Later On

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Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

A very tasty low-carb low-point Spring recipe

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I used by 10″ 6-qt pot.

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 bunches thick scallions, chopped (or use spring onions if you can get them)
6-8 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut thick
2 yellow summer squash, halve lengthwise and cut thick
2 bunches broccolini or broccoli rabe (or substitute one bunch broccoli)
1-1.5 cup snow peas, halved
1 cup chopped celery
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped (red is good too)
1 bulb fennel, quarter, cored, and chopped small
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper

Sauté, stirring often, for a few minutes, then add

2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks—you could also use shelled shrimp
12-16 cherry tomatoes, halved
juice of a lemon
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Continue to simmer with the lid on, stirring occasionally, for 12-15 minutes (or until shrimp are cooked, if that’s what you’re using).

You might also add some chopped peppers (Serrano, Fresno, jalapeño) if you like.

This is an open-ended recipe. Basically, it’s just a lot of fresh spring/summer vegetables cooked with chicken, so if you see some attractive vegetable, add it. Also good would be some fresh tarragon (for example)—leaves only, not stems. You could add one bunch of parsley, chopped.

The only Weight Watch points are from the olive oil—2 Tbsp = 8 points—and since this is easily 8 one-cup servings, it is only 1 point. And it turns out to be quite tasty cold, as a leftover.

Written by LeisureGuy

23 May 2018 at 8:59 am

Posted in Food, Low carb, Recipes

Sharpest kitchen knife made from pasta

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Written by LeisureGuy

15 May 2018 at 7:55 pm

Posted in Daily life, Food, Recipes

New update to “My current diet advice”

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I continue to update my now-lengthy post on diet and basic cooking. This morning I added this paragraph:

A good cutting board/prep surface helps a lot, and end-grain hardwood works best in providing a good surface and treating kindly the knife’s edge. I have had a variety of cutting boards, and the Ironwood Gourmet 28217 14″x20″ acacia end-grain prep station is by far the best of the lot: it’s stable (with plastic feet) and it’s large enough to provide plenty of work room. (It has a few negative reviews about a glue problem, but those are from some years back, and it seems as though the manufacturer paid attention: no problem at all with my board). I also have tried a variety of board treatments to preserve the wood, and I like John Boos Butcher Block Board Cream best. Once the food is prepped (sliced, chopped, minced, whatever), this little rimmed food scoop makes it easy to move it from the prep board to bowl or pot. I find I use it constantly.

Written by LeisureGuy

11 May 2018 at 9:30 am

Posted in Daily life, Food, Recipes

Nice addition to lunch salad: Dulse

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I often have a salad for lunch. Today it was:

Dressing:

1.5 Tbsp pesto from Costco (3 WW points)
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tsp Samal Oelek chili paste

Put into small jar and shake well.

Salad:

2 good handfuls baby kale and arugla (Costco again)
5 stalks asparagus, chopped
3 large scallions, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
2 pickled eggs, sliced
2 oz. frozen diced avocado (3 WW points)
good piece of dulse, cut into smaller pieces with kitchen shears

The dulse adds a nice chewiness along with good flavor. Pickled eggs are also chewy, being pretty firm.

6 WW points total, which isn’t bad. Dinner tonight is steelhead trout, with 2 Tbsp olive oil (8 points total, 4 points apiece) and lemon slices, roasted on a baking sheet lined with nonstick foil for 30 minutes in a 300ºF oven. Zero points for the trout. After dinner we have a bowl of frozen berries, thawed: zero points. I favor mixed berries (blue, rasp, and black) and The Wife goes for wild blueberries.

Breakfast is my big meal: 9 points, from 2 Tbsp chia seed (3 points), 1/4 c pomegranate juice (2 points) and 1 Tbsp olive oil (4 points), in which I sauté a Serrano or Fresno pepper, a few stalks of asparagus, an ounce or two of oyster mushrooms, onion or a few scallions, and a few cherry tomatoes, with a over-easy egg on top.

So the total today is 19 points, with 24 currently allowed.

Written by LeisureGuy

9 May 2018 at 12:19 pm

Posted in Daily life, Food, Recipes

Stovetop Popcorn With Brewer’s Yeast, Dulse, and Urfa Biber

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This sounds good, but no popcorn on a low-carb diet. Still, I pass it along. Matt Rodbard and Daniel Holzman write in Taste:

Popcorn: It’s what’s for dinner. Well, it’s what’s for those moments between lunch and dinner when you are hanging out on the sofa bingeing through the latest season of Broadchurch. Popcorn is the great in-between meal. It’s cheap, filling, kinda healthy (though let’s be honest, not really), and fun to make on your own. Popcorn is also infinitely customizable, which ensures it never gets stale. Speaking of stale, we’ve got no beef with those bags of SkinnyPop, but fresh-from-the-stovetop always tastes better to us.

So what holds people back from making popcorn DIY style? An annoyingly high ratio of unpopped to popped kernels is second only to burning the batch. You can hear the smoke alarm now. Both of these issues give home cooks pause. And lastly, getting the seasoning part right can be tricky. You’re looking for a middle ground here—a seasoning blend that is interesting, packed with saltiness, but not too weird and out there.

The key to achieving this balance is found at the health food store or the baking section of your local Whole Foods: brewer’s yeast or nutritional yeast. Brewer’s yeast is an inactive yeast that is a byproduct of beer making, while nutritional yeast is grown specifically from vegetable sugar as a seasoning product. In addition to being chock-full of vitamins, brewer’s yeast is high in glutamic acid—a free glutamate that, when mixed with salt (sodium), like in your popcorn, creates monosodium glutamate, or MSG, which has been kindly rebranded as umami, the mythic fifth “taste.” Short translation: delicious popcorn.

But we’re not stopping with just a sprinkling of brewer’s yeast. Dulse is a dried red seaweed harvested off the coast of Japan and in the chilly waters of the north Atlantic. Dulse is a natural salt substitute with a subtle whisper of the ocean. It also happens to be packed with more of those free glutamates.

You could stop there, but we like our popcorn on the slightly spicy side, just enough to tickle the tongue and keep you going back for more. You didn’t know you needed Urfa biber—a dried Turkish chile pepper with a raisin-like sweetness, a subtle spice, and the gentle acidity of a lightly roasted Ethiopian coffee—until you started cooking with it. You can rub it on lamb shoulder or shake it into a batch of chocolate brownies. It’s spectacular in popcorn, adding more flavor (Urfiness) without making your popcorn overly spicy. . .

Continue reading for the actual recipe.

 

Written by LeisureGuy

3 May 2018 at 12:44 pm

Posted in Daily life, Food, Recipes

Update on carbon-steel pans

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I am still working on getting a perfect nonstick surface on my carbon-steel pans, and this method worked surprisingly well:

Written by LeisureGuy

1 May 2018 at 11:57 am

Posted in Daily life, Recipes

Dinner and a note on cooking chicken breasts

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Boneless skinless chicken breasts are 0 Weight Watchers points, so we have been having them often, chopped up in salads, added to chili, ratatouille, stews, etc. I have been poaching them the way Cook’s Illustrated suggested, as described in this post. Because the breasts are cooked relatively quickly, you must pound them to a uniform thickness (more or less) so that the thinner parts are not overcooked in the time it takes to get the thicker parts done.

However, I recently learned that bone-in skin-on chicken breasts are also 0 Weight Watchers points if you strip the skin off before serving. Since those are cheaper than the boneless skinless sort, I decided to go for it. I used my large (11″, 4-qt) All-Clad Stainless sauté pan and put in 2.5 qts water, 3/4 c soy sauce, 2 Tbsp sugar, 1/4 cups salt, and stirred it up. Then I put the 3 bone-in skin-on chicken-breast halve to marinate. They occupied a single layer (and were slightly cheaper than the boneless skinless versions).

I let them marinate for about 3 hours. There was no way to pound them to uniform thickness, so I needed to cook them very slowly so that the thickest parts arrived at 160ºF at around the same time the thinnest parts did.

So I drained them, returned them to the sauté pan, covered it, and put it in a 200ºF oven for 2.5 hours. Check the temperature then. If it’s above 160ºF in the thickest part, that’s fine with me.

Let it cool, then strip off skin and bones by hand and refrigerate for use in salads, ratatouilles, etc. The nice thing about cooking them this way instead of, say, roasting them, is that this way the skin is rubbery, pale, and unappetizing, quite unlike the crisp, brown, tasty-looking skin of roasted chicken.

And tonight we had a black-eyed pea salad that was quite good:

1 cup dry blackeyed peas
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 large yellow bell pepper, chopped
3-5 oz baby arugula, chopped
200g feta, crumbled—7 oz, essentially. I formerly used 8 oz, but now we’re in Canada, and metric rules.
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup Meyer lemon juice or lime juice
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp minced or crushed garlic
1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
1 bunch large scallions, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped small
1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp capers, drained
3-5 anchovy fillets, minced
2 Tbsp tamari
NO salt (feta does it)
2 Tbsp ground black pepper
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
1 can chunk white tuna, 120g drained (amps the protein, adds no points)

Cook beans (they take about 45 min after soaking), drain, and add all ingredients. The arugula probably amounts to 2 cups, compressed.

Stir/toss well until thoroughly mixed. The Wife likes this as well.

They sell pickled eggs in the supermarket, and eggs—like tuna—are zero points and high in protein. So next time I might slice 2-3 eggs into the salad, with or without the tuna.

Feta is 22 points, olive oil is 8 points, plus 1 poit each for mustard, garlic, and lemon/lime juice. However, it makes an enormous amount: I estimate at least eight 1-cup servings—so 4 points per serving. If it is sufficient for 10 servings, as seems likely, then it’s 3 points per serving.

Written by LeisureGuy

29 April 2018 at 6:47 pm

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