Kitchen tricks (2)
Published: Fall 2006
Kitchen tricks volume 2!
It's that time again. Time to add more time saving, healthy, cheap shot tricks to your culinary repertoire with the second volume of kitchen tricks! This time Antoine isn't around, so it's a Jujimufu day! And Jujimufu is feeling mighty horny. I mean... It's time to trick
in the kitchen!
Reduce sodium in canned meat
- Ummm.. Why do they charge more
for reduced sodium or sodium free canned meat? Fuck them. Go get the metal colander,
dump that shit in, and rinse with both the stream and shower faucet systems.
- Taste. You should be able to taste a difference. It will no longer have a taste. Hah! Well, some canned meats like chicken and turkey could actually taste better after rinsing.
Cheap berries and other fruits
Purchasing fresh blueberries, raspberries, and black berries is
like taking a gun out and pumping your wallet full of lead. Fresh berries are expensive and aren't always as nutritious as their frozen counterparts. Why? Fresh isn't always fresh. Fresh produce will sit out in the store for days rotting. Frozen fruits and berries are picked and flash frozen, retaining much of their nutritional value. Thaw them out by tossing them in a colander (the same one you de-sodiumized your canned meat in) and rinsing them in luke warm water. Or umm... Add them frozen into shakes. Add in frozen berries to really hot oatmeal and it cools the cooked oatmeal and thaws the berries simultaneously. Buy frozen fruits FTW!
Frozen veggies in a shake
A quick addition to the madness in the first kitchen tricks
series, frozen vegetables in the shake! Why frozen veggies? Because colder ingredients will reduce the amount of ice needed to get the drink cold. Less ice is good. Less ice results in better taste and consistency, while less ice also enhances the shake life.
Personal recommendations: Any vegetables that fit in your
blender frozen. Frozen broccoli, green beans, chopped spinach, whatever. This
brings us to our next trick:
The classic frozen banana
- I mentioned this very briefly in the last kitchen tricks volume and decided to rehash it for emphasis. This is how we've done
it at my gym for as long as I can remember. The big boss buys about eight dozen
bananas, slices all of them, then stores each in its own ziploc. All of these
bananas sit in the back freezer until we use them. Now, at work we usually go
through all of these bananas in less than two weeks, but the freezer life is really
good. They should last for at least a couple months.
- Now, what are the advantages of using the frozen banana method? Three things. One) Next time you've got bananas sitting around, turning black in your house you don't have to eat them in a hurry so they don't go to waste. Slice them and toss em in the freezer.
Great way to save money, save food, and not get fat from over-banana'ing. Two) Remember, we always want to add as little ice to a shake as possible for the best taste, consistency, and fridge life. LESS ICE! LESS ICE! Three) If you make simple whey + banana + milk shakes, then wait until you taste it with a frozen banana instead of the ones sitting on your kitchen counter: It's orgasmic.
- Happy Helloween! I want to see more people eat pumpkin. Pumpkin, a popular winter squash, is exploding with goodness and coolness. What's
not to love? They have a great shelf life, they're orange and scary looking, they're
big, they're super healthy, they have a nice distinctive (buttery) taste, they kick ass! I'm gonna show
you some ways to get pumpkin in your diet.
- The hard way: Buy a pumpkin. Cut it. Cook it. Eat it. Ok I like to batch steam it, scoop out the flesh and feast on it for
the week; I add it to stuff like oatmeal, shakes, yogurt, or just by itself. You
can put that into a blender and make a pumpkin pudding thing. That's like canned
- Here is what happens after you gut them and chop them up like uhhhhhhh... firewood. Pumpkin wood. You can eat the guts raw, cook that, or whatever.
- And after steaming or boiling, you will scrape the flesh right off the shell. Make sure to run cold water over your hands while doing this, unless you want to lose feeling in your fingers as they burn.
- Toss into a container and eat off that for awhile. Good shit. Or you can toss this into a blender to create a pumpkin mush as I mentioned earlier. Eat fresh pumpkin at least one time in your life. Seriously!
- The easiest way: Buy canned pumpkin. Canned pumpkin is good too. Again, you can add it to oatmeal, shakes, yogurt, pancakes (get to that soon) or just by itself. Canned pumpkin tends to taste a bit more consistent and possibly sweeter.
- Does it get any better than this? Just one ingredient. PUMPKIN.
- Pumpkin ice cubes: And you thought I was done expounding the greatness of frozen stuff in shakes. Buy canned pumpkin, get a muffin tray or ice cube tray (or something similar.) Now, important: WIPE A SMALL AMOUNT OF OLIVE OIL ON THE LINING OF THE CAVITIES. Now scoop in the canned pumpkin and freeze.
- You can place that in a larger freezer ziploc for neatness.
- Pumpkin ice cubes take three
minutes to prepare for freezing. Come on, do it! Buy canned pumpkin - Open
can - Lube tray - Scoop into slots - Freeze! Now when you want pumpkin in
your shake, you just get a simple kitchen knife and dig it out of the tray.
Sometimes, if you lube up the cavities efficiently, you can just twist them
right out! Pumpkin is super healthy and tastes uniquely delicious.
- Had enough of the virtues of frozen things in shakes? Your blender is cursing me now, let's clean it real good. Here's a cool trick, the SOAP SMOOTHIE. Just put in some hot water and a bit of detergent in the blender.
- TURN ON! Make it more ballistic and get some of the crud cleaned out by adding some ice cubes: Kind of like a pinball screwing everything up in the game, but in this case it's an ice cube clearing the path. Dump this out, add in more water and repeat until clean.
- What's this? Ah! A vanilla smoothie!
- *Gulp* *Gulp* *Gulp*
Cottage cheese tricks
I've always felt cottage cheese was similar to oatmeal in versatility. You
can dress it up in a number of ways by adding in different stuff; Or, you can
dress other meals up by adding in cottage cheese. Here are some no brainers
and a couple nifty little nuggets:
No brainer: Add cottage cheese to a salad. Just try it.
Nifty nugget: Add in some fiber or flax meal into your cottage cheese. Since
cottage cheese tends to bind you up, the additional fiber is a welcome addition.
Plus (+) The fiber will slow digestion. If you are eating cottage cheese in
your sleep stack, adding in a serving of fiber (psyllium husk seed)
such as that in Metamucil or a store brand equivalent, is gonna be awesome.
Flax seed is also high in fiber and a great source of EFAs, add that in too.
No brainer: Thaw out some of those frozen berries we talked about earlier and mix them in the cottage cheese. Try adding in some nuts.
Nifty nugget: Add crystal lite. Yeah, you know the sugar-free drink stuff.
You can buy a box of that crystal lite on the go stuff for use in water
bottles, dump that in your cottage cheese and mix it up. Soon you'll have some
clown shit that tastes... Well it'll taste good or bad depending on the flavor
of crystal lite you choose. Lemonade, in my opinion, is definitely a no no.
Raspberry ice is pretty good though. You can also try some flavor packs from
true protein.com / I'm one of the few privileged people (I'm sure) who has had
root beer flavored cottage cheese. Pretty kick ass if I say so myself.
No brainer: Don't care for flavor but want to sweeten it up a tad? Just add a bit of splenda, or sugar if you could care less about the additional carbohydrates.
Nifty Nugget: Cottage cheese veggie dip. Just mix a little bit of milk with some cottage cheese and half a package or so of onion soup mix or vegetable soup mix. Grab your veggies and snort like a pig!
No brainer: Add whey. Chocolate whey + Cottage cheese = Chocolate cottage cheese.
Uhh duhh... And so on and so forth for all the other infinite flavors of whey.
Final piece: The cottage cheese desert! This is more of a cheat meal depending on what exactly you add from the following suggestions: You can add in some sugar-free jello gelatin for a guilt free adventure into the world of cottage cheese and jello. Add in whipped cream, peanut butter, chocolate syrup, caramel, ice cream. Yeah, this has gotten out of hand.
Enough cottage cheese tricks.
Captain obvious here to report the following: You can replace high fructose
shit syrups and high carbohydrate sauces with a good hot sauce. Hot sauce is
infinitely manlier (if you're a male), sexier (if you're a female), and healthier
(if you're a male or female). Hot pepper sauces heat things up quick and clean
off driveway grease stains!
Microwave eggs (in cup, glass, or mug)
This is another filler, not a really good trick. Anyway, try cooking or eating
certain foods out of a mug. There is something cumbersome about a bowl when you
just want an egg or two. Put them in a mug, whip em up even faster, and microwave.
Now you have eggs in a cup! You can eat other foods out of a mug too; Don't limit
yourself to plates and bowls.
- This isn't a trick either, just a slap in the face. If you don't have a steamer you MUST get one. I don't know how I ever lived without them. Well, I just ate shitty canned veggies (which are terrible nutritionally speaking) or microwaved my vegetables (which bluntly destroys the nutritional value of the food). Steaming is the healthiest and tastiest way to get your veggies in, and it's VERY quick.
- Here is how my steamer works, many differ. I put a small amount of water in the tall pot (the thing I'm wearing on my head in the previous picture) and set it on the stove. It comes to a boil and above there is a metal net and lid where the veggies enjoy a nice sauna. In about five to seven minutes after the steaming process starts the vegetables are ready to eat. So it usually takes about eleven minutes to finish from when I first turn the stove power on. Delicious!
- Hard boiled eggs + steamer: Here's a quick cheap trick I can throw in while we are talking about steamers. Ok, I use the steamer about three times a day. I eat vegetables at all my meals (yes, I eat a lot of veggies at breakfast too) / Plus I LOOOOVE hard boiled eggs. By adding a bit more water to my steamer I can toss in some eggs in the boil and steam the veggies simultaneously. I leave the eggs to boil after I dish out the veggies and eat my breakfast. The eggs finish about the same time I finish my meal. So when I'm cleaning up my dishes I go ahead and get the eggs out. VOILA! Kill two birds with one stone (note: I would never kill a bird. I love birds.) You can also boil meat, have you ever boiled meat before? You should.
Cheap flax (and crushed testicles)
- Buying pre-ground flaxseed is another one of those bad financial decisions. You can buy the actual seed (pictured) MUCH cheaper and enjoy a MUCH longer and simpler shelf life. Here's how it works: Pre-ground flax is available in a vacuum pack. Once you open it you must eat it in within roughly thirty days before it goes bad. All the while this pack must be refrigerated. ARGH! Ok, but buying the flax seeds whole can sit on a shelf for over a year. I found this out at Antoine's this summer. The year before (2005) he took off with one of my whole flax seed packs. He hadn't eaten them, so a whole year later I ended up eating them when I visited his house! One year later and they're still fresh! Plus he didn't have to refrigerate them.
- When you are ready to eat them, you must grind them up into a powder. You can toss them into a blender dry (or coffee grinder if you're fancy and actually own one), and whirl them for a good fifteen to twenty seconds.
- This is what they look like whole.
- This is after blending. You
can store this ground flax in the refrigerator for a few days or eat it as
you grind. This is what the pre-ground flax looks like when you buy it in
the vacuum packs. We are simply buying un-ground flaxseed. BIG TIP:
Make sure the blender is very, very dry. Flaxseed tends to stick like a son-of-a-bitch
to any moisture. Trust me, make sure your blender is bone dry before grinding
Not normal pancakes
- DRY BASE: We are making a healthy alternative to normal pancakes. Here is what we are doing: Oatmeal, flax seed (other nuts such as walnuts / almonds / peanuts / etc): Blend this stuff up in the blender dry. Now we have our healthy dry base, as compared to normal pancake mix (which you can add in too if you wish).
- DRY GOODIES: This is where it gets fun. Add in cinnamon, whey, fiber powder, coffee, whatever! Any powder that sounds healthy, interesting or appetizing is gonna rock.
- WETS: First, add an egg. Next, I recommend milk. You can add juice for fruity pancakes although I'd vouch for something with protein (like milk.) You can add in some yogurt, cottage cheese, canned pumpkin, mashed stuff, etc. Whatever, I recommend starting with an egg and milk and going from there though.
- MIX: Whisk that shit Charles!
- COOK: Spread out in a pan and cook on lowered heat. Usually I cook around the middle setting.
- FINAL PRODUCT: Now some of the things you added in the mix could as easily been served after cooking. You can sprinkle some cinnamon over the cakes, toss on some yogurt, pumpkin, fruits (thawed frozen fruits) etc. I'm repeating myself. I'm repeating myself an awful lot! But you get the idea. Peanut butter on cooked pancakes tastes good. Syrup is DANGEROUS and POISONOUS, but if eaten sparingly, can be a reward for all you hard working tricksters and athletes. :)
- SERVE: Here's a hefty, and healthy meal for hard working fiends! These pancakes tend to be high in calories but fucking rule.
This concludes volume two of the kitchen tricks series. All these suggestions are ridiculously elementary and stem from a small pool of ideas, but that's just because they are very versatile; I'm just showing that off. Go try out some of these suggestions as soon as possible, I'm sure some of them will make you wonder how you ever lived without em!