Later On

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Archive for the ‘Low carb’ Category

A very nice lunch, step by step

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Step 1: Pour a glass of 5 Vineyards Lyric Velvety Red 2016 to sip while I cook.

Step 2: Heat the 12″ Griswold skillet over low-to-medium heat and add 5-6 slices bacon cut into chunks and let that start cooking as I chop.

Step 3: Chop. Specifically:

2 large cloves of enormous garlic, probably 5-6 regular cloves, minced
3 long onions
2 King Oyster mushrooms (cut lengthwise in half, then across)
1 regular carrot (not the giant ones)
1/2 of a bitter melon (cut lengthwise into fourths, then across)
1 Serrano pepper
5-6 asparagus spears

Also: grate about 2 Tablespoons fresh ginger root

Step 4: When bacon is browned and almost crisp, add 454g (1 lb) chicken hearts and sauté for several minutes until hearts are cooked.

Step 5: Remove bacon and hearts with a slotted spoon, add to the pan the chopped veggies, and cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally. I covered the skillet for a while to speed the cooking.

Step 6: Once veggies are cooked, return bacon and hearts to the pan and sauté briefly to get everything heated, then add the grated ginger, about 1 Tablespoon soy sauce, 1 Tablespoon mirin, and 1 Tablespoon gochujang (Korean red chili paste). Stir to combine.

Step 7: Sauté for 2-3 minutes to reduce the liquid.

Step 8: Spoon a serving into a bowl and sprinkle with Jen-Jen’s West Coast Gomashio, made on Gabriola Island. Ingredients: organic unhulled sesame seeds (toasted), organic sunflower seeds & pumpkin seeds (raw & toasted), powdered kelp, dulse flakes, Celtic sea salt. Extremely tasty. Thanks, Lynne.

Step 9: Enjoy. (It’s wonderful.)

Step 10: Thoughts for the future: definitely a keeper. I have a couple of nice leeks and will use those for the next one. And I think I’ll try adding pitted California green ripe olives. And maybe two packages of hearts. But definitely keep the gomashio, and start using it on other things, like (one of Jen-Jen’s suggestions) using it for breading. Yum.

Written by LeisureGuy

7 November 2017 at 2:23 pm

Tasty pork stir-fry dinner

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A supermarket here carries a cut of pork favored by their Chinese clientele (I gather from the ideograms on the package). It’s a strip cut from a pork butt, thus tender and with adequate fat to keep it moist when you cook it. Here’s the recipe I used in my Field 8″ cast-iron skillet—and I have to say, that really is an excellent skillet, and I have a few Griswold skillets. The Field, not to put too fine a point on it, is better.

I asked about a larger size, and they will soon announce a skillet 11.5′ in diameter. I will have to get that even if it means goodbye, Griswold.


5 thick scallions, including all the green
3 large garlic cloves, minced
4 red Thai chiles, chopped with seeds
8 oz. strip from pork butt, cut into small pieces
1 lemon, ends cut off, halved vertically and then cut thinly crossways into half-moons

Heat the skillet add 1 glug avocado oil and 1 glug toasted sesame oil. when oil is hot, add the above along with good pinch salt and about 1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper.

Some liquid may cook from the pork. If so, continue cooking until liquid is boiled away (perhaps 10 minutes).


good shake of soy sauce
about 2 Tbsp mirin
2 Tbsp grated fresh ginger

Stir and sauté until liquid almost gone. Serve.

Written by LeisureGuy

29 October 2017 at 5:11 pm

Posted in Food, Low carb, Recipes

It’s getting clearer — the diet-cancer connection points to sugar and carbs

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Sam Apple writes in the LA Times:

In August of 2016, the New England Journal of Medicine published a striking report on cancer and body fat: Thirteen separate cancers can now be linked to being overweight or obese, among them a number of the most common and deadly cancers of all — colon, thyroid, ovarian, uterine, pancreatic and (in postmenopausal women) breast cancer.

Earlier this month, a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added more detail: Approximately 631,000 Americans were diagnosed with a body fat-related cancer in 2014, accounting for 40% of all cancers diagnosed that year.

Increasingly, it seems not only that we are losing the war on cancer, but that we are losing it to what we eat and drink.

These new findings, while important, only tell us so much. The studies reflect whether someone is overweight upon being diagnosed with cancer, but they don’t show that the excess weight is responsible for the cancer. They are best understood as a warning sign that something about what or how much we eat is intimately linked to cancer. But what?

The possibility that much of our cancer burden can be traced to diet isn’t a new idea. In 1937, Frederick Hoffman, an actuary for the Prudential Life Insurance Co., devoted more than 700 pages to a review of all the medical thinking on the topic at the time. But with little in the way of evidence, Hoffman could only guess at which of the many theories might be correct. If we’ve made little progress since then in pinpointing specific foods that cause cancer, it’s in large part because nutrition studies aren’t well-suited to cracking the problem.

A cancer typically arises over years, or decades, making the type of study that might definitively establish cause and effect — an experiment in which people are randomly assigned to different diets — nearly impossible to carry out. The next-best option — observational studies that track what a specific group of individuals eats and which members of the group are later diagnosed with cancer — tends to generate as much confusion as knowledge. One day we read that a study has linked eating meat to cancer; a month later, a new headline declares the exact opposite.

And yet researchers have made progress in understanding the diet-cancer connection. The advances have emerged in the somewhat esoteric field of cancer metabolism, which investigates how cancer cells turn the nutrients we consume into fuel and building blocks for new cancer cells.

Largely ignored in the last decades of the 20th century, cancer metabolism has undergone a revival as researchers have come to appreciate that some of the most well-known cancer-causing genes, long feared for their role in allowing cancer cells to proliferate without restraint, have another, arguably even more fundamental role: allowing cancer cells to “eat” without restraint. This research may yield a blockbuster cancer treatment, but in the meantime it can provide us with something just as crucial — knowledge about how to prevent the disease in the first place.

Lewis Cantley, the director of the cancer center at Weill Cornell Medicine, has been at the forefront of the cancer metabolism revival. Cantley’s best explanation for the obesity-cancer connection is that both conditions are also linked to elevated levels of the hormone insulin. His research has revealed how insulin drives cells to grow and take up glucose (blood sugar) by activating a series of genes, a pathway that has been implicated in most human cancers.

The problem isn’t the presence of insulin in our blood. We all need insulin to live. But when insulin rises to abnormally high levels and remains elevated (a condition known as insulin resistance, common in obesity), it can promote the growth of tumors directly and indirectly. Too much insulin and many of our tissues are bombarded with more growth signals and more fuel than they would ever see under normal metabolic conditions. And because elevated insulin directs our bodies to store fat, it can also be linked to the various ways the fat tissue itself is thought to contribute to cancer.

Having recognized the risks of excess insulin-signaling, Cantley and other metabolism researchers are following the science to its logical conclusion: The danger may not be simply eating too much, as is commonly thought, but rather eating too much of the specific foods most likely to lead to elevated insulin levels — easily digestible carbohydrates in general, and sugar in particular. . .

Continue reading.

For a good introduction to a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet, see this post or this post. The increase in fat intake is to provide the calories lost when carbohydrate intake is greatly reduced. And we now know that fat fears were greatly overblown: see The Big Fat Surprise, by Nine Teicholz, a highly readable and well-researched book

Written by LeisureGuy

29 October 2017 at 8:28 am

What I made for dinner

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I revised the recipe. The original version is at the link.

Roasted Chicken Provençal

Prep 30 minutes∙ Cook 1 hour∙ Difficulty Medium Source – Sam Sifton

9 bone-in, skin-on chicken thigh
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 to 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 lemons
20-30 small cloves garlic, peeled
8-10 medium-size shallots, peeled and halved
1/2 to 2/3 cup dry vermouth
2 tablespoons herbes de Provence

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Put the flour in a plastic bag, season it with the salt and pepper, then shake the chicken in the bag, three thighs at a time. Shake the pieces to remove excess flour.

Swirl the oil in a roasting pan, and place the floured chicken in it, skin side up. Cut off the top and bottom of the lemons, then cut each vertically into 8 wedges. Arrange the lemon wedges, shallots, and garlic cloves around and between the chicken thighs, then add the vermouth to the pan.

Season the chicken with the herbes de Provence.

Put the pan in the oven, and roast for 30 minutes, then baste it with the pan juices (which will take care of any flour on top of the chicken). Continue roasting for another 25 minutes and check, or until the chicken is very crisp and the meat cooked through. (Could put foil over chicken after 20 minutes on second side and cook for 30.)

Serve in the pan or on a warmed platter.

Calories: 986
Total Carbohydrates: 33 grams
Cholesterol: 319 milligrams
Total Fat: 65 grams
Dietary fiber: 4 grams
Protein: 60 grams
Saturated fat: 16 grams
Sodium: 1256 milligrams
Trans Fat: 0 grams

Tonight I used a 9×13 Pyrex roasting dish, and it worked fine.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 October 2017 at 5:21 pm

Interesting new foods

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I’ve mentioned finding beef heart and now also pig’s heart in the supermarket (one that has a relatively large Chinese customer base), along with pig bung, beef kidney, pig kidney. Today I saw a couple that were new to me: pig uterus and pig blood. I went for the latter: a block of congealed blood, which in the West is used to make blood pudding (mixed with oatmeal, for example). But this was a simple block of blood, which looked like brown tofu and had the consistency of tofu as well (fairly firm tofu).

I had not real idea how to cook it, so I went with a simple approach: some olive oil in a skillet, in which I cooked some chopped onion, minced garlic, salt, and pepper until the onion was pretty well cooked. Then I took a slab of the pig blood, cut it in half to make two thin slabs, and sautéed those on each side until I judged it done.

Not bad at all. Not a strong taste, but I imagine the dish is high in iron. . . Hmm. I can’t find “pig blood” or “blood” in the nutrition database. The closest I get is blood sausage, not particularly high in iron. (Pig spleen, which they also had and I bought recently, is quite high in iron.)

For those who are still fatphobic, I highly recommend The Big Fat Surprise, by Nina Teicholz.

Written by LeisureGuy

20 October 2017 at 5:46 pm

Posted in Food, Low carb, Recipes

Fergus Henderson’s rolled pig’s spleen

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I had the other pig’s spleen tonight, using this recipe. Very tasty. And very good with mustard. I again will say that, although spleen is extremely high in iron, as is liver, spleen has a very mild taste, unlike liver. I think I will sauté it in the future, but after tasting this, I will cut it into thin slices so the tough membrane around it is less a challenge in chewing.

Written by LeisureGuy

13 October 2017 at 7:17 pm

Posted in Food, Low carb, Recipes

Dinner tonight: Blue cheese cabbage stir fry

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Blue Cheese Cabbage Stir-Fry

Makes 4 servings
Source – edited by me


  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) butter
  • 1 lb mushrooms, cut into quarters or chunks
  • 1/2 large onion or 3 shallots, chopped (tonight I used a whole onion)
  • 1 head green cabbage (about 1.5-2 lbs)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) butter
  • about 1.5 lbs ground beef
  • 5 oz. blue cheese
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped


Shred cabbage finely with a knife or in a food processor.

Add butter to a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Once butter is heated, sauté onion for a few minutes, then add mushroom pieces sauté until they brown and start to release their liquid. Then add cabbage and sauté for about 10 minutes more, until they soften. Do not brown.

Add spices and vinegar and sauté for a few more minutes, stirring frequently. Remove to a bowl and set aside.

Add the rest of the butter to the pan. After it heats, add the meat sauté until meat is cooked and most of the juices have evaporated.

Lower heat a little and add cheese. Stir until cheese has melted.

Add heavy cream and let simmer for a 4-5 more minutes. Add cabbage, and stir until everything is evenly hot.

Salt and pepper to taste. Chop parsley and place on top before serving.

Written by LeisureGuy

13 October 2017 at 5:35 pm

Posted in Beef, Food, Low carb, Recipes

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