My wife’s garden is producing tons of tomatoes. So I’m going to take some, cut them up and put them in the smoker! Smoked tomatoes! Who’d a thought? This will impart a nice smoky flavor to the tomatoes which I will use on pizzas and sandwiches to start. They’ll be good on anything you would use a tomato (duh), even a BLT. I’m going to make a batch of oopsie rolls that I’ll use as my bread for the sandwiches. When I make a BLT I’ll spread one side with my smoked tomatoes and the other side I’ll put a fresh tomato. Don’t forget to use Primal Kitchens Mayonnaise (made with avocado oil) and a good quality lettuce. I’ve been using living Bibb lettuce lately that I buy at Costco. But you should be able to get Bibb at any store.
So what did I do? I cut off all the blemishes from the garden tomatoes and that goes into the compost pile. The nice parts of the tomatoes I put in a bowl, added some olive oil, salt and pepper and tossed. Then I place them neatly on the smoker. I didn’t want to just dump them because some might have fallen through the grates! The next time I’m going to keep them on a ridged sheet pan because they were kind of tough to get off the smoker grate because they were really soft. That way I can just scrape the smoked tomatoes into a storage bowl. Also, I might keep them on longer to see if I could get them to firm up. If anyone tries that let me know how it turns out! I smoked theses at 250 degrees for 2 hours. Next time I might try 300 for 3 hours and hopefully get something of the consistency of a sun dried tomato, but it will be smoked tomatoes!
My wife’s garden produces an amazing amount of tomatoes in July and August and into September. They are so tasty! A Caprese Salad is one of the great ways to use them! Tomatoes and the rest of the nightshade vegetables have a lot of lectin in them. So if you have leaky gut problems, you should eat in moderation or avoid altogether.
However, most of the lectin is in the skin and seeds. So if you remove these, you’re good. Cooking also reduces the lectins. So if you’re making a red sauce and run the tomatoes through a tomato grinder that removes the seeds and skin and then cook the sauce, you are golden! If you just want to remove the skin and seeds, bring a pot of water to a boil, cut a cross (X) in the bottom of the tomato (shallow cut, not deep), drop the tomato in the boiling water for about 10 seconds, remove, place in ice water to chill, remove and peel the skin off starting from where you cut the X. To remove the seeds, cut the tomato in wedges and scoop the seeds out with your thumb.
I digress, let’s get back to the Caprese Salad. You don’t need to do any of that for a Caprese Salad, however, you can remove the skin if you want to. My mother didn’t like it when I left the skin on tomatoes. The skin got stuck in her dentures and that was a no no!
The most complicated ingredient is the basil pesto, which I also make from my wife’s garden basil that she grows. You can find a Basil Pesto recipe here. I used pesto in my Caprese Salads in my restaurants, but you can just use fresh basil (cut into strips) and sprinkle on the salad for a quick and easy salad. So I have a ball of fresh mozzarella, a tomato and the last of a batch of basil pesto.
Cut the tomato and mozzarella into slices, arrange nicely on a plate, top with basil pesto (or just a chiffonade of basil leaves). I drizzled some balsamic reduction on top. You can buy that in the store too. It needs a little acidity, so use some kind of vinegar. Red wine is OK, but the reduction makes a nice visual statement. Add a pinch of salt to the tomatoes. Enjoy!
Just because I call this “Nacho Meat Mixture” doesn’t mean you can only use it for LCHF Nachos! Or only for Mexican style dishes. I used some of this to make a quick Beef Broccoli Stir Fry! I also used it pretty much as is to make Sloppy Joe’s! The key to this versatility is to not spice it up too much when you first make it. Going easy on the spices when you first make it will allow you to make a left turn and go to some other culinary place if you want to! To make it truly versatile, you can leave out the beef and just make a veggie mixture. Then one day you can make chicken tacos, the next day fish tacos, the next day beef nachos, etc, etc.
So what would you think are the main ingredients to put in a beefy nacho meat mixture? Well for me, you gotta have onions, peppers, tomatoes and some kind of beef. In this case, organic ground beef from grass fed cows. Plus spices like cumin, coriander, chili powder and cilantro. Just don’t go crazy with the spices so you can have that flexibility to do something else if the inspiration strikes! Here we go!
Olive oil and butter, 1 tbl each
Sweet Bell Peppers, chopped (a variety of colors is a must, like 1 each of red, yellow and green) or I bought a bag of those small peppers and used a variety of colors
1 yellow onion, chopped
Tomatoes, diced (you can use a couple of fresh tomatoes or a small can of diced tomatoes)
1 cup salsa
1 lb organic ground beef, or ground bison
cumin, coriander, chili powder and cilantro (dry or fresh)
salt and pepper
Heat a large frying pan on medium heat
Place the olive oil and butter in the pan
When the butter has melted, add the onions and cook for a couple minutes while your chopping the peppers
Add the peppers and cook for a couple minutes
Add the ground beef, or as in this case, I used Bison. There’s not much fat in the Bison, so no need to drain the fat.
Break the meat apart and cook until almost cooked through, about 5 minutes
Add your spices being careful not to over spice. 1 tbl of each would be the upper limit. If you’re using fresh cilantro, a good handful chopped up would be good.
Add your tomatoes and salsa
If your mixture is too dry, add a cup or two of water
Simmer to reduce liquid, cook the meat through and soften the veggies
Taste for salt and pepper
I added a touch of BBQ sauce to the entire batch because I was going to eat a lot of this as Sloppy Jose’s!
You can eat it as is like above, or have it on an Oopsie Roll like a Sloppy Joe, er I mean Jose, like below.
Here’s three thinks you need to do to make a good Chicken Liver Pate:
Have lots of butter
Have lots of heavy whipping cream
Have some mirin
Butter is the glue that’s going to hold it all together. Cream is going to give it a nice smooth, rich creamy finish that will make you want more! And the mirin is going to give it that “Hmmmmm, what exactly is that that I taste but can’t put my finger on?!”
Yep, its going to be good! I don’t do much measuring when I cook, so I’m going to give this my best guestimate. Here we go!
1 One lb container of chicken livers, thawed out
2 large shallots, peeled and chopped
5 tbls butter
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup mirin (sake liquor) or brandy
Melt butter in a large pan
Add chopped shallots and cook for 2 minutes
Add chicken livers spreading them out evenly around the pan. Let cook for a couple minutes, then turn each one over and cook the other side for a couple more minutes
Add your spices, stir
Then add your whipping cream, Worcestershire and Mirin or Brandy. Bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer for 5 minutes to reduce the cream and cook the livers through.
Using a strainer placed inside a bowl, separate the solids from the liquid. Save the liquid!
Place the solids in the bowl of a food processor. Start the processor. Then add the reserved liquid slowly. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and finish processing
Place the mixture in small bread loaf pans lined with plastic. You can use other containers if you want. Use whatever you have. I put some right into a rigid ziploc container with no plastic because I was going to eat right out of the little container. If you want to turn out the pate on a serving dish, the plastic liner is the way to go! Place in the fridge to set, about 4 hours or overnight is the best.
I go to this Thai Restaurant every now and then and have pretty much the same thing. I start out with a salad. Since they don’t have traditional salad dressings they put peanut sauce on the salad. That’s not 100% OK because peanuts are actually a legume and they’re not all that good for the gut, but every now and then they’re OK if you can handle it. I then have the Crispy Shrimp with a medium red curry sauce and vegetables with white rice. The breading on the shrimp probably has cornstarch in it or some other starch, so that’s not the best. The curry sauce and vegetables are OK, but the rice is not recommended. I don’t eat much of the rice. All in all, not the best meal to eat out, but I invoke the 80/20 rule! So there!
Who doesn’t love sauteed red onion and mushrooms?
I made a batch of Oopsie Rolls so I could have a lchf “bread” bun for sandwiches!
My first “sandwich” was a Egg Salad Sandwich.
Sauteed Shrimp with Herbed Cauliflower Rice!
A sandwich with salami, cheese, greens and Primal Mayo. Pickles are good!
Another sandwich! This one is my favorite Breakfast Sandwich with sausage, cheese and egg!
I want my baby back, baby back, baby back, RIBS! These were the Best Ribs Ever!
Ribs with just a little more sauce. Make sure its a low sugar BBQ sauce. Broccoli is ALWAYS a good choice!
Another one of my favorite breakfast sandwiches.
Another salami sandwich, this time with raw organic beet and cabbage kraut! Fermented foods are ALWAYS a good choice.
Man o’ man! I guess I really like those breakfast sandwiches!
Made some Cauliflower “Mac and Cheese” as a side dish for my Lake Perch that I sauteed.
I buy Lake Perch Fillets and other fish from a company called walleyedirect.com Watch out for those shipping costs! In the summer time I have them ship over night mainly because I’m in hot Arizona. But in the winter time, 2 day ship would be ok. Just make sure its all frozen solid when you open the box. The dry ice works pretty well. (Haven’t had a problem… yet!)
Sauteed Lake Perch, above. Below, Cauliflower Mac and Cheese redone a couple days later in the air fryer. Eat your leftovers!
I eat a lot of bacon and eggs. Make sure you take a Fish Oil pill to get your Omega 3s and 6s in balance!
I’m making a nacho type mixture above. Once I wilt the vegetables, I’ll add Organic Ground Beef and some salsa from Costco and spice it with cumin, coriander, chili powder and cilantro.
Had my Nacho Meat mixture with eggs for breakfast.
Wife gave me fresh peas from her garden, so we had a little Asian Stir Fry. I used some canned bamboo shoots and I did use a little of my nacho meat mixture, so it was a little Asian Mex Fusion! Don’t be afraid to experiment and play with your food!
I had some ripe avocados that I had to use before they went bad. So I made a batch of guacamole with them, then scooped it out with an ice cream scoop and placed them on a baking sheet which I then put in the freezer. Once frozen, I put the little guacamole balls in a container and saved them in the freezer. I use them to thicken up smoothies! I like that… no waste!
That’s a good Polish sausage I got from Costco. I heated it up in my air fryer and served it with some organic, raw beets and cabbage kraut, also from Costco. Here’s a pic of the Polish Sausage pack.
Yep, more bacon and eggs!
Yep, more Lake Perch. This time with Asparagus.
Crab legs with asparagus and melted butter. It seems lately that every time my wife and I go to Costco we get one serving each of crab legs. They are good! Cost for that crab leg up above is about $13. So we get two of those for about $27. Lots of meat. My wife usually doesn’t finish hers and has a second meal from it. If I had any self control, I would do that too!
This is not the evolution question about what came first, the chicken or the egg. As far as I am concerned egg evolution/revolution is where we are at with understanding the health benefits of the whole egg! Every now and then the egg is could be considered a unhealthy thing to eat. Sometimes its the most fantastic thing you can eat, almost a super food! Where do I stand?
I had a restaurant back in the south suburbs of Chicago. A new restaurant opened up taking a once venerable dinner destination and turning it into a breakfast house, you know, like a pancake house. Pancake houses were not my competition, but I had to check it out because my wife and I had had a lot of romantic dinners there. So we wanted to check the space out in its new incarnation.
So we walk in and are being escorted to our table when lo and behold at the other end of the room there was one of our regular customers! He was so health conscious he almost drove us crazy at our restaurant with his “special” needs. So I go over to him and ask him what was he going to eat here that was “healthy”. Was it going to be a stack of pancakes with butter and sugary syrup? French toast? Eggs and sausage or bacon with hash browns fried in some kind of industrial oil? And so on. I couldn’t think of anything back then (the 90s) that was going to be considered healthy in a pancake house. Who’s going to have a salad at 9 in the morning?
So I asked him and he said, “a plain, egg white omelet”. I didn’t see that one coming, so I said “of course”, and went back to my table. That’s so boring, isn’t it? Egg white omelet and plain on top of it. And that’s what the connotation a lot of “healthy” food had back then and even today, i.e. “boring”. Who wants to eat boring food?
The egg is not boring! Just imagine the food possibilities with the egg. You can have a simple fried egg, omelet or quiche. You make cakes and breads with eggs, sauces like Hollandaise and Bernaise, ice cream and so much more. Not to mention my “crack” egg salad! We need eggs. No question about it.
So back in the day, the egg yolk was considered evil because it contained fat! Hence the egg white omelet. Egg whites are pretty much just water. Now fat is or friend! Egg yolks got the fat and all the nutrients you could ask for. So its nice that the evolution of the egg is now back where it belongs. The whole egg is healthy and almost a super food. Eat your eggs including the egg yolk!
Don’t ya just hate it when someone just rambles on and on about something and it turns out to be just a one word answer!? Could have saved a whole lot of time and trouble, but noooooooooo! Got to go on and on for so long, you forget what it was all about in the first place. Geeeeez! Yep, the answer is water!
Ok, let’s ramble on! Water is the best isn’t it?! Yes it is. Now, where I live (Arizona) the ground water has a few little extra things in it like cyanide and arsenic. Leftovers from the unregulated mining days. So you got to filter your water, that’s for sure. When my wife and I go for a drink of water we usually get it from the fridge that has a filter on it and the fridge also uses filtered water to make the ice. So the ice is good to go.
When I cook and I need a lot of water, it comes from the kitchen sink, which at the moment does not have a filter on it. I use to have a Brita filter on it, but had it removed when we changed faucets. I could get a reverse osmosis system, but they are expensive and I don’t know about the overall quality of the end result water anyway. When I had my restaurant in Cornville, Arizona the plaza had a well that had to get their water tested every year. So sounds good, right? Well, I’m sure there was a lot of “stuff” in that water, but it was deemed safe by the authorities, so it must be good, right? Yeah, right. I had a Brita pitcher there for my own drinking water. You drink a lot of water working in a hot kitchen, so got to filter those gallons of water!
I don’t know about buying bottled water, except for certain instances. For example, I make Kombucha. So I use a big quart bottle of Fiji Water (the best water on earth, according to them) to make my fermented tea. I’ve been making Kombucha for over three years now and my SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast) loves the Fiji water!
Steam Distilled Water
There are sometimes when you don’t want anything in the water at all. I had a kidney stone once and started drinking steam distilled water. But other than that I don’t know why you would want it? I just thought of this! Maybe because you’re a total control freak! So you buy steam distilled water by the gallon and add your own minerals to it (there are drops)! Its kind of like all the other waters are like fast food or prepared meals, i.e. you don’t know what’s in them! So you cook your own food and you make your own water.
Milk and Soda
I was a kid of the 50s and 60s. We were brought up on milk and had milk with every meal. As teenagers and above, we got into that soda thing. Had a Coke with every fast food meal that went down the hatch. Even into my fifties and early sixties I was still doing this! Milk with breakfast, sodas with everything else. Then the beer, wine and other forms of alcohol were added to the mix! The only tea I drank was a Long Island Iced Tea! Getting back to milk, I used to drink whole milk. Then my family started drinking 2% milk. I didn’t like it and insisted on whole milk no matter whose house I was at. Later on in my 30s I switched to 2% milk because I was finally starting to put on some weight. I had been skinny up to this point. But as long as the milk has lactose in it, its got sugar in it. Now, the only dairy I have is full fat heavy whipping cream and full fat cheeses and yogurt (I make my own yogurt too!).
Coffee and Tea
Coffee and tea are ok, but don’t forget, you got to have good water to make them! I enjoy a good Bullet Proof Coffee every now and then (coffee, heavy cream, coconut oil, butter, MCT oil). Tea is good, especially when you’re fasting. And don’t forget that kombucha. Although store bought commercial kombucha might have a little bit too much sugar in them, so be careful. Before I started making my own kombucha, which by the way ends up with no sugar in it at all (the little guys eat it all up), I would drink a bottle of the commercial stuff over two or three days to cut down on my daily carb intake.
No alcohol, unfortunately. Its only to be ingested occasionally in the form of wine. Alcohol is recognized by the body as being poison. The liver goes into a full court press to process that poison and get it out of your system! Guess what happens to everything else especially the glucose floating around in your blood? It gets stored as fat! So a rum and coke is disastrous! While the alcohol is being processed, the sugar in the coke is stored as fat. So, you say, “I’ll switch to rum and diet coke”! Brilliant! Sorry, nope! Sugar and many sugar substitutes still induce an insulin spike, so whatever is floating around gets jammed into those fat cells! If you want to lose weight, you have to stop drinking alcohol.