Dinner with The Older Brother

While I’m on the Low-Carb Cruise, my brother Jerry (a.k.a. Older Brother in comments) agreed to write a guest post or two. He’s a relatively new convert to low-carb eating and is 30 pounds lighter as a result. Nearly 20 years ago, he was the one converting me: I became a libertarian after debating politics and economics with Jerry and realizing I was getting my butt kicked. After licking my psychic wounds, I asked him to suggest some books I should read. He did. I’ve been fascinated by economics ever since.

The State Journal-Register in Springfield, Illiniois has been publishing Jerry’s witty observations on politics and economics for years now. I’ve been bugging him lately to start his own blog and expand his readership beyond Springfield, which he finally did. I know some of you don’t care for my libertarian take on current issues, but for those of you who do, I’m sure you’ll enjoy Jerry’s blog as well: www.JerryNaughton.com. And now here’s his guest post …

If you’re here because you’re a fellow low-carb lifestyle type of one persuasion or another, you’ve probably heard the same thing if you’ve gotten into a conversation with someone after they noticed the “new you” —

“yeah sure, but what do you eat?”

The idea being, of course, that once you’ve had bacon and eggs for breakfast, sausage and eggs for lunch, and a steak or plain burger and water for dinner, you’ve pretty much run the gamut of fine low-carb cuisine.  And the gamut only runs from A to B.

Of course, you tell them you also eat fish, some veggies, chicken, the occasional fruits, nuts; and they’re thinking, “Right.  Me too — only with bread, pasta, and desert!”  It’s a mindset thing.

Meal monotony certainly hasn’t ever been part of (Tom’s or) my lifestyle, and I’m happy to report that, after a bit of research, the switch hardly registered as a gustatory bump in the road for my little branch of the Naughton family tree.

By way of background, you need to know that Tom’s and my upbringing had a few non-traditional (at the time) twists.  By which I mean, our mom.   Mom went back to college when we were pre-teens –first to pursue French, then switching to English Lit (she got her Masters, which is how Tom got to be a grammar grump.  I ain’t so much, but a little).

Nothing sounds more mundane now, but this was in the mid-1960’s.  The idea of a  married woman going to college just for the joy of it, when she had a husband with a blossoming career and children still at home was a bit jarring to people back then.  Her fellow students couldn’t figure out why some woman older than them was in their classes.  Some of her professors couldn’t figure out why some woman older than them was in their classes.

At around the same time, Dad got caught in what was then the cutting edge medical fad of the day — he was told he had waaaay too high cholesterol.  The statin money machine was either not around yet or was sputtering around killing people in the trials, and the low-fat vs. low-carb debate hadn’t been hijacked yet, so all Mom got was “you need to get away from the red meat and potatoes.  Eat more green vegetables, and cut back on the sweets.”  Oh, and we started eating margarine.  Yuck.

It worked out pretty well though because Dad, who was really a good sport about the whole college thing, also didn’t really mind cutting back on the potatoes, and was ok with more chicken and fish, but still wanted beef fairly regularly.  With the occasional martini.  For an Irish-Catholic guy with blue collar roots and a first generation college degree, that was damned progressive.  And Mom, who’d been enamored of France, found that French cooking, and “gourmet” cooking in general, was not potato dependent.  She’d discovered another passion.

So, besides having a mother in college whom we alternated tutoring in math through our high school years, Tom and I would find ourselves saying things like this:

(Sitting down to dinner) “Boeuf bourguignon AGAIN?!?  Jeez Mom, why can’t you make us something like macaroni and cheese once in awhile?”

Or (after dinner at a fancy restaurant),
Date: “Wow that was good.  What’s you think of the Chicken Kiev?”
Naughton Boy: “Um, it was ok, but it wasn’t as good as my mom’s.”

As a result, by the time Tom and I got out of high school, we didn’t think anything about already knowing how to saute, roast veggies, make killer omelets, and other sundry skills that endear one to college buddies.  And Mom passed Algebra.

Fast forward a few decades of being something of a foodie, casually adding a couple of pounds each happily married year.  Then there’s a sudden acceleration in weight gain and odd symptoms (mid-afternoon sugar crashes, pantry raids, wondering where your energy went — you know the drill) – which you assume are just part of getting older and a lack of willpower.  Then, The Younger Brother makes a movie.

So you’re thinking,

“yeah sure, but what do you eat?…”

Well, fortunately, as we were realizing we had to commit to a new lifestyle, Tom had just sent a copy of the Eades’ Six Week Cure for the Middle-Aged Middle to Mom to look over.  After perusing the first part of the book, I bought my own copy and took it home.  We figured the protein shakes would be ok for the opening two weeks, then apprehensively thumbed to the recipes section to see how much deprivation this was going to require.  We were stunned.  As in, “this looks GOOD!”  It looked like things we’d pick out of magazines to try (one of The Wife’s favorite “keep busy” activities while I do most of the vacation driving).  The first time we whipped up their recipe for steamed cauliflower with butter, cream,  and Boursin “Garlic and Herb” cheese in the Cuisinart, our boys declared they’d never go back to mashed potatoes.

We’ve since found other sources – Dana Carpender’s books, for instance – and realized there’s really no lack of great dining experiences available.  Your mileage may vary, depending on from which angle you’re approaching.  If you’ve decided on straight paleo, for instance, you won’t likely be serving strawberries with whipped cream.

I can see where it can cause hang-ups if your culinary history has been pretty much straight meat-and-potatoes.  After all, your universe of known food options just got cut in half.  But if you consider that making a commitment to a healthier lifestyle was really the major decision, consider also that learning to make hollandaise sauce or investing in a good food processor or a couple of cooking classes is not a big deal.  It’s actually fun. Plus, you get to eat your mistakes!

There’s been very few favorite recipes that weren’t adaptable to low- or no-carb.  Some are easy as ditching the milk for real, honest-to-God cream.

If you don’t believe me, just see for yourself…

Sure, we eat seafood. Preferably broiled in garlic butter and seasonings, and with a side of Parmesan broccoli and red peppers from the Eades’ book.

Of course there’s the beef. This is a tenderloin with a sauce made with the drippings, beef stock, green peppercorns, and lots of cream. This was a family dinner, so we ate around the starch and hit the veggies in the Queen Ann’s Potatoes. The beer? That’s our oldest son’s — he’s low-carb otherwise, works out like a fiend, and can throw a ball from deep center field to home plate like a bullet. He also took these pictures, mainly to torment a couple of his buddies who are finishing up law school too far away to join us for meals very often.


Pound chicken breasts flat, lightly fry in butter and olive oil, saute shallots in drippings, add wine and lemon juice and reduce by half, a few capers, garnish with parsely. Wow, you just made Chicken Piccata for a crowd.


Why just have steak when you can top it off with gorgonzola butter? Bake a garlic head in foil with a little olive oil in the oven for an hour or so, let it cool and pop cloves into a bowl with a stick of real butter, a couple ounces of gorgonzola (blue cheese), and some parsley. Mash it up, roll into about an inch wide “log” and refrigerate. Next time you’re grilling, when the steaks are just about done, slice pats from the butter log and put it on top to melt its wonderfullness onto the steak (or finish it off under the broiler). Those are sweet potato fries that we fried in bacon drippings — couldn’t catch a duck. Yeah, the wine is a cheat. If we could figure out how to make a nice Malbec with whizzed up cauliflower, The Wife and I would give up the occasional glass! Pick your battles, no?


We thought the Sunny Day Garden Salad from the Eades’ book sounded good. Their suggestion to add salmon was even better. Then The Wife said “why don’t we broil some of the Boursin Garlic and Herb cheese on top?” Perfection.


So you were thinking, “what about breakfast,” right? The Wife saw this on a Paula Deen show. Why would you eat an English muffin carb-bomb when you can use just a whiff of flour on thinly sliced green tomatoes, fry them in bacon drippings, and use that as your base? And nothing against our neighbors to the north, but you needed bacon drippings anyway and it’s practically a rule that you need some bacon each day, so that subs for the Canadian bacon below the poached eggs on top. Use the super easy hollandaise sauce recipe — drop three egg yolks into a small blender or processor with two tablespoons of lemon juice (that “cooks” the yolks) and a dash of white and/or cayenne pepper, then whiz it up some. Melt a stick of butter — God, don’t you love being a low carber!! — in the microwave, then drizzle/pulse it into the yolks/lemon juice as close to serving as possible (hollandaise tends to set up pretty quickly). You can’t mess it up like with the double-boiler version, and people will think you can whip Julia Child’s butt.


Speaking of butt, here’s something that oldest son does for fun. This pork butt got brined overnight, then spent the whole day getting smoked. It’s even better than it looks. It literally melts in your mouth. I started the brine for him about a half day too early once and it got a little salty. Psych! You’re a low carber, remember? You can’t get too much salt!


Here’s what the pork butt looked like just before it was done. And yes. That is bacon. On the grill. Being smoked. With Canadian steak seasoning on it. Could it possibly get any better?

Thanks to all of you for putting up with me while Tom was Low-Carb Cruising. I hear he got a really good video of his new “Science for Smart People” presentation, so hopefully that won’t take too long to edit before us landlubbers get a chance to see it.

See you in the comments.

Here’s The Wife, Mom, and me (“The Older Brother”)  in southern Illinois last fall at the excellent Blue Moon winery — doing our locavore duty by drinking locally. I’m the one in the middle!

As you might guess, we’re saying:

Cheers!

— The Older Brother


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82 thoughts on “Dinner with The Older Brother

  1. Rosanna

    Thanks so much for your response to my comment! And thanks for being honest about your weight… being a lady, I know I don’t really like to talk about that, but I found your openness really helpful, especially about stalling due to alcohol.

    I am concerned about losing weight (I’m maybe 20 lbs more than I’d like) but I recently became pregnant, so I’m following the maintenance plan for now. And obviously alcohol isn’t a concern anymore! Bummer! But that advice is very helpful to me, because I can see that being a potential “stall factor” for me and I might not realize the Leinenkugel’s at dinner for the past week as being the culprit!

    I’ve been reading the Eades’ book and their forums as well as this blog, and have been SO helped by the discussions there too. My husband is 100% on board with this, and the lucky duck has already lost nearly 10 lbs.

    The clarification on “low-carb/high-protein/high-fat” was really helpful, too!

    Well firstly, congratulations!

    I have to think that a pregnancy would be the worst time to be concerned about your weight; and the most important time to focus on the best nutrition for your and your baby’s bodies.

    The Eades’ are terrific resources, and I know Tom has said that without their generous inputs of time and technical assistance, Fat Head wouldn’t be what it is.

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  2. TonyNZ

    If the “container” is indeed a quart, and my basic understanding of the imperial system is correct (i.e. quarter of a U.S. gallon) then you are paying about the same for cream as an average consumer here (when exchange rate is considered).

    Ours would be pastured by default, however. And also I presume we are discussing fresh as opposed to UHT?

    I believe you’re right on the measurements and comparable costs, although expecting an American to handle metric/imperial conversions is always a little dicey.

    I believe trying to purchase fresh cream in the U.S. is one of the few offenses that is still eligible for the death penalty (besides trying to order a hamburger “medium rare.”) At least all of our regulatory establishment is geared towards preventing it. The stuff in my refrigerator from the big box store is Ultra Pasteurized (which I think is the same as UHT).

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  3. allison

    @Rosanna, my second pregnancy we had already started on the low carb plan, and I had significantly less morning sickness, and realized that whenever I did binge on carbs I was sicker. During my first pregnancy I was already carbaholic and continued my “normal” diet as much as I could throughout the pregnancy and was sick almost the whole time.(also discovered that McDonald’s fries don’t digest after 8 hours)
    I realize every pregnancy and every woman is different, but my experience makes me wonder if there is a correlation between morning sickness and typical diet and not as genetic as people think.

    Reply
  4. Rosanna

    Thanks so much for your response to my comment! And thanks for being honest about your weight… being a lady, I know I don’t really like to talk about that, but I found your openness really helpful, especially about stalling due to alcohol.

    I am concerned about losing weight (I’m maybe 20 lbs more than I’d like) but I recently became pregnant, so I’m following the maintenance plan for now. And obviously alcohol isn’t a concern anymore! Bummer! But that advice is very helpful to me, because I can see that being a potential “stall factor” for me and I might not realize the Leinenkugel’s at dinner for the past week as being the culprit!

    I’ve been reading the Eades’ book and their forums as well as this blog, and have been SO helped by the discussions there too. My husband is 100% on board with this, and the lucky duck has already lost nearly 10 lbs.

    The clarification on “low-carb/high-protein/high-fat” was really helpful, too!

    Well firstly, congratulations!

    I have to think that a pregnancy would be the worst time to be concerned about your weight; and the most important time to focus on the best nutrition for your and your baby’s bodies.

    The Eades’ are terrific resources, and I know Tom has said that without their generous inputs of time and technical assistance, Fat Head wouldn’t be what it is.

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  5. TonyNZ

    If the “container” is indeed a quart, and my basic understanding of the imperial system is correct (i.e. quarter of a U.S. gallon) then you are paying about the same for cream as an average consumer here (when exchange rate is considered).

    Ours would be pastured by default, however. And also I presume we are discussing fresh as opposed to UHT?

    I believe you’re right on the measurements and comparable costs, although expecting an American to handle metric/imperial conversions is always a little dicey.

    I believe trying to purchase fresh cream in the U.S. is one of the few offenses that is still eligible for the death penalty (besides trying to order a hamburger “medium rare.”) At least all of our regulatory establishment is geared towards preventing it. The stuff in my refrigerator from the big box store is Ultra Pasteurized (which I think is the same as UHT).

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  6. allison

    @Rosanna, my second pregnancy we had already started on the low carb plan, and I had significantly less morning sickness, and realized that whenever I did binge on carbs I was sicker. During my first pregnancy I was already carbaholic and continued my “normal” diet as much as I could throughout the pregnancy and was sick almost the whole time.(also discovered that McDonald’s fries don’t digest after 8 hours)
    I realize every pregnancy and every woman is different, but my experience makes me wonder if there is a correlation between morning sickness and typical diet and not as genetic as people think.

    Reply
  7. TonyNZ

    Fresh in New Zealand means the lightly pasteurised stuff, so:

    Raw = Nothing done to it. From the vat directly from the cow, I generally discard after 4 days refrigerated. Not sure what the commercial raw milkers recommend, but I never find a problem with that timeframe.
    Pasteurised = Moderately heat treated, stored in plastic (generally), kept refrigerated. Shelf life circa 10 days.
    UHT = Severely hear treated, generally stored in cartons, will keep at room temperature for months.

    UHT is cheaper in many places, as it does not need a continually chilled transport chain. Taste degenerates as you go south on that list also. UHT is great for survival packs, though.

    Ah. After my last reply, I did think, “wait, I was probably thinking raw, but I don’t know what the difference would be.” Newbies, eh?

    I haven’t seen fresh in the big box or chain stores. Makes sense that it wouldn’t fit their business model. I’ll have to see if fresh is available in the local shops.

    Thanks for getting me straightened out on that.

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  8. Joanne

    Jerry–thanks for pinch hitting, with Tom and Jimmy Moore on the cruise I was almost in blog withdrawal, so your posts were most welcome and very enjoyable this past week. We live in South Florida about an hour from the cruise port, and even though we were unable to join the group this year (will be on the ship for sure in 2012), my husband and I met Jimmy and Christine for dinner when they arrived at the hotel. We also were able to say hello to Tom and his wife, and thank them both for all that they have done for the low carb community. I continue to pass around my two copies of Fat Head to anyone who is even the slightest bit interested. Thanks again and what better way to end the week than with all that food porn…um, I mean all those food pics 🙂 I have also written food blogs with full color photos, especially while we are cruising…I always say, if you can’t eat it, you can certainly drool over the pictures!

    Happy eating…..

    It’s been a lot of fun, but it will also be good to have Tom back in the big seat and I can go back to chiming in from the peanut gallery. Plus I’ve got a couple of ideas for my blog I want to get fleshed out and published for next week.

    Tom asked us about going on the Low Carb Cruise this year, but we had two other scheduling conflicts that we were already wrestling with (neither of which came to pass). Maybe next year. Would’ve been nice to have met some of the folks, but it sounds like there should be even more next year. I would’ve liked to have seen the live premiere of “Science for Smart People.”

    Cheers!

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  9. TonyNZ

    Fresh in New Zealand means the lightly pasteurised stuff, so:

    Raw = Nothing done to it. From the vat directly from the cow, I generally discard after 4 days refrigerated. Not sure what the commercial raw milkers recommend, but I never find a problem with that timeframe.
    Pasteurised = Moderately heat treated, stored in plastic (generally), kept refrigerated. Shelf life circa 10 days.
    UHT = Severely hear treated, generally stored in cartons, will keep at room temperature for months.

    UHT is cheaper in many places, as it does not need a continually chilled transport chain. Taste degenerates as you go south on that list also. UHT is great for survival packs, though.

    Ah. After my last reply, I did think, “wait, I was probably thinking raw, but I don’t know what the difference would be.” Newbies, eh?

    I haven’t seen fresh in the big box or chain stores. Makes sense that it wouldn’t fit their business model. I’ll have to see if fresh is available in the local shops.

    Thanks for getting me straightened out on that.

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  10. gharkness

    Just off the cruise – waved goodbye to Younger Brother — it was EXCELLENT! I just can’t say enough good things about Tom and his beautiful, sweet, friendly wife. And Tom’s presentation was fantastic!

    Tom has talked and talked to everyone on the cruise about how happy he is to have had the opportunity to let you guest blog. And now I have subscribed through RSS to your blog as well. I look forward to seeing more of both of you!

    Glad the cruise went as well as I figured it would. Once he gets unpacked, I’m going to bug him about the RSS thing. I’ve had a couple of inquiries from people who wanted to subscribe and I’m a real newbie to the web technologies.

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  11. Joanne

    Jerry–thanks for pinch hitting, with Tom and Jimmy Moore on the cruise I was almost in blog withdrawal, so your posts were most welcome and very enjoyable this past week. We live in South Florida about an hour from the cruise port, and even though we were unable to join the group this year (will be on the ship for sure in 2012), my husband and I met Jimmy and Christine for dinner when they arrived at the hotel. We also were able to say hello to Tom and his wife, and thank them both for all that they have done for the low carb community. I continue to pass around my two copies of Fat Head to anyone who is even the slightest bit interested. Thanks again and what better way to end the week than with all that food porn…um, I mean all those food pics 🙂 I have also written food blogs with full color photos, especially while we are cruising…I always say, if you can’t eat it, you can certainly drool over the pictures!

    Happy eating…..

    It’s been a lot of fun, but it will also be good to have Tom back in the big seat and I can go back to chiming in from the peanut gallery. Plus I’ve got a couple of ideas for my blog I want to get fleshed out and published for next week.

    Tom asked us about going on the Low Carb Cruise this year, but we had two other scheduling conflicts that we were already wrestling with (neither of which came to pass). Maybe next year. Would’ve been nice to have met some of the folks, but it sounds like there should be even more next year. I would’ve liked to have seen the live premiere of “Science for Smart People.”

    Cheers!

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  12. Bobbie

    I am still struggling with the fact that in China they eat white rice and noodles, gasp, and they are thin. Ditto SE Asia and Japan. In France they eat baguettes non-stop (the poisonous evil WHITE bread) and they are thin. In Ireland it’s potatoes and soda bread, and they too are thin. If white rice, white bread, white noodles etc. are the scourge of the earth – and are eaten all over the world without people getting fat or diabetic, what’s wrong with this picture?

    The vaunted Med. diet? When I lived in Cyprus – a nurse there said that diabetes was rampant, egad.

    Those are pretty common points that have been addressed in other parts of the blog. I think if you use the search function and look for “china study” you’ll get a pretty good dissection of the “all they eat is rice” argument. Another point I’ve seen is that although there is more rice consumption, is doesn’t hold a candle to the amount of carbs, especially refined carbs and sugars in the Standard American Diet (SAD). The French, likewise, may have their baguettes, but they get lots of saturated fat and don’t have all of the processed carbs/sugars.

    In America, there’s high fructose corn syrup in ketchup, for crying out loud. Who decided we needed to add sugar to ketchup? (If you use powdered creamer in your coffee, that’s hydrogenated vegetable oil. Hello, inflammation.) All of the processed and manufactured foods, then, add an incredible carb load to the SAD over and above the bread, pasta, etc., that you see on your plate.

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  13. Harpo Mike

    I can trace my thinking about this subject while reading Tarzan of the Apes.. I noticed as i was reading the book that Tarzan only meat, vegetables, and a few fruits here and there.. I know it was just a book from 1912, but Edgar Rice Burroughs was making a comment on man being fascinated in going back to primeval man in the wake of the industrial revolution that was going on around them.. I was not expecting a Tarzan book to having such lofty themes in an adventure book..:)

    And we thought he was the one who needed educated.

    Reply
  14. Falzy

    that all looks amazing…I wish my mom would stop buying cereals, bread, pasta etc. I keep telling her to go low carb but she keeps coming back with all kinds and pastries and grain-type things and very little meat and veggies. At least she gets plenty of cheese and milk and fruits. sigh. I wish I could find a job. Damn near impossible where I live though for someone without an actual career in mind. Otherwise, at 20 years old I would be taking care of myself food wise. But no, I had to come of age during a recession. lol. oh well. 😛

    I know the job thing is a particular challenge for younger folks right now. All I can tell you is keep knocking on doors — you’re in good company.

    In the meantime, how about you volunteer to do the grocery shopping and cooking for mom for a few weeks? She gets some extra free time and a break from the kitchen, you get a chance to work on your low-carb chef chops! I’d think if she got a few omelets for breakfast and maybe chicken piccata for dinner, she might start seeing it your way.

    Cheers,

    –Older Brother

    Reply
  15. gharkness

    Just off the cruise – waved goodbye to Younger Brother — it was EXCELLENT! I just can’t say enough good things about Tom and his beautiful, sweet, friendly wife. And Tom’s presentation was fantastic!

    Tom has talked and talked to everyone on the cruise about how happy he is to have had the opportunity to let you guest blog. And now I have subscribed through RSS to your blog as well. I look forward to seeing more of both of you!

    Glad the cruise went as well as I figured it would. Once he gets unpacked, I’m going to bug him about the RSS thing. I’ve had a couple of inquiries from people who wanted to subscribe and I’m a real newbie to the web technologies.

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  16. Bobbie

    I am still struggling with the fact that in China they eat white rice and noodles, gasp, and they are thin. Ditto SE Asia and Japan. In France they eat baguettes non-stop (the poisonous evil WHITE bread) and they are thin. In Ireland it’s potatoes and soda bread, and they too are thin. If white rice, white bread, white noodles etc. are the scourge of the earth – and are eaten all over the world without people getting fat or diabetic, what’s wrong with this picture?

    The vaunted Med. diet? When I lived in Cyprus – a nurse there said that diabetes was rampant, egad.

    Those are pretty common points that have been addressed in other parts of the blog. I think if you use the search function and look for “china study” you’ll get a pretty good dissection of the “all they eat is rice” argument. Another point I’ve seen is that although there is more rice consumption, is doesn’t hold a candle to the amount of carbs, especially refined carbs and sugars in the Standard American Diet (SAD). The French, likewise, may have their baguettes, but they get lots of saturated fat and don’t have all of the processed carbs/sugars.

    In America, there’s high fructose corn syrup in ketchup, for crying out loud. Who decided we needed to add sugar to ketchup? (If you use powdered creamer in your coffee, that’s hydrogenated vegetable oil. Hello, inflammation.) All of the processed and manufactured foods, then, add an incredible carb load to the SAD over and above the bread, pasta, etc., that you see on your plate.

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  17. Harpo Mike

    I can trace my thinking about this subject while reading Tarzan of the Apes.. I noticed as i was reading the book that Tarzan only meat, vegetables, and a few fruits here and there.. I know it was just a book from 1912, but Edgar Rice Burroughs was making a comment on man being fascinated in going back to primeval man in the wake of the industrial revolution that was going on around them.. I was not expecting a Tarzan book to having such lofty themes in an adventure book..:)

    And we thought he was the one who needed educated.

    Reply
  18. Charlie Shaughnessy

    This is great, older brother! Thanks for the ideas… Why books and websites are you guys using for most of your recipe ideas?

    Oh, one other question… What was it about your brothers diet that caused you to be skeptical to change over? Was it because “Atkins” has such bad mythology surrounding it?

    Keep in mind you’re talking about literally five decades of foodie-hood, but I’d say that we’d gotten a lot of our recent ideas from the Food Network — usually from favorite shows, then we’ll hit the website. The chicken piccata is a direct swipe from Alton Brown’s turkey piccata recipe. The Wife says we’ve never made anything from Paula Deen that we didn’t like. Paula uses a lot of fat in her recipes, which cause no guilt for us. We shy away from the breaded, baked , and other carb heavy stuff. We’ve subscribed over the years to cooking and food magazines, etc. Plus, right before we got married, The Wife spent a couple of days copying recipes of favorites from Mom’s collection. We’ve done local “cooking schools” — where you get to do some of the hands on stuff and then have a terrific gourmet meal with good wine and good friends — so many times they’ve told the Wife she “graduated.”

    The Wife is also absolutely brazen about asking for recipes if we find some thing we really like at a restaurant. The thing is, I don’t think anyone’s ever said “no.” We’ve collected outstanding recipes from Disney World, country clubs, and some of the best restaurants around. She always then sends a “thank you” note, usually attached to a loaf of her amazing (and now forbidden) sourdough french bread.

    I’m also absolutely serious when I say that the recipes in the Eades’ books and the ones we’ve tried from Dana Carpender hold their place at the table as well as anything from our previous sources. I’ve never felt like I was getting “something like” a good meal, only low carb. You can’t say that with low fat recipes, where it seems to always tastes like you’re eating a compromise. If you think about it, French cooking is all about good fats and fresh ingredients (of course, you have to pass up the pastry tray).

    We had some friends in the past who tried Atkins and they didn’t stay with it. And they really did just eat eggs, bacon, and beef. Plus, I just tended to assume it was the whole calories in/calories out thing until I watched Fat Head — and it all fell into place. I’m never going back!

    –Older Brother

    Reply
  19. Falzy

    that all looks amazing…I wish my mom would stop buying cereals, bread, pasta etc. I keep telling her to go low carb but she keeps coming back with all kinds and pastries and grain-type things and very little meat and veggies. At least she gets plenty of cheese and milk and fruits. sigh. I wish I could find a job. Damn near impossible where I live though for someone without an actual career in mind. Otherwise, at 20 years old I would be taking care of myself food wise. But no, I had to come of age during a recession. lol. oh well. 😛

    I know the job thing is a particular challenge for younger folks right now. All I can tell you is keep knocking on doors — you’re in good company.

    In the meantime, how about you volunteer to do the grocery shopping and cooking for mom for a few weeks? She gets some extra free time and a break from the kitchen, you get a chance to work on your low-carb chef chops! I’d think if she got a few omelets for breakfast and maybe chicken piccata for dinner, she might start seeing it your way.

    Cheers,

    –Older Brother

    Reply
  20. Sonya - NZ

    Hey Older Brother. Thanks for the inspiration, always great to get some new cooking ideas.

    For anyone that’s interested – I’ve found the quickest way ever to roast a whole chicken for when you are short on time but want to avoid the high carb quick fix meal.

    Using scissors, cut the back bone out of a whole fresh chicken and lay it out flat. Sprinkle boths sides with olive oil, salt and chinese five spice. Then lie the chicken skin side down on the BBQ, add a layer of baking paper and layer of foil on top then add a heavy weight eg concrete block (or as we use, the fly wheel from a chevvy). Cook 8 minutes this side, 8 minutes other side then 4 minutes on the original side. Total 20 minutes cooking time, crispy skin on outside and succulent on the inside.

    Alternatively doing a beer can chicken takes longer but equally as delicious, the flavour can be changed greatly by altering what goes in the beer can (my fav is ginger beer and apple vodka). Stuff some mashed avocado between the skin and flesh or cover with bacon before cooking are also great variations.

    I’ve loved your guest posts. Thank you so much.

    Besides quick, the chicken cooks more evenly that way, so you don’t risk ending up with part dry and part undercooked.

    We like the beer-butt chicken, too. I like the bacon and avocado idea. That’s going in the book for next grilling session!

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  21. Peggy Cihocki

    I agree that the insulin resistance has to come first. I, too, know normal weight people who developed insulin resistance and are now diabetic–and still normal weight. And thanks for the information re the Eades’ six week cure book. It’s next on my list of books to order. Already got and read Protein Power. I don’t have a lot of weight to lose–just a little stubborn fat around my waist that’s still there from my vegetarian/low fat days (despite tons of exercise and eating more or less like the French until about 6 weeks ago when I decided to pare down my carb intake even further). So the Eades’ plan is probably tailor made for me! Thanks.

    Reply
  22. Charlie Shaughnessy

    This is great, older brother! Thanks for the ideas… Why books and websites are you guys using for most of your recipe ideas?

    Oh, one other question… What was it about your brothers diet that caused you to be skeptical to change over? Was it because “Atkins” has such bad mythology surrounding it?

    Keep in mind you’re talking about literally five decades of foodie-hood, but I’d say that we’d gotten a lot of our recent ideas from the Food Network — usually from favorite shows, then we’ll hit the website. The chicken piccata is a direct swipe from Alton Brown’s turkey piccata recipe. The Wife says we’ve never made anything from Paula Deen that we didn’t like. Paula uses a lot of fat in her recipes, which cause no guilt for us. We shy away from the breaded, baked , and other carb heavy stuff. We’ve subscribed over the years to cooking and food magazines, etc. Plus, right before we got married, The Wife spent a couple of days copying recipes of favorites from Mom’s collection. We’ve done local “cooking schools” — where you get to do some of the hands on stuff and then have a terrific gourmet meal with good wine and good friends — so many times they’ve told the Wife she “graduated.”

    The Wife is also absolutely brazen about asking for recipes if we find some thing we really like at a restaurant. The thing is, I don’t think anyone’s ever said “no.” We’ve collected outstanding recipes from Disney World, country clubs, and some of the best restaurants around. She always then sends a “thank you” note, usually attached to a loaf of her amazing (and now forbidden) sourdough french bread.

    I’m also absolutely serious when I say that the recipes in the Eades’ books and the ones we’ve tried from Dana Carpender hold their place at the table as well as anything from our previous sources. I’ve never felt like I was getting “something like” a good meal, only low carb. You can’t say that with low fat recipes, where it seems to always tastes like you’re eating a compromise. If you think about it, French cooking is all about good fats and fresh ingredients (of course, you have to pass up the pastry tray).

    We had some friends in the past who tried Atkins and they didn’t stay with it. And they really did just eat eggs, bacon, and beef. Plus, I just tended to assume it was the whole calories in/calories out thing until I watched Fat Head — and it all fell into place. I’m never going back!

    –Older Brother

    Reply
  23. Sonya - NZ

    Hey Older Brother. Thanks for the inspiration, always great to get some new cooking ideas.

    For anyone that’s interested – I’ve found the quickest way ever to roast a whole chicken for when you are short on time but want to avoid the high carb quick fix meal.

    Using scissors, cut the back bone out of a whole fresh chicken and lay it out flat. Sprinkle boths sides with olive oil, salt and chinese five spice. Then lie the chicken skin side down on the BBQ, add a layer of baking paper and layer of foil on top then add a heavy weight eg concrete block (or as we use, the fly wheel from a chevvy). Cook 8 minutes this side, 8 minutes other side then 4 minutes on the original side. Total 20 minutes cooking time, crispy skin on outside and succulent on the inside.

    Alternatively doing a beer can chicken takes longer but equally as delicious, the flavour can be changed greatly by altering what goes in the beer can (my fav is ginger beer and apple vodka). Stuff some mashed avocado between the skin and flesh or cover with bacon before cooking are also great variations.

    I’ve loved your guest posts. Thank you so much.

    Besides quick, the chicken cooks more evenly that way, so you don’t risk ending up with part dry and part undercooked.

    We like the beer-butt chicken, too. I like the bacon and avocado idea. That’s going in the book for next grilling session!

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  24. Peggy Cihocki

    I agree that the insulin resistance has to come first. I, too, know normal weight people who developed insulin resistance and are now diabetic–and still normal weight. And thanks for the information re the Eades’ six week cure book. It’s next on my list of books to order. Already got and read Protein Power. I don’t have a lot of weight to lose–just a little stubborn fat around my waist that’s still there from my vegetarian/low fat days (despite tons of exercise and eating more or less like the French until about 6 weeks ago when I decided to pare down my carb intake even further). So the Eades’ plan is probably tailor made for me! Thanks.

    Reply
  25. Gerard

    Go the beer!

    What is about every paleo convert I manage to get, the paleo guy who got me into it & ‘the older brothers’ son. Beer just doesn’t count on a paleo diet. Loaded with gluten, alcohol and sugar. Every one is I don’t miss the carbs the grain but stuffed if I’m quitting the beer.

    Unlike all other grain based products actually tastes great, full of body, character and diversity. Must be the hops…. its definitely the hops.

    As I noted re: The Wife’s and my occasional glass of wine, you have to pick your battles. Tom’s also said a good full bodied beer is one of his once-in-awhile exceptions. Depending on your particular circumstances, it can be of no consequence or a complete progress killer. On the Eades’ Six Week plan, you give up all alcohol and caffeine at first; the idea being you’ve got to let your metabolism heal and get pointed in the right direction.

    Once you’re on track, it becomes a matter of exercising some judgment (ala “functioning brain”) and paying attention to how your body reacts.

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  26. Gerard

    Go the beer!

    What is about every paleo convert I manage to get, the paleo guy who got me into it & ‘the older brothers’ son. Beer just doesn’t count on a paleo diet. Loaded with gluten, alcohol and sugar. Every one is I don’t miss the carbs the grain but stuffed if I’m quitting the beer.

    Unlike all other grain based products actually tastes great, full of body, character and diversity. Must be the hops…. its definitely the hops.

    As I noted re: The Wife’s and my occasional glass of wine, you have to pick your battles. Tom’s also said a good full bodied beer is one of his once-in-awhile exceptions. Depending on your particular circumstances, it can be of no consequence or a complete progress killer. On the Eades’ Six Week plan, you give up all alcohol and caffeine at first; the idea being you’ve got to let your metabolism heal and get pointed in the right direction.

    Once you’re on track, it becomes a matter of exercising some judgment (ala “functioning brain”) and paying attention to how your body reacts.

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  27. Allison

    Great job filling in, Older Brother! 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to keep us all entertained while Tom was unavailable.

    Your pictures look amazing! I’ve been living low-carb since I saw Fat Head about 3 months ago. I still allow myself a cheat meal about once per week (usually when I’m a guest somewhere and don’t have control of the menu) … also, I tend to give into a cold brewskie once or twice per week — it’s summer in Texas; a cold beer on the patio on the weekend is practically law!

    I will say though, as time goes on, I’m not even craving grains anymore; and my IBS symptoms have improved dramatically!


    Thanks. The carb cravings do seem to wear off pretty quickly. After a bit of tweaking our shopping habits and the recipe books, after a few months low-carb seems very natural. If we’re somewhere else, I may have a few forbidden foods, but it’s like 8 or 10 potato chips with the dip, then I can walk away. 6 months ago, the first one would’ve set up cravings.

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  28. Allison

    Great job filling in, Older Brother! 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to keep us all entertained while Tom was unavailable.

    Your pictures look amazing! I’ve been living low-carb since I saw Fat Head about 3 months ago. I still allow myself a cheat meal about once per week (usually when I’m a guest somewhere and don’t have control of the menu) … also, I tend to give into a cold brewskie once or twice per week — it’s summer in Texas; a cold beer on the patio on the weekend is practically law!

    I will say though, as time goes on, I’m not even craving grains anymore; and my IBS symptoms have improved dramatically!


    Thanks. The carb cravings do seem to wear off pretty quickly. After a bit of tweaking our shopping habits and the recipe books, after a few months low-carb seems very natural. If we’re somewhere else, I may have a few forbidden foods, but it’s like 8 or 10 potato chips with the dip, then I can walk away. 6 months ago, the first one would’ve set up cravings.

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  29. TonyNZ

    “[Beer] actually tastes great, full of body, character and diversity.”

    When you buy the proper stuff, like Dogfish Head etc. I couldn’t put any of those attributes down to a Budweiser (American version. Czech version is “meh” but pleasant).

    Can’t even remember the last time I had a Budweiser. When I have a “beer exception” night, it’s usually an import or a local micro-brew.

    Reply
  30. TonyNZ

    “[Beer] actually tastes great, full of body, character and diversity.”

    When you buy the proper stuff, like Dogfish Head etc. I couldn’t put any of those attributes down to a Budweiser (American version. Czech version is “meh” but pleasant).

    Can’t even remember the last time I had a Budweiser. When I have a “beer exception” night, it’s usually an import or a local micro-brew.

    Reply
  31. Monette

    I am confused on a low carb… are milk, cheese, fruit and nuts okay? I love all those things with a passion but i am not sure if they fit well with the diet.

    It’s a matter of finding your carbohydrate tolerance and staying below it. So you’d need to count the carbs in those foods, then calculate how much of them you can have while staying on the diet.

    Reply
  32. Monette

    I am confused on a low carb… are milk, cheese, fruit and nuts okay? I love all those things with a passion but i am not sure if they fit well with the diet.

    It’s a matter of finding your carbohydrate tolerance and staying below it. So you’d need to count the carbs in those foods, then calculate how much of them you can have while staying on the diet.

    Reply

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