The Rugged Kitchen: Installment 4
Written on January 31, 2008 at 5:27 pm, by Eric Cressey
By: Eric Cressey
Normally, we have qualified individuals like Christina Jenkins and Ko Attleberry put together The Rugged Kitchen for us. However, with qualified individuals come recipes that actually require thought and a passion for cooking. As a overworked grad student who really couldn’t care less about making his food look pretty, I tend to rely on healthy recipes that I can make in just a few minutes, thus allowing me to get out of the kitchen as quickly as possible. Normally, I just cook in bulk every 4-5 days and then work off of plastic bags in the fridge, but there are a few “recipes” that I actually follow, so I figured I’d share them with all you readers that can sympathize with me. You’ll notice that I don’t include quantities; it’s because I don’t measure anything out. Yes, I really am that lazy. Remember, the KISS (keep it simple, stupid) strategy works just as well in the kitchen as it does in the gym.
Bean and Egg Burrito
What you need:
– Egg whites (the carton kind or regular eggs that you crack yourself)
– Black Beans
– Hot Sauce
– Fat Free Cheddar Cheese
– Any veggies you like (I use spinach; you may want onions, peppers, etc.)
– Whole Wheat Tortilla (optional)
– Chili Powder (optional)
This makes a great protein and carb meal. Basically, you just make a round omelet (use non-stick cooking spray) with the veggies mixed into the egg whites; don’t add the cheese yet, though. Once it’s done, lay it out on a plate and toss on the cheese (it’ll melt; don’t worry), beans, salsa, hot sauce, and chili powder (if desired). Roll it up and eat it. If you wish to add more carbs, you can wrap the whole wheat tortilla around the egg layer. This whole process should take about four minutes.
If you were a little porker as a youngster like me, when Mom made brownies and offered to let you lick out the mixing bowl, you salivated like Homer Simpson on a tour of the Duff Beer production plant. This little piece of heaven is the closest thing to brownie mix that can actually be considered healthy; give it a shot.
What you need:
– Calcium Caseinate or Milk Protein Isolate Powder*
– Whey Powder (isolate, concentrate, or a mixture of the two)*
– Psyllium Husk Powder
*Note: Biotest Low-Carb Metabolic Drive powder works perfectly for this recipe, as it’s a blend of the two different categories.
Put some water in a bowl, and then add your protein powder (ideally in a 2:1 caseinate/MPL:whey ratio) and a tablespoon or two of psyllium husk powder. Be sure to mix as you add. Add as much water as you want; you can make it like pudding or the thicker brownie mix that I like. I like to have it with almonds before I hit the sack; it makes a great, high fiber, slow-digesting protein and fat meal before bed.
Lazy Man’s Calico Beans
This is a recipe that’s really popular at our family gatherings. Unfortunately, the original recipe isn’t all that healthy; it includes ketchup, pork ‘n beans, cooked bacon, and regular ground beef (note: beef is great, just not in protein and carb meals). I just changed things up to make it healthier and appropriate for a protein and carb meal.
What you’ll need:
– 1 lb. Lean Ground Turkey (cook it separately before adding it to the mix)
– 1 Can Pinto Beans
– 1 Can Black Beans
– 1 Can Kidney Beans
– Apple Cider Vinegar
– Spicy Mustard
– ½ Bag Onion Soup Mix
Toss all of this into a crock-pot and let it cook for a few hours on low. Eat it. Enjoy it.
If loving beef jerky is wrong, I don’t want to be right; this stuff might be my favorite food in the world. The store-bought kind is a convenient protein source that you can take anywhere, but nothing tops the homemade version on taste and tenderness. When you use lean red meat, it’s also very healthy. The only trade-off is that unless you have a load of preservatives in your kitchen cabinet, you’ll have to keep this stuff refrigerated and eat it within a few days of cooking it.
What you’ll need:
– 1 eye of round or top or bottom round roast
– Whatever type of flavoring you desire (soy, teriyaki, Tabasco, or barbecue sauce)
– Spices (salt and pepper are sufficient, but you may want some chili powder, etc.)
Slice the roast into small strips about three inches long, one inch wide, and ¼ inch thick. If you use an eye of round roast, be sure to slice it lengthwise to keep it reasonably tender. Use a fork to poke some holes in the meat; it’ll keep it tender and allow it to soak up the marinade better. Marinade the strips in the flavoring of your choice (I like Tabasco and pepper) overnight. The next day, set the strips directly on the oven rack; you’ll probably want to use a pan underneath to keep all the drippings off of the bottom of your oven. Set the oven on the lowest possible setting (150°, or the “Warm” setting will do fine), and leave the strips alone for at least five hours to “dry out.” Basically, the tougher you like your jerky, the longer you should leave them in.
That concludes this installment of the “Rugged Kitchen.” For more information on some great healthy recipes, I highly recommend John Berardi and John K. Williams’ fantastic Gourmet Nutrition e-book or, even better, JB’s entire Precision Nutrition package, which includes the recipe book and a whole lot more at a great deal.
Now, shouldn’t you be stuffing your face?