Monthly Archives: July 2014

Jalapeño Poppers with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Lowfat

Jalapeño poppers

I have been back from Blogher for five days and I can’t seem to find my blogjo. I’ve been really tired all week. I go through weeks of menopausal insomnia for no apparent reason and this cycle started before the conference and continued this week. I don’t cope well with inadequate sleep. I used to be able to stay awake for 36 hours at a time when I delivered babies but now I need my eight hours or I’m toast. To top off the lack of sleep I had a crap week at work. Seriously, who is mean to their gynecologist? I have metal objects near your lady bits and I control your prescriptions. Why would anyone go out of their way to be nasty to a professional that’s genuinely trying to help them? It’s kind of like being mean to your hair stylist! Hello, she has scissors near your eyes and can cut your bangs off faster than you can say, “oh no you better don’t”. Common sense peeps. Play nice, just saying.

Saucy at Saucy Gander and Margot at Gather and Graze are hosting the party and I didn’t want to let my Fiesta Friday friends down so I whipped up a little pepper popper appetizer to bring to the virtual potluck over at The Novice Gardener. If you are entertaining this weekend then try out these delicious snacks or check out the incredible new recipes at The Novice Gardener. You don’t have to be a food blogger to enjoy the recipes at Fiesta Friday.

How was your week? It’s Friday so please enjoy a little piece of Mexican heaven and an icy cold beverage. I’ve reduced the fat and they are low carb with a spicy kick. I promise you won’t miss the bacon that is usually stuffed in poppers. Take what you need and savor every bite.

Jalapeño Poppers with Sun-Dried Tomatoes LowFat

  • Servings: 24 poppers
  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

• 12 jalapeño peppers, cut in half lengthwise. Seeds and ribs removed
• 8 oz reduced fat cream cheese, let soften on the counter for 15 minutes.
• 1/2 cup reduced fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese
• 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato, packed in oil
1/4 cup green onions chopped

1. Wash and slice peppers. Use gloves to keep your hands from burning. Remove seeds and ribs.
2. Mix remaining ingredients with a fork until combined.
3. Fill each half pepper with a heaping spoonful of cheese mixture.
4. Broil on high until browned on top, about 10 minutes. Watch closely and don’t burn them.
Serving size is 1 pepper

kcal: 31 Carb: 1 gm, Protein: 2 gm , Fat: 2 gm
Weight watchers pp – 1 points

# Blogher14. A Surgeon Goes to Blogher ’14. Out of the Operating Room and Into a Social Media Blitz.


Remember when a hashtag was a pound sign? Tweets, Vines, Snap Chats, Instagrams, YouTube and Pinterest oh my! So many forms of social media and so little time to learn new tricks.

I took a chance on Blogher ’14. I had no idea what to expect from a blog conference. I have been going to medical conferences for 30 years. Medical conferences are regimented and all about learning new techniques, reviewing the latest research and taking home practical knowledge to implement in practice.

Blogher ’14 was none of those things. It was closer to a convention in my mind. Lots of cheerleading and motivational celebration. That’s not a bad thing, it was fun. The keynote speakers were fascinating celebrity bloggers who have written books, started multi-million dollar news and advertising blogs, used their blogs for freelance writing and advocacy. I mean Seriously Famous Bloggers.

Blogging is big business.
The core program was dominated by inspirational speeches about Blogher’s history and it’s bright future. I was surprised by the depth and reach of bloggers. The potential for growth in advertising revenue for bloggers alone was mind blowing to me. The multiple layers of social media platforms to reach out to consumers was staggering. I had no idea before the conference, how much power bloggers have as advocates for changing our world. Women bloggers are weighing in on advertising campaigns. What works and what doesn’t work? They are influencing what, why and when consumers buy products from automobiles to kitchen appliances, every hour of every day, from their home computer or mobile device. Advertisers are reaching out to bloggers as experts and influencers. They are looking for content, brand promotion, reviews and traffic. Executives from EBay, Twitter, and Huffington and Blogher were there in full force. AARP and Midlife Boulevard recruiters were listening to and engaging blog writers, looking for content, advertising affiliates and market influencers. Major corporations like McDonalds, Merck, Bayer, Go Daddy, Hair Infinity, Lysol, and many others sponsored parties, swag, free mani-pedis, and free technical advice all in an attempt to attract bloggers who drive Internet and mobile marketing and sales. There is big money in social media advertising. Who knew? As I said, I knew none of this before Blogher.

Women Bloggers are changing the world.

I was especially fascinated by women bloggers who are changing conversations in politics, swaying politicians, setting agendas and getting seats at the tables of progress. Hilary Clinton answered tweeted questions for Blogher recently. That’s some political influence. In my field of women’s health, there are influencers talking about sex, addiction, abuse, lose, psychiatry, wellness and illness. Good or bad, Big Pharma is definitely using social media.

The Upside: I gained an understanding of the industry, I was motivated to improve or shall we call this paralyzed by feeling inadequate, I’m not sure how this will play out. I met two recruiters who would like to take a look at my medical essays. Bonus, Blogher knows how to throw an after hours party.

The Downside: I misunderstood the focus of this particular conference and I was disappointed that it wasn’t a “learn how to blog” conference. The cost was reasonable for me but may not be a good use of money for new bloggers on a strict budget. Spend your money on a “learn to blog” conference and go to Blogher when you have an extra $500 plus travel expenses to spare. There is a real danger of coming away feeling very small and insignificant as a blogger if you compare your work to the veteran uber bloggers. Yes, I did this. I’m an overachiever even when I’m being irrational and overly self-critical. It’s kind of like comparing yourself to an Olympic athlete when you only play pickle ball at the local rec center. (Note to self: There is no comparison between a newbie blogger and the veteran star bloggers. Most bloggers are more like you and YOU ARE ENOUGH!)

Bottom Line: Go to a Blogher convention to network when you have a firm plan and a following.
I would suggest that if you want a “how to” conference that you find a conference that is specific to your area of expertise; i.e. food, photography, writing or memoir and confirm that the agenda meets your personal needs. Go to sites like Blogher, Midlife Boulevard, Foodista and the Huffington Report to see what others are writing, tweeting, instagraming, vining (video), pinning and talking about. Content is King. If you are passionate about your subject, have a genuine voice, have a truth to say, want to influence politics or industry then you will find your people and thrive in blogging. Be kind and sincere. Reach out to other bloggers and bring others up with you by commenting and liking.

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cups, Reduced Fat

Chocolate chip cheesecake cups

I needed an easy dessert for a potluck. I wanted a reduced fat cheesecake in a portion controlled serving. There are several lowfat cheesecake recipes on the Internet. I modified a strawberry swirl cheesecake recipe from
These tasty treats have only 144 kcal, which is my idea of a guiltless dessert. You could make this gluten free by substituting a gluten free crisp cookie in place of the graham crackers and almond flour or other gluten free flour in place of the wheat flour. I want to try a sugar substitute like stevia on the next batch. These are incredibly easy to make the day before the potluck. They travel well but keep them on ice. I’m bringing these to Fiesta Friday for my weekly virtual
potluck. I will be at Blogher 2014 in San Jose during Fiesta Friday so if there are any California Bay Area bloggers going then let’s have a real lunch together. I will report back on my experiences at the blog conference.
Take what you need and savor every bite.

Chocolate Chip  Cheesecake cups

Chocolate chip cheesecake cups

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cups, Reduced Fat

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

• 8 oz lowfat cream cheese
• 5 oz vanilla nonfat Greek yogurt, I used Chobani
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup sugar or equivalent sugar substitute
• 2 egg whites
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

5 chocolate graham crackers
1 tablespoon melted butter

Place a dollop of fat free sour cream and a few chocolate chips
on cooled cupcakes if desired. Let cool overnight before serving.

1. Crumble graham crackers into small pieces into a food processor. Process until finely crumbled. Had melted butter and combine until crumbs hold together. Press 1-2 tablespoons of crust into cupcake cups in a cupcake baking pan. I used silicon cups.
2. Combine all cheesecake ingredients except mini chocolate chips and process in food processor until combined. Fold mini chocolate chips into cheese mixture. Pour cheese mixture into baking cups and bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees F. Cheesecake should be set and a knife should come out clean. Allow to cool in the wrappers 30 minutes then cool completely at least 3 hours and overnight if you use the sour cream topping.

Serving size is 1 cupcake
kcal 144 Carb: 28 gm, Protein: 5 gm, Fat: 7 gm
Weight watchers pp 4 points

Pets Lower Your Blood Pressure


My dorky Lhasa-poo taking a selfie lying down after a hard day of doing absolutely nothing. It’s exhausting being a dog! Did you know that loving a pet lowers your blood pressure? Pet owners tend to live longer than non-pet owners and they have less depression and anxiety. And that folks is how I turn a cute dog photo into a health lesson. No, I do not have the medical references to back up my statistics but I know it’s true. Trust me, I’m a doctor.


Raw Taco Salad Recipe – Super Scrumptious

This gallery contains 5 photos.

Originally posted on rawfooddiaries:
I’ve always loved tacos, even though I haven’t actually had them for quite a few years. During the recent Raw Food Challenge I participated in with the Raw Food Mum, many recipes were shared; one of…

Thai Beef Salad Over Greens

A flavor explosion for the Fiesta Friday #25.


It is important to me that my blog posts are honest and genuinely reflect how I eat which is why you won’t see gourmet, extravagant, high calorie meals here. A friend who reads my blog asked me if I eat any meat because I only post fish and vegetable recipes. The truth is that I do eat beef and pork but infrequently. If I eat meat then it will be great meat because I won’t settle for fast food mystery burgers or stringy fatty meat buried under gravy. (Sounds appetizing, right?) Here is my personal take on Thai Beef Salad where the meat is succulent filet mignon and is complimenting the fresh organic produce. If you are watching your calories and your nutritional status then you will appreciate the lean beef and the huge serving of delicious veggies.

Take what you need and savor every bite.



Thai Beef Salad Over Greens

  • Servings: 4-8
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: Moderately Easy
  • Print

Sauce and marinade

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, 2 limes squeezed
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup cooking sherry (optional)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro


12 oz beef steak grilled and cooled, thinly sliced
1 red onion sliced thinning
2 carrots, sliced in curls with a peeler, (I used a purple and an orange carrot)
1 cucumber sliced
1/2 to 1 Serrano chili thinly sliced into rings, remove seeds to reduce the heat
1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup fresh Thai or other basil chopped
1/4 cup toasted peanuts, coarsely chopped

For Serving

5 cups of spring greens, mesclun keep separate
Lime wedges


Mix sauce and use 1/4 cup to marinade the beef for 20 minutes to overnight. Grill marinated beef to medium rare and let rest before slicing. Throw marinade away and don’t reuse. Chop and slice remaining ingredients. Poor reserved sauce over meat and mix with the vegetable and herbs. Serve over spring greens with extra lime wedges and sliced Serrano if you prefer more spice.

Grilled Beets with Coriander




My father was an amateur master gardener. His retirement summers revolved around vegetable gardening. He loved to grow and eat beets. I confess that I am not even close to a master gardener but I used to try to grow vegetables any time that I had outdoor space for a garden. I have been successful in many areas of my life but for the life of me, I could not grow beets in Northern Nevada. My dad would give me advice on soil and watering to no avail. I have to rely on the CSA for my veggies now and there has been an abundance of beets in my basket. I usually oven roast beets to bring out the sweet, caramelized flavor but it has been so hot that I refuse to use my oven. These beets were grilled on the BBQ in a grill pan over indirect heat until crisp tender and served with a side of goat cheese. Goat cheese and beets were made to be served together! Their flavors compliment each other with sweet, earthy, tangy goodness.
I hope you enjoy this simple recipe. Beets are a superfood with antioxidants, vitamin C, iron, manganese and fiber. Who doesn’t love a great source for manganese? Eat the greens too, sautéed in olive oil.
Take what you need and savor every bite.

Grilled Beets

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 45 minutes, mostly grilling time
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Beets sliced or wedged. 1/4 slices will cook evenly and more quickly.
1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
2 teaspoons coriander seeds crushed
1 teaspoon crushed red proper flakes
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste

Cut off greens and save for another dish. Scrub beets with a vegetable brush but don’t peel. (Of course you can peel them if you like purple hands but you won’t notice the peel after roasting.) Slice into 1/4 half moons. Toss with remaining ingredients. Use a grilling pan and grill over indirect heat keeping the temperature around 350 degrees F. You could put these in a oven at 350 degrees as an alternative. Grill until crisp tender about 40 minutes.

Serving suggestions:
Plate with plain or favored soft goat cheese or feta cheese.
Toss over a plate of intimidating greens, orange sections and a light citrus vinaigrette.
Serve with chopped beet greens lightly sautéed in olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.
Eat them right out of the bowl. (I might have done this.)