Expertise Not Needed

If you have some Feel Good Eating ingredients on hand, you don’t need much know how to prepare yourself a very tasty meal. Cut your fresh salmon and boil some rice…voila.

Fresh raw salmon served over a bit of rice. chopped scallion, avocado, a little bit of roe and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

(have you located and visited your local Asian grocery store yet?)

Drizzled with a bit of wasabi (mixed with water) and tamari sauce.

Enjoy the weekend everyone and coming up next, a post about supplements I find to be effective or have concluded to potentially be beneficial.

BE HAPPY & BE NICE

Mediterranean meets Mexican & a Fireman

Flavors that is, and someone to control the heat.

I really love combining recipes from different parts of the world, in fact I believe it has become one of my specialities.

Last night with a “left over” fridge, I made the following;

In a about a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil on low heat, cook 1 medium onion and 3 cloves of garlic until translucent. Low heat and a pinch of salt and pepper. When done, add 1 large chopped tomato and combine. Also now add about 1/3 of a cup of fresh cilantro. When the tomato has come to temperature and has combined flavors, add 2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce. Dice them and depending how you like your “heat”, remove some or all of the seeds. (look at ingredients closely when you buy these in the store, some have lots of strange ingredients, good ones, just condiments you will recognize like garlic, paprika, salt, vinegar etc). Stir your pan gently and combine everything well. Remove from pan and set aside on a plate. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil (still low heat) to your pan. I had defrosted some shrimp (about 16-20) and cut them in half. Add them to your pan and stir gently. add a pinch of salt again. When shrimps are close to done… add a tablespoon of queso blanco, or any white cheese you might have on hand. If you still have Boursin left over, 1 teaspoon of it will work well too. This small amount will add just a tiny bit of creaminess to the dish. Combine well and now add 3 handfuls of fresh spinach. Let it warm/wilt a little and now add your onion,garlic, tomato, chipotle mixture to  it and combine with gently folding everything together. (still on low heat). Plate and sprinkle with a bit fresh cilantro.

Absolutely delicious. Traditional Mediterranean mixture of onion, garlic, tomato and extra virgin olive oil, combined with the Mexican chipotle in adobo, infused a simple meal with amazing flavor and taste sensations. It definitely had a bit of ‘fire” to it, and then of course you need a fireman to help you out. Our little guy is always willing and able in these situations 🙂

 

BE HAPPY!

Change, Thoughts and Relocation

I’ve written about it before, LIFE is CHANGE. Things are always changing. Because of change, we learn to adapt and we grow. We must learn this though,  and it requires perseverance at first when we’re young.You must learn to accept change as a natural part of life, over time, you will become good at it. Strive for the goal, to let change become an easy part of life for you. You will live and breath the understanding that “things change” and you will flow with life and all it’s beautiful and unexplainable changes. There once was beautiful little movie called Things Change with Don Ameche that just popped into my head. He says it beautifully in the movie “things-a change-a”.

You know, I often look back on my life so far, with pure wonder and amazement. I really try and learn and grow from previous mis-steps, but don’t consider them “mistakes” at all. The actions and decisions from 23 years, 3 years or 3 minutes ago, make me who I am today. We are all perfect in our imperfection.Learning about “change” , has been one of my biggest lessons in life and I often share my thoughts about it when people ask me for advice or tell me their stories. We all KNOW that change happens, that it is part of life in all it’s forms. Our bodies change as we get older, flowers die, flowers bloom, seasons come, seasons go. Materialistically, we have a dream car, it ages and one day we don’t have it anymore. Our favorite dress or jacket  gets old or shrinks in the wash or gets lost…Everything is always in a constant state of change. We inherently GET THIS. It’s part of our DNA if you will. And yet…

Most of us will go through a few or many significant changes in our lives that grab a firm hold of us. And as “things change”, we cling on with all our might. WE SCREAM from the inside, DON’T CHANGE!  It happened to me too, many years ago. The interesting thing is that the change we tend to resist so much, is usually necessary as an integral and huge part of our own growth. It could be our parents passing, a child going off to college and leaving the nest, a divorce, an addiction, a lover leaving, a new job, a change of career,etc etc. Be gentle with yourself and when you feel your insides pulling you apart because of change that you do not want, let the change “flow” without trying to alter it’s course, don’t resist it. When you resist, you fight, when you fight, you get hurt or die.

As you know one of my best friends died recently at a young age, he was buried yesterday in a small and intimate service. His little plot overlooking his favorite trails where he used to go mountain biking. He always told me too, that life’s changes should be seen as part of who we are, it’s how individually we help with the balance of “things”. Believe in what you will…but we all exist together in a fine balance of “things”.  Embrace the changes in your life, who’s to say what’s good or bad…enjoy the ride!

After 11 amazing and wonderful years in Naples Florida, my beautiful wife and I relocated to her home state.

Does that give it away? I’ve been travelling to this state on business for the last 3 years and have absolutely fallen in love with it. The genuine friendliness and helpfulness of the people still amazes me every day, as does the sheer size of it. Of course yours truly loves what it offers as it relates to this:

I’m sure that’s enough clues right there…but just in case,

There is A LOT going on in Texas, and I’ve already started my explorations. I’ve got amazing access to grass fed meat, pasture poultry, farmers markets, culture and nature. All of it makes me so very happy and I look forward to meeting new people and traveling all over this humongous state. I’ve touched base with Keith Norris from Efficient exercise and Ancestral Momentum/Theory to Practice, who’s in Austin and will let you know when I go visit him for a training session. He’s been a huge influence and online mentor for me over the years. I started reading his blog in early 2007 I believe. I know there are many more ancestral/paleo/primal folk in the state and I look forward for my wife and I to connect with them.

Relocation, is it part of who we are? Following an ancestral line of reasoning…we were nomads right? I know that for me, it just feels right to make location changes every 7-14 years. I also believe it keeps you “engaged and young”. The excitement of a new land. You have to find your way around again, learn new roads, new ways, new know-how. Probably good for the old gray matter I think. Pure speculation of course, but it makes some sense to me.

Thank you everyone for your continued interest in my food and life, and I truly appreciate the time you spend reading Feel Good Eating 

I look forward already to sharing my Texas adventures with Y’ALL. 🙂

 

BE HAPPY

 

Simple Grilling Pleasure & Salad Dressing Recipe

These days of elaborate grills, out door kitchens, grilling accessories and tools, there’s is something inherently satisfying in using a very small grill, hibachi or actual small wood fire. It’s too hot for camping this time of year where I COULD make a nice fire, but it’s never too hot for grilling for me. SO, if you do not have a grill, or live in an apartment where having a grill is not allowed, head to the store and buy your self a small little portable grill/hibachi. A lot of supermarkets sell these during the summer months and the cost is right around $10 or so. You could pack a small cooler, your little grill and a few coals and head over to a nice park. what I like so much about these little grills (coal receptacles really) is that you need to get intimate with the fire. Little grills that don’t have a scalable/movable grill grate so you need a single layer of coals. Otherwise your meat, chicken or whatever your grilling is basically laying on coals with a grill grate separating it. I like the simplicity of it. I like that i need to take my time prepping it up. Feels good to get lost in the activity of it. Especially with and your loved ones by your side, enjoying the outdoors and a nice glass of wine.

So yesterday I bought some chicken, cut it up in about 2 inch pieces and marinated it in a pretty classic Japanese combination of mirin (rice vinegar), tamari (wheat free soy sauce) and a drizzle of honey (I use the honey instead of regular sugar). Next I soaked a  a bunch of bamboo skewers in water. The usual advice on almost every recipe/food blog/ cookbook  is 30 minutes of soaking, but trust me it just doesn’t work and your skewers will burn. Let them soak for  2-3 hours and you’re in the clear. I also found some really fresh and pretty looking spring onions at the market. I cleaned those and gave them a slight rub with olive oil to also grill.

Get your coals going and enjoy your time outside while they heat. Once they were hot and glowing, I arranged them in a square row pattern of 5×5. I gave the small grill grate a rub with some oil to prevent sticking. Next I laid the skewers down.

This little grill is only 13×13 inches so not very big at all. But as you can see, it does the trick just fine. It just takes some attention and love, and you will end up with delicious food and flavors that are just hard to come by from a large gas grill. Here’s another one:

Watch your skewers closely and turn when necessary. You’ll see from the grill marks where your little coals are hottest, so change them up accordingly. For the last 3-5 minutes of cooking, cover with lid or some tinfoil if you don’t have a lid (most come with a lid…even for 10 bucks 🙂 )

LOOK at THAT!

A great big summer salad to go along. Fresh organic romaine lettuce, 1 small chopped spring onion, local cherry tomatoes, 1 large avocado, 1 cucumber.

Now here’s the idea for a bit of a different salad dressing;

1 heaping table spoon of Boursin cheese, 1 clove of garlic, 3-4 tblspoons of extra virgin olive oil. Combine with a fork, pour over salad and toss. This makes a really nice slightly creamy dressing. Smart shopper alerts=, Costco sells Boursin in packs of 3 at a very good price compared to the supermarkets. You can also make some delicious creamy spinach this way. Just toss a whole bunch of fresh spinach in your pan, let it wilt a bit and add 1 tablespoon of boursin and mix well. Of course if you don’t tolerate dairy, this is not an option.

Pay close attention this quote from Neville…

“Sensation precedes manifestation and is the foundation upon which all manifestation rests. Be careful of your moods and feelings, for there is an unbroken connection between your feelings and your visible world” N.G.

Be Happy!

 

 

Veggies & Seasonal Eating

A recent comment by Bryce, Student of Fitness on Chris Highcock’s super blog, got me thinking about “seasonal eating” some more. Again, my old martial arts teacher used to talk about this 20 years ago, how it was very important to eat only foods that were in “season”. It got me thinking back a bit about my childhood. I remember well, that what we ate in the December was very different from what we ate in June. “Winter foods” were all about potatoes, meat and fat (gravy). In Holland a national dish is called “hutspot“, basically mashed potatoes and veggies combines, served with sausage and butter gravy (or steak) was a staple during the winter time.

In summer, foods were much lighter. The focus was on fruits and veggies. A peach or apricot, were only available for a few weeks as an example. We had fish a lot, salads, and summer pasta dishes. You just seemed to eat a lot less in the summer. Vacations abroad were all about mussels and grilled sardines for example. I wonder if there’s something to it all.

So with the abundance of produce at the farmers markets, I enjoy making different “veggie” dishes. Here’s fresh bok choy with onion, garlic,snow peas and carrot braised in a bit of Sake. Easy to make. Saute your garlic and onion in fat of your choice (just a pat of butter will work perfectly). When translucent add a few splashes of sake and let it start simmering. Now add your chopped bokchoy, snow peas an thinly sliced carrot. Mix well, turn down heat and cover. Watch it closely, only needs a few minutes and you don’t want the veggies to be mushy. Remove cover and with slotted spoon remove veggies from the pan. Turn heat to high and a another splash of sake. Let all the liquid reduce way down until there’s hardly any left. Take another pat of butter and mix it in with the remaining liquid. Whisk together and pour over your veggies. Toss veggies gently.

 

 

I also made some “Asian Cole-slaw”. Nappa cabbage, cucumber, carrots and scallion. Shred the cabbage  (no need to take out the core with nappa cabbage) and mix in a bowl with thinly sliced carrots, chopped cucumber (seeds removed) and 2 scallions. In a bowl combine some sesame oil, mirin, and a small dash of tamari sauce. mix togetether and add 1 heaping tablespoon of mayonaise. 1 table spoon is plenty, trust me. Combine everything and sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving.

 

Do you notice yourself eating more salads and veggies in summer?

Wishing everyone a wonderful and relaxing weekend.

Namaste and Be Happy

Miso Cod

In a small bowl combine 2 tablespoons of miso paste with 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar. Put the mixture on your fish and marinate for a few hours.

Grill on low heat or under your broiler. Top with a chopped scallion. some tamari and a drizzle of sesame oil. (mix prior to cooking and let it sit and infuse a bit)

 

BE HAPPY

Workouts, Love and Meals

I’ve really been enjoying “lifting weights” these last few weeks.

I switch up my routines often and basically do what I fancy on any given day. As such, one day a week I might “lift” for 45 minutes in a very traditional way. As in  4 sets of 8-10 reps per body part, starting light and finishing heavy. It brings me back to the time I picked up a weight almost 10 years ago for the first time, and Bill Phillips from body to life was my first introduction to strength training information. I don’t think I even did a push up or sit up in all my years of playing club level soccer in Europe before that.

Other days I seem to really like following some of Craig Ballentyne’s protocols of three to four sets of 3 different exercises in a row for 8 reps, followed by 15 -20 minutes of interval sprinting on the bike or treadmill. So the pattern has been 2 type of HIT sessions a week and 1 heavy lifting session with plenty of rest in between sets.

My beautiful wife and I have also been taking long walks together through the local trails here (post to follow on my new location).  I count my blessing daily for her, as there’s nothing like having your best friend by your side to enjoy and live life with. And of course you look less silly as a couple, both in your Vibram five fingers 🙂

“Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction” Antoine de Saint Exupery

How I loved the story of the Little Prince by de Saint Exupery. I remember it well in school, one of the few times I paid attention and my mind soared thanks to our teachers  reading of the book.

We’ve been eating pretty good too lately. Keeping the meals small but very tasty and satisfying. The summer heat does not lend itself well to feeling stuffed, although I will admit, it does happen from time to time. Here are some samples;

Shrimp Ceviche with a bit of avocado

Grilled chicken thigh, a few slices of venison sausage, grilled stuffed jalapeno and a salad.

 

For one of my faithful readers named Matt, I have a post coming up about some of the supplements that I take, that might or might not be of interest for you. Not big into vitamins, but these supplements seem to for sure work a bit of magic. Stay tuned.

 

Namaste & BE HAPPY

 

Primal Sandwiches

I think I’ve posted before about what in Brazil is known as pao de queijo. They are eaten in Argentina. Bolivia and Columbia also, perhaps with different names. They are basically little cheese buns made with cassava (tapioca) or corn flour. The cheese flavor is very minimal.

If you CRAVE to make a sandwich, these are simply awesome. A bit of crust on the outside and soft on the inside. They could resemble a south American foccacia type bread.

I make these with tapioca flour which isn’t at all hard to find. Even many supermarkets carry it.

Here’s a really easy recipe I’ve been using for several years now:

1/2 cup of butter or olive oil (I often use half butter and half olive oil)

1/3 cup water

1/3 cup milk

2 cups tapioca flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons minced garlic (you can experiment here and use scallion instead or fresh parsley for example for different flavors)

2/3 cup of cheese of your choice. I like to use good parmesan

2 eggs beaten

In a sauce pan bring to your butter/olive oil, milk water and salt to a boil and IMMEDIATELY remove from heat. Add your garlic and tapioca and mix well until smooth.

Let the “dough’ rest for about 15 minutes. Now add your cheese and 2 beaten eggs. Mix thoroughly and it will have a consistency similar to cottage cheese.

Preheat your oven to 375. Now, if you use half olive oil and half butter, (or just olive oil) your dough will be more runny, than if you use just butter. With a more runny dough, just gently spoon large tablespoons of it on your cookie sheet. And your “cheese buns” will be a bit more flat. If you have a thicker consistency of dough, wet your hand and roll little smooth balls of it and put them on your cookie sheet, this will result in more of a “cheese puff” looking treat. Both different looking varieties WILL have the same taste and consistency. Nice and soft on the inside. Total time in the oven is about 15 minutes or so or until the top of them start slightly browning a little. you can overcook them so be careful. The insides should be soft but not doughy. No for the tough part…try and control yourself, it’s easy to eat way to many. Great treat to serve to your friends and family, they will be amazed as these little gems are SO good.

I like to cut them open and make it into a little sandwich. Salami works particularly well. Like so:

 

These are very small sandwiches.

 

If you have “runny dough” you can make them bigger and they come out pita size. So you could do a burger or a real type chicken salad or tuna sandwich or something.

I’m heading off to the gym to lift something heavy.

 

BE HAPPY 🙂

 

Seafood with Beurre Blanc

Reason I call this recipe “sea food” , is that just so many different sea-foods pair with this classic french beurre blanc sauce.

It’s so incredibly decadent and mouth watering good that this was the end result last night;

After the kitchen smelling fantastic and me being rather hungry, I sat down to eat and forgot to snap a picture prior to the meal.

But let’s break this one down, as anyone can manage it and turn their kitchen into a French restaurant for the evening.

What you will need:

1. Sea food of choice. I simply used some fresh tilapia. Most white fish varieties will work beautifully with this. Cod, halibut, flounder, trout etc etc. (Scallops are also a perfect pairing for this sauce but I would leave out the tomato and onion that this recipe calls for).

2. Bottle of white wine (keep it cheap, it works, trust me)

3. 2 medium/large Shallots

4. QUALITY butter (1 and a half stick)

5. one large fresh tomato (sliced)

6. 1/4 of a yellow or white onion (sliced)

To go with the the meal, I made a salad and some basmati rice. Mix romaine with a bit of “spring mix” and one fresh local sliced tomato. Slice up a scallion or two and toss it all with a bit of balsamic and extra virgin olive oil. Salt & pepper to taste. Cook the basmati rice about 10 minutes before starting the fish and it will ready when the fish is ready.

In a sauce pan on med-high heat, add your two sliced shallots and 2 cups of white wine. Softly boil the mixture until the wine reduces all the way and your left with the shallots in a bit of syrup (tiny bit of liquid) This takes a longer than you might think, about 20 minutes. Now slowly in batches whisk in your 1.5 stick of butter while pan is on the stove as the trick is to have your sauce hot so the butter emulsifies perfectly into the sauce. Cover your sauce and set aside.( Right before spooning over fish heat it up a tiny bit while you stir it also)

In large skillet, cook your seafood of choice on both sides in a little bit of hot butter or oil. Make sure your pan and fat is nice and hot. After you’ve flipped the seafood and the second side is almost done, add a splash of white wine and let it evaporate as you swirl the skillet a little. When your sea food is done, plate it, but keep your pan on the stove and hot. Add another smidgen of fat of your choice and now toss in your sliced tomato and onion. Saute them quickly on high heat and when close to done again add a splash of white wine. Swirl around your skillet and let it evaporate. Spoon the tomato and onion mixture over your sea food. Quickly heat your beaurre blanc sauce a tiny bit and spoon that over your sea food. If you’ve plated some rice, you can also spoon some of your sauce on the rice. The shallots in the sauce are outrageous in taste and a little on the rice goes a long way.

A very simple way of making restaurant food at home. Beurre Blanc is a traditional and French cooking classic and is easy to make. Make sure you whisk the butter in batches and don’t let your butter burn (turn brown).

Please head over to Chris @ Conditioning Research for this post. What he’s going for is where it’s at folks! It’s doesn’t have to be rocket science and trust me when I tell you, the research will be coming out with many more findings over the coming years, but the real BASICS won’t ever change:

EAT REAL FOOD

MOVE YOUR BODY

BE HAPPY

These can all be applied by you without professional advice/books/courses/guru’s/government/schooling/bias etc etc.

They are available to us all always, at the most basic levels. The above are “programmed into us”, allow it to be in your life the way it’s meant to be. YOU know the right thing for YOU…apply it.

 

Namaste  &  Be Happy

 

 

Reader Meals & A Few Words of Advice

It makes me so happy to get emails and feedback from readers with success stories or emails with pictures from people that have made meals inspired by FeelGoodEating.

One of my daily faithful readers is 85 years young. This was one of the great lunches she just had:

This wonderful lady simply sauteed some red onion and carrots and tossed it over a mixed green salad. She added a bit of Turkey, a tiny bit of blue cheese crumbles and fresh turkey. A few slices of fresh local peach. Drizzled with a bit of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Mr. Art Devany would be proud 🙂

What have you been eating lately?

I just make sure that I have a good time with food and life…I think it’s more important to be happy than anything else. It’s no fun eating all the so called right foods out of FEAR of getting sick and being miserable about it. Being “anxious” causes a whole other set of problems. Our bodies are actually a lot more resilient than we give them credit for, particularly if WE’RE HAPPY AND NOT UNDER STRESS”. Even when I choose to eat healthy, I do so out of love instead of fear. That’s my method in every aspect of my life, and I invite you to do the same.” Anita Moorjani

Wise words in my opinion. Many people are adding unnecessary stress to their lives so worried if one potato or a corn chip will screw up their life/diet. This is not the way, I know that much. Eat real food, enjoy yourself and live your life….HAPPILY.

NAMASTE