Category Archives: Food

Krispy Kreme Goes Healthy?

I love Krispy Kreme doughnuts. I allow myself to indulge in a Krispy Kreme doughnut about once a month and about once a year I’ll go crazy and eat a half a dozen in one setting. I was lucky to be raised in a town that had a Krispy Kreme factory back in my youth. I learned the goodness of those doughnuts eaten hot at an early age.

With that being said, I don’t know how to take the news of Krispy Kreme planning a low-sugar doughnut. I mean, what’s the point in this? Supposedly this is to attract dieters and diabetics but even at half the sugar content you still have a high-fat, high-glycemic index food.

Larry’s Gumbo

The weather is beginning to turn cooler and my appetite is running toward heartier foods. A couple of nights ago while driving home from work I decided I wanted some gumbo. I didn’t have a recipe so while I was sitting in traffic I made one up. It turned out pretty good and it was simple to make. Here’s the recipe:

  • 1lb. Ground Beef
  • 1 medium white onion chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1Tbs olive oil
  • 1 can Okra undrained
  • 1 can diced tomatoes undrained
  • 1 can Navy beans undrained
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 1tsp oregeno
  • 1 (or more)tsp of cayenne pepper
  • 1tsp salt

Brown the ground beef and drain.

In a 2qt. sauce pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil until it shimmers then add the onion, celery and garlic and saute until tender. Add in the drained ground beef, okra, tomatoes and navy beans and stir.

Heat until bubbling, add the cumin, oregeno, cayenne pepper and salt and stir.
Reduce heat and cover. Let it simmer for about fifteen minutes stirring occassionally.

This ought to serve six people but if you are as hungry as I was when I finished it will only serve four. It was just as good the next day as my lunch.

A Tip for Those on Atkins – No.1

When I first started the Atkins diet I would walk into a fast food restaurant, order a sandwich and throw away the bread. This seemed like an awful waste to me. I started ordering my sandwiches and asking them to hold the bread. I got no odd looks, just a plastic bowl from Wendy’s and Burger King with the makings of the sandwich without the bread. Not only was I not wasting bread but the sandwich was served to me in a container that made it less messy to eat.

I’m mentioning this because I was eating with some friends at a Wendy’s the other day and one of them who was also doing the Atkins diet remarked how she would have never thought about ordering the sandwich that way. Hey, the Burger King motto for years was, “Have it your way.”

For those of you interested, I’ve lost the twenty pounds I wanted to lose in eight weeks. I had to increase my carb intake just to avoid losing the weight too fast. I’ve also switched over to the South Beach diet and I’ve added a three mile walk to my daily regimen.

The South Beach diet allows carbs as long as these foods have a low glycemic index. Potatoes, white flour, white rice and sugar are still taboo but a lot of fruits and whole grain pastas are allowed. Overall I think it is a more nutritionally sound diet.

Atkins vs. South Beach

I’ve been on the Atkins Diet for a little over four weeks and I’ve lost 11 pounds. I knew the diet worked before trying it because I watched several co-workers where I use to work just melt away their weight on this diet. For the most part they kept it off for over a year. A little weight came back over that time but what’s a five pound weight gain over a year when you dropped forty pounds the previous six months?

However, I’m considering changing over to a similar diet, the South Beach Diet. My reasons aren’t due any lack of confidence in Atkins, I know it works. The reasons for this is that I do not believe I can sustain Atkins for the long haul. I’m also concerned about the ambivilence that Atkins seems to have toward saturated fats.

Both diets are based on keeping blood sugar levels stable, keeping the body’s need for insulin at a flat rate. Both diets eschew sugars and highly refined flours and meals. The difference is that while Atkins wants you to limit your intake of all carbohydrates, South Beach just wants you to limit your intake of certain carbohydrates. While Atkins doesn’t care about the amount or types of fat you consume, South Beach wants you to avoid saturated fats and transfats.

I switch over this weekend to South Beach. I’ll keep you posted on the results. I want to lose another ten pounds. Let’s see if I’m there in another month.

Orange Cooler

Just in case you’re interested there is a drink I’ve been making for my wife that she is fond of. This is a smoothy sort of drink made with orange Jell-O. You might like it as well.

  • 1 0.3 Oz. Pkg Suger-free Orange Jell-O
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp Orange Extract
  • 1 tsp grated lemon rind
  • 2 pkgs Sweet-n-Low
  • 4 fresh strawberries — capped
  • A handful of ice cubes

Mix up the Jell-O according to package directions and set aside to cool.

Beat the egg whites with a mixer until stiff.

Mix the Jell-O with the egg whites. Add the orange extract, the lemon rind and the Sweet-n-Low to the mixture and put it all in a blender. Add the strawberries and ice cubes and blend on medium until smooth.

This will make about four six-ounce servings.

While I like them Gerri is crazy about them so I’ll generally just put the blender pitcher in the refrigerator and just pull it out and reblend it any time she wants another one. The Jell-O does set up when left in the refrigerator but it blends back out very nicely just by running the blender again. Try it, I think you’ll like it.

Caribbean Chicken Breast

I’ve had a busy week and I’m anxious to spend a little time in the kitchen tonight. What’s on the menu? Caribbean Chicken Breast served with brown rice, a spinach salad and Gallo’s Twin Valley White Merlot 2001. Want the recipe for the chicken? Here ya go.

  • 6 oz. skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • 1 oz. ham, thinly sliced
  • ¼ of a banana
  • Lemon pepper to taste
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • Small bundle of watercress

Flatten the chicken breast with a mallet. Roll the ham around the banana. Wrap the chicken breast around the ham and banana. Beat the egg and season with the lemon pepper. Flour the chicken breast and roll it in the egg mixture. Bake in a 325°F oven for about 20 minutes. Garnish with the watercress and serve it with the brown rice.

This makes one serving. Need more? Just add another chicken breast, another ¼ banana and more ham for each additional person.

This could also be served with a sweet and sour sauce but you might want to drink something else with it. I don’t think the sweet and sour sauce would go well with a white merlot. Maybe saké?

Rosemary Salmon with Almonds

Here’s a dish that I fixed the other night that Gerri and I really enjoyed. Even though salmon is an oily fish and its nutrition label shows that over half its calories are derived from fat it’s suppose to be good at lowering cholesterol, which is great for Gerri, but I just like it.

Rosemary Salmon with Almonds
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
Quick and easy baked salmon recipe.
Ingredients
  • 1 - 1½ lbs Fresh Salmon fillet
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Rosemary, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Kosher Salt
  • ¼ Cup Slivered Almonds
  • Non-Stick Cooking Spray
Instructions
  1. Preheat the overn to 450°F. Spray a cookie sheet with the non-stick cooking spray and place the salmon fillet skin side down on the tray. Combine remaining ingredients, except for the almonds, in a bowl and then spread evenly over the fillet. Sprinkle almonds evenly over the fillet.
  2. Bake the salmon about 15 minutes or until the color turns from translucent to opaque and fish just begins to flake with a fork. Do not over cook.
  3. Cut the fillet into portions down to the skin. Lift the fish from the skin with a spatula; remove to a plate. Serve this stuff immediately.

 

Depending on the serving sizes and the size of the fillet that you use this should server between 6 to eight people. Since there were only two of us, I used a significantly smaller fillet and adjusted the other ingredients to match. I served this to Gerri on a bed of steamed kale greens with mashed garlic potatoes and a bottle of Pinot Noir. The Pinot Noir really complemented the taste of the salmon.

Black Bean Salsa

I’ve had a lot of complements on this recipe and I’ve had to write it down for people time after time. It’s very simple to make and the heat can be adjusted to your taste. As is there is a little spice to it but it isn’t so hot that my father won’t eat it. He doesn’t like heat in his food. I’ve added some jalepeno peppers before and it isn’t bad that way either.

Black Bean Salsa
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
 
A quick and easy salsa that seems to be a favorite of everyone.
Ingredients
  • 2 cans Black Beans
  • 1 can Yellow Corn
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper Chopped
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper Chopped
  • 1 Medium White Onion Chopped
  • 1 Bunch Cilantro Chopped
  • 3 Tbsp PickAPeppa Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Red Pepper Sauce
  • Juice of One Lime
  • 1 tsp Habenero Sauce
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Drain cans of black beans and corn and mix in a bowl. Add remaining ingredients except for lime juice and salt and pepper and mix well. Drizzle with the vinegar and add the salt and pepper.
  2. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Serve with tortilla chips.
Notes
I have substituted apple cider vinegar a few times when I had no limes. If you try vinegar go easy on it. You are just looking to add a little acidity. This really does seem to taste better after sitting in the refrigerator for a day but I've had people rave over it directly after putting it together.

Healthy Cooking

Gerri got the lab results back from a physical she took earlier this week. Every thing was fine except her cholesterol. Her Cholesterol wasn’t fine at all. The doctor has her on medication to get it under control but there is going to be a change in diet around this house.

The troublesome part of this is that since I’ve been working from home I’ve taken on the duties of cooking most of our meals. I really enjoy doing this and I’ve had fun experimenting with recipes I’ve found and some of my own making. Perhaps I got a little too much into some of the more cholesterol rising foods? The guilt here is getting to me.

The guilt comes into play in more ways than one. I’m one of those people that can lay around, eat fried foods, never paying any attention to fat intake and my cholesterol level remains around 160. I could stand to lose around thirty pounds and I need to exercise more. Gerri goes to the gym regularly, tries to eat a healthy diet (when I’m not feeding her one of my dishes) and is generally concious of what she puts in her body. She ends up being the one with the high cholesterol.

So, I’m looking for recipes. If you have any recipes for a low-cholesterol diet I would appreciate you sharing them with me. I intend to share at least one recipe a week on this site with other folks. I’m also looking for ideas for what to replace my typical southern breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage, gravy, biscuits and grits with. All suggestions will be welcome.

Pasta Pot Pro Review

My wife got me a Pasta Pot Pro a couple of weeks ago. It’s one of those kitchen gadgets that you see on TV that’s suppose to save you all sorts of time and aggrevation in the kitchen. Actually, the design isn’t a total flop with this thing. It does do a decent job of draining the liquid off of non-delicate items like spaghetti or potatoes or carrots but delicate or stuffed pastas are torn up when you try draining through the lid.

The biggest problem with the Pasta Pot Pro is that it’s flimsy. The pot is made out of a real thin aluminum so the lid doesn’t go onto the pot very easily. While I’m cooking I don’t like the aggrevation of my tools not working smoothly. It’s especially aggrevating when the tool is a hot pot that you can’t get lid on properly. I’ve burned my fingers a few times already.

Now, for $20 this really isn’t all that bad of a pot, about what you’d expect to pay for cheap cookware, but if you are at all serious about cooking don’t waste your money on this thing. It is only going to be aggrevation.