Easing my way to Keto Lifestyle

I have been saying this to most of my friends who kept asking how I have managed to lose my weight so quickly. Other than intermittent fasting and daily trips to the gym, I have incorporated Keto in my diet and it has been magnificently worked like I found Eureka! So…

What is KETO?

A keto diet is well known for being a low carb diet, where the body produces ketones in the liver to be used as energy. It’s referred to as many different names – ketogenic diet, low carb diet, low carb high fat (LCHF), etc.

When you eat something high in carbs, your body will produce glucose and insulin.

  • Glucose is the easiest molecule for your body to convert and use as energy so that it will be chosen over any other energy source.
  • Insulin is produced to process the glucose in your bloodstream by taking it around the body.

Since the glucose is being used as a primary energy, your fats are not needed and are therefore stored. Typically on a normal, higher carbohydrate diet, the body will use glucose as the main form of energy. By lowering the intake of carbs, the body is induced into a state known as ketosis.

Ketosis is a natural process the body initiates to help us survive when food intake is low. During this state, we produce ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fats in the liver.

The end goal of a properly maintained keto diet is to force your body into this metabolic state. We don’t do this through starvation of calories but starvation of carbohydrates.

example frittata recipe

Our bodies are incredibly adaptive to what you put into it – when you overload it with fats and take away carbohydrates, it will begin to burn ketones as the primary energy source. Optimal ketone levels offer many health, weight loss, physical and mental performance benefits. This source of information is from https://www.ruled.me/guide-keto-diet/.

Hope this helps a bit.

That said, fast forward to this day,  I lost 12 kgs. in a span of 2 months from 70 kgs. and that is insane!  I kept losing it even though there will be times that I will be eating some carbs and sweets here and there (which is not advisable if you are a total beginner). Okay, I must admit, moving around constantly by doing plenty of home chores and walking or running at least 5-10k helped a lot, going to the gym at least 4-6 times a week really helped lose those fats and I have gained some muscle at the same time.

So to say, I may sound redundant here but again, I have managed to maintain my weight and lifestyle by incorporating Keto into my intermittent fasting routine as well as doing the OMAD (one meal a day) to my schedule and it worked like a charm.

I am so fascinated by how effective it was and the results are just mind-blowingly, amazing!  It is not for everyone though, one of my closest friends tried it and she failed miserably in the first few weeks of trying the intermittent fasting and keto. To be fair, her work schedule is quite difficult to manage and she really could not handle not eating carbs as part of her diet regime. And I could not force her to do that, at the end of the day, it’s still going to be her choice and decision to what makes her happy.

Here comes Sunday and after all the 2 weeks of abusing my body by not properly sleeping and eating unhealthy foods due to the fact that I was working with uptight schedules and traveling back and forth, stress and anxiety, etc. It really did not do my body good.  Needless to say, I was bloated and my metabolism has gone kaboinks.

And so I checked my fridge to finally make my own meal without having to sacrifice whatever that is remaining on my bank account.  I had plenty in my fridge to cook as much to my own bewilderment, ta-da! I have a big chunk of pork loin!  I did however marinated the pork loin Saturday evening while doing laundry and was really planning to have that thing roasted the following day (Sunday), clean out the fridge (throwing all the nasty leftovers and expired goodies) and somehow crossed my fingers that I have something to go with as a pair to my roasted pork loin.

Well, I got lucky.  I found some watermelon, cucumbers, Chinese cabbage, onions, tomatoes, and garlic. Yaaay! I was so happy, what’s poppin’ in my head is to make some fresh summer fruit and veggies salad that could pair up with the roast! Perfect!

And so here it is.

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just came out of the oven
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Very Tender…and juicy!
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With the side of summer fresh fruits and veggies: Cubed cucumbers and watermelons and sauteed mix onions, garlic, tomatoes and mini-Chinese lettuce.
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take a bite!

Meowie’s Marinated Herbed Roasted Pork Loin

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • a dash of dried thyme
  • a dash of dried parsley
  • a dash of oregano
  • 5 pcs. chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 tbsp. Soy Sauce (less sodium)
  • 1-3lbs. pork loin roast
  • a few pieces of green sweet peppers (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix together all of the ingredients in a bowl (except for the sweet peppers) Rub it all over pork on both sides. Then let it marinade for at least 12-24 hours. Note: if you are in a hurry, you can prepare this ahead of time and cook it the day after or..you can also marinate it for a couple of hours or so.
  3. Put the roast on a rack in a roasting pan. If you don’t have a rack use 3 stalks of celery lying side by side. Honestly, I did not even put a rack nor the stalks of celery and it still worked out just fine.
  4. Roast until internal temperature is between 145-160°F, 20-25 minutes per pound. If you are not sure about the cooking times, here are some guidelines for you to follow–>>https://www.porkcdn.com/sites/porkbeinspired/library/2014/06/2924.pdf
  5. Cover roasting pan with foil and let rest for 30 minutes.
  6. Heat oven to 475°F. Uncover roast and remove the thermometer. Put roast into a clean pan and roast for another 10 minutes.
  7. Carve and serve with a side of fresh green salad or any sumptuous sides of your choice!

 

Bon appetite!

xo,

Meowie

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Simit: A classic Istanbul street food

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One way of putting it: it is almost like eating a sesame bagel but it isn’t.  Simit has a nice crunch to it, tasty and even savory. Turkish people especially in Istanbul would have this for a quick breakfast on their way to work, or just like any part of the day it is just perfect to have at any given time.

It looks amazingly difficult to make, but since I know the basics of bread making and baking itself, this sounds like an awesome challenge to tackle up with.  Last year was the year of making new recipes, new ideas and learning new culture and their food and one of them was Turkish.  I hadto admit, having a turkish boyfriend did a little bit of pushing but I have no regrets because am loving every minute of it.

So I hope you like this one and make one for yourself, give it try!

Makes 8 bread rings

Prep time (hands-on): 30 min
Cook time: 20 min
Total time: 50 min + overnight proofing + 10 min rest + 30 min final proofing

Ingredients

500 g (3 cups + 2 tbsp) all-purpose flour + more for dusting (only when specified!)
300 g ( 1 + 1/4 cups) water
7.5 g fresh yeast (or 2.5 g (3/4 tsp) instant yeast, or 3.8 g active dry yeast)
7.5 g (1 + 1/8 tsp) fine sea salt
140 g (1 cup) sesame seeds
60 g  (1/4 cup) grape molasses (pekmez)
60 g (1/4 cup) water

Directions

The night before

Make dough: Pour the water in a large mixing bowl and dissolve the yeast. Place the salt and 1/3 of the flour amount in the bowl and with a tablespoon stir into a runny pancake-like batter. Continue adding the flour gradually and stirring the thickening batter with the spoon. When about 1/3 flour left unused dust the clean working surface with some of it and transfer the dough to the surface. Knead slowly incorporating the flour. Once there is no flour left on the surface, add more from the remaining batch. Continue kneading until you have incorporated all the flour (about 10-12 min): the resulting dough will be a bit stiff. Place the dough in a bowl considering the dough will at least double. Cover with a cling film and leave to rise in the fridge overnight. 

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In the morning

Deflate dough: Release the dough from the bowl into a lightly dusted with flour clean working surface and knead it gently a few times to deflate. Divide into 8 equal pieces, shape each piece into a neat ball and make sure that each ball is lightly (!) dusted with flour. Cover the dough balls with a kitchen towel and let rest for 10-15 min.

Toast sesame seeds: Place the seeds in a medium size skillet and toast on a medium heat. Toss every 2-3 minutes to ensure even browning: after 7-10 minutes, the seeds should pick up light brown color, but make sure they don’t turn caramel-brown (meaning bitter). Transfer the toasted seeds to a small deep tray. Whisk together the grape molasses and water in a deep wide plate. 

Shape rings: Take one dough ball and roll it into a long rope: start with your both hands working from the middle and then move the hands apart towards the edges of the rope. If you dusted the dough balls while dividing, you don’t need to dust the working surface with the flour: too much flour makes rolling tricky. As the rope is about 60 cm / 24 inch long, lift it holding from the middle and swing a bit to extend. Now holding the middle in one hand and both ends in the other twist the rope a couple of times. Place the ends into the loop to make a ring. Set aside on a lightly dusted with flour surface, cover with a kitchen towel and continue with the rest of the dough. 

Coat rings: Dip each simit in the molasses and then transfer to a colander/sieve to drain the excess of the moisture. Once all the simits are dipped, one by one place them in the tray with the toasted sesame seeds and coat well. Arrange the coated simits on two baking trays lined with the baking paper and share each bread ring into a neat round. Leave to proof for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 240C/465F. 

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Bake: As you are ready to bake, place a metal tray with boiling water to the bottom of the oven and splash about 1/4 cup water into the oven: you want a bit of steam in the oven to ensure dramatic oven spring (rising of the bread rings during the initial stages of baking). Place the trays with simits and bake for 10 min. Remove the water tray (carefully, it is burning hot!) and let simits bake for 10 minutes more until the tops and bottoms are reddish brown. Simit is best within just a few hours out of the oven. You can cool down and freeze the baked ones and then warm them up in the high oven.

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Resource: http://www.deliciousistanbul.com/blog/2014/01/16/how-to-make-simit-turkish-sesame-bread-rings/#sthash.udS3mXBv.dpuf

Afiyet Olsun!

Cheers,

Meowie

Ultra Moist Cinnamon Banana Bread

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Original recipe makes 1 9×5-inch loaf

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 cup butter or sunflower oil

  • 1/8 cup full-fat plain yogurt

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar

  • 2 eggs, beaten

  • 2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas

  • 1 tsp of cinnamon powder
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  • PREP15 mins
  • COOK1 hr 5 mins
  • READY IN1 hr 20 mins

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Beat butter, yogurt, and brown sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy. The mixture should be noticeably lighter in color. Add room-temperature eggs one at a time, allowing each egg to blend into butter mixture before adding the next. Stir in mashed bananas until well blended. Pour banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Transfer batter into prepared loaf pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, 60 to 65 minutes. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

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Afiyet Olsun!

Cheerios!

Meowie

My take on Turkish Delight

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* 4 cups (800 gr) of granulated sugar
* 4 1/1 cup (1.125 lt) of cold water
* 1 tablespoon full of lemon juice
* 1 cup of (250 ml) cornstarch
* 1 tablespoon of white cream tartar
* 1-2 spoon full of rosewater (if you wish)
* also if you wish you may add a few drops of red food coloring to make it pink.
* 1/2 cup (125 ml) hazelnut, almond, walnut first or pistachios roasted in a pan or oven and cooled off.( I use Pistachios on mine)
* 3/4 cup (190 ml) powdered sugar – sifted.
* 1/4 cup of additional corn starch
* a bristle brush
* a candy thermometer
* a little pot with cold water
* and a tin tea filter

You should use a heavy saucepan with a thick bottom for cooking the syrup. Plus a cup of water and a tin tea filter should be near you, while the syrup is boiling, you’ll use the tea filter to collect the bubbles formed on the syrup and then you should dip it into the cold water pot or hold it under the tap to clean it before dipping it back in the syrup.

Preparing the syrup of Turkish Delight

(800 grams) Sugar + 3 1/4 cup of water (875 ml) + lemon juice, blend them before you place it on the stove. Stir the sugar with a wooden spoon continuously while it is boiling and help it melt. Also while the syrup is boiling use the bristle brush to scrape the inner upper sides of the saucepan by drawing circles and pushing down the left around sugars- so that the sugar doesn’t cristallize- do this often. After the sugar melts completely stop stirring and let it boil. Once the boiling syrups’ heat reaches 240F/115C (you’ll use the sugar thermometer at this point) take the boiling sugar off the stove at once.

In another deep and thick bottomed saucepan, blend the cornstarch, cream tartar and the rest of the cold water (1 cup – 250 ml) with a whisk until it becomes smooth enough. It should form a white liquid that isn’t so thick by the time it’s blended. Put it over the stove. Stir with a wooden spoon.
Beware, for it can thicken easily and unwanted pores can form. It may even be easier to stir with a whisk.

Now take the hot sugar syrup and add it to this cornstarch mixture over the stove, meanwhile keep stirring with the whisk. When it comes to boiling point, let it boil for 10-12 minutes over a half lit stove.

Wait in front of it while keeping on stirring with a wooden spoon. Stirring is very important in the whole process of preparing Turkish Delight. It will become a golden colored, thick and sticky mixture.
If you add rose water and food coloring it will become pink.

Also if you wish, now is the time to add nuts, pistachio, almond or walnuts. They should be roasted in a 350 F/180 C oven and cooled. You can put them as a whole or minced.

Pour the thick mixture into a 25 cm x 25 cm pyrex or pot (you should first butter the pot or pyrex by hand) Then wait for the mixture to cool and thicken.

Mix the powdered sugar and 1/4 cup of cornstarch in a flat plate. Cut the Turkish Delight in squares with a oiled knife (just carefully spread grapeseed or an oil of your preference on the blade). Then smear the powdered sugar mixture all over by hand. Lay them in a glass or tin box, in between the lines again sprinkle the sugar powder +cornstarch mixture amply.

* You must take some caution before working with sugar which means high temperatures. For example, a little pot with some cold water and a bristle brush should be under your hand so that while boiling the syrup, you can scrape the upper inner parts of the pot downwards to prevent the sugar from sticking on the side of the pot and crystallizing. Plus the pot should be good quality, thick bottomed, because you will be working with high temperatures.

* To use a sugar thermometer, attach it to the side and lower the thermometer so that the bottom is touching the bottom of the pot. Then raise it about an inch or two. Never let it touch the bottom of the pot, but don’t get it so high that all you get is superficial heat. You want it to be inside the substance itself so that you can get a true reading of its temperature.

* Source of this Turkish Delight recipe:  translated it from Ruki’s “Bayram Lokumu recipe”. He has many other great recipes for all kinds of traditional Turkish sweets.and from blogger Its all so Turkish!.

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Afiyet Olsun!!!

Cheers,

Meowie