I love my Dad, a wonderful mellow man. So much more about life I can learn from him.

My Dad is a life-long bachelor with no great affection for domestic engineering.

There are a million cookbooks and online recipes and quite simply an overwhelming amount of recipes and ingredients in the world.

He has been inspired recently to eat more healthy and make his own meals. Today we went to the market and bought $200 of fresh groceries. Here is a quick cookbook for him to guide him through his new provisions.

The Diet:

  1. Eat as many veggies (and fruits) each day that you can.
  2. Eat proteins often, but probably not as a big of a portion as you are used to.
  3. Eat carbs, but much less than you think you need. These are so tasty, and so this is the hard part.

The Kitchen

  1. Clear out the fridge once a week of old crap
  2. Throw away any knives that you don’t like - crappy knives are dangerous
  3. Clean your dishes and wipe down your counterops after the meal, so that next time you don’t have to first clean before cooking.
  4. Every season throw away pantry crap you know you will never eat - check the dates on condiments
  5. Have foil, clean tupperware and ziplock bags available for leftovers
  6. Remove veggies from their plastic bags before placing in the crisper
  7. Wash your veggies just before you are going to use it
  8. In the morning take your frozen protein from the fridge and place it in the fridge (if it is lunchtime when you remember, simply place it on the kitchen counter)
  9. Plan your week’s menu on Saturday or Sunday, and do your shopping for the week
  10. Peel some garlic when you are bored and have in air-tight jar or tupperware

Breakfast

Greek Yogurt

  1. Add Strawberries
  2. Granola, muesli or other toppings

Hearty Scrambled Eggs

  1. Sautee onions (yellow is best) in butter
  2. After the onions begin to brown, add diced tomatoes
  3. Crack in 2 eggs
  4. Add chedder or pepper jack cheese as the eggs begin to cook
  5. Scramble up the eggs after they have started to cook - so you have nice hearty chunks of eggs

Hardboiled Eggs:

  1. (High proteien snack, breakfast & salad topping)
  2. Bring water to a boil
  3. Add eggs (cook 4 to 6 so to have some for Snacks and Salads)
  4. Set timer for 9 minutes (this will deliver perfect eggs - no green!) Remove from boiling water and immediately immerse the eggs in cool water

Hardboiled Egg & Toast

  1. Make some toast & butter it
  2. Slice the toast into bite sized chunks
  3. Crumble the hardboiled eggs (2)
  4. Lots of fresh black peppr & garlic salt to taste

Breakfast Potatoes

  1. Take yesterday’s leftover baked potato, or thinly sliced raw potato
  2. Extra virgin olive oil, bacon grease or butter
  3. Season the potatoes with Black pepper & paprika and garlic salt
  4. Fry in a pan until golden bown on both sides

Lunch

Awesome Sandwiches

  1. The key to a great sandwich is fresh, real bread - some sort of sourdour is my preference
  2. Mayo & mustard (for me light on the mayo)
  3. Salt & fresh black pepper (black pepper is so important)
  4. Chedder or jack cheese
  5. Tomato
    Protein options - not required - above is filling and satisfying!:
  6. Avocado
  7. Tuna Salad (can of tuna, onion, mayo & celery)
  8. Sliced deli ham or turkey
  9. Pan-grilled fish (swordfish, tuna or salmon) - probably leave off the cheese
  10. Pan-grilled chicken
  11. Hummus (but skip the cheese)

Killer Salad (Lunch or Dinner):

  1. Use romaine, spinach or arugula - iceberg lettuce is nutrionally worthless and is just a waste of $
  2. Tear up the greens and place directly in your serving bowl so you can see how much base material you have
  3. Sliced tomatoes - great flavor
    Basic, but boring
  4. Chopped carrots - solid crunch
  5. Avocado - rich, savory texture
  6. Red onions - for salads red onions rule
    Decent salad, below to make it awesome
  7. Sunflower seeds - great protein and nice salty flavor
  8. Sweet corn (can) - nice sweet flavor, feels hearty
  9. Garbonzo beans - nice protein and carb base load
  10. Black beans - solid protein, Mexican feel
  11. Crushed Tortilla Chips - crunch, Mexican feel
  12. Hard-boiled egg
  13. Shredded cheddar, pepper jack or feta cheese
    Make it truly impressive
  14. Pan-grilled fish or chicken

Dressing

Dressing can be as easy as shaking some extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar (also lowest practical calories)

Quick Hits

Hearty black/refried beans

  1. A can of black beans - into a saunce pan
  2. A generous amount of pepperjack cheese
  3. Optionally crumble some crispy bacon
  4. Serve after the cheese has melted into the mixture
  5. Garnish with a dill pickle, pickled jalapeno or yellow wax peppers!

Hummus

  1. 1 (16 oz) can of Garbonzo beans
  2. 8 table spoons of Tahini (4 oz) - not critical to get this ratio perfect
  3. Lots of minced garlic (more than other people like)
  4. A splash of olive oil
  5. Paprika (not critical)
  6. Some lemon juice (squeeze a half of lemon)
  7. Blend it until almost smooth, I like a little bit of texture left
  8. Serve on crackers, celery, lettuce, chips or a sandwich

Tuna Salad

  1. Can of tuna
  2. Chopped yellor or red onion
  3. Capers or minced pickles (dill not sweet)
  4. A little mayo (less than you think - can always add more later)
  5. Some lemon juice (less than you think)

Guacamole

  1. 2 Avocados
  2. 2 Tomatos
  3. Half of a red onion minced
  4. Minced cilantro
  5. More lemon juice than you think <- key ingredient keeps it from turning brown

Operation Carb

Mashed Potatoes

  1. Use at least 4 to 6 potatos to make it worth your time (mashed potatoes keep well)
  2. Wash your potatoes, but leave the skin on (lots of vitamins and we are boiled the crap out of the potatos)
  3. You can cube your potatoes to make the cooking go faster,
  4. Throw them into a pot of water and turn it on high - walk away - let it go boil those spuds
  5. Perhaps in 20 minutes come back and check on the potatoes, but there is no danger of over cooking these guys
  6. When the potatoes fall apart to a fork, turn off the heat
  7. Drain out the water
  8. Mix in butter, black pepper and garlic salt to taste
  9. Add in sour cream and top with chopped green onions (chives)

Awesome Baked Potatoes

  1. Nuke your potato in the microwave - 8 to 10 minutes or until it breaks apart easily with a fork
  2. Butter, black pepper & garlic salt
    Great toppings
  3. Green onions and sour cream & (bacon)
  4. Kimchi & sour cream!
  5. (boiled or microwaved) Broccoli (or cauliflower) and chedder cheese
  6. Chili on top!

World’s Most Savory Rice

  1. Boil 2 cups of water
  2. Add 1 cup of rice
  3. Turn heat to the lowest setting
  4. Cover and walk away for at least 20 minutes, 30 minutes is fine too
    Make it awesome
  5. Add a quarter stick of butter
  6. Lots of minced cilantro and/or parsley
  7. Lots of sliced green onion

Pasta

  1. Boil a bunch of water - don’t worry about salt or oil to the water
  2. Just grab the pasta you want and toss it into the boiling water
  3. Wait at least 6-9 minutes then begin to pull out a piece of pasta, and try biting it - you want just a bit of chew to the pasta - not mush
  4. When it has the bite you like, note the time and remember for the next time you do that pasta with that pot
  5. Drain the pasta
  6. Add the sauce while the noodles are still hot

Any (Red Tomato Sauce) Pasta Dish

  1. Empty your jar of sauce into a sauce pan
  2. Add in any cans of minced tomatoes, stewed tomaotoes or tomato paste you might have
  3. Add garlic - minced, sliced and chunks
  4. Add fresh onions (yellow, purple, white & pearl)
  5. Add fresh basil
  6. Add chunks of fresh tomatoes
  7. Add carrots
  8. Add fresh cracked black pepper
  9. Cook on medium heat (don’t boil) for a while - 30-45 minutes or until the carrots are to your liking
    Awesome toppings
  10. Fresh ricotta cheese laddled on top of your pasta
  11. Pan-grilled shrimp or salmon
  12. Pan grilled chicken
  13. Sauteed sweet or spicy italian sausage
  14. More fresh minced basil
  15. Fresh grated parmesan cheese

Pan Grilling and Saute Time

Dark Green Veggies

  1. Broccoli, Green Beans, Brussel Spouts, Broccolini, Leaks
  2. Cut them into a reasonable size or slice
  3. Place into a sauce pan with a decent amount of butter or olive oil
  4. Lots of minced, sliced and chunks of garlic
  5. In a low to medium heat sautee with lots of black pepper and some garlic salt
  6. Brown/crisp some of the garlic ahead of time for more flavor
  7. Don’t over cook these guys, it is worth baby-sitting
  8. Crisp bacon crumbles always pleases with these

Magic Mushrooms

  1. Slice up your mushrooms (white or brown)
  2. A decent amount of butter (not olive oil)
  3. A small amount of garlic is okay but not needed
  4. Red wine
  5. Saute at low to medium heat until you have a hearty meat-like side dish or taco filling

Pan Grilled Chicken

  1. Bring chicken to room temperature, never try to cook frozen or very cold chicken - too hard to get correct
  2. Sprinkle lots of garlic salt and fresh cracked black pepper on the chicken - I like thighs, but breasts or legs work as well
  3. In your skillet & sauce pan pour in a half a beer - any kind of beer will work, but I like IPAs or wheat beers or any ale.
  4. Add your chicken and bring the heat to medium-high
  5. After searing your chicken with the hot butter or oil, add the beer!
  6. The idea is that the chicken needs to be well cooked, but frying it in oil is over kill, and just oil or butter will not have enough heat conduction to cook the chicken, but beer (water) has much more volume to deliver that heat and yet give it some great flavor
  7. Cook the chicken for a long time (until there is no more red blood at the bones) - probably 20-30 minutes
  8. Add more pepper or garlic salt if the beer washes to much of it away
    Making it Awesome
  9. Cook all of the above but also add a can of Adobe Chipotle peppers and/or minced green chilis

Pan Grilled Swordfish & Salmon or Shrimp

  1. Lots of minced garlic (more than you think)
  2. Lots of minced fresh basil (even more than you think)
  3. Butter & some white wine & lemon juice
  4. Bring this mixture up in heat in a medium until the garlic is browning and the butter is bubbling
  5. Add in your swordfish or salmon steak, and baby-sit it. Try flipping it to a new side every 60-120 seconds.
  6. Garnish with capers, lemon wedges, fresh roughly cracked black pepper

Pan Grilled Tuna

  1. Butter and Soy sauce into the pan (maybe a little red wine if you have some laying around)
  2. Lots of fresh cracked black pepper (more than you think)
  3. High heat & sear the tuna on each of the edges - baby sit this turn every 90 seconds or so - it is good if it is still raw in the center

Pan Grilled Rib-eye Steak

  1. Generously sprinkle fresh cracked black pepper and (garlic) salt on the rib-eye
  2. Let it come up to room temperature before cooking
  3. With your trusty thick skillet on high heat, melt a generous amount of butter or use olive oil
  4. When the butter is sizzling and turning brown - time to add your steak
  5. Sizzle the steak in the hot butter, after 2-3 minutes or so take a peek and see if it is brown as you like
  6. Flip and do the other side and do another 2-3 minutes
  7. Then using tongs, grill all of the sides of the steak (about 45 seconds as you roate the steak around)
  8. Important remove the steak from the skillet and place on a plate cover with another plate and let it rest at least 10 minutes (it will continue to cook internally and become much more tender)

Taco Tuesday

  1. The key to a taco is fresh CORN tortillas
  2. Mince white onion
  3. Mince cilantro
  4. Lime slices (served on the side)
    Taco fillings
  5. Chopped pan-grilled chicken
  6. Chopped pan-grilled fish or shrimp
  7. Chopped pan-grilled rib-eye steak or pork chop
  8. Breakfast potatoes
  9. Avocadoes, sunflower seeds, tomatoes and chedder cheese
  10. Magic mushrooms
  11. DO NOT serve the hamburger meat with taco seasoning bullshit