Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Random thoughts on a rainy day in July!

July 2013 was a bit wacky weather wise!

As the month of July 2013 finally draws to a close, it's been a rather interesting 31 days. What has been billed as one of the two hottest months of the year was not the case this year. As a matter of fact, the last week of the month was both cool and wet with rainfall rates in excess of the historical averages. What's going on with that? I thought we were in a drought!

Perhaps it really is global climate change! I remember one of the concepts I took with me, after reading a book that described the 'Little Ice Age' by Brian Fagan, was the fact that it was not so much the icy winters that killed so many people over the course of 500 years... but rather it was the crazy weather that went from hot to cold to dry to wet, with no one year following the next in like manner. (Sorta of what we are getting this decade, only not as severe....yet). If you haven't read this book, I would encourage you to do so – a very good read.

The Arabs are now getting worried about America's oil reserves!

In an article recently published by Fox News, it seems that some of the Saudi oil elite are becoming concerned with the shitload of oil and gas that is under many American's feet. Apparently some investors, like Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal are writing letters to other oil rich sheiks informing them that America may not need their OPEC oil sometime in the near future. What? Well don't get too excited. To hear Obama and other Progressives talk, that just ain't gonna happen. Still it would be a nice dream to dream. Just imagine America as an oil independent nation of rich, happy people! Naw! Like I said, it ain't gonna happen under his watch.

Weiner may be withdrawing his 'weiner' from the race for Mayor!

OK. I suspect that when this guy was born, the die was cast. And, while I'm sure the Weiner family name is an honorable one, I can only imagine the taunts this man had to endure in grade school. Fast forward to the present and we now have an adult that likes to show women his manhood via the Internet. (In my book that's what's known as a pervert. But, hey that's just me). Still, it will be interesting to see just how many New Yorker's will actually vote for this guy if he stays in the mayoral race. It would put a whole new spin on the word 'tolerant'.

Ad Hoc Bean Soup!

Never being one to have much order in my life, I still break the mold from time to time with efforts like my bean soup. This version was also meatless as I forgot to get some ham when I went to the store. If you were to click on the picture, I think you can just make out the list of ingredients - it's basically a vegetable soup with beans added.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Grilled Ham and Cheese lunch for under 400 calories!

Summer time, grilled sandwiches and garden fresh veggies all seem to go together. I put together this under 400 calorie lunch by using just a single slice of American cheese and thinly sliced ham along with vegetables take from my backyard garden!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Eating pasta and potatoes while on a diet!

Small portions equate to diet success!
The author is currently on a diet and trying his best to lose weight, so what's with the pasta and potatoes?

For years, I was advised to stay away from anything white (breads, sugar, etc) and to shun other high carbohydrates like pasta and potatoes while trying to diet! The reasoning? That carbs quickly get converted into calories and breads and potatoes and pasta are loaded with carbohydrates! My answer
to that is, so what! Just about everything you eat is converted by one metabolic pathway or another into either amino acids or glucose. Both are essential to good health, only maybe not when you consume them in excess.

This meal was balanced and provided all the essential amino acids, while not going overboard on the carbohydrates. At right is a nutritional panel that goes into more detail for this particular meal. Note that the total calories was just over 500 and that fits in nicely with my planned total of 1800 calories per day. The only sour note was the high level of salt. Note: The potato, onions, green beans and tomato were all from my backyard garden!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Beef cubes with onions and peppers!

Here's a great mid summer meal that is light on calories but big on taste!

If you have a garden and you planted some peppers & onions earlier in the year, you'll likely have most of the ingredients for this recipe right at hand. Otherwise, summer is also a time when produce items like onions and peppers can be had relatively cheaply. The most expensive item is the meat, of course. But even with sky high beef prices, you can still often score a cheap cut of meat at reasonable prices. I bought a package of cubed beef for $4.50 for three quarters of a pound of beef. Not bad!

Throwing this meal together is simplicity itself. Here's a list of the ingredients:

¼ pound cubed beef
2 medium banana or bell peppers, cut into small pieces
1 medium white onion, sliced
Dash of oregano and basil
1 tsp Rosemary
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 servings of instant rice (optional)
1 tsp veg oil

Procedure: Add the oil to a small fry pan and heat up to medium high heat. Add the beef which has been cut into ½” to 1” inch cubes. Used a spatula to move the beef around so that all sides are cooked evenly. After a few minutes, push the beef to one side and add the onions and peppers along with the Rosemary, basil and oregano. Then, sprinkle on the Worcestershire sauce over the beef. Saute until the the onions are just becoming translucent and the peppers still have some crunch.

This dish can be served on its own or over a bed of rice! Enjoy! Serves 2.