San Jose, downtown. It’s a mere five minutes away from my home. It’s every Friday from 10-2. All of these can be clicked for the larger hi-res version.
Archives for July 2009
A few things I’m still trying to familiarize myself with on this new platform, such as image management. So, let’s start with some food porn and I’ll get to some commentary soon.
Here’s one by my friend Robert from last week.
That’s accompanied by some homemade hashbrowns cooked in a proper fat, along with some green beans. Very good combination. The sauce, Robert tells me, was fresh pineapple, white wine, and butter, reduced. It was fantastic and I had seconds.
Last night, my brother Dave had us over for a ver solid summer meal of grilled ribeye steak, shrimp, and salad. I was coming off a 1-day fast, so it was perfect. Yea, I ate the fat too.
So, there you have it, and tonight it’ll be dinner at Julie & Trevor. How lucky am I?
Well, there will be some odds & ends to fix and adjust, but it looks like everything went off without a hitch. I have wanted to do this for a long time, but the task would have been daunting with all the images to handle, links, and so on. But Alec and Martin at foliovision made it completely painless.
For the many of you who asked, there is now an all comment RSS feed. Now that I’m on a platform that gives me the utmost in flexibility and freedom, your suggestions are very welcome.
Just drop ’em in comments if you have any.
First, foremost, and most importantly, Beatrice et moi are going to dinner at Fraises et Tartines Friday night. No, it’s not a posh-chic downtown restaurant — though I’ll be first through the door if my friend Julie ever decides to open a restaurant. She did steak au poivre for her & hubby last night, in observance of Bastille Day (better than flag waving, any day). And last week, we got an invite for her bruschetta burgers, but had already made plans.
She’s been emailing me about Paleo, as she wants to do a Paleo compliant meal for me — in spite of my protestations that she prepare what she likes — and blog about the experience. I’ll certainly highlight it here, because I know it’s going to be good.
Next, I just found that my local Whole Foods has a new free range egg section.
They’ve got local, free range chicken, quail, duck, goose, and ostrich eggs. Amazing. I got away with a dozen chicken eggs, and they even had a photo of the chickens pecking around in a field, no doubt boosting nutritional content from eating all the bugs and various things they eat on the ground (dirt too, probably). It’s TLC Ranch, a mere hour away in Watsonville, CA.
Anyway, I got away with this particular dozen, the most jumbo I could pick out.
I can’t wait to try. I’ve got some Trader Joe’s "cage free" eggs and I’m anxious to see the difference in the yolks and the taste.
And, finally, the blog should cut over to the new WordPress design tonight. I’m going to have to likely go to a custom DNS rather than domain parking setup, which means that full propagation might take 24-48 hours — though it’s never been my experience that it takes that long.
We’ll see. And I’ll see you at the other end.
I'm mad as hell, so here goes a shot
Frankly: that company sells virtually nothing but processed crap. Bars & shakes loaded with soy, artificial sweeteners, unpronounceable, mystery ingredients, and other Bad Stuff®. And now, it's All-Purpose Baking Mix and Penne Pasta, both absolutely chock full of gluten. Here's the press release.
The ingredients for one of the bars are what you see to the left. Amazing, eh? So, their only distinction from your run of the mill boxed crap is that it's lower in carbs? I guess so.
Here's the ingredients for the baking mix: "Wheat Gluten, Whole Grain Soy Flour, Modified Wheat Starch, Unprocessed Wheat Bran. CONTAINS WHEAT AND SOY." And the penne pasta: "Enriched Semolina (Semolina, Niacin, Iron (Ferrous Sulfate), Thiamin Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2, Folic Acid), Modified Wheat Starch, Wheat Gluten, Wheat Protein Isloate. CONTAINS WHEAT."
What I'm wondering is how may people with undiagnosed celiac disease (not a simple diagnosis) or gluten sensitivity — that doesn't rise to the level of full-blown celiac disease — are unwittingly going to use these and other Atkins products — often touted as "high protein" (i.e., gluten & soy) — to the general detriment of their health? From the press release.
The Atkins All Purpose Baking Mix is nutritionally sound, providing high levels of protein and fiber in each serving with only 1 gram of sugar. Each serving contains 20 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, 150 calories and only 5 net carbs.
Atkins Penne Pasta, made with enriched semolina wheat, packs a powerful protein punch, offering 11 grams of protein and 18 grams of fiber per serving. At only 140 calories per serving, Atkins Penne Pasta has only 1 gram of sugar and 19 grams of net carbs – half the carbs of regular pasta!
See what I mean? They are actually touting the gluten & soy!
There's more. What's with this obsession with having to not miss out? We did fine without grains, bread, pasta, pancakes, muffins and so on for over 2 million years (hint: we ate meat, vegetables, animal fats, fruits, and nuts), and now we can't? Again, from the press release.
"With the Atkins All Purpose Baking Mix and Penne Pasta, we're providing consumers with a wider range of healthy and delicious foods to enjoy as they embrace a low-carb lifestyle," said Jennifer McGhee, VP of Marketing for Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. "For years, people mistakenly thought that on Atkins, they'd never be able to eat bread or pasta again. Now with our new products, it's possible to enjoy lower carb versions of these foods without relinquishing taste."
"From a health standpoint, Atkins All Purpose Baking Mix and lower-carb Penne Pasta is great for people who need to better control their blood sugar, such as those following low-glycemic diets," added Colette Heimowitz, Vice President, Nutrition and Education at Atkins Nutritionals, Inc.
You know what? I knew Atkins' basic approach worked as far back as 1990, 19 years ago. how many times did I try it and fail? Oh, at least a half dozen, and the most I ever went was maybe three months. The focus was all wrong: low carb. In other words, the focus is on a method and not a principle — such principle being that we evolved to eat Real Food, and not wheat, soy, and a laundry list of artificial flavors, preservatives and who knows what all else. By focussing on method and not principle, you'll never fix the one thing that will keep most of you failing or miserable: hunger. There is no more sure, effective way to reset your hunger drive than with a natural diet. Atkins is doing its best to keep you on a modern diet, just one a bit lower in carbohydrate.
So what set this off? It was an email from Andea Davidoff of Atkins this morning, touting these new products.
I hope you are doing well. I wanted to let you know Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. announced that their new low-carb All Purpose Baking Mix and lower-carb Penne Pasta can now be pre-ordered by consumers at Atkins.com. You can view a full press release here.
Starting August 1st, both products will be available exclusively online at Atkins.com for a suggested retail price of $12.99 for a 2 pound pouch of baking mix and $3.99 for 12 oz. of penne pasta. The new Atkins All Purpose Baking Mix can be used to create a host of delicious baked goods such as pancakes, waffles, muffins and breads, while the Penne Pasta is made with enriched semolina wheat and has half the carbs of regular pasta!
These are two breakthrough products, and I’m happy to send you any further information, photos or recipes to utilize these products.
I think, given the gluten content of those products, they are actually worse for health than the higher-carb versions.
I'm a paleo advocate. Grains, particularly wheat, have no place in the human diet. Sorry to say that I believe that Atkins, et al, has lost its soul in the pursuit of popularity and financial gain.
She thanked me for my feedback. That being the case, I thought I'd be even more helpful.
Not a burger and a salad, a burger salad. From time-to-time in a pinch, I'll get one of Carl's Junior Low Carb Six Dollar Burgers, without the cheese or catsup. Not a bad option and only about 5 grams of carb.
Of course, you can do your own lettuce wrap burger, or, you can just make it a salad (click for the hi-res image).
Very simple. Lettuce of your choice, lay on a heaping tbsp of mayo (important, otherwise to dry), then your burger (this had shrooms, garlic, yellow onion and pine nuts in it) on the mayo, garnish with onion, tomato (these were delicious heirlooms), dill pickle (if you haven't run out), and mustard & catsup (Trader Joe's: some sugar, but no HFCS and no unpronounceable ingredients).
Well, what I didn't know is that there's a history to the Cobb Salad, invented by Bob Cobb, owner of the Brown Derby in Hollywood, CA.
A couple of nights before, we had decided to collaborate with friends for Friday, and since Julie makes such amazing bacon bits, I suggested a Cobb. So here was the starting palette, with the Bing Cherries there for the dessert (click on it for the hi-res).
There seems to be a lot of variations on the Cobb, and this was no exception. I couldn't source Roquefort without going to Whole Foods, so I went with blue. I also made blue cheese dressing per this recipe, pictured above, and I cut it down by 1/3 so as not to have leftovers. My second attempt to make mayonnaise failed, just as the first, so I was left using 2/3 cup of Trader Joe's expeller pressed canola oil mayo.
Chopped up the romaine and watercress, dressed with about 2/3 of the blue cheese dressing, plated, then used the remaining 1/3 dressing to mix up with the 5 oz. blue cheese crumbles for the centerpiece (click on the photo for the hi-res version).
Oh, man, was it ever good. Then, later after a few hands of cards, cherry smoothies, consisting of about a pound of cherries (all that were in the bowl) 3/4 can chilled coconut milk, 1/4 can heavy cream, 1 tsp honey, 1 tbsp Artisana coconut butter, and a dash of vanilla.
One for the Pea-Brain Diet
Got an email from reader Katherine Strange, proprietor of SF Bay Area's Evolution Catering. I haven't tried the menu, yet, but that's only because I have the time and inclination to cook for myself most of the time. If that's a problem for you, or an occasional problem, you're near to San Francisco and want to eat right, ring up Kat and get some nice food.
A vegetarian wasn't too happy about the menu offerings.
Kat, It would be interesting if you included some pure vegetarian meals (beans, grains and veggies) if you really want to be an “Evolutionary” caterer. Research shows that only a vegetarian diet is really sustainable for the planet, and is still the healthiest way to eat that there is. I ‘d be interested if you decide to continue to evolve….
Then, a kind reply got an even more insistent response.
…And their organs only needed to survive for 20-30 years. Life span extended with the evolution of agriculture, as did the need for the kidneys and heart to last longer. High protein diets are very hard on the kidneys, causing high rates of kidney stones, which can lead to kidney failure. Not to mention the fat and cholesterol issues.
And then there is the health of the planet to think about. The carbon footprint of a pound of beef is huge compared to a pound of grain.
So my question to you is, how do you see our planet and people evolving to feed the huge amounts of people that populate the earth and will populate it in the next 20 years?
I love that you are making food for families. But your claim to Evolution, I believe, is flawed. We have evolved away from the hunter to the urban dweller and billions of people on the earth. Our diet needs have evolved and need to continue to do so to make it all sustainable.
Next, you have ignoramuses claiming we evolved as herbivores, ignoring reams and reams of anthropological evidence proving that not only did our ancestors eat a lot of meat, but in cases such as the Neanderthal, were very nearly totally carnivorous. Instead, you get moron liars-for-a-cause, like Kathy Freston: Shattering The Meat Myth: Humans Are Natural Vegetarians. Get a load of this idiocy from that article, and the quote by Richard Leakey, of all people:
There is no more authoritative source on anthropological issues than paleontologist Dr. Richard Leakey, who explains what anyone who has taken an introductory physiology course might have discerned intuitively–that humans are herbivores. Leakey notes that "[y]ou can't tear flesh by hand, you can't tear hide by hand…. We wouldn't have been able to deal with food source that required those large canines" (although we have teeth that are called "canines," they bear little resemblance to the canines of carnivores).
In fact, our hands are perfect for grabbing and picking fruits and vegetables. Similarly, like the intestines of other herbivores, ours are very long (carnivores have short intestines so they can quickly get rid of all that rotting flesh they eat). We don't have sharp claws to seize and hold down prey. And most of us (hopefully) lack the instinct that would drive us to chase and then kill animals and devour their raw carcasses.
Really, I am very hard pressed to recall anything I've recently read that's so ignorant, fanciful and wishful. Leakey: if you really said that then you, as a scientist, should be ashamed of yourself. Surely you know that our ancestors have been using tools on the order of 2.5 milion years.
Moreover, vegetarianism itself is largely myth, by which I mean that there are few, if any, true vegetarian mammals in nature. They eat bugs, worms, spiders. And even chimps are known to masterfully hunt down small monkeys, rip 'em apart, and eat them.See, this is what happens — you veg-morons — when you cloister youselves in your little echo chambers. I have yet to show this to a vegetarian who wasn't dumbfounded. But what should I expect, when these are the very same people who will look at a carton of eggs and feel joy that it reads: "100% vegetarian diet." That means it's a 100% unnatural diet. Free ranging chickens, just like all birds, eat bugs & worms. …Lot's of them, and the difference in nutrition of the yolk can be on the order of 300% or more, and it's directly a function of the non-pea-brained diet…
And then there's the enviro-crap, which is just original-sin religion in disguise. You're a guilty sinner (destroying the planet), you must repent (eat unfulfilling food). and atone (sacrifice your values and desires to the diktats of "authorities"). Same con, different day.
Now, The American Dietetic Association gives the green light for vegan diets for infants, and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) — a vegan/vegetarian activist group like CSPI (Center for Science in the Public Interest) that's too dishonest and manipulative to imply their true agenda in their own name — are recommending same.
~ Good science is done for a 20-yr study and the jury is in: Caloric restriction definitely extends life, and at a better quality (less disease) in monkeys. Fortunately, intermittent fasting just might do the same thing or even better.
~ Vitamin D and its bactericidal ("anti-bacterial") action. "Vitamin D, activated ergosterol, is bactericidal to tubercle bacilli, proteus, bacillus aerogenes, staphylococci and non-hemolytic streptococci in vitro and in vivo." Nice to have such great information coming out so that we can finally cure our ignorant stupidity with regard to the sun. Uh, wait…seems that paper was published in, uh…1946!
~ Free the Animal gets a plug on The Image Mentor. "One of the people who really influenced Kevin and me on our journey toward personal wellness is an old neighbor and friend, Richard Nikoley. He writes a very informative blog about eating natural foods and I highly recommend reading up on his posts for more information because he’s so passionate about this topic. It’s particularly changed his life like it’s changed ours." I made mention of Joseph Rosenfeld and his partner, Kevin, last February and they're still going strong. I can tell Joseph had to redo all his photos on his blog and image mentoring website. I've had a number of conversations with Joseph about men's clothing, food, decor and so on over the years. He really knows his stuff.
~ Lalalalala – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly from Tom Naughton. The bad and the ugly focuses on the same "Original Sin" theme I always see: the path to good health is to make your meals fatless, artificial, tasteless & toxic. You're weak, you need punishment. That is the path to "salvation." Conversely, the good is the fat.
~ Newsflash cat owners: Cats are carnivores. Grains, rice and even vegetables have no good place in their diets.