It’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day! I know I’m running late – it’s after 6:30 as I write this. I’m afraid I ran like crazy all day, from the moment my feet hit the floor this morning. Still, I wanted to wish you a fine Talk Like a Pirate Day, and to make some suggestions for authentic – or reasonably authentic – celebrations of the event.
Like so many people, I'm crazy about pork spareribs -- they're tender and juicy and bursting with flavor, and they're a good fatty cut, something I consider a virtue. Furthermore, they go on sale often; I rarely pay more than $2.39/pound, and stock the freezer when they drop to $1.99/pound.
This is what I just had for supper, and it was great. I'll definitely do this again. This is not only low carb but paleo, if you consider garlic and onion powder to be close enough for government work, as the old joke goes. Well, and some paleos eat vinegar, some don't -- you could swap it for lemon juice if you prefer.
Warm Chicken Liver Salad
1 clove garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
4 chicken livers
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
So I called the nice people at Hershey's today, because I couldn't get any clear answer on the internet as to whether Reese's Sugar Free Peanut Butter Cups had gluten in 'em or not. The helpful lady, whose name was Maria, told me that the ingredient list will always mention if a particular ingredient is sourced from wheat, or soy, or one of the other things people are commonly sensitive to -- ie, you don't have to worry that the cellulose or polydextrose or some such actually came from wheat, and has gluten. If it doesn't say wheat, it ain't.
Those of you who read here regularly, or listen to the podcast , may know that back in the late winter I was diagnosed -- at the age of 52 -- with ADHD. I in no way doubt the diagnosis; I'm a textbook case. That one bit of knowledge made a whole lot of other pieces of information fall into place -- or as I've been saying, "Suddenly my whole damn life makes sense."
I have read a big ol’ pile of nutrition books in the past 33 years. I generally learn at least a little something from each one, or at the very least am reminded of a point I may have forgotten. But in his new book Wheat Belly, Dr. William Davis, a cardiologist from Milwaukee, and author of Track Your Plaque, and the Heart Scan Blog has written a book in which the majority of the information is new to me. I am agog. And excited – I am a big nutrition geek, after all; it’s thrilling to have this sort of stuff presented to me, and presented in such a readable form.
But I am also frightened. Why frightened? Because the problem Dr. Davis has limned in this groundbreaking new book is staggering in its scope and implications. And the stuff causing it is not only near-universal, but widely seen as the most wholesome and beneficial of foods.
Ironically, I had it in my mind that I needed to write a review of Wheat Belly today, when I got an email from a reader, thrilled with my low carb whole wheat bread recipe. I’m glad she likes it, and the book, but... sigh.
A few months back, I wrote about the Arby's "Good Mood Food" ads. Tonight I saw the new iteration: Arby's ads now refer to their "mood-enhancing curly fries."
Laced with Ecstasy? Or Prozac? What's your bet?
A Two Line Review of the new Chocolate Quest Bars:
Me: "They remind me of Tootsie Rolls."
TNBIM: "Oh, geez, totally!"
Considerably higher protein and lower carb than Tootsie Rolls, of course.
So I made the pork rind cake. I started with the canonical recipe, making these changes:
* I did use sour cream instead of heavy whipping cream I soured with vinegar or lemon juice.
* I cut back on the cinnamon. The original recipe called for a half a cup, which is a heckuva lot of cinnamon. It's also 43 grams of carb, although 30 grams of that is fiber. I used 6 tablespoons, or 25% less.
This started as a recipe for a Thai Rice Salad with broiled salmon, but I had leftover chicken in the house, and I sure wasn't going to use rice! I played with the dressing some, too -- the original was sweeter, so add another teaspoon of sweetener if you think it needs it. I think the salad would be improved by chopped dry roasted peanuts on top, but I was going for something that would please regular low carbers and those who eat closer to paleo, as well -- since peanuts are a legume, they're not paleo. But truly, they'd be great here, if you want to add 'em.
For years I've heard rumors of Pork Rind Cake, and reports that it actually tastes quite good, like a spice cake or carrot cake. I happen to have a bunch of extra pork rinds in the house, left over from the Meet & Greet, so I think it's time to give it a try. Probably alter the canonical recipe some, though. Among other things, it calls for heavy cream soured with vinegar; I see no reason not to use sour cream.
I will report back here, and fill you in on A) my version, and B) if it's any good.
Finally wrote up the Low Carb Meet & Greet. Go to CarbSmart and see!
So our friend Scott Merritt was nearby, having been to GenCon, an event about which I know little except it's a huge, big deal for science fiction fans of all sorts, and apparently for Dr. Who fans in particular. Scott makes his living selling tee shirts at such events.
Sadly, having had to be at GenCon this past weekend meant that Scott won't be able to make it to the Low Carb Meet-and-Greet this coming weekend -- he lives in Texas, and it's quite a drive -- so he came by and hung out for an evening. Very good to see him.
The whole idea here was to come up with a recipe that would work for low carbers and paleo/primal folks, both. The only switch needed is to sub real honey and maple syrup for the sugar-free versions. These are mildly sweet; you could add more stevia if you want them sweeter, or even add some Splenda if you like.
I think these would be great in a kid's lunch box. Or bag. Or whatever kids carry lunch in these days.
Cherry-Almond-Coconut Cookie-Snacky Things
2/3 cup almond butter
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons sugar-free pancake syrup
Almost a year ago, I wrote about my attempts to make sugar-free limoncello. As I said at the time, I've never had the sugary kind, so I had nothing to judge it against. It's nice, but really too sweet for my tastes, drunk alone.