Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Basil OIl and Zucchini Fritters

This one is a two-for-one recipe. First up, we'll do the Basil Oil. Five ingredients.

For about 6 tbsp of finished product:

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
Squeeze of lemon juice
1 garlic clove
salt and pepper

Throw everything into a blender of food processor and whizz. That's it. Refrigerate until ready to use.

You end up with this really bright green oil that can go on just about anything. Fish, chicken , shrimp, some fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, even as a dressing.

Nutritional Breakdown
per tbsp of basil oil

60 cal
7g fat
0g carb
0g fiber
0g protein

Now for the zucchini fritters.  I always end up just sauteing zucchini with some herbs, which is good and all but I wanted to do something different.  I looked at a bunch of different recipes and tried a few techniques to come up with this recipe. They smell great when they are cooking and almost have the texture of crab cakes. These might even work to get your kids eating more veggies (thanks to the cheese!).

You need:

3 medium zucchini, grated (I use a combo of green and yellow)
1 oz Pecorino Romano or Parmesean Cheese finely grated (again...get a microplane!)
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
salt and pepper

1) This step is important.  Zucchini has ALOT of water in it.  We want fritters with a crispy outside, so we need to get some of the water out.  Grate your zucchini either with a food processor attachment or on a box grater.  Put in into a colander with a a tablespoon of kosher or sea salt.  Put the colander in a bowl and let it sit there.  Minimun = 20 minutes. Maximum = however long it takes you to be ready to cook. You'll be surprised how much liquid comes out (and you still need to squeeze the extra out by hand!)
I had a picture of all the green zucchini juice after it sat...but it got lost in cyber space.

2) Toss the dried zucchini in a bowl with everything else and mix it all up.  Now, form it into six patties...or fewer if you want big ones. Remember, there are no breadcrumbs to bind these, so smaller ones are easier to work with.

3) Put a touch of olive oil in a medium saute pan over MEDIUM heat (medium low if you have an electric stove like me that runs hot) and cook on each side (DON'T MOVE THEM AROUND) for 5 min until golden brown.

I had my fritters with a nice swordfish steak that I topped with the basil oil and a big old salad.

Nutritional Breakdown
per fritter from yield of six

36.5 cal
2g fat
3g carb
2g fiber
2.5g protein

Carb Nite - The Cliff Notes

A lot of you have questions about the carb nite approach we've been utilizing. Here are the cliff notes from the Carb Nite Solution eBook by John Kiefer. You can read the eBook to get a getter grasp (and I suggest you do as it will answer lots of questions) but these are the basics.

Designed specifically for ongoing fat loss, not just weight loss.

It is a tool, not a lifestyle, designed to promote optimal health and optimal body fat loss. This simultaneously raises HDL levels, improves insulin sensitivity, and lowers both triglyceride and LDL levels.

There is emphasis on maintaining muscle size and strength during weight loss.

Having your Carb Night on the tenth day is not only a 'break' it's essential to create a necessary insulin spike.

On Carb Night: after 9 days, your body has disabled it's ability to convert carbs into fat, and there for burns them off as heat - a spike in your metabolism.

The morning after Carb Nite MUST be fats and proteins and a return to maxing out at 30g Carbs.

After the first 9 day stretch, you have more flexibility as to when you have your carb night, once a week, with a minimum of four days in between carb nights.

What does ketogenic mean?  Well, there are enzymes that your body produces that convert carbohydrates into fat to be stored.  Keeping carbs low at 30g / day blocks these enzymes by elevating ketones, so the carbohydrates are used as opposed to stored. Increasing to even 50 or 60 can trigger fat storing enzymes.



The stages:

For the first nine days, keep carbohydrates to 30g or less per day, not counting fiber grams . Eat enough food to keep hunger under control without counting calories. 

Carb Night
Day ten: begin day as normal. Starting between 4-6pm, eat a sizeable amount of carbs: pasta, fruits, potatoes, bread, ice cream, pie, whatever. Eat carbs the rest of the evening.

The Morning After
Go back to 30g or less of carbohydrates per day.

The Long Haul
For up to six months, continue this cycle with carb night once a week, keeping them at least a full four days apart. i.e if Carb night is Friday, you can't have another until Wednesday.

The Rules:

Eat Plenty of Fat
Your body needs an alternate fuel source. Avoid 'low fat' products.

Enjoy a FULL Carb Night
It is not Carb MEAL. You're looking for 6-8 hours of eating carbs. Say, an early supper, late dinner, with snacks in between and after. You don't need to have large amounts of food, even just snacking on fruit all night does the trick.

Never Skip a Carb Night
Carb night keeps your body in an accelerated fat-burning state. Plus, it will drive you crazy.

Never have Carb Night Sooner than the FIFTH day after your last one.
The body needs at least four days to totally shed all stored carbs from carb night and for the carb storing enzymes to fade. Sooner than that could result in fat-gain.

Hopefully this was helpful and answered some questions. I highly recommend that everyone read the Carb Nite Solution eBook, which further explains everything. Rob put a copy in the early chat, and I have one if you want a copy emailed.

Raw Asparagus Salad

This is one of my favorite really quick salads when you get bored of plain old mixed greens.  Super simple, no cooking involved, and only 5 ingredients:

1 bunch of asparagus (bottom two inches trimmed off)
1 medium red onion
Pecorino Romano cheese
White Wine Vinegar
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1)  Chop the asparagus into 1/2 size pieces (about the size of peas) and dice the onion pretty finely.

2) Finely grate 1 oz of the Pecorino Romano (finely grating it makes 1 oz go a long way - a micro plane it the BEST for this but a regular cheese grater works fine.

3) Add 2 tbsp white wine vinegar,  1 tbsp olive oil, a pinch of salt and a good amount of black pepper (freshly ground is ALWAYS better).

4) Mix everything together and you're done. It's best to let it sit for 20 min or so to allow the vinegar to tenderize the asparagus...which makes this salad a GREAT one to pack up and eat later.

Nutritional Break Down:

(for 9oz/250g asparagus, 3.5oz/100g red onion, 1 tbsp olive oil)

Total recipe made about 3.5 cups. The numbers are for a 1 cup serving.

 92 Calories 
5.7g Carbs
2g Fiber
6g Protein
6g Fat

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Veggies and Nutrition

Here's a list of some common veggies and their nutritional values:

* I used Calorie King for where I got my info - and rounded to the nearest 0.5 grams *

Yes, I know that botanically tomatoes and cucumbers are fruits...but culinarily they are used as veg, so I  included them

Leafy Greens (serving size 2 cups, uncooked)

10 cal / 0g Fat / 1.5g Carb / .5g Fiber / 1g Protein

14 cal / 0g Fat / 2g Carb / 1g Fiber / 2g Protein

Romaine Lettuce
16 cal / 0g Fat / 3g Carb / 2g Fiber / 1g Protein

7 cal / 0g Fat / 1g Carb / 0.5g Fiber / 1.5g Protein

67 cal / 1g Fat / 13.4g Carb / 2.5g Fiber / 4.5g Protein 

Bulb Veggies

Garlic (1 clove)
4 cal / 0g Fat / 1g Carb / 0g Fiber / 0g Protein

Onion (1/4 cup = 1 oz)
12 cal / 0g Fat / 3g Carb / 0.5g Fiber / 0.5g Protein

Leeks (1/3 cup = 1 oz)
12 cal / 0g Fat / 4g Carb / 0.5g Fiber / 0.5g Protein

Fennel (1/3 cup = 1 oz)
9 cal / 0g Fat / 2g Carb / 1g Fiber / 0.5g Protein

Other Veggies (uncooked)

Asparagus (4 spears)
13 cal / 0g Fat / 2.5g Carb / 1g Fiber / 1.5g Protein

Celery (3 stalks)
17 cal / 0g Fat / 4g Carb / 2g Fiber / 1g Protein

Brussels Sprouts (1 cup = 3 oz)
38 cal / 0.5g Fat / 8g Carb / 3.5g Fiber / 3g Protein

Carrot (1 medium = 2 oz)
25 cal / 0g Fat / 6g Carb / .5g Protein

Artichoke Hearts (8.5 oz can)
55 cal / 0g Fat / 13g Carb / 3.5g Fiber / 2g Protein

Cauliflower (1 cup = 3.5 oz)
25 cal / 0g Fat / 5.5g Carb / 2.5g Fiber / 2g Protein

Broccoli (6 florets)
48 cal / .5g Fat / 9.5g Carb / 4.5g Fiber / 4g Protein

Zucchini (1 medium = 7 oz)
31 cal / .5g Fat / 6.5g Carb / 2g Fiber / 2.5g Protein

Bell Pepper (1 medium = 4 oz)
24 cal / 0g Fat / 5.5g Carb / 2g Fiber / 1g Protein

Green Beans (20 beans)
34 cal / 0g Fat / 8g Carb / 3.5g Fiber / 2g Protein

Turnips (1 cup)
36 cal / 0g Fat / 8.5g Carb / 2.5g Fiber / 1g Protein

Mushrooms (1 cup = 3 oz)
19 cal / 0g Fat / 3.5g Carb / .5g Fiber / 2g protein

Tomatoes (1 small = 3 oz)
16 cal / 0g Fat / 3.5g Carb / 1g Fiber / 1g Protein

Cabbage (1 cup shredded = 2.5 oz)
17 cal / 0g Fat / 4g Carb / 1.5g Fiber / 1g Protein

Cucumber (1 medium = 7 oz)
24 cal / .5g Fat / 4.5g Carb / 1.5g Fiber / 1g Protein

Eggplant (1 cup = 3 oz)
20 cal / 0g Fat / 5g Carb / 3g Fiber / 1g Protein

Spaghetti Squash (1 cup = 3.5 oz)
31 cal / .5g Fat / 7g Carb / 2g Fiber / .5g Protein

Saturday, July 7, 2012

40/30/30 Chili (or close enough)

OK so I had to play with this a bit (doubled the veg, lowered/changed the meats) and it DID require that I add half a sweet potato (baked and topped with the chili is really good) in order to get as close to the ratios as i did.  It just needed an extra few grams of carbs...but you may be able to find other ways to get that in.  I'll show you the break down at the end.

Chili is the easiest, one pot, don't need to think about it, cheap meal that lasts for days ever. I make it all the time, especially if there's a week where I have to keep the budget tight.  You basically throw everything into one pot, cover it with spices, and then let it sit on the stove for however long until you're ready to eat it.

This recipe makes about 8 servings.

You'll need:

1 tbsb olive oil
3/4 lb Ground Beef (85/15, grass fed is ideal)
3/4 lb Ground Turkey
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 red bell peppers, chopped
2 green bell peppers, chopped
2 yellow onions, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
3 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp chipotle chili powder
2 tsp dried oregano
24 oz can diced tomatoes
salt and black pepper

1) In large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven (or big pot), heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and add the garlic, onions and bell peppers. Cook until they are tender and the onions start to get transluscent (5-7 min).

2) Add in all of the spices (chili powder, cumin, chipotle chili powder, oregano, and smoked paprika and season with some salt and pepper) and cook until you start to really smell the seasonings (3 min).

3) Add the beef and break it up with a wooden spoon. Once beef is broken up and beginning to brown, add the turkey. Break up with wooden spoon like the beef, and brown, until no longer pink, around 4 minutes.

4) Last, add the tomatoes.  I don't add them all at once because I like a certain consistency. Go a little at a time until it's where you think you'd like it. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper, if necessary.

5) Now, you should really let this simmer (covered) on low for an hour and a half at least.  I've left it on for four hours before. Just go back every now and them to stir it.  It's really good for if you have stuff to do while dinner cooks (laundry, shower, work).

That's it! Throw into bowls (or top a sweet potato) and chow down!

With the recipe as is (no added carbs) here are the stats for 1 serving (of 8):

208 cal
11.78g carb (22.3%)
 17.54g protein (33.2%)
10.42g fat (44.4%)

Now, if you add 1/2 sweet potato - about 90g (or 18.5g carb, 2g protein):

289 cal
41% carb
32% fat
27% protein

**adding 1 1/2 cups of zucchini or summer squash to the veggie mix adds exactly 21g carbs and 3g protein!**

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Chicken Fajitas

This is one where you will need to have something for dessert to hit the ratio.  1 cup of cherries, or 6 oz orange juice seems to do the trick.

This is for an 8 oz serving (the pictures are more because I have to make enough for a ravenous dude), but all the nutritional info is for 8 oz of chicken.

You may not have all of these spices - but I suggest stocking up.  Spices are the BEST way to add loads of flavor to foods without any sugars or unneeded calories.

A note on salt - when cooking, ALWAYS use either sea salt or kosher salt...never never NEVER use table (iodized) salt. It's gross.

You'll need:

8 oz skinless boneless chicken breast, cut into strips (you know what fajita chicken looks like)
3 tsp olive oil (or whatever oil you prefer)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika (sweet)
1/4 tsp chipotle pepper
Dash tsp hot paprika
Dash hot sauce ( I use tobasco jalepeno)
1 Green Bell Pepper, sliced into strips
1 Red Bell Pepper, sliced into strips
1 Red Onion (or whatever onion you have), halved and thinly sliced
**Add Romaine Lettuce if you want to make it a salad**

Grill Pan, Grill, Or Large Saute Pan - for chicken
Medium Saute Pan - for veggies

1) In a plastic bag or tupperware, mix 2 tsp olive oil, garlic, garlic powder, cumin, paprikas, chipotle, hot sauce, salt and pepper to make almost a paste.  Add in your chicken strips and rub around until well coated.  Let sit in the fridge at least 20 min.

2) Get both of your pans on the heat. Veggie pan on medium-high with 1 tsp cooking oil, Grill pan on high (no need to add oil to grill pan since it's in the marinade, but you CAN wipe it down with olive oil on a paper towel just to ensure no sticking).

3) Cook the veggies until slightly browned and tender-crisp (8-10 min) and the chicken 2 min per side.

**If using a grill pan, throw the veggies on it after you've removed the chicken to get some really nice grill char**

4) When everything is cooked, toss together and cover with tin foil for five minutes.  Then you're free to either eat it as is or over romaine lettuce for a big old fajita salad and top with 2 tbsp fresh salsa (if you want).

With the recipe as is, here are your stats for the whole thing: 

463 cal
37g carb (30%)
45g protein (35%)
20g fat (35%)

After you have your fruit addition (or 60g sweet potato):

39.2% Carb
29.8% Fat
30.9% Protein

I hope that was easy enough to follow. I tend to get a bit ramble-some when I type recipes. Let me know if you have any questions.

Team Work = Dream Work!

Ok team CHARLIE!!  Yolanda asked me to post some healthy recipes and I thought quickly making a blog that you guys can check out would be the easiest way to go.  I'll try and put up at least one recipe a day - and any time I make a meal that hits the ratios I will DEFINITELY post it here. If anything, maybe this will give you some new ideas - I know eating right can get kind of boring sometimes.

That being said, for most of the recipes I put up, especially dinner recipes, there will be notes like "have a cup of cherries, or other fruit, for dessert" or "have a 1/4 sweet potato on the side". Obviously, this is because the recipe itself doesn't hit the 40% Carb, 30% Protein, 30% Fat ratio.  I will try to make as many of them full meals with the right ratios, however, often times cooking oil is needed and that jacks up the fat %, requiring an additional food that maybe doesn't make total sense with the meal.

I'm figuring this out, too, and will try to tweak my recipes that I already use to fit the ratios, but you gotta bare with me.  The hardest part for me, as it seems with many other 732-ers that I've talked to is hitting the carb ratio.  It's either a crap ton of veggies, or adding potatoes back into out diets, which many of us aren't used to.  I did some research (MarksDailyApple.com is a great source), and it seems that potatoes, ESPECIALLY sweet potatoes, maybe aren't as bad as we thought.  The consensus seems to be to listen to your body and if you eat them and feel shitty - stop eating them.  Fresh fruit and fruit juice (FRESH SQUEEZED!) is another way I've been able to start balancing out the ratios as well.

We're already doing great, keep it up!