Category Archives: food

Butter vs. Margarine… don’t panic.

I received an email urging people to cut out margarine from their diets because it is so unhealthy. It was urging people to consume butter instead. I tend to not believe these types of emails without further research, and rather enjoy researching the information presented in them to find out whether it is fact or fiction. HERE is more information on the email that has been circulating for a while now. First of all, I don’t think that either butter or margarine are very good for you. That being said, there were some things that were stated in the email that I thought should be brought up.

The most disturbing claim was that “Margarine is but ONE MOLECULE away from being PLASTIC”

Okay, if you think about it, saying that is just silly. Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2)is one ATOM away from water (H2O). Oxygen gas (O2) is one atom away from poisonous Ozone gas (O3). Table salt (NaCl) is one atom away from Chlorine (Cl). See? Who ever put that in the original email was just trying to panic people. I don’t like being motivated by panic, so that’s why I like to find out the facts.

Some other things :

Margarine is high in trans fatty acids”

This used to be true, but if you read the labels these days, many of the margarines/spreads on the market currently have 0 trans fat, and no cholesterol either (whereas 1 Tbsp. of butter contains 30 mg of cholesterol). And so if there are no more trans fats in most of the margarines, then the following aren’t currently true (for those spreads containing 0 trans fats) anymore because the following claims are simply based on research pertaining to trans fats in general, not specifically to margarine:

Margarine lowers quality of breast milk”

Margarine decreases immune response”

Decreases insulin response”

And finally, there’s the claim that “Butter has been around for centuries where margarine has been around for Less than 100 years”

That statement is suggesting that butter is healthier for you because it has been around a while. While this is true that butter is older than margarine, just because something has been around for a long time, it doesn’t mean it is beneficial, or even safe. Anyone remember medicinal leeching? Yeah, that’s been around for a long time too. People still do it, and you can even buy leeches online. The safety or benefits of something shouldn’t be based on longevity, but by using research that is unbiased as in the blind experiment method.

Try Something New

We’ve gotten to eat out at 2 places int he past week that we’ve never been to before. Both score very high on the Yumiliciousness scale.

Athens Ecclectic Greek Restaurant in the Far North shopping center of ABQ (San Mateo and Academy Blvd.) is this cool restaurant with beautiful blue paint all over the walls and beads over the windows. While I liked the decor of the place, I liked the Gyros even more. Best Gyros I’ve had since my beloved Koury’s deli closed down. *sniff, sniff… I still miss you, Koury’s!* Nathan had tha Falafel Gyros. While I’m not usually a fan of the falafel, I really liked theirs. The falafels were so yummy and moist on the inside. Previously, falafels I’ve had reminded me too much of the hush puppies you get at Captain D’s… ick! But the Falafels at Athens were moist and flavorful and sooo yummy. They also brought out a complimentarty dish of pita and hummus. Very tasty… Sean hogged most of the pita and hummus. So go eat there… Nathan and I are hoping the restaurant doesn’t die. We were the only ones there for lunch last Saturday. Hopefully it was just because people ware still recovering from their turkey hangovers.

Last night, we ate at Independence Grill. We got the table right by the Constitution. Nathan and I were trying to see if we could remember the preamble to the Constitution and Sean was coloring the American flag while we were waiting for our food. They have very patriotic and historical type theme/decor, in case you’re wondering. Go there for the burgers. Pretty yummy and right now there’s a coupon for “buy one burger, get one free” and more information available here . I had the “Bacon Avocado Jack Burger”… yep, pretty much tastes as good as it sounds. Also, try out the Pineapple coleslaw… it’s coleslaw with pineapples in it. It’s a little sweeter and tangier than regular coleslaw. Yum! They supposedly use American Kobe Beef in their burgers. Now I don’t know my different types of beed very well, but I know that the food was tasty. Go eat here for dinner after you have lunch at Athens… keep this place open. They have a less than ideal location on Montgomery right behind a laundromat… if you blink, you’ll miss it. I’d like to go back some time and try some prime rib or something else really meaty like that. I like meat.

(Cauliflower) Mashed Potatoes

Okay, I have Gestational Diabetes, which means I have to watch my intake of carbs and starches. I LOVE mashed potatoes and since I was making mini meat loaves tonight, I thought it would make a good side dish. But since I have Gestational Diabetes, I thought I’d look for a healthier alternative. I found this video and tried it out, but tweaked it just a bit. Instead of adding milk at the end, I added garlic and herbs gourmet spreadable cheese (about a cup or an 8 oz. container, Rondele brand, available in the special cheeses section of the grocery store). This gave it a wonderful garlic mashed potatoes flavor, and made it nice and creamy. I asked Nathan if he noticed anything strange about the potatoes or if they tasted different. Since he knows I’ve been using Splenda these days, he asked if I put some in the potatoes… silly man. Then he tasted the potatoes again and said they just tasted like mashed potatoes. He was surprised when I told him it was actually potatoes and a head of cauliflower. So there you have it. If you’re brave enough, try it out. I might even try just mashing cauliflower next time and leaving out the potatoes all together. The dish is higher in fiber, lower in starch, but still really tasty. This side went really well with the mini meat loaves I made. I made mini ones since they’re quicker to cook than a whole meat loaf (25 minutes in the oven). Yay for quick dinners!

Bistec a la Mexicana

I love to watch Rick Bayless’ show “Mexico – One Plate at a Time” on PBS. Yesterday he made “Bistec a la Mexicana”. He stir fried some thin cut beef steaks that were cut into strips. While cooking the steak, he made a simple tomato salsa with 2 large fresh tomatoes, 2 serrano peppers, 1 garlic clove and a handfull of fresh cilantro. He put all that stuff into a food processor and made the salsa. Once the beef was done, he removed it from the pan and cooked the salsa in the same pan until the liquid was reduced a little bit. Then he added the beef back into the pan and cooked it to let the flavors come together. Add some salt, and voila! A very tasty dish! Serve with rice and black beans and garnish with green onions and sour cream. I made this tonight and it’s definitely worth making again. It’s tasty and so easy to make too. Yum!

Bring on the Greens

Okay, 7 weeks pregnant and counting. I go in for a dating ultrasound in a couple days to get a more accurate due date. So far, no morning sickness (yay!). I did get a call from my doc today and she said that my 1 hour glucose tolerance test result was high, which means that my body isn’t clearing out a high sugar load very efficiently. The remedy? I have to stick to a diabetic diet (boo!). The good news is that I currently have less of a sweet tooth than pre-pregnancy and I’ve been craving salads (with some kind of meat in them) a whole lot. The problem is that I’ve lately been too tired (or lazy… whichever you prefer) to make them myself and not very creative in putting salads together. I’m often even too tired to go to the farmer’s market or grocery store to get the stuff. So… I guess I just need to git er done and buy some salad ingredients and keep them in stock. If anyone has a yummy and EASY salad recipe for me, please share!

mmmm, bacon

Nathan mentioned Bacos and bacon on his site the other day. It reminded me of a t-shirt I saw Rick Bayless (chef) wearing on his show last week. It said “bacon is meat candy”. I thought that was funny… and true. So I googled “bacon meat candy” and found this site where you can get a t-shirt of your very own, plus bacon air fresheners and bacon bandaids for that bacon enthusiast in your life. Air fresheners and bandages are also great gifts for the vegetarians in your life (you know they miss the smell of bacon, afterall, who wouldn’t?). Go on… you know you want to.

Yo-Plus Yoplait Yogurt

I recently tried the new yo-plus yogurt by yoplait that claims to help your digestive system. I haven’t had any digestive problems, but it was on sale for cheap, and I love a good deal. Turns out it tastes pretty good. I’ve been buying the vanilla flavor and mixing it with fresh fruit to make fruit salad. YUM! And on the Yo-plus website <click here> you can print out a $1.00 coupon. I don’t often advertise for products, but I like to share a good and yummy deal.

Tent Rocks, Cochiti Lake, Santa Fe

The weather was so beautiful today, so we decided to head a little ways out of town and do some walking around Tent Rocks. The sky was SO BLUE compared to the white cliffs and the rock formations. Beautiful place to walk around. Afterwards, we headed to Cochiti Lake and played with rocks and sticks. I skipped a few rocks successfully… I’m pretty bad at that. Sean and I splashed each other a little bit using our sticks in the water. I found a good stick to hit little rocks into the water like golf balls. Nathan and I talked about how we need to try kayaking or canoeing sometime. We saw someone that had a kayak and some little contraption that extended floats on each side to keep the kayak from flipping. Yeah, I’d need that. Once we got our fill of playing with rocks and sticks, we drove to Santa Fe and had dinner at Tomasita’s Restaurant. It was pretty yummy, but the chile was picoso… spicy. We had a wonderful day. 🙂 Check out the pics of Tent Rocks on my pictures page.

Kansas, Butter Bells

Sean and I took a trip with my mom to Kansas for my Grandma Peny’s 84th birfday. We went bowling, got to see a cool train set up, ate at a train restaurant, and ate at T-rex cafe again. Here are the pics.

Nathan and I bought 4 punds of butter at Costco today and we got to discussing whether you can leave butter out on the counter without it spoiling too quickly so that it is soft when you spread it on bread. The package we bought said that it should be stored in the refrigerator, but I’ve remembered people leaving the butter out and that it was fine to eat. I researched the web a bit and it seems that the majority say that it is the exposure to air that causes butter to become rancid, and that use of a contraption called a “butter bell” can keep butter safe for up to 30 days at room temperature. If you read this, please leave me a comment about whether you leave your butter out or not… I’m curious. And if you leave it out, do you just use a regular butter dish with a cover or do you use a butter bell?