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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Weekly Update (and recipes by popular demand)

It's gonna be a good day, Tater!   Woke up this morning to a 8.9 pound loss so I know this week was good.  But I also know how hard I worked this week (excluding that one visit to Checkers) so I have to keep it up!!! I can and will!  29.5 pounds lost in three weeks just shows that I can do this, nothing will stop me.  I have some shout outs to make:

  1. James Garrison for keeping me accountable and always motivating me.  He also has done this before and knows what it will take and the struggles I face.  I value his input and opinion so highly!
  2. @SteveKamb who invented and runs www.nerdfitness.com.  He and Staci have been huge supporters of me and I know they wish me the best.  The things that Steve teaches in his fitness and food books have been like a slap in the face to me; kicking my rear off the couch!  
  3. All my friends, coworkers, family and fans!  You guys are so inspiring, knowing that you are helping support me is awesome, you don't know the thrill I get when someone comments or likes this junk.  And lately I'm getting people I don't even know liking my status and even a couple of subscribers.  I'm big time!  
  4. My wife, Angela, is my biggest fan!  Always giving me words of encouragement and pushing me to be better.  Plus she hates cooking so I get to try out all these great ideas I'm coming up with and subject her to them!


AND WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, SOME OF MY FAV RECIPES WITH PICS! 

(*disclaimer: I don't measure very well so just throw what feels right in there and be done.  As long as you're not baking, cooking is very easy and can be done without alot of thought to amounts, just eyeball it).

  • Salsa Verde
    • couple pounds of tomatillos (looks like green tomatoes with paper husks)
    • peppers of your choice (I use pobalano because wife doesn't care for the heat but a couple of jalapenos or serranos work extremely well. 
    • one big yellow onion (or two medium)
    • three garlic cloves (or powder, doesn't matter)
    • olive oil
    • kosher salt/black pepper to taste
    • half cup of your favorite salsa or pico de gallo
    • cilantro (fresh or dried - if you use dried, use less ;)
    • lime or lime juice (I keep a big bottle in the fridge)
    • Chili powder to taste
OK, First off, set your oven to broil and throw the tomatillos (husked and washed), peppers, onion, and garlic if you're using fresh onto a cookie sheet.  You can cut the tomatillos or not, your choice, depends on the amount of char you want.  
Drizzle with some EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) and salt and pepper then mix up to get all veggies coated LIGHTLY.  Put in oven for about 7-10 minutes, depending on your level of doneness.
I could have let this go a little more but needed room in the over for some other stuff so I yanked it early (TWSS).  Now take everything on the pan and throw into a blender (EXCEPT the liquid, reserve that for later.  And obviously you need to cut the stems off the peppers (should have done that before it got all hot but I don't think ahead) and deseed them if you don't want much heat.
Now comes the fun part.  Add the salsa or pico and mix that up like you're DJ Skribble at Spring Break 2000!
Alright, now you should have a blender full of hot green mess, lets finish it off.
Add your final spices: garlic powder if you didn't use fresh, chili powder, lime juice, cilantro and if you want it a little thinner, some of the liquid from the pan and blend for just a few seconds until incorporated. 
Now to store it, I use an airtight water bottle with a spout, makes for perfect pouring but any container with a tight fitting lid will work in the fridge.  This salsa verde will work on ANYTHING.  Try it, if you don't love it, I'll refund the entire amount you paid for this recipe. 

  • Guacamole (Can't stand it but wife loves it so I make it for her so she's happy)
    • two semi ripe avocados (not too firm but not squishy)
    • couple of green onions (scallions to you fancy pants)
    • garlic powder (would not recommend fresh as it can be too much raw)
    • jalapeno (if you want heat, bell if you don't)
    • lime juice
    • tomatoes
I didn't take a bunch of step by steps but basically you split the cados, scoop it into a bowl, mash with a couple of forks, add diced onions, peppers, tomatoes, garlic, lime juice and stir to combine.
Now I know what you're thinking, "My guac always turns brown so I have to eat it all immediately."  Well I'll help you out, that's right baby birds, I'll feed you.  Guac turns brown because of the air makes an enzyme in the cado oxidize..  No, I didn't make that up, it was on the interwebs, it has to be true!
There are two ways to avoid it: remove the air or treat it chemically.  For the guac you can put in a bowl with a tight lid and press some plastic wrap down onto the surface, preventing the air from touching it and it might keep for two days.  Or, what I do, is add my lime juice now, just throw it in on top so it coats the surface, the acid in the lime slows the oxidation.  I did that with this batch and it was still bright green a week later (or would have been if wife didn't eat it in four days)  Little tip, this works with apples too!

  • Faux Potato Mash-o
    • two heads of cauliflower, any color will do
    • milk (Almond for you cavemen)
    • seasoning (garlic, Mrs. Dash, salt/pepper, whatever you like on mashed taters)
    • Parmesan cheese
    • Green onion (scallion)
Peel all the green off the heads and wash throughly.  Remove the stalk and cut the florets into chunks about the size of  an egg and dump into a pot of boiling water
Boil for about 15 minutes or until the cauli is fork tender (you can stab it with a fork and the fork slides out easily)  Alternatively you can roast the cauli in the oven for the same amount of time, it adds a nice roasted flavor and produces a dryer product. Drain and pat dry with a paper towel. 
Now lets get spinning, add the cauli to the food processor along with the seasoning, a dash of milk and some parm.  Don't forget the garlic powder but use it sparingly!  Cauliflower doesn't turn gummy in the processor like potatoes so mix until the desired consistency is reached.



Transfer to storage container and add chopped onions on top.  Greatest part of using the yellow cauli?  you can trick people into thinking it's potato salad and get them to try it before they claim they don't like it.

  • Eggplant nachos
    • medium eggplant
    • tomato
    • salsa (mine from above is amazing ;)
    • Parmesan cheese
    • cilantro 
    • lime juice or balsamic vinegar (just a tiny bit, maybe a couple of tablespoons)
    • V slicer (mandatory unless you are Chef Ramsey with a knife)

  1. Step one, slice the tomato PAPER THIN, I use the largest attachment for the V slicer, they are almost see-thru.
  2. Marinate tomato with cilantro and lime juice (or Balsamic) in the fridge in small container
  3. Slice the eggplant with the next larger setting, you don't want them to be as thin as the tomato, they need to have some meat to them.
  4. Spread them out on a cookie sheet, no overlapping or you kill the crispy factor.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 min, almost burning them.
  6. Pull pan after 10 and turn broiler on.
  7. Take the sliced tomatoes and put a slice on each eggplant "chip", trying to match them size for size, for uniformity.
  8. Add a small dollop of salsa on the tomato, maybe a teaspoon?  Eyeball it.
  9. Top with the Parm and return to oven and broil for maybe 4 or 5 minutes, watching it closely! You want the cheese to start melting and warm up the tomato without burning the eggplant. 
  10. NOM NOM NOM

  • Roasted asparagus and homemade pizza (you can make them separately but they are fantastic together) 
    • store bough whole wheat pizza dough
    • marinara sauce (homemade is best and recipe below)
      • to food processor add a can of stewed tomatoes, garlic powder, some carrots, onions, mushrooms, small can of tomato sauce, salt and pepper, process still smooth.  Viola!
    • thinly sliced meat (turkey, beef, ham)
    • fresh veggies of your choice: sliced onions, mushrooms, spinach, olives
    • lowfat cheese blend
    • fresh mozzarello cheese
    • pound of fresh asparagus (if you buy the canned ones you will regret and I'll find you)
    • sliced almonds
    • Parmesan cheese
    • EVOO
    • Parsley
  1. On a pizza pan, spray some PAM and then put your dough down.  
  2. Add some sauce, a half cup maybe, depending on the size of the dough, less for small ones.  
  3. Spread it to the edges and then add your sliced meat and veggies. 
  4. Lightly cover with cheese and then some thinly sliced chunks of mozzarella.  
  5. Drizzle a couple of tablespoons of EVOO across the top and sprinkle with parsley.  
  6. Cook in 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the crust is to your desired crispness. 
  7. Pull and set aside (don't cut it yet, let the cheese set!)
  1. While pizza is in the oven, snap the bottom ends of the asparagus off, an inch or two from the bottom, if you bend it, the snap will happen naturally, don't cut them.
  2. Wash and then put in foil lined pan.
  3. Drizzle with a little EVOO and season with salt and pepper.
  4. As soon as the pizza is out, put the asparagus in and bake until tender (not soggy).  It will take about 7 minutes, depending on size of stalks
  5. Once they are to your liking, pull and immediately sprinkle with Parm and sliced almonds, leave in pan so cheese can melt.  Slice pizza and then enjoy your creation!

AND THE COUP DE GRACE  - RATATOUILLE FROM THE MOVIE RATATOUILLE


  • Large eggplant
  • two medium squash
  • two medium zucchini
  • two or three red bell peppers
  • one onion
  • two garlic cloves or powder
  • your favorite marinara sauce (from above perhaps?)
  • fresh thyme or dried Italian season like some lazy person I know
  • salt/pepper
  • EVOO
  • V slicer or hire a samuri warrior to cut everything the same width.

Obviously I have WAY more veggies here than necessary, slice only what you need or you'll be like me and making up recipes for sliced eggplant for a week. 


Get your favorite round or oval pan and add a cup of sauce to the bottom, spread evenly and add your onions, garlic, salt and pepper to it.


Start layering your veggies, in order, one of each color, leaving just a bit of each layer to make consecutively smaller concentric circles. 


Once the entire pan is covered, make sure to force some extra veggies in the center and anywhere the sauce is visible.  Drizzle with EVOO and then sprinkle liberally with thyme or Italian seasoning


Cover and bake in at 375 degree oven for 45 minutes or until the veggies are soft and you see the sauce bubbling around the edges.


Serve over brown or basmati rice with some goat or mozzarella cheese!  Enjoy



That's all I've got for you this week.  I hope I've inspired a couple of you to try something different and if you're on this journey with me, I'm glad to join you and if you need anything, reach out to me on Facebook or Twitter, they are both on this page.  For now I'm going to take my 30 pound weight loss and add to it with the following steps:
  1. Eat healthy portions and exercise more
  2. ?????????
  3. Profit. 

1 comment:

  1. This post makes me hungry. At least I can feel good about eating this stuff! (Just...not all at the same time. >.>)

    Grats, Thomas, you're doing great!

    ReplyDelete

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