Tag Archives: cooking

QOTD: James Fell on Weight Loss and Cooking

If you want to lose weight you need to cook. Period.

James Fell

What’s the Difference Between White Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes?

The sweet taters have more vitamin A and, at least where I live, they’re more expensive. That’s all.

paleo diet, Steve Parker MD, diabetic diet

Sweet potato chunks brushed with olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary

Oh, I forgot. Different colors, too.

AncestralChef has the details.

PS: I know a lot of nutrition bloggers and other health nuts use the nutrient database at NutritionData.com. That’s based version 21 of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Nutrient Database. The current version, however, is 25. About two years ago, the focus at NutritionData switched to referral of visitors to Self magazine. For my nutrient analysis, I’ve been using FitDay.com. Or you can go straight to the USDA.

paleo diet, Steve Parker MD

Ready to pop in the oven

What’s For Dinner? Flank Steak, Guacamole, Cucumber, and an Orange

paleo diet, low-carb, Steve Parker MD

Guacamole salad

This is another staple at our house. Flank steak is sometimes called London broil or jiffy steak. If you can’t find those, use skirt steak.  In any case, the beef steak used in this is never over an inch (2.54 cm) thick. These are not particularly tender cuts, so have your butcher run the steak through a mechanical tenderizer. This recipe serves two.


  • flank steak, mechanically tenderized, 24 oz (680 g) (this cooks down to 14 oz or 400 g)
  • California avocados, 2 (about 5.5 oz or 155 g each, measuring 2.5 x 3.5 inches or 6.4 x 9 cm)
  • tomato, fresh, 1.5 0z (43 g), finely diced
  • onion, fresh, 0.5 oz (14 g), finely diced
  • salt, a pinch or 1/16 tsp
  • black pepper to taste
  • low-s0dium steak seasoning (I use McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning, which is coarse salt (1/4 tsp has 180 mg sodium), spices including black and red peppers, garlic, sunflower oil, natural flavor, extractives of paprika) (or just use salt and pepper to taste)
  • oranges, 2 medium sized (2.6 inch or 6.5 cm diameter)
  • cucumber, fresh, 1 large (8 inches or 20 cm long), peeled and sliced


paleo diet, low-carb, Steve Parker MD

Flank steak cooking in what I’d call an electric frying pan

First, start the steak frying in a pan over medium heat. Sprinkle with steak seasoning or salt and pepper. Cook until done to your liking.

While the steak’s cooking, make your guacamole. Slice the avocados in half and remove the seeds, then scoop out the flesh into a bowl and mash it with a fork until pasty yet still a little chunky. Blend in the tomato, onion, and a pinch of salt. It’s done.

Enjoy the cucumber as a side dish and the orange for desert.

Servings: 2 servings of 7-oz steak (200 g), 8 tbsp (120 ml) quacamole, half a cucumber, and an orange

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

  • 46% fat
  • 16% carbohydrate
  • 38% protein
  • 730 calories
  • 31.5 g carbohydrate
  • 13.7 g fiber
  • 18 g digestible carbohydrate
  • 968 mg sodium
  • 2,065 mg potassium
  • Prominent features: rich in fiber, protein, B6, B12, C, copper, iron, niacin, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, riboflavin, selenium, thiamine, and zinc 

How To Roast Asparagus and Brussels Sprouts

paleo diet, Steve Parker MD, how to cook asparagus and Brussels sprouts

The finished product: 14 oz of asparagus and 7 oz of Brussels sprouts yields 5 or 6 servings

This is easy.  I use the same method to roast potatoes.

Cooking asparagus is a little tricky. Allrecipes.com has a short video you may find helpful. The thick end of the stalks can be woody, especially on the larger spears, so you need to cut them off or use a potato peeler to shave off some of the “wood.” Or just by the smaller spears.

how to roast asparagus and Brussels sprouts, paleo diet, Steve Parker MD

The disposable foil just makes clean-up easier

Preheat the oven to 425° F.

Rinse off the veggies then let them dry. Brush with extra virgin olive oil then salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with other herbs or spices if you wish. Layer them on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil. Cook in the oven for 10–12 minutes.

It doesn’t seem fair to the other vegetables that we capitalize Brussels sprouts.

Have you noticed that asparagus alters your urine’s odor?

Nutritional Mini-Analysis

If you start with 14 oz of raw asparagus, you’ll end up with four servings.  Each serving has 40 calories (half of which are fat from the olive oil), total carbohydrates 4 g, fiber 2.2 g, and digestible carb 1.8 g.

Eight oz of Brussels sprouts yields two servings. Each serving has 70 calories, total carbs 10.3 g, fiber 4.4 g, and digestible carb 5.9 g.


This rubber-tipped brush coated the vegetables with olive oil (a little more that a tablespoon for the whole batch)

This rubber-tipped brush coated the vegetables with olive oil (a little more than a tablespoon for the whole batch)