CK Links--Friday July 18, 2014

Links from around the internet. As always, I welcome your thoughts.

PS: Follow me on Twitter!

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Is our sugar paranoia getting out of control? (The Telegraph, via Addicted to Canning)

The only guarantee about diet trends is that they're eventually debunked. (LA Times)

Marion Nestle is surprisingly lukewarm on the nutritional value of organics. (Food Politics)

The latest issue of The Scientist magazine discusses GMO and biotech foods. (The Scientist)

Why are beef and pork prices so high? (Jayson Lusk)

Chef Jacques Pepin explains how "reality" cooking shows get it all wrong. (Daily Meal, via Alosha's Kitchen)

"Many leap to the conclusion that the Dalai Lama is hypocritical in his actions of eating meat, but looking a bit deeper you will find that is not the case." (Samvid Beauty via Rachelle Fordyce)

Still more doctors are getting off the statin bandwagon. (Dr. John M.)

On breakthrough workouts. (Mark’s Daily Apple)

There's a good case against regularly monitoring your portfolio's performance. (Monevator)

Recipes:
Bump up the taste with Grilled Lemon Terragon Tuna. (Food and Fire)

Pollo Pibil. (Mexico in My Kitchen)

Shrimp with Mint Pesto. (Meta Mint)


Got an interesting article or recipe to share? Want some extra traffic at your blog? Send me an email!


How can I support Casual Kitchen?
Easy. Do all your shopping at Amazon.com via the links on this site! You can also link to me or subscribe to my RSS feed. Finally, consider sharing this article, or any other article you particularly enjoyed here, to Facebook, Twitter (follow me @danielckoontz!) or to bookmarking sites like reddit, digg or stumbleupon. I'm deeply grateful to my readers for their ongoing support.

Recipe: Chipotle Crockpot Chili

We've been experimenting with this recipe for a while now, tweaking it, adjusting the spices and the ratios, and I think now we've got it about perfect: This chili is thick and rich with just the right amount of smooth, smoky heat.

And like all of the recipes we share here at Casual Kitchen, this slow cooker recipe is healthy, delicious, inexpensive and really easy. I hope you enjoy it!

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Chipotle Crockpot Chili

Ingredients:
3/4 to 1 lb ground beef
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 12-ounce can tomato paste
2 15-ounce cans red beans or kidney beans
1 onion, chopped coarsely
1 green bell pepper, chopped coarsely
4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 Tablespoons mild chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, with some of the sauce
1 cup water
Black pepper, to taste

Directions:
1) Brown ground beef in a separate pan. While beef is browning, add tomatoes, tomato paste, spices, garlic, chipotle chiles and water to bottom of crockpot and stir until well combined.

2) Add browned ground beef and all other ingredients to the tomato/spice mixture, stir well. Cook for about 5 hours on low setting. Serve over rice or brown rice.

Serves 8.
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Recipe notes:
1) Meat: This recipe contains less meat than you'd typically see in a chili recipe. That's deliberate. However, feel free to adjust the bean/meat ratio to your tastes. If you prefer more meat, you could boost the beef to as much as 1.5 lbs. If you prefer less meat, or another meat like pork or turkey, or if you prefer no meat at all, go for it. Any of these permutations will work.

2) Fat: Should you drain the fat from the beef before adding it to the recipe? Since we've been exploring highly-regarded modern nutrition books like Why We Get Fat and The New Evolution Diet, we've essentially stopped worrying entirely about cutting fat from our diet. We've found that not draining the meat increases satiety and palatability. But feel free to drain the fat away if you'd prefer.

3) Spicy Heat: If you'd like a spicier chili, feel free to add a third (or a fourth!) chipotle chile. Or, alternatively, you can add more of the adobo sauce that comes along with canned chipotles.

4) Cooking time: One of the singular benefits of crockpots/slow cookers is that you can be incredibly inexact with cooking times. Cooking this recipe for hour more (or less) on your slow cooker's low setting won't disrupt it in the least.





How can I support Casual Kitchen?
Easy. Do all your shopping at Amazon.com via the links on this site! You can also link to me or subscribe to my RSS feed. Finally, consider sharing this article, or any other article you particularly enjoyed here, to Facebook, Twitter (follow me @danielckoontz!) or to bookmarking sites like reddit, digg or stumbleupon. I'm deeply grateful to my readers for their ongoing support.

CK Links--Friday July 11, 2014

Links from around the internet. As always, I welcome your thoughts.

PS: Follow me on Twitter!

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Americans are eating all the wrong kinds of calories. (Wonk Blog)

Cereals are now trumpeting extra protein. It's all marketing. (Food Politics)
See also from CK's archives: How cereal companies hide sugar in plain sight.

Why you shouldn't fall for The Food Babe’s "quackmail." (Forbes)
Related: readers may recall CK discussing Vani's inability to grasp both logic and chemistry in my post on the Subway/Yoga Mat controversy.

The Food Babe’s “thorazine deficient writing” is the aspartame of medical understanding. (Science-Based Medicine, via Jayson Lusk)

Doctors struggle--really struggle--with health statistics too. (BBC, via Addicted to Canning)

Three more food related items you don’t have to throw away… including strawberry tops? (Life Your Way)

Benefits of cholesterol in your diet. Oh, and a side-benefit: yet another reason never to read Time Magazine. (Healthy Home Economist)

An inspiring (and realistic) before-and-after story of a guy adopting an unprocessed diet. (Mark’s Daily Apple)

The pros and cons of cheat days. (Daily Burn)

It’s shocking what that iPad does to your kid’s brain. (2machines, via OwlHaven)

Money is more about mind than it is about math. (Get Rich Slowly)


Got an interesting article or recipe to share? Want some extra traffic at your blog? Send me an email!


How can I support Casual Kitchen?
Easy. Do all your shopping at Amazon.com via the links on this site! You can also link to me or subscribe to my RSS feed. Finally, consider sharing this article, or any other article you particularly enjoyed here, to Facebook, Twitter (follow me @danielckoontz!) or to bookmarking sites like reddit, digg or stumbleupon. I'm deeply grateful to my readers for their ongoing support.

Meat-Eaters Ordering Vegetarian: Polite? Or Phony?

Why would a meat eater, when going out to eat with vegetarian friends, choose to order vegetarian food if s/he could have ordered meat at the same restaurant and would have preferred such a meal? Is that actually a show of respect? Or is it incongruence? Or cowardice?

Do meat eaters do this because the presence of vegetarians causes them to care a little more about animals? Or do they care more about the feelings of their vegetarian friends? Or do they simply lack the courage and conviction to be fully themselves in the face of opposing social pressure and the potential for judgment? Do they fear eating differently than the group?

A committed vegetarian doesn't switch diets in a room of 100 meat eaters, regardless of whether it might cause anyone discomfort. So why do meat eaters so often feel the need to semi-apologize for their choices when the opposite situation arises?

This was shared on Facebook by a friend of mine who runs a widely-read personal development blog. I thought it was an absolutely fascinating question--something well worth thinking about, particularly since I've been in exactly this situation countless times. Readers know, we here at Casual Kitchen love vegetarian and vegan cuisine, but we also eat meat too from time to time.

And yet, whenever I'm eating with vegetarians, I almost always order a meatless dish. Moreover, when we have vegetarian or vegan friends over to our home for dinner, I make a point of cooking foods they like and that fit their diets. Otherwise, why invite them at all?

Quite honestly, the perspective above never occurred to me before, which is why my initial thought was that my friend was simply over-interpreting a simple act of common courtesy. Here's his striking response:

I know it's often due to politeness or courtesy. What I'm asking is: Why would a meat eater perceive this as a courtesy? If they feel comfortable eating meat, then why wouldn't they feel just as comfortable eating meat in front of those who don't?

So.... is it a courtesy or isn't it? All of a sudden I'm not so sure.

Readers, what do you think? What would you do as an omnivore eating out with vegetarians or vegan eaters? Would you order meat? Or veggie? And now that you've read the discussion above, do you consider it courtesy? Or incongruency?

Share your thoughts below!


How can I support Casual Kitchen?
Easy. Do all your shopping at Amazon.com via the links on this site! You can also link to me or subscribe to my RSS feed. Finally, consider sharing this article, or any other article you particularly enjoyed here, to Facebook, Twitter (follow me @danielckoontz!) or to bookmarking sites like reddit, digg or stumbleupon. I'm deeply grateful to my readers for their ongoing support.

CK Links--Friday July 4, 2014

We're back! Thanks for indulging me while I took a break from running my weekly links posts for the month of June. Once again, here are some of the posts and articles I've been looking at over the past week or so. As always, I welcome your thoughts.

PS: Follow me on Twitter!

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It was never gluten... it was carbs that gave people problems. (New Yorker)

Is obesity stigma is the last allowable prejudice? (Mark’s Daily Apple)

The truth about grass-fed beef. (Food Revolution)

Even the Amish use GMOs... willingly! (Jayson Lusk)

The case against antibacterial soap. (Gizmodo)

How to be productive. (Ombailamos)

Why do we make decisions our futures selves regret? (Farnam Street)

The death of the blog? (New Republic)

"...the decline of the blog has come so quickly, one has to wonder whether we ever really liked the medium at all." (Observer)

Your lifestyle has already been designed. (Raptitude)

A call for revolt against advertising. (Zen Habits)

Bonus: This week was the anniversary of the birth of economist Frederic Bastiat. Why is he important? Because he was the first true advocate for consumer empowerment. (Carpe Diem)

Got an interesting article or recipe to share? Want some extra traffic at your blog? Send me an email!


How can I support Casual Kitchen?
Easy. Do all your shopping at Amazon.com via the links on this site! You can also link to me or subscribe to my RSS feed. Finally, consider sharing this article, or any other article you particularly enjoyed here, to Facebook, Twitter (follow me @danielckoontz!) or to bookmarking sites like reddit, digg or stumbleupon. I'm deeply grateful to my readers for their ongoing support.