#70 The Battle For Nachos: Salsa vs Salsa Con Queso

Good Morning!

Let me preface by saying that Salsa and Salsa Con Queso are both awesome, but if I had to choose only one for the rest of time, I’m going to have to choose plain ol’salsa.

The reason I went with salsa until the end of time is because of nachos.

It’s hard to believe that there is any food that the amazing cheesy salsa doesn’t taste good with let alone one that is so closely paired with the wonderful tortilla chip.

So here’s what I’m talking about:

You make plate of nachos layered a mile high with your favorite choice of meats and cheeses along with other nacho toppings like lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro, guac…

Oh guac, I love you….

Ahem. Back to the nachos.

…the sour cream, and olives, and peppers, and everything else your little heart desires.

And finally comes one of the hardest decisions of your life: What gets put on top of the beautiful, dare I say perfect, mountainous tortilla creation you’ve just concocted?

What will be the dollopous finale to the best work you’ve ever done in the kitchen on Mexican food night?

How will you remember this meal forever?

Like Gman says: “Time to choose”.

I’ve had this nachos dilemma.

Starring at each jar back and forth, each in turn, over and over.

But I have to choose the salsa because queso overtakes the other flavours and textures and I don’t think nachos are nachos without the salsa.

My ideal plate of nachos needs to be balanced with just the right amount of everything.

I need to keep it from becoming too cheesy, otherwise it’s just tortilla chips and cheese with a bunch of other things that don’t need to be there.

Nachos, you see, are far too important.

And it’s for this reason, I must choose the salsa.

Leave me a comment. What will you choose and why?

Thanks for reading and have a good day!

P.S. I’d like to thank Jeremy Schryer for introducing me to the experience of nachos I’ve come to know and love way back in 1998 at U-Betcha Tap & Grill; The Hideout in LaSalle, Ontario for having a really great plate of nachos; and lastly, Tostitos: Keep up the good work.

P.P.S. As I’ve been editing this article about my inner battle of choosing salsa or queso for a plate full of nachos, I’ve come to realize that my ridged idea of nachos can and should evolve with time and thus can be arranged on the plate in a more adventurous way. Perhaps even more than one plate of nachos can be made at the same time? It could be a nacho party. I’m now craving nachos…

P.P.P.S. Now as far as the decision between tortilla chips and queso or tortilla chips and salsa…Queso all the way.

#63 Do You Even Eat Bro?

Good Morning!

Welcome to Fit Friday, where I write about a health topic, tell you about the progress in my personal health and fitness journey, what I’m doing at the gym, and some of the meals I’m planning on eating next week.  If you’ve been reading my health blogs so far, the format should be familiar to you already.

Today I’m going to write about my progress so far and reflect on each of the times I saw significant weight-loss progress in my current health and fat-loss journey.

Continue reading “#63 Do You Even Eat Bro?”

#60 Health Blog – What’s Leptin?

Good Morning!

What’s Leptin? Leptin a hormone produced by your body fat that is used by the brain to regulate hunger, the metabolism, and stress hormones.

The amount of leptin in the body is determined by how much body fat you have. More body fat equals more leptin.

When you are leptin sensitive, where the brain ‘sees’ the leptin, this process works correctly.

When there is excess fat on the body, the brain will raise the metabolism and lower hunger to reduce the amount of stored energy to the ‘normal’ level.

It’s the feedback loop your body uses to tell you that there is enough stored energy and that you don’t need to keep eating.

Unless of course you’re leptin resistant.

Continue reading “#60 Health Blog – What’s Leptin?”

#58 Health Blog – Fasting Burns Fat

Good Morning!

In the last two health blog posts I’ve written about how and why we store fat. This post is going to cover the easiest way to get energy out of the fat cell.

To quickly recap

  • Insulin is ‘the fat storage hormone’.
  • Eating carbs will cause insulin to go up in body.
  • Any excess energy not used from what is taken into the body will be stored in the fat cell.
  • If Insulin is always high, you will not be able to use your stored fat.
  • The only way to use the stored energy from the fat cell is to
    • be in a caloric deficit when the metabolism is still high
    • glycogen in the liver and muscles constantly needs to be replenished
    • have low insulin level
  • The easiest way to get into the state where all three of these conditions are met, is fasting. Fasting is when you don’t eat anything at all.

Let’s examine how fasting accomplishes this.

Continue reading “#58 Health Blog – Fasting Burns Fat”

#54 Health Blog – Why We Get Fat

Good Morning!

Last night I watched a lecture given by Gary Taubes, the author of the books Good Calories Bad Calories and Why We Get Fat.

He examines what we think we know about obesity and explains that the driving force behind fat accumulation is the hormone insulin and what upregulates insulin is carbohydrates.

Continue reading “#54 Health Blog – Why We Get Fat”

# 13 English Muffin Science

Good Morning!

Lucky #13!

I haven’t done any posts about food yet, so here goes.

I noticed something interesting when I was making my breakfast this morning.

English muffins don’t really require cutting, more like stick a butter knife in to the side and pull it apart; and that’s what I normally do. But this time was different. This time I used a bread knife to cut through my English muffins.

The difference is subtle. Each method of splitting it into two produces a different texture and is accentuated more so by the toasting process.

I toasted the English muffins at the same time using a toaster oven, placed inside-up, until the tops started to brown.  My toaster is a Black and Decker model that’s available on amazon.* It’s nice because it can easily toast 3 at a time (6 halves). I try to be efficient when it comes to time and power consumption, so being able to do more with the same amount of time checks those boxes.

There tends to be more crispy peaks and a tender inside when you pull the English muffin apart, whereas cutting through produces a flatter surface that has a ridged structure and tends to have more crispiness to it as a whole with few or no small peaks.

You will probably only notice this effect if you are going to eat more than one in a sitting and are going to toast each for the exact same amount of time using a toaster oven or 4-slice toaster*, for example. As for all foods, the more ‘done’ you want your food, extending the cooking time is the easiest way to do that.

It’s worth noting that the method we use to achieve relatively the same outcome will always have slightly different details and nuance to it that can change the perception of the final product, especially to the discerning person who is all about the detail of things. Another example of this is paint brush stroke size and direction used on finished carpentry, not to mention its’ use in a piece of art.

If you’re preparing the perfect English muffin, then the subtle details of the structure and crispiness of it will play an important role in the over all experience and I’m sure that this can be achieved many more ways than I know of, but I find it interesting that the choice of knife has an impact: tearing through or cutting cleanly.

As I was applying the cream cheese, I found that it was easier to get more cream cheese into the bubbles with the cut version due to the structure being more ridged, kind of like the bonus portion of cream cheese you get at the center of a bagel. In contrast, there wasn’t too much of an issue piling on the same amount of cream cheese with the pull apart version, it just happened to be above the surface, that’s all.

Did it taste different? Not at all, but it definitely had a different texture and mouthfeel to it, and quite possibly I only noticed because I was paying attention to see if there was a difference.

Test this out for yourself to see if the English muffin experience changes for you and let me know.

My own preference is to use the butter knife for the softer center. I always toast, top with an obnoxious amount butter or cream cheese while it’s still hot, then eat as they are or make a sandwich. Today was herb and garlic cream cheese in a turkey sandwich.

Is there really any other way to prepare an English muffin besides toasting it? For me, the English muffin is all about the texture, so that answer is a hard no. Don’t get me started on Tim Hortons and their under-toasting of an English muffin and every other bread product for that matter.  It’s a travesty!

I’d like to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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Until next time, have a great day!