Inkwell: Authors and Artists
Kirsten Jones (synedra) Sat 13 Mar 04 08:07
I just figured those things were for saturday or sunday evening. I have breakfast for dinner a lot. There is nutrition for each recipe, calories, protein, net carbs, fat, cholesterol and sodium... but the one thing I *really* miss with these recipes is a serving size. A 6-7 pound roasting chicken makes 5 servings, but how many ounces of chicken does that represent? What was the calorie count, etc. based on? This was especially true with the cinnamon walnuts, because there were 12 servings in the pound and I just couldn't wrap my mind around what 1-1/2 ounces looked like. 1/2 cup? 10 walnuts? Something like that would have been very nice, up in the serving section. Since I'm not a calorie- or carb-phobe it's not major, but when you've got Atkins guests they get wiggy about exactly how many walnuts they can *have* for 3 carbs.
Kitty Broihier (kittybroihier) Sat 13 Mar 04 09:53
I'll try to tackle these comments/questions in order! First, yes, it *is* possible to burn and dry out food in a slow cooker, but you really do have to try hard and really overcook it! Second, we did include the side dish section to give people something to serve with their slow cooked entrees. We discuss this chapter in the section called "About This Book," where we also discuss the chapter called "Double Duty Recipes" (those that yield enough leftovers to make another dish--and we provide recipes for those dishes). Our side dishes tend to be quick to prepare, and give everyone a taste of something fresh or crunchy, in order to contrast nicely with the slow cooked foods. It IS an unusual addition for a slow cooker book. Not all slow cooked recipes are to be cooked for 8 or 10 hours. Eggs will simply be overcooked in that amount of time. However, they do make a great light lunch, or brunch dish, and some of our recipe intros explain that. Low-carbers who are sick of regular old eggs at breakfast might enjoy eggs at dinner or lunch. similarly, some of the appetizers, dips, etc .are not cooked all day long. This is great for parties, because you can use your slow cooker, let the appetizer cook on its own, thereby freeing up some of your time and also your stove/oven, etc. Complete nutrition information is given for each recipe, and how we come by that info is discussed in the "About This Book" section as well. I tried to give amounts for the portions when practical, but in general I figured that people could "eyeball" the portions when dividing up the recipe. FYI, an ounce and a half of nuts is a "good handful," no matter what type of nut (according to my friend who is a dietitian for the International Tree Nut Council). I might change this for the next book if we got lots of comments about it, but in general, when I look at a dish I can divide it into 4 or 6 servings without too much trouble, although I do see that this might be a problem when it comes to a roast chicken. Good point. We researched the yield on roast chicken and found that the meat yield is around 35% of the starting weight of the whole chicken (not much!--lots of loss/bone, etc.) Therefore, when I calculated the yield on a 3 1/2-pound young chicken I used 1.25 pounds of meat (roughly 35%, rounded up a little), then divided that into the portions. For larger chickens the process is the same. I tried to use a chicken weight in the middle of the given range, so for a recipe that calls for a 6-7 pound chicken, I'd use 6 1/2 pounds, for a 5-7 pound chicken, I'd use 6 pounds, then take the 35% figure and go from there. Does that help? Incidentally, Kim and I are quite sensitive to portion sizes, as many of the low-carb cooksbooks we've reviewed seem to give tiny portions of food. We wanted to make our portions reasonable, yet enough to be satisfying. We did consider, however, than in many cases the slow-cooked entree would *not* be the entire meal, and our portions reflect that. In other words, we assumed that a side dish, salad or something else would accompany the entrees in most cases.
Kimberly A. Mayone (kimmayone) Sat 13 Mar 04 13:31
Many thanks for the compliments on the recipes. It is always great to hear from users that the recipes taste great. With regard to questions on shorter cooktimes for certain items, it is important to note that certain ingredients respond very well to slow cooking, but not very well to the all day cook time. These include eggs, nuts, some appetizer items (like stroganoff meatballs) and dessert items. There are certainly many recipes that can be put into the slow cooker in the morning while you are heading to work and when you return your house will smell divine and dinner will be finished. One of my favorites for this type of cooking is mexican pot roast. A green salad with avacado, scallions and grape tomatoes and dinner is done. I prefer to save the 3 - 4 hour recipes for weekend lunches or suppers. I often use some of the seafood recipes for entertaining on the weekends (tapenade swordfish with tomato sauce) and creamy blueberry french toast casserole is a perfect addition to any brunch.
Kitty Broihier (kittybroihier) Sun 14 Mar 04 13:00
I threw together the Texas Chili and boy, does it smell good! Perfect day for a nice bowl of chili.....anybody esle slow cooking today?
look, it's all right there in front of you... (cmf) Sun 14 Mar 04 14:12
Was thinking pretty hard about the corn beef recipe as we LOVE corn beef... but we don't drink, so we don't have wine in the house. Typically we'd use a substitute of vinegar and sugar, but of course that's a no-no with the low carb thing. Thoughts?
Anne Boyd (nitpicker) Sun 14 Mar 04 16:05
Actually I had a similar comment to make. (I just picked up the cookbook yesterday, so haven't had time to do more than look through it.) Several of the recipes call for a small quantity of white wine - but a lot of low-carb households aren't likely to have white wine around, as many white wines are relatively high in carbs. I would also note that the format of the recipes makes it hard to see at a glance the most important piece of information I'm looking for first: what kind of meat do I need for this recipe, and how much. There did not seem to be much consistent pattern about how the ingredients are listed, and the meat info tends to be a bit 'buried.' Also in the 'very minor quibbles' department - I think the Double Duty Recipes section is a wonderful idea, but it might be too easy to miss the fact that, for instance, the 40 Clove Garlic Chicken recipe is in that chapter rather than with the other chicken recipes. An easy fix would be to have a little note somewhere near the chicken recipes: "See Also (these recipes on these pages.) So far, the recipes look great, and a lot of really interesting choices. I'm really dying to make the rum and molasses baby back ribs, next time a worthy occasion comes up! (p.s. I would note that there is now low-carb teriyaki sauce available on the market, and if I were to make the teriyaki chicken, that is what I would go for, or make my own teriyaki sauce using Splenda. I really don't feel the need to give the purveyors of high-fructose corn syrup any of my business! The eventual carb count per serving may be minimal, but I and many low-carbers I know would far rather spend our carbs on things that have nutritional value.)
Catie McIntyre Walker (rosebud) Sun 14 Mar 04 17:32
I was delighted to get my hands on this cookbook! Thank you! I work two jobs and go to school part-time, so you can see I do not have a lot of time to cook let alone take care of healthy eating habits. A couple of years ago I sold the old harvest gold crockpot at a yard sale. Finally replaced it a couple of months ago with a nice new white slow cooker and I can hardly wait to give your recipes a try. Although, I haven't tried any of the recipes, I can honestly say that all of them are very appealing to me (with the exception of the one with tofu. don't do tofu - aCk-AcK-ACK! It is the only one. Honest!). Spring break is next week and I am hoping to start in the habit of trying these recipes. Want to start some new habits for Spring quarter. I am not sure which recipe to make first. However, the white chili, egg casserole, blueberry French toast, Mexican pot roast and several of the hot dips keep calling my name. What I have noticed about the recipes is that most of the ingredients are basics that I keep in my cupboard, freezer and items that I normally buy anyway. Easy. Thank you again. This is a great book!
Kitty Broihier (kittybroihier) Mon 15 Mar 04 04:55
I've got a few comments for Nitpicker (how apt!?). Not to worry, neither Kim nor I take offense and constructive criticisms! The more discussion the better! First, we consider wine a flavorful ingredient that is totally worth the carbs. Its contribution to flavor isn't easily matched by any other ingredient. In most cases very little wine is used (and in some cases, such as the corned beef, nearly all the liquid is discarded and not consumed, and little is absorbed into the meat) and therefore the carbs it contributes are quite minimal. In addition, sweet white wine is generally not used in cooking (rather, for after-dinner sipping and the like), drier white wines are not as carb-y. Nevertheless, we can appreciate that not everyone has wine around, nor wishes to include it. When it's used in small quantity, it can just be eliminated from the recipe. As for the format of the recipes, cookbook ingredient lists are most properly written when the inredients are listed in order of use. Therefore, the meat or other main ingredient should never be listed first unless it is used or prepared first. This is not OUR preference, but rather convention in cookbook writing and editing. Sorry it's confusing, but most cookbooks that are written professionally (as opposed to recipes sent in by consumer, etc.) are written in this way. Finally, thanks for the nice comment about the recipes. Do try the ribs, they're really special. When we put this book together last year many low-carb products were not yet on the market. If you find a good substitute for something we've used, that is lower in carbs, by all means use it and consider yourself ahead of the game!!
Kimberly A. Mayone (kimmayone) Mon 15 Mar 04 05:43
In response to the corned beef question and the use of wine in the recipe, you could easily substitute chicken broth or even water. Non-alcoholic beer is another good option. In the corned beef recipe, the wine is simply used to season the meat as it slow cooks, so the recipe is very forgiving. A recipe like beef bouguignon would not be so forgiving as the red wine is an integral part of the dish. If you decide to go ahead with the dish and there are any leftovers, the corned beef and onion hash recipe that follows (double duty) is really fun and yummy with eggs for a big breakfast or easy dinner.
Kimberly A. Mayone (kimmayone) Mon 15 Mar 04 06:33
Another note on wine, very small bottles (caraffes) of Paul Mason Chablis are available at most markets and they make a great pantry item (for cooking only). Another option with wine is to buy a bottle and freeze it as ice cubes to use in cooking. One ice cube is about 2T. Freezing keep the integrity of the wine better than fridge storage. If you use wine in your cooking often, the Paul Mason option works great. As Kitty mentioned, many of the recipes call for a small amount of wine (2T). This amount is just enough to accent and compliment the dish. We find that wine really adds a pleasant dimension of flavor to slow cooked dishes and food in general. The science behind this is that wine contains acids which heighten the flavors of the dish. Fran McCullough, cookbook author and low-carb devotee, lives in California and wine is a part of her lifestyle. I couldn't agree more. Most of the sugars in wine are lost in the process of producing the wine, they become alcohol as the result of fermentation. Yes, all wines do contain some residual sugars to keep the wine balanced, but those sugars are minimal. As Kitty mentioned, unless you are drinking a sweet dessert wine, white zinfandel or Arbor Mist, you needn't worry about the carbs in a small glass (4 -6oz) of white or red wine especially if it is drunk in conjunction with eating. One of my favorite low carb treats is a small glass of good red wine, butter roasted almonds and a small piece of great tasting cheese.
Catie McIntyre Walker (rosebud) Mon 15 Mar 04 09:05
(part-time winemaker, here) Regarding residual sugar in wine: dry wines will have very little residual sugar - 0.1 to 0.2 percent, semi-sweet wines usually range from 1 to 3 percent and of course, dessert wines will be higher. In fact, some of your better labels may even tell you what the RS percent is or tasting notes from your favorite winery will often list the RS.
Kitty Broihier (kittybroihier) Mon 15 Mar 04 09:19
Thanks for the expertise on the wine, rosebud! That should help alleviate some concerns. All in all, however, keep in mind that we're not talking about drowning our low-carb food in wine...just a little bit does the trick in most cases!
look, it's all right there in front of you... (cmf) Mon 15 Mar 04 09:27
Not that there's a right or wrong answer here, but could you guys talk to us about your philosopy regarding Carbs? I think you've both mentioned working modified programs and I think we'd be interested in learning more about them and what you take into consideration when listing carb counts for your book(s).
Catie McIntyre Walker (rosebud) Mon 15 Mar 04 09:41
I enjoy cooking with wine, so it was nice to see your additions of wine in the recipes.
Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Mon 15 Mar 04 13:22
Is there any difference between "slow cooker" and "crock pot?" I'd been thinking that both terms referred to the same appliance but am now wondering if I'm mistaken.
pretty much beets and beef (pellmell) Mon 15 Mar 04 13:33
"Crock Pot" is a trademark of Rival. Slow cooker is the generic term. Kleenex, tissues Levi's, jeans Crock Pot, slow cooker
Ron Sipherd (ronks) Mon 15 Mar 04 13:42
> any difference between "slow cooker" and "crock pot?" We once had a bean pot electric thingie that was a really slow cooker; hanging a light bulb inside it would have probably been faster. Great book, BTW! I'm working my way through it now and marking recipes I want to try. A question; on page 7 it says "we advise you to skim or pour off the fat after the dish has cooked and before serving". In my experience that's easier said than done; our 6-quart crock is very heavy when full, and hard to skim. What we mostly do in cases where there is enough fat to worry about is fish the first meal's contents up with a slotted spoon, then let the crock cool, refrigerate it, and the next day remove the solidified fat on top. If there's a better way, I'd love to hear it. Full disclosure: I am not a low-carber, but I am a low-cholesteroler who likes slow cooking (albeit faster than said bean pot, which needed about 24 hours). Which leads me to a second question about low-carbing in general; how difficult is it to reconcile with other restrictions such as cholesterol?
Anne Boyd (nitpicker) Mon 15 Mar 04 13:51
Thanks for the good suggestions regarding wine. *My* personal problem with wine is that I like it a little too much...and that I am a confirmed cheapskate...so I'll buy a big box, for instance, instead of the mini bottles, or too much of the good cheap stuff from Trader Joe's (I live in California too!) and then it's all to easy to drink too much of it when it's hanging around the house. Of course, for weight loss purposes (since alcohol has calories independent of carb count), it's better to control portions anyway....so the mini bottles are something I should try to get more often. If convention calls for the ingredients to be listed in a certain order, it seems to me that a simple way to make the key ingredient stand out would be to either separate it by spaces, bold it, or print it in a different color. I've also seen recipes where the key ingredient(s) is/are called out in some fashion at the beginning of the recipe. Of course, not all recipes have key ingredients that are that clear-cut, but when you're talking about a pot roast.... I guess this occurred to me as a nitpick, not just because I AM a confirmed nitpicker (too many years working in publishing didn't help), but because meat stresses me out. I do not mean that I don't like meat - I love it, and I am all for eating it, and believe it to be healthy. (While of course acknowledging that we need to be mindful of what goes into the meat we eat, how the animals are treated, what they are fed, etc. That's the reason I started the "Ethical Carnivore" topic over in the lowcarb conference.) No, the reason meat stresses me out is that I don't fully understand it - what the different cuts are, what alternate names are used for the cuts, etc. [Seems to me I could use a really good reference book on meat - any suggestions?] So when I look at a recipe I first and foremost seek to understand what cut of meat I'm going to need - and, not incidentally, how much I might expect to pay for it. Because I'm always struggling with this, it's nice to have that info stand out when I look at a recipe. (And in fact, it's also nice to know about possible substitutions - which I note that several of these recipes do mention. When you go to the store looking for X, but you notice that Y is on a fantastic sale, well, my inclination would be to figure out some way to use Y. But I don't like dragging cookbooks to the grocery store!)
Anne Boyd (nitpicker) Mon 15 Mar 04 13:55
<ronks> slipped. I would count myself among the many who had high cholesterol on a low-fat diet, and whose cholesterol normalized on a low-carb diet, even though I eat eggs and red meat, and plenty of both. You are certainly welcome to the lowcarb conference for a more complete discussion of this, but the short answer I would give is that cholesterol levels don't seem to be directly linked to dietary cholesterol intake - witness the many people who go on low-cholesterol diets and continue to have high cholesterol. It has been hypothesized that abnormal cholesterol profiles actually result from other factors, most notably, hyperinsulinemia. So a low-carb diet, which normalizes insulin levels by controlling blood sugar, can actually improve your cholesterol profile. And recent studies have tended to bear this out. Of course, to control hyperinsulinemia/insulin resistance, the other two crucial factors are to exercise more, and to eat less in general. Low carb diets, when followed faithfully, tend to allow you to be more satisfied with smaller portion sizes, for a variety of reasons. Many people who are new to low-carbing eat much larger portions for a while, and then gradually find that their hunger levels are controlled much better and that they naturally eat less.
Kitty Broihier (kittybroihier) Mon 15 Mar 04 14:25
Great comments about wine inclusion on a low carb diet, and also about meat. Again, regarding the layout of the recipes, etc. it was completely out of our hands as authors. To be completely honest, we didn't really like a few things about the typestyle and book style itself, but that's another topic.... I agree that some recipes are harder to read than others; we hope you'll be intrigued enough with our recipe/ideas that you'll stick with them until you find the meat or other key ingredients in the ingredient lists! Okay, about our "carb philosophy"....not sure we actually have something as "big" as a philosophy, but we did discuss in the beginning of the book how we arrived at our nutritional information. Basically, I use a well-regarded nutritional analysis program that I update regularly, using information from product labels. That way I can be sure that the program is using the same ingredients that we actually cooked with, to be the most accurate. Obviously, as many people have mentioned, portion size is still important in low-carb diets, in order to achieve weight loss. Neverheless, both Kim and I feel that because of the drastic reduction of starchy carbs such as potatoes, rice, etc. that our entree portions may need to be a tad larger than typical in order to provide satiety to the eater. In other words, if we're skipping the bready stuff, we need to make up for it somewhere in order to feel full after a meal! While working on the book Kim and I arrived at what we felt were important ingredients to keep including, regardless of carb content, in order to maintain good food flavor and recipe "integrity." Wine is one of those foods, as are real onions (although we do use dehydrated onions at times), and sometimes carrots and beans. For example, to us, chili contains beans (unless it's Texas Chili, which I made yesterday BTW, and it was as delish as I recall from our testing days). So, our chili recipes contain beans, as you'll notice. Beans are relatively high in carbs, but also contain fiber and in our opinion, they're crucial in chili! Others may differ in opnion, of course. So you'll see throughout the book that our personal preferences show through, as does our carb "philosophy." Neither of us strictly follow Atkins or South Beach, although we've both done the initial phases of them and lived through it just fine. I guess I'd summarize our low-carb status as: keeping the obvious carbs way down, but allowing small amounts of some carbs that we consider personally or "culinarily" curcial. For me, I need milk/dairy, and now that the low carb yogurt is on the market, I'm happy. I was in major milk withdrawal and decided to let myself have 1 cup of skim milk per day. I personally don't care for the low carb milk for drinking, although it does make a good ingredient in some other things. In
Kitty Broihier (kittybroihier) Mon 15 Mar 04 14:28
Now that I've given some info our the thinking behind our book, I would like to add (to nitpicker's point) that in many cases our noted portion sizes are not large, but farily normal. Many low-carbers do experience decreased hunger and do seem satisfied with smaller portions. Our recipes, as we note in the beginning of the book, are not necessarily low in calorie, and with "richer" food one can eat a smaller amount and be happy with it! Getting to eat these types of foods is one of the great benefits of low-carb dieting, according to Kim, and I'd have to agree!
My Pseud was sent to India (gerry) Mon 15 Mar 04 14:50
> I personally don't care for the low carb milk for drinking, although it does make a good ingredient in some other things. < Any experience with unsweetened soy milk as a subsititute?
Ron Sipherd (ronks) Mon 15 Mar 04 16:42
> cholesterol levels don't seem to be directly linked to dietary > cholesterol intake Opinions vary on that. My doctor thinks it matters, and I have seen a decrease in blood-serum cholesterol levels after following a low-fat diet. I'm not really looking to debate the issue; I find that dietary fat matters, I'm acting on it, and I wonder how it can be reconciled with a low-carb diet.
Kimberly A. Mayone (kimmayone) Mon 15 Mar 04 16:59
I have done some work with unsweetened soy as a base for smoothies, but find it truly benefits from a dash of splenda, a pinch of kosher salt and a smidgen of vanilla. Soy is definitely an acquired taste that most people do not embrace unless forced to because of an allergy or a desire to improve one's health (cholesterol reduction). Obviously a vegan would always opt for soy milk, but a vegan diet is rarely low-carb due to the typical inclusion of grains and fruits. With regard to using any type of "milk" in a slow cooker. It should always be added towards the end of cooking. The long slow cooking will cause the milk to seperate and look quite yucky.
Kimberly A. Mayone (kimmayone) Mon 15 Mar 04 17:12
Meat induced stress is quite normal. Different cuts of meat vary in price, purpose, nutrition etc. The same cut of meat might have different names depending on the grocery store and the geographical region. Some self-education might be helpful here. I swear by my very basic Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook (red & white check) when it comes to meats. My book is at least 10 years old, but I often use it as a reference when trying to figure out what to do with a cut of meat that I picked up on sale. Another idea is to talk to the butcher at your market, people who cut up meat for a living generally know what to do with it and how to cook it. I am lucky to have a former chef working as a butcher at my local grocery store. He is a huge asset to me when I am perplexed by a cut of meat.
Members: Enter the conference to participate