Posted in Favorite Recipes

Carolina Red Rice

I just realized I have not been posting recipes!!!

I’m still eating, right? So, I had never heard of Carolina red rice until I moved to South Carolina and began taking culinary classes. We made this one in class. I don’t know what I expected to taste, but I did not think I would like it. To my surprise this is a very tasty dish. It is considered a comfort food here in South Carolina. If you like southern cooking you should give this one a try.

Makes one hotel pan (25 Portions)

3 T. Oil (I used canola)
1 C. Medium Diced Bacon
3 C. White Converted Rice
2 C. Diced Onion
3 T. Chopped Garlic
1 C. Chopped Green Peppers
3 C Tomato Paste
1.5 Qts Chicken stock
1 T Salt
1 t Fresh Ground Black Pepper
2 C Small Diced Smoked Ham
2 C Sliced Smoked Sausage

Rondeau

In a rondo sauté (a round saucepan) the bacon in the oil until the fat is rendered.

Sauté the rice for about 5 minutes, add the onions, green peppers and garlic.

Sauté for 5 more minutes on low heat.

Add the tomato paste and half the water and mix together well.

Add the last of the water, the salt and the black pepper.

Hotel Pan

Transfer to a hotel pan and bake at 325° F for about 30 minutes, checking every 10 minutes and stirring gently whenever necessary. Gently stir in the smoked ham and sausage during the last 10 minutes of baking time.

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Posted in Diet

All-Star @ Waffle House

Yea, still not worried about any diet. I’m at Waffle House having breakfast. Waffle House is one of my favorite places to eat. I can see them prepare my meal, which makes me more willing to eat the food.

At this point, I have mostly given up on the diet thing, but still watching out for my health. I know I can’t eat like this every day. And for the most part, I eat at home and things are pretty plain jane.

The All-American is a big breakfast. It comes with your choice of bacon, sausage, or ham, eggs to order, grits or hash browns, toast and a big ole waffle!

The coffee is always good, and the price is right. I’m only here because I missed breakfast this morning. I could have gone home but I didn’t want to. I’m enjoying myself.😊

Posted in Diet

My Spring Break

I have made no progress in this venture. I think the problem is that I don’t seem to care anymore. And I don’t care about not caring either.

I have been really busy with this new job (school bus driver). I’m pretty sure that I like the job enough to keep it for a while. It wears me out though because I have to be up before the kids who ride the bus. So I’m up around 4 a.m.

I don’t know what bearing this has on me eating right. It would be just another excuse I suppose.

This morning I am emerging from a week with the worst cold I have ever experienced. And as luck would have it, it was Spring Break for the schools I serve. I wanted to enjoy the break just like the kids. Instead, I lay on the couch or in bed struggling to stay alive. At least, that’s what it felt like.

It began with a cough on Friday evening. Saturday, I was down for the count. I was in pain all over, sneezing, chilled to the bone and wishing I could be someone else until this thing was over.

And for the cherry on top of it all, yesterday I discovered I somehow got Thrush, a fungal infection which babies usually get. At least that’s what I hope it is. I’m not accepting anything else! It is very painful. It’s no wonder that babies scream when they have it.

So, tomorrow is the end of my break. I didn’t have any fun.  I’m back to work Monday morning. I’m not even gonna pretend that I intend to try to get back on track with diet or exercise because I just don’t care at the moment. Just glad I didn’t die this week.

Posted in Diet, family stuff

I Love To Eat!

That is part of the problem. I love to eat. When I get bored, eat. When I watch TV, eat. Go to the mall, eat. And then there is the whole breakfast, lunch, and dinner thing!

I think growing up in a family that loved to get together on Sundays to visit and eat dinner together was one of the greatest experiences on earth. And sometimes I think on a subconscious level that I am trying to recapture that feeling. I think we all do, especially if you had that kind of family.

Eating was always part of a good time. But families aren’t as tight as they used to be. In many ways they still are, but, somehow different. I am part of a family here where I live. I have my kids, friends, people at church, and it is great. They are all my family. But still, it is somehow different.

I can’t put my finger on what it is. Well, maybe I can. One thing that has changed in my life was the departure of my mother in 2013. Many of those nostalgic memories are times spent with her. I’m sure any of my siblings would say the same.

I think eating can be a way to try and recapture the past. And I guess I let it get out of control a lot. I have plenty of opportunities to eat and fellowship with my friends and family, and we have a great time together. But I can’t ever shake that feeling that I’m missing out, and I tend to use food to overcome.

That makes eating right a little harder. But for the past couple of weeks, I have remained faithful to my desired eating habit. Still, it is hard. Boredom still comes and I’m tempted to eat. I try to channel that into time with my saxophone practice and other things, like cleaning my house (I am seriously lacking in that area) and walking.

I love to eat! It just can’t be my number one thing. I’m sure the struggle will continue but I will not give up. The struggle is probably what keeps us alive. So, I’m living the life.

 

Posted in Diet

Into The New Year

IMG_0298I am beginning the year with a very bad cold. It started with a very sore throat 3 days ago. Then last night, it just exploded into snot, phlegm, and stuffiness. I feel awful. Forgive the picture. I had trouble stopping the flow of yuck.

Last year, as far as eating healthy and sticking to an eating plan, I failed. That is not my plan this year. The plan is a simple one. It is the same as before; low carbs, high fat, and moderate protein.

It is the Ketogenic diet. It works well. It is easy. High carb foods are hard to resist though, almost like an addiction. Two years ago I managed to go a long time without cheating. I lost nearly 40 pounds. But I get bored sometimes. And when I get bored I start looking for a treat, a sweet treat. Not good if you are a baker.

I guess it will require a little discipline. Sometimes its like I don’t know the concept. Anyway, it has been a rough start. I’ll be glad when I get over this cold.

A new year and new challenges and hopes of new successes abound in 2018. I will keep you posted.

Posted in Favorite Recipes

Risotta a la Milanese

I learned this particular recipe at school. We served it with Osso Bucco, an Italian braised beef shank dish. It was quite delicious. It was a special interest culinary class focused on Italian cuisine.

Ingredients:

1 Small Onion, finely chopped
4 Tbsp of Unsalted Butter
1 Tbsp of Olive oil
1 cup of Arborio Rise or Risotto Rice
½ cup of White Wine
4 Cups of Chicken Stock might need a bit more
½ cup of Freshly Grated Parmiggiano Reggiano
½ tsp of Saffron Threads
Salt and Pepper To Taste

Directions:

1) In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the chicken stock and saffron and bring to a simmer, turn the heat down to low and let it sit there as you make the risotto.

2) In a large deep saucepan, large enough to hold the risotto and all the broth, add the oil and onions, season with salt and pepper and cook them over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until the onions start to soften.

3) Add the white wine and cook it for 1 minute. Once the wine has reduced, add a ladle full of the chicken stock, making sure that most of that liquid has cooked out before adding another ladle full. Continue adding chicken stock one ladle full at a time until the rice is mostly cooked though. This can take up to 20 minutes.

4) Once the rice is just about cooked all the way, add one more ladle full of chicken stock along with the butter and Parmigiano. Stir everything together and adjust the seasoning to taste. Serve it right away!

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Posted in Diet

Strategy

Version 2When my son comes home from school for a visit, staying on my diet becomes a challenge. He is not on any special diet. He is in his 20’s so, he eats whatever he wants. All it takes for him (as a young man) is a trip to the gym or a few miles on the road, jogging.

Those measures are not an option for me anymore. He buys stuff for himself to eat while he is here, stuff I refuse to buy. I always nag him to take “his food” with him when he leaves because I don’t want it in the house.

He complains that I don’t have any willpower. He does not get any argument from me. I already know I have no willpower. However, I do have enough will power not to bring things home from the market that are not good for me or my diet. That’s my strategy.

If it’s not in the house or the refrigerator I am in no danger of eating the wrong things. That doesn’t matter though when my addiction overcomes my desire to eat right. Then it’s just a matter of getting in the car and taking a trip to the store. And yes, that does happen.

I have no will power. My son is right. I have achieved some measure of success by only bringing into the house what I actually plan to eat for meals. I can’t even keep products like flour in the house. I know how to make bread or cakes or other things I’m not supposed to eating. It’s all about strategy.

Posted in Health, surgery

Report on my Dad

daddyI am back home in South Carolina now. For the past two weeks, I had been in Texas visiting my Father, who has been ill. I went there because when I heard about his condition it scared me. I lost my mom in 2013 and I never had the chance to tell her how much she meant to me. I wasn’t about to miss that chance with my dad.

I was there to assess what his health actually was. It was not as dire as it could have been, or as bad as my imagined scenario. And now that he is getting the proper help he will be even better. I left him in good hands with my brother and two sisters and his nieces and nephews; all of whom care about and love him very much.

achalasiaHis issue was related to not being able to eat. His diagnosis is a condition called, Achalasia.

Achalasia is a rare disorder of the esophagus, the tube that carries food from the throat to the stomach. It is characterized by enlargement of the esophagus, impaired ability to push food down toward the stomach (peristalsis), and failure of the ring-shaped muscle at the bottom of the esophagus, the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), to relax. It is the contraction and relaxation of the sphincter that moves food through the tube (http://www.webmd.com/heartburn-gerd/achalasia).

For the past two weeks my dad has been on a clear liquids diet; chicken and beef broth, protein shakes, juice, and water. He is very tired of it. He has lost a lot of weight. He is being scheduled for surgery to improve the condition. The goal is to dilate the ring-shaped muscle at the bottom of the esophagus, or lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which will hopefully enable him to eat more solid food again.

Coughing Man - ArrowsNow I was adopted, and I don’t think this condition is one that is hereditary. I think anyone can get it. I have already had problems with a hiatal hernia and GERD. I have taken medications for years to reduce acid reflux. I now control it by not over eating, and not eating certain types of foods. You’re probably thinking I avoid spicy foods, but you’d be wrong. It is high carb foods that are the real problem. My digestive system does not appreciate high carb foods. I get gassy, painful digestive movements, and the worst smelling waste possible in a human. Whereas, when I eat high-fat carb and high fat diet digestion is very easy, less gassy, and therefore painless, and waste is not so smelly.

When I first encountered the problem of gerd/hiatal hernia I was in my 30’s. I ate a lot (I mean a lot) of high carb foods. I was literally stuffing myself beyond my stomach’s capacity. I also ate very fast. Maybe its a military thing. My father was in the military and also eats a lot (more than he should), and he eats very fast. I think the way we eat has a lot to do with digestive conditions we may develop later in life.

I am glad my father is getting the help he needs. I hope he will slow down and eat better foods. I have, and I feel 100% better when I really stick to low carb and high fat, or Keto. This is not where I was intending to go with this post. I guess it was on my mind more so since my dad’s recent stomach issues. Well I guess I will end this here.

Take care yourself and your digestive system. It is very important in the long run.

Posted in Diet

Keto Adaptation

Keto Adapting

I have spent the last several weeks, maybe over a month, eating all the wrong stuff. One day all I ate was cereal; high in sugar and carbs. It started with that stupid storm (Matthew); survival foods for when the power went out. It is very hard to get back on track when you get off, even for a short time.

macro_ketoWhen you get on the keto-diet there is a period of adjustment, usually referred to as keto-adapting. It involves keeping your carb intake very low, and your fat intake very high. It is not a high protein diet. High protein can be converted to sugar just like carbs. The macro breakdown is usually 5% carbs, 20% protein, and 75% fat. The fat is what makes this thing work.

It is during the adaptation period that the body gets used to the idea of burning fat for energy. During this period the body is burning off the last bits of sugar or glucose from the blood. When that happens the body has to find another source of energy; fat which is converted to ketones, which is then used as fuel. This will not happen though until all the sugar is gone from the blood.

I have a really hard time during this period. Mainly I’m dealing with false hunger pains. For instance, today after each meal, I would feel hunger with a full stomach. I don’t know why this happens. But once I adapt the very opposite happens. The low amount of carbs at each meal keeps the blood sugar from spiking and therefore, I can go long periods without hunger. That means fewer calories eaten, fat being used for energy, and weight is lost.

So, today is actually my first serious day trying to adapt to keto again. So, I am in for some days of discomfort. I have regained 10 of the 34 lbs. I’d lost. I’m a little disappointed in myself. I will not quit though. I am still very serious about reaching my goal weight of 165-170 lbs. I started at 267 lbs., and currently weigh 243 lbs. So, I have no new pics to post – yet.

Posted in Favorite Recipes

Keto Pork Rind Tortillas

Keto Pork Rind Tortillas?

Now we’re getting somewhere! I love junk food, and tacos were some of my favorites. I have not actually made these as of this writing. By the time you all read it, I may have and will indicate how they were in the comments section. This probably still meets the qualification as “junk food.” I found this one @ https://theprimitivepalate.com/

Ingredients

4 oz. Hot & Spicy Pork Rinds (regular work just fine, too)
1 (eight oz.) package cream cheese, softened
8 eggs
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon ground cumin

Directions

1. Place pork rinds into a food processor and blitz for about 10 seconds, until they are dust.
2. Add all other ingredients to food processor and blitz for about 45 more seconds. Until you have a nice smooth batter.
3. Preheat an electric griddle to high. (Using a non-stick pan on the stove top would work also, I would just set the heat to medium-high)
4. Spray cooking surface with a little spray oil (I use either coconut oil or olive oil spray) and pour 1/3 cup of batter onto griddle.
5. Gently spread the batter as thin as you can with a rubber spatula and cook for about 2 minutes or until golden brown.
6. Flip tortilla and continue to cook for about 45 more seconds.
7. Repeat with the rest of the batter.

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