May 27, 2013

A few months ago I was browsing the freezer section at Sprouts, when I came upon ground antelope. Although I rarely eat red meat, let alone cook with it, a couple of years ago I discovered that I like game such as elk or venison. So I looked at the nutritional information for the antelope, and, delighted with how low-calorie and low-fat it was compared to most red meat, decided to get some. It took quite a while before I used it, but I had kind of been thinking meatloaf all along. The progression from ‘antelope loaf’ to ‘anteloaf’ just seemed natural.

Since I’m doing a body fat loss challenge this summer, I wanted to make sure that I used nutritionally dense, unrefined ingredients for this recipe. Most meatloaf is made using bread crumbs and ketchup. I found one recipe online that used both bulgur and bread crumbs, so decided I would just go with bulgur.  Bulgur is one of my favorite grains – high in fiber, considered a whole grain, and with a slightly nutty taste, it’s very quick to cook as well, which is a plus. In order to avoid using ketchup (which is about 1/3 refined sugar or high fructose corn syrup), I decided to use tomato paste and just a bit of honey. The Dijon was an idea from The Joy of Cooking.

Anteloaf Ingredients

Anteloaf Ingredients

I happened to have some green garlic from the Farmers’ Market, so I used that instead of minced garlic. In the future I would go ahead and use regular garlic – I just think it would work better flavor-wise and texture-wise.

Speaking of texture. My anteloaf wasn’t really the most structurally sound food item. It crumbled a bit when I removed it from the pan. But I’ve never really been one to place a high level of importance on this type of thing as long as my food tastes good, and the texture isn’t atcually weird or displeasing. (Unless I’m photographing it, in which case that type of thing becomes quite annoying. But you know – meatloaf isn’t attractive. It’s just not. It’s a hearty comfort food, and not something that you’re going to find in a fine dining establishment or on the cover of Food & Wine (don’t quote me – there could very well be a meatloaf-featuring issue somewhere in the magazine’s history, I just doubt it.) So anyway, where was I going with that? Oh yeah – so this meatloaf was never going to be photogenic no matter what. The fact that it crumbled a bit didn’t really bother me.)

So the result? It definitely had a slightly gamey smell, but the taste was outstanding. I really liked the addition of bulgur, which gave it a more hearty texture. The taste worked really well with the antelope and the Dijon was a great addition. Here’s an extreme close-up, to show the texture. Trust me, it’s more attractive than the before and after going in the oven pictures, or anything I got of individual servings.

Anteloaf - Extreme Closeup

Anteloaf – Extreme Closeup (aka ‘Enlarged to Show Texture)

makes 4-5 servings

1 lb ground antelope (or elk, turkey, or ostrich)
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/3 cup finely chopped green garlic (or 3-5 garlic cloves, minced)
3/4 cup cooked bulgur (I use low-sodium chicken stock instead of water)
1 whole egg + 2 egg whites lightly beaten
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp salt

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the egg, tomato paste, Dijon, honey, and salt until well combined. Put all ingredients into a large bowl, and mix with your hands until ingredients are well-combined, but try not to over-mix. Put the meatloaf in the (ungreased) bread pan and even the top out. Bake uncovered for 1 hour to 1 hour + 15 minutes. The inside of the meatloaf should be 160 degrees for antelope, elk, or ostrich, or 165 degrees for turkey. Remove from the oven and let stand for 15 minutes before serving. (Remove any extra fat if it’s there – these meats are fairly lean though, so you might not have to.)

Nutrition Info for 1/5 loaf: 192 cals, 3.9 g fat, 1.6 g fiber, 23 g protein, 4 WW points


Monday was our initial hydrostatic weigh-in for the three-month body fat loss contest at my company. I was in no way expecting my percentage body fat to be anywhere near the 19.8% it was a couple of years after I graduated from college. And as I stated in my previous post, I was even expecting to possibly measure in the obese category, despite my BMI being in the healthy range. But after seeing my result and its firm placement between ‘unhealthy’ and ‘very unhealthy’, I was a little more disappointed than I thought I would be. I thought about whether or not I wanted to share the details, but then I thought, hey, go all-in and that way it’ll give you even more motivation. So. The bottom line details:

height: 5′ 3+3/4″
weight: 140 lbs
lean body mass: 92.9 lbs
fat body mass: 47.1 lbs
percentage body fat: 33.7%

Yikes. Well, alright then. IT’S ON! I’m not sure how much of a chance I have in the contest, but it will be nice to have support and motivation at work, and you never know! But more importantly, I have my own goals. In order to keep my body mass up for bone density reasons, I really don’t want to go below 132. So the ideal is to build muscle to trade out with fat in addition to that 8 lbs.

Bottom Line Goal:
weight: 134 lbs
lean body mass: 94.9 lbs
fat body mass: 39.1
percentage body fat: 29.2%

Desired Goal:
height: 5’7″ (if only)
weight: 132 lbs
lean body mass: 97.4 lbs
fat body mass: 34.6 lbs
percentage body fat: 26.2%

My desired goal would get me pretty close to the upper level for ‘fitness’ (vs. ‘average’) of 24%, so I’d just have a bit more muscle gain in the fall. Then of course comes a maintenance plan, but I’ll deal with that in a few months.

So there it is – all out in the open. Posts on my diet and exercise to follow.

Boulder Flatirons

Boulder Flatirons

Starting this coming Monday, I will be taking part in a three-month body fat loss contest with some of my coworkers. Since I’m still trying to lose the extra 5 or so pounds I added over the holidays (that would be the late November through early January holidays), it seemed like a perfect time for a little extra motivation.

The initial and final weight and body fat measurements will be done using hydrostatic weighing (aka underwater weighing), which is one of the most accurate methods of measurement. We have a lot of very fit people at my company, so it should be an interesting contest.

My food plan for the summer is to really focus on nutrient-dense food, avoiding empty calories as much as possible, and making sure I have a good balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates (unrefined grains and fruits and vegetables). And summer seems like the ideal time for that with such a variety of fresh produce available. I still plan to eat out and have fun once a week, but definitely have a lot of room for improvement for the other 20 meals a week.

In terms of exercise, I’ve had some trouble with tendonitis in my knee and some lower back pain, so my goals are to work on strength training (especially my physical therapy exercises for my abs to help take stress off my back), and slowly increase my cardio workouts so I can avoid any overuse issues. I also plan to vary the type of cardio I do to minimize this type of risk as well.

I’m a bit nervous to see what my starting percentage of body fat is, as I know without a doubt that it’s increased since I last had it ‘officially’ measured nearly 20 years ago. While my BMI is in the normal range (on a scale of underweight/normal/overweight/obese), judging by the values I see from my body fat measurement scale at home, I fear I may actually end up categorized as obese in terms of body fat. Which really speaks to how a person’s weight measurement really doesn’t tell you much about the quality of that weight in terms of lean body mass or fat.

So we’ll see – I’ll post my starting and ending percentage body fat, and do a few posts during the summer as to how things have been going. I’m excited to get started!

I’ve been negligent in terms of cooking over the past couple weeks, as I’ve been very indulgent of my new obsession with acrylic painting. Last weekend I determined it was necessary to add summer, fall, and winter versions of the Spring Aspens painting I did at Whimsy Paint and Sip in Erie, CO, so I really had nothing shareable in the food arena.

Seasonal Aspens

Seasonal Aspens – in no way food-related

This weekend I thought I would finally try to make sorbet in the ice cream maker I got late last year. (Up until now I had only made some semi-successful dairy-related attempts with it.) Mangos came to mind, but I wanted to use something else in addition, so I went with pineapple, figuring that was a nice tropical combination.

Mango and Pineapple

Mango and Pineapple

My research into sorbet turned up a lot of recipes that used some sort of sugar/fruit syrup, but I didn’t plan to use a lot of sweetener since mango and pineapple are already pretty sweet, and wasn’t really in the mood for cooking down a syrup. So I just went with puréed fruit. Most of the recipes I saw, even for pineapple sorbet, used a cup or so of sugar, but I ended up just adding 1/4 cup of erythritol, and even used a little more lemon juice than most recipes called for.

Puréed Mango and Pineapple

Puréed Mango and Pineapple

I put the mix into my ice cream maker, and waited to see how it would turn out. Traditionally, sorbet has a small bit of alcohol added, which prevents it from freezing into a block of fruit ice when stored. But I made this without any alcohol – I already wasn’t following the sugar/fruit syrup convention, so I wasn’t going to stand on ceremony at this point.

Mango Pineapple Sorbet in the Ice Cream Maker

Mango Pineapple Sorbet in the Ice Cream Maker

The ice cream maker determined that my sorbet was finished before it got too terribly solid and frozen (I figured once the sorbet froze in place, leaving it in there wasn’t going to have much (or any) effect). So it was a tad more like soft serve sorbet (that sounds legitimate, doesn’t it?) than traditional sorbet, but it still tasted awesome.

Mango Pineapple Sorbet

Mango Pineapple Sorbet

Soft Serve Mango Pineapple Sorbet
makes 4-6 servings

3 cups fresh pineapple chunks
3 cups fresh mango chunks
2-3 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup erythritol (or sugar)

Purée the pineapple and mango in a food processor until completely liquidy. Add the erythritol or sugar and 2 Tbsp of the lemon juice, and process again. Taste and add additional lemon juice if desired. Then follow the directions for your ice cream maker. The process took about 15 minutes in mine.

Note: If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can use this recipe to make granita instead. Pour the mixture into a container like a metal baking pan, then freeze for 20 minutes, use a fork to break up the ice crystals and move the frozen parts into the center of the pan, and repeat this process for about an hour and a half.

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