Wednesday, October 19, 2011

French Dip and Family Time

It's funny sometimes...when you are on a diet you are always trying to figure out what has the LEAST calories on the menu. I got a surprise today at McAllisters. Last time I was there I ordered the Savannah Chopped Salad. Little did I know that the thing, although I must confess it is quite delicious, had about 600 calories!!! Yipes.

So, today I did a little research before I headed to McAllister's to meet my daughter for supper. Surprisingly, the item on the menu with the least calories turned out to be the French Dip Sandwich...only 433 for the whole sandwich and dip...and I only ate 1/2 for approximately 215 calories...and gave the cup of Chili that came with it to Lucy. It was delicious and guilt free!

I am working hard to lose 20 more pounds and then it will be maintenance time. It will be easy to maintain this time, because I have changed my way of relating to food as a whole. I want my family to be proud of me and I want to set an example for them. I enjoy our family time so much, even if it is a quick meal at McAllisters or an ice cream cone at McDonalds!


(First I am giving you the formal recipe, followed by a very simplified, but equally delicious version)


* 1/2 cup unsalted butter
* 4 onions, sliced
* 2 garlic cloves, chopped
* 2 bay leaves
* 2 fresh thyme sprigs
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 cup red wine, about 1/2 bottle
* 3 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 2 quarts beef broth
* 1 baguette, sliced
* 1/2 pound grated Gruyere


Melt the stick of butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and salt and pepper and cook until the onions are very soft and caramelized, about 25 minutes. Add the wine, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the wine has evaporated and the onions are dry, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Dust the onions with the flour and give them a stir. Turn the heat down to medium low so the flour doesn't burn, and cook for 10 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste. Now add the beef broth, bring the soup back to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

When you're ready to eat, preheat the broiler. Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle the slices with the Gruyere and broil until bubbly and golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.

Ladle the soup in bowls and float several of the Gruyere croutons on top.

Alternative method: Ladle the soup into bowls, top each with A slices of bread and top with cheese. Put the bowls into the oven to toast the bread and melt the cheese.


IN FOUR OVEN PROOF BOWLS .... toast four slices of bread and cut into tiny cubes.
Divide equally between the four bowls...Saute two large sweet onions in a small amount of oil until carmelized...again divide between four bowls...add a good quality prepared beef broth to each bowl and top with a slice of swiss or gruyere cheese. Heat in oven until hot, and cheese is melted and bubbly.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 cup

Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 149
Calories 369

% Daily Values*
Total Fat 16.53g 25%
Saturated Fat 7.657g 38%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.366g
Monounsaturated Fat 6.507g
Cholesterol 36mg 12%
Sodium 930mg 39%
Potassium 369mg
Total Carbohydrate 39.33g 13%
Dietary Fiber 2.9g 12%
Sugars 3.57g
Protein 15.91g

Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 5%
Calcium 34% Iron 11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Nutrition Values are based on USDA Nutrient Database SR18

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