Thanks for all the kind comments on my 1,000,000 page view post!  You are so kind.  And it’s nice to see people comment that I didn’t know were out there (Hi Larry and Wild Child!).  You have until tomorrow to still enter my giveaway.  Good luck!

Yesterday’s breakfast was not only filling, but it was so tasty!  I scrambled 1/2 a cup of egg whites with 1 cup of spinach and 3 ounces of cooked, diced red potato.  Then I wrapped the scrambled mix with 3 slices (1.5 ounces) of deli ham, then sprinkled with 3/4 ounce of cheddar cheese and put them in the toaster oven when I got to work.  On the side – more delicious cantaloupe and watermelon.  Breakfast comes in at 333 calories, 11 fat, 29 carbs, 2.9 fiber and 29 protein.

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My MIL told me a week ago that she made a Rachael Ray pumpkin ragu dish that she brought to a potluck and everyone just loved it.  I glanced at the recipe and decided to put it on my lunch menu this week.  Tony heard the word “pumpkin” and was out!

I am now stocked with canned pumpkin – my store had Libby’s on sale for .99 cents a can. Open-mouthed smile    So when it got time to make the ragu, I looked at the recipe again and realized there was no tomato sauce.  Huh.  I decided to give it a shot anyway.

Pumpkin Ragu

from my MIL and Rachael Ray (and adapted by me)

Makes 4, 1/2 cup servings:  253 calories, 13 fat, 17 carbs, 2.2 fiber and 11 protein


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 pound italian sausage
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup white whine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Heat half the olive oil in a pan and brown Italian sausage.  Remove from pot.  Add remainder of oil and cook garlic and ONION, because I know all of you will put a diced medium onion in this sauce, and cook until the onion and garlic start to brown.

Add wine to the pan and reduce, about 2 minutes.   Add chicken stock and pumpkin and stir until thickened and bubbly.  Add sausage back into the pan, reduce the heat and add the milk (or cream).   Season with cinnamon, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper.

I followed my MIL’s directions, except I ended up with . . . Italian sausage soup.  My gravy was really thin and never really thickened.  I don’t know if it was because I reduced the amount of sausage by half, or because I used skim milk instead of heavy cream?   So I ended up adding 1 cup of tomato sauce. 

I was really really happy with the outcome – its slightly sweet, but a kick from the crushed red pepper is a great balance to the pumpkin.  I actually had a co-worker taste it and tell me if he knew there was pumpkin in it, and he said that he couldn’t tell.  See Tony!  I think you’d like it!

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I cooked up 2 ounces (dry) of gluten free pasta – which was really very good.


My sister said that it tastes good the first time, but that the leftovers are kind of gummy.  With a cup of baby spinach, my plate comes in at 465 calories, 14 fat, 64 carbs, 6.9 fiber and 16 protein.

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It was a gorgeous night last night – when I left the office it was 77 degrees!

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The sun really sets fast though!  I decided to make Grilled Chicken Caesar salad for dinner last night.  I lit the grill and by the time it got to temperature, it was already dark.  This chicken was half of one chicken breast that I butterflied to make thinner so it would grill quicker.  It kind of looks like an oven mitt!

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Dinner comes in at 470 calories, 33 fat, 20 carbs, 7 fiber and 28 protein.

And I may have had one chocolate/peanut butter chip cookie last night.  Tony had a jones for some chocolate chip cookies with bacon.  Um, no bacon in the house, so he had to settle for a chocolate and peanut butter chip cookie – still very good!  I’ve never bought peanut butter chips before but, um, I think they are insulin worthy!

I am back at the gym today!  I have exactly 9 days to meet my 170 mile challenge goal, and with a couple set backs, I still have 106.62 miles to go – I see a lot of bike rides in my future!

Make it a great day!