Risotto with Pork and Beets

We’ve been eating – I just haven’t been writing about it. I’ve been busy updating the Tim and Victor website, going to the Doctor for my annual physical, making all of the appointments for all of the follow-up tests…

Blood pressure – perfect. Cholesterol numbers – knocked them out of the park. Blood sugar – meh – but not bad. Probably more to do with the volume of fresh fruit I’m eating than anything else. Not a worry. Urine, clear. Everything fine. I’ve lost 19 pounds in 10 weeks and feel great. I got my flu shot and a new pneumonia shot – I’m not an anti-vaxxer – and other than slightly sore arms, it went well.

My PSA went up a point and a half from my last screening – that’s the prostate test – and since there’s a history of prostate cancer in the family, he thought I should get it checked out. He wanted to rule out infection, so he prescribed Ciprofloxacin – 500mg 2xday. Side effects – torn tendons and tendinitis – especially for those over 60. That would be me. And, the effects can last months after taking the drug.

I took the first two, yesterday, but really felt uncomfortable taking it. I go to the gym at least 3x week and we have a trainer who pushes the hell out of us. Lifting things and stretching things and otherwise pushing everything is a normal part of the day. I can’t worry about possibly ripping my Achilles Tendon or tendinitis in my arms for the next six months! I need to be able to get in there and do what needs to be done!  I called him back and he agreed with me – I stopped taking it – and my appointment with the Urologist is in three weeks.

The next order of business was a Lung Cancer CT Scan. My doctor recommended it, too, because of Family History. I’ve had chest x-rays in the past and they’ve always come back clear, but this is a closer look.

It’s offered through Medicare – or, at least, it is, today – and it’s taking a look at my lungs after years and years of pack+/day smoking. I finally quit 10 years ago, and this is only available if you meet the following criteria:

  • Be 55–77 years of age;
  • Be asymptomatic (no signs or symptoms of lung cancer);
  • Have a tobacco smoking history of at least 30 pack-years (one pack-year = smoking one pack per day for one year; 1 pack = 20 cigarettes);
  • Be a current smoker or one who has quit smoking within the last 15 years; and,
  • Receive a written order for lung cancer screening with LDCT that meets the requirements described in the NCD.

I meet all of the above. Above and beyond, in fact. I had that done today at Penn Medicine at Valley Forge. The place was awesome! Talk about friendly, efficient, and organised. I was in and out in literal minutes.

So that’s it in a nutshell. Feeling great, see the Urologist in a couple of weeks, and life is good. On to food!

Cutting back those portions is working – and we’re still eating fun food!

Tuesday was Sweet Potatoes and Chicken with fennel, carrots, and celery.

Sweet Potatoes and Chicken

I browned chicken thighs in a braising pan and then sautéed onion, fennel, celery, and carrots. Added cubed sweet potatoes, a splash of white wine, a jar of our homemade tomato sauce, a pinch of allspice, cloves, and cinnamon, and a bit of salt and pepper.

I placed the lid on it and put it in the oven for 35 minutes. It was pretty good!

Wednesday was steak. A nice new York strip steak – one split between the two of us.

NY Steak

It’s difficult to believe that once upon a time, I would have cooked two of those – and we would have finished them! The fun side dish was a take on a Lidia recipe of potatoes and pancetta.

Lay out thin slices of pancetta in a baking dish, add potatoes that have been oiled, fresh oregano, and salt & pepper. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 400°F. Take off the foil and cook another 10 or so minutes to crisp the pancetta. Roasyed asparagus finished it off.

It was really good!

Today was risotto! Not just any old risotto, mind you, but risotto of carnaroli rice and black sticky rice!

Risotto with Pork and Beets

And golden beets, and pork tenderloin, and onion and garlic and just a pinch of cheese.

I cooked the black rice separately, as it takes 40+ minutes to cook. Into the skillet went a bit of chopped onion and the tenderloin cut into cubes. I browned it all, added a half-cup of the carnaroli rice – it’s a great risotto rice that I like even better than arborio – and then the wine, and the broth in slow increments. About halfway through I added the black rice, and then – almost at the end – I added the roasted and cubed golden beets. A bit of parmesan cheese and dinner was served.

It was a great color – the beets and the black rice really took over. The pork was a perfect purple – as was the carnaroli rice.

Another great meal.

Back the the gym tomorrow and the official weigh-in. I’m hoping for an even 20 lost!

We shall see!