Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

Recipe Review: One Pot Chicken Drumsticks

January 31, 2013

 

This recipe was posted on the main page of Everyday Paleo maybe two weeks ago and I think I have made it three times since. It’s super easy and keeps well.

Prep time is virtually nothing. I can chop the zucchini, onions, garlic and tomatoes in the time it takes to brown the chicken. I don’t have a pressure cooker so I find this recipe needs more than the recommended 15 minutes to cook, and I add the zucchini at the same time as the other veggies since I like my zucchini soft.

It makes four good sized servings, keeps well and reheats well.

Here is the link to the recipe: http://everydaypaleo.com/2012/09/13/one-pot-chicken-drumsticks-and-a-release-week-recap/

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Yuck, Food.

October 18, 2012

Not sure what is up with my digestion lately. I’m having a lot of problems eating food right now. It started a few days ago when I would just lose my appetite in the middle of a meal, and now the thought of food is really just disgusting to me. Eating for the last couple of days has triggered a gag reflex. This is bad.

I’m hoping it’s simply the heat. I’m writing this entry on a 34C day in June. So heat could be a reason, although both my home and my office are air conditioned. Maybe its the air conditioning?

I couldn’t eat my dinner last night, but I did manage to get myself to eat a very large ripe mango, as well as lots of water.

I am hoping this is not is a slide back into anorexic ways. Can I even be anorexic at 200+ lbs? I suppose the answer is yes. Still, I am not experiencing the body dysmorphia that usually accompanies anorexia. My body is looking stronger, slimmer and yes there are still curves and roll, but I am not disgusted by them.

What’s up body?

Positive vs. Negative

September 13, 2012

I work in a health-related industry. What does that mean? It means I work with a lot of information about health but I am not a health practitioner like a doctor, nurse etc… As such, I get a huge volume of information about health, and despite that I still struggle with weight. So, I’m pretty much case in point that you can have all of the information and it will not change your life.

One of the debates in health information, specifically about diet and exercise is if it should be communicated in positive or negative language. Is it more effective to warn people about the dangers of certain foods, the dangers of inactivity and tell people what not to do? Or, is it more effective to focus on positive language about what people should do, easy tips to increase activity and what foods you should eat. The reasonably simple answer here is that both types of information must be provided. If the patient / consumer doesn’t know that pop contains two cups of sugar and sugar will do all sorts of bad things to your system then they may think it is part of getting their daily intake of water. Likewise if you tell someone who has been raised on a steady diet of pop to stop drinking pop you also want to give them healthy alternatives and suggestions for how to transition off of pop.

As an individual I find that the positive vs. negative speak still merits a lot of consideration, especially as I think about food.

Common wisdom on the internet seems to lean towards the positive side. That when attempting a life style change that the direction should be to think about what foods you can have, what healthy foods you enjoy and to avoid focusing on what you cannot have and what you are not allowing yourself. Increasingly there is a push to not deny yourself foods so that you don’t end up binge eating on foods that you have denied yourself.

I believe all of this is very good advice. Especially if you have grown up on the Standard American Diet.

However, I am finding that the negative food speak is actually working better for me. It is not entirely one or the other. I still think a lot about what I do like to eat and what I do enjoy. However, to keep myself on track I am finding it easier to have a simple check list of “do not eat”. If I run down the checklist to make sure it does not have:

  • Dairy
  • Refined sugars
  • Grains
  • Legumes

Then I am all set to go. I feel confident in what I can select. I know what I’m cutting out and I don’t feel panicky about if I am going to go over my calories if I eat that piece of cake. I’m not going to eat the cake unless it’s a flourless cake. Simple.

I know this approach is not for everyone. I also realize it would be too restrictive for many and would result in a dive off the wagon and into the bag of chips. But, for me it is working so I thought I’d put it out there.

Surviving the cottage – sort of.

August 30, 2012

I am back from the cottage and covered in black fly bites. Covered may be a bit of an exaggeration, but the 10+ that I have are super itchy.

To prepare I cooked all my own food in advance and brought it with me to the cottage. It was an odd experience. I did feel like a bit of an outsider with my own food. The girls brought a counter full of chips, another full of sweets, and probably at least ten times as much food as the group could actually eat. Alcohol included:

  • 32 bottles of wine
  • 2 bottles of sangria
  • 12 bottles of Mike’s Hard Lemonade
  • 1 case of beer
  • 2 bottles of gin
  • 1 bottle of malibu rum

At the cottage I stuck to my food and didn’t even allow myself so much as a chip, because I knew if I went there I was going to dive all the way down the rabbit hole. It wasn’t as hard as I expected. I found that being away from home for the first time since my brother passed was difficult. I had a lot of difficulty sleeping and my appetite really wasn’t present.

I did allow myself one or two drinks per day. Only wine. I was concerned about the grain in the beer and the sugars in the Mike’s Hard, and Malibu… and I simply don’t like gin.

Being an observer of the weekend more than a participant I was more acutely aware of the peer pressure these girls put on each other to eat crap. The girls, for the most part, are of average size. Some skinny, some a little plump, but I would be one of the heaviest. There is a lot of celebration about letting go of their own structured eating and diving into crap food. A lot of them complained of stomach aches, and by day three many were taking extended naps.

On the one hand I’m glad the girls have the outlet. It’s important to be able to eat without guilt. On the other hand, it gave me a fairly good reminder that my body is feeling better eating the way that I am currently eating. I don’t want to go back to a place where I am constantly craving chips, cookies and ice cream – eating them, feeling terrible and still craving them.

When I returned home and took my weight the next day not only had I not gained any weight, but I had lost another 0.2 lbs. I was very happy with myself.

… Then the next day I gained 0.6 lbs for no apparent reason. And, I reminded myself that this is not a straight arrow journey and to keep doing what I’m doing, because for the most part it is working.

Recipe Review: Salisbury Steak

August 16, 2012

This has quickly become a household favourite. It is again from Every Day Paleo which has become my go-to blog for simple, good paleo recipes.

Prep time is under 10 minutes for me. I do a bit of additional prep for the gravy while the steaks are cooking. I find the recipe easily makes 8 servings. This one has been a big hit with my partner. It also keeps very well, re-heats easily and travels in my lunch containers well.

Paleo Recipe Review: Budget Friendly Balsamic Mustard Chicken and Roasted Veggies

June 7, 2012

Image From EveryDayPaleo.com

I don’t hate cooking, but it’s also not something that I consider lots of fun. This means that I don’t spend hours, or even minutes, trying to come up with recipes. I depend heavily on the lovely people on the internet who have blogs with recipes for free.

The good news is that there are tonnes of paleo recipes out there. The bad news, I found, is that many of the paleo internet chefs really want to be amazing gourmet chefs. These people LOVE their food. I usually look for three things in a good recipe:

  • Simple ingredients
  • Can be made with minimal kitchen equipment
  • Limited advance prep work (I may make a recipe that requires marinating on the weekend)
  • Minimal steps in cooking. (e.g. if it’s a french cooking technique beyond sautee, I probably don’t know it)

It took me awhile to find a source of recipes I liked, but once I did I find myself sticking with it.

My recommendation for best paleo food blog is: Every Day Paleo

One of the first recipes I tried was Budget Friendly Balsamic Mustard Chicken with Roast Veggies.

It’s insanely simple to make. The sauce is really easy. I tried her baggie technique the first time I made it and used tupperware the next few times.

The prep work is minimal, I chopped up the bacon, brussel sprouts and zucchini in about 5 minutes.

Cooking is very simple: 2 pans, one in the oven (veggies) one on the stove.

And, it’s delicious. I’m not a fan of brussel sprouts but bacon grease makes a lot of things tasty. The chicken is really moist and delicious.

I did have to make a small adjustment to this recipe because of my pork allergy. I switch pork bacon for a variety of other ‘bacon’ you can get from your local butcher and sometimes the grocery. I used beef-bacon in this case since I thought it would get more fat than chicken or turkey bacon.

Good Things Grow, In Ontario

August 4, 2008

If you are not from Ontario, you may not know this catchy little easy to hum jingle… but it’s my soundtrack this long weekend.

I happily made it back to the farmers market yesterday and had a really good time getting lots of fresh Ontario, locally grown, organic great food. I eventually decided on making Ratatouille just like Remy on the silly little movie, and a chimichurri that I saw on the Rachel Ray show (yeah, morning background noise) that looked like a great little spread.

With the Chimichurri I got a local garlic whole wheat bread and used some heirloom tomatoes, olive oil and fresh basil to make a nice tomato garlic bread to use the chimichurri on.

I also splurged on the first Ontario peaches of the season.

I would have been on-cal with all of this if I hadn’t had spoiled my dinner at my board-games afternoon by overindulging in some junk food. Some tortilla chips etc…

Oh well, dinner was excellent and I continue to be truly amazed how much better … no not just a bit better, but hugely big difference, this is the same food? better… local not aged on trucks food tastes.

I love summer, it really spoils me.

On a slightly more philosophical note, I’m becoming a fast farmers market convert. I started appreciating food much more when I began cooking again, as it reminded me how much work I actually need to do to feed myself. What is really involved in where my food comes from. Going to the farmers market does this as well, but it is also such a huge learning opportunity. By going to the market I am learning just by walking through week to week which foods are actually in season… what in season tastes like (as opposed to aged on a truck) what size and shape foods naturally grown should really look like, instead of the stepford wives of tomato displays at the big grocery markets and so much more. I love the fact that the folks that run the stalls actually take the time to talk to me and tell me about their foods and how I can tell if something is ripe, and how ripe and at what stages of ripeness what it is best used for. I can’t imagine ever leaning this from a Dominion or Sobey’s.

I should have started with all this, but it’s really stuff you need to find out for yourself.

Good things grow, in Ontario.

I was able to make both of them from organic, local produce from the farmers market with the exception of the tomato paste needed for the ratatouille, the red wine vinegar courtsey of the Niagara Wine Region.