I spent most of the day yesterday chasing links down the rabbit hole and finding more articles and videos and websites that I really wanted to share. So here’s what I found.
The Low-Carb Megathread – Read this. It’s awesome.
Exposing the Cholesterol Myth – Learn how cholesterol actually works, so you don’t worry about eating eggs.
The Battle of the Diets – Someone actually compares a number of popular diets as lived by a bunch of people over the course of a year. Low-carb Atkins (not even as low carb as Atkins suggests) produced better or equal results as any of the others. Very interesting stuff. If you’re coming at it from a Paleo perspective, there’s so much here that you’ll just want to holler at him about, but still, he did an interesting study and reported it honestly. You may recognize him from “Science for Smart People” as the vegetarian Tom mentions as being a good scientist.
How Bad Science and Big Business Created the Obesity Epidemic – Another scientific history of nutrition, with a lot of great detail and science. You’ll recognize a lot of the same history that you saw in Fat Head and other places, but there’s much more depth here, and it goes back much farther.
In the Face of Contradictory Evidence – A point-by-point refutation of the USDA’s recommended diet.
Pancreatic Cancer, Processed Meat and a Load of Bologna – If you’ve been seeing the headline that bacon and sausage increase your risk of pancreatic cancer by almost 20%, you need to read this. There’s a lot of bad science out there, and even more bad science reporting.
Okay, that’s more than enough to keep you busy for now. Last night, I re-made my Zuppa Toscana, and (as promised) I actually took pictures of the process. So here’s another run through the recipe, this time with visual aids. I’ll try to keep it short, but you know how I get.
Start with some sausage. I’m really loving this Beeler’s stuff, so we got more and used it again. You want a pound of sausage, and if you’re using links you’ll need to slice the casing and peel it off. It’s super easy, so don’t go nuts trying to find bulk sausage.
I actually shook a little red pepper into the mix this time, but didn’t really notice a difference. I’m a little tempted to try it with some spicier sausage next time, just to give it a bit more kick. It’s very good, but I’d like a little more presence to it in a perfect world.
Bacon, and lots of it. I think the original recipe called for 4 strips, but this is 7, because that’s what I had in my fridge. And BACON. Cut it into pieces maybe 1/2″ wide. Smaller is better, but I’m not super patient with a knife so I leave mine pretty big.
Once your sausage is browned, put it into a different bowl, to be saved for later. Lower the heat to medium and put in the bacon. You want to cook it until it’s crispy, which can take a while. In the meantime, let’s get working on the next step.
I got my new super slicer and busted it out to cut up my onions. It’s badass, and as I get a better feel for it i think I’ll be able to do a ton with it. It got me very consistent slices of onion in no time flat. I’m super pleased already, and I’m still a noob. Anyway, I cut up about half an onion. If you like onions a lot, you could do a full one and I think the soup would still taste great. I may add more next time.
Just a couple little garlic chunks. I tried to cut these up really finely with the knife and it was a bit of a failure. My knife skills are just very limited, especially when trying to cut consistently on small bits. Anyway, it worked out just fine. Just get them pretty small and put them with your onions.
When your bacon gets crispy, add the onions and garlic. Cook them until the onions get soft and translucent. While that’s going, try very hard not to go into a “Damn, that smells amazing” trance, and you can prep the last few things you need.
Cut up your potatoes. I used four small-ish potatoes this time, and it was a good amount. I used my super slicer again to get nice, consistent slices, then broke them into quarters with the knife. Booyah.
Get some stock. I use two of these containers, and it’s great. Once your onions are cooked, you can add the stock and bring all of it to a boil on high heat. Once it’s boiling, you can add the potatoes and continue boiling at high or medium high. You want those to cook through, which can take some time. The smaller your chunks, the less time it’ll take. While that’s boiling, prep your kale.
Just rinse it off in the sink, then tear it into smallish chunks. Again, don’t put anything in your soup that’s bigger than what you would want to manage with a spoon. I used more kale this time, because it’s tasty and healthy and so hard to find anything else to do with. So I used maybe half a bunch (still don’t like that unit of measure) torn into small pieces.
Once that happens, add your kale and stir it in.
Take the pot off the heat, put the lid on, and let it sit for 15 minutes or so. That will give the kale time to soak and soften, which will make the whole thing much better. Now, ladle some up into a bowl and top with some shredded parmesan or whatever.
Repeat once a week or however long it takes you to get through a batch. This is seriously good soup. Hearty, meaty, delicious, and it just gets better as leftovers. It’s like the perfect food. I’m not even super worried about the potatoes in it. If you wanted, you could skin them first and avoid the potentially irritating stuff, but I haven’t had any problems with it whatsoever. Not saying I’m going to be making potatoes a cornerstone of my diet, but they’re not the devil if you do them in reasonable quantities.
Okay, that’s it. Thanks for reading!