Monday, February 28, 2011

Ode to Pork Belly


Bacon is amazing, for several different reasons. Bacon is full of saturated and monounsaturated fats as well as protein.  One medium slice contains: 43.3 calories, 70% from fat, 29% from protein, and a measly 1% from carbs. Many people think that bacon is bad because of the fat, but it actually contains a good bit of monounsaturated fat (the same “heart-healthy” fat in olive oil). I was a little surprised to find out that bacon has more monounsaturated fat than saturated fat in it. (1.5g monounsaturated vs. 1.1g saturated). I view bacon as a healthy source of fat and protein, perfect for a whole food, primal or traditional diet. Some other complaints about bacon are the sodium content, the sugar content, and the nitrates it’s cured with. 

Sodium content: I really don’t care about because 1.) I don’t have high blood pressure 2.) I believe eating potassium rich foods is more important than eating a low-sodium diet, and 3.) I don’t eat processed foods which is where most American’s get their “excessive” sodium. 

Sugar content: Pretty much all bacon is cured with sugar of some form. I discovered you can order “sugar-free” bacon online, but it’s pretty pricey. Since I also limit my sugar intake from other sources I don’t feel that the tiny bit of sugar I may be consuming with my bacon is of any importance.

Nitrates: I have to admit that I don’t know a whole lot about nitrates, but my mom has researched it and is adamant about not buying any meats cured with them. For now I trust my mom and her judgment on this one, so all the bacon I buy is organic and nitrate free, (I don’t know if you even can buy organic bacon that isn’t nitrate free…). In the future I may have to look into nitrates and see what they do to the human body. 

I’ve been enjoying in a bunch of tasty things, and I find the fat to make incredible mayo. I’ve had fun making all sorts of bacon-y creations. 
 The 4lbs of bacon I recently cooked up. 
 As you can see cooking bacon can be messy, I took precautions to move all the random junk off the adjacent counters.
Bacon Ranch Dressing, the most amazing dressing ever. I used a base of bacon mayo and then added in buttermilk and herbs-yum!
Bacon Broccoli Salad made with lightly cooked broccoli, apples, walnuts, and bacon all tossed in a sweet and tangy bacon mayo dressing. If I didn't have self control I would have eaten the whole bowl.
A loaded salad I made using bacon, tomatoes, avocado, my bacon ranch, and a bit of cheese. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bad Beer (Ginger Beer Update)

My beer was another fermentation failure. Needless to say I’m done trying fermented drinks. I’m particularly disappointed with my ginger beer because I followed all the directions and it still got gross and moldy. I used a clean (but not sterilized) jug to store the beer, and maybe that was a mistake but the recipe didn’t say anything about using sterilized equipment. There’s a whole world of delicious recipes out there for me to discover, so I’m not too upset about my beer. 
 The Gross layer of white/aqua mold resting on top of my beer- Yuck! I didn't chance a taste of it, I watered the bushes in my front yard with it.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Primally Delicious Salad

On Thursdays I usually only eat 2 meals since I'm super busy, so I work my hardest to make sure that both of them are supper tasty. Using a bunch of stuff in the fridge I made one of the most delicious and different salads ever. I used:
turkey patties from the Primal Blueprint Cookbook
a bunch of lettuce
chopped celery
diced bell peppers
carrot slices
strawberries and
 coconut almond dressing (sorta based off one in the Primal Blueprint Cookbook) 

It was good. In the picture you can’t see the lettuce or other veggies, but I swear they’re in there; they just got all covered up and smashed down by the meat and berries.Oh yeah, I also made that bowl too -you can't get much more primal than that.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Fermentation Failures and a Few Successes

Last week I was off of school, I decided to attempt some lacto-fermented foods. Lacto-fermented foods are rich in all sorts of good bacteria to support a healthy gut, and they can be super tasty as well. I failed with 50% of my projects, but I had a couple of successes. I tried out orange marmalade, root beer, ginger beer, and cortido (Latin American Sauerkraut), I used Nourishing Traditions for recipes . My root beer and orange marmalade failed.
     The marmalade just didn't taste good it was too bitter, maybe I didn't cut the oranges thin enough, maybe I didn't use enough sugar or maybe my whey wasn't good (I drained some yogurt that had been sitting in the fridge for a bit). For now I'm hoping that maybe sitting in the back of the fridge for awhile will help my marmalade get a delicate sweet taste, and if not oh well...
     My root beer I screwed up on, I let it ferment for a week rather than the 2 days it required. It got moldy. I scraped the mold off and tried some, it smelled delicious like good root beer, but it tasted horrible. Its also sitting in the fridge for now until I decide to dump it out, but I will be trying again at some point, since I'd like to find a healthy, tasty lacto-fermented beverage.
     My cortido is very tasty, a bit sweet for my tastes but I can imagine it pairing beautifully with some chicken mole or grain free enchiladas.
     My ginger beer isn't done yet, but its bubbling which is what it should be doing by now, so I'm happy about that :)
                                                    Orange Marmalade

                                                    Root Beer

                                            Cortido- yes I know it looks a little gross in the crock but its tasty I swear!