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Chia - The New Superfood?

Posted on November 30, 2009
So, my new blog friend Mizfit, who is into all things fitness (and looks it), turned me on to Chia.   Do check her out for exercise tips and general comraderie of the fit or wanna be fit.  She is normally all into flax, but has lately been singing the praises of Chia.   Yes, it is the same stuff that sprouts into a Chia pet, but no, you cannot just eat yours.

It's an awesome way to get omega-3, but I won't bore you with the wonders of this newly resdiscovered grain...you can check it out at Fit Tip Daily if you missed it on Oprah.

I got mine from the nice people at nutsonline.com, a family owned business with lots of other goodies like chocolate and dried fruit.

Now, before you get all excited, let me warn you that no matter what anyone says, this is NOT something you can just chew and be done with.  They get gooey in your mouth, think mucilage.  I read lots of articles that say that soaking the seeds will form a gel.  I soaked some for 24 hours and you can see that they did not dissolve.  So I took the stick blender to them.  Still not my idea of edible. 

Maybe I'll sprinkle them on things and grind them for flour.  This gooey batch will go into oatmeal.  Or the disposal...

I'm still going to give it a try.  How long can it take to go through a one pound bag one tablespoon at a time???

Please note that chia pet seeds are not grown as food and not safe to eat!


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Roast Beef | Low Carb Lean and Delicious

Posted on April 24, 2009

Slow Roasted Beef Eye Round When I talk about low carb, I really mean increasing the protein and edging out the bad carbs.   The hard-core low carb diet seems to crash and burn here, but a more moderate version that puts less focus on the potatoes and rice is slowly gaining acceptance.

There is only so much chicken one can eat, but it’s advantage is that it is low fat and relatively cheap.  If I’m going to make a beef roast, it has to meet 3 criteria:  it has to fit into the grocery budget, it has to be lean, and, it has to be tender and juicy.   America’s Test Kitchen did an episode on slow roasting a beef eye of round so I decided to see if that would fit the requirements.

I purchased a 3# beef eye of round for about $8, which totally fit into the budget – you can pay more than that per pound for a good steak.

The USDA database states that a 3 oz portion of choice, beef eye of round, fat trimmed to 1/8”, roasted, has 180 calories and 8.5 grams of fat.  The equivalent chuck roast braised in a Crockpot has 305 calories and 23 grams of fat.   Eye of round wins this round.  Would the cooking method prove to make a tender and juicy roast?

The first step is to rub on 1 teaspoon of kosher salt per pound of beef, then wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours for the enzymatic magic to happen.  When you’re ready to cook, simply pat dry, sear, and pop into a 225 degree oven until the temperature reaches 115, then turn off the oven and let the residual heat cook until the roast reaches 130.  They estimate the total process at about 2 hours.  A digital meat thermometer is a must for this recipe.

Does it work?  Pretty much.  I followed the preparation  instructions, and then seared it in a cast iron skillet while the oven pre-heated.  Then I popped the roast, still in the pan, in the oven.  The meat came to 115 in about 75 minutes, and I turned off the oven and let it keep going to 130.  The problem?  My family doesn’t eat beef that rare.  So, I returned the beef back to the now-cool oven, set the temperature to 225, and turned off the oven when it got there.  In about 20 minutes the beef was at 140. 

It looked dry, but it wasn’t.  It was cooked through, just the barest pink in the center, and still moist, which was pretty surprising.  It was pleasantly salty, but not overly so.  The boys said it tasted like steak.  There are no drippings so you won’t get a pan sauce or gravy, so we used our favorite steak sauces.  It was inexpensive, lean, and perfectly cooked.

For my family’s tastes I need to play around with the temperature and timing.  Leftovers (ha, we had 8 ounces left) would slice nicely for sandwiches.  A great thing about this recipe is that the oven temperature is so low you can roast beef for salads or sandwiches over the summer.  Try Slow Roasted Beef Eye Round yourself!


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Healthier Dinners

Posted on January 6, 2009

 

tricolor peppers It’s hard to stay out of the fray.  The New Year brings on talk of low carb diets and good carb diets, and even the no carb diets (but I think that one pretty much died – and good riddance to it!).   So I decided that I would try to make our dinners more low and good carb.  The first recipe I tried had mixed success.  Meatloaf in Pepper Rings is only semi-involved.  It is exactly what it declares itself to be, only you pack the meatloaf into rings of bell pepper, brown it in a pan (not sure that’s a completely necessary step), and then finish it off in the oven.  My husband loved it, the son who despises meatloaf, as expected, did not like it, and the son who eats almost everything ate everything but the pepper rings.   I served it with steamed broccoli, some leftover fruit salad, and bread (whole grain fiber rich of course) & butter.


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