Last week I wrote about counting calories.
Very good idea.
But unless you're buying prepared food that lists the calories (and contains enough salt to float a ship) how do you know how many calories are in stuff?
Well, you can look everything up in a book or online…. And this is a good site for that. (I used it lots when mon mari became diabetic – not for the calorie count but for the carbs.)
You can also take the global view and just look at portion size. And this is a good site for that. I especially like the 'potato the size of your computer mouse' and a 'pancake the size of a compact disc'.
The one that always brings me up short, though, is a serving of meat being 'the size of a deck of cards'.
That bit of wisdom always caused me to just shut my mind off and quit listening / reading whatever.
A piece of meat the size of a deck of cards is about 2.5oz (75gr).
It's not worth firing up the grill to cook a 2.5oz steak.
I finally realized that was just the serving size…. And one could have 2 or 3 servings per day.
To put that into practical terms:
If you have meat at every meal the 'deck of cards' size is your goal.
If, like me, you only have meat for dinner, you can feel darn superior tucking into that 7oz (200gr) steak – since you're safely under the 7.5oz daily limit.
I started looking into this when I got the last issue of Cooking Light and noticed that often their portion sizes of whatever meat or fish was 4oz.
So…. that's too much if you have 4oz at two meals and not enough if you only have it at one.
Personally, when I eat meat I want more than 4oz…. but I'm pretty happy with 6oz.
No surprise, then, that my recipes, which serve two, normally call for 12oz of meat or fish. If the dish is particularly high in vegetables – like Stuffed Zucchini or Oriental Peppers or some stir-fries it will be less – maybe 6oz or 8oz or 10oz.
Let me give you a bit of info – and you decide for yourself how much is right for you.
The values are for 12oz (350gr) of the meat, raw.
Chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, (about 2) 399 calories
Chicken thighs, boneless, skinless, (about 4) 416 calories
Turkey breast 402 calories
Ground beef, 15% fat 752 calories
Ground beef, 5% fat 480 calories
Beef flank steak, trimmed of all fat 578 calories
Pork chop, loin, boneless, lean only 448 calories
Salmon, Atlantic, farmed 728 calories
Shrimp, mixed species 328 calories
Kind of all over the place, aren't they…. Any surprises?
Now here's a lovely braised pork loin – and it makes enough for two meals…. or four servings.
Braised Pork with Laurel (Bay)
1 pork loin roast, 24oz (750gr)
1 onion, sliced
12 bay (laurel) leaves
1 cup of white wine
1 cup chicken stock
2 tsp juniper berries
1 tbs olive oil
In heavy pot or oven with tight-fitting lid, brown pork in olive oil. After turning pork, add sliced onions to brown as well. Add remaining ingredients, turn heat to low, cover and braise for 1 1/2 hours. Remove pork and keep warm. Strain juices, then return to pan. Reduce pan juices over high heat until slightly thickened and syrupy. Slice pork, pour pan juices over and serve.
Maybe a nice Chunky Pork Hash with the leftovers?
Or, in our case, we slice the rest for mon mari's lunchtime sandwiches. We don't buy 'sandwich meat'.