Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Mark and I went to the Mexican grocery (Mi Pueblo) near our home a couple of days ago to buy some short ribs (*see note), and in the deli section along with the all-ready cooked pulled pork and ribs and chicken wings they had these kidneys and hearts! I had never seen them before, and at first didn't recognize them for what they were, until I looked closer. Hmmnn....are those kidneys? I asked Mark what he thought and he agreed! Yup, those are kidneys, and heart! I had never had kidney, and, for sure, had never had heart....so what the hell, it's protein right?
We bought 1 heart and 2 kidneys....not bad! I sliced it up and tossed it with my salad, and Mark had it in his egg and veg stirfry.
I try and include some sort of animal protein with 2 of my 3 daily main meals. I would have to say that, flavor wise, I prefer pork and beef, but chicken is the most convenient to cook as I make all of my own stocks for soup, which I also eat everyday, and for that reason I always buy whole chickens, cut them up and bone them myself, so a whole chicken gives me quite a bit of meat. Pressure cooking has given me the luxury of cooking big inexpensive pieces of meat in practially no time, which works perfectly for me to have the leftovers in my fridge to add to salads, stirfrys. Most times them most inexpensive cuts of beef and pork also have bones for stock making, one of my favorites is smoked ham shanks, which gives me a smokey flavored stock.
I don't think a day goes by that I don't use some sort of meat stock. Using it for soup is obvious, but I use it for rices, risottos, polenta, quinoa, chilis/beans, gravys and sauces. (and stuffing at Thanksgiving time...yum-my) I love the extra nutrition I know it must add, and just as important, using the bones along with all of my onion, celery and carrot scraps reduces waste, and cuts the cost of buying stock to zero! As much cooking as I do I have what I call "the scrap heap" in my freezer loaded with these vegetabe scraps that sometimes build up more quickly then the "bone yard" so I make vegetable stock in the PC in about 15-20 minutes!
I don't eat enough seafood only because seafood doesn't keep uncooked for more than 1 day in the fridge, and/or cooked for more than 1 day, so seafood protein doesn't fit my lifestyle of precooking and preparing in advance many of my meals. And although I love eggs (especially "real" eggs from pastured chickens), I don't digest them well. I'll eat eggs mostly soft and hard boiled, either diced into my salads or on their own.
The way I eat doesn't come from a nutritionist point of view....in other words I don't count grams of proteins, carbs, fats, sugars, sodium, calcium or any other nutients or vitamins etc....if I count anything it's calories....which I don't do much of either these days. Since I prepare and make most all of my own foods, using fresh, natural ingredients, I trust that everything my body needs it gets....how could it not? I admit to a cookie or candy binge every once in a while, yes, the kind with fake fats and fake sugars, but I do try to make better choices when I feel I can.
* I started to get all hung up and obsessed with eating strictly organic, but thank goodness I'm getting over it! I've said it once, and I'll say it again, I managed to lose over 100lbs., and become one of the healthiest people I knew never eating anything organic. In fact buying most of my meat and produce at the Vietnemese and Mexican markets near my home because of the money I saved versus grocery stores like Safeway. Currently I shop mostly at Farmers Markets, Whole Foods and Molly Stones, but I refuse to beat myself up anymore and stress out about being "perfectly organic". I know there are alot of reasons, other than nutrition, to buy local, seasonal and organic, but good Lord, stress is more toxic to my body than eating short ribs from Mi Pueblo! (I also recently renewed my Costco membership after 2 years...you know they carry alot of pretty good brands of foods these days!)