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”

Know It All Diet Researcher Says He Knows It All – No Further Discussion Necessary

Not too long ago I read an interesting article in the New York Times entitled In Dieting, Magic Isn’t a Substitute for Science. It starts with a question that deserves a thoughtful answer:

Is a calorie really just a calorie? Do calories from a soda have the same effect on your waistline as an equivalent number from an apple or a piece of chicken?

The reason the NYT is even asking this question now is because of the research that recently came out that seems to indicate that high protein or Atkins-like diets have a small metabolic advantage over simply calorie-counting.

Now – the study was small – it is really, really hard to do this sort of research. Expensive and time-consuming – and unless you do these studies on prisoners, it’s hard to be sure exactly what these subjects ate exactly. Nonetheless, it is an interesting finding, when put into perspective as less than definitive.

The NYT talked to Dr. Jules Hirsch, emeritus professor and emeritus physician in chief at Rockefeller University, who has been researching obesity for nearly 60 years, who quickly dismissed this study as so much hogwash.

Now, I don’t want to be accused of taking a cheap shot at a gentleman I do not know, but the good doctor has been involved in research for 60 years, during which time the population has only gotten fatter. Something’s going on here:

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.

At Trip to Mitsuwa – Japanese Food Store

Being Memorial Day weekend and nothing planned, my wife and I packed up the kids for a long car trip to Mitsuwa – a Japanese mall in Edgewater, on the Hudson river, in New Jersey. There’s an interesting grocery store there with all kinds of products you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere in the world outside of Japan. There’s also a food court of authentic Japanese food. This isn’t a tourist trap: this is where Japanese who live in the area shop. Continue reading “At Trip to Mitsuwa – Japanese Food Store”

Some Hidden Low Carb Recipes That Should See the Light of Day

When I started low carb in 2003, Lowcarber.ca was the place I hung out. Recently, a commenter mentioned a chef named Karen Barnaby who had a low carb cookbook.

The name rang a bell.

I went to Lowcarber.ca, and – yes! – the same woman – a chef at The Fish House in Vancouver, Canada had, maybe a half-dozen years ago, posted a number of recipes. The site – and these recipes – are not easy to find as the site, while still active, has not really been updated in a loooong time. Don’t let the look of the site, nor the fact that there is a petition from 2008 fool you – the site is still active and a great resource.

I’ll bet these great-looking recipes are pretty hard to find if you don’t know where to look, however. Let’s see if I can help out. Continue reading “Some Hidden Low Carb Recipes That Should See the Light of Day”

Check Out This Blog: Low Carb For Two

I came across this blog – Low Carb for Two – when Lauren, the blogger, left a comment here. This blog has only been around a few weeks, but in that time, Lauren has managed to whip up a slew of recipes, detail her successes and failures – and take a boatload of pictures of the cooking process to boot. She also has her meal plans, shopping lists, and insightful posts on low carb in general.

My biggest fear is that she’ll stop posting.

She’s using Dana Carpender’s 1001 Low Carb Recipies as her inspriation, so I hope she continues her exercise of trying her own versions of these recipes and taking copious pictures.

This is a public service as I, too, was disappointed in the book not because it isn’t a great low carb recipe book, but it doesn’t have pics.

We low carb folks need recipe ideas, and this resource she is creating is a welcome contribution.

Please visit her site and let her know there’s an audience for this.

Awesome Roast Garlic Chicken

Binder clips - not just for papers anymore

This isn’t mine – I found this one over at The Fork Left Behind.

I tried this recipe and followed it to the letter – which I don’t usually do. I salted the bird and let it sit in the fridge for 3 hours, then let it sit covered on the counter top cover for another hour. Did the garlic bit and sealed it up with office binder clips (I didn’t have toothpicks). This was as *awesome* as the author described.

My wife asked why I just didn’t buy one of the roast birds at the store – and then she tasted it. My daughters loved it as well, my older one saying: “I don’t usually like chicken, but I like this chicken.”

Do yourself a favor and try this recipe – it is going to become a go-to recipe for me, certainly.

Check it out. This recipe ruined the notion of a store-bought roast chicken forever.

UPDATE: I asked the blog author if I could post the recipe verbatim here, and she generously agreed. Please don’t make that an excuse not to visit her blog – she’s got some interesting things cooking that are low carb-friendly – and some interesting posts as well.

Crispy Garlicky Roasted Chicken

  •  One 3-4lb chicken
  • 1.5 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 bulb of garlic, cloves separated but left unpeeled
  1. Salt and pepper chicken as soon as you think of roasting on – sometime between 2 and 24 hours before. Return salted chicken to the refrigerator.
  2. Remove chicken 1 hour before ready to cook and allow to come to room temperature, more or less.
  3. Preheat oven to 400F and fill cavity with garlic cloves and seal cavity closed using a toothpick.
  4. Using a small* roasting pan or dish, add a little olive oil to the pan and then add the chicken breast side up. Roast 20 minutes.
  5. Turn chicken breast side down and continue to roast another 20 minutes.
  6. Flip chicken once more and roast breast side up for the final 20 minutes.
  7. Allow chicken to rest for 20 minutes so that juices can redistribute. Remove roasted garlic from cavity and serve alongside chicken.

*It is essential to use a roasting pan or dish or even pie plate approximately the same size of your chicken. This will ensure that the juices and fat that come from the chicken don’t burn.

It is extremely important to note that my wife specifically asked me to make this. I probably have 100 different recipes here – she’s asked me to make maybe 3 or 4 of them (the kale soup is one I remember offhand).

Thank You, Anthony Bourdain: It’s About the Food

I am an idiot. I only have a slight edge over some other idiots in that I am open to discovering that I am an idiot, so that I might actually learn something new, or discover, sometimes to my horror, how something I thought I knew was so blindingly wrong.

For the past month, I have been in an immersive course of Anthony Bourdain and his writing, as well as had the experience of cuisine of another country while on vacation. Not just as a tourist eating at the hotel restaurants, but more like a food anthropologist, spending a good portion of our time in the Caribbean in grocery stores, looking at what the locals eat, inspecting each aisle of the store, fumbling with packages in French, and trying to figure out what the hell was in them due to my not knowing the language.

And never, to my recollection, eating at a ‘touristy’ restaurant. It was either casual French-inspired dining, or simple local fare.

It has been illuminating, to say the least. Continue reading “Thank You, Anthony Bourdain: It’s About the Food”

MiO Drink Mix (sorry -‘Water Enhancer’) – A Replacement for the Sodastream Soda Mixes?

 

I have already stated – somewhere – that as part of my 2012 resolutions I was going to try to ditch the drink mixes.

the reason I’m writing about MiO, however, is because my resolutions are not necessarily your resolutions, and I thought you’d appreciate an honest review.

Prior to going on vacation, I wanted to bring some drink mix and stopped in the local grocery store – and this stuff was all that I could find that didn’t come in huge tubs or contain Nutrasweet.

I grabbed 2 – Berry Pomegranate and Strawberry Watermelon. They are little squirt bottles, and as long as I packed them in my luggage and not my carry-on, they probably wouldn’t be considered potential explosive devices by the TSA.

When in the Caribbean, we’re big fans of Badoit sparkling water – a brand I never saw in the US. Here’s a pic for the hell of it:

I drank a lot of the Badoit with these 2 mixes. I found 2 squirts were about right on the rocks. The 2 containers lasted me the entire 10-day trip, with only a little left over.

These containers are certainly more portable than the SodaStream soda mixes, that’s for sure, and as I’ve NEVER used the Sodamix the way SodaStream expects me to (pouring a cup full of flavoring into the liter bottle), this packaging concept works quite well for me. In fact, the MiO bottles are refillable (I’m sure they don’t want you to know that!) and I could see myself – if I were to continue to use the Sodastream soda mix, to actually pour the stuff into these little squeeze bottles and use it that way.

As to the flavors I got – I enjoyed them both. Maybe I liked the pomegranate a tad bit better.

I didn’t do a direct cost comparison. These were a bit pricy, but I don’t know if the stuff inside is more concentrated than the Sodastream stuff.

As to the ingredients – same artificial crap, more or less. I’m not faulting them there – it’s a drink mix – what do you expect?

You can check out their website, and their awesome, over-the-top advertising copy that seems like they cured cancer AND found a way to convert the simple intake of fluids into a religious experience.

http://www.kraftbrands.com/mio/index.html