Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Turkey patties with Indian spices

Lunch today was free-range turkey patties with spinach and red onions. It was really satisfying and the onions were so sweet!

I used some Indian spice packets for channa masala to jazz up the meal. I added the spices to the raw turkey and to the spinach and onions as they sauteed. It was subtle but a nice hint of flavor.

Anyone else excited that it is cherry season? I lovvvvvvveeeee fresh cherries.

Duck carnitas

This weekend I spent a little while making duck leg carnitas. Totally yummy!

I then made a delicous salad out of them, with tomatillo salsa. My recipe was adapted from Modern Mex by Scott Linquist. Following is my cooking method:

Melt 1 lb lard on the stovetop in a heavy ovenproof covered skillet to which has been added the following ingredients:

juice of one blood orange (that's what I had on hand)
1 bay leaf
2 cloves garlic
1 cinnamon stick
big pinch black pepper (I didn't have the whole peppercorns it called for)
pinch chinese 5 spice powder (I didn't have allspice berries)
6 whole chile de arbol (it called for 1 but I like things hot)

When lard is melted, throw in the two salted duck legs, cover, and toss in a 300 deg oven for 2 hrs or so. When done, the meat should be tender and pull off the bone. Pull it off the bone and you can eat it right then or let it cool and then saute it in the skillet to brown it.

I did that and then added it to a big salad with avocado, arugula and tomatillo/serrano salsa. Yummy!!

I was getting sick of chicken chicken chicken. Of course, our ancient ancestors would not have eaten just one type of bird all the time, so I am trying to branch out. Next time, free range turkey. I know, so daring! Wow!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bison "Kababs"

Tonight I made a delicious dinner of "bison kababs". I had purchased some ground bison meat from our local farmer's market provider, Linder Bison. I mixed up a bit of the meat with some "kabob seasoning" I purchased at the Persian grocery store, made small patties, and cooked them up in a pan with a bit of olive oil. Luckily, I managed not to overcook them - they were succulent but cooked through.

To go along with the little patties, I diced some cucumber and added it to a little greek yogurt with some lemon juice. I served it all up on a big bed of sauteed dandelion greens and onion, yellow tomatoes and topped with cilantro for a delicious and filling dinner. Dessert was some fresh cherries, a bit early in the season so they are not that sweet yet.

I think I'll be having the same thing tomorrow night! It was yummy!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Playground Workout

What's more fun than a sunny day at the park? My doggie is quite the avid retriever, so we have to go to the park regularly so he can fetch his ball. Luckily our local park is often deserted on the weekends, which allows for my dog and me to run wild and free. We walk/sprint to the park and then I throw his ball as far as I can (pretending I'm throwing rocks to hunt the birds flying by- hah). In between his fetching, I sometimes do squats, lunges, pushups, stretching, etc on the grass.

I am trying to bring more playful and primal moves into my life. So I thought after my dog exhausted himself running after his ball, I would incorporate the adjacent "jungle gym" into our park visits. Luckily, the playground is also lonely on weekends. Where are all the kiddos? Probably inside playing Nintendo or whatever.

The playground is a great place to work out the upper bod especially. I did pull ups (crappy) on the bars, slid down the slides for some fun, tried to swing like a monkey, step ups and sit ups on the steps, did some crawling around and climbing over. I was only bummed that my dog wouldn't go down the slides with me. I tried to force him, but he almost outweighs me. Oh well.

Later I did a little searching on google and youtube and found some great ideas for more structured exercises using the playground equipment. A nice fun way to enjoy the outdoors in the city and get some different kinds of movements in. Check it out!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Homemade Mexican Chorizo

OMG! I made homemade Mexican style chorizo and it was easy! AND it seems healthier than whatever is in the packaged one at the store. Yum yum! Want to try it?

Here is what I did. I bought some organic ground pork. I have no idea what the fat content is, but it seems very very lean. Oh well, that's ok. Cuz I also bought some LARD (for another recipe)! Wooo! I haven't done that before. I was always scared of lard. Maybe I still am.

I looked up a couple of recipes for homemade mexican chorizo on the internet and then made up my own version. Here is my approximate method:

Toast 2 dried New Mexico or Guajillo chiles and 5 chiles de arbol on a griddle or comal. Add to 1/4 c vinegar and let soak. Then toss that into a blender with 2 cloves of garlic, 1/2 shallot, dash of cinnamon, pinch of dried oregano, tsp of salt, tablespoon of cumin powder and tablespoon of red chile powder. (you can add less cumin - I love cumin) Blend up until smooth and mix into 1/2 lb ground pork. Test out by taking a little pinch and frying up in a pan to taste. Let the mix sit for a day or two to develop flavor.

Typically the chorizo you buy at the store is super greasy. Like I said, I think the pork I used was really lean. If so, you can add lard when you are mixing or just cook it up in lard or oil when you make it. I will just add oil to the pan when I am cooking. I like it less greasy.

How to enjoy it? I love a breakfast of chorizo mixed in with scrambled eggs with some cilantro on top. Delish! I tried to make little patties out of it but it fell apart. Maybe add a raw egg before making the patties? I am not yet a meatball wizard so I'll have to work on that.

I just had some for lunch - I fried it up in the pan as crumbles and added it to spinach for a fabulous salad. All it needed was a little squeeze of lemon. Totally satisfying.

Try it and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Thai Coconut Curry

Yummy! I love Thai food! The sweet and spicy and savory and salty and sour mix is just right. Sadly, much Thai food in Americanized restaurants here in the US is just too darn sugary for me. So, I try to make it at home to save on the random additions of weird ingredients.

I love Thai curry with coconut milk. Lately, I have been making it with fish or shrimp, but you can use any meat or make it just with veggies. Mmmm. I don't follow recipes, I'm too much of a rebel, but here is generally how I make it.

Open can of coconut milk. Scoop out some of the coconut cream on top and throw in a frying pan. Throw in a spoonful of Thai red curry paste, to taste. I often use Taste of Thai just because I can find it anywhere. But Mai Ploy is much better if you can find it at an Asian grocery. Let it cook on medium heat for a time, to let the flavors in the curry paste meld with the coconut oils. Pour in some of the coconut milk, to taste. Throw in your veggies or your meats first, whichever takes longest to cook. Lately I have been making it with zucchini and kale, I throw the zucchini in first then add the kale. Add water or more coconut milk while cooking depending on how you like the sauciness and consistency. Cook up until all is done. I throw in the fish or shrimp at the last minute cuz they cook so fast. I add some basil, cilantro and some lemon or lime juice and eat it up! Yum! Sorry for the blurry pic - it was steaming hot.

I like this meal because it is so yummy and gives you a little of everything you need. A little veg, a little protein, a little fat and a lot of exciting flavor.

I also make basically the same thing with green curry paste and add serranos for extra heat. You can add whatever you want to the mix. My favorite veggies with a red curry are red bell peppers and broccoli. I adore red bell peppers but I try to only buy them in season and they are not available right now.

First post!

Hello everyone! Just what the world needs, right? Another person to blog about their diet, recipes and way of life!?!

I decided to start this blog to keep track of my way of eating and working out and to keep myself accountable to stick with a healthy lifestyle. I also love to cook and to research and compile information, so I hope I can share and explore recipes and ideas with others in this online community of blog writers and readers. Fun fun!

I hope someone gets a little enjoyment or inspiration out of my babbling! If not, I'll just try to enjoy myself!

Thanks for reading! :)