Friday, June 6, 2008

Old Clothes, New Hat

Hey Kate!

Instead of keeping up a separate geeky blog which I'm just not doing, I'm just going to mix it all together, much like I did with this recipe I posted on WoW Insider. It is my version of Ropa Vieja, which means Old Clothes in Spanish and is a Cuban dish usually made with skirt steak. I have redone it as a kind of pot roast turned meat and rice bowl.

As far as substituting white rice for the brown, I do agree that white rice tastes better in general. But you can't really taste the rice in this dish -- or the individual ingredients at all, particularly after the first reheating. This dish is designed to be a tasty coverup for cheap meats which makes it perfect for raising the healthiness of the meal. Brown rice is much better for you nutritionally and has a better glycemic index which means that it takes harder work to convert it to sugar/energy. To illustrate, let's go to the guys in charge of working the carbohydrates in my tummy. Meet Bob and Joe. Bob is the supervisor of the carbs, so we'll actually call him Mr. Bob. Joe is the FNG.

Here's my understanding of what happens when I just drink a commercially available ginger ale:

Joe: Here comes more carbs, Mr. Bob.
Mr. Bob: Ah, high fructose corn syrup. We can convert that straight into energy! Ok, what's she doing?
Joe: Sitting, sir.
Mr. Bob: Again? Then why did she give us all this energy? Ok, we'll put it where she obviously needs it most. Send it to the T's.
Joe: The T's, sir?
Mr. Bob: Tush and Thighs, Joe. Tush and Thighs. If she isn't going to use the energy, she obviously needs the cushion.

Now, white rice is definitely better than high fructose corn syrup, but there's a magic thing that happens when you mix simple carbs with much more complex ones, like brown rice. To illustrate, here's the Tummy Carb Gang again after I eat some of my Ropa Vieja with brown rice along with the same ginger ale:

Joe: Lotsa carbs, sir.
Mr. Bob: Brown rice? Ok, break out the heavy machinery! We're going to need a lot of energy for this. What else do we have?
Joe: Wine, tomatoes, bell peppers and that ginger ale again, sir.
Mr. Bob: Ok, we'll use the ginger ale, to work on the wine and then use that energy to work on the tomatoes. Then we'll work on the bell peppers. The energy we have after breaking all that down we'll use to work on the brown rice.
Joe: Will we have enough, sir?
Mr. Bob: Yes, we'll have plenty, but we won't have as much leftover for her use. Is she moving yet?
Joe: Nope, still sitting.
Mr. Bob: Pity. Well, you know where to put the extra energy then.
Joe: The T's, sir?
Mr. Bob: That's right. Eating brown rice is a good start, but she still is going to have to move if she doesn't want the extra cushion on her Tush and Thighs.

Of course, I may not truly understand what's going on in there. Dr. Weil talks about glycemic load and highly recommends brown rice for his Wellness Diet. So maybe you should listen to him instead.

I suppose you want a peek at what I'm knitting. Ok, here is the Amanda Hat which I'm knitting up with the Lime Blue Malabrigo.

I love the yarn and the pattern and the Harmony kneedles and the great stitch marker that someone gave me and my little model.



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