- I was never hungry, and have never felt in any way deprived, on the Keto diet.
- Our grain-based diet is a horrible, harmful lie.
- A high fat, low carbohydrate diet seems counter-intuitive and maybe for some people, it is. However, for myself and several others in my family (diabetes runs in my family) have found ENORMOUS success on this diet – including all measurable blood metrics including cholesteral, tri-glycerides, HDL and LDL.
- Once you get your mind around the idea of “no white” (no rice, pasta, bread or potatoes) everything else is pretty easy.
- Tons of green vegetables are a lot more palatable when you can flavour with fats (fry in bacon fat, top with butter or toss with salad dressing). You’ll come to enjoy it!
- You are probably already eating all the protein you need; once you start paying close attention to protein (as I did) it was not hard to make sure I got enough.
- For several months, I tried to keep my daily carb intake below 20 grams. This took effort and A LOT OF LABEL READING! You’ll be shocked at all the places you find carbs, which will surprise you. (Even in sugar-free gum? C’MON……)
- You will need to give up virtually every fruit except berries. Fortunately you can get those all year (fresh in summer, frozen in winter) so you’ll be OK. Apples, oranges, melon and grapes are out, full stop.
- Juice, pop, beer, wine, Gatorade….all forms of liquid sugar will be GONE from your diet. On the bright side, water from the tap is a lot cheaper! Herbal teas (hot or cold) are also flavourful and inexpensive. Coffee is still good! And you get to put real cream in it.
- When I lost 60 pounds and reached my goal, I looked around for something to add to my diet to maintain my weight and settled on seeds: roast melon seeds (which feel crunchy and salty, like chips) and Chia seeds in my breakfast shakes. This seems to be working.
This process can be used for virtually any fruit jam: blueberry, raspberry, peach, pear….all the instructions are provided in the pectin box.
These are the hands-down Smith Family Favourite.
You can use fresh dill and fresh garlic if you have access to those ingredients; or, as I often do, use dried dill and prepared garlic (quicker and simpler!)
Click here for the video of my process.
Please note – this is not a “how to can” video. I’ll do a separate one of those later. There are great instructions on Bernardin’s website.
Home-made coconut-coriander chutney…it makes everything taste like Little India!
Click here for my process on video.
Pesto pasta, Pesto pizza, Pesto potatoes (with green beans and slivered almonds!) Pesto potato salad…there are SO many fabulous dishes which need only a little dash of Pesto to make them magical.
So it has been really awful that Ontario has endured a “Basil blight” for almost 4 years now. I kept buying plants, only to watch them wither and die in front of my eyes: spotty leaves, brown patches, wilting stems. Even professional growers told me: “No one can grow Basil. A blight is killing the plants.”
Well, somebody figured out something – we must have a more resistant strain of plants this year – because for the first time in 4 years, Basil is growing like gangbusters!
I can’t believe I was able to harvest enough leaves to make a triple batch of Pesto on only June 19th! By August, my freezer will be stuffed full, I promise.
Here is the base recipe I use, from the Joy of Cooking. As you will see watching the video, mostly I work by taste and I switch out pine nuts for ground almonds, which are cheaper and more flavourful.
Go for the gusto! Plant lots of Basil!
Pesto, from “The Joy of Cooking”
2 cups loosely packed Basil leaves
1/3 cup pine nuts (I use ground almonds, or sometimes, walnuts)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (I find this to be about 2x as much oil as you need)
Salt and pepper to taste
I love it when anything I cook makes people happy, but probably the most memorable compliment I ever received was from Sean Burke, a beloved family friend whose father was in the hospital after heart surgery.
“Every night when we got home from the hospital, we stayed up and talked and ate chips with Rita’s salsa and it made me wonder: why does her salsa taste so much better than other salsas? What does she do that makes it taste so different?”
He sent this question in an email to my brother. I was happy to write him back with my recipe and my process, but mainly I had to point out: it takes time. A really good batch of my salsa takes 3 days.
The Hedemark Family is so grateful to the Burke Family for all the generosity they have shown us over the years. One Christmas when Sean’s dad was in the hospital, I passed by their house to drop off a case of the salsa his family loved so much; it seemed the very smallest thing that I could do for them.
Here, for the first time, I have actually done a video of my salsa process. Many people will not have the time or the equipment or the patience that it takes to do this kind of job. However, whenever anybody asks me why my salsa is so different – this is the reason. I cook it for 3 days. Usually it works out that I can get it started on Friday, let it bubble away Friday night and Saturday, then pay closest attention as it begins to darken and carmelize on Sunday morning and jar it and process it on Sunday afternoon.
While it seems like a long, slow process, in fact the actual work involved is minimal: chopping vegetables at the start which is about 15 minutes’ work. Stirring it throughout – that’s fun, not work. And at the end, getting it into hot jars and processing for 15 minutes: not a huge task.
It’s a very practical thing to do during the summer when peppers are plentiful and cheap, and you’re going to be outside barbecuing anyway…why not just toss a pile of hot peppers on the grill to blister and sear while you’re out there? You can easily make enough Chipotle in one afternoon to freeze or can for a whole year. A little Chipotle goes a very long way!
Here are the basic proportions for Chipotle Puree, from “Chevy’s and Rio Bravo’s FreshMex Cookbook.” My proportions vary widely from this – I add more garlic and more vinegar than they call for, and I use fresh (not dried) peppers which I blister myself, but here’s a basic to get you started:
6 cups water
4 ounces Chipotle peppers, stems removed
2 tablespoons garlic
1 cup tomato paste
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup olive oil
I will post videos for Sweet Chipotle Salad Dressing and Chipotle Aiolo as soon as I can…oh, yes, and Cranberry-Chipotle Jelly, my kids’ favourite.
For some reason, BBQ ribs seem to be one meal you never eat alone…whenever I cook ribs, I am cooking for a crowd.
Here is my best recipe and best process. From ‘way back in my restaurant days, I have been a big believer in pre-cooked ribs. The last step, slathering them with your favourite BBQ sauce (I like Sweet Baby Ray’s) is the most fun and easy to do even with a whole yard full of company. Because the ribs are pre-cooked, you don’t need to worry about food safety and fully-cooked pork.
Aqua Negra Marinade
2 cups pineapple juice
1 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup lime juice
1.5 tablespoon cumin
1.5 tablespoon chopped garlic
Because I left the side burner open and it tripped the regulator!
New: here is Weber’s official “regulator in bypass” video. It is EXTREMELY helpful.