Daily Meal Rewind – Tuesday

“Daily Meal Rewind” – What did we eat on Tuesday?

Breakfast:

Low Carb “Ranch Eggs” AKA – Huevos Rancheros. I don’t think this is the actual pic of that day, but I make this so often, no joke – I accidentally clicked on a pic to add and it landed on this one!! The odds were very good that would happen. I was hungry enough though. I got through with the first two eggs and had some meat left, so I tossed another egg on there.

This is easy to make, almost any kind of Stir Fry, Mexican or spiced meat will work – a  couple of “quickie” microwave eggs on top (or on the stove) and some shredded cheese on top and Voila’!! You have a very flavorful, hearty – yet still very low carb, breakfast.

Lunch: 

Pretty light – but very tasty lunch. I had a bunch of the chicken wings from that bunch of meat I had baked and smoked – these wings had brined off for a bit and then been in the fridge for a couple of days. I was thinking of something to do with them. Simple – chicken wings for lunch.


Really simple – Chicken wings, cut into pieces. They had been in that brine recipe as noted earlier. Fire up the gas grill – spread these little buggers out and keep turning them until they skin starts to bubble a little bit. Usually about 15-20 min on med-high or high… depends on the temp. outside. Delicious!!

WING TUESDAY!!

Supper: 

Snacks… Blue Diamond Almonds and Babybel Cheese – I scored these down at Kroger in Columbia. I was walking along and saw (what I thought was) these on close-out for 1.79. WOW?!? I thought I would try them out as one of our snacks. Turns out – they were mis-marked and should have been 5.99. What I can tell you is – at whatever the price, these things are PRETTY GOOD.

 

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Smoke-A-Palooza 2017

Smoke-A-Palooza 2017

My intention here was to fire up the smoker and do a bunch of meat for both us and my parents…

As you can see, I started off with 3 racks of ribs, 2 pork tenderloins, two whole chickens, some brats (for anyone wandering by during the day – something to snack on) and (not in the picture) I also prepped up 6 thick fish steaks.

For the ribs and pork tenderloins I used a rub I got some years back from a dear friend.

The Rub Recipe:

1 part Smoked Parika
1 part Salt
1 part Garlic Powder
1 part Sweetener (Brown Sugar/Splenda mix or powdered Splenda)
1 part Black Pepper
1 part Raspberry Chocolate coffee – plain grind

The 1 part will depend on how much rub you are making at one time. I think I used either a cup of half a cup and it was the perfect amount for everything I was doing. This trip through I used plain powdered Splenda – worked great.

I made a much smaller batch of the rub for Mom and Dad’s stuff. He’s supposed to be on a strict low sodium regime and she doesn’t like things as spicy.

I covered the ribs and tenderloins in a plain yellow mustard coating – let it set up just a bit, maybe an hour or so in the fridge.

I had put them all on a rack covered in tin foil. So I could handle them easier…

Then I generously doused and rubbed all the pieces with the rub. One of the pork tenders and one rack of ribs was meant for Mom and Dad so I cut out all the salt in the rub, cut the hotter spice profile in half and added some extra Splenda / Brown sugar mix to their portion. Mine I did a little different.

The Brats didn’t really need any treatment.

Here is the brine/marinade I made for the chicken and fish.

Brine recipe:

16 Cups water
3/4 Cup Kosher salt (I cut this number way down for this batch)
2/3 Cup powdered Splenda
2 Heads Garlic (I think I used minced garlic – if I recall correctly)
1/4 Cup Sage
1 Bay Leaf
1 TBSP Peppercorns
Cook on stove top 20 min. Take off and let cool (at least 2 hours). Don’t put the chicken in hot – you will start the poaching process.

I mixed it up in a medium / tall pot. Before I dumped the chicken in the brine I dipped some of the mixture out for the fish (which I waited to brine until about 6 hours before I was ready to smoke). The chicken would eventually end up soaking for about 36 hours. 8 is plenty – but it was in the fridge. No biggie.

I had everything ready – then we had some serious storms in the forecast. I decided to leave everything as it was in the fridge overnight and try again the next morning. No problem.

The next morning I fired up the smoker. Good thing we waited, I had a hard time getting it to draft properly so I moved it out in the open and put a plain box fan about 4 feet away from the firebox on low – worked great. Got everything moving right along. I would have been drenched all day.

I put the 3 racks of Ribs, 2 Loins, and some Brats on first – trying to keep a consistent 225* heat profile. Turns out I didn’t have room on the smoker for any of the Chicken.

I wound up letting the ribs go about 8 hours on the grill. At the 3 hour mark I put them in a double foil wrap and dumped a bunch of Apple Cider Vinegar in with them. They were looking a little firm on the way in – the ACV started working that right out. When they came off the grill, I wasn’t super impressed with the tenderness… so I put them in a 13×9″ metal baking pan – poured all the juice from the tin foil over them. I covered them with the same foil and stuck them in the oven. I let them bake off at 250* for another 2 hours or so.

Here is what they turned out like…

This particular pic was from a “Rib Snack” about 10:30 one day… YUM!!

Psssttt –  That sauce is my very own LOW CARB BBQ Sauce.

I did much the same with the Pork Loins but not as long. Same grill – same temp, at the 3 hour mark I took them off, double foil wrapped them (if you don’t do this – you almost always puncture the foil and lose all the juice), then I added plenty of ACV to them as well. At 5 hours I took them off and let them rest a while. Ready to serve – WHOA!! Good stuff.

Here’s a shot of the Pork Loin done… nice smoke ring – huh??

The Brats really didn’t take that long – and they didn’t last long afterward either. The first pack was gone really quick. Myself, Arlyne, Dad and couple of workers at the shop – POOF. Gone. I sent Arlyne down to the store for a couple more packs – why not?? I was gonna’ be here anyway. The next two packs didn’t last long either… anyone within “smell range” had one!!

In the space on the smoker grill where the Brats had been – I put the fish. I did very little to them other than the marinade. A light, quick coating of Olive Oil, a light (and I mean LIGHT) dusting of Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning and on they went… for about an hour – 1 1/2 hour. Depends on the size what they look like. I did them in 2 batches of 3. My stainless fish rack is kinda’ small. Plus – I really didn’t have much room left on the grill surface.

Here’s what the fish looks like as starter for Fish Tacos… this was 1/2 of one filet (maybe not even that much?).

The flavor of the fish was just UNREAL GOOD.

Here is another shot of a half rack of the ribs… (this is making my mouth water all over again). Writing this crazy blog might not have been such a good idea. Ha Ha!!

Here’s a “during” shot of the same half-rack after I got into it for a minute… SERIOUSLY GOOD STUFF.

PRO TIP: This had all been done at once… These ribs have set finished in the fridge for at least 2 days. I cut out what I wanted for lunch. I dded the ribs and plenty of the juice/renderings to a plain sauce pan – threw it in the over for about 20-25 min at 250*. Just gently bringing it up to a comfortable temp. STUNNINGLY GOOD.

A few quick notes…

I have used the above rub, off and on for a few years. I’m going to experiment with a little more of a “Cajun twist” and several other sweeteners. For instance, how about dousing a rack of ribs with a No Sugar Maple Syrup? Or the Sugar Free Honey Substitute from Netrition.com? I’m also going to toy with some other sweeteners in the actual rub. One never knows, I might find something I like better.

The Chicken didn’t ever make it onto the smoker. I’ll be smoking again soon. I’ll include Chicken… and wings… probably some fish. Ha Ha – you get the idea.

BTW- I used Apple wood and some commercial hardwood chips in a smoker box to get started. Once everything is in foil, wood choice doesn’t matter that much. I finished with some Oak – I think?

I forgot to mention – towards the end, when I had some space I smoked off a pan of Roma Tomatoes and a couple of Onions. I made a Smoked Tomato and Onion salad dressing… I’ll share the recipe in another post soon. The veggies carry the smoke flavor way better than you might think. Pretty awesome.

I did bake the Chicken off in the oven the other day. It turned out great. I cleaned it all. I’ll use the breasts for salads… maybe some Chicken Salad?? I’ve got a killer recipe for that. Mom says it’s the best one she’s ever tasted. I’ll post it soon and let you decide.

I also cleaned all the leg and thigh meat and minced it down. It’s in the fridge as I write this – I’m plotting some VERY LOW CARB “Boneless Buffalo Wing nuggets” in the deep fryer soon… I can’t WAIT!!

See you soon!!

Posted in Entrees, Smoked Stuff | Comments Off on Smoke-A-Palooza 2017

Daily Meal Rewind – Monday

RIBS DAY!! (for lunch)… but first…

Breakfast:

We did Scrambled Eggs, grated Cheddar Cheese and left over chicken in breakfast tacos. I can assure you there was some Valatina salsa picante’ in there somewhere. We only had one each. I used the Mission brand Low Carb Tortillas – the 3 Net Gram version.

Pro Tip:  Toast those Low Carb Tortillas off – takes about 45 seconds and really brings the whole thing together – just toss it on a skillet or flat-top with no sauce and let it warm up a bit. It should develop just a few dark spots – then it’s nice and toasty. Don’t leave it on either side too long. That’s no good.

Pro Tip #2: The Tupperware you see under the tortillas – store all tortilla type products in their bag – then in Tupperware. Shelf life = unknown?? Hahaha…

On a side note – I usually don’t push it on the “net carb” items (tortillas, breads, etc, etc…), even things I am pretty sure of. For instance, if I have one meal where I use something like the Mission Brand tortillas (1 or 2 – almost NEVER 3) then I won’t do any more like that for the rest of the day. Maybe longer.

Lunch:

Half a rack of ribs and a chopped salad.

We’ve obviously covered these Ribs in the “Smoke-A-Palooza” post… These ribs have set finished in the fridge for at least 2 days. I cut out what I wanted for lunch (about a half a rack each). I added the ribs and plenty of the juice/renderings to a plain sauce pan – threw it in the oven for about 20-25 min at 250*. Just gently bringing it up to a comfortable temp. STUNNINGLY GOOD.

Supper:

For “Supper” – we really just had a snack tray… Some Kentucky Bourbon Bellavitano Cheese, some Blue Diamond Salt and Vinegar Almonds (these can be addicting – BTW) and some Pepperoni (garden variety). I can almost guarantee the pepperoni got dunked in some of the Sriracha Lime Mayo I mentioned in another post.

Now – before I go any farther, I must point out – this Kentucky Bourbon Bellavitano Cheese is RIDICULOUSLY GOOD. It is the most rich, succulent cheese I have eaten. Cheese is one of our “things”. We like to sample different kinds – this here… it’s a WINNER. DO NOT MISS. You might find it a the upscale Kroger’s around here – maybe finer grocery stores near you.

Next week (when I get the money – we’re going to try a Merlot Bellavitano – and report back).

Late Nite Snack:

Total violation of one of the “3 rules”… however…

So anyway – I got hit by some late night cravings and figured – “what the heck??”

I had about a half a bag of regular Kroger Pork Rinds bathed in my Sriracha Lime Mayo dressing… solved the craving problem. However, what would it do to my weigh-in tomorrow?

(Note: I actually lost about 2 tenths of a pound – even after the late night snack. No harm, I guess?? I doubt I make it a habit)

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Daily Meal Rewind – Sunday

So here is our first “Daily Meal Rewind” – What did we eat on Sunday?

Here’s a couple thoughts. Even though we’re doing this for TheLowCarbBlog.com and documenting it – a consistent meal review and weigh-in is not a bad idea. For a long time now – we have talked over what we ate, what we’ve going to eat and weigh-in early every AM (same time – keep it consistent). The idea is to get an “unvarnished” look at what your diet really is. A lot of times you will miss some stuff – and it’s a great time to communicate (Ha!!).

Breakfast:

For breakfast yesterday (around 7:30AM) – after a couple of cups of coffee, Community Coffee w/Chicory and some heavy cream – we had a Cottage Cheese/cereal… very fresh – good stuff.

A base of a handful of Pecan pieces, in a fairly small serving dish (any size will do though), somewhere between 1/4 and a 1/2 Cup of Reg. fat Cottage Cheese (beware all the Low Fat stuff – READ LABELS), a slight dusting of some powdered Splenda (or something along those lines) and topped with a large, sliced Strawberry.

Very fresh tasting, kinda’ fills the cereal gap and is good for you. While we are pretty serious about carb counts and it’s important to be realistic – we don’t obsess over fractional carb counts. This one is probably under 5 total grams. Not bad for breakfast.

Stir this up a little and ENJOY!! There are tons of different variations on this theme – just don’t go crazy with the fruit. Just enough for a little added flavor.

Why don’t you guys sound off on what we should even call this??

Lunch:

We had some leftover Garlic and Onion soup (the Bayona’s of New Orleans recipe) and a Smoked Fish Taco pretty filling and DELISH…

I had a full bowl of the soup. Can I say WOW?!? You wouldn’t think it but Garlic and Onions done this way is really VERY flavorful. While it’s a pretty AMP’ed up Low Carb taste, it’s not the odor repellent you would think. Good taste – even for left-overs.

(this was an earlier version of the same soup – lighter, creamier and probably lower carb count. The one referred to here was darker, chunkier and fortified with some Great Low Carb Bread Co. slices – not the carb problem. The MASSIVE ONION AND GARLIC amount was the issue)

However, we started working up some numbers on the twist on the Bayona’s recipe we went with. EPIC CARB FAIL!! We’ve done this one several different ways. I’ll do another version and record the amounts and let you all know how it tastes (BTW – we’ve done different versions of this that were actually better). This version was probably around 20+ grams per serving. Not good!! Mistakes happen – keep on keeping on.

This makes an important point I talk about a lot. We can’t afford to be delusional about what’s actually in the food. No matter where it comes from. One reason we cook a lot of our own meals (not all – but a lot) is I have very little faith in what gets put in our food when we aren’t looking.

For instance, the same goes for those on a Low Sodium Diet. It is VITAL one takes ownership of diet and ingredient choices and even then – there will be bumbles. We’ve been doing this (a Low Carb Diet) successfully for a long time and this still happens to us once in a while.

I am so amused when I hear someone tell me they had a carb-free day. Ummmmmm – no. Not possible. Low carb? Maybe – no carb? Can’t happen. Be diligent. Be real about it.

The Fish Taco was really, really, REALLY good too. The smoked fish seems to be the under dog of “Smoke-A-Palooza 2017” (more editions of “Smoke-A-Palooza” to follow)…

I started with about a half a filet of the smoked fish topped with some butter (I’ll cover this in a “Smoke-A-Palooza” post soon) and microwaved for about 30 sec…

Pro Tip: While that was working – I was toasting off the low carb tortilla – this one was the smallest size Mission brand. About 3 net grams apiece. To toast them off – just toss it on a skillet or flat-top with no sauce and let it warm up a bit. It should develop just a few dark spots – then it’s nice and toasty. Don’t leave it on either side too long. That’s no good.

Then add a little shredded cheese…

Then spoon on a little of my Sweet Sriracha Lime Mayo dressing… OUCH!! Roll this baby up and enjoy the FLAVOR. This was a ride on the FLAVOR TOWN EXPRESS!! I cannot stress enough when I say this – it is very difficult to find a dish anywhere with this kind of flavor. Really good stuff here.

Supper:

“Supper” was more like around 4:30 pm and I really just had a few snacks. I was still in recovery from lunch… a little flavor overload.

Easy enough to figure out – a couple of hard boiled eggs (we keep these on hand – we’ve got chickens), some kind of hoity-toity pepperoni roll I picked up at Kroger’s and some cheese (I’m sure there were some Pork rinds lurking around in the background too – just begging to dive into that dressing). I’m gonna’ have to track that cheese down again for you. It was good. That is more of my Sweet Sriracha Lime Mayo up in the corner… could there have been left-overs of that??

Sweet Sriracha Lime Mayo recipe:

3-4 heaping TBSP of my home-made whole egg mayo (I mean HEAPING)

a generous squirt on Sriracha sauce

a couple of good squirts of Lime juice

3-4 drops of Quick Sweet

Wisk thoroughly and enjoy. This stuff has a life-expectancy of about 14 minutes… Be very careful. Almost anything close to it has a tendency to get dragged through it and eaten. ANYTHING!!

I’ll do an official recipe on this soon – it’s a GO TO… I don’t normally do it that way, but I’ll really focus and put one together soon.

Exercise:

For exercise – I was pretty light. No cardio and I basically just did 50 push-ups (in sets of 5 – relax, it’s not that hard). Exercise is what I can get – with my schedule…

I try to do something everyday – doesn’t have to be much. Just something.

P.S. Quick teaser – the Monday review is gonna’ be Smoked Ribs Day (for lunch). Tune in and check the meal review out!!

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Before and after (during??)…

Ok – when I first saw this picture my wife took of me, I didn’t recognize me. It took me some time to absorb what is really going on here. Ha!!

I have been losing weight (maybe even gaining some muscle) and getting healthier.

Here are some before and after pics…

                 Before…                                                                                          After…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

None of this was scripted. We didn’t ever intend to make it some kind of weight loss thing. This is just what happened. We are sharing a completely unscripted look at what we have done, are doing and will do in the future… with regard to diet, exercise and health. I hope it helps.

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Here we go!!

I am not a dietitian or a doctor. I am not a health care professional of any kind. Anything I share is not to be construed as “professional advice”.  Nor am I a chef. In fact, I didn’t even start out as a good cook… BUT…

I have learned. I am committed to a healthier lifestyle. I am learning to “Live Low Carb – Well” – an ongoing pursuit.

(This is a recent “after” pic. Sorry about the side-arm. The gun shop is directly
on the other side of the smoker. Pretty much required for work)

I have lost over 50 lbs…

Blood pressure is WAY DOWN from 180/120 – to 110/70…

Cholesterol is down…

Stamina is WAY UP!!

I have come to this as a solution through diligent research some trial and error and cooking for our family. I like the idea of eating as well as possible. I hope this helps you – us sharing some of our experiences.

P.S. My wife likes it a lot that I have become such the cook. We make a great team.

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