The other side of the scale

Weight fat loss tends to get its share of heated conversations on the net. People stand firm with their n=1s because their own experience is what worked for them, and well, sometimes everyone is right.

I’ve typed before about how (believe it or not) there is a such thing as too much fat on a LCHF lifestyle, but I don’t recall if we’ve discussed the other end of the LCHF spectrum too little fat.

If you are old enough to even contemplate changing your way of eating from the SAD (standard American diet), going against the grain {giggles}, thinking about cutting the sweet poison (to a large portion of us creatures known as humans), and opting for a more un-processed approach, you made it through the low fat craze that’s been going on since most of us were in diapers.

If you never fell for the whole “low fat, heart healthy approved” marketing ploys, good for you! You will breeze through LCHF 101 with flare! You’ve been eating butter and bacon your entire life, you, my friend have no need of BPC or fat bombs. Matter of fact if you’re one of those not losing, it’s not for lack of fat, but I digress, we’re discussing the other side today and I will get back to them presently.

What? You eat butter?

What? You eat butter?

The vast majority of us have been taught time and again that it is very very important to keep the fat off our plate. Fat was always at the top of the pyramid, use it sparingly, and when you do use it, only use these here vegetable oils and shortening. Even better is to have your toast dry, with a bit of jelly. (when did they start putting HFCS in jelly?) We cut our fat that was once on our plate, but we’ve increased the fat on our bodies. It would seem that if cutting the fat helped us to get fatter, then maybe, just maybe eating more fat would help us to not produce so much of our own.

Sometimes, the answer is “up the fat”. I know, it’s crazy. What works for Fred or Wilma doesn’t always work for Ben and Jerry, so one must remember that yes, sometimes everyone is right, but just not always at the same time.

Examples are easier, so I’ll just go with it.

We'll use Miss Piggy as the example. (no she's not still dressed up, it's an old pic)

We’ll use Miss Piggy as the example. (no she’s not still dressed up, it’s an old pic)

Miss Piggy started her LCHF way of eating some time ago. At first, she dropped a lot of weight. For the past month or so, she’s not really losing, she’s not really gaining either, she’s hit one of those dreaded things called a weight loss plateau.

Lucky for Miss Piggy, she has the most common problem in her weight loss journey that is easy to fix. See, for years Miss Piggy lived off of heart healthy whole grains for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. She traded her mayo for mustard years ago and always cooks in a non stick pan to avoid fats at all cost. She’s meat free on Mondays because she’s going to save the planet and to her, red meat equals heart attacks.

The LCHF change has been a change most difficult, she’s tired of skinless salmon and salad, but what else can she eat*? She’s doing everything right, chia seed pudding or Faux oatmeal for breakfast, salad with boneless, skinless chicken or skinless salmon for lunch and dinner, sugar free jello as snacks. She’s hardly eating 800 calories a day, so it’s not like she can eat less, or can she?

“Give that girl a BPC STAT!” is giggle evoking, but not the answer, well, it could be the answer, but remember, Miss Piggy is having a hard time with fat as it is. A coconut/butter oil slick in her cup-o-joe might just have her running from LCHF like the freaking plague!

While we can all (most likely, maybe?) agree, Miss Piggy is definitely not eating enough fat or calories (can you even eat a calorie?) food for that matter. She has become one of those low-carbers that are not only skerd to death of carbs, but she is skerd of fat too.

Chocolate fat bombs might do the trick for upping her fat, but she was a big fan of candies way back when, so they might also be that slippery slope that derails her entire journey. (Do you see now how everyone’s situation is different, that we can all be right, we can all be wrong, and well, arguing about it is silly, agreeing to disagree works better, truce, maybe?)

*What else can I eat? she asked. How about just eating food? What if Miss Piggy stopped counting her calories and cut her stress by proxy? Instead of looking at any vegetable other than salad as carbs and just ate broccoli, sauteed in real butter (or any other of the many non-starchy vegetables) because it’s food. If nothing can convince Miss Piggy that bacon is ok as long as you stay away from the biscuits, maybe she can work her way up to chicken thighs at least, to up her fat.

It all boils down to this: There is a such thing as not enough fat, just like there is a such thing as too much fat when eating LCHF. One person’s not enough is another person’s too much. We can all be right and wrong at the same time, but it’s up to the person asking the questions to evaluate the answers and figure out what works best for themselves.

If you, or someone you love is suffering from not losing weight while trying to keep the carbs and the fat low at the same time, here are a few examples that may or may not help you figure out that 1. Fat is not bad, except rancid vegetable oils  and 2. You don’t have to add obscene amounts of coconut oil to your coffee or your cocoa powder.

  • cook whole chickens, eat some of that skin. (hell no, it’s not the chicken skin that makes KFC un-healthy, it’s the crap attached to the skin and having macaroni and cheese as a vegetable option…)
  • Toss out your teflon. Invest in an iron skillet or stainless steel. Why? Because stuff sticks without a little butter or bacon lube. You will be forced to saute your veggies in some yummy butter or bacon grease.
  • Bypass the skinless salmon, opt for wild caught, skin on. Melt some butter in that new iron skillet and sear that skin like a boss. There is seriously nothing better than a nice fat piece of salmon that has been cooked til the skin is crispy.
  • Eat a ribeye. Seriously. Sirloin is ok for Stroganoff over shirataki noodles, but if you’re going to have a steak, you might as well enjoy it, and how could you not enjoy the marbled juicy goodness that is ribeye?
  • Plant your chia seeds. (I’m still puzzled as to why folks started eating them in the first place) Ok, that one is up to you. If you like them, keep them, just not for breakfast. Eggs were made for breakfast, end of story.

 

 

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When less really is more, steak tacos

We were some of the lucky ones during ice-aggedon. Our driveway isn’t a 90° drop off, like many of our neighbors drives. (well, it’s pretty flat out front, past the house it’s like an asphalt slide)

While I didn’t drive the first 13 days, my hot husband was able to get me to the store for emergencies, you know like chocolate. (kidding, maybe) Anyways, maybe it was day 12 when I went with His Hotness to Nashville to see how the roads were coming along, to know if he’d be able to take out the big work truck.

The roads were much better than the roads up these parts, but the work site was a no-go. Anyways, I’ll just claim my 5th amendment rights and not tell you about the amazing authentic Mexican tacos we got just off Charlotte Pike in West Nashville.

Most of my adult life, tacos have been more like the supreme version of Taco Bell, the crunchy, soft is fajitas daggumit (giggle). In those tacos that I will not talk about, I found that really truly, less is more.

Something odd happened that day, he told me he could eat those tacos seven days a week. I was going to hold him to it, they were so freaking easy, but by day three, he was all taco-ed out.

Less is more, gosh I love them, steak tacos, LCHF style

Filling:

  • 1 pound thinly sliced beef steak, round, flank, square (haha), what ever kind, just not the green kind.
  • 1 tablespoon bacon grease
  • 1/4 teaspoon each: pink salt, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, oregano.
  • coarse black pepper

Cut steak into strips, against the grain. Heat a skillet (I like stainless, use what you like) over medium high heat, add bacon grease. Add steak. When it is no longer pink, add seasonings. For some odd reason, steak in this day and age loses a lot of water, if it gets watery, heat up the griddle and griddle it dry, crispy on the outside, tender on the inside.

Sorry, this is chicken. With ceviche and steak tacos, do you blame me for not having a chance to get the steak griddle pic? Use your imagination, thanks :)

Sorry, this is chicken. With ceviche and steak tacos, do you blame me for not having a chance to get the steak griddle pic? Use your imagination, thanks 🙂

Topping: 

  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • coarse pink salt and coarse black pepper as you like it
  • 1/2 lime

Put the onion and cilantro in a glass bowl. Toss it around with the salt and pepper, squeeze the lime over the top and mix once more for good measure. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge until your tacos are ready. (I don’t always use a glass bowl for cooking, but when I use lime or lemon juice, I always use a glass bowl. You’re welcome)

Because you’ve already made a large batch of the broccoli cheese waffles, tortilla style, pull a few of those bad boys out and heat them up on the griddle.

Did I mention they freeze well? In freezer bags, make sure to put parchment paper squares between each.

Did I mention they freeze well? In freezer bags, make sure to put parchment paper squares between each. (and OMG if the bacon chicken were really #37, does that make these #38? Gonna have to work hard to fill in the blanks, but at least it has me out of my “writer’s block” good deal, really.

Once your waffle tortillas are heated up, top with filling, top with topping. That’s it. You don’t need no cheese (it’s in the tortilla anyways), no sour cream, just a wedge of lime to squeeze on top before that first bite…

Yummy, yummy

Yummy, yummy

Ok, so this is like the third bite out of my second taco... So freaking good.

Ok, so this is like the third bite out of my second taco… So freaking good.

They were really nice with the ceviche and chips last night. So good, that I heated up a couple for a breakfast sammich…

This pic is from the first batch. Bacon, egg, cheese, and mayo. Do I miss my fork lately? Oh hell no!!!

This pic is from the first batch. Bacon, egg, cheese, and mayo. Do I miss my fork lately? Oh hell no!!!

 

101 things to do with broccoli waffles, ceviche and chips

I’m seriously in love with these things. In case you missed them, broccoli and cheese waffles, from The Primitive Palate are what I’m talking about. Anyways, my friend Brenda and I got to brainstorming and ended up with some tortillas. I ended up typing myself into a tasty corner by calling the chicken bacon tacos #37 of 101 things to do with broccoli cheese waffles.

Anyways, I figure the #1 thing to do is the recipe as written with a waffle iron. I plan on doing just that, once I make my way to Goodwill or find a waffle iron on the cheap.

The roads are nice and clear now, still cold, but we hit the store. Since the only thing I changed with the waffles was basically the shape last time, well, and my sub for Mrs. Dash, I thought I’d branch out and count using a 50/50 mix of cheddar to mozzarella could at least count as one of the 101, I went ahead and added a bit of oregano to my last batch’s changes.

 

With the cheddar and some eggs from the back yard, they are more colorful.

With the cheddar and some eggs from the back yard, they are more colorful.

Tossing the cheddar in the mix ended up making them more bendy, they almost looked like round doritos, so I thought “what the heck?”, I made some ceviche anyways, what’s the worst that could happen.

Ceviche

  • 2 fillets tilapia (about 3 oz each)
  • 6 oz calamari
  • 4 oz bay scallops
  • lime juice, about 1/2 cup
  • coarse pink salt and coarse black pepper
  • pico de gallo (chop up some onions, cilantro, and tomatoes, mix well, and add a little lemon juice, heck, add jalepeño if you would like)

Chop fish, calamari, and scallops into somewhat uniform sizes. Mix together in a glass bowl with pink salt and black pepper. Pour lime juice over to cover. Use a little more if needed. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours to overnight. Seafood is done when it is opaque.

Serve onto dishes with a slotted spoon, topped with pico de gallo.

Love ceviche, normally just eat it with a fork. Not again :)

Love ceviche, normally just eat it with a fork. Not again 🙂

I love ceviche, we make it often. Normally May and I eat it with a fork, not tonight though!

Cut tortillas into triangles, and griddle over medium high heat a couple minutes, flipping as needed.

Cut tortillas into triangles, and griddle over medium high heat a couple minutes, flipping as needed.

Remove the chips from the griddle on to a paper towel.

Remove the chips from the griddle on to a paper towel.

At that point, these were great. May thought they were bland. I told her “more for me” (Big sexy doesn’t like ceviche, so he didn’t get any broccoli cheese waffle chips)

Once we got that ceviche plated, she changed her mind about the chips. Half were on her plate. I couldn’t get mad because I was like OMG… best thing I ever ate a-freakinggain!!!

These things stand up to ceviche, imagine the possibilities.

These things stand up to ceviche, imagine the possibilities.

Anyways, because I missed lunch, had too much time on my hands, and really really wanted tacos again… I made some tacos for dinner tonight with the ceviche. It’s getting late, so I’ll just have to give you the recipe and pictures for that one tomorrow.

“Souper” easy Venison-esque Salisbury steak

The plan for dinner was to make Salisbury steak with roasted root vegetables and broccoli. I figured it was as good a time as any to break out some ground venison and give it a go.

I thought about the worst that could happen – taste too gamy, and decided a 50/50 mix of venison to beef would tip the scales in my favor as far as not having “too gamy” uttered mid meal.

I had gotten a late start on setting the meat out to thaw. Ended up taking a couple short cuts where normally, I would have made my own gravy, rather than using canned soup. As an advocate of “whole foods” I should be ashamed of myself for using a couple of processed cans of something, I guess. The saving grace though, is that the roasted root vegetables (parsnip, sweet potato, turnip, carrot, onion) were fresh and peeled, roasted with salt, pepper, and garlic. The broccoli/mushroom bake was fresh broccoli, cut up, tossed with butter, wiped and sliced mushrooms, and topped with a little parm, no shortcuts on the sides anyways…

  • 1 pound ground beef (73/27 is what I used)
  • 1 pound ground venison
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 1 T minced onion
  • 1 t seasoning salt
  • 1/2 t fresh cracked pepper
  • 3/4 c grated Parmesan cheese (the kind in the can)
  • 2 T Dale’s seasoning/marinade
  • 1 can french onion soup
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, garlic powder, onion powder, minced onion, Parmesan, Dale’s seasoning, salt, and pepper. (mix well) Glove up and mix in the ground beef and ground venison. (a mixer is too harsh, a fork just doesn’t cut it, mix it like you’re kneading dough). Grease two 8″ x 11″ oven safe dishes (I used a couple of glass lasagna pans). Pat out about 1/4 pound patties, you should get 8-9 patties, and place in baking dishes.

Open the french onion soup and use a slotted spoon to spoon a bit on each patty, then divide liquid between both dishes like the following picture:

Patted out, ready for the oven

Patted out, ready for the oven

Cover both dishes with foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove foil and drain liquid into a sauce pan. Add the cream of mushroom soup to the pan drippings and mix well. It is at this point you can combine the patties staggered into one baking dish. Pour the “gravy” (soup/drippings mixture) over the patties and re-cover with foil. Bake 30 – 45 minutes more, covered.

venison/beef Salisbury steaks.

venison/beef Salisbury steaks.

Like I typed up there somewhere, I served it with roasted root vegetables and a what’s the worst that could happen baked broccoli/mushroom toss. It was a hit. Nobody knew it was venison, well, except for me, and only because I prepped it.

While this recipe is not “keto” it is lower carb than traditionally prepared Salisbury steak and gravy (no flour, no breadcrumbs). While I had no problem with my postprandial blood glucose readings, be sure and test yours prior to and one and two hours after consuming any new to you foods.

Sushi and Nori, with Ham, oh my!

If you are of the belief that it still isn’t sushi without the nori, well then, call it by another name. The nori could care less what you call it as long as you’re not just letting it sit in the pantry.

The last time I typed about sushi, I think it was the freaking amazing blt sushi. Lately though, May has been on a ham and cheese kick. Her bento box normally contains a couple sliced rolls, a cheese stick, strawberries, and a bottle of water.

Let's call this one Sammich Sushi lol

Let’s call this one Sammich Sushi lol

If you’ve never rolled sushi (with or without rice), hit up youtube for some videos or just check out the directions on the back of the nori pack. Sushi mats are fairly inexpensive at ethnic stores.

Sammich Sushi

  • 1 sheet nori
  • 2 slices sandwich type, deli style, what have you ham (turkey, chicken, and roast beef also taste quite nice)
  • 1 t mayo
  • 1 slice American cheese (or Swiss, pepper jack, you get my drift)
  • 2 leaves Romaine lettuce
  • a little thinly sliced red onion

Place nori shiny side down onto your sushi mat. Spread mayo from 1/4″ up from the bottom to 1″ down from the top (the area you would normally use rice). If you are using pre-packaged sliced baked ham, place slices vertically side by side on nori, over the area you spread the mayo. If you are using circular or whatevs shaped slices, just cover the mayo with it. Fold cheese in half and place half on each slice of ham, towards the bottom, just above the bare area of nori. Next place lettuce on cheese and onion slices onto lettuce. Roll it up.

When you get to the end, dampen the bare nori with a little water. Finish rolling and wrap in plastic wrap. Let it sit for about 30 minutes to overnight (I do overnight for the lunch box, easier to slice when it’s soft).

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I cannot tell a lie. The other night whilst making May’s sushi, I made myself a little snack, YUM!

 

 

 

 

From garden to ranchero

One of my favorite lunches out is huevos rancheros con chorizo from Jose’s here in Greenbrier. The staff is always great, and if there isn’t a drama club field trip scheduled to do lunch for 25 at the same time you arrive, the service is spot on and the food never disappoints.

It had been a while since my hot husband and I had had a lunch date at Jose’s when I decided on Tuesday that it was too cruel for my taste buds, having kept them from that which they desired for so long. I decided “breakfast for dinner it is” and hit up google on the hunt of the next best thing, a recipe for ranchero sauce.

When you hit up google for a good rachero recipe, you quickly find that there are a gazillion of them, fresh tomato, canned tomato, vinegar, no vinegar, heck even Emeril Lagasse has a friggin’ ranchero sauce recipe.

Preferring to be a fly by the seat of my pants/what’s the worst that could happen kinda girl, I decided to just read a few recipes and then just freaking do it. I read Emeril’s, all recipes’, chow hound (maybe?), don’t remember all the ones I read, but my friend google always turns those linkydos purple, so I’ll know them when I see them again.

Started with 15 pounds of home grown tomatoes. Ended with 3 quarts crushed, 2 pints and a quart of juice, and 1 very messy kitchen.

Started with 15 pounds of home grown tomatoes. Ended with 3 quarts crushed, 2 pints and a quart of juice, and 1 very messy kitchen.

The recipes with fresh tomatoes were out of the question. I already had three quarts of beautiful crushed tomatoes needing to take a taste test, so I set a jar aside.

Some recipes called for bell peppers, most for jalepeños and lucky for my taste buds the plants out back were ripe for the pickin’. I picked one large green bell pepper and a couple of fat jalepeños. I then proceeded to gather my ingredients:

  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 2 fat jalepeños, seeded and chopped (this was quite mild, use more if you’d like)
  • 1 large bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 T oregano
  • 2 T cooking oil, I cook with bacon oil, feel free to use olive oil if you so desire.
  • 16 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 1 t ground chipotle red pepper
  • salt to taste

Heat skillet over medium and add cooking oil. Saute onions, peppers, and garlic until veggies are softish and onions are translucent. Add oregano, crushed tomatoes, ground red pepper, and salt. Simmer for 30 – 45 minutes until sauce is thickened.

SC20140812-172332

The ranchero sauce was quite nice with some chrorizo and eggs. So nice, that last night I used it to make football shaped mini meatloaves for dinner.

 

 

 

 

 

How does if I never see another mason jar again turn to a glutton for punishment?

I did it. Sunday. Finished the mountain of cucumbers, a batch of bread and butter, a batch of cinnamon pickles. Sunday was going to be a new beginning to a week of no more canning, until…

Monday came along and we received a mountain of banana peppers. Turns out the things we do for love, like the never ending quest for crispy banana peppers worked out pretty good. We opened a jar the other day, they were crispy. They were crispy a couple days later and a couple days after that when I tasted them again this morning.

The plan for this morning was to check our banana and jalepeño plants and I ended up with quite a few peppers. There were so many peppers I ended up spending a couple hours in the kitchen with Justin Timberlake.

I guess I neglected to mention that I got a couple new cds for my birthday, and they are both pretty good. So good that Sir Hotsalot has pondered asking me to put Maroon 5 back in the player. I did tell him to not worry his fine self over it, he’d be tired of them as soon as V comes out… I digress, this is a story of my love/hate relationship with canning vegetables and I’ve wandered away from the subject.

After all the canning (seriously. it’s easy peasy, but it takes freaking all day long, washing, rinsing, sterilizing, chopping, slicing, measuring, weighing, pouring, straining, draining, peeling, etfreakingcetera. It’s a lot of lifting too. I would seriously rather be making jam like in the old days.

A strange thing happened when I sat down to enjoy a cup of coffee with an episode of a Netflix original. I felt a surge of guilt wash through me. There were green tomatoes on my withering plants, three-quarters of a large head of cabbage and fresh red and green peppers on our bell pepper plant. I figured the peppers need another eighteen hours in the crock, there are a couple empty crocks, I could hit up google for a chow chow recipe. (yep, for the love of chow chow.)

With pandora in my pocket, proceeded to gather, wash, chop, process, salt, and squish it all together. The mixture has to chill out in the crock overnight. Tomorrow, in between the three hours of a rinse/soak relationship with the peppers, I’ll be draining and rinsing the potential chow chow.

While putting things in place, I found a few limes. Decided on bacon wrapped shrimp and ceviche for dinner. Pandora was doing a good job music-wise, so I got the fish and shrimp prepped. I decided that peeling shrimp is definitely more a punishment than pickle making, maybe lol.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Damned Shame…

Once upon a time in this land of the free, home of the brave, there was food. Real food, cooked from ingredients. Things like chips were for parties or picnics, not an everyday thing, they were truly “junk food”, not “sides” or “vegetable choices”.

Let’s not dwell on the past though, the present (back then’s future) is now a technological wonderland. We do everything online, we order dinner (pizza), we submit job applications, we pay our bills. (well, I use “we” loosely, not everyone is internet dependent) Maybe it’s not the internet’s fault that we’ve become lazy, we don’t cook, we don’t go outside and play “kick the can” because it’s so much more fun to sit in an air conditioned room playing “candy crush”.

Someone I love very much was hospitalized last week, spent 18 hours in the ER at a prestigious hospital in Nashville. One would think that a hospital would no doubt have the most healthy of choices when it comes to feeding patients. I would like to say I was shocked at the lunch served to this pre-diabetic patient, but not much shocks me anymore.

Turkey on whole grain bread, fruit cup of peaches, and a bag of “baked” chips. I must tell you that my blood sugar really wanted to get all jacked up just seeing the meal, but my focus at the time was on my loved one. Postprandial blood glucose reading for her was 162. Let me remind you she is “pre-diabetic”, not full blown Type 2, when they offered her a shot of insulin that she promptly refused.

When did “a shot of insulin” become the first choice in treatment of a pre-diabetic or even a type 2? From reading about my own type 2 diabetes, it’s not so much a lack of insulin, rather a “resistance”, it doesn’t make sense to me to shoot insulin when I’ve got plenty, my body just wasn’t using it right, but then again there are many things in this world that no longer make sense to me.

Five hours after this meal of whole grain turkey sandwich, fruit cup of peaches, and baked chips, her blood glucose reading was 81. The nurse said “It’s dropped an awful lot, you might want to eat something to bring it back up.”.

REALLY???? As a type 2, I pointed out to the nurse that 81 is really a good number, asked my loved one “Are you hungry?” she said “no”, and I was promptly asked if I worked in the medical field. I told him “no, I don’t work in the medical field, but I’m a type 2 diabetic, diagnosed in 2007”. “What’s your A1c?” he asked “5.4” I replied. “Well, you’re not diabetic, 7.0 is good diabetic control.”

I wanted to tell him that I’ve been through all the hoopla of higher A1c (s), lived with my prescriptions and often still elevated blood sugars while following dietary advice to eat whole grains instead of white, but he didn’t have time to listen, brushed me off because I must be some sort of loon who knows nothing (Jon Snow) because I do not work in the medical field…

It’s been close to 14 years since I’ve been hospitalized, the birth of our youngest, and as recent as back then, chips were not on the menu. What has happened that made “chips” a healthy alternative to say a salad, a serving of green beans, or even broccoli for goodness sake? Has hospital food service gotten so lazy that they seriously order chips and fruit cups to be part of the regular menu, even for pre- or full blown diabetics?

Don’t get me wrong, people can eat what they want to eat. If you want to eat a bag of chips with a bag of cookies and a 44 ounce soda, call it a meal, that’s your business. In a hospital though, the patient really has no choice in the matter.

It’s a damned shame that places like hospitals serve patients “junk food” and call it the “heart healthy meal”. Is it not bad enough that the “sack lunch” alternative in school is an “uncrustable” pb&j with chips, an apple, and no fat sugar enriched chocolate milk? (Don’t get me wrong, the apple is fine, it’s the rest of the crap that makes me bat poo crazy…)

One more thought before I get dressed and head to Nashville on this beautiful sunny day to sit in a waiting room… Low fat, no fat, hearthealthy labels, think about them and ask yourself as a whole, are we more healthy now than we were back in the day when we just threw together some ingredients and cooked real whole food? Are the minutes here and there saved by choosing a bag of this or can of that, really worth the time we can potentially lose in the end?

I was asked a question by this loved one over the weekend, “Aren’t you glad you lost all that weight and got healthy? You don’t have to worry about strokes and such.” My reply was “I’ve learned that the number one cause of death is just being born. Losing weight and fighting my diabetes does not make me immortal, it just makes me feel better. One day, I will die, until then though, I’m going to live as much as I can and just not worry about death.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feed Me Friday, eating the yard.

Ever since I read makj-spring-weed-chicken-soup back in March, I’ve been googling every weed I find growing in the yard, hoping to find something in my own yard that was not only edible but tasty.

It was really cool that the wild violets growing up all over the back yard are edible. I tasted a couple and they aren’t that bad. I’m thinking about putting them in a strawberry and spinach salad with some bleu cheese…

Yesterday though, the plan was to cut the front yard. There were a lot of little purple/green weeds growing by the clubhouse that I hadn’t googled yet. Procrastination set in, in the form of research of course, and I got to googling.

Purple Deadnettle

IMG_20140417_104515

“Deadnettle” made me nervous for a few seconds, but that only means the stingers don’t work. With that bit of info, I tasted a bit.

I don’t really know how to explain the taste, it was kinda furry, a little bitter, a bit grassy. Kinda like eating grass or a weed I guess (lol). I figured if it were going to have a chance that I should heat up that pan I had fried sausage in, add a bit of bacon juice and saute it.

As the skillet heated up, I washed the purple deadnettle. I pulled off some of the long stems and tossed it in the pan.

I added some salt and pepper and sauteed it over medium heat.

I added some salt and pepper and sauteed it over medium heat.

After several minutes, I tasted it. I added a bit more salt and pepper, a dash of granulated garlic and a smidgen of minced onions. A couple minutes later, upon tasting it again, I thought it would be quite nice to add some lemon juice, and well, it was.

The finished product.

The finished product.

I was quite pleased with my foraged snack. The taste is much easier to describe cooked, it tasted very similar to Brussels sprouts. The texture was more like collard greens and green onions, which wasn’t bad.

 

 

 

Shrimp Scampi-esque

Shrimp Scampi yummy yummy, butter, shrimp, garlic, what’s not to love? What could be better than a nice dish of the warm and cozy to fill one’s belly with?

avocado bacon scampi 1

Adding bacon and serving it in a halved avocado of course!

Shrimp Scampi-esque

  • 3 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 pound of medium peeled and deveined shrimp, thawed
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 tablespoon dry Vermouth
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 ripe avocado

I use a stainless steel skillet. I heat it over medium high heat for a few minutes, until I can feel the heat on my hand from a couple inches away from the bottom. Once it’s hot, I reduce the heat to medium and add in the chopped bacon. I like to stir the bacon around with a stainless steel spatula, breathing in the aromas, and making sure that the nuggets of goodness do not stick…..

avocado bacon scampi 2

Shrimp cooks quickly, so don’t leave it un-attended.

Once the bacon is cooked soft add the thawed shrimp. It is important to not drain the bacon, the bacon juice is used in place of the butter normally found in shrimp scampi. Stir it around and add the pressed garlic. Cook a few minutes until the shrimp turns pink and is no longer translucent.

Add the Vermouth and parmesan, reducing the heat to low while you halve and remove the pit from a ripe avocado. Plate the avocado cut side up on two plates. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice over each half. Top with the shrimp and bacon scampi, add salt and pepper to taste, top with a bit more lemon juice if so desired.

avocado bacon scampi 3

Like with all new to you recipes, if you are Type 2 Diabetic like I am, test prior to, one and two hours after consuming any “new to you” foods.