As we near Summer here in CNY after having barely had anything resembling a Spring, we’re also nearing month three of quarantine. Things around here officially shut down in the third week of March. Our officials are talking about opening up approximately 25% of eligible businesses beginning this Friday, but what and where those businesses are hasn’t exactly been clear.
But that’s not what this blog is about, is it? You’re here for bariatric talk and recipes (I hope, ’cause that’s all I’ve got!). And to that end, I’m here to admit that like many of you, I’ve been struggling. Struggling with depression and anxiety. Struggling with wanting to hide in my own bed all day every day and wanting to be out among others. Struggling with food and the fact that it’s there waiting for me, whenever I choose, and my usual stall tactics of keeping busy AWAY from food aren’t an option right now. Being that tomorrow is my one year surgiversary of my conversion from gastric sleeve to roux en y, I’ve been luck enough to only gain about 7 lbs during this time. But that shouldn’t be happening at all and I know it’s my doing.
Luckily, two of my three zumba teachers have continued their classes online through Zoom, keeping me exercising at least four days a week. And thank God for that because there have been many days where I would’ve just laid in bed all day had it not been for zumba. Even on the days that I haven’t felt physically well, I’ve pushed myself to do at least a little if not the whole class. As I mentioned above, the weather here has been dismal. We’ve had snow three days in the past week! In May! Ugh! Thankfully, it looks like we should start seeing steady Spring-like temperatures soon. Living in an apartment building, I have no workout equipment at home (minus some hand weights and strength bands from physical therapy in the past). When the weather is crappy, zumba is really my only option.
Since, for the first time in my life, I feel like I have fitness in hand, I need to focus back on my intake again. I need to make better decisions and I need to make it easier for myself to make those decisions. We don’t keep much “verboten” food around my house but I do keep snacks around. They’re “healthy” snacks, but still; grazing is bad, mmkay? And dad-gummit, I know this! Now to work on convincing my body that I’m not actually hungry ever other hour!
When I do eat, though, I want to make sure I’m making the most of it. I haven’t been getting in nearly enough protein or fluids during this whole thing. Doing zumba definitely helps me get fluids in, but protein is always a struggle for me. I don’t particularly like meat so it has to be really well seasoned and preferably cooked to tender for me to eat it.
So what’s something that fits my macros, is easy to throw together, I can make in large enough portions to have leftovers for snacking later, and doesn’t taste like the main ingredient; meat.
Buffalo chicken dip fits that. I eat it with veggies and it’s super yummy and filling, but I’ve made it sooooo much, I’m kind of over it. Hmm, maybe the same concept but different flavors? Ooo! Why not some Italian flavors! Chicken alfredo dip?! YES! And I can eat it with broccoli. Any excuse to eat broccoli is a good excuse in my book! So here’s what I came up with:
Keto Chicken Alfredo Dip
- 8oz neufchatel cheese, room temperature
- 8oz 1% fat cottage cheese
- 2 cans chicken, drained (or) 10oz shredded chicken breast
- 1 cup alfredo sauce
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 cup marinated sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- 6oz marinated mozzarella, diced
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1 cup shredded parmesan
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease desired baking dish (I usually used an 8×8 square baking pan).
- In a large bowl, use a fork or other implement to shred up chicken. Add neufchatel cheese and continue shredding/mixing neufchatel in.
- Once the neufchatel is well distributed in the chicken, add in the rest of the ingredients, except the shredded cheeses. Stir well to combine, making sure all ingredients are well distributed.
- Pour mixture into your baking pan, using your form or other implement to spread it out evenly. Sprinkle mozzarella and parmesan cheeses across the top.
- Bake for 25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and bubbly.
- You can either serve immediately, or you can chill it and portion it out for later use.
I like to eat mine with vegetables, but it can also be used in it’s chilled state as a salad ingredient or as the innards of a delicious low carb quesadilla. Honestly, your imagination is the only limit here. This dish is incredibly versatile and can even be made with different flavors. How about a cheesy Mexican chicken dip? Replace the alfredo sauce with queso dip, add in some taco seasoning to taste in place of the Italian seasoning, salsa instead of marinated sun-dried tomatoes, top with taco cheese and queso fresco! It’s up to you! Just remember that, as always, any changes and/or substitutions you make will alter the nutritional information so keep that in mind.