Szechuan (Western Chinese) Cuisine II

Below are the three dishes I’ll teach in the cooking class this evening.

Diced Chicken with Chili Oil Sauce

Nutrition value for 1/4 portion of recipe:

Calorie 353, Fat 28 g, Carbohydrate 10 g, Fibre 3 g, Sugar 2 g, Cholesterol 36 mg, Sodium 702 mg, Protein 18 g.

Fish with Hot Bean Sauce

Nutrition value for 1/4 portion of recipe:

Calorie 220, Fat 10.7 g, Carbohydrate 8 g, Fibre 0 g, 2 g, Cholesterol 81 mg, Sodium 877 mg, Protein 22 g.

Hot and Spicy Stir-fried Beef

Nutrition value for 1/4 portion of recipe:

Calorie 261, Fat 18.4 g, Carbohydrate 9 g, Fibre 2 g, Sugar 3 g, Cholesterol 23 mg, Sodium 866 mg, Protein 16 g.

See my related posts:

Light Weights Are Just as Good for Building Muscle, Getting Stronger

Lifting less weight more times is just as effective at building muscle as training with heavy weights, a finding by McMaster researchers that turns conventional wisdom on its head.

The key to muscle gain, say the researchers, is working to the point of fatigue.

“We found that loads that were quite heavy and comparatively light were equally effective at inducing muscle growth and promoting strength,” says Cam Mitchell, one of the lead authors of the study and a PhD candidate in the Department of Kinesiology.

The research, published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, challenges the widely accepted dogma that training with heavy weights—which can be lifted only six to 12 times before fatigue—is the best avenue to muscle growth.

“Many older adults can have joint problems which would prevent them training with heavy loads,” says Mitchell. “This study shows that they have the option of training with lighter and less intimidating loads and can still receive the benefits.”

For the study, a series of experiments were conducted on healthy, young male volunteers to measure how their leg muscles reacted to different forms of resistance training over a period of 10 weeks.

The researchers first determined the maximum weight each subject could lift one time in a knee extension. Each subject was assigned to a different training program for each leg.

In all, three different programs were used in combinations that required the volunteers to complete sets of as many repetitions as possible with their assigned loads – typically eight to 12 times per set at the heaviest weights and 25-30 times at the lowest weights.

The three programs used in the combinations were:

  • one set at 80% of the maximum load
  • three sets at 80% of the maximum
  • three sets at 30% of the maximum

After 10 weeks of training, three times per week, the heavy and light groups that lifted three sets saw significant gains in muscle volume—as measured by MRI—with no difference among the groups. Still, the group that used heavier weights for three sets developed a bit more strength.

The group that trained for a single set showed approximately half the increase in muscle size seen in both the heavy and light groups.

“The complexity of current resistance training guidelines may deter some people from resistance training and therefore from receiving the associated health benefits,” says Stuart Phillips, a professor in the Department of Kinesiology and supervisor of the study. “Our study provides evidence for a simpler paradigm, where a much broader range of loads including quite light loads can induce muscle growth, provided it is lifted to the point where it is difficult to maintain good form.”

Source: Newswise

Scallop Appetizer with Salsa



1 sweet potato, peeled
2 tablespoons potato starch
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 extra-large dry scallops
Salt and freshly ground pepper


2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon lime rind
2 teaspoons chopped jalapeno pepper
½ cup chopped green onion
2 tablespoons chopped coriander
Pinch of sugar


  1. Shred sweet potato using the shredder blade of a food processor. Remove from food processor and pat dry. Mix about 1 packed cup with potato starch.
  2. Working in batches, heat 1 tablespoon oil in skillet over medium heat. Add about 2 tablespoons sweet potato mixture, flatten slightly and fry for about 2 minutes per side or until crisp and cooked through. Repeat using the rest of the sweet potato mixture and add an extra tablespoon of oil as needed.
  3. Reserve and keep warm.
  4. Combine lime juice and rind with jalapeno, green onions, chopped coriander and sugar in a mini chop or by hand.
  5. Reserve.
  6. Season scallops with salt and pepper. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a nonstick skillet over high heat.
  7. Add scallops and sear for 1 to 2 minutes a side or until golden brown on both sides.
  8. Scallops should be opaque throughout. Place browned side up on sweet potato pancake and top with salsa.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: The Globe and Mail

Today’s Comic

Best Fast-food Egg Sandwiches

Consumer Reports recently tested the nutritional and culinary merits of the breakfast egg sandwiches available at fast-food mainstays Burger King, Dunkin’ Donuts, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Subway and Wendy’s. Testers sampled 106 different sandwiches, providing analysis and rankings.

Of the 106 sandwiches, they found only six that rated as “very good” in terms of nutrition—and all six of those sandwiches came from Subway. In the “good” nutrition category, Subway had three breakfast Muffin Melts, Mornin’ Flatbreads and Subs listed, while Starbucks made the cut with its Turkey Bacon & White Cheddar Classic and its Chicken Sausage or Spinach, Feta & Egg White wraps, and Dunkin’ Donuts with its Egg White Turkey Sausage, Veggie or Western wraps, and its Egg & Cheese wrap. Their analysis found that none of the sandwiches from McDonald’s, Wendy’s or Burger King ranked any higher than “fair” nutritionally.

When it came to flavor, only the Egg White & Cheese on Mornin’ Flatbread from Subway ranked as “very good,” with Consumer Reports noting that “its components blended well, its flatbread was tender, its egg whites were flavorful.” In citing the drawbacks of other tested sandwiches, they noted that the cheese in the Starbucks sandwiches was “saucelike” and the egg in McDonald’s sandwiches was “slightly rubbery.” Other eggs tested were described as “flavorless,” and muffins as “mediocre.” They also noted a lack of consistency of the sandwiches from location to location.