Here’s the deal. I have been doing my best to eat better, save some money and try to make all of my Crossfit efforts count. So this is what I have been doing. I cut the sugar. I cut eating wheat, grains, booze, soda and, you know, all the good stuff.
But you want to know something? It has been much easier than I would have thought. The only thing I truly miss is a little something sweet. So I sometimes indulge with a small bite of something, small being the big word. So what I have been doing is making food I really want to eat. So tonight I made a really good, really simple, really chopped salad with sausage and kale soup.
Here is the ingredients for the salad. I am not going to give you the amounts for anything because it can be as much or as little of each ingredient as you like.
Cucumber, cut into chunks
Celery, cut thinly
Brussel Sprouts sliced very thin (think coleslaw)
Green onions, chopped
Butternut Squash, peeled, seeded, med diced and roasted in a 350 degree oven until soft. Let cool
Green Grapes, cut in half
Romain Lettuce, chopped fine
Combine all of this in a large enough bowl and toss. Add the following dressing just before service
Dressed with Honey Mustard dressing
1 tablespoon mustard, your choice
1 tablespoon honey
1 part white vinegar or your choice
3 parts EVOO
Salt to taste
I can tell you straight up. It is freaking good. I hope that you enjoy this.
Remember what our founding fathers said, “We the People, in order to form a more perfect salad…”
P.S. Please take a survey that I am conducting for a project I am doing. Please click HERE. Thank you in advance.
It has been a very interesting couple months in my world. In short I had a job drop into my lap perfect and not perfect all rolled into one. I’ve been cooking my ass off. I have been attempting Stand Up comedy in Denver with moderate success, but I made my charity, LOVE HOPE STRENGTH some money, I’m happy about that. I have been collecting more than my share of speeding/parking tickets. My cars been hit. I am in the best shape I have been in….let’s see what else?
It’s been a pretty good end of the year, everything and skill I have, I did!
So here is my big plans. 2013 is the year of getting out of all of my comfort zones. I am going to do ANYTHING, all pride aside, all ego aside and live this midlife crisis to the max, as we used to say way back in the day.
Here is my list of 2013 tasks;
a) Start a design firm
b) Restore at least 2 vintage motorcycles
c) Get my foot in the door of a custom furniture maker
d) Get to know Brooklyn better
e) Get even more fit
f) Help somebody and do good
g) See one Deepak lecture
h) Learn one song on the piano
I) Get a one man monologue show written
j) Continue to prove to my lovely bride to be how much I love her
k) Get my niche in the food world (I can assure you oddly enough, that it won’t involve working a line anywhere)
l) Get off Facebook
This is just a small starting list for the next 365 days ahead. All I can hope for is that the Mayan weren’t correct in their prediction. I’m looking forward to next year.
The pancakes above is not in the plan anymore.
Yes it has finely happened, I have let my Crossfit habit mingle with my professional life and it is about time. I have never been one of those guys that was or ever thought would become a gym rat, I’m not a rat more like a crack habit. But over the last two years I have been doing Crossfit- first at Roaring Fork Crossfit under the suggestion of my good friends Mark Fisher and Lari Goode and now at Broadway Crossfit and South Denver X-Fit. Why this is relevant is that Mark and Lari are food people, Mark is a Chef and Lari runs the world. Their restaurants are six89 Main, Phat Thai and The Pullman, which I helped designed and built.
Both of them are and always have been very fit, truth be told, most people in the food industry are really not in good shape. It’s the food, booze and hours that get us. So when you find people that are so dedicated to healthy living and the food they prepare is neccessaruly not. This meaning, calories, butter, oil, sugar, etc. even portion size. I take notice.
I bring Crossfit into this for a reason. It is really hard work, work that I don’t take lightly. I have been involve in Xfit for 2 years and have had remarkable success. I am not the strongest guy in the gym/box but I am not the worse. I have thing that I am really good at and others I just SUCK at, I’m talking to you squat snatch! But the point being is that I am really trying my hardest to get good at this, become stronger and look good, yes, vanity. I think it’s working.
I bust my ass, I am in pain and I don’t want to throw all of my efforts away just because I WANT pancakes or dessert. That, in the nature of evolution, is making me WANT to eat better, eat healthier and think about if I really want to drink my hard work away. I pretty much have given up drinking all together. I love beer and I love great scotch but the toll it takes aren’t worth it to me. I thought I would never say that, but I did and I mean it.
I will not become one of those people that act holier than thou about this, but for me, it have made all the difference in the world. I still cook with butter, bacon, cream, whatever, but it is now done with a softer hand.
If you haven’t noticed the recipes I been posting are 1 bowl 2 pot recipes. I found that if I make it easier with a few really good ingredients and flavor, every meal is a success! So keep on following this blog and I promise I won’t cult like on ya!
Have a good week and I will talk with you this weekend
Here is a quick recipe for the dinner I just made, Super easy and delicious:
Cannellini bean and roasted chicken
1 Roasted chicken, either your own or a store bought one, 1/2 shredded other half saved for an other time.
1 can Organic Cannellini Beans, drained
1/2 Red onion diced
2 cloves of chopped garlic
1/4 cup chopped smoked bacon
1 broccoli florets sliced
1/2 cup chicken stock or water
1 tablespoon oregano
salt and pepper
In a med saute pan on med heat. when pan is warm add bacon, stir and cook until fat is rendered and bacon is almost cooked
Add red onion to bacon and cook until onions are tender.
Add chicken and garlic, saute for 3 minutes.
Add broccoli and toss and sauté with bacon and chicken and stuff.
Add beans, stock and oregano, turn heat down a touch and cook until beans are hot. (if needed, add more stock to keep moisture)
Taste and season to your taste, remember that there is bacon in there so be light handed with the salt, unless you love lots of salt.
Serve in bowls and top with parmesan
Serve with french bread if you like.
Great food can be simple and quick, just remember, texture, flavor and balance.
It was Sunday evening; the sun was going down and the first thing I felt like doing was getting on my website to blog about the great weekend I had in Palisade and Grand Junction area enjoying the The Mountain Winefest.
With an estimated 7000 tickets sold and countless Colorado winemakers, live entertainment (as opposed to dead entertainment) and chef demos all thru the day, what is not to love? I had the pleasure of being the feature celebrity chef and the 12 noon demo guy, flanked by other great chefs and Local Culinary students, (I will provide a link to the school as soon as I get the proper link). Any whooo, It was a smashing success!
For my demo, I was very lucky to have over 100 people in attendance, it must of been my lucky day-I may have only offended 10% of them. Yee Haw!
I prepared an Asian BBQ pork short rib with a Gala apple ‘salad’. So, by request and my promise, here are the recipes for those delicious little niblets.
1 rack of pork ribs, cut in half by your butcher
Some carrots, celery and onions all chopped
TB of whole black peppercorns
A couple bay leaves
1/2 cup chopped fresh ginger
What to do:
Oven: 300 degrees
Heat a grill or large saute’ pan, season ribs with salt and pepper and sear meat side until nice and browned. Place ribs and all the other ingredients in a roasting pan and cover the ribs with with warm water. Cover the pan tightly with foil and place in oven. Cook for 4 to 6 hours or until meat is very tender.
Remove from oven and let cool overnight in broth in the fridge. Save for later.
My Asian BBQ Glaze
1/4 cup sesame oil (any oil is ok)
1/2 cup chopped garlic
1/2 cup chopped ginger
2 dried ancho chilies (again, any dried chili is fine, just be careful of the heat. Marilyn Monroe knows “Some like it hot”)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cups Hoisan sauce
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 cup fresh cilantro
How to make it:
In a med sized sauce pot, heat oil over med heat. Add ginger and garlic and sweat and stir and sweat and stir until very fragrant.
Add and melt in brown sugar
Add the seeded dried chilies
Pour in the apple cider vinegar and bring just up to a boil
Add the Hoisan sauce, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stir ever so often, DO NOT BURN.
Add the cilantro,and lime juice and turn off the heat.
Blend in a blender or food processor and strain.
Now, the hit of the day – Gala Apple “Salad”
2 Gala or Granny Smith apple, 1/4’d and sliced very thin
2 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
1 cup thinly sliced fennel root
1/2 cup each of fresh mint leaves, cilantro, and chopped green onion
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup Miran
1/4 fresh lime juice
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and toss. Chill until service – only if service is within 30 minutes. Best to chill all the ingredients separate and combine just before service.
Time to put it all together:
Take ribs and cut into portion size, in a bowl, toss with some of the bbq sauce so they are well coated. place on grill and cook until hot.
Remove and sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with apple salad. Feel free to glaze with more sauce to your liking.
I really had a great time cooking for all the food lovers in the grand valley. I will be posting on Wednesday the Corn soup recipe I did for my chefs dinner at the Doubletree Hotel friday night,
Love ya all! Be sure to subscribe to my blog and comment
“Mom…..MOM! I am SOOO hungry! Do you have any pine needles? I’m starving!”, screams the child of the future.
I remember vividly, it was 1979 and the new buzzword of ‘people in the know’ was Sushi. My friends and I all of 16 and 17 years old. went to our very first Sushi restaurant in Denver, Colorado, the mecca of fresh seafood. You can imagine how that experience went… not so good. I think, I mean I know, that we buried our waiter with questions, “What do you mean it’s not cooked, it’s RAW? and so on. We ended up eating something cooked that we could say. This was not a good start.
Then came the Nouveau Cuisine movement. It was [I swear] 1 or 2 peas, a bite size bit of meat and a sprig of something for interest at 38 bucks. What were we thinking? Was it just another way to show excess and wash our arrogance down with a nice white Zin? I’m not sure, I was just 20 but it just seemed odd.
Fast forward to today, the 2012’s, the ‘we know everything about food era’. How it’s grown, who were its parents, what farmer use what soil to grow that heirloom tomato that has had its DNA traced back to the Mayflower. awesome right?
I don’t know…..I enjoy food and cooking as much as anyone out there and probably more than most. But my question is, have we all become so jaded that we can’t enjoy just eating?
First of all, let me make one thing clear, the raw product should be good, as good as you can get and afford. Not a freak science projects, grown on the other side of the earth, picked and shipped 2 weeks ago or meat that is harvested inhumanly- to best of your knowledge. It is very important to put good things in our bodies and our families bodies and friends bodies. But to what end?
I want to pose a few quick questions, would you turn down your grandmothers chocolate cake because it’s not gluten-free? How about that favorite dish you had every year for your birthday and your mom made it special just because she knows you like it? Do you stick to your guns or is there some flexibility in your views?
My view as a cook and chef is to try everything, everything in moderation and practice moderation in moderation.
Some of the best food I have eaten was off a street cart in a market in any other country than the USA. Thailand, France, Italy, anywhere else but here. Is it the best of ingredients? Do I know the farmer? Is it described and greens from _______ farm and ________cheese aged for ______ days? Fill in the blanks.
What I do know is that most of the product did not come from a major distributor, there are no semi-trucks dropping off cases of meat and produce to the side of their 3′ x 4′ cart. They bought what they needed, when they need it. I could not ask for a better way to eat.
Back to the whole chemical cooking thing and is cooking getting too creative. Yes. I thinks is cool and the skill and knowledge to produce that style of cuisine in worth a degree in chemical engineering and organic chemistry. Do I crave it? Does it satisfy my soul? Will it be timeless?
I hope that all this information that we all have gained doesn’t get lost to history as all the other trends of the past.
See all of you in Grand Junction at Mountain Winefest this weekend.
There are a few things in life that are hard to openly admit. Things that you really enjoy.. that may be basic or simply uncool. So in public, you find yourself preparing for the backlash for your naiveness or wait to hear their hipster condensation in one simple word, “really?!”. Let me give you some examples;
Top of the list is Deviled Eggs, you love them…but wouldn’t order them in a restaurant with people you didn’t know very well.
Second is Katy Perry, she’s easy to hate, but damn she has catchy songs. You would dance to any of them if ‘I kissed a girl’ came on and your closest friend had the slightest sign of head-bopp’n going on…you would be the first out on the dance floor just to save them from making a fool of themselves.
Then there is Judge Judy, period. Enough said.
You’re probably wondering why I even bring all of this up? Well, I just went to a pot-luck party recently and I was asked to bring a side-dish. Everyone was bringing heirloom tomato this and slow braised that, Whole Foods cheese of the day and wine just north of Portland. That’s cool, all delicious, all ‘upscale’, all gastronomically current, but…
I brought coleslaw. I love coleslaw and if you are new to this blog, I always will do what I like, not in an “I deserve that ” kind of way, but in an “I really like it” kind of way. I love great cheese as much as the next guy, but if you personally ate this cheese on someones front porch, have a great story about it and it was memorable, to me, it adds to the flavor. I have found that not much flavor comes from a $8.99 a pound salad out of the deli case at the market.
So I showed up with this coleslaw.
What I heard was “I usually don’t like this but it’s really good.”… aww good old blast from the past moment. This is what I love about hidden loves. It’s coleslaw, cabbage and other stuff, made with good ingredients, mixed with pure ‘kitsch’ and served with quiet satisfaction. Honestly, my favorite kind.
Here is that recipe, all dressed up and ready to become your next, hard to admit favorite thing. Trust me, your friends and guests will enjoy it secretly as well.
2 green apples
2 fennel roots, fronds removed (for another variation, substitute jicama, peeled)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste
Slice apples and fennel root very thin. A mandolin works best for this. Make small stacks of apple slices, then cut stacks into thin matchsticks. This step is not necessary with the fennel.
In a separate bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, vinegar, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Toss apple and fennel with some or all of the dressing, depending on how creamy you would like it.