Mayo? Or White Gravy? You make the call. (by Greta)

Dear Hangry Chicks –

Last week, I met the man that I know I’m going to marry.  He smells like Old Spice, he doesn’t have a tattoo of the Keebler Elves on the back of his neck like my ex, and he even has an executive membership at Costco.  Total package!

I met Otto at the Golden Corral in front of the condiments, and his very first words to me were, “How do I get a Mountain Dew around here?”  It was funny because he thought I worked there.  It must have been my khaki chinos!  After we laughed uncomfortably at his mistake, his next words to me were, “I fucking hate mayo.  It looks like puss.” 

From that moment, we were inseparable.  We started talking shortly after the lunch buffet opened, and we didn’t stop until last call for the dinner buffet.  It was magical.

Here’s my dilemma.  We have already been on two dates, tomorrow is our next date, and I think you know about the three-date rule.  That’s right – dinner with Mom and Dad. 

I come from a Midwestern, Catholic family and since I was a kid, I cannot recall a meal that didn’t include mayonnaise.  The only salad we ever eat includes mayo – potato, tuna, egg and chicken salads.  Coleslaw.  Deviled eggs are at every special occasion.  Our French fries, hamburgers and braunschweiger are always slathered with mayo.  Each morning, omelets are topped with Tobasco and, of course, mayo.  Since 2000, my dad has been buying me stock in Unilever each Christmas.  Not making the connection?  That was the year Unilever bought Hellman’s.  Honestly, I’m surprised my parents didn’t name me Mayo. 

So how can I bring Otto to my parents’ home?  He’ll look at my mom’s meal and see a pussy nightmare!  I’m freaking out.  I don’t want to lose Otto over mayo – he’s perfect third-husband material.  I know your expertise is keeping hanger in check, but do you have any recipes that will keep my mom’s mayo in check?

Hold the mayo,

Tammy

Dear Tammy,

I must say, among all of the fan mail we have received over the years, this is the first time we have seen the phrase ‘pussy nightmare’.  Great name for a band.  Granted, yours is the first letter that we have received, but that’s neither here nor there.

Otto sounds like quite the catch, Tammy.  Because Hangry Chicks are romantics at heart, we’re going to help you out with a healthy solution.  And we’re going to refrain from judging your taste in restaurants and men.  We love.  We don’t judge.

We get the Catholic Caucasian fascination with mayo in the Heartland.  We lived this life, too.  But as we got older, wiser and healthier, we became aware of mayo’s more sinister qualities.  You’ll find them on the nutrition label:

INGREDIENTS OF HELLMAN’S “REAL” MAYO: SOYBEAN OIL, WATER, WHOLE EGGS AND EGG YOLKS, VINEGAR, SALT, SUGAR, LEMON JUICE, CALCIUM DISODIUM EDTA (USED TO PROTECT QUALITY OF MAYO AND POISON YOUR BODY), NATURAL FLAVORS (WHICH IS AN OXYMORONIC TERM FOR NATURALLY DERIVED CHEMICALS CREATED IN A LAB.  DOES A BODY GOOD?)

Come on now.  You’re better than these ingredients, Tammy.  Lose the sugar, the preservatives, the Otto—I mean, the ‘natural’ flavor.  Your body doesn’t need that garbage.  Help Mom put down the Hellman’s and replace it with the freshest, healthiest, tastiest, non-grossiest mayo on this side of the Milky Way.  It’s also so easy to make that your dog could do it.  My girl Schnitzel will demonstrate.  And just check out the purity of our ingredients:

INGREDIENTS OF HANGRY CHICKS MAYO: OLIVE OIL, EGG, APPLE CIDER VINEGAR, FRESH HERBS.

It’s understandable why so many people recoil at the site of mayo.  Not only is Otto’s description of its aesthetic qualities fairly accurate, but it’s definitely an acquired taste.  You have to grow up with this goop in order to develop a fondness for it.

Hangry Chicks Mayo is changing all of that.  You no longer have to invest years of your youth learning how to ingest and like mayonnaise.  It’s so light, bright, fresh and flavorful that you’ll forget it’s mayo.  Get ready to have your mind blown to smithereens.

HangryChicks Mayo

  • One large egg (not pasteurized)
  • 1 cup avocado oil (vegetable oil works, too)
  • 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar (or real lemon or lime juice)
  • A Tablespoon or two of fresh (not dried) herbs of your choice: rosemary, dill, basil, cilantro, garlic, or jalapeño – there’s no limit to the spice combinations you can use
  • Optional: a dash of salt and/or pepper

Dump all of the ingredients in a large glass or cup.

mayobefore

Now you or your dog just need to use a hand-mixer to blend all of the ingredients for about 30-60 seconds.

IMG_1981

Today is Halloween, so naturally Schnitzel is wearing her bumble bee costume.

That’s it!  If it’s too thin, keep blending it until you get it to the desired texture.

Schnitzel and I added dill to our mayo.

Schnitzel and I added dill to our mayo.

Taste it.  That’s not your mama’s Hellman’s is it, Tammy? Is it?!

I like to make the texture a little thinner by adding some more oil and a touch more apple cider vinegar and drizzle it on baked salmon or a roasted vegetable salad.  It’s a great, healthy substitute for hollandaise sauce on eggs benedict.  Our mayo is definitely more versatile than the jarred junk.

But I’m so vain.  I probably think this recipe is about me.  It’s not.  It’s about Tammy, Tammy’s mom and Otto.  (Not exactly how I understood the ‘three-date rule’.)

You still with me, Tammy?  Teach your mom how to make this recipe.  Right now.  The happiness of you and your future third husband depends on it.  And do NOT call it mayo in front of Otto.  Just between us chicks, this is a recipe for ‘white gravy.’  Something tells me Otto likes gravy.

Cheers to Kid Friendly* Sangria! (by Greta)

It has been almost ONE YEAR since I published a blog post. ONE YEAR! “What the hell, McGuire,” you say, none too pleased. “From what does this act of neglect come? To whom can we extend our heartfelt thanks for your abandonment in our time of hanger?”

No excuses, my friends. For there is none good enough to justify my Hangry Chicks desertion. In lieu of excuses, I’m going to offer 1) an apology, 2) atonement and 3) exciting news warranting the invention of an original Hangry Chicks recipe. Not only will this recipe help control your hanger, but it also will make you feel pretty damn good, what with its antioxidants, vitamins, nutrients and penile adornment.

1) Sorry.

2) As penance for my neglect, I am recommitting – right here, right now – to a minimum of one blog post per month.

3) The news. THE NEWS! If you haven’t heard the INCREDIBLE news already via Facebook or Twitter, let me lay it out for you with an abundance of excitement and admiration! But wait. I can’t share the news until you have a beverage – a specific drink – in your hand. So let’s do this.

Kid Friendly Sangria Title

INGREDIENTS

  • Bottle of red wine (I recommend drinking a generous glass of the wine before using it to ensure quality of flavor)
  • Bunch of ice
  • 3 cups lemon-lime seltzer water
  • 1 mango (the riper, the sweeter, the better)
  • 3 T. of fresh mint
  • ½ pink grapefruit (or 1 orange)
  • 1 lime
  • Fist full of cherries
  • Waterproof Band-aids
  • Neosporin
  • A bowl or a pitcher

First things first. We need to figure out which vessel will hold your Kid Friendly* Sangria. If you’re a card-carrying member of Corporate America, listen to NPR on your two-hour commute to work, and go to bed at 9:30 PM on Friday and Saturday nights, the pitcher is good for you. You’re about as fun as a sack of wet socks, so you really can’t handle the bowl.

If you are the type of person who enjoys adult language, sexuality, drug use, some nudity and adult themes in your entertainment, then bring out your bowl, baby.

Bowl v. Pitcher

Now that we’ve separated the cool kids from the one-foot-in-the-grave kids, let’s proceed with the happy-making.

In your big punch bowl (because let’s face it – Hangry Chicks readers are bowl people), toss a few handfuls of ice. Now pour, in slo-mo, the wine over the ice. To balance your chakras, include meditative music with this step like I did.

Then, pour the lemon-lime seltzer water into the bowl at regular speed.

Next, bring out your mango and mint. Chop both up and use your handy-dandy hand mixer to liquefy it. The fresher your ingredients, the better the drink. If you’re stuck on an iceberg in the Antarctic and only have canned mango juice available, then go ahead and use the juice in lieu of the real deal. To the rest of you, no excuses: Go get fresh mint and mango, and do this the right way.

Mint and Mango

Carefully add that mixture into the bowl. Or carelessly dump it in the bowl like I did, and enjoy a back-splash of red wine all over your favorite t-shirt, which is now ruined for life.

You’re in the home stretch. Time to cut the citrus fruit. Chop the grapefruit in half and squeeze – with all your might – the juice of one half into the bowl. Again, if you’re in the Antarctic or a lazy short-cutter, you can substitute the real fruit with half a cup of grapefruit juice. Just remember: Your mother and father didn’t raise an underachiever.

Citrus and First Aid

Now we’re ready for our final ingredients! Grab your lime, waterproof Band-aids and Neosporin. Begin cutting the lime into thin slices.  If you’re like me, you have the knife cutting skills of a newborn infant.  So when you cut stuff, 99.9% of the time you also cut yourself.  No worries!  We’re already at the part where we just cut our finger instead of the lime.  D’oh!  So the time has come to administer first aid, Kid Friendly style.

After blotting the gash on your finger with a paper towel, apply Neosporin to avoid infection. Affix the waterproof Band-aid quickly because that blood really doesn’t want to stop, does it? Because we’re cool kids who know how to have fun with a flesh wound, we’re going to dress up our finger properly for our Kid Friendly toast.

KF Band-Aid

There. Nailed it. Okay, now toss – GENTLY (remember the t-shirt we just ruined) – the limes into the bowl. Finally, it’s time to add the gamification ingredient: the cherries. When you were a kid, you know how you played that little Halloween game called “bobbing for apples”? Well, now that you’re a big kid, you’re going to learn how to play the game “bobbing for cherries.” Hog tie your hands behind your back as you did with the apple-bobbing game. Then go for it! Fish those cherries out with your face!

What? What’s the problem? The cherries sank to the bottom of the bowl? Hmm, you don’t say. Gee, Friend, when did your inner underachiever take the reins of your life? It’s not like we added boric acid to the Kid Friendly* Sangria, so what’s your problem? Afraid the sangria will stain your face like it stained my favorite t-shirt? You know what? Fine. Then go get the goddamn pitcher. Apparently your brand of ‘fun’ doesn’t include the bobbing for cherries. My condolences, Pitcher Pal.

I mean, hey! No judgment! Cherry bobbing isn’t for everyone. But drink décor sure-as-heck is! After you pour yourself a glass of this Kid Friendly* Sangria, grab these supplies from your scrapbooking box:

Crafts

  • Sliver pipe cleaner
  • Colorful paper
  • Stickers
  • Scissors
  • Clear Tape
  • The left-over penis straws from your sister’s bachelorette party

Snip, cut, twist, stick and voila! The appropriate accoutrement has been added to your Kid Friendly* Sangria!

KF Sangria Glass

Time to raise your glasses with me. I’d like to say a toast to my talented, amazing, tenacious sister and her equally awesome cast and crew members of the web series called Kid Friendly*:

CONGRATULATIONS on Kid Friendly*’s recognition as official selections in the Miami Web Fest *and* the Independent Television and Film Festival. All of you poured your hearts, time, energy, gifts and passion into the creation of Kid Friendly*, and it shows. Where words fail to express my excitement for all of you, Kid Friendly* Sangria succeeds. Cheers to following your dreams and honoring your talent with this accomplishment! I’m overjoyed for you! And if Trick Candle ever needs another roadie, you know how to reach me.

If you haven’t seen Kid Friendly*, check out the first episode and music video by visiting KidFriendlyShow.com!

Kid Friendly Warning

2014 Couscous (By Natalie)

Okay, so if you’re a Hangry Chicks reader (thank you for reading, BTW), you know by now that I am by no means a chef. It is what it is, folks. But I will say, my cooking skillz (yes, with a ‘z’) have improved greatly over the nearly 3 years of writing this blog (let me add another parentheses here and mention that we have been writing this blog for nearly 3 years! That sh*t cray). One of the recipes that has greatly improved is my couscous. Please refer to the lame couscous I made in 2011 here. Continue reading for the glorious couscous that is 2014! 2014 COUSCOUS!

Because my cooking is often times mediocre at best, I really like the idea of just throwing a bunch of sh*t into a pan, mixing it around, and then eating it. That’s what I did last night with my 2014 Couscous.

I was inspired by these beautiful, fresh, and delicious veggies I stumbled upon at the Farmer’s Market. It was like that moment you have at a bar when you meet a guy and you’re all, “Oh, hi, I didn’t see you there. (Giggle) Wow, your arms are so…big.” Seriously, these veggies were allowed to come home with me moments after our first encounter. I mean, they just smelled so good! 

photo 1 (2)I know this photo is a little larger than I normally post pictures. It’s so I can enable you to really take in the glory that are these vegetables. We have squash, cucumber, tomato, pepper, fairytale eggplant, green onion, and some olives for good measure (those I bought at the normal grosh). I just kept eating the fresh tomato as I cut it because it was just too good not to. Mmmmmm, memories….

Anyhoo, so yeah, I threw that shit in a pan and added some scrimps, too. It’s cooked with a bit of olive oil and seasoned with a little salt (be careful not to over-salt as the olives will add saltiness for you).photo 1 (3)

There it all is. Cooking away in deliciousness for about 6 minutes or so. You can cook the shrimp separately first by steaming or sauteing like I did here. Again, I just threw that sh*t in there, but cooking separately is a smart thing to do, too. 

Meanwhile, I cooked some tri-color couscous for about 8 minutes that I could throw this mixture on top of. When it was ready to serve, it looked like this:

photo 3 (1)You don’t need a lot of couscous, just enough to add some more carbs and chewy texture to your life. I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a carb-a-holic. If you aren’t, you can nix the couscous and just cook the glorious vegetables and shrimp together and you’ve got a great meal right there. It won’t be 2014 Couscous, but I won’t judge.

Here is the finished product, topped with some reduced-fat feta cheese (again, adding some saltiness so steer clear of adding extra salt).

photo 3 (2)Guys, it’s such an easy, quick, and healthy meal to end your day with. Serve with a glass of white wine and you’ll feel like you’re on the Mediterranean, overlooking the blue sea with the wind whipping through your hair and a robust, black-mustached Greek man playing footsie with you under the table. Am I right? 2014 COUSCOUS!

A Love Connection: Chocolate & Tofu… in Mousse? Whaaaaaa? (by Greta)

You live to sleep until noon on weekends. Your significant other wakes up before the sun. Your dream vacation includes spas, lazy rivers and sipping margaritas on the beach. Your partner’s perfect getaway involves the Running of the Bulls, hang gliding and volcano boarding. Your idea of a lazy Sunday includes watching Sharknado and Snakes on a Plane, but your mate prefers an Ice Road Truckers marathon. Is it true? Do opposites attract? And if they do attract, is it a good thing or a disaster waiting to happen?

 

Being a lover of research and seeker of truth, I took these questions into our Midwestern Hangry Chicks kitchen, using the scientific method and a meticulously executed experiment to find definitive answers. The East Coast Hangry Chicks kitchen will replicate this experiment to validate results, and I encourage all Hangry Chicks followers to do the same in their own kitchens.

 

Cutting to the chase and driving to the bottom line: I humbly offer proof that opposites absotively posilutely attract. And when they do, strap on your lederhosen and bring out the Oompah band because you’ll be doing the dance of joy when you see – and taste – the results of this union.

 

To begin, I offer my proof in the construct of the scientific method.

The Scientific Method
Completing the requisite background research was effortless, thanks to eHarmony and its 29 Dimensions® of Compatibility System. In eHarmony’s database of 20 million registered users, all I needed to do was to find two subjects that were completely incompatible across the 29 dimensions. In a matter of minutes, I found our test couple: I am pleased to introduce you to Chocolate and Firm Tofu.

eHarmony Profile for Chocolate

eHarmony Profile for Firm Tofu

Without delving into the details of the 29 dimensions, suffice it to say that their profiles alone illustrate the high degree of differences between the two subjects. Despite Chocolate and Firm Tofu’s stunning lack of compatibility, three things told me these opposites would, indeed attract: (1) my intuition, (2) my gut and (3) Paula Abdul.

With my subjects identified, it was time to put their compatibility to the test with this strikingly simple, remarkably healthy recipe.

Title Chocolate Tofu Mousse Hangry Chicks

Ingredients for the Chocolate Tofu Mousse

Ingredients for the Chocolate Tofu Mousse

Yields 4 servings:

  • 16-oz. package of firm tofu
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I love the Ghirardelli brand)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 large, very ripe banana, sliced
  • ¼ cup unsweetened coconut, plus an extra ¼ cup to be used as a garnish
  • ¼ cup of Stevia in the Raw or Truvia (you may want to go with 1/3 cup to make it a little sweeter; adjust amount to suit your sweetness preference)
  • 3 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
  • Approx. ¼ cup raw, chopped pecans to be used as a garnish (or raw chopped almonds or walnuts or a combination of the three nuts)

 

Combine the tofu, cocoa, almond milk, banana, ¼ cup coconut, sweetener and vanilla extract in a blender, and blend until the texture is smooth and creamy.

Hangry Chicks Chocolate Tofu Mousse Ingredients in Bowl

With the exception of the pecans, put all ingredients in a blender (ideal) or a bowl (not ideal — I learned the hard way that hand mixers don’t yield the best texture).

Side note: If you have read any of my recent posts, you know that I am homeless, living in a hotel. Don’t cry for me, Argentina. The truth is I never left you. And the truth is I did not have access to a blender. I only had my Oster hand mixer, so I did the best I could to blend the ingredients without frying the motor. I have to admit, my mixture wasn’t as smooth as it should be – the texture was reminiscent of wet cement, but the flavor still took my taste buds for a joy ride.

Trust me on this one: Use a blender if you have one. The texture of my mousse left something to be desired, and the motor in my hand mixer almost seized up.

Trust me on this one: Use a blender if you have one. The texture of my mousse left something to be desired, and the motor in my hand mixer almost seized up.

Taste the mixture to ensure that it is sweet enough. If it needs a little more sugar, sprinkle another 1-2 tablespoons over the mixture, add then mix – briefly – again. Then use four of your cutest, little dessert dishes to enhance the presentation of the mousse. Given my limited resources at this fine establishment known as Candlewood Suites, the extent of my darling dessert-ware was restricted to little juice glasses. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not bitching about using juice glasses as dessert dishes. As I write, innocent civilians are dying in the Gaza Strip and members of ISIS are committing unthinkable crimes against humanity. So who gives a shit about dessert dishes? Eat this mouse directly from your blender – it will still knock the wool socks off your taste buds.

It doesn't matter what you serve it in: your body and your taste buds will love this Chocolate Tofu Mousse.

It doesn’t matter what you serve it in: your body and your taste buds will love this Chocolate Tofu Mousse.

Before serving – in your blender, your juice glass, or a Lalique Honfleur crystal bowl, crafted by French, chain-smoking artisans who despise Americans – you must complete one more critical step: very generously garnish the mousse with the coconut and pecans. Don’t skimp. These garnishes will offer a moment of interactive joy for the lucky people who get to eat it. By stirring the coconut and pecans into their mousse, your dining companions will feel like they had a hand creating this exquisitely nutritious dessert. Gift that feeling to them. Even if they don’t deserve it.

 

Now taste it. Smell it. Feel the texture of our two opposites – Chocolate and Firm Tofu – making sweet love on your tongue, like uninhibited, long-lost lovers in the light of a blue moon, rolling in wet sand on the shores of Seychelles, while listening to the song of a lone jazz flute in the distance. Awwwww yeahhhhhh. When Firm Tofu is in the sweet embrace of Chocolate’s strong, rich, sumptuous flavor, Tofu’s nondescript, forgettable taste is no longer an issue. And when the blender whips Chocolate and Firm Tofu together like a punishing dominatrix, the texture of Firm Tofu lends a light, airy, creaminess to this dish, making you forget that this dessert is actually good for you. Remember those garnishes that you lavished upon this union of Chocolate and Firm Tofu? The crunch of the coconut and pecans will excite your palate as the mousse melts luxuriously in your mouth.

 

After you finish your second helping of Chocolate Tofu Mousse, tell me what you think: Was my hypothesis correct? Did opposites attract? Was the whorish seducer Chocolate a harmonious match for plain, tasteless, boring Firm Tofu? Given the purity and goodness of all the ingredients, can you deny the healthfulness of this seemingly decadent combination? Final question: Hanger? What hanger?

My New BFF, The Air-Popcorn Maker (By Natalie)

One of the best things about getting married, besides sharing your hopes, dreams, and life with the person you love most in the world (awwww), is being able to register for the things you might not otherwise buy for yourself. My husband and I had a destination wedding, so we weren’t really expecting many gifts at all. We were more than okay with that. But the gifts we did receive really amped up our ability to cook better and cook more healthfully. Holla! So today, via one of our wonderful guests, I present you with one of my faves (drum roll, please)…THE AIR POPCORN POPPER! 

 Isn’t she glorious? Isn’t it weird that I called it a she? Yes, yes it is…photo (8) I’m sure that you’ve all heard that movie theater popcorn is horrible for you. Let me make it rain with the real facts about this, guys.  According to an article from WebMD, before the “butter” is even added (and that sh*t isn’t even real butter, ya’ll–it’s non-hydrogenated soybean oil topping that adds about 120-130 calories per tablespoon. PER…TABLESPOON!) you’re lookin’ at around “1,200 calories, and 60 grams of saturated, artery-clogging fat. That’s the equivalent of two Pizza Hut Personal Pan Pepperoni Pizzas, plus an extra two days’ worth of saturated fat.”

What. The. Eff?!?! That is NOT RIGHT. Can I hear an AMEN? Thank you.

Scott, my main squeeze, is a lover of movie theater popcorn. Whenever we go to the movies he’s all up in the waist widening stuff. Since we have been enjoying films a lot more via our couch these days, we make the popcorn instead, saving us many calories and many dollars. Because the popcorn is made via air and not oil, it’s the healthiest and most natural way to enjoy it. Also, a very small amount yields an ass load of popcorn. 

Here are 3 tablespoons (1 serving) of kernels: 

photo 4And here is how much popcorn it makes: 

photo 1 (1)It might be difficult to garner from this photo, but that’s about 6 cups of popcorn at 90 calories, 6 grams of fiber, and 4 grams of protein. Let’s compare that to 1,200 calories you will consume in a movie theater popcorn serving. Wowza! So not worth it.

After the popcorn is made, Scott and I will top with some salt, maybe a mist of olive oil from the Misto or we melt a little butter in a little cup atop the popper while the popcorn is being made. It’s a small pat of butter made organically from cows, not the orange stuff they call butter that you slop from a pump near the restrooms at the theater. Gross. 

Moral of the story, not only is this air-popped popcorn delicious, it’s also hanger busting. Because of the protein and fiber that this natural popcorn offers, it’s a deliciously healthy snack that you can fill up on; unlike feeling as if you just licked a salt block and wonder why you still want to snarf a whole pizza or a king sized M&M box after the movie theater stuff. So go out and get married, register for a popcorn popper, and then make some on your own to stash in your oversized bag when you go to the movie theater. Or you can skip the getting married and just buy one. I don’t think it’s that pricey. DE-HANGER!!!!

E-Z BAKE SALMON BURGER: SO E-Z THAT A DOG CAN MAKE IT (by Greta)

I am as far from being a cook as Kim Kardashian is from being a Nobel Peace Prize winner. So I think it is marvelously ironic that I watch the Food Network religiously, and my sister and I write a blog dedicated to testing and sharing recipes. Given my stunning lack of culinary training, I gravitate toward delicious dishes that are easy enough for a dog to prepare.

 
Or at least easy enough for a couple of intelligent schnauzers to prepare.

 
There are two reasons I am excited to share my recipe for E-Z Bake Salmon Burgers: (1) these burgers are supremely healthy and mouth-wateringly, lip-smackingly scrumptious, and (2) YOU CANNOT EFF UP THIS RECIPE. You could be sloppy drunk and still execute this dish with the flawless precision of an Iron Chef. Or you could ask reasonably smart dogs to prepare this recipe, and they will not disappoint you. Oh no. Especially if their names are Schnitzel and Schazam.

Introducing sous chefs, Schazam and Schnitzel.

Introducing sous chefs, Schazam and Schnitzel.

To demonstrate how easy it is to make these delectable E-Z Bake Salmon Burgers, I invited my schnauzers to serve as my sous chefs. They will show you that even if you do not speak or read English, lack opposable thumbs, or sniff butts as a way to say, ‘Hey, wassup,’ YOU STILL CAN KICK ASS IN THE KITCHEN.

 

E-Z Bake Salmon Burger Title
INGREDIENTS (yields 2 servings)

  • 5 ounces canned salmon packed in water (Don’t like salmon? Use canned tuna or crab. Or try this recipe with leftover cooked chicken breasts, fish fillets or shrimp, finely chopped. Get creative with the 5-6 ounces of protein you choose.)
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup raw nuts or seeds, chopped (For this demonstration, Schnitzel and Schazam chose a mix of raw pumpkin seeds, or ‘pepitas’, and raw walnuts. It’s worthwhile to also try raw sunflower seeds or raw almonds, Brazil nuts or macadamia nuts.)
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 medium mushrooms, finely chopped (I know too many people who do not like mushrooms. If you are among them, leave this ingredient out – it won’t disrupt the flavor profile of this dish. Nothing will disrupt the flavor profile. Not even saw dust.)
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Old Bay Seasoning to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil (to grease the baking sheet)
  • Two big wedges of lemon (to be served on the plate)

DIRECTIONS

1. Pre-heat your oven (or toaster oven) to 425 degrees. Then generously grease a baking sheet with extra virgin olive oil. If, like Schazam, your arms and hands are covered with hair, might I recommend wearing a rubber glove? Be sure to evenly spread the oil all over the baking sheet as these burgers like to stick.

Schazam, who is more conscientious about  sanitary cooking practices than Schnitzel, uses a glove when spreading oil on the baking sheet.

Schazam, who is more conscientious about sanitary cooking practices than Schnitzel, uses a glove when spreading oil on the baking sheet.

2. Finely chop your onions and mushrooms as Schnitzel is demonstrating here. Do you see how she is focusing all of her attention on the onion as she handles a knife that is the size of her leg? She is like a Samurai with a knife. Never cross her. Toss your chopped vegetables into a very large bowl.

Schnitzel has never met an onion that made her cry or a knife that she couldn't handle like a skilled surgeon.

Schnitzel has never met an onion that made her cry or a knife that she couldn’t handle like a skilled surgeon.

3. Add your choice of chopped nuts or seeds to the bowl. Schnitzel is fond of raw pepitas because they remind her of our much-loved Mexican housekeeper, Martha. ‘Pepita’ and ‘hola’ are the only Spanish words Schnitzel knows. Toss your quarter cup of nuts or seeds into the bowl.

Schnitzel carefully measures a mix of pepitas and walnuts, using a rounded quarter-cup for extra nutty crunchiness.

Schnitzel carefully measures a mix of pepitas and walnuts, using a rounded quarter-cup for extra nutty crunchiness.

4. Now dump two more items into the bowl: the egg and the canned salmon. Do not drain the salmon! Include the water as well. Schnitzel highly recommends licking the can. No bit of salmon should be left behind. Somewhat selfish, Schnitzel does not invite Schazam to lick the can with her. Bitch.

Schnitzel claims the alpha role when it comes to licking the salmon can.

Schnitzel claims the alpha role when it comes to licking the salmon can.

5. Look at that bowl full of healthy, delicious goodness! Now add the almond meal. Clearly, Schnitzel does not like to delegate responsibility to others. Here, we see her pouring the almond meal into the bowl as Schazam watches, wondering if her involvement began and ended with greasing the baking sheet.

Schnitzel shows Schazam that adding the almond meal is a one-dog job.

Schnitzel shows Schazam that adding the almond meal is a one-dog job.

6. Add the sea salt and black pepper, and then stir, baby, stir! Make sure all of the ingredients are very well mixed. Schazam recommended using a large, wooden spoon, which is why Schnitzel defiantly insisted on using a small, metal spoon. Naturally, it took Schnitzel a while to mix all of the ingredients with such a small spoon, but she completed this task with self-righteousness as Schazam heckled her.

Schnitzel stirs the burger batter like a pro as Schazam heckles her from down below.

Schnitzel stirs the burger batter like a pro as Schazam heckles her from down below.

7. This final, burger-shaping step should be completed with a pair of human hands. Not to marginalize the capabilities of smart dogs, but this step likely will take 3 to 10 hours if you leave it in the paws of the sous chefs. Divide the mixture in two, and shape it into two monster burgers. Then generously adorn the tops of the burgers with Old Bay Seasoning. Make it rain Old Bay! This seasoning is the star of your burger, so do not be stingy with it. Finally, let your sous chefs perform a quality check on the shape and girth of your burgers. Once they pass inspection, bake them in your preheated oven for 25 minutes.

Burger shape and girth are everything. Inspector Schnitzel gives her stamp of approval.

Burger shape and girth are everything. Inspector Schnitzel gives her stamp of approval with one request: add more Old Bay.

Look at this beautifully bodacious burger! Even if you accidentally left the burgers in the oven for 35 minutes like Schnitzel and Schazam did, they are still perfect – not even the edges are burnt! See? You can do no wrong with this mighty meal. Schnitzel served the burger on a bed of fresh kale and garnished it with tomatoes for color and a Meyer lemon, which should be squeezed all over the burger. When it was time to plate this meal, Schazam stole one of Schnitzel’s bones and scurried under the bed. I don’t blame her.

Final E-Z Bake Salmon Burger
The flavors of the E-Z Bake Salmon Burger will erupt in your mouth like fireworks on the Fourth of July. The mild yet meaty salmon is a perfect companion to the texture and flavors of the nuts and seeds. The almond meal pulls the taste into a gourmet stratosphere, and your taste buds will be delighted by the spicy sassiness of Old Bay and the sweet brightness of the Meyer lemon. Schnitzel, Schazam and I guarantee that you will be full, happy and satisfied after you finish the E-Z Bake Salmon Burger.

 
Finally, since this recipe yields two servings, I would be remiss if I did not point out one of its biggest benefits. If you prepare this dish for yourself, you can refrigerate the second burger. Here is where the true, hanger-controlling magic happens: it takes just 5 minutes to reheat the burger in a toaster oven. Referring to our handy hanger scale, we see that this second burger would be ready in time to satisfy hanger rated as high as a 9. Once I ate the second burger cold, as I stood in front of the open refrigerator door, because my hanger reached an alarming rating of 10. Even chilled down, that burger was delicious, proving again that from making it to eating it, the E-Z Bake Salmon Burger is one of the easiest, healthiest, dog-friendliest ways to tame the wildest hangry beast.

Hanger Scale with Burgers

Irresistible Chocolate Banana Coconut Smoothie (by Greta)

I AM IN LVE. Madly, deeply, addictively in love. Who, you may wonder, is the lucky object of my affection? Well, it’s not really a “who” – it’s a “what.” And that honor goes to an invention of my own creation: the Irresistible Chocolate Banana Coconut Smoothie.

“What?! Have you gone insane in the membrane, Greta?? Has hanger finally cannibalized your capacity for rational thought? You’re in love with a smoothie, you friggin’ nut-covered fruitcake?!”

Look. You needn’t resort to name calling. And yes, I’m in love with a smoothie. If my childhood role models – like Pee Wee Herman – have taught me anything, it is this: “IF YOU LOVE IT SO MUCH, WHY DON’T YOU MARRY IT?”  After witnessing Pee Wee’s marriage to fruit salad in 1987, I can say with confidence that the Irresistible Chocolate Banana Coconut Smoothie definitely is worthy of matrimony.


While I work on creating my save-the-date cards, I would like to properly, formally introduce you to my new love. My raison d’etre. My motivation to rise and shine before my alarm awakens me.

Title of Smoothie

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon hulled hemp seed
  • 1 Tablespoon raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 4 walnut halves (finely chopped)
  • 2 Brazil nuts (finely chopped)

Seeds and Nuts

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut (My brand of choice: Bob’s Red Mill.)
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (My brand of choice: Silk)
  • 1/2 ripe, FROZEN banana, sliced (see “Deep Banana Freeze” below)
  • 2 squares of Ghirardelli 100% cacao unsweetened chocolate, chopped (see “Chocolate Choices” below)
  • 1 Tablespoon almond butter
  • OPTIONAL: A handful of ice if you prefer a thicker, shake-like smoothie
  • OPTIONAL: Rounded teaspoon of Stevia in the Raw or 1-2 packets of Truvia (You may need to add this sweetener if you prefer sweet smoothies or you are used to eating sweet foods as part of your diet. If you follow a sugar-free diet as I do, the banana likely will lend enough sweetness to the smoothie.)

DIRECTIONS

1. Put the first five ingredients – the nuts and seeds – in a small bowl, and soak them in about ¾ c. water for at least 30 minutes in order to activate their enzymes. (I prep these ingredients before I go to bed and let them soak overnight in the fridge.)
2. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or large cup. (My blender of choice is a hand-held Oster mixer.)
3. Blend the ingredients for about 60 to 90 seconds.

LUXURIATE IN SMOOTHIE BLISS

The symphony of mouth-watering taste opens with bold notes from the banana, coconut and chocolate, blending harmoniously to offer a lusciously rich flavor. The earthy, chewy texture – courtesy of the nuts, seeds and chocolate – makes this smoothie as substantial and indulgent as a gourmet dessert. Pair it with a cup of freshly brewed coffee, and the Irresistible Chocolate Banana Coconut Smoothie becomes the most sublimely satisfying breakfast to start to your day.

ICBC Smoothie
CHOCOLATE CHOICES

Since I eliminated refined sugars from my diet, I only use 100% cacao chocolate. There is another, slightly embarrassing reason I use 100% cacao: I am a chocoholic. When I am in the presence of sweetened chocolate, which is more addictive than heroin mixed with crack cocaine, I can’t control myself. Put me next to sweetened chocolate during my special “lady time” of the month, otherwise known as PMS, and I look EXACTLY like Audrey Griswold in National Lampoon’s European Vacation.


Here’s the beautiful thing about chocolate made from 100% cacao: It is delicious in recipes but on its own, a 100% cacao bar is bitterer than 1,000 lemons coated with a mixture of pure quinine and old coffee grounds. Try 100% cacao chocolate, and that bitterness will linger on your tongue until you scrub it with a Brillo pad. The flavor will make your taste buds cringe and recoil, leaving them wondering what they have done to forsake you. Thanks to this bitterness, I could stand next to a box of Ghirardelli 100% cacao bars during a tsunami of pre-menstrual hormones, and I wouldn’t give it a second glance. So if you’re a chocoholic like me, go with 100% repellent cacao.

The "safe" chocolate preferred by 3 out of 4 recovering chocoholics.

The “safe” chocolate preferred by 3 out of 4 recovering chocoholics.

For the rest of you who can exercise restraint around sweetened chocolate, I would like to offer words of advice from Dr. William Davis, author of Wheat Belly, to help you make the healthiest chocolate choices:

“You want cacao with just enough sugar to make it palatable. The majority of chocolates sold are chocolate-flavored sugar. The best choices contain 85 percent or more cacao. Lindt and Ghirardelli are two widely distributed brands that make delicious 85 to 90 percent cacao chocolates. Some people need to get accustomed to the slightly bitter, less sweet taste of high-cacao chocolates. Shop around for your favorite brand, as some are winey tasting, others earthy. The Lindt 90 percent is my favorite, since its very low sugar content allows me to enjoy just a bit more. Two squares will not budge most people’s blood sugar; some can get away with four squares (40 grams, about 2 inches by 2 inches).”

DEEP BANANA FREEZE

I like smoothies to be so thick and creamy that the mere thought of using a straw to drink it is laughable. I like smoothies that are as viscous as wet cement, capable of holding pruning shears in their full and upright position. I like smoothies that have more rib-sticking power than a bucket of roast pork and potatoes. To achieve this caliber of consistency, YOU GOSTA GET YO FREEZE ON, SON.

There aren’t many ingredients in this smoothie that can be frozen ahead of time, so I recommend adding 5-6 ice cubes. I also highly recommend freezing your bananas in order to increase the smoothie’s viscosity. The best time to freeze them is when the banana skin is more speckled with freckles than an African spotted hyena. That’s when bananas achieve their highest level of sweetness. I peel them, cut them in half and then individually wrap them in cellophane before storing them in the freezer. When it’s time to incorporate these frozen beauties into a smoothie, I slice them up to prevent the hand mixer blade from seizing up.

Helpful Tip: Don't cut and freeze your bananas until the banana skin looks like a spotted African hyena.

Helpful Tip: Don’t cut and freeze your bananas until the banana skin looks like a spotted African hyena.

To give your smoothie a creamy, thick texture, cut, wrap and freeze bananas.

To give your smoothie a creamy, thick texture, cut, wrap and freeze bananas.

10 PERCENT RULE

If you have read other posts by Natalie and me, you know that we’re proponents of the 90/10 rule: Strive to make healthy choices to control hanger 90 percent of the time. What do you do with the remaining 10 percent? Whatever you want. Go nuts. Cut loose. Be naughty. Eat a slab of cheesecake dipped chocolate fudge, rolled in toffee. Or modify this I.C.B.C. Smoothie recipe thusly: Do not use the first five ingredients (chia, hemp and pumpkin seeds and walnuts and Brazil nuts); instead, replace those ingredients with five ounces of cold vodka.

You think I’m kidding. Please. I don’t joke about the 10-percent rule. And I would never share a recipe with you that I have not tested myself; therefore, I want you to know that as I type, I am enjoying this 10-percent variation of the I.C.B.C. Smoothie. IT IS OUT-FREAKING-STANDING. Given the contortionistic flexibility of this recipe, I think my marriage to this smoothie is imminent. Oh! Oh! And would you look at this! Our save-the-date cards just arrived! Don’t worry – you’re all invited.

savethedate

Decadent Oatmeal Fit for A Queen Bee (by Greta)

Lorde said it best:

LORDE
No, Lorde, we never will be royals. Indeed, it is not in our blood, and nay, nay – that luxe and buzz clearly are not for us. But lo! You touch upon a great truth! You can be a ruler! You can be called Queen Bee! In the kingdom of food, you can live this fantasy! How? This wise, olde (so old it’s olde) adage, written by sage philosopher Anon Y. Mous, is a declaration of our divine right to royalty at breakfast time:

KeepCalm

Why eat like a king at breakfast and a pauper at dinner? I think this visual sums up the answer nicely.

Eat

Every single morning, I wake up hangry and besieged by low blood sugar, which is why smiles, good cheer and sunshine cannot be found within a 10-mile radius of my person. Therefore, as soon as I open my eyes, I’m ready to strap on a feedbag before I even utter the words “good morning.”  That’s why I start my day with a breakfast fit for a king (or queen). We’re talking about a high-calorie (typically not less than 600), high-fat (good fat for maximum satiety), nutrient-dense breakfast.

My default breakfast is my Real Foodie Shake. Every once in a while, though, I crave a warm, stick-to-your-ribs sort of breakfast. You know – the type of breakfast that is fit for a lumberjack, a longshoreman or a sumo wrestler. At times like this, I turn to a recipe that fills my hangry belly like no other breakfast: QUEEN BEE OATMEAL. When I eat this breakfast at 9:00 AM, I don’t even think about food until 2:00 PM. After bellying up to a bowl of QUEEN BEE OATMEAL, not even the dwarfish temptresses called “Girl Scouts” can lure me with the siren song of Samoa cookies. UPON FINISHING OFF A HEAPING HELPING OF QUEEN BEE OATMEAL, I HAVE THE ENERGY TO COMPLETE A 10-K RUN, LIFT MULTIPLE BARBELLS WITH MY BARE HANDS, AND OPEN HEAVY DOORS FOR NOT ONE BUT SEVEN OLD PEOPLE, USING CANES, WALKERS AND SUCH!

Are you ready to experience the mighty morphin power of QUEEN BEE OATMEAL? LESSDOIT.

  • 1 Tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon hulled hemp seed
  • 1 Tablespoon raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 4 walnut halves (finely chopped)
  • 2 Brazil nuts (finely chopped)

Put all five of these ingredients in a small bowl, and soak them in room temperature water for at least 45 minutes in order to activate their enzymes. (You can also prep these ingredients earlier – they can soak overnight.) Don’t drown them; just barely cover the seeds and nuts with a few ounces of water.

seeds

  • 1/2 cup oatmeal (GLUTEN-FREE OPTION: I use Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free quick cooking oats.)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 ripe banana (cut into thin slices)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened, flaked coconut (again, Bob’s Red Mill is my go-to brand)
  • 1 Tablespoon almond butter
  • OPTIONAL: Raw, local honey to taste (I’m a purist and rely only on the sugar from fruit to sweeten dishes; however, if you want to amp up the sweetness of this oatmeal, try a couple teaspoons of honey)

Combine the oats and water, and cook the oatmeal however you prefer. Cooking time will depend on whether you are using quick or old-fashioned oats. The cooking method is a matter of preference – you can nuke it for 1.5 to 2 minutes or cook it on a stovetop. I cook quick oats on the stove top for 3 minutes.
Once the oatmeal is done cooking, dump all of the ingredients in a bowl, and thoroughly mix in the hot oatmeal. You’ll want to use a big bowl – a vessel of royal proportions – as this recipe yields one generous helping.

queen bee oatmeal
With one bite, you’ll appreciate how this breakfast will activate your super powers. The rich textures of the nuts and seeds are a delicious accompaniment to the tropical coconut flakes and banana. The undertones of almond butter add a lavish layer of decadence that catapults the flavor into regal realms. Take one look at the nutritional profile of your bountiful bowl of QUEEN BEE OATMEAL, and you’ll appreciate how this breakfast is capable of sustaining you into the late afternoon.

Oatmeal of Champions (gluten-free)
Now, you’re probably thinking, “Great Odin’s raven, that’s a caloric wallop!” Or maybe you’re thinking, “Son of a bee sting, 41 grams of fat?” My response to you is simple. First of all, I respect you and thank you for quoting Ron Burgundy in your thoughts. Well done. Second of all, we need to ditch the notion that a low-fat, low-calorie diet is the right path to good health and optimal hanger control. My weight is ideal, my health is stellar, and my days always begin with a queenly, lumberjacky meal.
“But Greta,” you’re thinking, “What if I don’t want to start my day with a bowl of oatmeal that could feed a family of four in Sierra Leone?”
Here’s where I get to celebrate and promote the differences between my beloved sister and me. Natalie typically starts her days with a lighter breakfast, involving oatmeal of course. In fact, the 1st Hangry Chick Post, authored by Natalie, features one of her fantastic oatmeal recipes. So if you didn’t wake up feeling like a longshoreman, try Natalie’s lighter rendition of oatmeal. Or check out our Hangry Chicks page on Facebook where Natalie posted another iteration of her favorite breakfast (on July 9), including almond milk, banana, peanut butter and chia seeds.
Finally, if you like the idea of trying QUEEN BEE OATMEAL but the portion is too abundant for your body, KEEP CALM. I offer an easy alternative called the mini-queen bee oatmeal. Simply cut all quantities of ingredients in half! Yes, it’s just that easy! Now, CARRY ON.

Diets and Lifestyles (By Natalie)

Wow, guys, Greta has been KILLIN’ it on the blog writing front, am I right? AmIriggghhhttt! I’ve been a little slacky about posting so it’s time for me to step in and lend another sista’s voice over here! I’ve been doing things like getting married, honeymooning and stuff. But I’m back, baby! Let’s get this bloggin’ going!

So, Greta has been posting lately about her new diet lifestyle and I think it’s important for me to write about my diet lifestyle so ya’ll know that we do not follow the same diet lifestyle. I don’t want this blog to become all about diets and lifestyles, but since this is a food blog, it’s important for us to share how we eat (at least once), especially since it’s a little different.

Throughout one’s lifetime, diet  lifestyles change. We learn more about food and the effects it has on our bodies as new scientific evidence comes out…Our bodies change as we age and that makes us have to edit, modify, toss out, and/or incorporate different foods into our bods. I myself have tried multiple ways of eating as the years have gone on. [Clears throat] Let me explain…When I was in my mid-twenties I had never been on a weight-loss diet before. I had an agent who told me I needed to lose 10 lbs (you guys, being an actor can be pretty dumb) so I got hooked on Weight Watchers for a while. I actually did lose 10 lbs and felt really good. It wasn’t too much weight, it was just right. That was also when I was becoming a personal trainer so I was learning about the balance of diet and exercise.  Then for a while I got pretty stupid–I thought the carb was evil and followed the South Beach Diet. That blew up in my face because when I started to eat normal again (aka I went through a break-up and carbs and wine became my BFF’s) I put on nearly 20 pounds  which was 16 pounds more than I initially lost. The diet legends are true! Following diets that cut out entire food groups can be hazardous to your health (and waistline)! I was a guinea pig for all of my clients and all of you Hangry Chicks readers! Doing that diet screwed up my metabolism so I had to go back to square one. Lesson learning! At the time, I kinda knew that doing the South Beach diet was probably a bad decision. I would never tell my clients that cutting carbs is the smart thing to do, especially after becoming a Fitness Nutrition Specialist a couple years ago (here is what I promote to my clients from my personal training blog). I guess I just needed to go through it myself. Aaaaand I was in my mid-twenties and making bad decisions all around! ‘Nuff said!

After South Beach, I had to get back on track so I used food journaling/calorie counting. That helped. I lost about 10 of those LBS I gained and felt much better. But for a while, I was still hanging onto some extra weight and I needed to get back to my happy place. So almost a year ago, I revisited some Weight Watcher’s ideals and instead of grabbing something like a Luna Bar for a snack, I started reaching for whole fruit instead. Meaning, I cut out most processed food (Side Note: Luna Bars are not bad but whole and natural is better). We tossed our microwave out the door (which was huge for me–I was so hooked on that thing for garden burgers and actually cooked my oatmeal in it for the longest time!) and by kicking the processed foods, splenda (South Beach has you living on this toxic crap) and trying to eat only organically, I lost another 9 pounds. Now I feel great. I don’t follow any sort of diet but I just modify. Because a girl likes so share what she eats (and that’s why we started this blog), I shall tell you what my daily diet consists of now: On the reg, I’ll start my day with an awesome bowl of oatmeal NOT COOKED IN A MICROWAVE. It’s cooked on the stove with almond milk, old-fashioned oats, banana, a tbs of natural peanut butter, and chia seeds. Then lunch is usually a fatty-ass shake (similar to the one Greta posted), fruit and/or string cheese for a snack, and then for din-dins, whatever my husband is serving up, sometimes usually with dessert. Yep, he uoosh does the cooking, unless I want to try something for Hangry Chicks!

How I do I feel about my diet  lifestyle you ask? To quote Greta from her most recent blog post, “I don’t feel restricted; ironically, on this…diet, I feel liberated.” I follow more of a moderation plan and, to explain the strike-throughs I’ve been using for the word ‘diet’ throughout this post, it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle. That sounds cheesy, but guys, it’s true. I’m just living my life and eating in moderation.  If I was on Greta’s diet, I would feel restricted as all get out. I followed a diet similar to the one she is using and it wasn’t sustainable for me. Today, I don’t gain weight, I maintain it. If I go on vacation, because I have gotten my body to a place where it’s used to a certain calorie intake, I don’t eat more than what my normal intake is (okay, sometimes, maybe, sometimes, I have more dessert and french fries than usual but you get the idea). I just eat, you guys.

So let’s “moral of the story” this out. Greta found a diet  lifestyle that works for her and that rocks. I don’t think I would want to try that diet lifestyle because I found what works for me. Even though we are sisters, our body chemistry is totally different so we need diets lifestyles that support that difference.

Look at us as kids! Who knew then our body chem's would be so different!

Look at us!! I’m the baby, Greta is the child. Who knew then our body chem’s would be so different!

Here we are today. Yes, I have a cocktail in my hand. Living!

Here we are today. Yes, I have a cocktail in my hand. Living!

And guess what guys? Guess WHAT. We weigh almost exactly the same while following these different diets lifestyles. We both workout nearly every day and that helps too, but hey! It just goes to show you that it’s all about finding your happy place. And you know what? That’s pretty personal. As long as you’re following a healthy lifestyle, it’s your own bidness as to how you’re gonna work that [weight, energy level, supporting your workouts] maintenance. It’s a tough balance for us ladies because our bodies really want to hold onto fat. Our bodies are like, “what if there’s a famine and you get pregnant? I need to support the baby so just in case there is a nuclear holocaust, I’m NOT letting this extra layer go! I don’t care how much you work out! If you’re healthy, you’ve got some fat! Now go to your room!” But we see on magazine covers that “one girl” who has six pack abs! That looks so good! I want to that too! But let’s be honest ladies, either those abs are photoshopped (which is almost always the case), or that girl is watching her diet so closely that a glass of wine or square of chocolate is NEVER an option in her life. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live my life that way! In fact, in the wise words of Whitney (RIP), I would say to that diet: 

And I don’t think any more needs to be said. DE-HANGER!

Bok Choy Wisdom Say: “Boring is in Eye of Beholder” (by Greta)

Back in March, I became a guinea pig with the help of Dr. Mark Hyman and Dr. David Perlmutter (their books are featured on our “Resources” page). Both doctors strongly advocate eliminating “fun” from our modern, Western diet in order to eliminate chronic, pervasive problems like type 2 diabetes, asthma, joint pain, digestive problems, allergies, autoimmune diseases, and migraines. The list goes on, but that last problem – migraines – lured me into signing up for the nutritional lifestyle the doctors were promulgating. As someone who has been suffering from debilitating migraines since the age of six, I did not need much convincing to buy the concepts they were selling. I just had to agree to eliminate the following “fun” from my diet: sugar, caffeine, dairy, gluten, processed foods and liquor. In exchange, I would be liberated from a life of pain. Sold.

 

My rationale for trying this elimination diet was simple. Worst case scenario: I follow the doctors’ advice, it doesn’t work, and I crawl back to my drug dealer, GlaxoSmithKline in order to humbly, apologetically ask for more Imitrex injections to manage my painful migraines. Best case scenario: This diet works, and I get to hold a funeral for my archenemy, Migrainus Majoris.

 

But wait a minute. The best case scenario involves abandoning all forms of processed SUGAR (even zero-calorie sweeteners??)?

Yep.

And no more nectar of the gods, COFFEE?

Bingo.

No DAIRY?

Arrivederci, pizza and ice cream.

NO BREAD AND BOOZE? ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME WITH THIS DIET?

No joke.

Taking stock of everything on my do-not-eat-list, I was fully expecting my life as a guinea pig to end swiftly and thusly:

Dear Diet
When I signed up for this new lifestyle, an amazing thing happened. Correction: many amazing things happened. Most importantly, my migraines disappeared inside the first month. I also lost 20 pounds (the first 10 pounds melted away in the first 10 days of adopting this lifestyle). My sleep improved. So did my memory. And in a delightful, odd twist, I came to the realization that this nutritional approach does not – I repeat, DOES NOT – eliminate fun from one’s gustatory life. It actually changes the definition of what constitutes “fun food” by introducing a whole new world of exciting flavors, unusual ingredients and inspired recipes.

 

It has been four months since I adopted a Hyman/Perlmutter lifestyle. Hear me now and believe me later: I have never had a more rewarding, creative and fun relationship with food. And this new relationship has only just begun. I am discovering countless new ways to control hanger with foods and spices that heretofore were foreign to me. Every week, I make an effort to learn a novel recipe, introducing me to different foods that nourish my body without compromising my health. I don’t feel restricted; ironically, on this elimination diet, I feel liberated.

 

This week, I decided to learn more about a food that I have enjoyed prodigiously in Chinese dishes, expertly prepared at restaurants. However, I never dared to purchase and work with this super-healthy superfood: BOK CHOY. Part of the cabbage family, bok choy has been cultivated in China for more than 5,000 years. It’s chockfull of vitamins A and C and is a good source of several carotenoids, especially the antioxidant beta carotene. Financially and calorically, the stuff is practically free. When I purchased baby bok choy the other day, it was 60 cents a pound, and one cup weighs in at a whopping 13 calories.

 

Since bok choy has a very mild flavor, it is ideal for stir-fried dishes, braising and soups. For my maiden voyage with this vegetable, I decided to prepare it as a simple yet flavorful side dish. Fortunately, bok choy is an extremely easy vegetable to work with; very little effort is required to transform it into a bright and light addition to a healthy meal.

sauteed garlic lovers bok choy
Ingredients (for 2 servings)

  • 3 to 4 bunches of baby bok choy
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 large cloves of fresh garlic, finely chopped
  • Sea salt to taste

Directions

bok choy directions

 

Finished Bok Choy

My experience with bok choy served as a valuable reminder: If I’m not having fun controlling my hanger with healthy dishes, I’m not controlling it the right way! The best, most sustainable way for me to control hanger healthfully is to always keep my repertoire of recipes fresh and interesting.  To that end, I encourage all followers of Hangry Chicks to share their favorite, unusual, healthy recipes with us!