Thursday, July 2, 2009

Nutritious, energy-giving food on the go

One worry that people may have about cutting the refined carbs out of their diet and eating more animal products is that making meals will take much longer than before. I mean, it's hard to compete with a microwave pizza that's done in three minutes. So here are 2 quick meals, 2 snacks, and 1 drink that will make you sure get enough protein, fat, cholesterol, and vitamins that only animal products provide.

Meal 1

4 slices of pepperoni
2 slices of pastrami
2 slices of liverwurst (or other liver product)
2 eggs
Cream cheese
2 mini bell peppers (or other low-carb acidic vegetable)

Poach the eggs and cut each in half parallel to the ground, making 4 discs. (If you know you won't have much time to cook on a certain day, poach and refrigerate them beforehand.) Cut each pepperoni slice in half to make 8 half-moon shapes, and stack two of these on top of each other, to make 4 stacks. Place one stack on top of each egg disc. Cut each slice of liverwurst in half to make 4, and place one on top of the pepperoni. Then cut the pastrami slices in half to make 4, and place these on top of the liverwurst, making sure to fold it to keep it from spilling far off the side.

Then cut the stem parts off the peppers and slice each in half lengthwise, to make 4 halves. Put a pat of cream cheese on the inner side of each, and use this to glue them on top of the pastrami slices.

This is definitely a rich meal (it will look like a couple snacks, but it will fill you up). However, the acidity and crunch from the peppers balances it out. It tastes somewhat like an omelette, but without the oxidized cholesterol.

Meal 2

4 oz of smoked salmon
2 eggs
1/2 roma tomato
Cream cheese

This is basically lox and cream cheese but substituting eggs for the bagels.

Poach the eggs and cut in half to make 4 discs. Stack 1 oz of salmon on top of each, and stack 1 slice of the tomato on top of the salmon. Place a pat of cream cheese on top.

If getting 1 oz of salmon to stay is iffy, leave some on the side and use the other half of the tomato (sliced) and more cheese to make similar stacks (just with no eggs). Again, it's pretty rich, but the tomato will provide just enough crunch and sweetness.

Snack 1

2 mini bell peppers (on the large size -- as far as mini peppers go)
1 oz pate or liver mousse
1/4-inch thick slice of cheddar cheese (made from raw milk is best)

Cut the stem parts off the peppers and slice in half lengthwise. Cut the pate or mousse into 4 equal portions, and spread them along the inside of each pepper half. Cut the cheese into 4 equal portions, and use the pate or mousse to glue them on top.

Yep, another super-rich taste but with enough crunch and acidity to make it taste not quite so fatty.

Snack 2

Almond butter made only from almonds (i.e., no added sugar, agave syrup, etc.)
Butter from pastured cows

If you eat a ton of this -- and that's not hard to do -- your carb count will reach non-trivial levels, so make sure to eat this only when the rest of your day's food won't be pushing the per-meal limit for carbs.

Open up the block of butter and use a spoon to shave off a thin piece of the butter, then use the spoon to take a small amount of the almond butter -- there should only be 50-100% as much of the almond butter as the cow's butter. Repeat! The texture is best when the almond butter is crunchy and refrigerated.

My housemate looks at me like I'm crazy when I'm spooning a bunch of butter (cut with almond butter) straight into my mouth, but this is the best tasting savory snack I've ever had. You do have to use butter from pastured cows -- it's not that much more expensive -- because the taste is remarkably different from feed-lot butter.


If you're really in a hurry, just make sure you have some of Turtle Mountain's So Delicious Coconut Milk beverage handy -- unsweetened, of course.

Or else make a cup of tea (caffeinated or not, herbal or not, just unsweetened), and when it's done steeping, mix in a tablespoon or two of coconut oil. It melts at body temperature, so it'll incorporate pretty well into the tea, although there may be some droplets that form on top.

This is a great way to get more anti-microbial lauric acid into your diet, since it's hard to get without coconuts (by far the #1 source of it). And I can't stand the taste of coconuts. The oil tastes pretty mild and is hardly noticeable when mixed in with tea.

None of these takes more than 10 minutes to make, and they will leave you full and energized. They'll also cover most of your vitamin intake for the day. You may need to throw in a handful of almonds or some Atkins ice cream -- AKA, berries drowned in heavy whipping cream -- to cover vitamins E and C, but getting these vitamins rarely takes lots of cooking time. It's A, D, and the B complex that require food that could take a long time to prepare. But by eating cured meats, some of which should always contain liver for vitamin A, you can skip a lot of cooking time when you're in a rush.


  1. Charles from AnaheimJuly 2, 2009 at 9:00 AM


    I'm worried about consuming sodium nitrates. Do you have a brand of pastrami and pepperoni that you buy that doesn't have them?

  2. Could you explain why an omelette has oxidized cholesterol but poached eggs don't? Isn't the heat applied about the same? Or is it something else?

  3. Braunschweiger > liverwurst. Not by a large margin, nutritionally (they are after all pretty similar stuff) but it also tastes a little bit better in my opinion.

  4. I'm worried about consuming sodium nitrates

    As far as I know, they aren't that bad for you. Nitrates come more from vegetables than cured meat. If your diet and/or supplements have antioxidants, you should be fine. IIRC, though, Applegate Farms has nitrite-free meats.

    Could you explain why an omelette has oxidized cholesterol but poached eggs don't?

    It's breaking the yolk, although I'm not sure of the mechanism -- maybe increased surface area of the yolk when it breaks and runs all over, vs. minimizing surface area when poached or fried sunny-side up (spherical).

    Braunschweiger > liverwurst.

    I agree, I think that's what I eat.

  5. The yolk doesn't get exposed to air (while heated) if you fry or poach the egg. That's the theory regarding oxidation, anyway. I don't know whether I buy the theory but I do prefer fried eggs to scrambled.


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