I told my Facebook fans how I baked a 20 pound ham last weekend -- with only the two of us to eat it. I've been coming up with leftover ham recipes ever since. Since lots of people have ham as well as turkey for Thanksgiving, some of you may find this recipe comes in handy a week from now.
Cheesy Southwestern Ham Skillet
Ah, the incidental joys of being low carb: I am completely unaffected by the demise of the Hostess corporation. I actually remember the last snack cake of any kind that I ate: It would have been the winter I was 21; I was at a corner bodega in Chicago, in the Rogers Park neighborhood. I had quit sugar and white flour a couple of years before, but saw -- it was either Ho-Hos or Hostess Cupcakes, one of the chocolate "creme"-filled things -- at the checkout, and thought, "Oh, what the heck. Let's see what it tastes like now."
As I write this, Thanksgiving is just exactly a week away. I've been busy writing a Fat Fast cookbook, and finished just two days ago. I figured I'd better run over here and say something about Thanksgiving, fast!
The nice thing about having written for fifteen years or so is that I have a backlog of work to fall back on. I've written quite a lot about Thanksgiving in the past -- here's last year's menu, and an article I wrote about
Okay, I have officially impressed myself. This bread has rapidly become a staple item in my house, and That Nice Boy I Married and I regularly eat Yummy, Scrummy Toast (YST.) With good pastured butter, of course.
The Coconut Bread Mark II is awfully good, but it's somewhat sweet, and quite coconutty; we found we didn't much like it in grilled cheese sandwiches, or with fried eggs. Something about the flax makes this more "grainy" tasting, and cuts the sweetness. This is great with fried eggs! Come to think of it, I should try it in grilled cheese sandwiches tonight.
I know I've been quiet lately. I've been working on a fat fast book, and have a deadline at the end of this month. Still, I thought I'd take a break and remind you of the basic rules of getting through Halloween without completely blowing your low carb plan:
1) Do not buy candy early. I don't care how good the sale is. Wait till the last minute. Why put yourself in the position of sharing a house with roughly 60 million extra grams of carbohydrate for a week or two? I know people who put a bowl of Halloween candy out a week or two before Halloween. This is madness. Don't do it.
The first Coconut Butter Bread was quite tasty, but crumbly. The chia and glucomannan add moisture and cohesiveness.
Coconut Butter Bread Mark II
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup Coconut Butter
1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons glucomannan
In a custard cup, combine the chia seeds and warm water. Let them sit for half an hour.
I don't have a brilliant article idea, so here are some random notes:
* That Nice Boy I Married and I bought a side of grass-fed beef from our friend Scott Merritt, who raises it in Texas. Scott's main business -- selling tee shirts to gaming and science fiction fans -- was bringing him to Indianapolis anyway, so he grabbed some big coolers and brought us a metric buttload of beef. So far we've eaten two sirloins, two rib eyes, and some ground beef, and it's all wonderful -- tender and full-flavored. I'm looking forward to a winter of short ribs and pot roast!
Long-time readers here may have noticed a repeated phenomenon: Dana needing to learn the same lesson more than once.* You know, like how I went hyponatremic -- low on salt -- last summer, and then managed to go badly hypo on the Low Carb Cruise this year, despite knowing how important salt was/is.
I've been working on recipes that will work for fat fasting , or, in larger portions, fit in with my aim of keeping fat, as a fraction of my calories, ultra-high. I came up with this last night, and it was superb. Great for breakfast, too, warmed up with fried eggs on top.
It was a spectacularly beautiful morning here in Southern Indiana -- warm but not scorching, light breeze, crystal clear, brilliantly blue sky. That Nice Boy I Married and I went out for a walk first thing, taking our caffeine-of-choice along. (He had a car cup of coffee, I had a sports bottle of iced tea.) It was lovely.
I got basic blood work done a few weeks back, and I thought I'd share the results with you. I wanted to C&P it from the patient portal website, but I can't figure out how to do that, so I'll just tell you. I'm 53 years old, and have been eating a low carbohydrate diet for 17 years. I have, in the past several months, been deliberately increasing fat and decreasing protein as fractions of my diet, while keeping my carbs very low, generally under 20 grams per day.
My lipid panel is as follows:
Total cholesterol: 202 (Oh, nooo! It's hiiiigh!)
For the past three days I've had the same magnificent breakfast, and it's all because I just happened to have some stuff in the fridge:
Last Thursday night, my Toastmasters club had our annual Bash-at-the-Lake. Not only did I wind up with some leftover cucumber salad and grilled chicken -- my contributions -- but That Nice Boy I Married, unbeknownst to me, snagged a huge pile of leftover pulled pork, brought by my good friend Virginia, a native of Kentucky, where they know their pulled pork.
Hooray! I've recruited my first low carb columnist! That makes me a really, truly Managing Editor, right? And I'm so sure that she's right for the job, too. I feel super-smart right now.
Have you seen the latest Hamburger Helper ad? It's about how life interferes with your making good nutritional choices, leading to your picking up a "big bag of greasy, deep-fried easy." It's a great line, actually.
Then, in standard advertising form, they present you with the solution to your problem: Hamburger Helper, of course! It's the quick-and-easy way to serve your family a "home-cooked meal."
Here's what I had in the fridge, needing to be used up:
The remains of a pork shoulder roast, with maybe 4-5 ounces of meat left on the bone.
The drippings from the pork, which I'd saved in a snap-top container on the grounds that they were way too tasty to throw away.
A Tupperware(tm) container of good, strong homemade broth, made from both chicken and turkey bones. Probably about 6 cups worth, but I didn't measure it.
In the fridge, but not so urgently needing to be used up were:
Two packets of traditional shirataki
So here's what I did: