Saturday, March 19, 2011

What I 8 Today - 3/19/11 (Plus Some General Discussion)

Today was a delicious day from beginning to end! I started my day with a grilled cheese sandwich, using bread from the lovely loaf recipe I posted yesterday, and american, swiss, and provolone cheeses. Lots of butter of course, and < 10gN for the whole meal which left me quite full so I wasn't really hungry again until suppertime.

For supper we had simple broiled chuck steak; I took the half with the most fat of course. And I made some amazingly perfect rutabaga steak fries. I sliced them into wide sticks, then fried them in olive oil and real butter, simply seasoning them with sea salt when they were done. (NOTE: I like these cooked really well, and hopefully I'll even get a few black ones in the end! A little carbon puts hair on your chest!) Total carbs for supper were about 12gN for the rutabaga but there is a wide variety of opinion when it comes to these; every source has a different carb count, so they could be anywhere from 8gN to 15gN. I just picked the number 12 as a good guess for the amount I ate. And a couple for the low carb ketchup. (see photo below)

After supper Pete dished us up some no sugar added bunny tracks ice cream. He gave me probably 2 servings, maybe a little less, so that's 40g total carbs, less 6g fiber, and there are also 14 grams of Sugar alcohols. Whether or not to count them is up to you; since I'm not really counting carbs at the moment I don't care :).

Why am I not counting carbs? Well first I am dropping weight. I still don't want to lose weight, and I still hate what it is doing to my body (I am lighter than I have been in probably over a decade, which means I have more saggy flabby hanging skin than I've ever had - UGH!), but I told my surgeon that I would lose weight. I believe that my post-surgical weight loss - common and expected after a fundoplication - had stopped about a month ago, but I could be wrong; most people continue to lose for 5-6 months from what I've read. But I'd stopped for a couple of weeks, during which I was eating a little carbier than usual...this leads me to believe that I'm losing again because I'm eating normally again.

The other reason that I'm not counting carbs is that I haven't done so after my first year of eating low carb. I only buy foods that I know aren't carby, and I prepare and eat only what I buy. If I'm eating plenty of fat, and my intake is primarily non-starchy vegetables, meat, eggs, and some dairy, with only low carb ingredients in my baking, and adding as much fat as I can stand, and I'm good. As once again evidenced by my current rate of loss. I don't keep track, but once or twice a week I step on the scale - which isn't very accurate when compared to my doctor's scale but is good for showing trends - and the needle is lower every time. Plus, by the fit of my clothes and the size of my body and the amount of saggy disgusting gross skin I've got hanging off my frame everywhere, I know that I am losing even though I have no clue what I weigh.

So that's my report for today...and some rambling too :).

Friday, March 18, 2011

That LOVELY Bread - My Tweaks

UPDATED June 16, 2011 - ^ indicates ingredient changes (mostly amounts), resulting in a consistently more beautiful loaf, and also carb count reduced by almost 25% for the loaf!

As I've posted previously, I found this recipe for bread, made it, and it was the best one I've ever tried! But of course, after the first time, I had to mess with it. When I follow a recipe at all, I never follow it exactly, and almost always add more tweaks with each successive making of it. This has been no different. I've made the bread probably a dozen times since the first, and now I have a loaf that I like the best. It isn't as spongy (although there is still some sponginess to it) as the original, and I like the texture and the flavor better. So here is my revision of that wonderful original recipe!

- 1 tsp sugar
- 3 tsp yeast
- 3/4c hot water

I sprinkle the first 2 ingredients across the bottom of my pan, then add the water fairly slowly, all around, so that it mixes as it lands, then close the lid. As the yeast is getting happy, I prepare the remaining ingredients.

Into a medium mixing bowl I whisk together

- 3/4c vital wheat gluten^
- 3/4c wheat protein Isolate^
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2/3c baking mix*^
- 1/2c ground flax

Into a smaller dish I whip together until frothy:
- 2 eggs
- 2T plain full-fat yogurt^
- 10 drops liquid sucralose

In another small dish I melt
- 2T real butter

By this time, my yeast is mixture is foamed up and singing drunken sailor songs. I gently stir in the egg mixture with a spatula, then the butter. Then I add the dry ingredients. I set the machine to 1.5# loaf, light color, basic cycle (3 hours), and start it. Then I wash up the dishes I'd used, except the spatula, and by that time it is mixed pretty well, except for a fair amount of dry ingredients around the sides. The paddle and my spatula dance as I scrape that back into the dough, then I close the lid and leave it alone to consummate the loaf.

I don't touch it again until it beeps that the mixing/rising is done, when I wash my hands and lift out the dough to remove the paddle. I pat the dough back into the pan so that it's even all around, and let it finish.

NOTE: The dough won't be as risen as it will eventually get at this point. It will continue to rise as it bakes.

Once the bread is done, I remove the pan and let it cool for about 15-20 minutes, then turn the loaf out onto a plate, where I leave it, uncovered, overnight. This isn't an essential step, but it lets the crust dry out a bit and makes it easier to cut in the morning. I get 14 slices, about 1/4-3/8" each, out of each loaf, and that lasts us about 4 days. It is fine as bread but even more wonderful as toast :).

* I don't like Bob's Red Mill baking mix very much, but I like soy flour even less, so I'm using up my BRM until it is gone. I've also used a 1/2 and 1/2 mixture of oat flour and oat bran which works just fine. I don't think I would use carbquik with it since it has so much leavening in it, but if you try it and it works, let me know ok? :)

The parts of the sum (in net):
sugar - 5g (but I won't count these in the total since the yeast eats 'em up)
yeast - 6g
vital wheat gluten - 18g^
Carbquik baking mix - 4g^
wheat protein isolate - 0g
ground flaxseed - 0g (negligible, pretty much all fiber/oils)
eggs - a little less than 2g
yogurt - negligible, let's say 1g
sucralose - 0g
butter - 0g

Sum total of the parts is about 31gN or a little less, which is a little more than 2gN per slice when cut into 14 slices.

I hope that this works in other bread makers as well as it does in mine :). It sounds complicated when I write it out so completely, but like anything else, once you get the hang of it, it goes quickly. About 10 minutes, start to finish, twice a week is a small price for me to pay to have bread as lovely as this as part of my low carb life!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Great Food Day Today, Too! #lowcarb

My beloved Petey made us ham and cheese omelets for breakfast today, really hit the spot!

Midday meal was tilapia, oven-fried in some olive oil and butter at a high (425F) temp until crispy around the edges and tender in the center, and green salads with shrimp and ranch dressing.

Supper was some Dreamfield's spaghetti with butter, just enough low-carb pasta sauce to turn it pink, and parmesan cheese.

Really a lovely day, with simple, inexpensive, but delicious food!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Leftover Cauliflower: A Recipe

I had about 2c of leftover cauliflower with cheddar melted on it in the fridge and wanted a side dish to go with my pork. So I whipped up a couple of eggs, pulsed the cauli/cheese in the processor until it was like rice (cold cheese chops up just fine), and added "bread crumbs" (my standard crumbs are 2 parts ground porkie to 1 part parmesan from the can). Mixed in some onion and garlic powder - it had enough salt already - and let it sit so everything would come together.

With the resulting mixture I first fried patties in bacon fat by dropping it by several spoonsful into the hot fat and pressing it down with the turner, flipping them once the bottom was brown and crispy (about 4-5 minutes) to let the other side also brown and crisp up. That used up half the mixture, so I did the rest as if it was hash browns; I added a little more bacon fat to the pan, then the cauli mixture, and stirred it around every few minutes.

I personally like the patties better, but the "cauli browns" were also very good!

Meanwhile I fried up some pork cutlets I had, also in bacon fat, seasoned with just sea salt and garlic powder.

I will make sure that, when I have cauliflower from now on, I will make enough to have leftovers so that I can make these again!