Things that made me fat

It was fun while it lasted

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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 πŸ™‚ ;).

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 πŸ™‚

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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Store marinaded meats

pesto chicken
Pesto chicken from PCC

Uncooked carne asada, pesto chicken, kebabs, meatballs etc are too easy and delicious. I pick them up once in a while when they become available. This pesto chicken mmmMMM… Just buy it, shove it in the oven for an hour and a half to bake at 400Β°. I cannot for the life of me remember what the side was.

This is a bit messy but the roommate and I finished it in one night. Β It must’ve costed me $10~11. What a deal!

Pro Cooking Tip 7: Grab your favorite marinaded meat ASAP!

Get the most out of a Mongolian grill

I enjoyed this lovely meal with my roommate. We’re dating. We met on Tinder. Long story. Anyways, back to the point. I read several reviews online and him complaining ‘the bowls are too small‘. Yes, they are indeed tiny but the ingredients are not liquid. Let me share some tips on how to stack this-all-you-can-eat do-it-yourself business.

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  1. Choose Noodles – Pick either rice or chow-mein. Taste if you are not sure. Fill 1/3rd of your bowl with this. Make sure the heap is flat on top.
  2. Continue stacking the vegetables of your choice (5-10 pieces) evenly. You can top them reducing the area of the layer on top gradually and make quite a big heap.
  3. Spices – I like hot spices. So I took 2 tbs of the chili oil sauce. You want as much garlic too so this doesn’t taste like a salad. A little ginger (1 tsp) is good too but not too much. I avoid tangy veggies. I can add vinegar later if I want to make it sour.
  4. Meat – Seafood goes better with rice noodles and meats go better with chow mein IMO
  5. Sauce – I chose the Thai peanut sauce to compliment the spice in my grill.
  6. Rice – I went with the fried rice. But I regret it. Too greasy. Should have gone with plain.

I was full but I still had leftovers.

A relatively unrelated pro-tip I’d like to share:

Pro Cooking Tip 6: Mild flavors go better with seafood and strong flavors go better with meats

Good luck at the grill πŸ™‚ Be careful you don’t spill!

Food animals: Bagel and lox

There are more ways than taste to make food fun!

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Bagels and lox

Look at these cuties! It’s the usual bagels, cream cheese and smoked salmon PLUS the guests of honor onions, capers and avocado. This was a great Saturday breakfast with the girls. The healthiest thing about this is having breakfast at all on a Saturday morning. Good friends, good food and good time πŸ™‚

Pro Cooking Tip 5: Dress it up and share

Celebrate your food!

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 Β 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? πŸ™‚