Pork Chops, Quinoa and Green Beans

Filed under: General Health, Nutrition, Recipes

I wanted to wish you all a Happy New Year, I hope everyone had a good time. To kick off the new year right, I wanted to start off 2011 with a great new recipe.

A few nights ago my wife and I made a delicious meal of pork chops and green beans, and it was absolutely delicious. Pork is a vastly underrated meat that I feel has fallen out of vogue the past ten years or so.

Pork chops were something that I remember growing up with, that seems to have largely disappeared from the American Diet, probably due to the late 80’s/early 90’s fear of fat. While pork chops do contain more fat than chicken or turkey, who cares?

The majority of the fat is in the form of the monounsaturated oleic acid, just like in olive oil. They are a good source of 10 vitamins and minerals, and are an especially excellent source of several B vitamins, as well that brain-boosting and anti-inflammatory choline.

The problem with pork chops is that people tend to bread them with crappy carbs and cook them in crappy oils, but that is where I come in. We breaded our pork chops in quinoa flakes, cooked them in olive oil and had a delicious side of sauted green beans.

This is a delicious and easy recipe, that can be enjoyed with a nice glass of wine.

Pork Chops, Quinoa and Green Beans

Ingredients

  • Two 6-8oz pork chops (preferably pasture-raised or at least “naturally-raised”)
  • 1 whole pastured or omega-3 egg
  • ~1/2 cup quinoa flakes
  • 4 cups green beans
  • 1 tbsp pasture-raised butter
  • Redmond Real Salt, as desired
  • extra virgin olive oil spray (I like to use the Misto with my own olive oil)

Directions

Place the whole egg in a bowl and whip until well blended. Place the quinoa flakes on a small separate plate. With one pork chop at a time, dip in the egg, covering evenly. Then place the pork chop in the plate with the quinoa, covering it evenly. Repeat with second pork chop.

In a medium frying pan, spray with extra virgin olive oil and place on medium to medium-high heat. Place the pork chops in and cook until done. Flip occasionally and spray more olive oil as needed to help the quinoa brown, but not burn. Dash of salt as desired.

In a large frying pan place in the butter and let melt on medium to medium-high heat. Then drop in the green beans and stir around until the butter is evenly coated on them. Sea salt to taste. Cook until done and stir often. Cover if desired.

It’s pretty simple and tasty, provides plenty of high quality protein, healthy fats, quality carbs, fiber, 2 cups of veggies and so much more. Enjoy!

Posted on January 1st, 2011 by Brian St. Pierre

3 Comments »

Fall Recipes to Spice Up Your Life

Filed under: General Health, Nutrition, Recipes

I hope everyone had an awesomely gluttonous Thanksgiving yesterday. If there is ever a day to indulge, that is it. I personally enjoyed some of my aunt’s delicious apple pie, filling myself far beyond capacity. It was awesome.

So today was the first real snow fall of the year up here in Maine. Even with some crappy sleet mixed in, the first snow fall is always a little exciting. Minus the fact that everyone seems to forget how to drive in the snow on the first fall.

I also wanted to mention that Eric Cressey and Mike Robertson are having a sale on all of their collaborative products for 20% off! No coupon needed, it is automatically applied. Check it out.

Anyway, with winter fast approaching and Thanksgiving yesterday, I thought today would be an appropriate occasion to give you some awesome winter recipes. I gathered what I considered to be my three best winter recipes and put them all in one place so they are easier for you guys to find. Enjoy!

Irish Beef Stew

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds of lean beef, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 cups of canned beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 table Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ stick pastured butter
  • 1-2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cups carrots, ½-inch pieces
  • 2 cups baby portabella mushrooms cut into quarters

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat.  Add beef and sauté until brown on all sides (about 5 minutes).  Add garlic and sauté 1 minute.
  2. Add beef broth, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves.  Stir to combine and bring mixture to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low, then cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  4. In another large pot, melt butter over medium heat.  Add potatoes, onion, carrots, and mushrooms.  Sauté vegetables until golden, about 20 minutes.
  5. Add vegetables to beef stew.  Simmer uncovered until vegetables and beef are tender, about 40 minutes.  Discard bay leaves before serving.  Serves 6.

I made this one on Monday, and it was absolutely delicious. Two bowls of that fills you right up and keeps you satisfied for hours.

My Wife’s Chili

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 pounds ground beef or turkey (1-2lbs really, personal preference)
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large green pepper
  • 2 cans stewed tomatoes (14.5 ounces each)
  • 1 can tomato sauce (16 ounces)
  • 1 can light red kidney beans (15-16 ounces)
  • 1 can dark red kidney beans (15-16 ounces)
  • 1 can chickpeas (15-16 ounces)
  • 1 small can of corn (7 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

  1. Cook the beef, onion, and green pepper in large skillet, over medium heat with 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil.
  2. In a large pot combine the tomatoes, tomato sauce, kidney beans, chickpeas, corn and chili powder and cook over medium heat. Do not drain canned goods.
  3. Once the beef, onion and green pepper mixture is cooked thoroughly, add to the large pot. Stir and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
  4. Make 5 large or 10 small servings.

This is probably my most popular recipe. I have had lots of readers email me and thank me, though really they should be thanking my lovely wife, for this recipe. Beware though, it does contain a good amount of fiber!

Vanilla Pumpkin Pie

  • 6-8oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 tbsp chopped walnuts
  • 1 tbsp milled flax
  • cinnamon to taste
  • nutmeg to taste
  • ice cubes
  • Blend & Enjoy!

My mother-in-law made a delicious pumpkin pie that I am going to enjoy tonight, and it reminded of this awesome smoothie. I haven’t had this one in a while, which is too bad because I absolutely love it. For you pumpkin fans out there, this is where it is at!

After all the leftovers are gone, I hope you guys put some of these recipes to use. Have a great weekend everybody!

Posted on November 26th, 2010 by Brian St. Pierre

4 Comments »

Digging Through the Archives

Filed under: Nutrition, Recipes, Training

Here is a list of some highly recommended reading:

Quinoa 2.0 – This is a blog from March that highlights what I think is one of the most highly underrated grains, buckwheat. I go into great detail on the health benefits and tremendous nutrition of buckwheat, highlighted by the fact that it is gluten-free.

Blueberry Apple Crisp – This is one awesome recipe. It is incredibly versatile and can be used as either a healthy dessert, or as a high-quality carb source that is great for pre/post-training or at breakfast. Leigh Peele also used this recipe for her fantastic Body By Eats.

Lifting Heavy Stuff: Single Leg Style – Do you know why it is so important to include single leg training in your program? I lay it all out for you, plus there is a sweet video of me dominating some heavy single leg work, be sure to check it out.

Posted on October 20th, 2010 by Brian St. Pierre

No Comments »

Blog Number 250!

Filed under: General Health, Nutrition, Recipes

Well today is the day of EC’s wedding, for which I will be suiting up and heading out in just a few short hours. It will be a blast to see a lot of old friends, watch Tony dance, check that, watch Eric dance (the man has about as many moves as me), and just have a good time.

As much as I love Anna and EC, I am not writing my 250th blog post solely on their wedding. Sorry Eric.

I figured I would make today a mixed bag of all kinds of things that I blog about often. The awesomeness of a food, a smoothie recipe, neat links from readers showcasing how great and how awful our food production is, you know, fun stuff.

To start things off though, I want to talk about my favorite subject, ME!

All kidding aside, for those of you who don’t read t-nation religiously I had a new article go up on Friday, called 10 Forgotten Muscle Building Foods, so check it out.

I have also gotten some tremendous feedback from people who bought the Show and Go Nutrition Guide, and I can’t thank you guys enough for letting me know your thoughts on my first product!

Awesomeness of Pears

To continue down this most random of days, today I wanted to talk about the glory of a seemingly forgotten fruit – pears! Pears are absolutely delicious, sweet and juicy. They are related to apples and have several thousand different colors and varieties, the most common in the US being the Bosc, Bartlett, Anjou, and Comice. They are all a good source of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and copper.

Copper is actually a vitally important substance as it is for the formation of superoxide dismutase, a powerful enzyme that eliminates superoxide radicals, which if not eliminated quickly can damage cell membranes. It has also been shown that a diet low in copper is associated with risk factors for colon cancer.

While you won’t find much support for this in the literature, health care practitioners often recommend pears as one of the first fruits for infants to consume, as it is hypoallergenic and less likely to produce an adverse response.

Reader Smoothie Recipe

A reader of the blog emailed me a recipe he created after reading my most recent t-nation article. He described it as thick and creamy with a slightly nutty edge and almost velvety mouthfeel.

  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (sugar free)
  • 1 large banana
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey
  • 3-4 ice cubes

Blend on high for 30-45 seconds and enjoy! I haven’t actually tried it yet myself, but it sure sounds delicious. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Our Terrible Food Production

A reader sent me this link to Gizmodo, about how disgusting the production of chicken nuggets is. Now according to the author chicken is turned into this picture below to make nuggets, which is just nasty.

What worse is he claims that “because it is crawling with bacteria, it will be washed in ammonia, soaked in it, actually. Then, because it tastes gross, it will be reflavored artificially. Then, because it is weirdly pink, it will be dyed with artificial color.”

Nasty. Now some of this is disputed by people in the comments section, and I can’t say I have ever witnessed chicken nuggets being made like this, butI have seen them be made from a pink liquid in the cafeteria in college so I truly do not doubt that this is wholly possible. Either way, does that look like something that you want to eat?

Our Excellent Food Production

Another reader sent me a link about 12 of America’s Best Local Farmer’s Markets. This was really neat, and one of the farmer’s markets it showcased was in Portland, Maine. That farmer’s market has been around since 1917, which just showcases how forward-thinking us Mainers (including EC) are.

There are so many people who tell me that they don’t have access to high-quality food, but examples like this show that it is out there, it just takes a little searching and some effort, as most of it is not going to be sold at your local Stop n’ Shop.

So that will do it for what I believe is the first ever post on a Sunday. It is now time to quickly mow the lawn and then get all done up for the wedding!

Posted on October 3rd, 2010 by Brian St. Pierre

4 Comments »

Delicious and Nutritious Deviled Eggs

Filed under: Nutrition, Recipes

Who doesn’t love deviled eggs? It is one of my absolute favorite snacks at parties and get-togethers; I could easily put down a dozen without even blinking an eye.

Now since these are usually made with soybean oil-based mayo it certainly isn’t the world’s healthiest snack. People also usually use conventional eggs, which while not bad, are not as good as they could be. Needless to say, this snack could use a makeover, BSP style.

As you all know I love my eggs, and I just wrote what I think was one of my better blogs in a long time – Why Eggs Prevent Heart Disease - which is one of the inspirations for this post today.

To improve on the traditional deviled eggs we take them in a slightly different direction. Rather than use mayo at all, we use the delicious and versatile hummus. That coupled with some omega-3 or pastured eggs and some carrots makes for a fantastic snack that provides high quality protein, healthy fat, fiber, a serving of vegetables as well as tons of other beneficial nutrients.

BSP’s Deviled Eggs

  • 2-4 whole omega-3 or pastured eggs, hardboiled
  • 10 baby carrots
  • 3 tbsp hummus
  • paprika – optional garnish

Instructions - In a medium pot filled half-way with water, place burner on high. Once water comes to a boil place eggs in the pot. Turn down to about medium-high heat, so water is still boiling but not boiling out of the pot. In about 8-12 minutes eggs should be done.

Once done place eggs in a bowl of cold water for a minute or two, then remove and discard shells. Slice eggs in half.

Now you can just simply spread half of the hummus onto each half of an egg and power them down, and use the other half of the hummus with the carrots, or you can get a little fancier.

For you gourmet foodie types you can remove the yolks and whip up with the hummus, though you may need a little more hummus for this depending on how many eggs you are consuming. Then replace the whipped up mixture back into the empty eggs, and garnish with paprika.

I will admit that I eat a little more caveman style and do not worry too much about it being fancy, but it is certainly not a bad thing.

The snack will provide:

  • Calories – 267-404
  • Fat – 15-24 grams
  • Carbs – 18-19 grams
  • Protein – 15-28 grams

Enjoy!

Posted on September 27th, 2010 by Brian St. Pierre

No Comments »

Snacks from the Past

Filed under: Nutrition, Recipes

I guess I am always surprised when people tell me they run out of ideas for snacks. There are so many options, but for some reason we all seem to get stuck in ruts and never expand our snacking horizons.

Well today I am resurrecting a childhood classic that I think far too many of us have forgotten in our adult lives. I am talking about Ants on a Log.

What could be a better snack than some vegetables, fruit and healthy fat that tastes absolutely freakin awesome and reminds you of watching the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?

While many people will declare celery to be a useless vegetable, while truthfully there is no such thing. While I am a believer that foods are much greater than the sum of their parts, it can still be helpful to know what nutrients foods contain.

For example celery is a  good source of vitamins C and K, folate, potassium and calcium. It also contains phthalides that may lower your blood pressure, and coumarins that may help prevent cancer.

Raisins are a good source of potassium and the trace mineral boron, as well as having a tremendously high phenol content, including resveratrol. Boron is an interesting one because it is necessary for optimal vitamin D status, which as we know is very big deal.

Peanut butter is a good source of niacin, vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese. It is also a source of resveratrol and rivals most fruits with its high antioxidant content.

Not a bad combination if you ask me!

Ants on a Log

  • 3 large organic celery stalks
  • 3 tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons organic raisins

I specifically recommend celery and raisins be organic as they are two of the worst offenders when it comes to pesticides, just something to keep in mind. Simply spread each tablespoon of peanut butter evenly over each celery stalk, and sprinkle raisins on top. If you want to make this into a smaller snack, simply decrease to 2 large celery stalks, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and you can either keep raisins the same or cut down to 1 tablespoon. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts:

  • Calories – 392
  • Fat – 24g
  • Carbs – 32g
  • Fiber – 7g
  • Protein – 12g

Posted on September 15th, 2010 by Brian St. Pierre

3 Comments »

Home-made Trail Mix

Filed under: Nutrition, Recipes

While I am a firm believer in having a high-quality protein source at every meal, I don’t draw such a hard line when it comes to snacks. Sure it would be nice if a lot of them contain a high-quality protein, but I don’t think it is required.

I absolutely love having a simple snack of an apple with a bunch of natural peanut butter and some cinnamon sprinkled on top. It is like comfort food to me, except totally awesome for me.

In keeping with this theme I came up with a really simple home-made trail mix that is sure to please even the most ardent trail mix enthusiasts, if there is such a thing.

I will simply entitle this snack Trail Mix, as I have been told by my wife and at least one of my readers, who is a friend of mine from college, that my snack and smoothie recipes sound more like women’s body lotion than food.

Trail Mix

Simply mix all in a baggie and voila! A great anytime snack.

The nuts provide plenty of healthy fat, fiber, a little protein as well as vitamin E, magnesium and other minerals. The Plum Sweets provide a nice touch of chocolate, and moderately dark chocolate to boot, as well the incredibly healthy prune (dried plum). The raisins (I recommend organic as grapes are one of the worst offenders when it comes to pesticides) bring the perfect amount of sweetness to the table, as well as tons of phytonutrients and antioxidants, including resveratrol.

This snack provides roughly 383 calories, with 7 grams of protein, 46 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams of fiber, and 19 grams of fat.

Enjoy!

Posted on September 3rd, 2010 by Brian St. Pierre

2 Comments »

Simple and Delicious…With a Kick

Filed under: Recipes

Today’s recipe comes from a CP client and friend of mine, Danny. Danny is a crazy busy guy with three young kids, a high-stress job, an hour-long commute each way and a near fanatical training intensity. When lifting, he straight up scares people.

He also loves to eat healthy, but he has minimal time to make 5-course gourmet meals, so he is pretty good at coming up with quick and tasty meals that are made up of delicious real foods.

Though I have used this picture before, it is just to awesome to not use again

Though I have used this picture before, it is just to awesome to not use again

This recipe he described to me as simple and delicious, with a little kick. After trying it, I have to agree. For those of you who eat healthy or desire to do so, here is another arrow in your quiver to help combat those urges to just order a pizza and call it a night.

Simple and Delicious…With a Kick

  • 4oz lean ground turkey
  • 4oz lean grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped pepperoncini
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • little bit of olive or coconut oil for cooking
  • season to taste with sea salt, Mrs. Dash, and pepper
Directions - cook!

Posted on August 19th, 2010 by Brian St. Pierre

No Comments »

Full Fat Yogurt and Imbalanced Muscles

Filed under: Nutrition, Recipes, Training

Though I am very happy to have moved back to Maine, and I love my grocery store, unfortunately it comes with one drawback.

They do not carry my usual 2% plain Greek yogurt. They only have fat free. This sucks because I am believer that full-fat dairy is better for you than fat free (and yes I realize that 2% isn’t full fat, but full fat Greek yogurt contains 46 grams of fat in my usual 2 cup serving, a bit much really).

So I have had to alter my yogurt consumption, and below is a simple and delicious recipe that I concocted that I think is superior to my previous yogurt meal anyway.

Since it is not Greek yogurt I am using I am able to afford the organic kind from grass-fed cows, go full fat since it contains a much more reasonable amount, and it contains more probiotics since Greek yogurt is more acidic and they die faster in that environment. I also add whey protein powder to increase the protein content, and whey provides a ton of its own immune boosting and health improving benefits to boot.

not exactly it, but close enough to give you the idea

not exactly it, but close enough to give you the idea

It also provides all of the tremendous health benefits of berries, healthy fat and fiber from chia and some nuts, is easy to make and portable as well. For those of you who claim to be poor cooks or don’t have time to prepare meals, this is about as easy as it gets, so no more excuses!

I have used this recipe as breakfast, a mid-day snack or as a pre or post workout meal. For breakfast and pre or post workout I do add 1/2 cup dry old-fashioned oats to the recipe.

Sweet Cream & Berries

  • 1.5 cups Cream Top Plain Stonyfield organic yogurt
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1/2 cup (ish) wild blueberries
  • 1/2 cup (ish) raspberries
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp almonds and pecans
  • optional – 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats

Just stir the protein powder and chia seeds in with the yogurt, then add the fruit and nuts and enjoy! It is sweet and creamy with a little bit of crunch.

This provides approximately:

  • Calories without oats – 566, with oats – 721
  • Fat without oats – 26, with oats – 29
  • Carbs without oats – 47, with oats – 74
  • Fiber without oats – 12, with oats – 16
  • Protein without oats – 36, with oats – 41

On a side note, I just ordered Muscle Imbalances Revealed this morning as the product looks absolutely incredible, and it has gotten great (and honest) feedback from a lot of top people in the industry. Since I am no longer at CP, products like this are so much more important for me. If you are a trainer or someone just truly interested in how your body works and how to fix yourself, check out Muscle Imbalances Revealed.

Posted on August 11th, 2010 by Brian St. Pierre

1 Comment »

Darcy’s Quinoa Pancakes

Filed under: Nutrition, Recipes

I realized that I have not posted a new recipe in quite a while, so I figured tonight would be as good a time as any. This recipe actually comes from Darcy, an online client of mine. The focus is on high quality, real-food pancakes, and they are fantastic! They contain the excellent grain quinoa, as well as some omega-3 eggs and fruit of choice. Have some with a nice 3-egg omelet or scramble and you hvae yourself a sweet little breakfast. Give them a shot and let me know what you think!

Darcy’s Quinoa Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa flakes
  • 3 large whole omega-3 eggs
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 3 T. ground cinnamon
  • 2 servings of fresh fruit (berries, bananas, peaches, etc.)

Directions
I mixed the eggs in my blender (I have a basic blender, nothing fancy-schmancy) first, then added the fresh fruit (medium-sized pieces), then the cinnamon and finally the quinoa flakes.
I make this large quantity of batter at once and then I can just cook the pancakes in the morning as needed.  This quantity will make about 10 small to medium-sized pancakes (like the size you would get as a side at an IHOP).

Posted on June 14th, 2010 by Brian St. Pierre

2 Comments »

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