Low Carb


   
This is my set up for breakfast (when kids sleep late, so yeah, not that often.) You could always get the ingredients ready beforehand and have them available. Either way,  just chop it all up and heat up a pan and you are ready to go.

Here are my ingredients:

Garlic

Onions

Chives

Fresh thyme, basil

Peppers

Shiitake mushrooms

Asparagus

2 eggs

Cooking spray

Hot sauce (optional)

  
Just sauté the veggies, mushrooms last. From here you can set aside and make an omelette or frittata or a scramble.

I opted to just do a little “Egyptian egg” (or whatever you guys call it) action.

If you cook the egg just right, it’s soooo creamy, you won’t miss the butter and cream cheese.

  
 

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Feeling kinda uneasy after watching a lot of food porn at work today (don’t ask), so thought I would post my own version of food porn and also declare the hot new food trend of 2014 to be:

BRUSSELS SPROUTS!

Okay, so maybe I’m not he first person to declare this, but, I’ve seen this one coming for awhile now. Brussels Sprouts ARE THE NEW/OLD “IT” vegetable. (mark my flippin words)

Ingredients:

1 turn of peanut oil

Butter (optional)

1-2 crushed cloves of garlic

1 package of Brussels sprouts (ends cut off and cut in half)

Low sodium broth (< 300 mg per serving minimum!)

Himalayan Sea Salt (to taste)

Method:

  1. Preheat pan to medium high heat
  2. Pour one turn of peanut oil in the pan and allow to heat up to medium high heat (throw some H2O molecules in the pan to test for “hotness”),  simultaneously throw garlic smashed into pan (remove within a minute of cooking to prevent  spread of “bitter” flavor)
  3. Place Brussels sprouts cut-side down onto heated pan
  4. After halves are placed face down, pour a small amount of low sodium broth into pan, wait for “SIZZLE” and then lower heat and cover for 17 minutes over medium low heat.
  5. Sprinkle some Himalayan sea salt to taste over sprouts
  6. Enjoy!

Here’s the nutritional information for Brussels sprouts in case you are doubting the serious nutritional benefits from these MOFOs:

Brussels Sprouts Nutrient Extraaganza

The Joulebody Cleanse

I’ve ALWAYS dreaded the idea of fasting. It’s only every really come up for me in terms of religious holidays and the occasional surgery or blood work. Lately, I’ve started to warm to idea of fasting, after trying some different cleanses. I’ve noticed that after the dread wears off, and you start to get in the right mindset, they can actually be energizing. So, it only makes sense the next step is exploring the intermittent fasts/intermittent caloric restriction diet programs I keep hearing more and more positive things about.

This most recent write up in the Wall Street Journal, “Short Fasts for Weight Loss vs. Traditional Diets” posits that following a strict diet for just two days a week, instead of constantly calorie counting, is a far more effective way of losing weight. There also seem to be some other health benefits, such as better brain functioning and retention of muscle mass. There’s also growing research on how this type of diet can potentially prevent breast cancer.

A fast is considered 500-650 calories per day, a couple of times per week. The other days you eat as you normally would. Once you get past the “crankies”, you fall into a rhythm (?) and it becomes more or less effortless.

I’m thinking I will give this fasting a try, a la Dr. Gregory House, who was known for using himself as a guinea pig. Incidentally, the show “House” featured a nutritionist on Season 3, but, I digress…

I will post updates when I finally settle into trying this new diet plan. One caveat though, if this is indeed the way to lasting weight loss and improved health, then I will be forced to re-examine my “traditional” clinical nutrition education.

Have you every tried one of these intermittent fasts? Thumbs up or down? Let me know…

Unintentional "cooking" of my salad planned for the beach

Unintentional “cooking” of my salad planned for the beach

Super motivated on a Sunday morning to go to the beach and bring some healthy vittles to avoid a trip to the snack shack at the beach. The shack at the beach is lacking when it comes to food offerings. Overpriced frozen foods that you wait to have heated up and served to you in a paper box. The worst offender is the “pizza.”

I’m reasonably sure it is a knock off of Ellio’s pizza. No offense to Ellio’s, but, I think my parents may have served us that Ellio’s pizza a few too many times. I can barely look at it and I always thought it didn’t really taste anything like real pizza. But, I digress…

So, I got out my mandoline, “french fry cut” the yellow zucchini, orange pepper, etc. I threw all the ingredients together in Tupperware, drizzled some oil, vinegar and lemon juice and set it on ice. I was super excited to eat it while kicking back in the salt air.

After putting in my time at the shore watching three energetic boogie boarders, I finally sat down to have my salad. Took it off the ice, it was nice and cold. And then it dawned on me…I DIDN’T BRING A FORK!

Oh yeah, and the (now maligned) snack shack didn’t have any forks either! Criminy!

So, I brought the salad back with me and finally got a chance to eat it this evening. The veggies were nicely “cooked” by the citrus and vinegar, a ceviche if you will. Super crunchy and refreshing. Big on Vitamins A, C, Potassium and loads of other vitamins and antioxidants. Oh yeah, and of course low calorie.

Ingredients

1 yellow zucchini (sliced on the mandoline to look like noodles)

1 orange pepper (also sliced on the mandoline)

1/2 vidalia onion

Handful of grape tomatoes, sliced in half

4-5 broccoli florets (only threw these in because I grew them in the garden)

1/2 cup of hearts of palm, salad cut

Herbs (Basil, Oregano, savory, thyme)

Red wine vinegar

Toasted sesame oil

Juice of half a lemon

Method

Throw all vegetables together, drizzle oil and vinegar and lemon juice over them in a tupperware. Add a few pinches of salt. Shake up the tupperware. Enjoy immediately or let stand overnight for a more crunchy/pickled version.

Salad Nom Noms

Salad Nom Noms

I do have a garden growing in the backyard, but, the yield has been spotty at best. We are talking like one green bean per day, a few snap peas here and there, shabby chard and broccoli that flowers before I get a chance to eat it. The tomatoes are coming along, but, they are still green. Oh yeah, and peppers that are at a stand still. Honestly, I have had better luck accidentally growing peppers in the refrigerator by leaving them in the vegetable bin too long. (that phenomenon is called “internal proliferation” and for you fellow food geeks, there is an explanation of it here.

So, even though I planned on making myself some killer homegrown salads this summer, so far, not happening. Thus I settle for a “refrigerator salad.” My herbs are doing well though, so I try to treat the basil like a “green.” I do always have on hand a few salad staples and they make for a hearty, healthy side dish or as a base for some fabulous protein topping (i.e. salmon or tofu.). If you have leftover of the salad, it can be used as a stir-fry base as well.

Ingredients

1-2 handfuls Snap Peas (Blanched) (1 cup has 44 calories and 4 grams of fiber)

1-2 heads broccoli (blanched)

2 carrots (peeled/blanched)

1/2 red pepper

1/2 red onion

Basil and any other herbs hanging around

Sesame oil (only used it because I was out of olive oil)

Red wine vinegar

Himalayan sea salt to taste

Method

1. Bring a medium size pot of water to a boil.

2. Prepare an ice bath to submerge the vegetables in after boiling.

3. While waiting for the water to boil prep all vegetables.

4. Once the water is boiling, throw in the snap peas for roughly 1-1 1/2 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon or strainer and submerge into the ice bath.

5. Repeat with the broccoli and carrots.

6. After all the vegetables are blanched, toss everything into a bowl, drizzle with some sesame oil and red wine vinegar.

7. Add the herbs and salt to taste.

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A little herbal inspiration from the burgeoning herb garden inspired to this simple delicious and healthy quickie dinner. Grabbed some chives, basil, thyme, parsley and/or cilantro and pulsed it altogether with s little bit of dijon mustard and a little bit of lime juice with a splash of sesame oil in the mini Cuisinart.

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I had some scallops, not so much fresh as recently purchased in one of those shrink wrap packages from the local Korean grocery store, and maybe hanging out in my fridge just a little too long…They smelled okay though, so onward and upwards.

Made a quick marinade of sesame oil, lime juice, ginger and garlic and let the scallops hang out in there for a few minutes.

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Prior to starting the saute, also cut up some veggies as a nice accompaniment to the scallops. Peppers, onions, zucchinis, nice round circle cuts to imitate a “pasta” side dish.

After a 3-5 minute saute of the scallops, plated with a drizzle of some herbal pesto and side of veggies, totally delicious and satisfying.

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Finished product is high in protein, low in calories and off the charts in taste.

Red peppers, carrots and green beans make this salad super crunchy

Red peppers, carrots and green beans make this salad super crunchy

One can of “hearts of palms” has 50 calories. The other ingredients are low in calories and carbohydrates, but, together they make a very hearty salad. Blanching the carrots and green beans ensures they will be super crunchy.

Dressed with some red wine vinegar, sesame oil, lime juice and salt and pepper to taste, you can utilize this all week. The finer the chop, the more you can dip/salsaish you can go, the bigger the chop the more you can use it as a base for other toppings. I’ll be using it tomorrow over a bed of romaine lettuce and topped with 4 ounces of leftover chicken.

 

 

 

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