it the way my Harris Teeter, and most grocery stores, seem to be laid out – with vegetables up front, then deli, refrigerated, etc. It only took about 20 minutes in and out of the store. I was dreading the shopping too so it was nice to have a relatively pain free trip.

My weight loss weeks begin on Tuesdays, so tonight will be my first night following my meal plan and I’ll be starting off with Meal #1, the Cheesy Salsa Chicken. My husband likes to cook, but I hate it, so a big test of how far I’ll take this will be how long it takes me to cook, how much there is to clean up, and of course how tasty and filling the meal actually is.

I plan on reviewing as many of the meals as possible. I’m not wedded to any of these recipes, and I’ll be judging whether or not they’re worth making again and adding to another meal plan. Check in tomorrow to see how the cooking went!

Posted in Shop

Welcome to LCMP!

I’m just getting up and running with the site, so please pardon the dust.

The short story: I am going to use this site as my personal weight loss/low carb blog and as a host for weekly meal plans that I create for myself. Hopefully other people out there on the Internet will find my ramblings and my meal plans helpful as well!

Want to know more about me? Click on the “About Me” link up top.

Want to know more about the upcoming meal plans? Click on the “About LCMP” up top.

Posted in Blog