Whole30 Day 16: Pressure Cooker Indian Curry Lamb Spareribs



Once upon a time (about 300 years ago), a French mathematician named Denis Papin was living and working in London. Papin was a tinkerer. After putting in long days as an assistant to a physicist, the Frenchman worked on his own inventions — the most enduring of which was something he called a “steam digester”: a cast iron container with a tight-sealing, screw-top lid and a release valve that could be heated over red-hot coals. The purpose of the device? To cook and tenderize food in a flash.


Papin’s steam digester was a closed environment that was designed to heat water under intense pressure, pushing its boiling point far above the normal 212°F. When the device was heated, the pressure from the steam would raise the internal temperature up to 257°F, forcing the steam — a fantastically efficient heat conductor — through foods, thus shortening the cooking time by as much as two-thirds. What’s more, with all the liquids retained in the pot, the resulting dishes were moist and bursting with concentrated flavors.

Papin was excited about his invention, and unveiled his new “engine for softening bones” before the Royal Society of London — the oldest and most prestigious geek squad known to man. He proudly noted that “the hardest cow-beef may be made as tender and savoury as young and choice meat,” making the steam digester ideal for speedy, cost-effective cooking — as well as for the “making of drinks, chemistry, and dyeing.”  


But Papin’s steam digester wasn’t quite ready for prime time. It required a specially-built furnace, and despite the addition of a safety valve, pressurized explosions weren’t uncommon. The steam digester never really caught on. Dejected after years of fruitless attempts to turn people onto pressure cooking, Papin never even bothered to patent his invention, and he died penniless in 1712.

This may be three centuries too late, but Denis Papin: I salute you.

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"Video game violence is not a new problem. Who can forget in the wake of Sim City how children everywhere took up urban planning? It was all ‘Tune in, turn on, and zone for residential use, man!!!’"

STEPHEN COLBERT, remarking on gun nuts trying to shift blame for gun violence to video games — instead of, we don’t know, guns — on The Colbert Report (via inothernews)

(via parislemon)

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Lessig Blog, v2: Prosecutor as bully


Boston Wiki Meetup

(Some will say this is not the time. I disagree. This is the time when every mixed emotion needs to find voice.)

Since his arrest in January, 2011, I have known more about the events that began this spiral than I have wanted to know. Aaron consulted me as a friend and lawyer. He…

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Alex Wilhelm of TheNextWeb:

Yes, this is amateur hour.

I have a feeling she couldn’t send that tweet from Surface because it’s in the trashcan, right next to mine.


Alex Wilhelm of TheNextWeb:

Yes, this is amateur hour.

I have a feeling she couldn’t send that tweet from Surface because it’s in the trashcan, right next to mine.

328 notes

Stowe Boyd: A Heart Is Different From A Star

How Airbnb Evolved To Focus On Social Rather Than Searches - Cliff Kuang via Co.Design

For a couple years, registered Airbnb users have been able to star the properties they browse, and save them to a list. But Gebbia’s team wondered whether just a few tweaks here and there could change…

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Recipe: Curry Steamed Cauliflower

Sweet Maria, was this sh*t good.  Very healthy side dish, great leftover, and brain-dead simple to make.  Here’s how…


1 Head of Cauliflower

Medium Onion

Curry paste or sauce.  (The go to sauce I use is pictured below.)

1T Ghee or whatever fat you saute with

Optional: salt, pepper, chopped fresh basil

To prepare

Chop up cauliflower into small, bite sized pieces.  

Coarsely chop up the onion

To cook

Steam cauliflower for about 7 minutes, until it’s like al dente pasta in doneness.  (It is going to simmer further in the curry, so don’t over cook.)

Then, in a large frying pan, sautee the onions in ghee for about 3 minutes, until translucent. 

Transfer cauliflower into pan and add curry paste / sauce. 

Saute for 10-15 minutes.  

Add salt, pepper to taste.  Add chopped handful of basil as well if you like.  

Great as a hot side dish.  Also, an awesome leftover—have had it as a side dish for breakfast, lunch and dinner since!

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Whole May Recap

May was a month where a group of us from CrossFit Palo Alto all committed to doing the Whole30 nutrition program.  This is my recap—what worked, what didn’t, what’s next.  

What is the Whole30 program?  Whole30 is basically a very purist approach to what I think of as the “Paleo Diet.” I think of Whole30 as a nutrition program as opposed to a diet, as it seems much more ‘a way to eat for optimal nutritional benefit,’ than it is ‘a way to count calories/lose weight/look better on a beach.’ 

You can learn more about the details of what the program is here, and there are numerous resources around Eating Paleo, with my hands-down favorite being NomNomPaleo

To summarize the Whole30 program in 30 words, I’d describe it like this:

  • Lots of lean meats
  • Lots of vegetables
  • Lots of water
  • Eggs, Coffee, and some fruits 
  • No Bread, Pasta, Grains, Rice
  • No Legumes or Soy
  • No Booze

Eat like this for 1 month.

So this was my May 2012, and what follows is my perspective on the experience.  

The early adjustment was challenging, but I got to the other side relatively quickly.  The first few days were an adjustment, no question.  I had been eating a relatively healthy, paleo-styled diet prior to the WholeMay, with two notable exceptions: (1) I would drink a beer or two a night or two per week; and (2) my nutrition at dinner was pretty lax, often having rice or bread or whatever.  

WholeMay got me laser focused on those two holes in my diet, and the first few days were a little difficult, but I got through them.  By around day 8-10, though, I found that I had adjusted though, and I didn’t really think about having a beer or bread or whatever.  So a tip I’d give people who think about Whole30 as a program is that having a solid nutritional base is definitely helpful in getting through the adjustment.  

Once my body adjusted, the clear-headedness and sharpness of focus really became apparent.  By around day 10, I started noticing that I felt a lot more focused and clear-headed day-to-day.  Hard to describe specifics here, just that I noticed what I’d call clear-headedness.  Better focus, sharper, etc.  

Also once I adjusted, I found the program pretty easy to stay on.  Again, by the second week of this, the habits felt pretty well formed and it wasn’t that hard to keep on them.  

This definitely changed the way I think about (and eat) food.  I think because I saw such an improvement in my mental energy and sharpness, the baseline that the WholeMay established has become hard to get away from.  This past weekend, my first off of WholeMay, I called a bit of a Mardi Gras weekend, where I ate whatever I wanted basically.

This I thought was good to do, because it caused me to realize very clearly how bad poor nutrition makes me feel.  I’m basically heading right back to Whole30 precepts, as eating crap makes me feel like crap. 

In several fitness areas, I saw big improvements; some remained flat.  Murph time: 10 minute improvement.  This year all pushups were full/Rx style; last year, at least half of the pushups were from the knees.  Also, this year, pullups from Green band, last year the Black. 

50 Situps: 10% improvement in time.  Was 2:00, did 1:40 on June 1. 

50 Pushups: 10% improvement in time. Was 4:40, did 4:00 on June 1. 

500M row benchmark remained flat, as did 2000m row.  Deadlift also remained flat. 

Also, I found that I lost a little more than 5 pounds during the month.  This wasn’t really a focus. 

So all in all, I count the experience a great success.  I eat better, I definitely feel way better, and I’m seeing improvements physically that I’ll want to extend.  After a brief Mardi Gras relaxation of constraints, I’m right back on it, for the simple reason that I feel better. 

With that, here are the tips I found that I’d share as they really helped me out…

  • Crystal Geyser Water was a savior—I drank these by the truckload.  These are sold at CostCo, and I went through cases of these.  Not sure why—helped with hydration, and also kept me from being tempted by either booze or something sweet.  Loved CG. 
  • NomNomPaleo iPad App.  I made Sweet Potato Fries,  Curried Chicken, and Cauliflower-based fried rice from the iPad App recipes.  All were knockout crazy good.  The Curry Chicken and Fried Rice may well have been one of the best 5 meals I’ve ever cooked.  NomNomNom. 
  • Shaved Coconut Flakes for snacking.  If need to take edge off, having a handful of Shaved Coconut Flakes totally did the trick.  Some Whole Foods carry this in a bulk trail mix section.  I buy about a quarter pound of and keep around. 
  • Support group.  Trish and Tim at CrossFit Palo Alto did a great job by creating a private Facebook group where people doing this program could support each other.  This was great.  Really helped to have people sharing recipes, challenges, and successes.
  • The 5 minute gourmet salad.  One trick I built that worked great was building fast, but interesting salads.  E.g., I’d sautee a bunch of really nice mushrooms and onions in Ghee, and then I’d throw them into a salad of lettuce/spinach.  Usual dressing was a simple vinaigreette—olive oil, vinegar and usually some dijon mustard (from trader joes).  Put a bit of grilled chicken on this and you’ve got money in the bank. 
  • Ghee, how I love thee.  Once I was told that clarified butter was ok to eat, holy moses, what couldn’t you cook?  Total godsend.  
  • Guac.  Make some, throw in fridge and pop onto almost anything—can never go wrong with some guac.  Filling, tasty, and healthy.  

So those were my tips on what was a good month.  I’ll admit I wasn’t successful 100% of the time on WholeMay—I’d say I had probably 3 days with material failures, but all in all, this was so much better than I’d ever done before, that I count it a big step forward for me.

What’s Next?

Now that I’m jumping back onto the nutrition program, I’m starting to think about some of the things I want to do fitness wise as next challenges and steps to take…  Nothing committed but things I’m thinking about…

  • Tough Mudder in Tahoe this September
  • A triathlon of some distance, and more broadly, getting more dedicated to swimming
  • Picking up tennis—try and learn new sports

Would love to hear others’ experiences retrospectively on the WholeMay and what’s next for folks.  

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Original image by Diana Walker for Time.


Original image by Diana Walker for Time.

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Rules of a creator’s life. Nine rules that can make 2012 work for you. 


Rules of a creator’s life. Nine rules that can make 2012 work for you. 

(Source: webmsmith)

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A great feature of Japan’s Airline Lounges. When will they start distributing these machines in the US?!

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