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SparkBlog Says Higher Protein/Low Carb Breakfast

Friday, June 03, 2011

...is better for appetite control.


Interestingly, the sample breakfast offerings are nearly Zone ratios of 40% carbs/30% fat/30% protein.

I say they are right!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VHALKYRIE 6/5/2011 9:55PM

    BTVMADS: Yogurt and nuts are a lot more filling! Even a bagel with cream cheese leaves me feeling hungry in an hour!

Comment edited on: 6/5/2011 9:56:16 PM

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BTVMADS 6/5/2011 8:03AM

    I'd like the study more if weren't sponsored by pork and egg lobbies, but oh well. I'd much rather have my greek yogurt and nuts than a bagel, that's for sure!

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THINRONNA 6/3/2011 4:38PM

    I am kind of set right now with what I am doing but I am thinking about adding a hard boiled egg to my breakfast so see how I feel. Thanks for the link!

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GAILSQUEST 6/3/2011 11:41AM

    So do I!

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Julia Child was Right

Friday, June 03, 2011

I remember watching Julia Child as a kid. She was on the PBS channel after my Saturday morning cartoons. I loved her enthusiasm and passion for French cooking. When she made a mistake, she would just keep right on going! Whenever I make a mistake cooking, I think, "What would Julia do?" Her food looked so decadent and fancy, but she insisted it was easy.

Years later, I discovered she was right! It is decadent, fancy AND easy!

I just recently learned how to make coq au vin. It is so delicious and easy, I make it once a month or so. Cooking with wine sounds expensive, but it's not. We are wine drinkers, and try to drink a glass a night with dinner ($5 bottle, not Dom Perignon!). Sometimes, we open a bottle, we don't finish it, and we accidentally leave it open too long. Wine starts to turn to vinegar pretty rapidly if you leave it open too long and it starts to oxidize. Instead of throwing it out, I make coq au vin with it.

I tried a slightly different technique with my coq au vin this time. I took pieces of chicken with veggies and marinated it in the wine with some herbes de provence. I love marinades. I thought, why can't you marinade coq au vin? It has such a wonderful rich flavor, I thought it would be even better if the chicken marinated and allowed the wine to permeate the meat.

I let it marinade 2 days. I browned the chicken in a large dutch oven, then put all the veggies and the wine marinade in.

It simmered for about 1 1/2 hours.

Meanwhile, I prepared a dessert treat. Poached pears.

I took a pear, peeled it, cut in half, and cut out the core. I put it in a small oven safe pan. Made a mixture of 4 tablespoons lemon juice, cinnamon and sugar, a teaspoon of cognac (optional), and about 4 tablespoons water. I poured it over the top of the pears. Covered with lid, and baked it in the oven at 325F for about 45 minutes until the pears were soft.

Always have a big leafy salad with lots of colorful veggies at every meal. Always.

I served the coq au vin. I should have taken all the pieces out and made a reduction with the juices, but...I was hungry. And lazy. So the sauce is bit more watery than it should be.

I plated the pear with a scoop of homemade dark chocolate gelato and fresh blueberries.

Looks decadent, fatty and rich, doesn't it? It all looks like something we are cheating on, or shouldn't do.

Not so fast. Here's the breakdown

Coq au Vin with salad:
Calories: 248
Carbohydrates: 5g
Fat: 16g
Protein: 15g

Poached Pears with Dark Chocolate Gelato and Fresh Blueberries:
Calories: 92
Carbohydrates: 19g
Fat: 2g
Protein: 1g

Net total for the whole meal:
Calories: 340
Carbohydrates: 24g
Fat: 18g
Protein: 16g

You've got a serving of protein, big pile of veggies, and a serving of fruit for less than 400 calories. It is neither low carbohydrate nor low fat, but it's the right mix of things you need to be healthy. Notice that there are no starches, however. You can add a small piece of bread, if you like. I felt it was unnecessary.

None of it is overwhelming. When we finished our meal, we were satisfied, not stuffed. When was the last time you had a fruit serving at dessert, and for less than 100 calories? Here is apparently the French secret to dessert. The combination of the lemon citrus, the pear, and the chocolate gelato blends together so well, you aren't screaming for more at the end. Less is more. The other trick (metabolically) is the fructose from the fruit, and the small bit of fat from the gelato prevents your insulin from surging. No raging mood swings. No sugar high, then crash. No hunger pains an hour after dinner.

Julia Child was 91 when she died. If any of this is unhealthy, let's just say I'd rather eat this unhealthy with cognac poached pears in my belly.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BTVMADS 6/5/2011 8:14AM

    Your Coq au Vin method is just like what Alton Brown does for his -- it takes two days, but it's still so simple! Hmmm... maybe this should be my next culinary adventure.

And as for calories, I say that when it's real foods that you've prepared yourself, the calories don't matter as much because you know you're getting something wholesome and nutritious!

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ARCHIMEDESII 6/4/2011 4:27PM

    I love watching re-runs of Julia Child !! While many of her recipes were very healthy, (eh-hem), some weren't quite as healthy. One of my absolute favorite recipes of hers, is her roast chicken. Do you remember what she does ?

First, she massages lots of butter onto the skin of the chicken. Then, she wraps the chicken in strips of bacon. Then it goes into the oven to bake. OMG !!

I wish they'd rerun her episode on eggs. She did the most marvelous omelettes. They were light, airy and tasty too. You should do her omelettes. Speaking of which. so should I ! LOL !


PS - Of course, the reason Julia's food was sooo yummy was because she took time to cook. That's why I love that the slow cooking movement is making a come back.

Comment edited on: 6/4/2011 4:29:55 PM

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VHALKYRIE 6/4/2011 4:21PM

    FARWELLCLAY: I don't always use a dressing. One that I often make that is a mix of red wine vinegar, a touch of balsamic vinegar, garlic powder and salt and pepper.

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FARWELLCLAY 6/4/2011 4:16PM

    Yum, I can't wait to try this! No dressing on the salad?

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MEGA_MILES 6/4/2011 9:48AM

    Great blog. Thanks for sharing it. When is dinner served? I'll be right over with some wine. emoticon

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THINRONNA 6/3/2011 4:47PM

    Your food looks wonderful as usual! I love the poached pear idea along with the gelato!

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    Beautifully Presented. I see the next generation super star :)

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CATLADY52 6/3/2011 3:04PM

    Mmmmmm good; yummy; and it looks great. I am going to try it. emoticon emoticon

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GIRANIMAL 6/3/2011 10:49AM

    I adore Julia Child. I especially love her show with Jacques Pepin -- together the two of the are a riot! She always talked about how afraid we are of fat and how foolish it is. Yep, her take on moderation must be key since she lived to be 91!

I agree with Don - what fabulous-looking dishes! Isn't it so satisfying when you produce such delectable and healthful meals in your own kitchen? emoticon

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DDOORN 6/3/2011 10:39AM

    Yum! Are you sure you didn't "borrow" some snapshots from a professional chef's website...? :-)

Looks most scrumptious!


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I'm a Fat Burner!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Wow, after being stuck for so long, I feel like I finally got this plateau thing figured out. All it took was one simple change: I cut back on my grain/cereal/starch consumption.

For too long, I was trying to follow the dietary guidelines saying you need a starch or grain with every meal. Little did I know this was derailing my goals. I now believe that grains/cereal/starches should be enjoyed in moderation, but are not essential in the quantities the USDA food pyramid specifies.

I was following the guidelines and was getting nowhere. My weight held stable. I tried more exercise, but on days when I did more exercise, I ate more food, but calorie total should have still been a deficit. I was trying to keep my deficits at an average of -300 per day. If I exercised more, I ate more, but still roughly -300 than I burned. But I kept my macronutrient ratios the same because I thought that was important. Whether I ate 1200 calories or 1800, I tried very hard to keep my macronutrients at 50% carbs/30% fats/20% protein.

This was my problem. Too many grain carbs. Too little protein.

I had been doing this for years, and was standing still. It was obvious to me that whatever I was doing, it was keeping me in stasis. I was never going to get anywhere if I didn't figure this out.

Well, I figured 2+ years of doing it the ADA way was giving it enough time. There is something more. More exercise wasn't changing things (because I was holding my macronutrient ratios the same). I'm a small person, so the only way I can restrict my calories further was to go below 1200 calories. It is so hard to get my vitamin requirements as is, being a petite person, this isn't a good idea. The only thing left to do is to shift my ratios.

I started digging. I dug up my old copy of "Enter The Zone" and brushed up on insulin response, how it affects fat storage and loss. I was convinced this was my problem. I was eating enough carbohydrates that my body never needed to dip into my fat stores.

While I am not currently diabetic, I pretty sure that my insulin receptors are damaged to some degree because I am not able to lose weight on a calorie restricted diet alone anymore.

As much as I love "Enter the Zone", it is several years old (where is the revised and updated edition, Barry?). I decided to check up on a few new books. "The Paleo Diet" and "Protein Power" (2009 revised edition) were on my list.

"The Paleo Diet" first suggested the idea of eliminating grains and starches, which I balked at. It also suggested eliminating dairy. I do not drink milk, but I eat yogurt and cheese. The premise is that our paleo ancestors did not eat these things, and our bodies are not designed to process them. These were concepts I was not ready to digest (no pun intended!).

Then I read "Protein Power", and I changed my mind. The authors gave very detailed explanation for the metabolic process for insulin/glucagon that comes from every first year medical school textbooks. It seemed to answer what was going on with me perfectly. My carbohydrate intake is exactly the level to maintain my current bodyfat. My body will not let go of my bodyfat because it has no need to. No amount of exercise will change that, as long as I hold my ratios the same.

If I was maintaining bodyfat at 140g carbs, then I figured I should see a response if I cut back to 70g carbs. This is higher than the recommended levels in "Protein Power". I figured the recommendation for 30 and 55g carbs were designed for severely obese patients, and those with who were very badly insulin resistant. I was neither of those.

I only cut back on my grain/cereal/starches. I also increased my protein consumption. Before I was eating about 50-60g protein per day. I increased this to 100g per day. I did not eliminate dairy - I still eat yogurt and cheese. I'm neolithic, not paleolithic.

Cutting back my grain/cereal/starches were pretty easy changes to make. All I did was stopped adding cereal to my morning yogurt and blueberry breakfast. Skipped the bread at lunch. Replaced the potatoes at dinner with more veggies.

I had the benefit of years of good habits eating fruits and vegetables, so this was not a radical change. The mistake people make with low carb diets is eating all meat/fat, and adding little vegetables and fruit. I distress whenever I read the message boards and people say, "I hate vegetables and fruit. How can I lose weight?"

We are omnivores, and we are meant to eat protein and vegetable matter. We have sharp canines and incisor teeth for tearing meat, and flat molars for grinding vegetables. Fruits are biologically adapted to entice us to eat them.

I increased my protein very simply by making sure I ate a protein with every meal, which I was not doing before. Protein doesn't have to mean meat, but we have to eat some kind of protein every day.

Well, cutting back on grains/starches and raising protein was the right combination I needed.

In 4 weeks since I've been doing this, here are my stats:

Weight Change: -4lbs (about 1lb per week)
Body Fat: -1.86% (~3.5 lbs fat)
Lean Mass: +0.5lb (!!! I have actually gained muscle!)
Waist: -1 inch
Hips: 0 inches (Sigh. My booty is stubborn.)
Thigh: -0.5 inch (Yay - at least my thighs are shrinking, if my butt is not)
Calf: 0 inch
Arms: -0.5 inch (Michelle Obama arms - here I come!)

I'm a fat burner! My weight change is burned fat, gained muscle, and a little water loss! My body composition is changing in the way I want! I have also managed to do the all important thing to preserve muscle, and even added a little to it!


If 1.86% bodyfat loss doesn't sound like a lot, look at what the net effect is. I've lost a total of 3 inches off my waist, thighs and arms!

Also, if you're wondering about my heart health. I don't know my lipid status, but my resting heart rate has dropped from 76bpm to 60bpm. I'm feeling confident that I'm clearing out inflammation.

So now that I've been doing this about 4 weeks (even while on vacation!) I am very slowly adding small amounts of my favorite grains. I have decided to eat them in moderation. I am not going to try to eat a grain/starch with every meal like I did before (that was a disaster for me). I am reserving my grain/starch portion for my evening meal, or once per day. Instead of being a "meat and potatoes" girl, I am changing over to a "meat and vegetables" girl.

With the higher protein, I am almost never hungry. It has curbed my appetite like a dream. I used to obsess about my next meal. "When is lunch? What am I going to eat? Is it lunch time yet?" Now I'm like, "Oh, is it time for lunch already?".

My diet is mostly Zone ratios, so it is moderate carb, in between the ADA recommendations and a low carb. I eat a protein with a vegetable serving with every meal. Starch/grain only once per day, and a very small serving.

I have not had any problems meeting my vitamin/minerals, though I did have a slight potassium drop. While The Zone says bananas should be avoided, I think the potassium is too important. I noticed if I eat the banana by itself, a short while later I am ravenously hungry and start obsessing about food. I now eat half a banana with a piece of cheese for a snack, and this doesn't happen. Protein + veg/fruit = win.

Here is an example of my evening dinner. This is an authentic Korean dinner, with authentic Korean proportions. 4oz Korean kalbi, 4 slices of romaine lettuce, Korean sesame cucumber salad, kimchee, and 1/4 cup rice. Here's how Koreans eat it. Slice the meat into bite sized strips. Take a lettuce leaf and put the rice and meat in it. Put a little hot sauce or a slice of kimchee in it, if you want. Roll into a wrap and enjoy!

4 weeks ago, my rice serving might have been twice that size. After dinner, I felt satisfied, but not overstuffed. The protein from the meat, and fiber from the vegetables blunted the glycemic load of the rice, so I never had an insulin spike. (It's amazing how I can recognize when my insulin surges now). I wasn't hungry at all after dinner and went to bed without a snack.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 6/3/2011 9:15AM

    Wow! I can SO relate to so many points you make! Grains/cereals/starches are definitely my weak spot...they wake up my sleeping carbie tiger BIGTIME! I also avoid milk but yogurt and cheese are regular staples for me.

In the past I definitely have been there, done that re: "low carb diets...eating all meat/fat" and can attest that this definitely DOES NOT WORK! At least for me. It's a common mistake folks make when they shift into these food choices.

Picking up on the veggies has been the mainstay of my food choices. Lately I add some fruit here & there...apples mostly.


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VHALKYRIE 6/2/2011 10:29PM

    FREDDYB29: I love caesar salad! Would love to hear your recipe, if you'd like to share sometime!

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FREDDYB29 6/2/2011 10:14PM

    I was wondering, I see you got romaine lettuce there. You ever try a Cesare salad? I got a nice recipe for one. I don't think its too fatty. Its really good though!

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VHALKYRIE 6/2/2011 9:40PM

    BTVMADS: If you're thinking about it, I would strongly suggest getting the book "Protein Power" by Michael and Mary Eades. The reason is because it really is quite a different way of thinking about it than we are used to, and you should know the whys and hows. They do an excellent job of explaining a very complex process in an easy to understand way - promise!

Basically, you have to shift your body from a sugar burner from carbohydrates to a fat burner. Your body can use either types of fuel (Mike describes it as shifting a car from regular to diesel with a converter). But the reason why I strongly recommend getting the book before trying at home is because they make a case you shouldn't try to limit fats in the way we have normally been conditioned with the standard American diet. If you shift to fat burner, then you have to consume fats for fuel, is the gist. You also have to consume the right amount of protein. If you eat enough protein, then your body will not consume your muscle when burning fat.

They also explain ketosis, and why ketosis isn't bad (unless you are a type I diabetic). (Ketosis is basically when you are burning fat for fuel.) "Protein Power" is a bit different than Atkins. Atkins puts you in ketosis, and makes you stay there. Eades PP method put you just on the edge of ketosis most of the time. After a meal, you will burn carbohydrate glucose until your body uses it all (glucose is always used first). When no more glucose is available, your body switches to ketones (from burning fat). We are all in a state of ketosis when we go to sleep. We burn fat when we sleep because there is generally no food available to be burned. This is why we "break fast". PP tries to make you burn fat more often, even when at rest.

It does work!

Comment edited on: 6/2/2011 9:50:20 PM

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BTVMADS 6/2/2011 9:03PM

    I've been thinking about this more and more lately. I would LOOOOOOOOOOOVE to lose body fat by cutting carbs -- I feel so flabby, and I've been feeling like total isht lately. Running's been getting HARDER as time's gone on, and I think that has a lot to do with the fact that I've been eating more bread. Even my baker husband is saying we need to eat less of it.

So how did you figure out these numbers? I'm not willing to do paleo (I love dairy products), but I am willing to try cutting carbs again.

And anyone who says you can never have a banana again is silly. Banana+ Peanut Butter = Magic Snack. Eat up and be full!

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VHALKYRIE 6/2/2011 8:46PM

    SEDGEY: Sounds delicious!! Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables!! Don't forget the healthy fats! (Pretty much any non transfat - even butter!)

Comment edited on: 6/2/2011 9:01:05 PM

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SEDGEY 6/2/2011 8:37PM

    I'm following your excellent example. My dinner is 3 oz beef tenderloin, about 4 oz of chanterelles and a pound of asparagus. :)

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VHALKYRIE 6/2/2011 3:33PM

    LadyRose: I love the Eades! I have been reading through their blog ravenously. I may be late to the party, but the content is wonderful! Wish they would post more often!

ARCHIMEDESII: Cutting down the portion size of bread and pastas does seem to be the key! Course, as a spinning instructor, you probably need all those energy bits more than most of us! Best wishes on your doctor appointment, and do let us know how it comes out!

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VHALKYRIE 6/2/2011 11:25AM

    FITGIRL15: A bodybuilder diet, really?? Wow! I guess I should lift more to take advantage!!

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FITGIRL15 6/2/2011 11:06AM

    The USDA food pyramid is a very GENERAL guide for the AVERAGE person (American, I guess, LOL) it has not taken into account your age, height, gender, current weight... NOTHING!

The Canadian Food Guide is just as ridiculous! If we all ate like that we'd still probably look just like we do now!!! Terrible!!! Every person has a unique situation, and lifestyle therefore has quite drastically different dietary needs to meet their goals.

That being said, everyone's GOALs are different too. So, yeah... let's just say, I disagree with pretty much every standard eating pyramid ever created! LOL

Sounds like you are eating like a body builder :)

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MZLADY77 6/2/2011 11:03AM


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ARCHIMEDESII 6/2/2011 10:54AM

Awesome !!

Yum ! Your Korean dinner looks marvelous. As for the kimchee. I'll admit it. I'm a whimp. I tried it once and I swear... it burned my tongue ! LOL !!!

I've found my body does seem to thrive on veggies. Not that I'm planning on giving up my fresh baked bread and pasta any time soon. What I have done is reduced the portion size so that I am including more and more veggies along with my pasta or rice.

Actually, give me a few more days and I'll be posting a blog on the results from my physical. I'm curious to see how my blood work compares to three years ago. Okay, I admit it. I've been hiding from my doctor ! LOL !!!!

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LADYROSE 6/2/2011 10:52AM

    Whoohooo!!! Isn't it amazing?! And aren't the Eades' awesome?! - they explain things in a very straight forward way, but are also very involved in the medical end of things - really helped me wrap my brain around /what/ food does to my body...

I'm with you, too, still have the occasional grains - sometimes it's daily (like now on vacation. ;) and sometimes it's once a week. I don't see it as super duper evil, but I also know it's not the super food that the media/ADA wants us to believe.

Way to go on the progress!!! WHOO HOOOO!!!

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How Cooking Changed My Palate

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Learning to cook didn't just allow me to make healthier meals than eating out, though that is definitely a factor. It also changed my palate.

When I learned to cook, I used whole, fresh ingredients. No heavy doses of fat, sugar, salt or MSG to make bad food taste better. Cooking with lower measures of each of these components altered my palate. I can spot a cheap meal right away.

If I eat at McDonald's, all I can taste is the salt. McDonald's french fries used to be my favorite, but now I notice there is no potato flavor in the fries. It is all salt, oil, and what should be potato tastes like pure potato starch. I'll take my homemade roast potatoes any day - they taste like potatoes. The new improved chicken nuggets still don't taste like chicken.

We went to a Thai restaurant recently. I couldn't finish my meal, and I didn't bother to get a box. All I could taste was MSG.

Chick-fil-A used to be one of my favorite fast food restaurants. Chicken has to be healthier than McDonald's, right? What is the #1 ingredient in their signature seasoning? Salt. Second ingredient? MSG.

My friend and I went to an Indian restaurant recently. We tried a dish we hadn't had before. I chewed on it a little bit, and identified hints of cardamom and ginger. My friend was impressed, and remarked on my sensitive palate.

When I went back home for a visit, I was surprised my friends and family wanted me to cook for them, rather than going out for a meal. They say I do better than the restaurants. I was very flattered.

On the flip side, it has ruined the experience of dining out somewhat. I turn my nose up at former favorite meals at Applebee's (all I taste is fat, sugar, salt). My British fiance says I am more like the French in my discerning tastes than I am American. The last time we went to a four star restaurant, we had orange balsamic glazed roast brussel sprouts. It was so good, I had to go home and copy it.

Americans have never been well regarded for our cuisine. All our really good food comes from other places. On the one hand, we don't have a deeply rooted culinary tradition like the French. On the other, there is no other place in the world where you can have such a diverse range of menus. It is a blessing and a curse.

The chain restaurant menus are engineered to sell quantity, not quality. The desserts are nearly inedible to me. They are pure sugar, and most of them would take four people to share. I was shocked to discover my favorite Cheesecake Factory dessert was 1,100 calories. It's no wonder I became obese. I can't handle something that rich and sweet anymore. It literally makes me ill.

I made a homemade dark chocolate gelato for dessert last night. It is very chocolately, but not overly sweet. It is the way my fiance and I like it, but I probably would not serve it to my friends. They would probably think it is not sweet enough.

Margaritas are ruined. The standard chain restaurant bar mix tastes like Kool Aid. I can't taste the lime juice. When I get a margarita made with real lime juice, I recognize it immediately. I don't want the calories if it's not the real thing.

Every once in a while, I can find the truly superb. I knew a number of restaurants in Seattle that made real lime margaritas. My favorite Thai restaurant was gourmet at a Chinese take out price - no hint of MSG what so ever. In Savannah, there is an amazing Cuban restaurant with Spanish Caribbean flare.

I used to be baffled how chefs could taste a food and be able to pick out flavors. Now I can do this to some degree, too. My pantry takes the best of the diversity of the immigrant cultures in America. In any given week, I can make food from Korea, China, Japan, Thailand, India, Morocco, Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Greece, Mexico, Latin America, etc.

I use so many spices and spice combinations, I can recognize them when I taste other food. On the flip side, I can also taste the cheap imitations.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLJEAN64 6/2/2011 8:08PM

    You helped me understand something I was surprised by. We recently went to Applebees.... hadn't been in a while, but loved the idea of their calorie reduced entrees. All I could taste was salt!!! I didn't even realize that my palate has improved. We do eat out a fair amount, but rarely, if ever, at chain places. Local ethnic places are our favorites and they have changed how I taste food.

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SEDGEY 6/2/2011 1:31AM

    Becoming a "food snob" is the easiest way to control excess calories. I used to be better at it, but running a cafe makes you actually omnivorous in the worst sense. Surrounded by food with no time to eat. Having said that, not all restaurants are out to cheat eaters. We use higher quality ingredients than our customers expect and our prices belie. I will only serve what I will eat. Well, except pastrami/corned beef. I've chosen a good quality product, I just don't go there. ;)

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FARWELLCLAY 6/1/2011 7:39PM

    I completely understand. Especially the bit about not wanting the margarita if the lime juice isn't the real thing. In the book "French Women Don't Get Fat" Mireille Guiliano talks about making the calories count. If you're going to eat a piece of cheese, it should be delicious, not wrapped in a cellophane wrapper. And when I weaned myself off sugar, my palate became so much more demanding, less tolerant of over salting and too much sugar, which Americans too often substitute for real quality of flavor. You can make me homemade dark chocolate gelato anytime, I promise I won't complain about the sugar content. It will probably be perfect for me!

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CATLADY52 6/1/2011 6:52PM

    I have noticed that I can tell when something tastes good but it doesn't jump up and shout in your face. So many dishes are dull without spicing.

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DDOORN 6/1/2011 1:28PM

    I'm becoming more adventurous with spices when I can...haven't made the effort to "experiment" so much yet, but appreciate when I come across something that ZINGS the old taste buds in ways salt, MSG, etc. never could!


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CTTAGENT 6/1/2011 12:21PM

    Congratulations!! I totally know what you are talking about. I too enjoy making homemade meals. We hardly go out for dinner, except on a rare occasion, usually if we are out of town we may eat out a little. I want to have an herb garden so I can use fresh herbs and increase a dish's flavors even more.

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What's Cooking?

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

You asked, you receive! Here's what I've got cooking! Lots of stuff going on! I'm prepping food for tonight, few days ahead, and for the week. Phew!

1. Shrimp Salad
For lunch, I made a shrimp salad using leftover boiled shrimp from last night. Chopped up the shrimp, mixed with light mayonnaise, dijon mustard, lemon juice, celery, red onion, and a little pepper. Served over a bed of lettuce and other salad veggies, plus a sliced hard boiled egg.

2. Black Cherry and Chocolate Gelato.
I made a mix for black cherry and chocolate gelato. This is a new recipe I'm experimenting with. I made a chocolate gelato base, and a black cherry syrup reduction. I mixed the two together to chill before putting in the ice cream maker. While making it, I actually had the idea to try this again with vanilla ice cream and swirl the cherry syrup. The red swirls in the white vanilla should be gorgeous. It is washed out in the chocolate, sadly.

3. Cabbage and Leek Soup.
I call this a cabbage and leek soup, but it's really Whatever-veggies-are-left-in-the-fridge soup. I just bought the cabbage and leeks. Everything else was already ready to be tossed in. It's a mish-mash of chicken broth, cabbage, leeks, celery, carrots, spinach, parsnips and onions. It sounds like a lot, but it is good, and good for you! Only 100 calories per bowl, I'll be eating this every day this week.

I added red cabbage because I thought it might give it nice color, but...err...it didn't. I should have stuck with green cabbage. So it looks a little weird...but it does taste good!

4. Lemon Rosemary Chicken Breasts
I buy whole chickens and cut up the parts myself. Saves a ton of money. A package of chicken breasts in my area costs $4.99/lb. I buy a whole free range chicken for $1.39/lb. I've been doing it for years, and can cut up a whole chicken in less than 5 minutes.

With the chicken breasts, I'm marinating in lemon juice, herbes de provence, rosemary, garlic and olive oil. This is tonight's dinner. I'll brown it on the stove, then finish it in the oven.

5. Coq au Vin
With the drumsticks and thighs from the whole chicken, I'm marinating in wine that we accidentally let get too old (tragedy!). Broiler onions, celery, carrot, and a parsnip are getting marinated along with it. I'll let this marinate about 2 days before cooking. It will be incredible.

6. Chicken Wings
With the chicken wings, I'll bake in the oven and eat as a snack tomorrow, along with my own buffalo wing sauce. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SEDGEY 6/2/2011 1:25AM

    On my other computer I have a link to the Doukhobor borscht that I fell in love with in Canada. I think you want it. :)

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    It all looks delicious!!

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