Things that made me fat

It was fun while it lasted

fullChicken
Full chicken

So it happened. I finally started putting on weight after 10 years. I’ve put on 8 lbs. I don’t know what the main contributors are. I’m bummed about being stuck in a job I don’t like, an FWB situation that makes me feel meh about myself and I may not be able to visit my family this holiday season. You know how it gets. My the-rapist thinks I’m stressed and need more meditation. Could be a factor, yes. My complacency after nailing it for 10 years too, yes. The time I took off exercise to study and snag a sweet job offer too, yes 🙂 ;).

Now that I know, I’m stepping up my game a bit. I’m trying my theories out before I share new healthy food tips. Before I do that, might as well share the deliciousness that made me fat 🙂

The whole chicken that you see. This has been a staple during this time. I got the whole chicken, gutted out from the market. I have a simple marinade I improvise every time:

  1. Olive oil
  2. Salt
  3. Any Italian spice blend (Only Rosemary works too)
  4. Lemon juice

Improvisations:

  1. Red chilli powder
  2. Black pepper
  3. Garlic

Same marinade for the potatoes

Shoved it in the convection oven, bake setting, for an hour and a half at 350. The duration ranges from an hour to 2 hours depending on the size of the bird. If I turn the heat up any more than that, I burns the spices. If I go lower, it . will . never . cook .

Taking the chicken out mid-way and cutting it up some, speeds it up some. I cut the legs and wings off with a knife and break the ribs as well. Even if you rip the skin with a knife, it loosens up the limbs to expose it to more heat from the oven. I felt a bit shitty writing this. I like to pretend I didn’t eat and tear something formerly living apart. Its been a mess several times with the bird not cooking enough. My roommate likes to throw his stuff in midway too.

I get a whole bird for multiple reasons. First, I prefer to know for sure, the whole animal is getting utilized. At some level, I like to know an animal was sacrificed for it. So I think twice before wasting. But mainly, different parts of the bird taste and feel different texture wise. So with just one bird, it adds a variety to my meal. On bad days, I eat a whole dead bird without sides. Hehe. Since I checked my weight, my fat self replaces potatoes with tomatoes for sides. Its *ACTUALLY TASTIER*

I got the idea of the marinade from the lemon chicken I used to pick up from the store. If I have to marinade the sides too, I might as well get a plain raw chicken.

Pro Cooking Tip 8: Reverse engineer restaurant and readymade marinades

Pro Cooking Tip 9: Don’t get too comfortable with your recipies

Pro Cooking Tip 10: Don’t waste (might be a repeat)

 

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A thing or two about proteins and other non-dairy animal products

Animals are cute but we need protein :/

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Alpengrove restaurant, Grand Denali lodge

Eggs, spinach and quinoa are my other protein options which aren’t very many. So I rotate and how!

Safety rules:

Chicken is scarier because of salmonella. So if you are new to cooking,

  1. Refrigerate it immediately
  2. Wash your hands immediately after handling it raw.
  3. Wash any bowls or spatulas you use immediately after handling it raw as well
  4. Take it out only when you’re about to heat it

Fish, you never know but I follow the same rules

Cuts I use:

  • Curries – Thighs, drumsticks, neck (I pull out the meat before serving)
  • Baking – Things and wings (smaller in height) or whole chicken 🙂
  • Grilling – boneless tenders as they are lighter

You want to cook a portion on medium flame for at least 20 minutes and bake for at least 25 and cook all the way ALWAYS

Fishes:

I use any kind of white fish for tacos or stew. Halibut is if I want to go fancy. Catfish is my favorite but I’ll do Red snapper, Dover, Sole, Cod even.

I only bake Salmon with glaze. I don’t see the point of putting a flavorful fish like that in a curry.

Cook/ shallow fry 5 minutes on either side for a small fillet.

Shrimp:

Mr shrimp is the love of my life! crunchy and delicious! The thing to note about cooking it is, it has 2 veins. One on top and one at the bottom. remove both by cutting it from head to tail on both sides and remove it. Remove the tail too please. No one’s into it. Red wine adds a yummy flavor to any shrimp dish.

One portion cooks in 15 minutes on medium flame

Crab:

Too much work to make at home. I just eat this outside

Lobster:

So tasty and delicious and so easy to make. I steam them with butter-pepper-garlic, serve with some brussel sprouts and the taste great.

Red meats:

Mutton is good well done. Beef is good medium rare. Lamb is good either way and hence I love it more ❤

Rib-eye, Filet mignon, Sirloin, NY, T bone are all very tasty beef cuts. But they are huge and I phased them out as my doctor kept telling me my cholesterol could be better. Now I do tri-strip steak, lamb chops, lamb shoulders usually. Mutton is too expensive in the Pacific Northwest and hard to find so pass.

3.5 minutes on medium flame on either side for any of the above

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Beef bone marrow

Another thing about meat is there isn’t a big demand for organs and bone marrow I wonder why. Its not that gross. Liver is rich in vitamins. Bone marrow is a good source of unsaturated fat. Chicken brain is just yummy. It’s also a good way to break the monotony of the same meats over and over and get a different flavor.

Pro Cooking Tip 4: Expand your meaty horizons 🙂

Kaari and rice

This is a very traditional dish from my community, Bohra, and very easy to prepare.

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This one of my staple foods. My mom stocks me up with the spice when I visit India but it’s also available here. I keep it refrigerated. Fancier version of the recipe is here.

  1. Fry 4 tbs of this spice with oil on medium flame for one minute
  2. Add a can of coconut milk slowly while mixing the spices
  3. Add  1/2 a can of water to the mixture
  4. Add ~2 dried red chili peppers (available at Mexican stores). Skip if you don’t do a lot of spice
  5. Add ~1.5 lbs of skinless chicken (I prefer thighs)
  6. Cook for ~20 minutes
  7. Add lemon and salt to taste
  8. (Optional) Add cilantro/lettuce strips for garnish

What I like about this simple recipe is it offers a unique taste and flavor and is very good value for time. It works with various subs. I could swap out the chicken for boiled eggs if they are about to go bad. I could add corn to the recipe. I could make a vegetarian version with mushroom, baby corn and bamboo shoots. The garnish in the picture is spinach – not ideal but I needed to work some leftover greens in.

It goes well with boiled rice or sweet bread like potato bread.

Pro Cooking Tip 3: White sauces need not be fatty

See why I weigh about a 105 lbs? 🙂