My Weight Loss Progress:
This includes about 16 lbs. lost on my preop diet. I've lost the rest since surgery.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Vindication of Fat

I've been following with interest lately the plethora of articles about how American's war on fat (since the 1980s) has actually made us fatter and sicker. It seems like every day a new study is published on how fat isn't as bad as we (simplistically) assumed, and how carby crap (although, don't rush to overly simplify carbs either!) is the devil incarnate. Today, I read an article on called "End the War on Fat: It could be making us sicker," which I thought nicely brought together so much recent research. I'd highly recommend it to anyone who has had a sneaking suspicion for awhile that the food pyramid might be a little, well, back-assward (and just maybe influenced just a little by Big Food...)

Although I could go on and on about food politics here (I'm still on a anti-Republican tear after an extremely unpleasant exchange on the OH message boards about healthcare reform), I'll spare you. Instead, I'd just like to point out how positive it is that we are actually starting to recognize this and call out big food on their crap.  I sincerely hope that the Obama administration can truly be an agent of change in DC, and continue making laws that are truly in the best interest of the American people rather than corporate lobbies. I mean, sure, allow the companies to keep selling junk food all they want, just like they still sell cigarettes (I'm far from a prohibitionist!) - just make sure that it's actually marketed as such, rather than as health food. I mean, junk food's yummy, right?  And I'd like to be able to make the decision to have a Hostess fruit pie if I damn well want to - but quit saying crap like "a trip to the snack cake aisle can be like visiting a country fruit stand" cuz it isn't. It's more like swimming in the Ganges, minus the potential mystical healing powers.

I predict that we will feel about food in 20 years the way we feel about tobacco today - and the fortunes of big food will have gone the same way as those of big tobacco. Our grandkids are going to shake their heads in pity at us the way we do at our poor cig-addicted grandparents.

Related good reads: Is Big Food as Evil as Big Tobacco?  -  Monsanto's Harvest of Fear  -  Michelle Obama calls out Big Food (I have the world's biggest girl crush on Mrs. O!)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Parmesan Oven-Fried Chicken

I made some really tasty oven-fried chicken today. It was inspired by several recipes that I found, but is my own creation. Sorry for the extra-crappy (even for me) picture - I was so hungry that I forgot to take a pic until after I'd chomped it!

Parmesan Oven-Fried Chicken
2 large chicken breasts (about 12 oz each)
3/4 cup mayo
about 3 T skim milk
about 1 cup panko bread crumbs
cayenne (to taste)
poultry seasoning (to taste)
salt (to taste)
1/4 c. grated parmesan

Preheat oven to 375. Place chicken breasts between 2 pieces of plastic wrap or in a large ziploc and pound thin. Mix mayo with milk in a bowl and mix dry ingredients, except parm, on a plate. Dip chicken in mayo mixture, then in the bread crumbs. Ensure each piece is thoroughly coated - press bread crumbs on if necessary. Place in a baking dish lined with parchment paper (or sprayed with Pam). Bake at 375 for about 30 minutes or until chicken reaches an internal temp of 165.

Makes 8 servings, about 2 oz (cooked) each. 205 calories, 6 g fat, 10.5 carbs, 23 protein. I served it with a few oz of shirataki noodles for a truly excellent meal.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

More Mac and Cheese

I'm always tinkering with my mac and cheese recipe. Mac and cheese is probably my favorite food in the whole world, so this makes sense (I hope).

Anyway, I recently discovered Trader Joe's new smoked cheese blend. I LOVE smokey cheese. So it seemed natural to use it in the next incarnation of Sleevey's Mac.

Other changes...I found a technique in Cooking Light for eliminating butter entirely by using a flour-water slurry instead. I think it's an acceptable change - let me know what you think!  The trick is to make sure your slurry is very, very smooth before you add the rest of the milk, and that the mixture stays smooth.

I also ran out of Tabasco, so I used a tablespoon or so of dijon mustard to add a kick. Pretty good!

Oh, and a tip for the cauliflower: I pretty much always use frozen. It's just easier. I had always boiled it before grating it, but this time I steamed it. MUCH nicer. The firmer texture is definitely better, plus it's less wet.

Sleevey's Mac and Cheese - Version 3
1 cup (dry) macaroni noodles
2 cups cauliflower - steamed, grated and dried
2 T flour (I use whole wheat)
1 1/2 cups skim milk
2 - 12 oz bags of TJ's smoked cheese blend
Dijon mustard (or Tabasco, or whatever) to taste
Salt and pepper
Cooking spray

Boil macaroni in well-salted water until al dente. Drain and mix with the grated cauliflower, set aside. In a saucepan over medium heat, whisk together flour and 1/2 cup of milk until very smooth. Add remaining milk and heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Mixture should thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon. Mix in all except 1 1/2 cups of cheese (a little bit at a time - keep it smooth!). Mix in mustard/Tabasco/whatever, plus salt and pepper, to taste. Press into a baking dish prepped with cooking spray and bake for 30 minutes at 350.

Makes 18 servings. The serving size is based on what my sleeve holds comfortably, so ymmv.

3/8 cup (1/18 recipe) = 175 cals, 11 g fat, 9 carbs, 10 protein.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Why does a salad cost more than a Big Mac?

Interesting graphic from Consumerist. Of course, those of us on the low-carb bandwagon do benefit more from the 73.8% of subsidies going to meat and dairy than the average American. Unfortunately, those subsidies are going to feedlots and the like, rather than small, humane farms selling to their local communities.
A more interesting graphic to me would emphasize not only how bad government food subsidies are for our health, but also for the planet. Not to mention inhumane. Any graphic designers around?