A Mayonnaise Replacement with Greek Yogurt

I am a slave to mayonnaise. I love the stuff. I love it so much that I can eat it by the spoonful. The problem is the types of fats typically used in mayonnaise. I typically avoid seed oils like the plague because they are chock full of omega-6 oils, which are necessary to health, but the amounts in seed oil are way beyond what we need and have the potential to be harmful – this, at least, is what I believe.

As omega-6 fats are found in scads of other foods – avocados, meat, eggs, and scores of other stuff – there’s little concern of not getting enough. It’s the ‘too much’ that could prove worrisome.

Now, for those of us with culinary skills, you can make your own authentic mayonnaise from olive oil – but I’m not talented enough – or persistent enough – or maybe just too darn lazy.

So I have been on a quest to come up with a ‘replacement’ – rather than a substitute. While it might seem like just semantics, calling something a ‘substitute’ sets you up for disappointment as a substitute will always prove lacking. Continue reading “A Mayonnaise Replacement with Greek Yogurt”

Review: Nutiva Coconut Manna

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[NOTE: This ain’t a paid review – and I wasn’t bribed with Rolex watches or free trips to Bermuda to write this. The manufacturer doesn’t know who I am – and probably wants to keep it that way.]

My wife bought this during one of her frequent ‘Random Acts of Purchasing’. I don’t think she knew why she bought it though if I asked her I am sure she’d confabulate an reason that sounded plausible. Nor have we been able to determine where she bought it as she doesn’t remember and we haven’t been able to find it again. I think much of her buying stuff occurs in a somnambulistic haze, but that’s just a typical ‘jerk husband’ thing to say.

The problem with coconut manna (link here), which is just ground up coconut, is the same problem with coconut oil: the stuff is an unusable block of fat at room temperature. Oils from tropical plants are different from plants in climates that have winters because they never have to worry about the temperature going low enough that the fat would solidify and kill the plant. This, apparently, is why tropical oils tend to be high in saturated fat – which likes being solid at room temperature.

Continue reading “Review: Nutiva Coconut Manna”

Greek Toast with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

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I have discovered probably the most flavorful olive oil I have ever tasted – Trader Joe’s California Estate Unfiltered Olive Oil. If you have a Trader Joe’s in your vicinity – go buy a bottle and see what I mean – this is totally unlike any olive oil I have ever tasted. [Please note: they didn’t pay me to write this and I paid for it myself.]

This link will bring you to their ‘food porn’ description of the stuff. Regardless of whether visions of unspoiled landscapes in California filled with luscious olives drip-irrigated to reduce water consumption has any relevance to the flavor, it is every bit as good as their uniquely written marketing prose makes it out to be.

Continue reading “Greek Toast with Extra Virgin Olive Oil”

New Years Resolution to Lose Weight in 2013? Your LowCarbConfidential.com Quick Start Guide

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This is the time of the year where the traffic to my site skyrockets as folks decide that they want to make a change for the better in the new year and have decided to try a low carb diet to lose some weight.

Unfortunately, I have over 500 posts here, and it’s a bit harrowing to try to navigate all this – even for me. Really – at 500+ posts, I might want to begin to pare down some of the less useful posts (ie: crap) so that people don’t get lost in all this.

Before I do that, however, I thought I could provide a guide to some of my more popular posts – as well as some of my own favorites that I think would be most helpful in hitting the ground running on a low carb diet. Continue reading “New Years Resolution to Lose Weight in 2013? Your LowCarbConfidential.com Quick Start Guide”

Review: Trader Joe’s Hake En Papillote Frozen Entree

hake[As a reminder – I don’t do paid reviews for products. If I ever did, I’d let you know…]

Before we left on vacation, my wife stocked up on some frozen stuff from Trader Joe’s so that we wouldn’t come home on Christmas day to an empty fridge. On a whim, she bought this ‘Hake En Papillote’. I had no idea what the hell this was and had no plans to go near it – one of my rules of eating is: don’t eat it if a picture of the item with the words ‘serving suggestion’ appear on the box. To me, this is short-hand for ‘I contain crap’.

My wife had put in one box for me, however, and I was the guy who took them out of the oven. They were still in their boxes in the oven – which I didn’t get at first. Curious, I read the label:

“En Papillote” which translates as “in parchment,” is a microwave and oven friendly package for steaming foods but can sometimes be unwieldy to open once cooked. Trader Joe’s Hake en Papillote is presented in a slick little parchment origami box which steams the fish and vegetables and is easy to open: just remove the paper lid. Hake is a mild white fish with a solid texture which we’ve combined with grilled zucchini, cherry tomatoes and pesto sauce for a super easy and flavorful entrée.

Hmmm…interesting. Not your usual ‘nuke in plastic tray’ stuff here. I figured that they had to screw it up some other way so I checked the ingredients: Continue reading “Review: Trader Joe’s Hake En Papillote Frozen Entree”

Have a Question for a Doctor? Try Healthtap.com

It sure is nice to have a medical professional to bounce questions off of – but that usually isn’t your doctor. He or she is too busy running from exam room to exam room to see all the people scheduled for them that day. You’re lucky if you can remember all the questions, and even if you prepare a list, you might not get to them all.

A new website and iPhone app might not be a silver bullet in addressing this issue, but it can help to fill a gap in optimizing your health.

Healthtap is a place where you can ask questions to real doctors – and they answer. I’ve asked maybe a dozen questions and most are answered within 2 hours. There are challenges in this. You are only allowed a small amount of characters so you need to think clearly about what your question is. You also need to understand your audience. Doctors need specifics, and also need you to be somewhat familiar with the jargon. It helps them understand you better and avoids you being told you are being vague. I also don’t see how to establish a real dialog yet, but the company behind this seems to have added new features quickly, so who know what will be there the next time I visit.

This site is also a search engine of sorts containing the Q&A from other individuals. Your identity is hidden on the site, so your Q&A might help someone else – and your own question might have already been asked.

Take a look.

Kitchen Experiment: Low Carb Cauliflower Soup

Here’s what I tried when I wanted to make a simple soup great for a cold winter day.

  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 2 whole bunches of scallions – yes – bunches
  • salt
  • 4 cups of water
  • pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream

In a deep cooking pot, place the chopped scallions and the chopped up cauliflower head in 4 cups of water and bring to a boil, then simmer for a half hour. Continue reading “Kitchen Experiment: Low Carb Cauliflower Soup”

Italian Chili – My Recipe for Beating the Cravings of Pasta and Pizza

Last night I made this, it came out quite good, and I thought I would share.

This is yet another variation on what I’ve done before. It provides a meat and vegetable-filled dish similar to a chili or stew in consistency, and, covered in grated parmesan cheese, it not only awesome, but fills that hole left by foregoing both pasta and traditional pizza on a low carb diet.

This is more a technique than a hard and fast recipe. The basis of this for me is usually grass-fed ground beef. A pound of this, bought directly from the farmer, is expensive – $8.00/lb., but I also comes with a high degree of probability that the stuff is the real deal. The problem with food in general is that if you want ‘organic’, the good stuff looks pretty much like the cheap stuff, and fraud is an issue. Less so if you know the farmer himself – and see his kids at the market. Continue reading “Italian Chili – My Recipe for Beating the Cravings of Pasta and Pizza”

Kitchen Experiment: Low Carb Chicken Cacciatore Recipe

I’ll be honest – I don’t know what ‘Cacciatore’ is – sounds gourmet though, doesn’t it?

While my version is certainly not gourmet, I’ve made it twice and have really been enjoying it, so I am putting it here so I can remember – and of course, if any of you out there dare to try it (or have a tip to improve it), feel free to do so.

Ingredients:

Baby Broccoli Salad

I’ve been experimenting with quick-to-prepare simple meals that can be put together in 5 minutes or so. Having no time is part of it, lack of coherent meal planning is part of it, too. As I’ve been eating salads for lunch lately, I got a little tired of vinegar and needed a break, so decided to try and create some salad-like concoctions that don’t use vinegar.  Here’s one I’ve been eating as lunch for the past few days. It’s tasty, filling, and low carb. Yeah – there is some prep involved – I have to cook the bacon and chicken ahead of time naturally, but I cook it on the weekend and it holds up well in the fridge. Continue reading “Baby Broccoli Salad”