Miss Maggie

Feb 212016

Tuna Salad

Tuna Salad is good to eat, fast to make and filling. Small 5-ounce cans of tuna are cheap too. When you use water-packed tuna and light mayo, tuna salad is pretty low in calories besides. Many of my readers will already know this recipe and already be preparing tuna salad for themselves. I included it so that everyone can have the nutritional information, as well as the actual recipe I use, in case anyone was curious.

If you are watching your sodium intake, use low-sodium canned tuna and omit the pickles. Add a tablespoon of minced onion instead.

Simple, Low Calorie Tuna Salad


  • 5-ounce can chunk light tuna packed in water, well drained
  • 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
  • 2 tablespoons light mayonnaise (35-calories per tablespoon)


Drain the tuna. You’ll wind up with about 4-ounces of solid tuna. Place it in a bowl. Add the pickle relish and mayo. Mix with a fork. Serve divided between two rice cakes or on a large bed of lettuce. Good for lunch.

Assuming 1-serving.

Per Serving: 221 Calories; 7g Fat (27.9% calories from fat); 29g Protein; 10g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 45mg Cholesterol; 656mg Sodium.

Exchanges: 4 Lean Meat; 1 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.


Feb 202016

Chicken Tacos

Quick, tasty, cheap, low calorie and filling. Aaah! This is what my dreams are made of. While I created this recipe to be used as a taco filling, it also works on top of taco salad, inside a burrito or as the filling for a mighty tasty chicken quesadilla. As written below it makes about 4 servings. My family loves it so much that I have to make a double batch every time. We have tacos the first night, and quesadillas the next day for lunch.

I use Mrs. Dash Southwestern Chipotle as one of the main flavoring components to this dish. I actually use a lot of chipotle Mrs. Dash in my cooking. It is sodium-free and adds a lot of good flavor to my cooking. Even when I am dirt poor I will buy it because it makes cheap food taste so good. A 2.5-ounce bottle is well under $3 at Walmart.

Chicken Taco Filling


  • 1-1/4 pounds chicken breasts, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice (or lemon juice)
  • 1 tablespoon Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle Seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

To Make Tacos–Optional

  • 12 hard taco shells
  • 3/4 cup vegan cheese such as Daiya Cheddar
  • 15-ounce can no-salt-added tomatoes, well drained OR use salsa
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage


First peel and chop your onion. Place it into a large skillet with 1-tablespoon of oil. Next remove any fat from your chicken breasts. Toss it out. Use a sharp knife to slice the chicken into thin pieces. Place the chicken in the skillet with the onion. Fry over medium-high heat for 5 or 6-minutes, or until the chicken is lightly browned. It doesn’t have to be cooked through yet. Add the chili powder, soy sauce, lime juice, pepper and Mrs. Dash. Mix well. Continue cooking over medium-high heat until the liquid in the pan is mostly evaporated, but the chicken is still moist. This may take 5-minutes, or it may take 15, depending on how much “broth” your chicken has been “enhanced” with.

When the liquid has mostly evaporated your taco chicken is done.

Nutritional Info for the Entire Batch (no toppings, no shells, just the seasoned meat):

Per Serving: 912 Calories; 30g Fat (30.0% calories from fat); 130g Protein; 27g Carbohydrate; 6g Dietary Fiber; 346mg Cholesterol; 1410mg Sodium.

Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 17-1/2 Lean Meat; 3 Vegetable; 3 Fat.


If you are making chicken tacos then divide the chicken evenly between 12-hard taco shells. Arrange the shells in a 9 by 13-inch pan. I wedge them all together so they stand up nicely for filling them. Top each one with 1-tablespoon of shredded vegan cheese. Toast in the oven at 400° for 10 to 15-minutes. You don’t want the tacos to brown too much, but you do want them to toast enough to be extra crunchy.

Remove the tacos from the oven. Top with tomatoes (or salsa) and shredded cabbage. I also like a small spoonful of finely minced fresh onion on mine.

This makes 6 “diet” portions, or 4 “normal” portions or 2-hearty servings for gluttonous construction workers, lumberjacks or teenagers.

Assuming 2-tacos per serving:

Per Serving: 337 Calories; 15g Fat (39.3% calories from fat); 25g Protein; 28g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 58mg Cholesterol; 466mg Sodium.

Exchanges: 1-1/2 Grain(Starch); 3 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 2-1/2 Fat.

Feb 192016


1500 Calories. Gluten Free. Dairy Free. Low Cost Low Calorie Menu.

Breakfast today was awesome! Black beans and potatoes are absolutely amazing for breakfast. I am going to remember this and put it into rotation. They were filling, delicious and cheap, cheap, cheap. It was so filling that I couldn’t even finish it all. I was busy all day today, which is usual for my Fridays. I had to have a quick and easy lunch so I used up leftovers and added some PB&J rice cakes to fill in the empty places. I would have preferred to go with more veggies for lunch, but needs must.

For dinner I had delicious chicken tacos. I will try to share the recipe tomorrow afternoon. Can’t do it tonight, too tired. I will tell you though, 2 tacos is not especially filling. I added extra veggies to fill my tummy, but in the future I think I will use the chicken filling for quesadillas instead. More chicken that way. Protein is filling and chicken is low calorie and cheap, so there is no reason for me to be making my servings of chicken on the small side. Better to plan on enough chicken to fill me up all the way so I don’t feel deprived.

On the down side, planning and writing down my meals still stinks. It’s a terrible chore and I am doing my best to be grateful the ability to do so, instead of resenting the dickens out of it. On the upside, 2 of my 9 pounds (probably water weight) are now history. It’s encouraging that doing the work is doing its job. Even if it’s water weight. For the most part I have not been hungry. Praise God! I’m going to hit one of my 12-step meetings tomorrow to keep me on track. I believe the work of recording and planning my food is worth it in the long run. I don’t believe it firmly yet, still have a nagging doubt now and then, but I am going to keep doing it. I have faith that it will work and that I will begin to lose weight again if I stick to it. Good luck to all my readers who are on their own weight loss journeys. I know it’s not easy. But the effort is worth the work.


  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon margarine
  • 1/2 serving Black Beans & Potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon Daiya Dairy-free Vegan Cheese
  • 2 tablespoons salsa
  • 1/4 cup soymilk
  • 3/4 cup coffee
  • 1/2 cup orange juice, from frozen concentrate


  • 1 serving Japanese Noodles
  •  caramel rice cakes
  • 2 teaspoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sugar strawberry preserves
  • 1 cup soymilk


  • 1 serving Carrot Banana Salad
  • 1 serving Chicken Taco Filling
  • 2 each celery stalks
  • 1/3 cup nonfat refried beans


  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • Herbal Tea, Iced Tea & Lemon Water


Per Serving: 1513 Calories; 46g Fat (26.0% calories from fat); 77g Protein; 216g Carbohydrate; 32g Dietary Fiber; 64mg Cholesterol; 1836mg Sodium.

Calories By Percentage: 26% Fat; 55% Carbohydrate; 19% Protein.

Exchanges: 8 Grain(Starch); 6-1/2 Lean Meat; 6 Vegetable; 2-1/2 Fruit; 7-1/2 Fat; 1-1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

Feb 182016

Japanese Noodles

This is just boiled spaghetti and frozen veggies mixed with some Japanese style seasonings. It’s not authentic Japanese food, but it does taste like it might be. My oldest son Tom, the vegetarian, can eat an entire recipe all on his own, although it does take him two sittings to do it. As written, it makes 4-side servings, or 2-main dishes.

If you want to add up to 1-cup of cooked meat to the dish, feel free to do so. Frozen baby shrimp, and leftover cooked chicken are both good.

Japanese Noodles & Vegetables


  • 8 ounces gluten free spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce, low sodium
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar (rice vinegar if you have it)
  • 1 pound frozen stir-fry vegetables
  • 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil


  1. Cook the spaghetti according to your usual method. Rinse and drain well.
  2. Chop the onion. Heat the oil in a very large skillet. Add the onion and fry for a couple of minutes over high heat. The onion may brown slightly. That’s okay.
  3. Add ginger, garlic, soy sauce, honey, red pepper and vinegar. Also add the frozen stir-fry veggies. Cover the pot with a lid and simmer for about 5 to 8 minutes, or until the vegetable are hot and just starting to become tender.
  4. Add the cooked pasta and sesame oil. Sir fry for a minute or two, to heat everything and marry the flavors briefly. Serve immediately.

Makes 4-side servings or 2-main dish servings.

Assuming 4-servings.

Per Serving: 335 Calories; 8g Fat (19.5% calories from fat); 12g Protein; 60g Carbohydrate; 8g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 291mg Sodium.

Exchanges: 3 Grain(Starch); 2-1/2 Vegetable; 1-1/2 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

Feb 182016


1500 Calories. Gluten Free. Dairy Free. Low Cost Low Calorie Menu.

When I woke up this morning, I was eating a small handful of Chex Mix before I knew it. I hadn’t planned to eat it today, so I had to add it to my breakfast anyway. I haven’t mentioned it yet, but the orange juice and soymilk I drink are both fortified with calcium. When you don’t eat dairy products, calcium is one of the nutrients to watch out for.


  • 3/4-cup soymilk (for homemade café au lait)
  • 1-1/2 cups coffee (for homemade café au lait)
  • 2 tablespoons Chex Mix
  • 1 cup low sodium vegetable juice (store-brand V-8)
  • 1 packet instant grits
  • 2/3-cup egg beaters
  • 1 teaspoon margarine
  • 1/2-cup orange juice


  • 1 serving Simple Black Beans & Potatoes (half the recipe, other half for another day.)
  • 3 cups mixed salad greens
  • 2 tablespoons low calorie Italian salad dressing
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple
  • 1/4 cup salsa (for the beans & potatoes)


  • 1 serving Japanese Noodles with vegetables (leftovers)
  • 5-ounces baked salmon (leftovers)
  • 1 small apple


  • 1/2 cup lemon juice, bottled for flavoring tea and water
  • Herbal Tea, hot
  • Iced Tea


Per Serving: 1525 Calories; 33g Fat (19.4% calories from fat); 88g Protein; 223g Carbohydrate; 38g Dietary Fiber; 76mg Cholesterol; 2352mg Sodium.

Calories By Percentage: 19% Fat; 58% Carbohydrate; 23% Protein.

Exchanges: 8 Grain(Starch); 7-1/2 Lean Meat; 7-1/2 Vegetable; 4 Fruit; 5 Fat; 1 Other Carbohydrates.



Feb 172016
Pizza Not!

Pizza Not Pizza

1500 Calories. Gluten Free. Dairy Free. Low Cost Low Calorie Menu.


  • 1/2-cup Chex Mix
  • 1/2-cup Orange Juice
  • 3/4-cup coffee plus 1/4-cup Soymilk
  • 1 packet instant grits
  • 2/3-cup egg beaters cooked in 1-teaspoon margarine
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple


  • 3-cups mixed salad greens
  • 2-tablespoons light Italian dressing
  • 2 slices (1/6 of a recipe) Pizza Not Pizza (leftover)
  • 1 medium apple


  • 5-ounces baked salmon
  • 1 cup peapods
  • 1 cup carrots
  • 1/3-cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 teaspoon margarine
  • 1/2-teapoon low-sodium soy sauce


  • 1/2-cup lemon juice to mix with water and tea throughout the day
  • Multi-Vitamin


Per Serving: 1505 Calories; 46g Fat (26.8% calories from fat); 84g Protein; 202g Carbohydrate; 23g Dietary Fiber; 110mg Cholesterol; 2673mg Sodium.

Calories by Percentage: 27% Fat; 52% Carbohydrate; 21% Protein

Exchanges: 5-1/2 Grain(Starch); 9 Lean Meat; 7-1/2 Vegetable; 4 Fruit; 6 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.


This is my goal for today. If I don’t meet my goal, I’ll update this page to reflect what I did differently. On a side note, the sodium for this menu is way higher than I prefer, so that is something I will work on in the future.

Feb 172016


Gluten Free Chex Mix

My family loves this stuff. I love this stuff. It’s a relatively healthy, affordable snack that doesn’t shoot up my blood sugar or cost an arm and a leg. Most Chex Mix recipes call for a lot of extra additions that aren’t exactly cheap. This one is Chex Cereal (which is gluten free) and peanuts, plus some margarine and seasonings. It’s good enough to serve to company, or give away in pretty containers as a gift. Top notch stuff!

If you receive WIC, this is a good way to use up your cereal allotment. Name brand Chex cereals are now over 50% whole grain and one of the more affordable gluten free convenience foods.

Gluten Free Chex Mix


  • 8 cups Rice Chex Cereal
  • 8 cups Corn Chex Cereal
  • 2 cups unsalted peanuts

For the Seasonings

  • 1/2 cup dairy-free margarine
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce or Tabasco Sauce
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper


Measure the cereal and nuts and place them into a giant roasting pan, like a turkey roaster.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan melt the margarine. While it melts add the remaining seasonings. Stir it with a fork while the margarine melts to dissolve the seasonings into the margarine.

Pour the margarine over the cereal and nuts. Stir it with clean hands so that all of the cereal is evenly coated with the seasonings.

Place the roasting pan in the oven at 250°. Bake for 2-hours, stirring every 30-minutes to prevent burning. Allow the mix to cool before eating.

The Chex Mix is now done. You can package it by the 1/2-cup or 1-cup in small zipper baggies if you want it to be a “grab-and-go” snack. Or you can just store it in a large tub with a resealable lid.

Makes 18-cups, or 36 half-cup servings.

Per Serving: 126 Calories; 7g Fat (46.5% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 14g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 248mg Sodium.

Calories by Percentage: 47% Fat; 45% Carbohydrate; 9% Protein

Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 1 Fat.


If you want to add some gluten-free pretzels, then replace 2-cups of cereal with 2-cups of pretzels. Add them along with the cereal and prepare as directed. You may also replace the peanuts with other types of nuts, or mixed nuts if desired.

Feb 172016

Dieters Dilemma

Hello Internet. It’s me, Maggie 🙂

I’ve processed a lot of my grief, so I’m mostly functional again. I wasn’t for a little while, but I’m better now.

I sewed for my dolls a lot during my mourning period. When I get the gumption I hope to share some of my new dolly dressed here on my blog. I also revamped my Etsy store and may even post some things to sell in March or April. I would be really proud of myself if I could do that. With selling my doll clothes, I always have great, extravagant plans, but I get bogged down in my perfectionistic nature and then don’t do much of anything because I am so busy making it perfect that I lose sight of the goal, which is getting the doll clothes online so they can be sold. The goal is to make money and get the doll clothes to the masses. I get lost in the details of the journey and forget about the destination. Can anyone identify with me? Nope? Must just be me then ;-).

Another thing I’m working on is getting my food back into its proper place. Today I’ve started to, once again, write it all down, and plan it in advance. I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve gained 9-pounds. There is no way I am ever allowing myself to go back to the misery of being morbidly obese. It just hurts too much. So I’m biting the bullet, admitting that I am the problem, and that God is the solution, and surrendering to the fact that if I don’t write down what I eat, I will only gain weight and wind up being fat forever. That is not an option. It can’t be an option. I don’t want to be sick for the rest of my life, so I have to do what I have to do, no matter how distasteful. *Sigh.* I really don’t like writing down everything I eat, but if I want to lose weight, then I have to submit to the process. Ugh. Reality stinks sometimes. Denial is such a lovely place to live, but it doesn’t help my problem. Which is eating too much.

Later today I will try to upload my menu plan for the day. No one may be interested, but it’s good for my self-discipline. Did you know that temperance (self-control) is one of the Fruits of the Spirit?

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.–Galatians 5:22-25

I have tidily overlooked this little bit of information for many years. A friend pointed it out a few months ago, and I have been mediating upon it ever since. I have affections and lusts for food in greater quantities than my body needs. Seeing as I am a Christian, then it’s high time I crucified my flesh by laying down my compulsive over eating at the cross. I’ve done it mentally dozens of times, but my actions have to be evidence of my faith. The action I am taking is planning and recording my food.

*Sigh.* Practicing what I preach is so much harder than just telling people to do as I say and not as I do. Integrity, I think, is a very expensive character trait. The cost is my pride. A very high price indeed.


Nov 072015



On October 29, 2015 at about 4 am, Marcella Kilby, my grandmother, went home to the Lord. The funeral was earlier this week in her tiny home church in Grayson County, Virginia at the Haw Orchard in Mouth of Wilson.

I am mourning her loss deep within my bones. The photo above was taken a few weeks before her passing. You can tell we’re related because we have the same nose. In the photo I’m 46. Gran is 94. I knew her my whole my life and I trusted her more than anyone, except maybe Fred.

Her death has left a hole in my heart, a hole in my chest. Like when a star collapses, there is a black hole left in its wake. Holes in our hearts are like vacuums. They try to suck up everything in their wake so they won’t feel so empty. I working very hard to find good things, honorable things, to fill up that empty hole.

I’m a compulsive eater, so my first instinct is to fill up that hole with food, but I’ve been praying diligently to avoid doing so. So far, so good. I can tell that I will have to keep abreast of this tendency of mine so I don’t fall into that type of behavior when I’m not looking. I’ve been visiting with other friends who are also in recovery for overeating, and going to my Celebrate Recovery and Overeaters Anonymous meetings, so I don’t fall back into comforting old habits.

Instead I’m trying to think about the parts of Granny that make me happiest, the parts of her legacy that I want to incorporate into my own life, and then stuff them into that empty space instead. I’m trying to celebrate her life more than I mourn her loss.

Grief is an overwhelming emotion. It eats you up from inside and leaves you empty, wounded and sore. It’s like a giant fire that sweeps through, leaving devastation and a barren wasteland in its wake. It leaves me feeling dry and brittle.

I am practicing the art of allowing myself to feel all of these things, no matter how much they hurt. I’m not stuffing the feelings down. I’m not eating myself to numbness. I hurt, and I’m not hiding from it.

Doing so makes me feel very brave. I think Granny would approve.

Updates will be scattered, sometimes coming all at once, and other times not coming much at all. We all deal with grief in our own way. There’s no right way or wrong way. Just the way that works for us. Sometimes I’m fine. Sometimes I’m not. That’s the way of it.

I think the worst ache of grief is temporary. It dulls with the passing of time. I don’t expect I’ll ever stop missing her, but I don’t think I’ll always feel the loss as acutely as I do right now. Like most things on this mortal plane, it’s a temporary thing. I look forward to feeling more hope than heartache. It’s just a matter of time and a healthy dose of prayer.

I may not be able to answer replies to this post because I’m too tender-hearted right now. But know in advance that I dearly appreciate all of the love, prayers and the outpouring of kindness that so many have shown me and my family during this time.

With great blessings, affection and a barrel full of bright shining hope,



Oct 262015

Pumpkin Patch Kids

I am a lazy cook, so I use canned pumpkin instead of fresh pumpkin. Usually 28-ounce cans of pumpkin have the lowest unit price, so that is what I tend to buy. Leftover pumpkin can be scooped into muffin cups or measured by 1/2-cupfuls into zipper bags and frozen for several months. Or you can plan to make several pumpkin goodies over a few days and use up the large can. For those of us who don’t use a lot of pumpkin at once, it can even be found in 8-ounce cans, which I admit are quite convenient. They cost a lot more per ounce than larger 15 or 28-ounce cans, but there is no wasted leftovers either.

This recipe uses 1-3/4 cups of pumpkin, or a 15-ounce can. You could also use 2-cups of pumpkin and the recipe would still turn out fine. It’s made with brown rice flour, so it’s cheap and easy too. These bars do not taste gluten-free, which is sometimes hit or miss in the world of gluten-free baking. They can be served to guests or at pot lucks and no one will know the difference. If you’re not gluten-free then feel free to use all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour in place of the rice flour.

If you use fresh pumpkin then bake your pumpkin until it’s tender. Then cool and scoop the meat from the shell. Process the pumpkin meat in a food processor until smooth. Use 1-3/4 to 2-cups of mashed pumpkin for this recipe. Freeze the remainder in 1/2-cup or 1-cup quantities.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Bars


  • 2 cups rice flour
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1-3/4 cups mashed pumpkin (15-ounce can)
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • Mock Cream Cheese Frosting (optional)


In a large bowl combine the rice flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Mix it with a whisk or your hands to get the leavening and cinnamon evenly distributed. Add the eggs, pumpkin and oil. Whisk thoroughly.

Grease a 15 by 10-inch baking pan (the kind with sides). Turn the batter into the pan. Spread it evenly.

Bake at 350° for about 30-minutes, or until a fork poked into the center comes out clean. Cool before frosting. Makes about 32 bars (cut 4 x 8).

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