Ripped Salad: Daikon and Cucumber with Shaved Beets, Black Plum and Scallion in Peanut Vinaigrette

A vision for this salad materialized in my head yesterday in the grocery store when I happened to look down and notice I was standing over a stack of Daikon.

Refreshing and extremely tasty.

Refreshing and extremely tasty.

1 large Daikon radish, sliced thin (mandolin helps)
1 large cucumber, diced 3/4 inch
1 medium beet, shaved
1 black plum, julienned
2-3 scallions, sliced thin

3 or 4 Tbsp of one or a combo of white vinegar, rice wine vinegar, apple cider (I use all three. You can also play around with some fresh lime juice.)
1 or 2 Tbsp natural peanut butter
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp fish sauce if you like
Several leaves coarsely chopped mint
Red pepper flake to taste

Add all salad ingredients to bowl. Mix dressing ingredients well and add to salad. Toss well. This is better if you leave in your fridge for a couple of hours to allow the Daikon to really absorb the flavors of the dressing. Can also add a few pinches of salt–if you add early, it will draw water out of vegetables, which I sometimes like. Add salt late for flavor purposes only. Grated carrot also goes nice in this.

Ripped Recipe: Lemon Mint Ricecream and a rant against fructose and high-density ice cream

As the name implies, Lemon Mint Ricecream can be a calorie bomb

I deploy ricecream strategically for one or a combination of the two following reasons: 1) I’m totally burned out i.e. I’ve depleted most muscle and liver glycogen walking 20,000 steps while fasted or after having put in a particularly grueling lifting session, or 2) I’m mentally burned out and need a soul massage.

Cooked rice (with a little salt), cooled to room temp (whatever type and however much you want)
Vanilla ice cream
Juice of a quarter lemon
Chiffonade of several mint leaves
Cinnamon to taste

Put rice in bowl. Mix with mint and lemon juice. Put vanilla ice cream on top. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Maybe let ice cream melt a little. Maybe mix ice cream and rice. Eat like a freaking wild animal then drink red wine then go right to bed.

Ice cream density is the devil

First, let me say that Ben and Jerry’s makes me angry. There’s no reason ice cream should be that rich. If you take a look at the weight of one serving (1/2 cup) of a “simple” Ben and Jerry’s flavor, like chocolate or vanilla, you’ll notice that it’s approximately 100 grams. Compare that to a less rich ice cream like Turkey Hill chocolate or vanilla, and you’ll see that the same 1/2 cup serving weighs around 60 grams. That means it’s less dense. Ok, fine, but that also translates into Turkey Hill containing about 60% the fat and 50% the sugar of the same volume of Ben and Jerry’s. Sure, you could eat only a quarter cup of B and J’s, but why the heck would a human want so little ice cream? I don’t know. This gets me all nice and hot for my next item, a rant against fructose.

Fructose is toxic

In my opinion fructose should be classified as a toxin and only be permitted to be used by a skilled practitioner who is well in tune with his or her body. Agave syrup should be banned outright, for it is 70% fructose, higher in fructose than any other substance other than pure fructose. You can hate me for despising agave syrup; I’m at peace with it. Based on my own research, I believe that fructose is so fantastically bad for the body for so many reasons. Yeah, sure it doesn’t elicit much of an insulin response (which is totally ironic), but for me, its number one offense is that the form of glycogen into which it’s converted by the liver cannot be stored in muscle which should be our primary carbohydrate storage tank (most people — at least Americans — eat way too much food, carry too little muscle, and don’t deplete their glycogen stores regularly enough for this mechanism to be effective, so they store most excess energy as fat). But I digress. I was saying that the form of glycogen into which fructose is converted can only be stored in the liver, which holds less glycogen than all the muscle in the body. As soon as the liver’s full of glycogen, which for the average, non-fasting, less active person it almost always is, that fructose is converted to triglycerides and stored as fat. Ever heard of high circulating triglycerides and how bad that is? Fructose, not saturated fat or cholesterol is one of the major contributors to the condition precisely because of way it is metabolized.

If I eat something with sugar (sucrose, which is half fructose by weight) in it, I make damn certain I’ve done everything I can to deplete my glycogen stores. That statement is a bit of a straw man; since I fast 21 hours every day and walk or lift or a combination of the two during my fast, it’s never an issue. This is yet another reason why fasting regularly for an extended period can be so incredibly powerful.

Ripped Recipe: Caramelized Cauliflower in Lemon-Garlic Brown Butter with Rosemary and Pecorino

Enough said.

Enough said.

No further description warranted.

900g cauliflower cut into florets (1 large head)
1 Tbsp butter (I prefer organic cultured butter)
1 Tbsp bacon fat (or another of butter)
juice of 3/4 to 1 lemon
3 large cloves garlic, sliced very thin
2 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp dried sweet basil
1/4 cup + a little grated pecorino romano
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
kosher salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Heat 1 Tbsp butter in large pan and cook until just golden brown.
  2. Turn flame to high. Add cauliflower and allow to brown, stirring occasionally. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove from pan once soft enough for your liking.
  3. Add bacon fat or other Tbsp butter to pan. [Bacon fat tastes much better to me. And it’s just as good for you as butter. Do some googling if you don’t believe.] Heat it up. Add garlic, rosemary and basil and sauté until garlic slices just begin to take on a light brown hue. Add red pepper flakes and cook for an additional 20-30 seconds.
  4. Add lemon juice immediately followed by cauliflower and cheese. Mix well and remove from heat. Spoon into bowls and top with a little grated cheese and more red pepper. Eat.

Ripped Recipe: Ripped Mint Hot Cocoa

Super simple, tasty and proteiny.

Super simple, tasty and proteiny.

This one is so simple. I felt like a genius for a minute after creating it.

3/4 scoop chocolate casein powder
1 peppermint tea bag
10 oz boiling water

Mix casein with a couple of oz warm tap water. Mix it well so there are no clumps. Slowly add boiling water while stirring rapidly. Steep mint tea bag in mixture for 3-5 mins depending on how strong you want it. Drink.

Ripped Recipe: Savory Garlic Romano Apricot Oatmeal Polenta With Ginger Dusted Watermelon and Maple Syrup

A truly unique twist on polenta.

A truly unique twist on polenta.

I enjoy polenta, but 1) I’m not into the cooking time, and 2) I don’t eat corn anymore. Sort of.

Anyway, I have a sneaking suspicion that most people believe oats are for breakfast (oatmeal), or dessert (cookies), or simply a flavorless filler/ moisture holder for meatloaf. Let’s smush that stereotype.

1/2 cup 1-min oats
1 cup unsalted chicken stock
1-2 Tbsp milk
3 Tbsp grated Locatelli Romano or other good hard Italian sharp cheese
1 small palmful of chopped dried apricots (preferably unsulphured organic)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp nutmeg
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
watermelon cut into 1″ cubes
ground ginger

Mix oats and chicken stock; microwave for a minute or so until the mixture becomes thick. This is half the liquid normally used to make oats.

Stir in Romano, apricots, garlic powder, nutmeg, salt and pepper. The mix should be very thick like corn polenta. If it’s too thick, just add a little milk.

Spread onto plate or tray and set aside or in fridge to cool. Once cool, it can be cut into squares, but they wont stay together like traditional polenta. You could alternatively just serve as a scoop on plate.

Plate by setting watermelon cubes next to polenta. Dust watermelon with granulated ginger. Drizzle a little pure maple syrup on oat polenta. Eat.