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Category Archive for: ‘Combination Side Dishes’
Grits

As I write this post I am enjoying a bowl of stone ground grits.  Not the instant grits found so often, but real stone ground grits with the little black flecks in it.  Killer good cooked with just milk and butter and slowly boiled to a creamy consistency with the grits left just a little firm or al dente (to the tooth)

What the heck are grits?

Wikipedia says that grits got their origins from the American Indians.  I say thank you.   Grits are coarsely ground flint or dent corn, which is grown hard on the cob.  The kernels are dried on the cob and then soaked in baking soda, lime or wood ash.  The soaking causes the hulls to soften and swell.  Then the kernels are hulled and de-germed using friction methods and dried further.   Hominy is the dried corn or maize that has been treated with a weak lye (alkaline) solution to break down the niacin in the corn which also effects the protein balance, decreasing it.  Even though the protein decreases, the lysine and tryptophan are increased.  Even in the South, most people have never tried Hominy, which look like large, soft swollen white corn kernels.

The best grits, in my humble opinion, are stone ground in the old fashioned way.  You really can taste a difference.

 white hominy   fried hominy

How do we use Grits

Grits can be savory or sweet.  I prefer savory, but I’ve had some very good grits mixed with brown sugar and chunks of fruit that were great.  Without getting too detailed, grits are basically white polenta, the European version of grits which is made from ground yellow or white cornmeal.

Both polenta and grits are cooked to a porridge like consistency then embellished with anything from sugar or honey to cheese, butter, sausage, bacon, ham and even spinach or kale.  Both make a great side dish for any meal.

Additionally, grits or polenta can be placed in a container or glass and cooled or frozen then sliced into rounds and fried in oil or bacon fat.  Delicious!

  

 

Stone Ground grits are available through the Fat Farm Store or click here  – jughandle

Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa)

If you aren’t familiar with Quinoa you are in for a treat.

 

 

 

 

Quinoa is a grain from South America that can be prepared like rice.  Unlike rice, Quinoa is a whole balanced protein and is high in fiber and is gluten-free.  In its raw state it can be spouted in as little as 2-4 hours activating its natural enzymes and multiplying its vitamin content.

To prepare Quinoa buy the pre-rinsed variety which has the hull or saponins removed. Rinse the grain briefly in cold water.  Cook as you would rice.  One cup of grain for 2 cups of water or other favored liquid, such as stock or even vegetable juice.  Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer.  Cook 10 -15 minutes or until the germ separates from the seed.

 

 

 

 

 

With any satisfying meal it is important to not only have good flavors, but combine different textures and even different temperatures.  The crunch of the pepper with the mouth texture of the quinoa and the spice of the tomato mixture and topping provide depth of flavor, texture and spice that is hard to find in any dish.  For a whole meal serve with a cold tossed salad.  This recipe is an original Fat Farm creation.  Let me know what you think. – jug

Stuffed Pepper Directions – Recipe

1. Bring a large pot of water (1 to 2 qts) to a boil.  Put spinach into boiling water for 30 sec. then remove and quickly place in cold water to stop the cooking process.  Reserve.

2. Heat olive oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and celery, and cook 5 minutes, or until soft. Add cumin and garlic, and sauté 1 additional minute. Stir in spinach and  Ro Tel brand tomatoes & green chilies (reserve juice). Cook 5-10 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated.

3. Stir in kidney beans, quinoa, carrots, and 2 cups water. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender. Stir in 1 cup crumbled extra firm tofu. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Pour liquid from tomatoes in bottom of baking dish.

4. Cut the top off of each bell pepper and with a spoon remove the seeds and as much of the white membrane as possible, then rinse.  Fill each bell pepper with heaping amount of the quinoa mixture, and place in baking dish. Cover with foil, and bake 1 hour. Uncover, top with 1 T of tomato spread and bake 15 minutes more, or until tops of stuffed peppers are browned. Let stand 5 minutes. Transfer stuffed peppers to serving plates, and sauce each with seasoned pan juices before serving.

Note: any remaining stuffing can be frozen for later use.

 

Ingredients

4 large bell peppers (use multiple colors)

3/4 c of uncooked Quinoa

1 medium onion finely chopped (1 cup)

2 T olive oil

2 ribs of celery, finely chopped (1/2 c)

1 T ground cumin or 1/2 T cumin seeds

2 cloves of minced garlic (2 tsp)

1 cup of extra firm tofu (optional)

1 lb of fresh spinach, blanched and squeezed dry

1 – 10 oz can of RoTel brand Diced tomatoes & green chilies 

 

 

 

 

1 15 oz can of kidney beans.

 

 

 

 

4 T Tomato Spread or similar *

 

*This topping can be cheese which would be very tasty but would change the dish from vegan to vegetarian.  For my vegan friends, Tofutti brand foods have some acceptable dairy substitutes.  Try the health food section of Whole Foods or your local store.

 

 

These stuffed peppers can be made and frozen for several months.  Frozen peppers make a very fast meal, just put in a 350 deg oven for 30 mins or until completely heated through. – jughandle

 

Poop, Crap – have I gotten your attention, I hope so!

This article is from Menshealth.com

This is very important to read.  Our daily allotment of fiber is hard to get unless we concentrate on it.  – jug

30 Tricks to Make Fiber Taste Better

If a rabbit doesn’t eat enough high-fiber foods, its teeth may grow uncontrollably, piercing the roof of its mouth and knifing the base of its brain.

Your brain is safe, but we’re not so sure about the rest of your body. Forgo the fiber and you extend an open invitation to several different cancers. You also raise your risk of diabetes and heart disease by up to 20 and 40 percent, respectively.

And in the fate-worse-than-death category, you increase the odds that you’ll end up fat and impotent. So while you may not die like a bunny rabbit, you won’t be doing it like one, either.

Notice, we haven’t even mentioned the c-word (constipation).

But even if you have the will to eat more fiber, you almost certainly don’t have the way. Especially since the recommended daily dosage was recently raised from 25 to a throat-choking 38 grams.

The obvious solution—eating 19 slices of whole-wheat bread a day—isn’t practical. What you need instead is subterfuge. Dietary deception. In other words, this plan for smuggling more roughage into your life.

In the Afternoon

16. Pop a pack of light popcorn instead of popping open a bag of potato chips. There’s 8 g fiber in every bag of popcorn.

17. Drink bottled chocolate milk, not white. The combination of the chocolate and the compounds needed to keep it suspended in the milk provides 3 g fiber in every 16 ounces.

18. Say nuts to candy bars. Bars with almonds—like Almond Joy and Alpine white chocolate with almonds—have almost twice the fiber content of bars without.

19. Don’t tell yourself you could have had a low-sodium V8. Have one. Unsalted V8 has 2 g fiber. The V8 that comes spiked with salt has half that amount.

20. Graze on trail mix instead of a granola bar. Most granola bars have only 1 g fiber, while trail mix with dried fruit has nearly 3.

  Another article taken from Men’s Health Mag.

The Fat Farm says – This is just the tip of the iceburg!  Read your labels.  If an item has more than 5 ingredents, think twice about buying it let alone eating it!!!!

What is in Your Food?

Once upon a time, back when Ray Kroc was still pushing milk-shake machines, a hamburger and fries meant a wad of freshly ground chuck and a peeled, sliced, and fried potato. Now, these two iconic foods—like nearly everything we consume—has taken on a whole new meaning. Sadly, many of our favorite foods today (especially fast foods) weren’t merely crafted in kitchens, they were also designed and perfected in labs. We uncovered the ugly truth when doing research for our latest, most up-to-date book yet: Eat This, Not That! Restaurant Survival Guide. What we found was not pretty.
 
Before you mindlessly chew your way through another value meal, take these mini-mysteries (conveniently solved in this slideshow) into account. Sometimes the truth is tough to swallow.

What’s in a Wendy’s Frosty?

Wendy’s Frosty requires 14 ingredients to create what traditional shakes achieve with only milk and ice cream. So what accounts for the double-digit ingredient list? Mostly a barrage of thickening agents that includes guar gum, cellulose gum, and carrageenan. And while that’s enough to disqualify it as a milk shake in our book, it’s nothing compared to the chemist’s list of ingredients in the restaurant’s new line of bulked-up Frankenfrosties.
 
Check out the Coffee Toffee Twisted Frosty, for instance. It seems harmless enough; the only additions, after all, are “coffee syrup” and “coffee toffee pieces.” The problem is that those two additions collectively ­contain 25 extra ingredients, seven of which are sugars and three of which are oils. And get this: Rather than a classic syrup, the “coffee syrup” would more accurately be described as a blend of water, high-fructose corn syrup, and propylene glycol, a laxative chemical that’s used as an emulsifier in food and a filler in electronic cigarettes. Of all 10 ingredients it takes to make the syrup, coffee doesn’t show up until near the end, eight items down the list.

What’s in a Filet-O-Fish?

The world’s most famous fish sandwich begins as one of the ocean’s ugliest creatures. Filet-O-Fish, like many of the fish patties used by fast-food chains, is made predominantly from hoki, a gnarly, crazy-eyed fish found in the cold waters off the coast of New Zealand. In the past, McDonald’s has purchased up to 15 million pounds of hoki a year, each flaky fillet destined for a coat of batter, a bath of oil, a squirt of tartar, and a final resting place in a warm, squishy bun. But it seems the world’s appetite for this and other fried-fish sandwiches has proven too voracious, as New Zealand has been forced to cut the allowable catch over the years in order to keep the hoki population from collapsing. Don’t expect McDonald’s to scale down Filet-O-Fish output anytime soon, though; other whitefish like Alaskan pollock will likely fill in the gaps left by the hoki downturn. After all, once it’s battered and fried, do you really think you’ll know the difference?

What’s in my salami sandwich?

Salami, the mystery meat: Is it cow? Is it pig? Well, if you’re talking Genoa salami, like you’d get at Subway, then it’s both. Most salami is made from slaughterhouse leftovers that are gathered using “advanced meat recovery,” which sounds like a rehab center for vegans but is actually a mechanical process that strips the last remaining bits of muscle off the bone so nothing is wasted. It’s then processed using lactic acid, the waste product produced by bacteria in the meat. It both gives the salami its tangy flavor and cures it as well, making it an inhos­pitable place for other bacteria to grow. Add in a bunch of salt and spices—for a total of 15 ingredients in all—and you’ve got salami. But now that you know what’s in there, you might need to check yourself into an advanced meat recovery center.

What’s in a Chicken McNugget?

You’d think that a breaded lump of chicken would be pretty simple. Mostly, it would contain bread and chicken. But the McNugget and its peers at other fast-food restaurants are much more complicated creatures than that. The “meat” in the McNugget alone contains seven ingredients, some of which are made up of yet more ingredients. (Nope, it’s not just chicken. It’s also such nonchicken-related stuff as water, wheat starch, dextrose, safflower oil, and sodium phosphates.) The “meat” also contains something called “autolyzed yeast extract.” Then add another 20 ingredients that make up the breading, and you have the industrial chemical—I mean, fast-food meal—called the McNugget. Still, McDonald’s is practically all-natural compared to Wendy’s Chicken Nuggets, with 30 ingredients, and Burger King Chicken Fries, with a whopping 35 ingredients.

What’s in an energy bar?

One word describes what Americans want from their diet these days: Convenience. So stock the supermarket with compact “energy-on-the-go” food touted to fight fatigue, fuel muscle growth, or help you lose weight and it’s guaranteed to fly off the shelves. That’s why sales of energy bars have seen incredible growth over the last decade, with more than $700 million in sales, according to research in Dietitian’s Edge.
 
Cut through the hype and flashy packaging, and you’re often left with a hefty (and expensive) dose of sugar, oil, and a mass of added vitamins and minerals. With little research to back up the bars claims, many are nothing more than protein-containing candy in disguise. And here’s the worst part: They may not have as much protein as you think. You won’t find pig’s feet or cattle hide listed in the fine print, but that’s because they’re hidden behind names like gelatin, hydrolyzed collagen, or hydrolyzed gelatin. Both collagen and gelatin lack an essential amino acid required to make them a complete protein. That means the quality of the protein is inferior to products that lack gelatin or collagen.

What’s in fruit juice?

You may be a savvy enough grocery shopper to be able to spot the juice impostors (we’re looking at you, sugar-jacked cranberry cocktail). But when you smugly pull a Tropicana Pure 100% Juice Pomegranate Blueberry off the shelf, do you know what kind of juice you’re actually buying?
 
Drinks may be labeled 100 percent pure juice, but that doesn’t mean they’re made exclusively with the advertised juice. With respect to the Tropicana in question, pomegranate and blueberry get top billing, even though the ingredient list reveals that pear, apple, and grape juices are among the first four ingredients. These juices are used because they’re cheap to produce and because they’re super sweet—likely to keep you coming back for more. Labels loaded with of-the-moment superfoods like açai and pomegranate are especially susceptible to this type of trickery. Beware.
 
To avoid the huge sugar surge, pick single-fruit juices. POM, Lakewood Organic, and R.W. Knudsen all make some reliably pure products.

What’s in pre-made guacamole?

Not all pre-made guacamole dips are truly made with avocados. In fact, Dean’s “Guacamole” dip is comprised of less than 2 percent! The rest of the green goo is a cluster of fillers and chemicals, including modified food starch, soybean oils, locust bean gum, and food coloring. Dean’s isn’t alone in this guacamole caper; most guacs with the word “dip” attached to them suffer from a lack of avocado. This was brought to light when a California woman filed a lawsuit against Dean’s after she noticed “it just didn’t taste avocado-y.” Similarly, a British judge ruled that Pringles are not technically chips, being that they have only 42 percent potato in them.
 
If you want the heart-healthy fat, you’ll need avocado. Wholly Guacamole makes a great guac, or mash up a bowl yourself.

What’s in an energy drink?

Most energy drinks laud their herbal supplements, but the science behind the add-ins is somewhat fuzzy. Ginseng, for example, won’t give you an energy blast, although it might boost your brainpower. For instance, Australian researchers found that people who swallowed 200 mg of the extract an hour before taking a cognitive test scored significantly better than when they skipped the supplement. And guarana’s benefit may simply be due to its caffeine content-a guarana seed contains 4 to 5 percent caffeine (about twice as much as a coffee bean). And taurine? What is taurine, anyway?
 
Every can of Red Bull boasts the exotic-sounding ingredient. So do AMP Energy and Sobe Adrenaline Rush, among a slew of high-octane others. But can it really spike your performance, hone your concentration, and keep you up for hours? In a word: No. See, taurine is an amino acid that works as a neurotransmitter. And researchers at Weill Cornell Medical found that it might actually work more as a sedative than a stimulant. Meaning: It doesn’t give you wings—it clips them.

Thanks to Steve for his input on caffeine yesterday.  All comments, corrections and additions are always welcome. – jug

The following information is from an article in Men’s Health Mag:

8:00 a.m.: A Box of Cap’n Crunch

A big appetite in the morning is your body’s way of coming out of starvation mode after hours of not eating. Going without food triggers your brain to release a substance called neuropeptide Y that helps to increase your appetite, says Janine Whiteson, M.Sc., a New York City nutritionist and author of Get a Real Food Life. The longer you’ve gone without food, the greater your hunger when you wake up.

Give in or Fight It?
Give in—just don’t go overboard. “It’s fine to eat a doughnut or a bowl of sweetened cereal in the morning, as long as you also eat some high-protein food with it,” says Laura A. Lees, Psy.D., a Wisconsin-based eating-disorders specialist. Studies show that protein keeps your appetite in check longer than carbohydrates or fat can. So go ahead and eat a bowl of Cap’n Crunch, but combine it with a couple of slices of Canadian bacon or a small block of cheese.

(The Fat Farm says – that may be true but you’d be better off finding a cereal that is high in protein and low in sugar in the first place- jug)

Read more: http://www.menshealth.com/mhlists/weight_loss_food_cravings/8_00_a_m_A_Box_of_Cap_n_Crunch.php#ixzz0c1IHxWS9

8:45 a.m.: A Jelly Doughnut

Why?
You probably didn’t eat enough at breakfast. “It’s normal for cravings to pop up every 2 to 3 hours,” says Heidi Skolnik, M.S., a sports nutritionist for the New York Giants and a contributing editor to Men’s Health. That’s roughly how long it takes for your body to break down the sugars in the food you eat, release them into your bloodstream, and convert them into energy, she explains.

Give in or Fight It?
Fight it. Instead of sugar, you need something that’s high in fiber—it’ll fill you up now but won’t interfere with snack time later. “Mid-morning snacks are great, but this isn’t midmorning, and you don’t want to break out your big snack too early,” says Skolnik. Instead of the doughnut, reach for dried fruit, a handful of nuts, or an energy bar. “Eat enough to satisfy your craving, but not enough to keep you from being hungry an hour or two later,” she says.

(The Fat Farm says Drink a glass of water, it will help fill you up and give you some of the H2O you need – Jug)

Noon: Macaroni and Cheese

Why?
You’re stressed out about your boss, your dog dying, your boss’s dog dying, something—and that craving is your body’s attempt to make you feel better. “Carbs trigger the production of a feel-good hormone called serotonin, which helps to boost your mood and temporarily relieve your stress,” says John Foreyt, Ph.D., director of behavioral-medicine research at Baylor University.

Give in or Fight It?
Give in—occasionally. “Using food for temporary relief from a problem is fine, as long as you don’t do it all the time,” says Lees. A better alternative: Trick your mind into thinking about something else. “Use your lunch break to go running or lift weights,” says Skolnik. “Or try to outthink your craving. When the urge to eat strikes, rate your hunger on a scale of one to 10. “Unless you’re at a level of seven or eight, don’t allow yourself to eat.”

Still Hungry?
Go ahead and eat, but opt for a very small portion and eat it along with a high-protein food like steak, chicken, or tuna salad. “The last thing you want for lunch when you’re working is something like macaroni and cheese,” says Deborah Gleason, Ph.D., a psychotherapist in Rochester Hills, Michigan. A few carbs may boost your mood, but too many can overload your brain, leaving you sluggish and tired, she says.

(The Fat Farm recommends that you eat something crunchy like celery or radishes.  Those will satisfy your oral needs and sprinkle a little hot pepper salt or sauce on the greens to add capsaicin.  The chemical that makes the hot, hot, will increase your metabolism for up to 3 hours.- Jug)

Here are a few tips to help you decrease your caloric intake without “dieting” or feeling deprived.  These are from Sparkpeople.com

Don’t eyeball it
Studies show that people tend to underestimate how much they really eat every day. In doing so, we consume too many calories without realizing it. Research shows that keeping a log by recording exercise and food intake is one of the best predictors of successful weight loss.

  • A written record can point out your eating patterns (eating in front of the TV or in the car, eating the same breakfast every day), triggers (stress, sadness, boredom, time of day), and areas where nutritional changes can be made. You may find that you are eating less fruits than you thought or drinking too much soda, for example. Then you’ll know where you can implement healthy changes.
  • Reading food labels is key to healthy portion sizes. At a quick glance, a bottle of juice (or bag of chips, candy bar, or frozen entrée) may appear to contain 100 calories, but a closer look will reveal that the package includes two or more servings, which doubles the caloric content.
  • After familiarizing yourself with portion sizes, be sure to measure. Be exact if cooking at home, but when eating out, think about common objects. Two tablespoons of peanut butter, mayo, or dressing is about the size of a golf ball. A serving of meat is the size of a deck of cards or the palm of your hand. A medium piece of fruit is similar to a baseball.
  • Having trouble stopping at one serving of pretzels or chips? Buy single-serving packages of your favorite foods for built-in portion control, or measure out single servings into baggies or containers.

Hold the fat It’s important to remember that not all fats are bad. Certain oils (olive, canola), and nuts are nutritious and healthy to eat. However, fat does have more than twice the calories per gram than carbohydrates and protein (9, 4, and 4, respectively). And generally, people consume too much and the wrong kinds of fats, which means excessive calories.

  • When cooking, limit the amount of oil you use by using a non-stick pan. You can also use spray-able oils (avoid substitutes and go for the real olive and canola oil sprays) to coat your pans with virtually zero calories. A MISTO sprayer, available in department stores, can evenly distribute 1/2 teaspoon of oil or salad dressing, compared to the 2-3 teaspoons that you would usually pour on for the same purpose—a savings of 100 calories.
  • Skimp on butters, dressings, and creams, using just enough for taste. Try a baked potato flavored with salsa rather than butter, and forgo the “secret sauce” on your favorite burger. Search for lite or reduced-fat versions of certain condiments, like dressings and sauces. One serving of lite mayo has less than half the calories (85) of regular mayo (200), but is almost identical taste and texture.
  • Blotting the fat from greasy foods like cheese pizza or burgers is also worth the effort. One could easily soak up a teaspoon of grease, 5 grams of fat, and 40 calories from two slices of pizza alone.
  • Add flavor to foods without excess calories and fat by using herbs, fresh or dried. An added bonus: studies show that spicy foods, flavored with red peppers or chili peppers, may boost metabolism and help you to stop eating sooner.
  • When cutting out high-fat and high-calorie foods, replace them with fruits and vegetables. These essentials are low in calories, but high in volume, fiber and nutrients, which can give a feeling of fullness. They make great snacks and are easy to pack. Stick to whole foods as much as possible. A potato is a better option than an order of fries, just as an apple is healthier than a slice of apple pie.

Drink water, not alcohol
Not only does alcohol contain 7 calories per gram, but it also lowers self-control when it comes to food. Limit your alcohol intake and your body will thank you. Save alcohol for a post-meal indulgence, rather than drinking it before or with food. Studies show that alcohol lowers inhibitions and control when it comes to eating, causing people to eat more than those who waited to drink after finishing a meal.

Drink water throughout the day, before, and during meals to help curb your appetite. Oftentimes, people think they are hungry when they are actually thirsty or dehydrated. Dehydration can slow metabolism, but the process of drinking water and warming it to body temperature involves energy and burns calories. Plus, being well hydrated gives body at least 10 minutes more energy for exercise, according to a study in the International Journal of Sports Medicine.

To lose a healthy one pound of fat per week, all it takes is a 500-calorie deficit per day (which can be achieved by reducing calories, exercising more, or a combination of both). For a healthy lifestyle, not a diet, that is easy to stick with, try incorporating some or all of these easy strategies to reduce calories without giving up the pleasures of eating.