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Secret Menus at Panera? What is that about?

6 Feb

Just read that Panera has a secret low carb menu that you have to ask to see.  Here is the link to the menu.  Wonder why it is secret?

http://mypanera.panerabread.com/articlestips/article/access-into-paneras-hidden-menu/?ref=tw

POWER MEDITERRANEAN CHICKEN SALAD one of six low carb options now at Panera.

All-natural, Antibiotic-free chicken, baby spinach, romaine, tomatoes, apple-wood smoked bacon, diced eggs, fresh squeezed lemon juice, and extra virgin olive oil.

lunch-2

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Get outside while you can!

23 Oct

No matter what you eat to stay fit and healthy, you can’t forget to get outside weather permitting and exercise. We all were told to go outside and get some fresh air when we were kids, I think it is still a great idea today.  I was fortunate enough to be in New England this weekend and the leaves were beautiful!  I am so lucky to have an extra weekend of fall because in Minnesota the leaves had already fallen.

So remember to pack your sneakers when you travel and grab some sunshine and exercise at every opportunity.

 

I am not a runner but I walk pretty fast and keep track of my walks on the Nike + app on my iphone. It is great to see my progress as my pace increases. Then all you need is some great music or a talkative partner and you are good to go for miles.

I was not always out in the countryside walking.  On Saturday I walked what seemed like  miles as I window shopped  along Newbury Street in Boston!

Quick and easy breakfast

12 Oct

No time for frying pans and all the mess, here is a simple delicious way to prepare eggs.  Now there is no excuse for not having breakfast! Thanks Betsy for sharing this great recipe.

Coat a microwave-safe large coffee mug or custard cup with cooking spray or butter. The eggs will rise so be sure to cover the entire area.  Add two eggs, 2 T cream, salt and pepper. Beat with fork until blended. Cook on full power for 35-40 seconds and stir. Continue cooking unti eggs are set, about 40 seconds longer. (microwave times vary) Top with shredded cheese if desired.

Above is a great quick way to have breakfast, but here is my absolutely favorite way to have breakfast.  Breakfast in bed brought to me by room service. I am not sure which is better breakfast in bed or eating sausages with no guilt whatsoever? A toss up.. 

On the road this week in Arizona

12 Oct

Traveling is always fun and a great way to hear about new low carb recipes from friends I don’t get to see often. Last night Betsy shared a great quick breakfast, which I will post later today. It seems the more people I talk to, the more I hear about converts to the low carb way of life.

Yesterday I had a wonderful salad at a Spa, it was so great to see a menu with Carbs listed next to the choices. I never was much for requiring restaurants to list such things, but must admit now I am a huge fan. I had a roasted beet salad with goat cheese and walnuts on assorted greens. I felt funny taking a picture as I was with a group. But I found this picture on the internet and it looks just like the salad I had.  This salad had only 6 carbs and I was not hungry again for hours. 

The Windy City

30 Sep

This weekend I am in Chicago. Warm, sunny and 75 degrees just amazing fall weather. Travel and keeping low carb can be a bit of a trial, but I am getting the hang of it. I found a great breakfast spot called the Corner Bakery, sounds crazy for a low carb breakfast but if you can ignore all the muffins, coffee cake and bagels they make wonderful scrambled eggs and bacon. The Anaheim Scrambler with crisp applewood smoked bacon, tomatoes, green onions, and cheddar cheese, topped with avocado was a favorite.  Just ask them to hold the potatoes and toast. Ignore the funny looks and declarations that you will still need to pay for them, and you get a nice filling breakfast. FYI-the cash register automatically deducted the cost of potatoes and toast!

I had a wonderful spinach salad at The Capital Grille, perfect for a late night dinner. Definitely something I plan to recreate when I get home. Tender baby spinach leaves, onions and mushrooms with chopped egg and smoked bacon on top. The warm bacon dressing was wonderful.  I am little worried there was some sugar in that dressing.

To start our meal at The Capital Grille we shared an appetizer that was perfection. For anyone wondering about the benefits of low carb living, check this out. No carbs, eat this with reckless abandon! It is fresh mozzarella wrapped in prosciutto and lightly sautéed. The fresh basil and drizzle of balsamic glaze* the perfect addition.

It came with crostini which we ignored. Easy to do.  I need to try this at home. Great appetizer for dinner parties.

*This is just reduced balsamic vinegar. Simmer balsamic vinegar over gentle heat until reach desired thickness.  Balsamic adds sweetness, so watch the are carbs. Read the label on your balsamic vinegar.  Usually about 5 grams per ounce, use sparingly. A very light drizzle is all that is needed.

Finally I want to share a great lunch find. On Saturday afternoon, we sat outside at The Ralph Lauren Restaurant just off Michigan Avenue. I had the the Baby Arugula Salad with Tomatoes, Cucumber, Parmesan, Pine Nuts tossed with a Champagne Vinaigrette.  It was so reminiscent of our recent trip to Italy! It seemed a steal at under $10.  Just sitting there on a beautiful afternoon people watching was worth more than that! 

One word~Gelato

11 Sep

The Italians know how to do ice cream. Somehow the word gelato does not sound fattening, so it seemed perfectly fine to succumb to all the seductive flavors. It was hot and we walked miles, so gelato was a perfect treat. It is everywhere and everyone is eating it. The choices were amazing and Grom was by far the winner! Located very near the Duomo, there is always a line, but so worth it.  I am quite sure, standing in line, equates to exercise, so it all worked!

I am hoping to find a wonderful sorbet or ice cream without all the sugar that tastes good.  Any recipes to share out there?

My official taste tester. Someone has to do it! 

Bellissimo~Brown Butter & Sage Sauce

11 Sep

Ok, you must be wondering why the photo of pasta on a low carb blog. I mentioned in an earlier post about a weak moment in Italy, succumbing to the lure of pasta. There is nothing like the fresh pasta in Italy, it is light, airy and beyond description. The brown butter and sage sauce was a highlight. I am so glad I tried the pasta because the sauce is something that would be great on vegetables, veal or any number of things. It has a nutty flavor that is so delicious. The aroma and the taste of the sage is perfect. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese shavings and it is the start of something wonderful!

Recipe for Brown Butter & Sage Sauce

4 oz unsalted butter, sliced into tablespoon pieces

torn sage leaves

pinch nutmeg, salt & pepper to taste

4T freshly squeezed lemon juice

Melt butter in large skillet over medium low heat. Add sage leaves and let butter brown. Watch carefully as it starts to foam. Brown specks appear and you will smell a nutty aroma. Remove from heat.  Add seasonings and lemon juice.

This can be used immediately or will keep in the refrigerator.

Tips: use a light colored skillet to be able to see butter as it changes color.  Slice butter in tablespoon slices to melt evenly.

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