Wednesday, July 26, 2017

What The Health: A Movie of Pure Vegan Evangelism and Bad Science



What the Health: A Culinary Medicine Review

A vegan manifesto 


Being a vegan

As you know, there are some militant vegans out there. They believe with passion, and the militants, of any food fad, will cherry pick their data better than most. This is a movie made for evangelical outreach – it mixes in some facts, leaves out a lot of others. So, if you want to be a vegan blindly, don’t read any more.
There are various reasons people choose to be a vegan, but to start with: it is not a healthier option than other methods of eating, it is not better for the planet, and it is not more ethical. If you can get past that, and be a vegan and supplement, you will, statistically, live as long as a heavy meat eater.

Disclaimer

There is no information that will change the mind of a militant vegan. I have been in those “wars” before, and  discussing diets is like talking religion or politics at the table. If you have friends over with certain dietary views, trying to change their mind with data is futile. That can be any diet.
That being said, here it a review from a Culinary Medical perspective.  The good, the bad, and the very ugly. Many of these topics I have blogged about before, and the references will be in the other blog posts.

The Movie – it is not a documentary

The movie itself is well done. It is shot well, has a good story line, and presents its data with all the usual counterpoints addressed. It is made by First Spark Media, a vegan production house that is  pro PETA. All the “authority” figures in the movie are vegan all the talking heads in the movie are vegan – and there is no attempt to see the “other side.”
The Executive Producer is Joaquin Phoenix – who is a vegan activist, filmmaker, and actor. Kip Andersen is also a vegan, although the movie seems to be about him stumbling his way into becoming one (good acting, by the way).  Kip also calls various organizations to ask about their recommendations – nothing like calling an organization, getting the receptionist, and asking complex questions that should be asked of policy makers.  The reason Kip doesn’t talk to the policy makers of those organizations is pretty simple: they would have wiped the floor with publications contrary to his views.

Meat Causes Cancer – but not really


The movie starts out with this  theme. It is wrong, but that does not stop them from making the claim that it is as dangerous as smoking cigarettes. It isn’t. So let’s look at the actual data and see if we can make sense of it. The overall risk for colon cancer is about 2.24%, which increases as you age (get your colonoscopy at age 50) and if you have a relative with colon cancer the risk rises to about 7% .
Lets break down the evidence for “processed meat.” This is  meat that has been salted, cured, smoked, or preserved (think hot dogs, sausages, salami, your basic charcuterie plate). If you don’t eat a lot of any meat then about 56 out of every 1000 people will develop colon cancer. If you eat a lot of processed meat (like two servings or more a day) for every 1000 people who do this 61 of them will develop colon and/or rectal cancer. (PMCID: PMC3108955)
The movie talks about a 20% increase in risk – but this is a “relative risk” which is a statistic that reflects the difference between non meat eaters (56 out of 100o will develop colon cancer) and heavy processed meat eats (66 out of 1000) – that is an increase of 10 or 17% (the movie rounds it up to 20%).
As you can see – it is a lot worse to have relatives who have colon cancer than to eat processed meats. Plus, we don’t know which processed meats do this – we think we have an idea, but not so much.  We know if you live in Spain you have a higher incidence of colon cancer than Sweden, and in Spain there is a ham shop on every corner, but to put this in terms for every 100,000 people: in Spain 40 will get colon cancer, in Sweden 32 will get colon cancer, in the US 34 will get colon cancer.
Is that as dangerous as cigarettes? Not by a long shot. Consider this: if everyone in the United Kingdom stopped smoking there would be 64,500 fewer cases of cancer. If no one at processed meats there would be 8800 fewer cases of cancer. Lung cancer is something we do not have good treatment for. We can check for bowel cancer, and everyone should (remember, the bigger risk for bowel cancer is having a relative who has it, and getting older).  Since bowel cancer starts as a polyp you can have a colonoscopy, have a polyp snipped off and prevent cancer – we cannot do that with lungs. So, when they say that the processed meats are as bad as smoking- they have gone way out on a limb and then sawed it off.
So what about red meat? Not processed meat, just the good old American steak. I blogged about this and did a video about this before called Meat and Mortality: Does Eating Meat Decrease Your Lifespan? You can see the citations in there but there was no association between red meat and cancer when a lot of great data was looked at.
When it comes to meat consumption in the United States, we have increased our total meat consumption (we eat more chicken than beef these days) so what has happened to cancer and heart disease? Their rates have gone down.  The big decrease in heart disease and cancer happened because people stopped smoking – but the trend to increased meat (red meat, chicken, etc) did not give the rise in either heart disease or cancer that one would assume would happen if the horrors depicted in this movie were true.  Consider that we have a more obese nation, with increasing diabetes, but most authorities find that association is with highly processed carbohydrates and not from meat.
Adding a rosemary Marinade reduces HCA - here some rack of lamb is in a marinade of fresh rosemary with garlic, dijon, and olive oil.

Dr. Barnard says, “… carcinogens can form when meat is cooked…” When meat is grilled over a high heat this happens. He fails to note that this happens with vegetables or any food cooked at high temperatures.  From a culinary medicine perspective using a marinade that is rich in antioxidants such as fresh rosemary. John La Puma shared his favorite marinade for chicken and beef which is two tablespoons of olive oil (extra virgin), two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon of fresh cut rosemary.  I also like his ginger sesame salmon where the marinade is 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil, and a 2-inch piece of grated, peeled ginger in 1/4 cup of soy sauce (you can get gluten free if you need) – just 15 minutes is all you need. In addition, cooking at lower temperatures, such as using Sous Vide for the majority of cooking reduces that risk.

Eggs and Cigarettes

When one has extraordinary claims, they need extraordinary evidence. So when Kip talks about eggs and how one egg a day has the same effect as smoking 5 cigarettes, there is no great citation for this. There is a reason, because it isn’t true. I blogged about is Smoking as Bad As Eggs? Vegans don’t like the dairy industry, and they always want to find a way to scare you away from dairy (see vegetarians can eat dairy, vegans think it is cruel to do so).

Saturated Fats – or Butter isn’t better



Dr Greger, an ardent vegan, dismissed the studies about saturated fat stating that the studies that have vindicated saturated fat were funded by the dairy industry. There is some truth to this. In culinary medicine we find that olive oil, a monounsaturated fat, works better and is one point on the Mediterranean Diet. While saturated fats are clearly not the evil they once were, the vegans have dismissed an entire generation of studies.
So while butter isn’t better, it isn’t worse either. I have blogged about Butter: Is it Good or Bad?

Dairy is evil- well, not so much

When Kip calls the Susan Komen organization to ask why they don’t warn against dairy consumption he cites a paper that examines the risk of recurrence of cancer in breast cancer patients. The paper’s title is “Intake of high-fat dairy, but not low-fat dairy, was related to a higher risk of mortality after breast cancer diagnosis.” There you have it – but this paper has a lot of issues. For example, it is based on Food Frequency Questionnaires, which is based on a person’s recall of what they ate. Food Frequency Questionnaires do not make great data points. But the title of the paper shows that low-fat dairy isn’t an issue. Somehow Kip ignores this- again, pretty clear where the agenda of the movie takes you.
Diary, especially hard cheese and fermented dairy are a point in the Mediterranean Diet score – which again, has millions of people it has followed. Essentially, in the Mediterranean area they don’t eat a lot of dairy. I blogged about this in Mediterranean Diet Score: Dairy, Meats, Alcohol.
Kip talks about how avoiding dairy is associated with a reduced incidence of type 1 diabetes. This is pure correlation and not causation. There is a greater association with wheat (PMC 4185872) than with dairy – but consider that while the film brings this as an “all or nothing” with dairy, they neglect other information that is not great for vegans.
It was amusing when they brought up the American Egg board worried about vegan mayonnaise. For those who are not familiar with that product, Hampton Creek, who made the vegan mayo was involved in a major buy-back program from grocery stores to shore up their industry and get more investors. I guess vegans can be frauds too. On an even playing field there is no great substitute for mayonnaise, and the people who promoted investment in  Hampton Creek are now lawyering up (Bloomberg article about this here).

What About Fish

This bear thinks the fish in this box is good for him
The former president of the American College of Cardiology, Dr Ken Williams, is an ardent vegan. So the softball from Kip about fish is responded to: “Four worries… PCB’s, mercury, saturated fat, cholesterol.” I blogged about this in Fish and Mercury: Causes, Symptoms, Fish you Can Eat.
So while some fish are a problem, with a bit of care, most are not. If you use the seafood guide from Monterey you will be fine. For that you can click here.  They also have an app for your phone.
What Dr Williams fails to point out is that vegans do not have great sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Fish are the best source, and the data is quite clear that people who eat fish have less heart disease, longer lifespans than even vegans.
Williams also fails to note that The American Heart Association recommends people eat fish twice a week, because of the clear reduction in heart failure and lower incidence of fatal heart attacks.
Still, the purpose of this movie is to convince you should eat a plant diet. Using this bit of nonsense they have thrown fish out of the bus even though fish eaters live longer than anyone on the planet.
From a Culinary Medicine perspective there is data encompassing millions of people with the Mediterranean Diet. Fish is one of the solid points on the diet, and that leads to an overall reduction in cancer and heart disease. I have blogged about this before in Mediterranean Diet Score: Part One.
My friend, Robb Wolf points out fish is  “That gate-way product for vegans shifting back to animal products.” Most vegans discover that they crave something in their diet, and often they find their way back to fish.

Diabetes and High Carb Diets

Part way into the film Dr Neal Barnard, a vegan who is president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (sounds nice, but it is a vegan activist organization. They do have some great material, and I have their “Nutrition Guide for Clinicians” on my desk). In this bit he claims that diabetes is not caused by a high-carb diet and that it is caused by a build up of fat and that is found in a meat based diet.
What he fails to note is that many studies have shown that low-carbohydrate diets have been superior for people with diabetes. In fact the first way they were able to extend the lives of children with type 1 diabetes was to completely rid them of sugar and highly processed carbohydrates – thankfully Banting and Best discovered insulin and now type 1 diabetic patients can live quite a normal lifespan.
My friend, Garth Davis, a fellow bariatric surgeon, comes on board and states that “Sugar is not great… but does not cause inflammation and can be stored as glycogen.” He ignores that fructose, which is half of table sugar, is quite inflammatory, and is well known for the havoc it causes on the liver (fatty liver disease) and its role in heart disease and increasing low-density lipoprotein.
When toward the end of the movie Kip interviews Dr Robert Ratner he fails to mention that the low carbohydrate diets beat both ADA and conventional low fat diets for the treatment of diabetes.  In fact, 7 out of 11 keto dieters were able to reduce their diabetic medications where only 2 out of 13 low fat dieters did. (PMID: 24717684 PMCID: PMC3981696 ) Nor does he mention the effect that the Mediterranean Diet has on diabetes. Both low fat and low carbohydrate diets work to reduce issues with diabetes, what doesn’t work are highly processed carbohydrates.

Factory Farming – Save the Planet

Factory farming has a lot of issues, and they are brought up in this movie. The overuse of antibiotics in animals is a problem. Many factory farms are ecologic disasters, but opting out as a vegan means you are not supporting those farms that actually raise animals with care, like Elysian Fields. The ability of “foodies” to put their dollars where the creatures are cared for, and they are in balance with nature is powerful. When I blogged about this, Vegans versus Foodies: Moral High Ground, I pointed out that the real moral high ground is putting your consumer dollars where it counts.
When they talk about the large number of pigs raised in North Carolina and the potential for Swine Flu, this is not hyperbole. Far better to have a system like Spain where the Iberico hogs are raised where they graze freely, eat plenty and produce the best tasting ham in the world.
To be clear, it would be an environmenta
l disaster to not have animals in the eco-system and this is known by most who have taken a basic biology course. Still, the doctors on this (who did take those courses) seem to have forgotten that an ecosystem on planet earth is best with animals, including humans.

Food Industry and Health

There is no doubt the food industry is a major lobbying agency and has not benefited the health of the US. Probably the greatest was when the Harvard Scientists were bought by the sugar industry and said fats were evil. This was ignored by the film, of course, but let us not let facts get in the way of this film.

Why Do They All Show Their Abdominal Muscles?

Ever notice that any diet, dietary product, protein powder, or supplement loves to show people flexing their biceps and showing their washboard abdominal muscles?  The reason is this is powerful marketing, but poor. You don’t get those great muscles from protein powder, eating vegan, eating paleo. You get that through hard work, exercise, and hours dedicated to your body.
It is great if that is what you want to dedicate your life to, and people need to spend more time in the gym and less time in front of the computer. I think more people should spend time reading and learning critical thinking – or to quote Shakespeare, “I would challenge you to a battle of wits, but I see you are unarmed.”
Yes, you can obtain the protein you need without eating meat or fish. Legumes are a great source of protein, so is rice, so is broccoli. Of course, if you eat this way you will have to supplement to get the missing omega-3 fatty acids, choline, B12, etc.  So if you have to supplement your diet, is it really that good for you?

Biotruth


I have written about Biotruths: What We Are Meant to Eat as a logical fallacy before. Some misinformed paleo diet folks love this argument, but so do vegans. They are both wrong- we are not “meant” to eat anything. We have evolved, and we can eat a wide variety of foods- going back to plants as a sole source of nutrition is not supported by this argument.Of course the movie couldn’t get by without mentioning the old biotruth about what man is suppose to eat. I would have been terribly disappointed if they missed this logical fallacy. A biotruth is a misstatement of biology or evolutionary biology stating that man was meant to eat this or that because of their teeth. They didn’t disappoint me.

Vegan Vs SAD


There is no doubt that the vegan diet is better than the Standard American Diet, but there is no proof it is better than any of the other diets mentioned. Getting rid of processed food, especially processed carbohydrates is a goal.
The problem with the Standard American Diet is not 25% Animal food in our diet (meat, eggs, dairy, fish). Nor is the answer in the 12% plant food, but we do need to eat more of that.
The problem with the Standard American Diet is that it is 63% processed foods, including sugars, refined grains, with added fats and oils. To be fair, over 70 percent of the diet that most Americans consume is “plant based.”
This movie tries to show that the animal based part of our diet is just wrong. It isn’t – the problem is the refined portion of the American Diet.

Beer and Sausage Diet

When my friend, Evo Terra, and I did a three year study about a beer and sausage diet, showing better markers for him with his liver, with inflammation, and with science – no one believed it. But alas, it was true. You can lose weight and feel better with any sort of diet.  This was our extreme, but it was fun.
So, for your pleasure here is the Beer Diet: What We Learned .

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Crispy Chickpeas



We love legumes!  What is a healthy snack? Something that is crunchy, but contains a lot of fiber and protein and little fat? Turns out the answer is chickpeas.

Chickpeas are a legume, part of that family of foods that if you have four servings a week will help you reduce the risk of heart disease by as much as 22%!
Chick Peas or Garbanzo Beans come already cooked in a can. They don't need any soaking



But they do need rinsing in the sink
Gently dry them off with a kitchen towel


At this point you have to get a pan and heat it on the stove at a medium high heat.  Once it is hot then add about 1/2 cup of Canola oil, or a Canola-olive oil mix, or grapeseed oil.  Once the oil is shimmering then it is time to CAREFULLY add the chickpeas.  I recommend putting them in a ladle and gently adding them to the oil mix - or a spider if you have one of those handy.

Then allow them to heat in the pan.  If you have a kitchen laser temperature guide, you want your oil to be about 350 degrees.



You will cook them until they start to turn a golden color





Final Product  I add some parsley, a bit of garlic salt, and some Parmesan cheese. A perfect party snack - better and healthier than chips.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Puree Diet: What It Means, How To Do It.

Pureed food is defined as food that is ground, cut, chopped, sieved, put in a food processor, or mechanically broken down to a paste.

In Post Op Patients this is an important stage because it allows increased nutrition as well as more satisfaction.  It also provides a time to learn how to eat.

Maximum Amount:

One half cup of food is the maximum at any one time during this period.  That would be 28 teaspoons. 

Spoons come in different sizes - but this would be the "teaspoon" the spoon most often used to drink tea. Not the tablespoon.  Check your spoons and see which one holds one teaspoon easily - it will probably be the smallest spoon you own. 

How Do You Measure - Eating Out

While some people will bring scales, cups, and measure with scientific accuracy, that is the minority. Most of you will guess.  But there are good ways to guess and there are bad ways to guess. 

Bad Way - looking at a pile of food and with your eyes say "that is half a cup." 

Good Way - knowing a small teaspoon is available in any restaurant and that you can guess how close that spoon is to a teaspoon. You know that 28 spoons will be four ounces - so as you eat, count the number of foods. 


Eat Slow, Small, and Easy

Do not eat until you are full.  If you do that you will eat beyond what the stomach will hold. If you eat too fast you will miss the "full" feeling and can rupture the stomach (trust me, you don't want to do that).

Eat one bite every minute.  No matter what surgery you have, you want to eat no faster than this. 

Never Hungry, Never Full

This is your mantra - during this phase of food you will be saying this. Eat slow, small, and easy - and strive not to be full, but never be hungry. 

Drink and Eat - not at this stage

For gastric sleeve patients there is only so much room in the stomach at this stage. Do not drink and eat at the same time.  It is not worth it - you won't get as much in for food.
If you have a Lap-Band you can eat and drink at the same time - we didn't change the size of your stomach, just how it reacts. 

Eat More Often

The great thing about puree foods is you can eat more often. You can eat three, four, up to six meals a day at this stage. You won't need to - but you might find this filling. 

Recipes:

During this stage there are some nutritious and lovely recipes - and but my favorite is the one I made with my son - cauliflower mash. You can do the same thing with broccoli. 




Saturday, August 27, 2016

Chicken Broth -

Post Op Chicken Broth - no "low sodium"

Your body after any surgery is burning a lot of fat.  When you burn fat you also lose a lot of salt. So if you buy some chicken broth or stock, don't buy low sodium. Chicken stock can be made from any chicken you butcher. To see more about making roasted chicken - see my recipe. It really is a great recipe

Better to Make Your Own

Making your own chicken broth or stock is easy. Buy whole chickens and butcher them for the parts, but you have all of those lovely bones that you might otherwise throw away.  Combine those with a bit of water, some pepper, and a bay leaf and you will get a home made broth/stock that is cheap, makes the house smell delicious, and tasty.

Turn the chicken so the backbone is facing you as well as what is referred to as "the pope's nose." This is the very rear of the chicken - and contains many types of oils that are used.  This is called the pygostyle, found by the chicken butt, or "arse" is delicious when the whole chicken is roasted. But in this case we will butcher the chicken into parts to make some great stock. 

Some chef's say that if you roast a chicken you should remove this as the pope's nose delivers a bitter flavor.  In this case, we will .

Why is it called the Pope's Nose?

A parson from St. Mary's in Nantwich was slow to pay a bill to a carpenter in 1400.  The carpenter carved a chicken in a pew with the parson's prominent nose as the rump of the bird. To this day you can see that carving in the pew of the church.  

Why not just get the chicken parts?

Buying a whole chicken is about $2 less per pound at my supermarket.  It is easy to cut it up.

Instructions (see photos below):

From the Pope's nose cut on both sides of the backbone.  There are some muscles as you approach the neck of the chicken be certain to go between those.

Cut on both sides of the backbone. Now you have a chicken spine.  I further cut this spine into one inch pieces.

Flip the bird over and press the chicken down using all your force to flatten the chicken.  Then use a sharp knife and cut on one side of the breast bone. This separates both halves of the chicken. Cut the breast bone out and toss it into the pan for roasting.

Inside the bird you can easily use scissors to cut out the ribs and other bones - also place those into the pan for roasting.

Roast Over Medium Heat

Roast the bones over a medium heat. Turning them with a pair of tongs until you see the color change and you smell the chicken

Add 4 cups of water, one bayleaf and 9 peppercorns (or about 1/2 tablespoon of ground pepper).  

Bring to a boil.  You will get some foam on the top.  Remove this foam - otherwise it will be bitter. After it boils for three minutes put on simmer and it is ready in 30 minutes.

Once you are done then toss away the old chicken parts, and strain the stock into a vessel and you can use it. I like using this for making my pan-made gravy (see the recipe).

How Long Will Chicken Stock Last?

If you put it into jars and seal them and a layer of chicken fat settles in they are good for six months. If there is minimal fat or you start using it, then it is good for a five days.  After that toss it. 

Best Way To Save Chicken Stock

You can also freeze the chicken stock and it is good for a year.  I like to freeze it in an ice cube tray then vacuum seal the cubes of chicken stock. You can then take the cubes out - heat them up or microwave them and you have instant chicken soup - delicious, fresh, and mmm. 



The Pope's Nose - the backside of the bird where we shall begin
This is where the carving of the bird starts.
Using scissors, cut on either side of the backbone. 

Notice these round bits of muscle - cut between them and the backbone. 


Here the entire backbone is cut
Cut the bird in half from the breast bone, then cut the breast bone out


Using scissors it is easy to cut out the ribs, save them.


I've further cut the backbone into one inch pieces and they are roasting over a medium heat 

In a few minutes they have roasted, releasing a great chicken smell. 

Add four cups of water

Add a Bayleaf (you wondered why we had those)

Add some pepper (9 pepper corns)

Bring to a boil and skim this foamy material off - it will make your broth bitter.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Coffee and caffeine are ok for weight loss surgery patients

You can drink coffee and tea after weight loss surgery - and should!

In my first book, "Weight Loss Surgery: A Lighter Look At A Heavy Subject," I address coffee. Simply put, I give it to my patients in the recovery room after surgery.

Yet on the internet you see the cry for not using coffee after weight loss surgery.  I have to ask - Why on earth?  Even one of the organizations I belong to the almighty American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery says you should avoid caffeine for 30 days after then ask your surgeon.  Is there a reason for this? None.  They just say it.

Is there a scientific reason? None. Coffee suppresses appetite. Not that much, but a bit.
Coffee is thermogenic - meaning it increases the bodies use of calories.

Maybe some think that coffee causes dehydration. It doesn't.  In fact, when it comes to athletes there is evidence that drinking coffee can increase endurance. Since surgery is like an athletic event - it takes energy to heal from it, it takes endurance to go through it.

Is it a clear liquid? Well - the way some of you make it - yes.  You know the old joke, "If this is coffee get me tea, if this is tea get me coffee."  Clear liquids are used after surgery because of how they behave in the stomach.  Coffee behaves like water, so when my patients are on a clear liquid diet, the first things they drink after surgery coffee is on the list.
Even my son gets coffee in the morning

When I travel I bring coffee.  So if I was in the hospital you can bet I would brew my own

The Aeropress - my portable coffee maker

My weekend variety is made with a chemex
References (because sometimes people have to look things up)

From the ASMBS -  here is their word on the topic (not to be taken as the gospel). https://asmbs.org/patients/life-after-bariatric-surgery

1 Kolasa K.M. et al. (2009) Hydration and health promotion. Nutrition Today. 44:190-203
2 Popkin B.M. et al. (2006) A new proposed guidance system for beverage consumption in the United States. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 83, 529-542
3 Silva A. M. et al. (2013) Total body water and its compartments are not affected by ingesting a moderate dose of caffeine in healthy young adult males. Applied Physiology Nutrition & Metabolism, 38:626-632.
4 Killer S. C. et al. (2014) No Evidence of Dehydration with Moderate Daily Coffee Intake: A Counterbalanced Cross-Over Study in a Free-Living Population. PLoS ONE, 9(1): e84154.
5 Ganio M.S. et al. (2009) Effect of caffeine on sport-specific endurance performance: a systematic review. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 23(1):315-24.
6 Goldstein E.R. et al. (2010) Caffeine enhances upper body strength in resistance trained athletes. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 7 :5

Friday, March 18, 2016

Roasted Cauliflower Florets

While a whole roasted cauliflower is an amazing food to make - sometimes you need a lot less and you don't want to wait an hour to make it.

These are readily available for those who don't want to chop a cauliflower or if you need less. One of these bags is just perfect for one.

Getting the bag of microwave cauliflower florets is easy. But instead of taking four minutes to zap them in the microwave, I like the flavor of the vegetable after it is roasted in the oven.  It takes a bit longer, but the depth of flavors is amazing, and it makes a great dish for one.

Start by pre-heating your oven to 400 degrees.
The first step - you can do this as soon as you walk in the door even if you don't know what you are going to make. Often I set the oven if I am going shopping for dinner so that when I come home I can quickly prep the food and get it in the oven. Even if I have to cut the temperature to 350 degrees, by the time I open the oven and pop in the food it is going to be perfect. 

Pretty easy to open the bag and spread the florets out on a pan.  You don't need a cookie sheet for these, something smaller will do.

Then the recipe becomes simple. Add kosher salt, pepper, and olive oil.

Place in the oven for 30 minutes- you can leave them - or in the middle of the oven cycle you can stir them around a bit to get other sides toasted.

I have a small pan that I can put these florets into

I buy large quantities of olive oil and keep them in these squirt bottles. Makes it easy to add the olive oil onto the cauliflower.

Even if you have a salt-restricted diet adding some Kosher salt to these won't hurt you.

Fresh ground pepper - it just has more flavor than pre-ground pepper.

Into the pre-heated oven. You can see in my oven I have a lot of pizza bricks. Those serve to retain heat so when the oven door opens and close they maintain a radiant heat. 

Look at these beauties! Delicious- a bit of that brown cauliflower is delicious. These provide a perfect bit of food for one person and I use them often as a base for other dishes.  
I had some Chicken Korma in the freezer that had been made Sous Vide.  So I re-heated it by putting it into the Sous Vide while I was cooking the cauliflower. This added to the top of the cauliflower made a perfect meal for one. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Pork Bolognese

Bolognese is the classic Italian Meat Sauce that is great with almost any pasta.

It is made with "soffrito" - onion, celery, and carrot -which Italians would call a mirepoix. This combined with some great ground pork, and garlic, and finished with a great pasta make a classic dish.

Ingredients:

10 Ounces Ground Pork
4 Cloves of Garlic
1 Carrot
1 Stalk Celery
1 Yellow Onion
1 Bunch Parsley
50 g of Tomato Paste (about 2 ounces)
1/4 cup of Grated Parmesan Cheese

Prep

Peel and mince the Garlic
Peel and small dice the Carrot
Small dice the Celery
Small dice the onion

Heat a pan to medium heat. Add Grapeseed oil and salt and pepper to taste. Break up the pork with a wooden spoon and cook until the pork is browned and cooked through.
Move the pork to a small bowl.  Don't scrape the bits off the bottom we will use those.
Reheat the pan over a medium heat. Add 1 Tablespoon of Grapeseed Oil. Take the garlic, onion, celery, and carrot and place the small diced bits into the pan. If the pan is a bit dry add some Grapeseed oil (1 tablespoon should do it).  Mix together and add salt and pepper to taste. 
Add the 2 ounces (50 grams) of tomato paste and stir in until it becomes darker

To this add 1 cup of water and add the pork

Season with salt and pepper and stir as needed. Should be thick in 4-6 minutes.
Place the al dente pasta into the mix along with 1/2 of the pasta water. Add cherry tomatoes, some parsley, and plate with Parmesan Cheese