Epigenetics of Fat (Recipe: Burst Tomato Galette with Corn and Onion)

I read an article in The Economist a couple of issues ago titled “Altered States: The Epigenetics of Fat” that was super interesting.  I’m a dork, I know.  But I really enjoy learning about these things!  I will summarize it here.

Exercise is the closest thing medicine has to a panacea–even modest amounts protect against diseases ranging from diabetes to osteoporosis, from heart attacks to senility.  Exercise improves the power and efficiency of the heart.  It boosts the release of certain neurotransmitters.  Pretty much, it does a lot of stuff.

A group of researchers in Sweden at Lund University discovered another effect of exercise:  it alters the way genes work in the tissue that stores fat. Basically, the researchers reported the effects of six months of moderate exercise on 23 male “couch potatoes” and observed changes in their subjects adipose tissue.  Adipose tissue is where fat is stored.  Specifically, the way fat cells in this tissue expressed their genes had altered.  This is known as epigenetics and is a branch of biology that is rapidly developing.  It focuses on how particular genes behave in specific cells.

In conclusion, the researchers found that exercise improves the ability of fatty tissue to do its job.  With exercise, lipids get stored in the right place instead of settling elsewhere in the body where they do harm.  For instance, if you have surplus fat, it is better to have it stored in fatty tissue than in the liver or the pancreas.

This study is only the beginning, and there is much more work to be done, but I love reading about it!!

We had our first family on-leash walk around the neighborhood a couple nights ago!

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The girls did so well together!  Envy got introduced to runners, cyclists, other dog walkers, cars, buses and my friend Heather and her dog!  She did so well!  And the girls are tugging like crazy together at home now! I just love watching them!!

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I’m sooo glad it is Friday!  Parts of the week went by super fast and others excruciatingly slow.  There is lots of fun planned for this weekend!  I can’t wait!  And Envy and Callie will have yet another visitor!  I think we will start the fun off with some music by Pat McCurdy at the Union tonight!  A typical Madison summer evening activity!

Workouts this week:

Monday: 40 minutes elliptical; 16.6 mile indoor ride; hip strengthening

Tuesday: 40 minutes weights + RC exercises + hip strengthening; 14.9 mile indoor ride; 1.25 mile walk

Wednesday: 30 minutes hip strengthening + weights; 7 minutes rowing; 15.1 mile indoor ride; 30 minutes elliptical

Thursday: 25 minutes hip strengthening + weights; 23.3 mile indoor ride; 1.3 mile walk

Quote of the Day:

“Nobody ever wrote down a plan to be broke, fat, lazy, or stupid. Those things are what happen when you don’t have a plan.” – Larry Winget

Kim made this recipe last weekend and raved about it, so I knew it was a must try!  And it is delicious!  I have to say that Kim and I have had many discussions about how “galettes” intimidate us.  Just the name of the dish sounds intimidating!  Doesn’t it??  But this one wasn’t!  It was quite a few steps but not that difficult!  You should really give it a whirl! And you can throw in any veggies you want!  But sweet corn in Madison in late summer = a must.  Just sayin’.


Burst Tomato Galette with Corn and Onion

For the pastry:
– 1 1/4 cups AP flour
– 1/4 teaspoon table salt
– 8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chill again
– 1/4 cup plain yogurt or sour cream (I used sour cream!)
– 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
– 1/4 cup ice water

For the filling:
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1/4 teaspoon coarse Kosher or sea salt
– 3 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
– 1 ear corn, cut from the cob (about 1 cup)
– 1 onion, diced
– 1/2 cup (2 ounces or 55 grams) grated parmesan

– 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water

Make dough:

– Whisk stir the flour and salt in a large bowl. Sprinkle bits of butter over dough and using a pastry blender or your fingertips, work it into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal, with the biggest pieces of butter the size of tiny peas.

– In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, lemon juice and water and add this to the butter-flour mixture.  With your fingertips or a wooden spoon, mix in the liquid until large lumps form.

– Pat the lumps into a ball. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour, or up to 2 days.

Make filling:

– Add olive oil, tomatoes, salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes to your saute pan then cover and heat over high heat. Roll the tomatoes around from time to time so that they’ll cook evenly.

– When most have burst, remove lid, turn heat down to medium and add onion. Saute for two minutes, until they soften. Add corn and cook one minute.

– Transfer mixture to a large plate and spread it out, so that it will cool faster. You want it cooled to at least lukewarm before assembling the galette.

Assemble galette:

– Heat oven to 400 degrees.

– On a floured counter, roll the dough out into a 12-inch round and it really doesn’t need to be perfectly shaped. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.

– Sprinkle tomato-onion-corn mixture with half of Parmesan and spoon the mixture into the center of the dough, leaving a 2-inch border. If any liquid has puddle in plate, try to leave it there as you spoon.

– Sprinkle with almost all of remaining Parmesan, leaving a pinch or two behind for the crust. Fold the border over the filling, pleating the edge to make it fit. The center will be open.

– Brush crust with egg yolk glaze. Sprinkle glaze with last pinches of parmesan.

– Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

This entry was posted in Callie!, Envy, Individual Workouts, Overall Health and News, Recipes. Bookmark the permalink.

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