Something to chew on

Day 3, 4, 5…….7

Well, I’ll have you know that blogging on the daily is a lot of work.

Day 3: Fruit, spinach and dinner out at a vegan restaurant.
Day 4: Fruit Spinach, avocado aaaannndddd mushroom tofu soup!

Rough guide to mushroom tofu soup

This soup is actually just a favorite of mine…
Cook the onions slow till they are the color of  honey
Then add cut peeled potatoes
Cover with water
Add some miso, a few pieces of Kombu seaweed
Next chop up all the mushrooms you can find, I got 6 different kinds from my local Asian Store… dump them all in when the water comes to a rolling boil
A little Daniel Friendly soy, a little more salt, toss in some tofu…some fresh garlic… AND THEN so much goodness in a bowl! serve with “rice” or rice..

Day 5: leftovers and random veggies.. I think I just slept early

Day 6: cheated at dinner…
Day 7: FREEEEEEEE went H.A.M. on some wine and KBBQ…
Day 8: That’s today, today has been hard.  And I’ve just been more moody and hungry… I keep eating and not feeling full… I eyed someone’s sandwich REAL hard.

 

 

Daniel’s Fast 2018 Day 1

Oh dear, I never finished the Whole 30, it was more like Wholy 5 day and then lots of unwholliness.  Oh welps, apparently I’m not motivated to look like the Whole 30 people.  Also I believe in science, wine, social activities and most things in moderation.  With that said I’ll be headed to another partial fast.  Before you shake that head of yours this time its for a better reason than pure vanity.  It’s to get my mind, body and spirit in check.  My church community and I will deprive ourselves from all things that enter our bodies.. (ahem… mind out of gutter people…) I’m talking about limiting media, limiting the types of food we eat, and introducing more spiritual discipline in our lives.  The thought is that if you deprive yourselves of the clutter of everyday living you will be able to think more clearly and understand God’s intent more clearly… I mean more Jesus time sounds GREAT to me.

Here are the dietary guidelines for the partial fast (called the Daniel’s Fast).  Since I’m not bound by the law and because we’re just all making this up anyway.. I made a few modifications because well I LOVE brown rice it’s a no and I’m keeping coffee.

yes!
fruits
vegetables
legumes
nuts
whole oils like olive and sesame
vinegar
spices
whole grains

no!
meat
fried foods
dairy
alcohol
rice
flours
highly processed things

It sounds pretty easy but from past fasts I know there will be a day when I will eat a lot of potatoes and feel full but completely unsatisfied…

Also to stop myself from obsessing over food I can only have one tasty meal a day.. the other meals are like oatmeal with nothing added or a salad or a potato or just fruit…

Anyway, today is day one and I was traveling in Texas.  My colleague wanted to get Tex-Mex.  As the cheesy goodness passed me by I happily ate a big pile of grilled veggies.

Oh! Let me leave you with the recipe of the day. Salad.  Get a load of spring mix and put it in a bowl.  Now eat it. <insert shrug emoji>

 

Day 1: Thank you Jesus, Coffee is OK!

Take my smoothies but don’t touch the coffee.

The Whole 30 diet recommends that I don’t drink my calories. I usually have a green smoothie of some sort in the morning but they want to encourage chewing.

OK, I prefer chewing anyway.  So Vitamix, you’ll get a break this month.

no. no. no. no. no.

  • No added sugar or artificial sweeteners
  • No alcohol
  • No grains
  • No legumes
  • No dairy

The immediate thought I had was, how much kombucha would I have to drink to get buzzed? I could probably test that.   I know that it may be possible because I brew my own and one day I was drinking one on my way to work and I think it got myself buzzed… I had it on an empty stomach first in the morning (bad idea), mmm but I did get get some hashbrowns to soak up the buzz… phew I just double checked. Kombucha is ok.

Oh potatoes count! yas! mmm roasted potatoes….

Throwback Tuesdays – Drinky Suspicions

Today, they sent us home at 4:30 because of the snow.  To celebrate I bought a few limes on the way home to make some Blueberry Mojitos.  It’s like tasting a bit of summer in the dead center of this snowy, slushy, slightly drawn out winter. 

Drinky – Blueberry Mojitos
Brown Sugar simple syrup (50% brown sugar/50% hot water)
Mint
Basil
Blueberry
Light Rum
Lots of fresh lime juice
Ice
Lime Zest
Oh and club soda

Suspicions
I see pictures from home and realized that things have moved on, of course things have changed, but a small insecure part of me feels like I’ve been replaced. I think we come to a point where we realize that we are replaceable.  It’s true. Life moves on, people are forgotten, new people come around… can someone give me another drink?

Speaking of being replaced, today I made a pesto and replaced the pine nuts for walnuts.

I had basil, so, I took the opportunity to make pesto at home.  I mashed garlic, salt, basil, and a handful of walnuts (we always have them around, they are common) together and created a paste.  And you know what? Pine nuts are better.  They are smoother, richer and create a more refined and delicate flavor. Yea, you hear that! Pine nuts are classy; we’re nicer, and awesome and prettier too!   Lol ridiculous.  I’m ridiculous.

But the walnuts were good.  They have those tough skins so when you chop them fine you get a rougher consistency, I may try it again with roasted walnuts.  Overall the pasta was pretty good.  I have some left; I’ll have to experiment with other flavors.

Throwback Tuesday – Meatloaf

I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that!
Meatloaf, what was that? What didn’t you want to do?

My best friend growing up was this Dutch girl who lived across the way.  Her mom made the best meatloaf.  I didn’t even know the Dutch ate meatloaf, but it was delicious.  First of all, it was laced with bacon and then she basted the bacon with ketchup, as it baked the sugar in the ketchup would start to caramelize and the bacon would crisp up.  The final result was this juicy, bacony, delicious cut of meatloaf.

The cover of this month’s Fine Cooking Magazine is meatloaf.  The article goes into all these variation on meatloaves; they encourage the home chef to experiment with various aromatic, meats, cheeses and toppings.

Meatloaf is pretty easy, you’re going to sauté some veggies, soak a bunch of stale bread in milk, mix everything together, make it pretty and bake it off.

Here’s the loaf I made for my sister, she likes her food good and straightforward.

STEP ONE: Sauté the vegetables. Fry them up till they are just translucent, you don’t want a bunch of color; just get the vegetables nervous and sweaty.  Pull them off to the side to cool while you do the next step.

2 Tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion (diced)
2 large cloves of garlic (minced)
½ cup diced carrot
½ cup diced celery
1 jalapeno pepper diced
Salt and Pepper

STEP TWO: The bread. Get about ½ of a stale loaf of bread and cut it into 2’’ pieces.  Soak the bread in a shallow dish; it should be wet but not falling apart (5-10 mins)

About 2.5 cups 2’’ pieces of stale bread
1 cup whole milk

STEP THREE: Mix!  Combine all the ingredients together. Get messy!

The Veggies (step one)
The Bread (step two)
¾ cup pilsner beer
2lb ground beef
2 large eggs
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper

Step Four: Mold the loaf it should be about 2 inches tall and rectangular. on a baking sheet no fancy meatloaf pan needed.  Then top with 10 strips of bacon! Baste with Ketchup

Step Five: Bake the baby! 375F for around 55 minutes get a thermometer (160F).

Throwback Tuesdays – Instant v. Slow

I love instant noodles of all kinds….

Instant mac and cheese, we don’t really eat it because we think it’s delicious, it’s easy and for the time you invest it’s good! I’ll do it from time to time but we eat these things more out of convenience than taste. The only exception I can think of is haet ban. The Korean instant rice things, I don’t know what they do to that rice but it’s so good (I digress).

Good foods often take a lot more time than their instant counterparts. Just like people. Relationships that are reinforced with time and energy are often better than “instant” ones. I have a lot of “instant” friends, we could get a beer, we could have dinner, go dancing, but I wouldn’t share my life with them. The relationships that go deep are ones gilded with lots of time, energy and are often costly. They are and should be my favorites.

To prove the point here is my Mac and cheese recipe. It’s expensive, it takes a long time to make and there is so much fat that it’ll stick with you for a while.

1 stick of butter (doesn’t matter salted or unsalted…)
1 pint of heavy whipping cream
1/2 lb. of cheddar cheese (sharp) Shredded
8 oz. of Velveeta spread
2.5 tablespoon flour
¼ teaspoon dry mustard powder
salt & pepper

noodles.. Whatever kind you want, try to get stuff with lots of curls and maybe ridges on the outside… get more sauce

1. On low heat melt all the butter then sprinkle in flour and cook for a minute or so
2. Stir in cream (stir like crazy!), make sure you don’t get any lumps
3. Get the Velveeta, melted in
4 Get the cheese melted, save 25% of the cheese
5. Sprinkle in mustard. Salt and pepper to taste (make it a little saltier than you want it since you aren’t going to season your noodles).
6. While making the sauce cook the pasta.  Cook it till it’s just a little undercooked…
7. Stir in pasta
8. Transfer to baking dish.
9. Top off with the remaining cheese
10. Place in oven (375F) till it’s golden (~30 minutes)

VOILA!
Tips:
Don’t microwave leftovers! This is a béchamel-type sauce, if you microwave it the sauce will separate into oil and milk solids… so heat it back up in the oven. This doesn’t happen with the stuff from a box because a really smart food scientist did their magic…  Before placing in the oven the mac and cheese should look runny, if it isn’t add more cream, it needs to be runny or the final product will be too dry.

You can switch out for different types of milk. Just realize that the less fat the milk has the thinner the cheese sauce. So do one of two things to keep the consistency of the sauce, back off on the total amount of milk you use or make more of the butter/flour (which is called a roux) combo.

Oh yea, and don’t cook the roux too much, melt the butter slow on a low heat and cook the flour for a while, but don’t let it get brown. If it’s not cooked enough you’ll get a gross raw flour taste but if it gets to brown you’ll get some weird brown notes that aren’t indicative of a good mac and cheese.

Throwback Tuesdays – Grapefruit Gimlet – some gin and juice

Disclaimers:
1.) This wasn’t my idea, I had a beverage called a something gimlet at Leon’s full service in Atlanta (great place) and thought I could make it at home, so I did.
2.) Gimlets are usually made with Vodkas, but I like gin and alliteration.

Recipe
¼ cup of a good gin
½ cup of grapefruit juice
2 tablespoons of St Germaine liquor
1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice
Dash of  Angostura bitters)
Club soda  or Seltzer (it’s the amount of bubbles and salt content… that’s the difference)

Fill a high ball glass with ice, combine all ingredients and top off with seltzer, shaken not stirred.

Tips and other thoughts

WOW, St. Germaine only comes in two sizes, ginormous and tiny, go ahead buy the ginormous! There is so much you can do with it.   Add a little to Sangria and it adds a little jeux neu cie quex.  A hummingbird – some sparkling wine, a shot of St. Germaine and top it off with seltzer and a twist of lime and garnish with a raspberry.. delicious…..

Bitters give the drink a lot of depth and gives you some weird saltiness that I love, but if you don’t want to purchase them (they’re around 10 bucks a bottle)… just have the Gin and Juice!

Cheers!