Monday, January 14, 2019

Chickens!

Winnie, Wicket, Wednesday, Buffy, Foggy and Freckles (under the ramp)

I mentioned our new feathery friends recently, we started out with the three that I found abandoned in the woods back in May and just recently, after Thanksgiving, I got a call about 3 more needing a home. The introduction was interesting but two months later, the girls are finally getting along AND they started laying again as the days grows longer.

I've never had animals that could feed me, not that we think of them any less than our cats or dogs. It might be an idealistic view of things but these are our pets, I've no intention of culling them if they stop laying or ever to eat them. I just want to spoil them and give them a good life. That being said, I still eat chicken; there's very little I won't eat, within reasons.

We recently visited Walker's Farm at Worthleberry Hill for some grass fed beef and also spent a good part of the day petting happy cows. Seeing a thriving farm that doesn't have to rely on horrible techniques gives me hope for the future of the industry. You should check them out, they were also on the 2 Keto Dudes podcast recently. Let me say this much, there's nothing like grass fed beef. Oh-my!

I want to talk a bit more about the chicken that we eat, from grocery stores and restaurants. A friend recently mentioned the newly opened Chik-fil-A in town and how healthy they felt after eating a grilled chicken sandwich from there. I've always shy'ed away from fast-food chicken, visions of Salmonella dancing in my head but also the rubbery mouthfeel of thawed chicken. So gross.

I dug a little deeper. These data are from the corporate websites:

Chick-fil-A Grilled Chicken Sandwich


Ingredients for the chicken breast onlyboneless skinless chicken breast filet, water, seasoning [apple cider vinegar, soybean oil, yeast extract, salt, modified corn starch, palm oil, dehydrated garlic, dehydrated onion, corn maltodextrin, sea salt, natural flavor, sugar, chicken stock, cane molasses, chicken fat, spice, natural flavor {including smoke}, dextrose, lemon peel, citric acid, red bell pepper, orange juice concentrate, grape juice concentrate, natural flavor, paprika, vinegar, xanthan gum, ascorbic acid, and spices])

Wendy's Grilled Chicken Sandwich
Ingredients for the chicken breast only: Chicken Breast, Water, Seasoning (Salt, Natural Flavors, Corn Maltodextrin, Dextrose, Spices, Dehydrated Garlic Powder, Dehydrated Onion Powder, Paprika, Gum Arabic, Yeast Extract, Canola Oil, Sodium Citrate, Sugar), Potato Starch, Carrageenan, Xanthan Gum, Soy Lecithin.

McDonald's Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich (No direct link)

Ingredients for the chicken breast only: Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast with Rib Meat, Water, Salt, Sugar, Garlic Powder, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Honey, Onion Powder, Natural Flavor, Dried Vinegar, Rice Starch. Grilled with Clarified Butter (Pasteurized Milk [Butterfat]).


I highlighted all the instances of sugar found in the lists. First of all, can we all take a minute to appreciate the sad irony that McDonald has the most normal looking chicken in the list? While there is very little of it, being the seasoning and preservatives, I wouldn't want to eat any of that at all.

"It's healthy because it's grilled!"


Ingredients for the chicken breast only: Fresh Chicken Marinated With: Salt, Sodium Phosphate and Monosodium Glutamate. Seasoned With: Maltodextrin, Salt, Bleached Wheat Flour, Monosodium Glutamate, Coconut Oil, Spices, Natural Flavor, Canola Oil, Garlic Powder, Soy Sauce (Soybean, Wheat, Salt), Chicken Fat, Chicken Broth, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Extractives Of Turmeric, Dehydrated Carrot, Onion Powder, And Not More Than 2% Each Of Calcium Silicate Ans Silicon Dioxide Added As AntiCaking Agent.)




🐓I rest my case against that nightmare that is fast-food grilled chicken.🐓

Grocery store chicken, a nightmare of another color and flavor. I'm not a breast person, that'd be my husband (ba-dum tssh). I've never had a bad tasting thigh or leg but ever so many disappointing bland and chewy breasts where I'd rather eat the table leg instead.  

What's in a chicken breast?

There's chicken, water and sodium. Those plump even juicy looking lumps are modified to look the most appetizing before packaging in shinny plastic. Get your chicken from a wholesale store and you'll notice the difference right away. 

Coming to the end of this blog entry. I invite you to re-consider those 'little ingredients' that seems so innocent at first glance, the process that turns a simple ingredient like chicken meat into a science experience. Nobody would eat "a little" bit of rat poop on purpose... and yet we do and the FDA approves that and then some, here's an article breaking it down more simply.

Also keep in mind that these items comes up as 0 carbs per serving. How does KFC gets away with 0 carbs label while there's flour in the meat? Serving size! Amazing fuckery and we're the butt of the joke.

Have a great week folks! 

Hungry Julie

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Tales from the kitchen

Hungry Julie and Hubby Chris on the road to Walker Farms




2019 is here and our heads haven't stopped spinning from the craziness of 2018. We gained a new dog, 6 chickens, lost a cat, moved in my mother in law... some good, some less. Empty holes can never be filled but love expands around us constantly.






After the whirlwind of holiday cooking and eating, we're back in a steadier frame of mine and armed with a newfound determination. Hubby and myself, support each other on this winding journey of ups and downs. I tell you, this man never stops working. He sits in the kitchen while I finish cooking dinner and I hear him mumbling over his laptop about things that escapes me but at the same time he listens to my rambling about the animal shelter. A rare dinner together, too often we both retreat to our computer desks and eat alone like a pair of cats but tonight, he's fixing the bathroom door after he's done eating.


Baby the Brat


Our dogs click-clack around us on the linoleum, sniffing madly for a dropped piece of meat or looking awfully adorable when looking up in hope but no- not after all those leftover cabbage you ate earlier and the cookies daddy gave you. The old girl is relentless but she's learning, slowly. Eventually they vanish into the living room, defeated. A dog's life!

I promised myself to stop eating after 7pm, difficult to do when the hubby comes home around 6 but I try, I'll be less stubborn and have dinner ready and eat when I need to eat... but I like cooking so it's ready just as he comes in, so he can taste the dish at it's best. We compromise.

🐓-----🐓

Tonight's dinner is Headbanger's Kitchen potstickers  and Low Carb Maven chicken satay with peanut sauce. A long time favorite, pre and post keto, with only a few modifications. Swerve instead of sugar in the sauce for a neat balance of  flavors and the potstickers are made with cabbage instead of a doughy skin.

It's different, tasty but I think the dumplings needs a little tweaking, the meat texture isn't quite right. The satays are just perfect, grilled on the BBQ for 6-7 minutes, the peanut sauce's a real delight. Well worth making again. Can't go wrong with either blogs, always a pleasure to cook with the confidence that the food will come out marvelous.




By the end of the night, we were full and I had a working bathroom door. Love a happy ending, eh?
The man and his tool

Scale victory: down 8 lbs since January 1st.
Non-scale victory: 2 weeks without cheating
Listening to: The Obesity Code Podcast with Dr.Fung and Meghan Ramos
Plans for the weekend: Keto Meetup at Carl Franklin's house

Forever and always,
your Hungry Julie

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Food on the Go!

Not that kind of chicken on the go! I rescued this gal and her two sisters, they are now laying eggs for me.

Disclaimer: I am not paid or rewarded in any way for this post, these are personal experiences only. Also, I firmly believe that chains will be the death of us and small business and local restaurants are the way to go but life happens, it gets in the way, we have to be kind to ourselves.

I work a lot, I'm not home as often as I used to be and sometimes lunches ends up rotting in the fridge at work. I love my crappy fast food. Wendy's, McDonald's, Dairy Queen, Dunkin' Donuts. I won't include 5 Guys because it's already a step up without the drive-tru. Too quick and easy to order 1000 calories in one go, the vegetarians have paved the way for others to modify their meals to meet their needs without too many grumbling or eye rolling from the underpaid employees.

Right away our biggest foe is the bun, then the fries. The main meal is always meat wrapped in bread, asking for a burger without a bun would have been unthinkable a few years ago, not without the double take and confirmation of the drive-thru attendant. An awkward situation, we ordered the burger and tossed the bun, which stuck to the cheese and meat.  Now a days, they have these pretty plastic and crisp containers (Not recyclable enough!) that holds out meals. As for the sides, fries have come a long way, now they offer chili, salads, baked potatoes and then some, our choices are limited but no longer abysmal. Finally the drinks, diet soda, unsweetened ice tea or coffee now also expends our horizons.

With a wind of corporate mistrust, many rumors have cropped up about fast food beef, ranging from claiming worms were used as filler or came from companies called "100% beef" to sneak it right under our noses.. I want to believe that it's not true, we're talking 100% beef, no preservatives, no fillers and there's zero reasons to believe otherwise.

My adventures in ordering fast food have come a long way from my weekly Montreal-Bellows Falls trip when visiting hubby, leaving a wasteland of Chinese food buffets in our fray (Looking at you, China Moon in White River JCT) or trying out the entire menu at Wendy's in one trip to Virginia.

Now a days, I'm far more conscious of what I order and what I CAN order, which led me to falling in love with the McDonald's app to order. You can pull out your phone and customize any order right from that mini computer without feeling any judgement or confusion from the employees and not only that, you can eat for very cheap from the daily specials.  Burgers minus the bun/ketchup/onions and extra bacon/cheese/egg/lettuce or breakfast on the run with extra eggs and sausage, I love it. Also to top it off, the website has a nutrition calculator that you can also customize and you know exactly what you're eating.
The Meat Monster!

Personalized Order on the go!

Baconator with no bun at Wendy's
There's also the food kiosks that comes to our advantage as well. Fast food marketing realized that people ordered more when they didn't have to spell it out to a cashier so yes please on making that a 4 burger patties and cheese monster.

I still have issues at Wendy's with ordering a burger with no buns but when I manage, they have these perfect little boxes and side salads (which are seriously fresh and crisp) but beware any kind of mayonnaise which has lots of corn syrup in it.

At Dunkin' Donuts it was surprisingly easy to order an "Egg, sausage and cheese" with no bread, silence on the speaker till she said "Do you want two eggs so you can eat it like a sandwich?" Why.. YES!

As far as the guilt goes? I have close to none, I need to eat, I'm human and eating LCHF doesn't mean I have to starve while on the road. While I love cooking, life comes at you with responsibilities and chores that chips away at those measly 24 hours, so when our choices are limited, at least we can try picking the lesser of two evils.




Remember to keep calm and keto on!


Hungry Julie


Sunday, July 22, 2018

Smokin'



Funny story! I first spoke to Richard Morris asking his opinion on smokers, this was before he came a famous DUDE of the 2KETODUDES and YES I got to meet and hug him at KetoFest 2018. Carl eluded a selfie!

My cheap setup.

I bought a smoker! Nothing too fancy, I woke up one morning and I wanted to smoke meat... so I went to home depot and got the cheapest I could find. Silver Spur Water Smoker by Rivergrille for $39,97 and a couple bags of lump charcoal (I later switched to briquettes) and a chimney. Spur of the moment, I didn't want to spend $300.

My first attempt started abysmal, I had no idea what I was doing. Youtube videos weren't helping and after trying ripping my hair out trying to get the heat to 220F... I gave up and threw the chicken wings on the grill! They turned out pretty good but I quickly switched off to briquette coal, which is a bit less natural but burns a bit easier.  Also, patience young grasshopper.

This stuff actually takes a while *WHINE!* and my first understanding is that this particular grill does not hold it's heat. I ended up filling a first chimney with coals then not even an hour later, I fill up another one to boost the heat and afterwards I toss coals in here and there like a Devil's minion but the heat stays steady and learning to tweak it is an art.

Is it worth it? Yes, absolutely 100%. So far I've made pulled pork and lots of chicken, a few meatloaves wrapped in bacon. The flavor is great and it'll be amazing for parties, it's easy going and fun for social gathering.  You'll always have a friend who's going to want to play with it so you can take a break.

Now the $40 was a neat little investment but I have my eye on a Weber Smokey mountain. I'm being promised 11 hours of steady heat with little over watch... which sounds reaalllly nice but for $299,00 brand new, I've been keeping my eye on Craigslist.

Here's an unprofessional account of the process, as I grow more acquainted with it, I will happily update! Up next will be ribs, bacon and pork belly.

A few adventures in smoking:

Pork and Meatloaf



Meatloaves on the bottom, pork shoulders on the top
The loaves took 2 1/2 hours to reach 160F
Pork shoulder took 7 hours, it pulled apart like butter with a fork.



Meatloaf is my usual beef, pork and hot Italian sausage mixture with Parmesan and Italian seasoning and savory, salt and pepper. Nothing too crazy. Here I mixed some kale, tomatoes and cucumber from my garden with walnut oil, salt and pepper. Walnut oil is great on salads.

Chicken Wings



Do yourself a favor, don't buy "party wings" or anything pre-cut. You'll pay almost twice the price. Use a large solid knife with a good handle, chop the tips, snap the joint and cut around the bone. It's super easy and you'll save a lot of money. 

Raw and dry rub
Rub your chicken with a dry rub or soak in a marinade at least an hour before smoking (bonus point if you use the marinade in the water pan.)

Same goes for thighs or drumsticks, about 2 hours at 220F. Then toss those puppies on the grill for a few minutes a side to make the skin nice and crispy. You can apply a few brush of sauce while you're at it but if you're going to use Frank's hot sauce, wait till it's off the fire. Direct heat does something terrible to Frank's.


 Two and a half hours, then hop on the grill!


Wings and drumsticks, ready for the party! 
I love this particular BBQ Sauce, I'm putting up a link so you can see what it is but don't buy it there. Go to Walmart because you'll pay $3,99 for a bottle, this is too expensive.

They have many flavors but this one is the bomb!


Now that I have thoroughly bombarded you with information, I bid you good day and I hope I put the bug in your ear about trying out a charcoal smoker! There's a ton of Youtube videos about it!

Hungry Julie

Monday, March 19, 2018

Fried Chicken!


Roger William Botanical garden is worth the visit in winter

I never ate fried chicken, I can count on my hands the 3 times I've had KFC. Once as a child, 8th birthday. My brother in law brought some to the house 14 years ago and my brother and his wife had me over to dinner with a giant family bucket which they devoured before my baffled eyes. I since then discovered the joy of well-made fried chicken. A light light batter and plenty of crisp.

Keto Fried Chicken
I fry in lard if anyone wants to know.

- Bone-in thighs and drumsticks, whole legs don't quite fit in my little fryer. 

- Seasoning is 'to taste' but this is what I use:

2 part kosher salt + 2 part black pepper
1 part garlic powder, onion powder, paprika
1/2 part cayenne pepper

- Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel, toss in seasoning 
- Let it cure while the oil is heating up to 375F 

Just before frying:

- Mix 1/2 cup of almond flour + 1 tbsp of arrowroot  (make more as needed)
- Toss your chicken and coat all over.
- Gently put in the oil.  15 minutes for thighs and drumsticks, wings usually 10 minutes.
- Let sit a few minutes so you don't burn your mouth (like someone I know, who isn't me.)

Enjoy.
Yours truly, a not very hungry Julie but slowly feeling like her again.

(Yes this blog contains Amazon Associate Links. I have accumulated a whole $2,00 since I started the blog, it's for your convenience and my opportunity. I've never been paid for my opinions, ha! That'd be the day!)

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Liver Paté



Hey guys! My job has been keeping me completely out and about, exhausted and dead but still very much Keto except for a few faux-pas in the land of cheating, I really wish I could keep those in check but my foibles might forever be presents, who knows?! Meanwhile I keep keto and keep impressing my doctor with my perfect cholesterol score. Been keto for 4 years now and I'm perfectly healthy, minus a bit of high blood pressure due to my weight which I'm hoping to drop in the future months.

My schedule has been absolutely crazy like I mentioned. I wake up at 5:30 every morning (even weekends!) because of my diabetic cat who needs a shot of insulin, lunch happens WHEN possible and dinner, well, it's easier to cook when your energy bar is still full. We bought a grill and meat has been on the menu, a lot.

Whenever I think back on the blog I realize that this is one of my best self-support tool but then realize depressingly how I haven't cooked anything great or amazing in a while. 

So!

While listening to the 2ketodudes podcast, I overheard that Carl Franklin didn't like liver! What a shame, being French myself I am a huge fan of fois gras and terrine of every style and went on a journey to try and find him a recipe that he would make and try at home. I didn't have to search too far, Jacques Pépin gave me all that I needed.

Fun fact, mister Pépin lives in Connecticut as well!  No excuses for not trying this absolutely wonderful meat which is both cheap and loaded with nutrients and fat since half this recipe is butter, a perfect keto recipe. You can eat it with a spoon, spread it on cheese crisp, on vegetables, on low-carb bread cut in 4 and toasted etc etc. Personally I've been spreading it on dry sausage all week for lunches.

Chicken Liver Paté 
by Jacques Pépin

1/2 lbs of chicken livers
1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
1 small clove of garlic, peeled and smashed
1 bay leaf
1 tsp thyme
salt + pepper
1/2 cup of water
1 1/2 stick of unsalted butter at room temperature
2 tsp of Scotch or Cognac (to taste, you can go without it.)



  • Put the livers, onions, garlic, bay leaf and thyme in a pot with water, bring to a boil and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover for 5 minutes.

  • Using a slotted spoon, carry everything over to the food processor, discard bay leaf.

  • Add salt and pepper, to taste as you go, start the pulse and add butter till everything is smooth, nearly liquid. Add the alcohol at the very end, taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.

Pour out into ramekins or Tupperware containers, it will solidify as it cools. Will last a week if kept covered with plastic film in the fridge or in the freezer for 2 months.

Personally I've been eating this stuff spread on summer sausage all week and it's fabulous for lunch or a quick morning snack with a spoon.

Habanero Cheddar, Summer Sausage and Liver Paté

Nutritional Information


Calories Fat Cholesterol Sodium Potassium Total Carbs Fiber Sugar Protein
Whole Batch 1494 150g 1150mg To taste 544mg 3 1 1 38g
Daily Value Vitamin A Vitamin C Calcium Iron
Whole Batch 622.00% 73.00% 2.00% 125.00%


As always, I hope that you try this recipe!
Hungry Julie

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Oh Muffin!

Pickles is our newest furry addition 

Let me count the ways how do I love thee~

Not real muffins but first let me go back 24 hours in the past to yesterday about the same time when I finally broke my 27 hours fast. First you might as, why? Why fasting, well for one thing, I felt awfully guilty from indulging during my birthday party and for another, my friends were all doing it, so I thought, why not. Actually I would strongly suggest checking out this podcast on the subject. Fasting has long been a tool to cleanse oneself or purify, whether in religion or traditional medicine, for myself it was a quick and dirty way to get back into ketosis.

What did I eat? Two cans of beef broth and 6 tbsp of heavy cream over a period of 27 hours and an ungodly amount of water. I must have peed every half hour but I only started feeling hungry toward the end and a little tense but not.. starving. I was expecting to eat my nails and the door frame but I kept myself busy and I was fine. Even when it came time to 'break' fast, I had cooked ribeyes for husband and I, honestly, I could have gone without it and just eaten the salad. For some reason I forced myself to eat it all and felt gross for it afterwards. Lesson re-learned, listen to your body.

I will re-attempt the experience next week and let you know on the results. On to muffins.

I made meatloaf and shaped it like muffins. Oh! I'm so clever.


Meatloaf Muffins

1 package of meatloaf mix (about 1 lbs or even mixture of ground pork and ground beef)
4 hot Italian sausages (taken out of the casings)
1 egg, raw beaten
1/3 cup of Parmesan
1/2 cup of Walden farm BBQ sauce ( If you want)
salt, pepper, mixed Italian seasonings

12 slices of bacon (half baked)


Oven at 350F
- Mix the ground meats, sausages, egg, Parmesan and seasonings together. Mix well.
- Line a large muffin tin with the slices of bacon, 2 in each cups (6 cups!)
- Press 1/6 of the mixture in each of the cups inside the bacon Snuggie.
- Slater with sugar free BBQ sauce (or even Heinz's low sugar ketchup)
- Bake for 35 minutes.





So easy, even a caveman could- oh..right, no oven! ~ Click here for nutritional information and printable recipe! 

Next step, get my camera up and running again because I can't stand my cellphone pictures anymore.


Enjoy!
Hungrily Yours, 
                      Julie