Thursday, February 28, 2013

Meal: Chicken Stir-fry

Some ingredients are cheaper than others, but one thing I have been focusing on, is not on premium cuts, or expensive rare vegetables, but rather on making a meal; good, delicious, cheap, and fast.

A chicken stir-fry (or beef for that matter), is like a white canvas ready for some art. You can choose your vegetables, your aromatics, and your proteins, and typically ending with something that is just delicious.

Featured in this stir-fry: Garlic, Bacon, Scallions, Zucchini, Orange Sweet Peppers, Mushrooms, and a Chicken Breast

1. I like bacon. So, I start by cutting up bacon, and frying that (a wok works best for stir-frys, but use what you have!), and then removing the bacon, but using that fat to cut up chicken pieces.
2. Make sure you cook chicken until they are close to done (vegetables will cook much faster), and add your aromatics: garlic, scallions, onions.
3. Add your vegetables, I recommend at least 3 varieties, but more or less is often considered. Add your bacon back in after a minute, then add salt (or soy sauce), pepper, and any heat you might want (sriracha, cayanne pepper, jalepenos, etc).
4. Cook until vegetables start getting tender, and then serve hot. The entire dish costs under a few bucks for 3-4 helpings, and tastes great.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Recipe: Bacon Fried "Rice"

I like this recipe, because I consider it a kitchen sink option. What I mean by that is, any leftover vegetables, or ingredients you might have, you can toss into this, and it will still taste great. Additionally, while these pictures show rice, grated cauliflower (fake rice) works exactly the same, and so the recipe is great for Primal (rice, is okay after a big workout), and keto/paleo just by substituting cauliflower.

Bacon Fried "Rice"

4 ounces of mushrooms
2 eggs
4-6 slices of bacon (cut into pieces)
2 cups of  "rice"
2 Tbsp of soy sauce
Scallions to taste

Any other ingredient can be added in. Broccoli, zucchini, etc, just avoid very "wet" vegetables, like tomatoes.

1. Cook bacon, about 90% done in a pan. After done, separate bacon fat, and bacon, and leave half the fat in the pan to cook the eggs. Save the other half for the "rice" later.
2. Cook the eggs, but barely. You want them to still be wet and mushy, but not completely liquid. Separate eggs, and then add the bacon fat back to the pan.

3. Cook the "rice" in the bacon fat, for 5-7 minutes. Stir often.

4. Add back other ingredients to the "rice" and continue to cook for 7-8 minutes.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Recipe: Slow Baked Beef Ribs

Most rib recipes use a dry rub and/or  a barbeque sauce. Rather than create a barbeque sauce right now, i decided to use a more basting technique to infuse some more fatty flavors.


Slow Baked Beef Ribs

4-6 Beef Ribs
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
3 Tbsp Bacon fat (or butter)
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp minced garlic

1. Combine dry ingredients together. Line baking pan with aluminum to wrap ribs after they have been spiced. Liberally use dry spice rub on the ribs, then fold aluminum foil around ribs to ensure they are completely covered.

2. Set oven to 250 degrees, place in wrapped ribs and forget about them for 2 hours.

3. After two hours combine fat or butter, soy sauce and garlic. Spoon mixture over ribs.
4. Place ribs back in oven covered for another hour. After that, remove aluminum foil cover, re-spoon mixture over ribs, turn oven up to 350, and place back in oven for 15 minutes.
5. Ready to serve.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Recipe: Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake

Recipes seem to be getting popular, so updating how many are posted to three days a week. Hopefully everyone can find something they like. Today, is something a little different.


Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake

3 ounces chocolate (I used 82% Dark)
1 medium Haas Avocado
2 cups half/half, or light cream (You can use heavy cream for a heavier mousse, but it is a lot more calories)
16 ounces cream cheese
4 eggs (exclude egg whites if you want the mousse to be more dense)
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp vanilla extract
Sweetener if desired of your choice (Without a sweetener it isn't bad, but traditional mousse usually has sugar, so I would recommend some, to taste of course)

Optional Topping:
Fruit of choice (I chose an orange)
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Allow cream cheese to soften by leaving it out while preparing other ingredients.
2. Prepare avocado by removing seed and scooping out inside, whisk until all lumps are gone.
3. Melt chocolate, with your preferred method. (Microwave on low power, double boiler, or slow cooker).
4. Whip cream, adding vanilla, and sweetener, until it starts to thicken, (it will take longer with light cream).

5. Add avocado, cream cheese, eggs, chocolate, and salt to cream. Continue whipping for approximately five minutes.
6. Pour in spring form pan, and place in water bath, in oven for 90 minutes. After 90 minutes, open oven, turn off heat and let sit for 30 minutes. Then place in refrigerator, for final cooling, at least 30 minutes.
7. Optional: Segment an orange, making sure to squeeze the orange into a bowl with the segments. Add nutmeg and ginger, stirring. Pour liquid over mousse, and decorate as desired.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Recipe Thursday: Chocolate Covered Bacon-Roses

Less of a recipe, and more of an attempt to do something different that others have started online. I wanted to take it a step further though, and you can't go too wrong with dark chocolate for valentine's day.  A few hours early, but I wanted people to have the chance to replicate this if they felt like it.

Thursday Recipe:

Chocolate Covered Bacon Roses

The ingredient list is very short, and it actually only consists of two food items. Chocolate and Bacon, and both of those are the choice of the maker. I chose a 82% dark chocolate and regular bacon, though you can use thick bacon, darker, or more sweet chocolate. The process would still be the same.

1. Get the tools needed. There is several ways to do this, but the bacon needs a way to drain while cooking. You can get a pan like I did, or drill holes in a cheap pan, or possibly make some aluminum foil molds with holes to drain. I also used wooden skewers to make sure the bacon was clear in the center, to better facilitate staying on the stems.

2. Wrap the bacon around the skewers. To get the right look it might take some practice, but make sure you wrap more near the top, and have it taper down. To keep it together, I tied one end with butchers twine, to allow it to seem more flared when cooked. Important to make sure you don't wrap it too tightly, or too lose.

 3. Let the Bacon cook. It took mine about 45-50 minutes at 350 degrees, before I was comfortable with how it looked. I removed from the oven, let cool for a few minutes then transferred to the refrigerator wrapped in paper towels to absorb extra grease.

4. After cooled, i made sure that the wooden skewer ends were the right lengths, and the bacon was well cooked.

5. Use your preferred method for melting chocolate, (double boiler, slow cooker, low power microwave) until the chocolate is creamy. Once it is, dip and swirl the bacon in the chocolate until it is well covered.  Place on a piece of parchment, or wax paper so it doesn't stick. Let cool for 10-15 minutes, before moving to a different spot on the paper (to avoid pooling) and then place in the refrigerator for chocolate to harden.

6. Disassemble flowers, keeping the important stems. (I got the flowers from Walmart for $3.00) Clean and wash before attaching cooled and chocolate covered flowers to your nice stems.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tuesday Recipe: Orange Pecan Chicken

I love the flavor of pecans and walnuts, especially when roasted, or cooked with other foods. Another very simple recipe, without having to utilize a lot.

Chicken breasts, or thighs. Preference to taste/how many people you are feeding. This picture 2 large, and one small breast pieces.

Tuesday Recipe: Orange Pecan Chicken

1/2 cup pecans
2 oranges
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp honey
2 tsp salt
2-3 tabs of butter

1. You can cut up the chicken into medallions, or leave whole, if you cut it up though, it will require half the time to cook. Turn oven to 350 degrees.
2. In stove top pan combine zest from oranges and then squeeze juice. Add rest of the ingredients and allow to warm over low heat and flavors to mix.
3. If chicken is in medallions, add to mixture, and then transfer to an oven safe dish. If not pour pecan/orange sauce mixture over chicken in an oven safe container. Place in oven and let cook for 10 minute windows. After 10 minutes, spoon liquid mixture and pecans onto chicken (or mix medallions up with sauce). Continue to do this for 30 minutes for medallions and small/medium breasts, or 40 minutes for larger breasts.
4. Options exist. You can add scallions, garlic for a more traditional "orange chicken" flavor, or pepper, sriracha for a spicier pepper flavor, or a little maple syrup/honey for a sweeter nutty flavor.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Recipe Thursday: Crepe style Omelettes

I know, there are many ways to prepare eggs. People disagree on the best way, and probably always will. Today rather than a recipe, I have decided to share (what I started a few weeks ago), is a almost crepe style omelet.

There aren't many ingredients, in fact the list is almost wholly up to you. I recommend that you always cook something in the pan beforehand... something like bacon. :)

Thursday Recipe:

Crepe style Omelet

2 eggs per omelete
2-3 ounces of cheese per omelete
dash of kosher salt
dash of pepper
Any ingredients you feel you want to put in the omelet (Spinach, peppers, mushrooms, etc)

1. Make sure you have adequate pan lubrication. Coconut oil, or animal fats work best and impart the most flavor.
2. Whisk eggs, cut cheese (haha). Make sure pan is not smoking the oil, you never want to cook eggs on full temperature, instead cook at about 1/2 or less what your stove top can do. Use a large size pan so the eggs have space to spread out, and become thin.
3. Pour eggs into pan, and rotate at an angle until eggs fill all portions of the pan evenly.
4. When eggs are mostly cooked (Very fast, less than 2 minutes typically), then add your extras, including salt, pepper, and cheese to one half.
5. Lightly using a silicon spatula to lightly fold over the egg half that has no extra ingredients. Let cheese melt for 30 seconds.

6. Flip omelet, and remove from heat. Allow cheese to continue to melt for 30 seconds, and then serve.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Recipe Tuesday: Crustless Pumpkin Cheesecake

I have, an obsession with pumpkin. Everyone around me knows it, and when I suggest I came up with a new recipe, they ask if it has pumpkin in it. This weekend I tried a different type, but because I forgot eggs (no one is perfect), it came out, like something I didn't want. So, I instead will share my Pumpkin cheesecake recipe.

Tuesday Recipe:

Crustless Pumpkin Cheesecake

1 can (8 oz) of pumpkin puree (not pie filling, which is sweetened)
2 packages of cream cheese (8 oz each)
4-6 oz of Heavy cream (a little over 1/2 cup)
2 Tablespoons Pumpkin spice (amounts vary on your taste), or ground cloves, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice (easier to just get pumpkin spice)
8 oz of sour cream ( about 1 cup)
4 eggs
1 Tablespoon of vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon Liquid Stevia or Sweetner of choice (Not much though, it doesn't need a lot)

Optional Topping:
Low Carb Dulce De Leche Glaze

2 cups Almond milk (unsweetened Vanilla)
1 cup Heavy cream
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon Liquid Stevia

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Let cream cheese warm so it softens. When softened, mix pumpkin puree, cream cheese, and sour cream on a low setting (try to not whip the ingredients).
3. Separately combine eggs, heavy cream, sweetener, vanilla, and pumpkin spice.
4. Slowly add together, making sure to scrape sides so mixture is fully mixed. Again mix on low settings to avoid whipping the mixture.
5. Use butter/oil of choice and prepare a 9x3 spring form pan. When prepared pour mixture into the spring form pan, and nestle in a water bath (like a custard) before placing in the oven.
6. After 10  minutes lower temperature on oven to 250 degrees, and let bake for 45 minutes.
7. Remove from oven, place on counter for 30 minutes before placing in the refrigerator to cool for at least 2 hours.

Easy Optional Topping:

Do not start this part until the cheesecake has been cooling for at least an hour.

1. Combine all ingredients in a pan and heat on low heat until reduced to desired thickness. (This amount on low heat could/should take over an hour to reduce).
2. Pour on cheesecake after it has properly cooled, but while topping is still warm and malleable.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Myself, Experience, Credentials

My name is Kenny. A little over two years ago I decided to make a change in my life, because I was depressed and unhappy. I did not know at that time that the changes in my life would lead to where I am now, and my desire to continue the path and goal to grow stronger, bother mentally and physically. I had two major problems. One, I hated myself because of where I was economically, and mentally. The second is I hated myself because I was over 400 pounds (6'6", 427 pounds). I remember when realizing how big I had gotten when I was at the doctor's office and they had to weigh me. I had avoided scales, most mirrors, and wore clothes that were excessively large and baggy, to easier hide the fact that I was big, bigger than I had ever wanted to be. In fact I had made myself a promise that if I was ever as big as I got that, I didn't want to live. I wasn't suicidal, but it made me more depressed.

I waged mental war with myself (I actually made a written promise to myself on January 1st to change things, to make myself better), for several months I struggled to make myself feel better, but I couldn't. I didn't know why then, but I do now. In April, I decided to lose weight. I quit drinking soda, and for my first step, it was the biggest for me to overcome. I was drinking soda, by the liter daily, excessively, and slowly killing myself. Then I started browsing the internet, finding information, on dieting. I was a beginner, but my mom had struggled with every diet, that can be imagined under the sun. Cabbage diet, lemonade diet, low fat diet, calorie counting, if it existed she tried it. So everything I read I was dubious about, and very skeptical. I latched onto the idea that I needed to stop eating sugar, and that was what caused my weight gain. I found the Keto diet, and it fit, and almost instantly I felt that this was the thing that would work for me. It wasn't late until I found out about the Paleo diet. I did come to learn a lot in the last two years, but it has become important to me... Keto to lose, Paleo to maintain.

I ate, no bread, almost no fruit (avocados, and a very rare berry occasionally), cut starches, rice, cereals and sugars. I started losing weight, faster in the beginning, and it slowed down eventually reaching plateaus. I cut calories as well, and lost more weight, but every time I cut my calorie intake, in the long run it made me more tired, and less wanting to do any kind of physical activity, and so my metabolism got lowered. Before this started happening, when I was at about 325 pounds, (or 100 lost), I went in for a activity test by the Melbourne Police Academy. I was last in every test. I did just over 20 situps, 2 pushups, ran 1.5 miles in over 24 minutes (which ended up me walking 80% of the time, and even that was a miracle at the time). Despite that I had lost a lot of weight, and still continued, I lost muscle too, but it was part of my bargain with myself, and I made myself promise that I would work back muscle after I lost most of the extra fat weight.

About 5 months ago, September of 2012, I started working out, instead of just dieting (after I tried a extremely low calorie diet (1000 calories a day), and I started feeling dizzy and light headed, and was not losing weight anymore. I started training pushups, situps, walking, and running in very short intervals. It was very hard, but I kept at it. As time went on I worked out more and more. Before I left Virginia for New york, I was walking 4+ miles a day, doing 8-12 pushups and 25-30 situps a session. It may seem like not a lot at the time, but it was a big improvement and it was only getting better. In New York, i continued. I run almost every day now, I can do 25-30 pushups, 50-60 situps, run 1-2 miles on the street and 4-5 on the treadmill. I have lost 190 pounds, and continuing. I am building muscle, and I want to keep feeling stronger.