Friday, September 28, 2012
To hemp or not to hemp? Before you answer that question, ask this one: "Are you having a drug test any time soon?"
Allow me to explain. I've been using hemp seeds as a source of protein for a few months now. Hemp seeds are nutty in flavor and slightly crunchy. They can be eaten raw, made into milk, prepared as tea or ground into meal. Besides topping my salad, I've be making a homemade hemp milk for use in my morning smoothies. Smoothies that are enjoyed not only by me, but by my guy.
Enter a new job opportunity for said guy; an opportunity which requires a drug test. I do the first thing any normal, non-drug using individual would do at this point - I Google it. What I find is hundreds of articles, each one contradicting the last. In a skeptical and wavering voice I notify my SO that he is in the clear; no doubt he felt there was a bit of a white lie hidden in my delivery. But one of us worrying about it was enough. I offhandedly suggested we stop mixing hemp smoothies until the result of the drug test were in as a precautionary measure.
In the meantime, my research over hemp seeds deepened. My understanding is that Hemp seeds (and oil) have a range of 5-10 ppm THC. So failing a workplace drug test is extremely unlikely. Unlikely is not a definate, but it's fairly firm.
If you need to play the straight and narrow for a few weeks, go sans hemp with my Blueberry Oatmeal Smoothie. It's made with almond milk. Then, when your results are in, fire up the hemp smoothie for a celebration.
Friday, September 21, 2012
Dave and I have had a tradition of Friday night fish dinners for some time now. When or how this started is a faded memory, though it may have to do with deep seated roots of Friday night fish fry's in small Midwestern towns.
I love a good fish fry, though I can do without all the breading and oil these days. So the challenge is to enhance the fish with a few less calories as well as with fresh, bright flavors.
Tonight mahi mahi sits on a cloud of Swiss chard with a simple orange sauce. Fish and greens can leave a person wanting a little more, pasta fills that void. It gives the dish body and texture. Fresh ingredients shine through without using overpowering seasonings. Sure there is a little bacon grease being used in this dish, but sparingly. And pancetta sounds healthier and fancier than than bacon anyway.
This dish is not limited to Friday nights, so go crazy and try it on a Tuesday! It's a fat and happy fresh fish un-fry.
Saturday, September 15, 2012
Beets are notorious for showing up on salads. Usually on a bed of lettuce or sprinkled with goat cheese. So I wondered why couldn't beets find comfort in a creamy dressing the way chicken, ham and tuna do?
They can and in this recipe they do; only difference is the lightened up dressing. This beet salad is creamy and earthy with a crunchy bite from the celery and pistachios.
Pile the beets salad between two hearty pieces of bread along with some kale and you get a super filling sandwich. Or try topping a slice of sweet potato for a fun bruschetta appetizer.
Either way, beets find a home in healthy fat and happy way.
Monday, September 10, 2012
The monthly Recipe Swap challenges a group of bloggers to recreate an old recipe by varying the ingredients or method. These recipes are chosen from old hymnals, pioneer journals and treasured recipe books; often they are quite intriguing. Take this month's recipe for example - pork fruit cake. The recipe literally says to mix all the ingredients (a pound of pork and a pound of currants) and then bake very slowly. Priceless.
My recipe goal is to stick with most of the original ingredients while messing with the method. But wanting to be somewhat true to the original recipe, I wanted the pork to be encased in bread. Steamed buns were calling out. But I had an overload of Asian food leading up to my weekend cooking. So I decided to stuff the pork into fresh bread loaf and use the fruit aspect as a compote on the side.
I have to admit, time got away from me and and in a rare moment of weakness I decided to purchase the bread rather than make it from scratch. The baking gods wouldn't allow it - there was no frozen bread dough to be found. I was meant to make it from scratch. So I set my alarm for early and kneaded my way through it.
What did I end up with? Exactly what it sounds like. Luscious pulled pork wrapped in warm, buttery, crunchy, doughy bread with a titillating spicy, fruity relish. Freaking yummy! Seriously.
There is life in those old recipes yet, you just gotta make them yours. Make this delicious Fat and Happy pork bread in the mean time.
Saturday, September 8, 2012
We don't eat chicken. Technically Dave doesn't eat chicken; by default that means I don't either...much. This tends to cause a interesting game of hide-and-don't-seek when we are invited to dinner because more often that not, chicken is on the menu.
What this all means is that I've learned to bring along non-chicken options that are filling and interesting and can be disguised as side dishes to avoid overshadowing the main dish. It's never a good idea to dominate a meal your host has planned.
Many people only think of turkey as a big Thanksgiving meal, but it can be so much more versatile. Turkey cutlets allow for simple marinating and quick grilling in these Thai-Asian lettuce wraps; all the usual suspects (ingredients) come into play too: bean sprouts, peanuts and mint.
Using lettuce as the bread makes for a lighter, carb-free option that is perfect for a delicate entree or as a simple accompaniment to a larger meal. As a bonus, if you want to save time or feed a crowd, simply tear up the lettuce and toss all the ingredients to turn this into a big salad.
These turkey lettuce wraps came with us to a barbecue last weekend and paired quite nicely with the barbecued jerk chicken being served. The host wasn't offended by our addition and Dave had food to eat with no one the wiser - everyone was fat and happy!
Sunday, September 2, 2012
A close friend is marking half a century. Friends and family from all parts of her life are coming together to celebrate with an evening of elegant picnicking and lighthearted roastings.
I struggled with what dish to bring that was carefree, simple to pack and move around and that stands up to the weather. To add to that, I was given her AARP card that showed up in the mail to do something creative with. Let me deviate from the recipe for a moment to say we are talking about a women who has a better body than any one half her age, stunning looks and has the fun attitude to go with it it all. Simply Fabulous!
Somehow I landed on the idea of making serving bowls out of copies of her AARP card. From there, it was easy to come up with a snack to fill those paper bowls - flavored popcorn.
Two easy recipes but wildy different in taste. The Parmesan and Oregano Popcorn is rich and buttery while the Indian Spice Popcorn is exotic and finger licking good.
Everyone loves popcorn and these are fun, simple favors for all fat and happy ages.