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In order to lose the excess weight after bariatric surgery — and keep it off — Mexicali Bariatric Center patients must make healthy lifestyle choices, for the rest of their lives. One of the toughest, yet potentially fun, responsibilities that postsurgical bariatric patients have is learning how to eat healthy, well-balanced meals.

To help you do this, here are three of our favorite healthy yet filling winter recipes. These recipes make good use of winter produce and will help you stay satisfied throughout the colder winter months.

Curried Butternut Squash Soup (Courtesy of FitnessMagazine.com)

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 ½ pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
6 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons curry powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons plain nonfat yogurt

Directions

1. Heat the oil over medium heat in a 6-quart stockpot. Add the onions and sauté them until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté the ingredients for 2 minutes more. Add the squash, broth, curry powder and salt, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the mixture uncovered until the squash is tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
2. Remove the pot from the heat; stir in the honey, and puree everything with a mixer or in batches in a blender, until smooth.
3. Ladle the soup into serving bowls and drizzle the yogurt over each.

Pan-Roasted Chicken Breasts With Mushrooms and Leeks (Courtesy of FitnessMagazine.com)

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12 shiitake mushroom caps, thinly sliced
1 4-inch piece of leek, white part only, thinly sliced and rinsed clean of grit
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 5 ounces each)

Directions

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the mushrooms and leeks; cook, stirring, 4 minutes, or until tender. Remove the skillet from the heat; sprinkle the mixture with half the thyme, salt and pepper.
3. With a paring knife, cut a small pocket in the top edge of one side of each chicken breast, being careful not to cut through the breast.
4. Fill each pocket with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the mushroom filling. Season the chicken with the remaining thyme, salt and pepper.
5. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken on both sides.
6. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast everything for 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Serve the chicken with the remaining mushroom-leek mixture.

Cajun Catfish With Collard Greens and Black-Eyed Peas (Courtesy of RealSimple.com)

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
kosher salt and black pepper
2 bunches collard greens (about 1 ½ pounds), thick stems discarded and leaves cut into strips (about 12 cups)
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
4 6-ounce skinless catfish, tilapia, or striped bass fillets
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
1 15.5-ounce can black-eyed peas, rinsed
Lemon wedges, for serving

Directions

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
2. Add the collard greens, tomatoes (with their juices) and ½ cup water. Cover the pot and cook the ingredients, tossing occasionally, until the greens are tender, 18 to 20 minutes. If the pan becomes dry, add additional water; up to ½ cup.
3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season the fish with the Cajun seasoning and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook the fish, in 2 batches, until it is opaque throughout, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
4. Heat the black-eyed peas with 2 tablespoons of water and the remaining tablespoon of oil in a small pot over medium heat until warmed through, 2 to 4 minutes.
5. Serve the fish with the collard greens, black-eyed peas and lemon wedges.

Eating well-balanced meals does not mean you have to follow boring recipes! This winter, stay full, healthy and happy with the recipes above.

If you have any questions, please visit our website at http://www.mexicalibariatric.com or contact our office by calling 888-344-3916.