What Are The Expected Benefits And Side Effects Of Bovine Colostrum?

Bovine Colostrum is available in supplement form, but what is it and why would you want to take it? You may recognize that the word bovine deals with farm animals, but what is the colostrum part? This term is all about the breast milk of bovine animals. Now, you may be thinking you don’t want any at this point, but would you be passing up on something good that has numerous health benefits?

Not every claim about bovine colostrum has held its own over time, but people have had to continue to figure out the benefits of the substance. For example, there was much interest at one point about the antibodies of the milk, but the claim that they could help people keep out intestinal infections just didn’t really pan out. That doesn’t mean that other claims about the supplement haven’t panned out though.

Any Benefits?

One of the main benefits of bovine colostrum that people often talk about is how it can help the immune system. This is always a great benefit to hear about when you’re looking at natural supplements. You also have the benefit of improving your nervous system, which is also always a good thing. Then there are other benefits, like the one where it can actually topically help reduce colon inflammation.

It isn’t just about the natural milk but also continued efforts to make it even better. They have found out all kinds of things about what the bovine milk from cows can do if the cows have had certain vaccinations. Does that really help? Evidently so, and so far what has been discussed is really only the beginning. For instance, the benefits of bovine colostrum extends to even helping with specific conditions such as the diarrhea that AIDS patients suffer sometimes.

There is evidence showing its benefits, but then there are also benefits that medical experts claim aren’t proven just yet. If you have been looking into losing weight and burning fat, then you might have heard about bovine colostrum in that regard. Reviews will say different things, so you will have to be the judge and jury, but there are medical experts who say the evidence just isn’t there yet.

How do you take a this supplement? Do you buy it and get all of the declared benefits, or is it tweaked and marketed in various products so that you have to know what to buy? You are going to want to be versed about any possible side effects as well because you want to know if there is anything to worry about. According to the experts, there shouldn’t really be side effects for the most part, and that’s good.

Are there other interesting facts about bovine colostrum that you might want to know about before you make an executive decision? Maybe you have heard much about this supplement and its health benefits, and you have decided to look and see if it can help you treat certain symptoms. All those little natural things you do sometimes sure can make a difference.

Does anyone you know take the colostrum supplements? While it was mentioned that the bovine colostrum is rather free of side effects, pregnant and nursing women are still cautioned not to take it. Why? This is again going to have to do with there not being enough evidence according to some medical experts to classify this supplement as helpful to humans or safe. You might or might not want to dig further, but are you thinking about seeing what the bovine colostrum can do? It just might be your next favorite natural remedy.

Dish of the Week: Potstickers, Lao Wang Noodle House

Why wait ’til Sunday to spread the good word? Nothing I knock back in the next 2 days could possibly touch these potstickers.
Though I’m a Chowhound forever, I gotta high-five the Yelpers here for giving Lao Wang Noodle House all the love it so deeply deserves, reserving special kudos for these babies. They’re all about their incredible wrappers: really, the pork is just there to slosh juice across the inside of the smooth, chewy dough, flavorful in & of itself with its darkly crunchy flat-bottom. Dipped into the killer house chili sauce, they slide down so easy the phrase “go like hotcakes” should officially be changed to “go like Lao Wang potstickers.” I hereby move that it be so.

Everything else pal K & I tried was equally winning, as ye shall see in the full review.

Pow! Bang! Zowie! The Superheroes of Lao Wang Noodle House

Certainly the mom & pop proprietors of this miniature version of a restaurant, 20 seats on a good day & apparently Taiwanese despite the menu’s Szechuan/Shanghainese bent, are my new heroes. Middle-aged if you squint, English-speaking if you hallucinate, these senior sweethearts are unstoppable, cooking up a storm & serving up a rainbow complete with pot o’ gold.

Make that bamboo steamer o’ xiao long bao.

Like bagels, martinis, espresso, hot dogs & so on, soup dumplings are one of those things that drive connoisseurs to distraction as they debate & dissect every detail right down to terminology & proper methods of ingestion. To be sure, XLB (to use the popular English abbreviation) are as tricky to eat as they are deceptively simple to deconstruct. Inside these sleek, soft little dough purses are a bite of pork & a single sip of broth (attained by adding aspic to the filling that melts in the heat); the subtle aroma of star anise mesmerizes with each bursting mouthful.

Along with the XLB, the signature potstickers—last week’s Dish of the Week—are an absolute must-order for any 1st-timer. And every timer after that. My encore order was even crisper, gooier & porkier than its predecessor.

To round out the options for pastry-wrapped ground pig, the steamed wontons in spicy peanut sauce are wickedly savory bonbons too.

Though not quite soup, that spoon is in the bowl for a reason—these extremely slippery & delicate little series of liquid-holding folds are a bitch to pick up with chopsticks, liable to rip to shreds.

Better to just scoop them up with lots of that wonderful sauce—not the sweet melted peanut butter of your average Thai parlor but a brothy, sesame-smeared concoction with lots of chopped peanuts & a chili kick.

A similar blend brings the dandan noodles—pictured pre-stir—to glorious life.

Mixed up with the reddish, chilified sauce beneath & the chopped peanuts, ground pork & pickled veggies on top, these chow mein–style wheat noodles are a life-affirming scramble of crunch & slurp, soothe & snap-to. As special as the XLB & potstickers are, it’s this that’s gonna bring me back weekly. (What’s gonna drive me in next, however, are the cold noodles with peanut sauce, sesame dressing & shredded eggs. Can’t freaking wait.)

The menu, it should be noted (& as should come as no surprise), isn’t large or wide-ranging. These folks specialize in noodles (dry or in soup) & dumplings (& their ilk), period. Vegetables per se are limited to sliced cukes marinated in spicy oil, fettuccine-like seaweed marinated in mild sesame oil (which benefited from liberal splashes of black vinegar),  & cabbage (on the right) marinated in brutally spicy, vinegar-based something or other. Looks so vulnerable in its overexposed plainness, I know, but it’s throat-searing.

All are good, but their role is secondary, serving as palate cleansers, no more, no less. (There is one noodle soup that’s supposedly vegetarian, but the onus would be on you to ask some probing questions about the broth.)

On the left is what’s simply labeled “spiced beef,” belying its complexity. Served cold, it’s got a fascinating texture—firmly chewy rather than tender (which is not to say tough)—& a confident 5-spice touch. I thought it might be pressed & roasted, but delving further, I learned it’s probably beef shank, simmered & cooled.

Despite the narrow repertoire, there’s still so much more I’m dying to try, including tofu jerky, zha jiang mian, & the celebrated beef noodle soup. Untie thyself from the railroad tracks laid by those Kung-Pao villains engineering the glop train. It’s Pow Bang Superhero Noodle House to the rescue.

The Squeaky Bean Gets the Girl

Dumb name, dandy food, as I noted in my most recent Dish of the Week post. But then, you probably knew that. Silly as its sobriquet is, I’d never have set foot near the place, presuming the menu to be equally misconceived, if I hadn’t finally been knocked over by the giant waves of raves about the Squeaky Bean. My squeamish mistake was your smart call.

Yes, you’ve already seen fit to squeeze into that tight corner space, as friendly as could be with its retro trimmings—old radios, ’70s-era beer memorabilia—& hit that patio as it sparkles on warm nights with boozy neighborly love.  You’ve undoubtedly savored the roasted cauliflower salad in all its variegated savvy (see abovelinked post). And been lulled into reverie by the duck rillettes with grilled bread, housemade preserves (apple butter–like, though I couldn’t be sure) & stone-ground mustard.
The joy is in watching the layer of duckfat that tops every scooped-out spoonful just melt all over your plate, its flavor barely there for all its mouthfeel, achingly subtle & fleeting. Like the gist of a Frank O’Hara poem, really.

And you’ve surely already ogled the sandwiches going by on servers’ platters like pretty girls, maybe even hit on 1 or 2. I sure couldn’t resist making a pass at my companion’s lamb reuben.

As an admitted aficionado of acids, she felt it needed more sauerkraut, in lieu of which she added the mustard from the rillettes plate & was pleased with the results; me, I guess I snitched a bite with just the right ratio of thick, rich 1000 Island Dressing & tart, not especially salty pickled cabbage to funky corned lamb. (The panino came with a side of white bean–potato soup that did not in turn come with a spoon; by the time we were able to wave down the way-busy waitress, it was cold, so she cheerfully offered to fetch a fresh bowl.)

My only tiny quibble, meanwhile, was with the peanut butter & chocolate mousse cake with brûléed bananas & peanut brittle;
Reese’s excepted, any true devotee of PB will tell you that its combination with chocolate is overrated, while, dead Elvis notwithstanding, its affinity for banana is somewhat underappreciated. Here, the base of chocolate mousse, wan & fluffy, did nothing for the firmer, suaver & more flavor-forward top layer—which paired so much more satisfyingly with the caramelized crunch & creamy tang of the fruit that I felt the bottom layer, too, should have been banana-flavored (as it was at one time, judging by the still-posted Valentine’s Day menu), or else done away with; sandwiching it all, the more intense topping of ganache & bottom crust as well as the smear of sauce were really all the chocolate it needed (though a cheddar-based topping & crust might be even cooler). But then, I know you knew that.

In any case, owner Max MacKissock’s won me over; I’ll return soon, & follow him wherever he goes from here on after. If it’s the Gassy Garbanzo or Flatulent Flageolet, so be it.

Oklahoma Yin & Yang: Pho Lien Hoa & Iron Starr Urban Barbecue

Here was what there was to eat in Oklahoma when I was growing up: Steak. Chicken-fried steak. Fried chicken. Biscuits. White gravy. Brown gravy. Fried catfish. French fries. Fried okra. Burgers. The occasional barbecued rib. More steak.

Yet even here, things have changed—not a lot, but enough. In just a couple of decades, for instance, Oklahoma City has become home to a significant Vietnamese population—enough to warrant notice by the New York Times back in ’07, in a piece whose author gave a nod to Pho Lien Hoa (aka Pho Hoa). ‘Twas well-deserved.

But for a couple of apps—including the taut-wrapped & sprightly goi cuon (the ubiquitous but rarely so fresh spring rolls) with a superb, thick, smoky-spicy-sweet dip (note the extra dollop of chili sauce on top) & 3 noodle-based dishes (bun), the menu’s composed entirely of soups—nearly 50 in all.

That there’s the H4 or hu tiu My Tho, i.e., pork broth with clear noodles, barbecued pork, shrimp, quail eggs, lettuce, scallions, fried onions & such a cute little cracker with a shrimp in the middle.

As uniquely comforting as noodle soups are, the work that goes into them is easy to underestimate. And while quick-witted, intensive multitasking—chopping & peeling & frying & stirring & draining & chopping & frying some more—is key, the ultimate craftsmanship reveals itself in the broth (as anyone who’s ever made stock from scratch, much less tackled, say, a double consommé, knows all too well). This one was unforgettable—light yet tealike in the complexity of its spiced aroma, & just a slight touch sour-&-sweet. You wouldn’t say it was porky in the way you’d say a beef broth tastes beefy or a chicken broth chickeny; that it was in fact porky was reflected simply in the way it enhanced the mild, chewy slices of pork itself. And beneath it all, an abundance of glass noodles to add slurp to the chew & bite of the meats & veggies.

One soup is not a lot to go on, but it’s enough to ensure that Pho Lien Hoa will be my first stop upon landing at the ever-optimistically named Will Rogers World Airport (there are about 12 gates total; as Rogers himself said, “The farmer has to be an optimist or he wouldn’t still be a farmer”).

Of course, this is still a red state, with cows & oilwells & televangelists & shit; true ‘cue can be found all over the place. But not in a former college bookstore run by a hospitality group. (Real pitmasters don’t wear their corporate values on their sleeves. Hell, they don’t even usually wear sleeves.) There, instead, you’ll find Iron Starr Urban Barbeque, whose menu consists of 1 approximately barbecue classic (ribs, brisket, pulled pork, etc.) to every 4 plates of cornmeal-dusted rock shrimp with jicama slaw or molasses-glazed salmon. In short, this isn’t a barbecue joint, it’s a contemporary American cafe. As such, it’s just fine. As I knew it would be; the way-savvy owners of terrific gourmet shop Forward Foods, my dining companions Wampus & Suzy, wouldn’t steer me wrong.

Though we all had our misgivings upon the arrival of our appetizer of bacon-wrapped quail breast.

Before they could crawl off the plate & squirt us in the eyes with their instant paralyzing venom, we just had to stab the obscene little reanimated body parts in their sore spots & rip ’em in half with our teeth. Turns out suppurating leeches taste pretty good, charred here, unctuous there & slicked with apricot-serrano jam.

Meanwhile, get a load of this “salad.”

Apparently employing mathematical formulae to determine the smallest ratio of vegetable to protein necessary to equal a salad, they actually scooped out the iceberg wedge to make room for a building block of blue cheese & pecans “spiced,” presumably, with lots of butter & brown sugar. I can’t pretend the mixture wasn’t a heady one, right down to the swirling of the pecan drippings into the bacon-blue cheese vinaigrette. The tenderloin, grilled nice & rare, was really just the icing on this guilty-pleasure cake.

As for Wampus’s rib dinner, the description of the house specialty sounds a note of warning in promising “fall-off-the-bone perfection.” In fact, the meat on perfect ribs should not fall off, a sign of overcooking; it should slide clean off. And though the St. Louis–cut pork ribs are supposedly smoked for 24 hours over hickory & pecan, they lacked a well-defined smoke ring. They weren’t bad, but they weren’t competition material. I didn’t try his mac & cheese or “slaw” of seasoned browned onions, jalapenos & I’m not sure what all else, but the latter looked to me like the best thing on the plate.

A bit dry at the edges, the cornbread was otherwise decent, studded with whole kernels. But dessert was the surprise highlight. We split the buttermilk pie  & the 7-layer chocolate cake topped with truffles, & if neither was the intricate stuff of a brilliant pastry chef, both were wholly satisfying, well-textured (I feared the cake might be a bit dry too, but it wasn’t) & clear-flavored for being so rich.

Ultimately, if it’s true ‘cue you’re craving, I’d check out this guy’s suggestions, adding my beloved Bob’s Pig Shop to the roster, & maybe Midwest City’s Mr. Spriggs, if for no other reason than to reward them for the greatest ad ever. For an easygoing bar & grill experience, however, you could certainly do worse than Iron Starr.

The Reserve List Becomes The Empty Bottle

The name doesn’t inspire a whopping lot of confidence, but since the former manager of The Reserve List on Old South Pearl is now the owner of its successor, I assume all will be in order.

According to the newsletter, the Grand Opening of The Empty Bottle will be held on March 27 from 2 PM to 7 PM, featuring:

*French wines from Robert Kacher
*Italian wines from Guiliana Imports
*Hand-selected wines from Spain, Argentina & Oregon
*Local wines from Infinite Monkey Theorem
*Eats from Park Burger & Strings

But it’s the day-to-day value rack I’ll be opening the door for, from which you can “Mix & Match any 3 bottles for $25. Huge Savings!” No doubt. For $25, I’d be thrilled with a bottle each of Mad Dog, Night Train & Manischewitz.

Dish of the Week: Roasted Cauliflower Salad, The Squeaky Bean

Fair or not, in the same way that I get a gigantic hitch in my getalong over menu misspellings (more on this to come anon), I nurse a nasty bias (like my pal MC Slim JB & others) against bad restaurant names. I don’t care what the justification is, the fact that it bears explaining in the 1st place is a sure sign of a misconceived moniker. In this case, the claim that the name “was inspired by garden-fresh green beans & the sound they make as they squeak on your teeth” doesn’t make The Squeaky Bean sound like any less a cross between a hippy-dippy veggie hut & a 1st grader’s fart joke.

However, the fact that it has fast become synonymous with excellent cooking at least ensures that you can get past your embarrassment just by stepping across the threshold. The moment you do, servers whizzing by with one gorgeous dish after another, you’ll know your fear that questionable taste in nomenclature might translate into questionable taste in the kitchen is wholly unfounded here.

The roasted cauliflower salad, for instance, is the very essence of exquisite taste.

Not only is it plated as artistically as a Kandinsky, but it’s a truly inspired combination: while the curry vinaigrette reflects the natural affinity between all those members of the crucifer family & the distinctive spice mix of the subcontinent, luscious chopped Medjool dates on the 1 hand & pungent smoked trout on the other, along with a squiggle of parsley coulis & a sprinkling of fresh tarragon, take that classic pairing to a whole new level. It’s bold & it’s beautiful, the epitome of a contemporary salad.

More on that score to follow.

Field Report: Denver Botanic Gardens class, “Herbal Aperitif: Happy Hour in the European Bitters Bar Tradition”

Last night I attended a class through the Denver Botanic Gardens, which really didn’t have anything to do with it beyond taking my $47, hosted as it was by personal chef Deb Whittaker, otherwise known as the Herb Gourmet, offsite at Z Cuisine (which simply provided the space, not the goods). Based on the description, I was pretty darn excited:

One of the reasons Europeans are slimmer & healthier than Americans is their love of herbal bitters, which they sip as herbal aperitifs & which help metabolize fats & aid digestion. Loaded with antioxidant herbs & spices from elderberry to cinnamon, bitters are lining the bar at trendy restaurants as an increasingly health-conscious public strives to redefine the Happy Hour. Swedish bitters & Angostura are household names, but every country has their favorites. Come taste a few of these elixirs, & make & take home a sample with your choice of herbs & spices to harness herbs’ curative powers. We’ll also try bitters combined with foods, including ice cream, as we talk about the health benefits of specific bitter herbs & spices. Recipes for using bitters in food, drink & daily life included…Come prepared for fun and food.

I did come prepared, & while I had some of the former, I got precious little of the latter. For nearly $50, eats were shockingly meager.

On the left is a bitter greens & Bosc pear salad, which was also, according to the printed menu, supposed to contain lemon Stilton & cinnamon walnuts, but didn’t, along with a dressing of “port & pomagranite [sic] bitters,” in which the former was replaced with agave syrup. On the right is a single coin of sausage in barbecue sauce spiked with Stirrings blood-orange bitters. (To be fair, I actually got 1 & 1/2 coins.)

On the right is a slightly underdone, 2-in. piece of butternut squash glazed with bitters butter; on the left, onions with blackcurrant jam & St. Germain, of which we got 1 spoonful.

And that there’s a bite of fresh pineapple topped with jarred gari, in lieu of the grilled pineapple with grated ginger & bitters drizzle listed on the menu.

We also got 1 spoonful of vanilla ice cream from the supermarket.

Granted, the emphasis was on bitters, & with those the instructor was rather more generous, generally leaving them on the table for us to sample as we wished (albeit while offering frequent reminders that too many bitters might overload our digestive systems). Favorites included

the aforementioned, nonalcoholic blood-orange bitters, nice & tart (though cane sugar is the 2nd ingredient after water, the citrus extract & gentian dominated on the palate); the Tribuno sweet vermouth, which I don’t know that I’d define as a bitter, despite the inclusion of herbs, as opposed to a fortified wine, but in any case tasted delicious, like a honeyed wine (as opposed in turn to a honey wine, which is strictly yeast-fermented honey & water); & Sanbitter, which I’d classify 1st & foremost as an Italian soda.

With the exception of the 1st cocktail, a mixture of Chartreuse, soda water & a dash of Fee Bros. bitters,

none were served in the manner listed on the menu; we received neither Fee Bros. with apple juice nor blood-orange bitters with orange juice & grenadine, nor did we taste Becherovka or Campari. However, we were presented with various, unlisted others, including limoncello, Pastis & absinthe courtesy of the absolutely lovely Lynnde Dupays, co-owner with her husband Patrick of Z Cuisine, who made herself available for part of the evening simply as a matter of personal graciousness, as near as I could tell.

Meanwhile, we discussed the difference between tinctures (single-herb extracts); cocktail bitters such as Angostura & Fee Bros., used for flavoring, not drinking; and aperitifs that may be mixed or drunk by themselves. We did not discuss the sometime distinction between bitters & liqueurs, nor did we touch upon the utility of digestifs (the fact that the instructor didn’t even know the word amari was a little disgruntling, though I agreed with her that kickstarting the digestive system before a meal is probably more effective than nudging it afterward).

Finally, we were presented with spice jars full of Absolut vodka along with an array of 10 or so ingredients—among them cardamom, angelica, dandelion, star anise & tangerine peel—& given the opportunity to experiment with our own concoctions. I added cinnamon & dried chipotle to mine,

& it’s already coming along nicely, if I do say so myself. And we were sent home with a 6-pg. sheaf of intriguing recipes for tinctures & cocktails, both historical & modern, involving everything from saffron & black walnut leaf to the new-to-me catechu & malva flower.

From 1 experience, I can’t say I’d wholeheartedly recommend the classes at Denver Botanic Gardens, but then, from 1 experience, I can’t say I wouldn’t. It wasn’t what it purported to be, but it wasn’t uninteresting. Fair enough?