Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Eggplant Parmigiana

There are two keys to maintaining healthy weight when it comes to diet (excluding exercise). 1-Rejection of processed foods. Or anything your grandma wouldn't recognize as edible. 2-Portion control. Give me any meal you perceive to be unhealthy and I can prove you can keep that great taste and make it healthy.

Tonight's dish is Fried Eggplant and Zucchini. Similar to last month but this time I added red peppers. Delicious. The key to vegetables is pairing. Sure, some vegetables are delicious on their own. See: Butternut Squash, Avocado, Broccoli Rabe. But when someone complains about eating vegetables as being "boring" or "dull" I simply wonder, "Are they eating them raw?". Matching. Complementary flavors placed together make a wonderful dish even without spicing. Oftentimes spicing up a vegetable can ruin it, but not always. Fried Eggplant, Zucchini, and Red Pepper feed off each other. The sharpness of the pepper and the starchy eggplant mixed with the refreshing zucchini create a plethora of taste. Cook together with mozzarella and pasta sauce and you have a dish. The whole becomes greater than the sum of the parts.

I think it fits perfectly that I tend to eat a lot more carbs in the winter because of the amount of anaerobic lifting I'm doing.

Todays Weightlifting: Week 3, Cycle 2. Overhead Squat: 5x 75%, 3x85%, >1x95%, Bench Press: 5x 75%, 3x85%, >1x95%, Back Squat: 115# for reps, Ring Dips/Bent Over Row: 5x8/10, plus a few dozen pull-ups.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


In winter I don't get to eat enough fish. It saddens me deeply. Mostly because of availability. This is okay because winter is a time for a sort of hibernation for me. I feel I need to be outdoors to enjoy great fish. Hence why all my meals so far have been heavy, thick, stocky dishes to match my "strength training" of winter. But every once in a while I'll be able to slip in some fish. And tonight is a very summery dish. I won't be taking my fish oil tonight, no sir!

Pan Seared Wild Salmon rubbed in Cajun spices
Sautéed Kale in garlic and onions w/ balsamic


Yesterday's weightlifting: I'm currently finished with Week 2 of Cycle 2 of Jim Wendler's 5/3/1 Program. Deadlift: 3x70%, 3x80%, >3x90% Press: 3x70%, 3x80%, >3x90% Add in pull-ups and KB Clean + Squat+ Press combos.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Arroz de Espana

Well, not really Spanish rice. I kind of forced Jasmine rice into a Spanish spice submission. I took Jasmine rice and dyed it yellow with Sazón and Sofrito (if I have to explain if it was homemade sofrito, you've missed the point of this blog) and made it flavorful. Also, it's not real Spanish rice unless there are olives in it. I currently lack olives in my fridge--boohoo. So I substituted black beans and onions!

Enjoy w/ A very special deep red wine called "Eyes Wide Shut". Bottled by Artiste , blended by me, and cover artwork done by my pops! Give it a check at the website. 47% Tempranillo, 37% Cabernet Savignon, 16% Merlot.

Mashed Potatoes

Take a classic. Something simple. Something that's been passed down from generations and kept on the dinner table for almost every occasion. Something that every family swears they make the best. Take that something, and leave it alone. No, do not add flare to it. Do not add a clever garnish that you saw on Iron Chef. Do no spice it up because Bobby Flay makes his classic dish HIS way. Make it YOUR way.
Have I confused you? Probably.
Your grandma's mashed potatoes will never be your grandmas mashed potatoes after she passes away. They will be your mashed potatoes from your grandmas recipe. They are already changed when YOU make them, so don't go crazy and just let the cooking flow.

Red potatoes steamed (with the skin, of course)
Mashed and slow cooked with a reasonable amount of butter
Some chicken stock (homemade, DUH!)
Maybe, just maybe, and I'm going out on a ledge here....add some salt.

Stir, mash, reduce, enjoy.

90 Minutes of JiuJitsu, then 10 minutes of Kettlebell Snatch Test @ 35#, for 268 reps.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Yellow Belly

Whole Roasted Chicken

Now this is something I haven't had in a while: Chicken. I marvel at people who believe grilled chicken cutlet, skinless, with steamed broccoli and brown rice is "healthy". I say, bullshit. That has got to be the most ridiculous recipe to come out of the modern fitness industry's big mouth. First off, it's boring. Second off, what about peoples intolerance to gluten? No rice. Thirdly, is that chicken Purdue? If so, it was born, "grown", and killed in the same 12"x12" cage. It was so small, that the chicken never grew muscles, so they pumped it full of hormones for big breasts. No movement meant their little talons adhering to the cage, like trees through wire fences. These cages are also stacked upon each other like dominoes. So the chicken shit drops through the other cages. Hungry yet? Oh, and fourthly, it's boring. Did I say this already?
Moving on...
But you ask, "But Alex! Sir Chef weightlifter extraordinaire, you are eating chicken! Why?"
I would answer, "Because a real chicken, roasted whole, is delicious, bonehead!"

Slow roasted and crisped at high temperature at the end, doused in olive oil and a plethora of spices, accompanied by sweet potatoes and red potatoes, and basted in apple cider.

Enough said? Yes, I agree.

Today's weightlifting: None, but 90 minutes of Jiu Jitsu.

Indy ate chicken too! If it wasn't healthy, I would never feed it to my dog.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Clove Fried Rice

I got this from Smitten Kitchen blog. Only, I adapted it because I have no ginger. Nor do I have leeks. Nor do I have money for such "frivolous" items.

Day old Jasmine Rice
Fried Rice with Sautéed Onions
Cloves with rice

Fry Egg separately
Add Crisped Garlic and some low sodium soy sauce.

Yesterdays Weightlifting: OHS: 5x65%, 5x75%, >5x85%, Bench Press: 5x65%, 5x75%, >5x85%
Back Squat: 115# for 36 reps also a lot of pull-ups somewhere in there.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Oodles of Noodles

So I made noodles from scratch. Winter blesses me with sheer boredom from sunrise to sunset. I simply must find a better way to pass the time....

Buckwheat/white flour mixture. 80/20

Lots of pounding and rolling. Ultimately, the noodles came out "good" but not great. I really wanted to fry them, but didn't have any lard or oil. I am, as the French say: Le Broke.

I think I boiled them a few minutes too long, as well. A little chewy.

It's the basics that make great food. It's the simplicity of an item that, when cooked properly, makes a beautiful dish. What is cooking properly? Care. Detail. Timing. Reckless Abandon, sometimes. Cooking properly is not spices, flavors, additives. That's all fine and good, and should be added when necessary, but not at the risk of the main ingredient. All too often an eager bastard tries to mask the item with some "flavor" thus removing all the flavor the original item had to offer.

Simplicity in design/action and complexity in choice of food makes great cooking.