Perfect Diet?

I never did a review about this one:

As a matter of fact, I don’t think many did at all. As far as I’m concerned, this was a disappointment.

I donated some money years ago, when the program was looking for funding, many supported the effort. The concept looked promising.

Not only do I really dislike the title, but the entire documentary, is plain hokey. Even Dr. L. Cordain, comes off a bit strange.

What’s your experience with it? I believe I got my copy last March, right when it came out.

As we all know, there is no perfect diet.

Enjoy the Sunday, Be happy!

 

Laughter

Laughter… another KEY ingredient to a satisfying existence.  Our little crazy fireman construction worker age 5 LAUGHS all day long…..

So does his GREAT grandmother age 85.

Laughter, keep it going… your WHOLE LIFE!

 

 

Beef with Onion Cilantro Sauce

As promised, no need to think tonight. Perhaps a quick stop at the market on your way home, but you should have everything on hand most likely for this:

Sorry about the crappy pic….the yummy taste will make up for it.

I used some boneless beef short ribs, but you can use any steak really. top round would work well, as what used to be called a “pan steak”

What you need:

1 pound of meat

1 onion

1/cup fresh cilantro

2 cloves of garlic

2-3  tblsp white wine

2-3 tablespoons heavy cream

1 tsp butter

In a food processor or handy dandy small little processor (or chop by hand very finely) mix your onion, garlic and cilantro. Pulse till chopped fine.

Use a cast iron or non stick pan and get it hot on your stove. No sear your steaks. About 2 minutes each side. You want a really nice crust on both sides.

Set meat aside and let it rest (VERY important). After 10 minutes, slice into strips.

In the pan you used for your meat, add your onion, cilantro and garlic mix with a pat of butter and stir and cook for about 2 minutes. Now add your wine.

Let the alcohol cook off, (about 1 minute) and now add your meat and combine well. Now add 2-3 tbsp of heavy cream. You don’t need a lot. Let the cream ‘bubble”, stir everything together in your pan and serve.

GREAT with a salad, or a bit or regular or creamed spinach….or both like I did.. Keep the portions small with all this yummy flavor 🙂

Be Happy!

Sunday Soup Day

It’s a nice rainy and chilly Sunday here in Texas.. Perfect for some good home made soup.

I went to a cool new Hispanic market yesterday and bought several things from the meat and produce department. They have a very different variety of items to choose from.

I was happy to find beautifully fresh looking Ox Tail.

Growing up, oxtail was used a lot by my mom and grandma, especially for making beef consome (boullion) and ox tail soup.

The “tail” of the cattle, seems weird to most people here in the U.S. to eat, but all over the world, it is eaten and prized for the tremendous flavor and nutrtion it deliveres especially after long braising or stewing. It releases a lot of collagen, so if you’re into bone broth…try yourself some oxtail. This is wholesome REAL FOOD, good for you stuff!

If you’re NOT into offal, but are trying to get some more of it into your diet, ox tail is a wonderful starting point.

Years ago, I could ask butchers for ox tail, and most of the time they would give it away for FREE! There was no demand for it. That has changed. Some of the popular tv celebrity chefs have been using it and it is now in vogue. End result, it’s not the cheap offal you used to be able to get your hands on (still a lot cheaper than most meats). Try the Hispanic and Korean markets.  The recipe below can easily be made with other meat. Choose cheaper cuts from parts that are heavily exercised parts of the animal. Cuts like those from the shoulder, leg or rump of the animal, as well as ones that contain a lot of connective tissue, like the chuck, shank, brisket and of course oxtail.

So here is the finished product:

Ready to make it? Or at least store this freakin delicious soup recipe somewhere for later use?

2 pounds of ox tail (looks like this)

1 large FAT carrot

1 small red onion

1 half yellow onion

1 tomato

3 medium celery stalk

1/2 serrano pepper (with seeds)

4 cloves of garlic

4 tablespoons tomato paste

handful of fresh cilantro for garnish

2 bay leaves

1 bouillion cube

1 tblsp olive oil

1 tbsp butter

salt and pepper

garlic powder

Chili powder

Water

1. In a large pot, brown your oxtail in butter and remove from the pan. Set aside.

2. Add a teaspoon of water to your pan (should have a bit of burnt charred remains in the pan from browning the oxtail) and your chopped onion garlic and serrano pepper

3. When onions are translucent, add the chopped tomato.

4. Now add your chopped celery and chopped carrot (again use a big fat carrot, the ones that are the size of fat cucumbers)

5. Combine everything well and scrape the sides of your pan to get all that goodness from the browned meat off there. Cook for about 3-5 minutes

6. Add your tomato paste, 2 bay leaves, bouillion cube, garlic powder, chili powder, salt and mix all ingredients thoroughly. Let cook another 2 minutes.

7. Add your browned ox tail to the pan. Mix well with the other ingredients. Add tblsp of olive oil

8. Add water to pan. Enough water to cover ingredients and about 2 inches extra.

9. Bring to a boil and turn down heat and simmer for 4 hours.

10. Serve and garnish with fresh cilantro

Ok, so here’s something I like to do. After 2 hours, the meat will be soft but not fall off the bone yet…

I remove the meat from the soup and take all the meat of the bones. Then a quick chop of the meat and back into the pan.

Look at all that beautiful meat. The ox tail bone plucked clean reminded of the Texas Longhorn symbol.

If you chop all that meat into little pieces, it just makes for a nice soup eating experience. Nothing to struggle with.

Enjoy your Sunday! Relax, make some soup, read a book, do some yoga, have a glass of red wine, watch some football, make love……you get the idea, ENJOY and be happy.

I will show you tomorrow morning how to make make an easy dinner for Monday night, so you don’t have to plan or think. Easy as pie too.

Beef with a cilantro onion sauce

Lastly,

I’m reading Viktor Frankl’s book “Man’s search for meaning” . I’ve known about it for years, scanned it many times but never read it. A book seems to arrive at the right time in one’s life doesn’t it? Magically so….

I’m enjoying it tremendously.

This wonderful quote made me smile as it’s a perfect summary of my own feelings:

“Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run—in the long-run, I say!—success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it”

― Viktor E. FranklMan’s Search for Meaning

 

Pork Tacos, Red Cabbage Slaw, Guacamole and Chipotle Crema

Sounds pretty fancy right? Nah, it’s just a “left over dinner”, with a few fresh ingredients.

Remember we had made the big bacon wrapped and stuffed pork loin on the grill?

I sliced off about five, 1 inch slices and chopped it into bite size pieces, to be warmed in a skillet with a small pat of butter.

At the market, I picked up some corn tortillas,  a red cabbage and one ear of fresh corn.

I sliced the kernels of the cob, and roasted the kernels in a large skillet. Just toss the corn kernels in your hot pan without anything and stir them around occasionally for about 5  minutes. They are ready when they are starting to “pop” and are partially a bit charred with black. When they are done, remove your pan from the heat and let them sit. DO NOT put them in a bowl together, this will make the soft and soggy. Let them cool in your pan before you transfer them to a bowl.

Next I took the red cabbage and after removing a few of the outer leaves, I sliced 4 1 inch slices and chopped it up.Putt the cabbage in a bowl and add 1/4 of an onion finely chopped, 1 large clove roasted garlic (more on that in a minute when we attack the making of the Guacamole) 1 small tomato chopped (inside removed), handful of chopped fresh cilantro, a quarter of a chopped jalapeno or other hot pepper, juice of half a small lime, salt and if you have, a little bit of shredded queso fresco (not necessary though). Fold together gently and add 1 tblsp of olive oil and 1 tblsp of chili oil (if you don’t have, add some chili powder in with another tblsp of olive oil. Toss gently. It will look oh so pretty, like so:

My fellow eaters were blown away, how good and fresh this little salad/taco filling tasted. Nothing crazy, but simple flavors with fresh ingredients.

Guacamole secret revealed….. you sure you want to know more? You can turn back now, but if you don’t, your whole little guacamole world  is about to be turned upside down.

Please promise me you will actually make this…. or I will never post again. oh the drama…. so please help avoid that ok?

For an amazing guacamole, you need LESS onion and more…. drum roll…….. ROASTED GARLIC.

Yes sir, that’s correct, roasted garlic. The flavor is nothing short of amazing.  Quick easy way to roast some garlic is to cut off the top of an entire bulb and then on a piece of tin foil, stick in your oven at 375 for about 10-15 minutes (yes yo can drizzle with olive oil, but that DOES change the flavor a bit). But you only need 1 good size clove per avocado. I had three avocados so 3 cloves. Easy, like the roasted corn, just toss 3 cloves with skin in your pan for 5 minutes. The skin will char, remove it and chop. The rest of the ingredients are standard fare for guacamole. cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno, tomato, onion and salt. Go light on the tomato and onion.

Here’s a blury picture of the pork loin…

In a food processor or small like food processor, mash up some chipotles in adobo sauce. Take 1/3 of sour cream or greek yogurt and mix in a bit of the chipotles. Can’t tell you how much, it’s for you to taste and figure out. The adobo will “COLOR” the sour cream quickly, but the flavor won’t be too strong. So per your taste.

For any of you that are not familiar or simply have not tried buying a little can of chipotles in adobo, chop some up and throw in your burgers before cooking, add to barbecue sauces, slather on beef before your favorite crock pot recipe, spread on fish add onion and tomato, cover in foil and bake in the oven…….you get the idea. Lot’s of ways to use that fresh, hot and smokey flavor.

Yesterday I went to the “gym” for the first time since breaking my ankle, I turned up my tunes and enjoyed throwing around a few dumbbells TREMENDOUSLY. I made sure to take it easy. I was actually savoring the feeling of lifting the weights and paying attention to my muscles and their functions and capabilities. It felt great. Nothing heavy, just getting my body back into the swing of things. Well guess what??? HOLY MOTHER OF GD….. I am so incredibly sore today, I feel like I have been quartered hahahahaha.

Back int the sadle, sure feels good especially with pork tacos in tow 🙂

Be Happy!

 

Ankle Fracture Update, Grill Fest & Home made Pickles

It’s been 8 weeks since I broke my ankle. 6 weeks since surgery. Happy to report I dropped the crutches last week, after my 6 week follow up visit. Not only did my Doc tell me I was about 4 weeks ahead of schedule, but his comment was “I wish everyone healed as quick as you”. It made me feel good. Started my first physical therapy yesterday and I was amazed at the level of knowledge and care my therapist showed. I especially liked, after I did my first 20 “resistance ankle rotations”, and I asked “switch to the other foot for 20? She just looked at me puzzled and said “no that won’t be necessary” 🙂

Anywho, I’m walking, albeit slooooowwwwwllllyyyy. It feels GREAT! Still some swelling, but was told the swelling would come and go for 4-months.

Here’s was a delicious Sunday Grill fest, that will leave the fridge stocked with good food for most of the week.

Marinated grilled skirt steak and a HUGE grilled pork loin, stuffed with jalapeno pepper, a bit of cream cheese, a few slices of salami, spices and wrapped in bacon.

Take a look at the color of this gorgeous  grassfed skirt steak:

Its difficult to put into words, but this type of meat just feels “clean”. It has a fresh almost “gamey” scent to it. I marinated it in a cup of white wine, garlic, green onion and spices. I also added 1 tbsp off sugar, YES sugar. The sugar and alcohol, work magic together to break down a tough piece of meat.

For contrast of the color red, I put a tomato next to it so you can see….

Amazing right? Ok, I will stop geeking out about it.

Grilled and waiting to be sliced:

Now time to put the bacon wrapped pork loin on the grill:

Took a pound of bacon to wrap that puppy. Make sure you don’t “burn” your bacon. Just a gentle sear and than indirect heat grilling.

So just keep an eye the first 5 minutes, because the grease from the bacon will cause some initial flareups, that you don’t want to torch your yummy bacon.

Look at this beast 🙂

The couple of slices of salami and the added cream cheese, keeps the pork superbly moist. 1 nice slice from the roast makes for a super flavorful and satiating dinner. Small servings of satisfying meals like so:

Here’s a closer look at the inside world of stuffed pork loin:

Man, that made me hungry, I’m ready to eat again!

Have you ever made home made pickles? Let’s the take the mystery out of it. It’s so ridiculously simple to make a basic pickled vegetable, you need to try it sometime. Once you do, I promise you will make it all the time. 2 key ‘secrets’ if you will for basic home made pickles. You need 4-1 water= vinegar ratio. 4 tblsp of water, 1 tbsp of vinegar. simple as that. Next. when your veggies are cut your desired pickle size, put them in a large glass bowl and salt the heck out of them. Enough salt so that you question your own judgment. Let the veggies and the salt do their thing for about 15-20 minutes. Now RINSE your veggies under cold water thoroughly. Poor off all excess water.

Now add your water and vinegar and ‘spices” of your choice. I went with jalapeno, green onion and a bit of shredded seaweed (nori). Go wild with your imagination. It all works, you might like some batches better than others. Keep in the fridge for at least 6 hours. If you salt and rinse and keep the water vinegar ratio right, you will be guaranteed fresh CRUNCHY pickles (veggies)

 

 

I love the crunchy texture and flavor together with meat. Supplement # 3 coming up next post.

NAMASTE  &  Be HAPPY