January – Fast Metabolism – Phase 2 Day 2

January – Fast Metabolism – Phase 2 Day 2

Day 4 of the Fast Metabolism Diet. How are you feeling? I woke up this morning with more energy than usual and I don’t miss that morning dose of caffeine…progress. I am experimenting with herbal teas. Do you have a favorite for the morning? The Numi teas with turmeric have been my “go to’s” so far but I am looking forward to branching out.

As a reminder of today’s program:

Breakfast – Protein, veggie

Snack – Protein

Lunch – Protein, veggie

Snack – Protein

Dinner – Protein, veggie

My own menu looks like this for the day:

Breakfast – 2 slices of turkey bacon scrambled with 2 egg whites and a handful of baby spinach

Turkey Bacon with Egg Whites and Baby Spinach

Snack – 1/4 cup of mixed raw nuts

LunchTurkey breast with a salad of sliced cucumbers and red onions

Turkey Breast – Cooked Frozen and Sous Vide

 

Snack – 1/4 cup of mixed raw nuts

Dinner – 1 slice of turkey bacon sautéed with shrimp. Asparagus on the side.

 

Casey and Quinn get the benefit of those lovely yolks in their dinner tonight.

Egg yolks

Egg yolks? For us??? We are digesting breakfast and keeping you company while you write.

Don’t forget your water and phase 2 exercise includes some form of weight work. Take heart, phase 3 and avocado is on the horizon.

January – Sous Vide Frozen Turkey Breast

January – Sous Vide Frozen Turkey Breast

One of the wonderful things about sous vide is that you can cook your food while it is still frozen…yes, frozen solid. You only need to increase the cooking time by half. For example, if something takes 4 hours normally, cook it for 6 if frozen. Even better, the maximum timing is flexible. Need to be out of the house for 8 hours? No problem.

Cooking things frozen allows you to take advantage of periodic sales, like the one recently for post holiday season boneless turkey breasts. After all it would still take at least overnight to thaw in your fridge, no waiting for that thaw time. And it comes out as if it had been cooked fresh.

I purchased an organic boneless turkey breast just after New Year’s and popped it in my freezer. Before putting it in a bag for vacuum sealing (you can also use a heavy duty ziplock bag), I browned it…yes still frozen, and after browning rubbed it well with salt and herbs de Provence. Then I vacuum sealed it in the bag and placed it in my sous vide water bath which had been preheated to 134 degrees F. Normal cooking times for a turkey breast are 8 to 24 hours. The frozen breast will take longer of course. It could be done in 12 hours but can go much longer. It will become even more tender with longer cooking time, but don’t go overboard as it will turn to mush. I cooked mine for about 28 hours.

Browned Turkey Breast

Turkey Breast Vacuum Sealed and Ready to Cook

We Are Cooking

Be sure the water covers the top of your bag and cover your container with a lid or plastic wrap. 24 hours is a long time and the water will evaporate otherwise. You don’t want to have to get up in the middle of the night to check the water level.

It turned out tender and delicious. If you are serving it warm, I would brown it again. But because this was intended for sandwiches and cold meals I didn’t bother.

Overnight Sous Vide Turkey Breast

Sous Vide Turkey Breast – Fresh or Frozen

  1. Preheat the sous vide water bath to 134 degrees F
  2. Brown the fresh or frozen turkey breast in olive oil, concentrating on the skin side
  3. When cool, rub with salt and your herb of choice (I used herb de Provence)
  4. Seal in a vacuum bag or place in a heavy duty ziplock bag.
  5. Immerse in the water bath, using the water displacement method to force out any air in a ziplock bag. Make sure the turkey breast is covered by the water.
  6. Cover your water bath with plastic wrap or a lid.
  7. Cook for 8 to 24 hours if fresh, 12 to 30 if frozen.
  8. If serving warm you may want to brown it again.
January – Fast Metabolism – Phase 2 Day 1

January – Fast Metabolism – Phase 2 Day 1

How are you feeling? It’s day three if you are following along, time for protein. According to Haylie, Phase 2 is designed to unlock your fat stores. It’s 2 days of low carbohydrate, high protein foods. During these two days you will eat 3 high-protein, low-carb, low-fat meals plus 2 protein snacks.

Refer to the complete food list in the book.

Breakfast – Protein, veggie

Snack – Protein

Lunch – Protein, veggie

Snack – Protein

Dinner – Protein, veggie

The vegetables should be low-glycemic ones like leafy greens, which are also alkalizing. After the carbohydrate rich days which came before, this shakes things up a bit.

Expect to visit the bathroom more frequently if you are keeping up with your water.

Your menu could look like this:

Breakfast – 4 slices of turkey bacon (nitrate free) sautéed with sliced mushrooms and baby kale leaves

Nitrate Free Turkey Bacon

Snack – 1/4 cup of mixed raw nuts (no peanuts)

Lunch – Thinly sliced turkey breast wrapped around asparagus stalks (with mustard)

Snack – 1/4 cup of mixed raw nuts

Dinner – Sautéed steak with cabbage

Sautéed Turkey Bacon with Mushrooms and Baby Kale

Sautéed Turkey Bacon with Mushrooms and Baby Kale

Serves 1

  • 4 slices nitrate free turkey breast
  • 4 large fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • large handful of baby kale or baby spinach leaves
  • Optional: pinch of red pepper flakes
  1. Cut the turkey bacon into 3/4 inch slices and saute in a non-stick skillet on medium until starting to brown.
  2. Add the sliced mushrooms and a tablespoon of water to the skillet.
  3. Saute until the mushrooms soften
  4. Add the handful of baby kale or spinach with the optional pepper flakes and keep stirring until wilted.
  5. Taste for salt, it may not need any as the turkey bacon is salty.

Note: if you are not on the diet, a couple of eggs scrambled in before the kale would be yummy!

Turkey Bacon with Sliced Mushrooms and Baby Kale

January – Stir-fried Steak with Baby Bok Choy, Garlic, Ginger, Red Onion and Cannellini Beans

January – Stir-fried Steak with Baby Bok Choy, Garlic, Ginger, Red Onion and Cannellini Beans

This recipe is a quick weeknight dinner idea. You could make this vegetarian by leaving out the steak (of course) and adding an extra can of cannelini beans or, even better, use edamami beans instead. The addition of the beans allows you to stretch the steak, making more servings.

Stir-fried Steak with Baby Bok Choy, Garlic, Ginger, Red Onion and Canellini beans

Steak and Bok Choy

Serves 3 – 4 

  • 12 oz of steak, cut into strips
  • About 4-6 baby bok choy – mine were on the large size so I used only 4
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 large red onion, chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 3 thin slices of fresh ginger
  • 1/4 Tsp salt
  • 2 tablespoons of tamari or to taste
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes

Directions:

  1. Drain and rinse cannellini beans
  2. Cut off the end stems of Bok choy freeing up the leaves
  3. Cut the stems into slices and leave the leaves whole.
  4. Separately rinse the stems and leaves of bok choy, dirt hides in the stems where they attach to the base. I found a salad spinner helpful. Dry each but keep them separate.
  5. Chop the onion into medium dice and finely chop the garlic
  6. Sauté onion, garlic, ginger and the pinch of crushed red pepper flakes with 1/4 Tsp salt in 1 Tbsp of water in a non-stick pan on medium heat until softened. Add more water if things get too dry but don’t add too much. The leaves and stems of the bok choy will release water.
  7. Add in bok choy stems, steak and 1 tablespoon of tamari, cook until the stems start to soften and steak looses it’s pink color, about 3 minutes
  8. Uncover and add the leaves of the bok choy and the beans, use tongs every minute while sautéing for another 3 minutes til tender but still crisp.
  9. Add the second tablespoon of tamari and toss.
  10. Remove the steak and vegetables to a serving dish, cook down any liquid until saucy and pour over the dish.

Note: a drizzle of roasted sesame oil would be delicious. Extra tamari at the table is a welcome addition.

I realize that many of the recipes over the next few weeks are on the comparatively bland side compared to my “usual” recipes. That is because they are designed to support a group who are following the Fast Metabolism Diet for 28 days. Don’t worry, the jacked up seasoning will be back. And, I may come back and “redo” some of these recipes.

But, meanwhile I think many people like simpler food without a lot of fancy ingredients. At the end of 28 days last May my taste buds had changed, I detected the sweetness of bok choy and the meatiness of the steak, my ability to taste more subtle flavors had become more acute. I didn’t need as much seasoning. Some folks are naturally that way and so these recipes will work for them as written. Feel free to use the recipes as a jumping off spot to your own creativity.

Serve with brown rice.

This is a phase 1 lunch or dinner for the Fast Metabolism Diet. In phase 1 serve it with with 1/2 cup of rice (the beans count as part of your starch). It is also a  phase 2 lunch or dinner prepared without the beans.

Steak and Bok Choy

Steak and Bok Choy

Beans and Stems Added

Steak and Bok Choy with Cannellini beans

I love your comments and ideas, please keep them coming.

January – Overnight Oatmeal – Sous Vide or Slow Cooker

January – Overnight Oatmeal – Sous Vide or Slow Cooker

Have you ever cooked your oatmeal in your slow cooker? If so, you know what a cleanup mess it is. Ta da! Here is the solution…cook it in individual serving jars or larger jars for 2 servings or cook it sous vide overnight. Why didn’t I think of that? This helpful tip came from a neighbor and friend. Thank you Josh and Juliette.

There is a backstory to this recipe. We locked ourselves out of the house a few mornings ago, seriously we had just installed a fancy new front door lock and not gotten around to hiding a key. Dumb eh? Thank goodness our neighbor was up, had coffee ready as well as good conversation which turned to sous vide oatmeal. We had an hour to wait until someone with a key showed up. I can talk about food anytime and the two of them are definitely foodies. You might ask, what were we doing out in the yard in our pajamas (without our cell phones) in the early morning? Well, if you are a regular reader of this blog you will know that we are getting ready to sell our Oakland house. This has been difficult for us all but even harder on Casey and Quinn, or dogs. Quinn is a bit of a nervous nelly anyway and she started drinking huge amounts of water. We feared the worst and spent many hundreds of dollars in tests at the vet, which were all negative. But, the last test for diabetes required a first morning urine sample. Yep, that is what we were doing out in the yard while it was still dark, collecting pee. What we do for our furry friends! The lock out seemed symbolic in a way, the house saying “You want to leave me? Then I will kick you out!”.

Warm and friendly neighbors with coffee and cell phones are priceless.

I digress, back to food. This recipe will work on a slow cooker set on low, or with your sous vide machine. You will need to add water to the slow cooker – just up to an inch below the rim of the jars. Then set it on low for overnight.

My sous vide maker decided to give up the ghost and I had to order a new one from Amazon. Sorry that this has delayed the posting of the recipe. I will make these in single (1 cup) serving sizes, each in a pint canning jar. That way there is room for you to stir in milk, butter, or some other flavorings after it is cooked. I found all that was needed was a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Steel Cut Oatmeal

This is a life changer as far as oatmeal is concerned. The oats come out creamy but with a tiny bite of texture in the middle, much as you would want in a great risotto. The freeze dried fruit melted in and gave a slight hint of sweetness and flavor, the oats were the star however.

The directions below are written for steel cut oats. You can certainly use rolled oats (I will try them next and let you know) or another type, check the package directions for the oatmeal to liquid ratio before beginning, it could be different from those given below.

Sous Vide Overnight Oatmeal with Strawberries

Overnight Sous Vide or Slow Cooker Oatmeal

For each 1 cup serving:

  • 1/4 cup steel cut oats
  • 1/2 cup water, oat milk or rice milk or regular milk or even half and half
  • 1/2 cup water
  • pinch of salt
  • optional – freeze dried fruit (I used strawberries and blueberries)
  1. Set up the sous vide machine, fill a pan with water to what will be an inch below the rim of the canning jars. Make sure that the water is above the minimum of your sous vide machine.
  2. Or, add water to your slow cooker to the same line. You want the water to be higher than the oatmeal but about an inch below the rim of the jars.
  3. Preheat your sous vide machine to 155 degrees F.
  4. Set you slow cooker to low.
  5. Add 1/4 cup of steel cut oats to each jar (add any optional freeze dried fruit)
  6. Add 1/2 cup water, oat milk or rice milk to the jar.
  7. Add another 1/2 cup of water on top.
  8. Add the pinch of salt and stir. Screw on the jar lids and settle the jars in the water.
  9. Cook for at least 8 hours or overnight (mine cooked for about 10).

Note: You can make a larger portion in a gallon freezer bag if you have a lot of mouths to feed, it will work in both the slow cooker and sous vide. Make sure the bag’s top stays above the water level.

Sous vide water bath set up with 2 canning jars

Sous Vide Overnight Oatmeal

I am telling you, I am not a huge oatmeal fan but these were a game changer. Just the right consistency, creamy but not heavy.

2 phase 1 breakfasts already cooked. I will reheat the other tomorrow morning.

Update: I did an experiment last night with cooking other types of oatmeal sous vide, and varying amounts of liquid. I found that the overnight cooking did not require a change in the package recommended oats to liquid ratio. And, I much prefer the steel cup oats to regular rolled oats (even the more expensive organic type). Another recommendation is to try and find unsweetened oat milk and replace half the recommended liquid with oat milk. Of course you could also use regular milk or half and half (rice milk didn’t do much) or coconut milk…oh my the possibilities. But in phase 1 stick to oat milk. This time I didn’t add any fruit. The freeze dried fruit is definitely the best choice. If using any other type (including raisins) add them after the oatmeal is cooked. The possible exception would be apples which will dissolve into an apply saucy oatmeal mix.