Perfect ‘Stachio Guac

This is the second most-perfect smashed avocado I think I’ve ever had. The first being the Bazooka-Limon guacamole from my beloved El Vez, which is sadly not Slow Carb friendly (though several things on the menu are). The recipe I created is a very similar take on guac, but is of course diet friendly… and won’t run you $13/bowl.

Ingredients:
1-2 ripe avocados
1/2 packet True Lemon or juice from 1 lemon (use half if only one avocado)
10-15 shelled pistachios, salted & roasted

Seasoning:
Salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp Parsley
1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes (optional, but recommended)

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Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit. Remove deliciousness from skin and place in a medium-sized bowl (use a good bowl with a round bottom, not one with hard-to-reach corners or flat spots). Add salt and lemon crystals to the avocado and mash with the back of a large fork until smooth or blended to desired level of chunkiness.

On a cutting board, place a small handful of the shelled pistachios and cover with a paper towel. Using a meat tenderizer or serrated knife, gently smash/chop the pistachios until they break up into small chunks and dust – you want a nice mix of both so the flavor spreads throughout with the occasional yummy crunch.

Fold the pistachios, parsley, and red pepper flakes into the mashed avocado mixture and voila: Perfect ‘Stachio Guac!

Note: True Lime works just as well and is also really good in club soda if you are missing Sprite.

My Favorite Apps (iPhone Edition)

These days, everyone is hyper-connected to technology – sometimes I have trouble putting my phone down just to go to sleep. However, if used properly, unlimited access to insane technologies can be a great thing. Here are my must-have apps for organization, dieting, and generally keeping my life together. Most of them are free too!

Update: I harassed The Boyfriend to check which of these apps are available for Android as well, and you guys are in luck for most of them!

In no particular order:

1. Wunderlist – by far the best app I have found to keep multiple to-do lists all in one place, share them if I want to, and still feel that rush of crossing something off the list (it makes a very satisfying sound). This app is also available for Android.

2. SafetyNote+ – a great place to keep all of your sensitive information, kind of like the “Notes” app that comes with your phone plus its own password lock. This app is not free, but I use it so much that it was totally worth the $1.99 I paid for it over a year ago.

3. Yocto Clock – I am the worst person in the world when it comes to waking up early, so if you are anything like me definitely check out this app! This is the only alarm I have found that consistently wakes me up with a huge selection of sounds and the option to use your own music from iTunes.

4. justWink – the cutest and silliest app for sending cards to friends for any occasion, and it’s free! Occasionally NSFW, but always adorable. This app is also available for Android.

5. Vivino – an excellent app for keeping track of new wine discoveries (of which I have had a lot since cutting out beer and liquor 6 days/week). This app is free, and inviting three friends will give you access to the “premium” features for several months as well. This app is also available for Android.

6. Fooducate – a supermarket must! Scan and compare your shopping choices and see how they measure up against one another, or check out the “eat this instead” recommendations. Warning: while the recommendations are usually on-point regarding healthier choices, the app once recommended bacon as an alternative choice to a vegetarian product (not that I minded, but some people might not find it as funny). This app is also available for Android.

7. Kitchenator – an adorable conversion chart to simplify almost any kitchen math conundrum! (Does not provide conversions with grams or pounds, but there are 28 grams in an ounce if that helps!)

8. WordPress – of course I had to say WordPress, it’s the best way to check out how many lovely people visit my site each day and make last-minute corrections for my rare typo. This app is also available for Android.

9. DropBox – the best way to access documents and pictures wherever I am, especially helpful for weight-tracking when I’m not at home. This app is also available actually way better for Android.

10. Ness – like a fancier version of UrbanSpoon, this app never fails to help find a place to eat and will provide recommendations based on other restaurants you like/have rated.

11. Yelp – I have no words, I can’t stress enough how often I use Yelp and how awesome it is. Recommendations, reviews, and information about everything from the food cart down the block to the best shoe repair in your zip code. This app is also available for Android.

12. Relax Melodies – while I did splurge for the premium version ($2.99), the free one works just as well. A fantastic white noise/ambiance soundboard and mixer for meditating or help falling asleep (the ocean/piano/thunder mix always knocks me right out). This app is also available for Android.

Have an app that you absolutely love? Tell me about it!

Follow me on Twitter @bekaneggs and never miss an update!

Fat Chance

Last week the always-wonderful Stephen Colbert interviewed Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist and author of Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease. Check out the interview!

Colbert Report: Dr. Robert Lustig (3/28/13)

An unfriendly reminder to avoid processed foods whenever possible and double-check all your sauces, spreads, and dressings before accidentally drowning your food in a load of sugar!

(I haven’t bought the book yet, but if you are interested in doing so, you can find it here.)

Duck Duck Asparagus

I make asparagus like this all the time, but never actually pay attention to how long it takes to cook. The Boyfriend likes them way crispier than I do, so I’ve kind of just learned how it’s supposed to look for our respective tastes. Since I made them just for me this time, I made sure to keep track of just how long it takes to perfectly roast asparagus.

asparagus

Ingredients:
~ 3/4 lb. asparagus spears (one bunch as usually sold in supermarkets)
2-3 tsp clarified butter or duck fat
1-2 Serrano peppers, halved and/or chopped

Pre-heat oven to 400*F. Wash/clean the asparagus spears making sure to get all the dirt off them. Cut the tough white ends off the spear at an angle, about 1/2 to 1″ off the bottom – if the spears are really thick, cut into the ends a little so the inside will cook too.

I usually do this in my toaster oven because the baking sheet is the perfect size for asparagus, but I guess it doesn’t really matter. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil, it makes clean up so much easier. Place the first row of asparagus in a single layer on the baking sheet and then stack the rest on top as needed, just try to keep it evenly spread out. Add the chopped peppers and about two teaspoons of the duck fat on top of the asparagus – the fat is frozen so it takes a few tries to get the full two teaspoons, meaning it is spread across more of the asparagus (this is a good thing).

Roast the asparagus in the oven for about 40 minutes, flipping them over once or twice if you’d prefer them not to be slightly charred, and voila! Duck duck asparagus.

Decontamination: Chicken Ginger Soup

My dad always bugs me to come over and make this soup for him when he’s sick, which seems to be an awful lot… good thing this is super easy!

Ingredients:
1 medium-sized whole chicken (I recommend spending the extra $$ for a Kosher chicken for this)
1 large onion, cut in half
2 celery stalks, scrubbed clean and chopped in half
2 carrots, peeled and cut into thirds
1 medium-sized ginger root, coarsely chopped, scrubbed clean but not peeled
3-5 garlic cloves
Bean sprouts (optional)

Seasoning:
10 whole black peppercorns
1 tbsp Kosher salt
Fresh parsley or cilantro

Fill a large heavy pot with the chicken, onion, celery, and carrot and about 1 tbsp. of salt. In a small spice bag, combine the ginger, garlic, and peppercorns and add to the pot. Fill with water, enough to cover the chicken, and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover the pot (leaving the lid slightly ajar) and simmer the broth for approximately two hours.

Remove chicken from the broth and allow to cool slightly. In the meantime, remove and discard the vegetables and peppercorns from the broth (a slotted spoon is very helpful for this) – with the exception of the carrots, which I love love in chicken broth. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred or pull apart the meat and add back to the broth. Season with salt to taste.

Optional, but my favorite: Add bean sprouts to individual bowls immediately before serving and garnish soup with fresh parsley or cilantro leaves.

Green Tacos aka Super Speedy Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients:
Sliced turkey breast (or sugar-free deli meat of your choosing)
~ 10 Butterhead lettuce leaves
Sugar-free mayonnaise

Optional Additions:
Horseradish
Salt
Pepper
Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half length-wise

Wash and dry the lettuce leaves, laying them out flat on a large plate or tray. Line each lettuce leaf with one or two pieces of turkey breast/meat of choice. Down the middle of the leaf, squirt a line of mayonnaise and/or creamy horseradish sauce. Roll up like a tube and secure with a toothpick. Enjoy!
(See, I told you they were super speedy).

One Minute Flax Muffin

flaxseedThis is an excellent quickie snack when you’re on the go or have the munchies. I like it with orange extract or vanilla extract (The Boyfriend prefers mint). Whatever floats your boat.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup flax seed meal
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. oil (not strong tasting aka skip the olive oil)
1 egg

Optional Ingredients:
1 packet Stevia
1/2 tsp. extract, any kind (mint, orange, almond, etc.)

Combine all ingredients in a coffee mug, mix well. Microwave on high for approximately one minute (sometimes takes a little longer depending on the mug).

That’s it, seriously. Dig in with a spoon or dump onto a plate!

Recommended Beverage:
A glass of almond milk or French Breakfast hot tea.

Butter-Bean Puree

Oh. My. Goodness. This is so good. I’m not sure I have the willpower to not eat it all at once. Who needs potatoes!?

Ingredients:
2 cans Goya butter beans, drained
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp. minced garlic

Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat. Add salt to taste. Stir occasionally until beans begin to soften and fall apart, about 7-10 minutes. Mash with potato masher until it starts to look like mashed potatoes. Add more olive oil if it is too thick.

Eat all of it before The Boyfriend gets home. (Or girlfriend, whoever, no bias here.)

Dandelion + life lessons

So last night I went to Stephen Starr‘s restaurant Dandelion for dinner with my family – we have friends visiting from out-of-town *and* I just got my first real job out of college.

Anyway, the menu has tons of yummy things that us Slow Carb kids can only salivate over, BUT it was pretty easy to stick to the rules. A lot of the appetizers come with bread but are otherwise diet friendly and the wait staff was very accommodating for all of my “extra salad, no bread” requests.

For appetizers, we ordered a bunch of goodies for the whole table. Slow Carb-friendly appetizers included deviled eggs with curry and paprika (delicious), and the confit duck rillettes without the bread (tasty, but too many mushrooms for my liking).

The life lesson this evening was to pay more attention to things I read, and to speak up when something is wrong. Oysters have been my saving grace through most of my dieting experiments, one of my favorite foods, I could easily eat two dozen in a manner of minutes, so I was super pumped when I saw oysters on the menu. Problem: the oysters at Dandelion come with a vinegar mignonette (standard) and APPLES. What the #$%!? In my excitement over oysters, I just assumed the apples would be served on the side, as a second option to the mignonette. False! I got my plate, and all my lovely little oysters were covered in tiny chopped up apples. I spent the next five minutes furiously and painstakingly picking out all the tiny apple pieces from my oysters before I could continue eating. I was pretty upset about the whole thing and made sure to explain all of this to the hostess when we were leaving. She actually apologized quite a bit and said they would have gladly replaced my order had I mentioned it. To her credit, I will now continue with my generally-pleased review of my meal instead of the SLOW CARB FURY rant I had planned out in my head earlier.

For my entrée, I ordered the beef tartare with extra salad and no bread, and it was so freaking tasty. It’s food like this that makes me think I can successfully live a slow carb lifestyle.

This morning I weighed in at 182.6!

Kinda Spicy Catfish Fish Sticks

Ingredients:
3-4 catfish fillets, fresh or defrosted, cut into fish-stick sized strips
1 cup garbanzo bean flour
2 eggs

Seasoning (to taste):
Salt
Pepper
Paprika
White Pepper
Cajun Seasoning (optional)

Preheat oven to 475°F. Combine flour and seasoning/spices in a bowl. In a separate bowl, crack the two eggs and whisk together.

Cover a large baking sheet with foil (makes for much easier clean-up) and brush with oil.

Dip fish strips in the eggs, then in the flour mixture. Turn to coat.

Place fish sticks 1″ apart on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake until flour coating is golden brown and fish is opaque in center, approximately 6 minutes per side.

Be careful when flipping fish sticks, as they do occasionally fall apart.

Eat.

A Summary of the Slow Carb Diet

Please click the link below for a PDF summary of the basic rules for following the Slow Carb diet.

4 Hour Body – Slow Carb Diet 

5 SIMPLE RULES TO FOLLOW:

Rule #1: Avoid “white” carbohydrates (or anything that can be white).
Rule #2: Eat the same few meals over and over again.
Rule #3: Don’t drink calories.
Rule #4: Don’t eat fruit.
Rule #5: Take one day off per week and go nuts.

Welcome to Slow Carb Snacktime!

Hello hello! Thanks for checking out my blog! Here you will find recipes and ideas for eating according to Tim FerrissSlow Carb Diet as well as information about restaurants with Slow Carb-friendly options in the Greater Philadelphia area.

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