Thursday

Chick'In A Blanket


Served with Thai peanut sauce, jasmine brown rice, and red onions
A foodUNCENSORED recipe

Studies show that the most nutritious way to enjoy your chick's breast is wrapped in a spinach blanket.* So try it!

YOU’LL NEED:

  • 4 chicken breasts, fat trimmed and cubed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt, separated (in half)
  • Pinch black pepper
  • 2 cups spinach, raw, whole leaves, washed & drained
  • Olive oil
  • Skliiet
  • Tongs
  • Flat-bottom microwaveable bowl
  • Aluminum foil
  • Toothpicks & meat thermometer (optional)

PREPARATION:

  1. Pour enough olive oil into the skillet to evenly coat the bottom. Heat on stovetop over medium heat for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until the oil shimmers.
  2. While the oil heats up, passionately massage all sides of the chicken breast chunks with oregano, pepper, and 1/2 tsp of salt. 
  3. Add minced garlic to the hot oil. Carefully place the chicken chunks into the skillet (use tongs!). Don’t move chicken around, the golden-brown crust forms best when left alone. 
  4. Cook chicken for 3 to 4 minutes on both sides, until browned, or until chicken does not stick to the pan. Check the thickest chicken piece with a meat thermometer; it is ready when the temp has reached 165 degrees F. No meat thermometer? Poke the chicken with a knife, when juices run clear then chicken is ready.
  5. Remove the chicken onto a plate, (do not use the same surface used for raw chicken!), and tent with foil to allow the chicken to rest.
  6. While chicken is resting, fill microwave-safe container with approx. 2 tablespoons, or 1/4 inch of water. Place spinach and 1/2 tsp of salt into container, cover, and microwave for about 1 to 2 minutes. DO NOT OVERCOOK. Spinach should be bright green and retain shape, not withered.
  7. Take 1 to 2 whole spinach leaves and wrap around 1 chicken breast cube. You may use a toothpick to secure the roll. Repeat until all the chicks are tucked in.
  8. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce, and ENJOY
*FIctitious study. 

Sunday

Are You A Food LIAR?

Do you lie about your food intake? Most likely, the answer is yes. Whether we do it consciously or subconsciously, we can be terribly misleading when it comes to reporting our food intake.
I've witnessed this (and done it) dozens of times. A friend once told me, "I had the bacon-cheddar french fries for lunch, but I didn't eat that much." While this person probably thought they were telling the truth, the reality is that the restaurant who serves these fries serves a portion big enough for four people, so just because you didn't finish does NOT mean you didn't eat more than enough.

Other examples of the common tall-tales about food that I encounter everyday are:

  • "I didn't have any food all day" 
This is probably my favorite lie. This individual will have had several pieces of candy, a bag of chips, cookies or crackers, or some other small "snack," but since they did not sit down and have it as part of a hot meal, they won't regard it as "real" food and will state that they haven't eaten today. The reality is that they've eaten about 500 calories already, which is effectively a meal in itself! This is a detrimental mindset to have, because instead of compensating at your next meal for the extra calories you've already eaten, you eat a full size meal and disregard the added calories from your snacks.


  • "I don't drink soda/pop"
Okay, so this person may not actually drink any soda so they're technically not lying. However, while you may never catch this soda-avoider with a can of carbonated crack, you will often find them savoring every sports drink, tea drink and juice drink under the sun! While vowing to never drink soda again is a noble effort, please take into account that almost every other bottled drink that isn't bottled water is equally as sugary and calorie-laden -- if you're gonna give up one sugary beverage, may as well give them all up!


  • "I don't eat that much salt"
This line hurts me to the core every time I hear it because it's often from someone struggling to control their hypertension or cardiovascular disease. This individual makes every conscious effort to leave the salt out when cooking, and avoids every salt packet and salt shaker in town. What they don't realize is that the majority of the sodium in their diet comes from food they wouldn't dream of adding salt to. These foods include: canned and processed meats, frozen pizzas, frozen dinners, canned soup or vegetables, ready-to-eat breakfast cereals, even ketchup! The list goes on and on...

I won't continue to call these individuals liars; they've just been conditioned to see certain foods and portions in a very distorted manner which is quite common in our society. I hope that this brings a little clarity to a few of the common food misconceptions, so that we can all stop "lying" about our food...unintentionally.

What's your favorite food fib? Post them in the comments section below! 

Thursday

Lazy Low-Carb Chicken or whatever...

If you know me, then you know I am highly experimental when it comes to cooking (meaning I stand in front of the fridge or pantry, grab anything, and hope it turns out delicious). This is my most recent experiment. I call it "lazy" because I used seasoned salt -- arguably the easiest go-to seasoning method. You'll notice there are no measurements; that's because I didn't measure anything. Feel free to add, subtract or manipulate as you please...



Ingredients:
2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts - cut into 1 inch cubes
Toasted Sesame Oil
1 Garlic Clove - minced
1/2 Green Bell Pepper - chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper - chopped
1/2 White Onion - coarsely chopped
5 Mushrooms - chopped
1/2 Lemon
Seasoned Salt

Lightly sprinkle chicken cubes with seasoned salt. Heat sesame oil in a skillet or wok; add garlic to oil. Cook chicken evenly on both sides, DO NOT BROWN. Remove chicken from skillet/wok and place on warming plate (or somewhere to keep the chicken warm). Add peppers, onions, and mushrooms (in that order) to skillet/wok using the same hot sesame oil & garlic used to cook chicken. Sprinkle seasoned salt over vegetables SPARINGLY! Squeeze lemon juice over vegetables and cook until slightly tender. Add chicken back into skillet/wok with vegetables, stir. Cook until browned (approx. 4 min)

ENJOY!

Try this recipe & post your experience in the comments below. I would love to hear from you!



Sunday

Hold the Sausage...

Last night over dinner the topic of breakfast meats came up, and there is always at least one person that swears by choosing turkey bacon or sausage (or some other variation of bacon/sausage), over good ol' pork bacon or sausage. As if eating heavily salted, nitrite soaked poultry, instead of pork, counts as a vegetable serving for the day. 
It doesn't. 
Truth is, whether it's turkey, chicken, pork or Lorax, bacon is bacon. The main reason that people can eat them so interchangeably is because it's the flavoring (often salt and sugar) that makes bacon so special, not the meat. The same goes for sausage, but I'm even less of a fan of that stuff due to the fact that it's mystery meat, and also treated heavily with salt! Basically, if it weren't for salt, neither of these meats would be very appetizing. 
Back to our discussion last night. I interjected with, "Well, why don't you just eat ham?" Ham is not a heavily processed meat, sure it comes in many flavors, but you can surely opt for it in its simplest form — right off the bone. That's important to remember. You want to make sure to get it cut off the bone, and not from an air tight container in perfectly shaped rounds or squares — because ham does not have four corners.

Moral of the story is when choosing meats, remember that meat comes from an animal and should remotely resemble a part of that animal when it's on your plate. And if a substitution for bacon is what you're looking for, choose ham! Because I can walk up to a pig and point out his ham, but I can't point out his sausage...
that would be rude.


Find out more about processed meats from one of my previous posts

Thursday

/fo͞od/ /ənˈsensərd/

Happy new year! Since this is my first official post of 2012, I feel I have some 'splainin to do before moving forward with this blog (because there's tons of fun to come!). Before unleashing the whirlwind of videos and articles which is Food Uncensored, let's stop and take a moment to define Food Uncensored.

Uncensored food, just like an uncensored film or song, means that the original material is left alone, and what the customer (you) get in the end is a pure, original, untampered-with product. It is essential that we eat what was meant for us to eat, how it was meant for us to be eaten; meaning what it grows and lives as is what we get - unprocessed, unrefined, straight-up goodness. I'm not just saying our food needs to be left alone because it sounds really nice and I'm scoping out brownie points from Mother Nature, I'm saying this because hundreds of thousands of people are dying every year from very preventible, highly reversible chronic illnesses related to diet. My loved ones, YOUR loved ones, falling prey to diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers, obesity and metabolic syndrome, the list goes on and on. But why?

Because we literally can't get a FRESH meal to save our lives!

Food Uncensored or uncensored food is important because it is our nourishment, without which we simply devolve into a sac of slowly failing organ systems. You ever witnessed someone who went from eating junk all day to eating only the freshest fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, oils and fish? They're like a totally different person - eyes are brighter, skin glowing, hair thick and glossy, and always full of energy. It's not magic people, it's food.

Eating real food is why the human species has survived millions of years on this earth. It is the energy that has propelled us forward, kept us strong, maintained our systems for reproduction, and protected us from disease way before the multimillion dollar drug industry. Food is life. It was placed here for us, and no mistakes were made. So my question is, what are we (or the food industry, rather) so desperately trying to fix??

Food Uncensored is an attempt at increasing awareness of all the fake or "Franken-foods" which surround us so that you can enjoy as much REAL food as possible.

There you have it. Now let's have some fun.

Sunday

'Tis the Season

If you, like me, drive a car that was manufactured before the era of the integrated MP3 player, then you've probably heard that radio ad coercing us to "Warm up and cool down with [their] new Mint Hot Chocolate." Of course 'tis the season of warm minty things, and since mint & chocolate is obviously the best pair since Saturday & Sunday, I considered trying this drink. Unfortunately, my bizarre concern for things like sugar content kept me from haulin' it into the next drive-thru. So, like any convenience food skeptic, I paid a visit to the company's website to check out the nutrition content of this beverage. This is what I found:

For a large Mint Hot Chocolate you'll enjoy
  • 420 total calories, 120 fat calories
  • 12 g of saturated fat (that's more than a Whopper)
  • 530 mg of sodium (about 6 McNuggets)
  • 72 g of carbohydrates (that's about 6 slices of white bread)
  • 54 g of sugar (yikes!)
  • A slew of ingredients which contain more chemicals than nutrients
Fortunately, not all mint hot chocolates are created equal; there's still hope for the signature drink of the winter months. For starters, never choose a large for any of these drinks. You'll find that you're just as satisfied with a small -- the scale and your blood sugar will thank you. If you're up for more of a challenge, try making it at home. You can control the amount of sugar, fat, and calories, and leave the guilt out of it. Here's a nice recipe http://www.chow.com/recipes/11146-peppermint-hot-chocolate.
You can use skim or 2% milk, or skip the heavy cream. Best of all, you can pronounce all the ingredients! 

After all is said and done, will this drink ever be the picture of health? No! It's a sweet, rich, decadent, mint hot chocolate for goodness' sake...but do you have to ingest ridiculous amounts of saturated fat, sodium, and calories because of it? Not at all. So enjoy yourself this season with this warm and cool beverage, and mind your health while you're at it. 

Tuesday

Step Into The Meatrix

I saw this video today in class. I love it because it gives you all of the key pitfalls of Agribusiness in a fun-to-watch, attention deficit-friendly, 4 minute video. This is a great video to watch whether you know all about factory farming, or you're new to the subject. So check it out, see where your meat & poultry really comes from, and why I am a self-proclaimed "85% vegetarian." 
Enjoy. 
Learn more about Agribusiness and sustainable farming at http://www.themeatrix.com/