Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Day 4 of W30 #2

Yesterday went well - zucchini-kale scramble for breakfast, chicken-veggie bowl for lunch - until I went out to dinner for a friend's birthday. I feebly abided until everyone else had alcohol and spring rolls and then I cashed in my 8% leeway and had a glass of wine and some fried things that definitely contained gluten, soy, and heaven knows what all preservatives. Everything was delicious and I had a fantastic time and all was not lost. And today I was stricter.

For breakfast: mug of homemade chicken stock, pulled pork, sautéed vegetables
Usual lunchtime when I couldn't get away for proper lunch: banana bread larabar
Actual lunch: leftover chicken curry, carrot, apple
Dinner: leftover chicken curry, greens, riced cauliflower, cup-o-kombucha

Fortunately the leftover chicken curry is absolutely outstanding so it's not bad eating it several meals in a row. Would you like to see some pictures of our food?

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It's been a long time and photography has never been my strong suit, but you get the idea. That there above is the "paleo bowl" from Greenfield, one of I think three restaurants downtown where I can find a meal that is consistent with all the W30 rules but doesn't make me sad I opted for not making my own lunch. And that there below is documentation that MC's contribution is quite meaningful in 2019!

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Are you impressed? Even though curry - essentially a pot of pressure-cooked mush - is not that photogenic? I am delightedly impressed. Being occasionally delightedly impressed is helpful in sustaining a longterm marriage.

And finally.

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Nomnom Paleo's Spicy Tuna Cakes for my Ash Wednesday supper. The two in the corner are eggless (aquafaba as a binder) for my toddler to try.

I looked into my recount of my last Day 4 and evidently I'm doing much better this time around. It must be last night's sauvignon blanc and fried tofu. Ha! No regrets - even imperfect effort counts. Onward! Enjoy your Fat Tuesday - maybe eat an extra pancake for me. xoxo

Monday, March 4, 2019

Day 2 of Whole30 #2

MC and I are Whole 30-ing it this month - it's his first time ever and my first since 2015. This go already feels loads different, not only because I know what to expect and whether it's worth it, but also because I have a live-in partner committing to the program alongside me, and - wonder of glorious wonders - that partner's kitchen skills have vastly improved since 2015. So it's not just me prepping all the food (and then prepping an entirely separate table of food for my grain- and cheese-loving family). It's also MC and his trusty Instant Pot! I have no doubt that seasoned W30-ers (and all primary-food-preparers) will appreciate this new development without further explanation. Another development is that everything about my life has changed since 2015! I rarely blog or teach cooking classes these days, I work outside the home full time, and I have a toddler (allergic to eggs and tomatoes). We are mostly vegetarian and I barely ever cook or bake anything interesting. And worst of all is that my creative writing skills are super rusty. But I thought I'd try to keep a record here nonetheless, since 2015's record sure has come in handy and I know other W30s out there like this kind of anecdotal data.

This time, I'm not doing it 100%. I'm doing it like 92%, meaning, e.g., we snacked on Trader Joe's absolutely delicious vegan jackfruit "crab cakes" last night even though they had rice bran oil as an ingredient; I ate some soup with lentils in it for lunch today because I needed to finish it up from earlier in the week and I didn't want to postpone our W30 start date. Like everyone else, we've got a lot on our plate, including but not limited to: three children, jobs, school and church commitments, endless laundry, and a gazillion feet of snow outside of our house. So we are doing our best but accepting that what our best is right now will result in a somewhat modified W30, but will still serve as a functional reset for us.

We are on Day 2. We are a little hangry but hanging in there.

Yesterday we ate:

Scrambled eggs and sautéed kale and grated root veggies for breakfast
Shredded chicken with stir-fried red peppers and zucchini + carrot-squash soup*
Instant Pot Shrimp Curry, cauliflower rice, mixed greens, and Trader Joe's jackfruit "crabcakes" for dinner. MC made the curry and it was great, though it did not meat his expectations, which I just learned were recreating Chino Latino's Coconut Shrimp Curry.
Both of us snacked on fruit and nuts and/or sunflower butter.

Today we ate:

Eggs and veggies (MC) and chia-hemp smoothie (me)** for breakfast
Leftover shrimp curry (MC) and veggie-lentil soup + fruit + celery + sunflower butter (me)** for lunch
Instant Pot Sweet Potato-Chicken Curry with green beans and greens for dinner - this is another MC creation and it's outstanding. I wish I had taken a picture of his v. impressive mise en place, but I didn't realize I wanted to blog about all this until after the fact. Next time!

More later. xoxo

* Subbed three tablespoons ghee for butter

**  Smoothies aren't "Whole 30 compliant" but see above; this falls into aforementioned 8%.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Note to Self

Week One
To do
Make chicken stock (crockpot on Monday)
Dressing for pad thai (Monday)
Chop veggies for breakfasts (Monday)
Make chile verde stew (Tuesday night)
Make tuna salad (Thursday night)

Menu
Tuesday: Eggs and veggies
Mexican bowl
Sunflower Seed Pad Thai

Wednesday: Eggs and veggies
Cauliflower soup, raw veggies + sunbutter
Big salad with chicken

Thursday: Chia pudding
Veggies, hard-boiled eggs, apple + sunbutter
Chile verde stew + cole slaw

Friday: Eggs and veggies
Leftover chile verde stew + fruit + cole slaw
Tuna salad, leftover cauliflower soup

Saturday: Eggs and veggies
Leftover tuna salad, apples, carrots
Chicken-sweet potato curry (MC/Instant Pot), cauliflower rice

Sunday: Spanish tortilla + 101 Cookbooks magic sauce + green smoothie
Big salad w/ chicken + fruit
Lettuce wraps or steamed cabbage rolls and green beans

Monday: Chia pudding
Leftover Spanish tortilla, big green salad
Leftover curry, cauliflower rice; sautéed greens

Looking ahead
Greek meatballs (double or triple?)
Plaintain rice??
Crockpot chicken enchilada soup
Roasted sweet potato salad - sub more chard for quinoa


Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Tried and True

Below are some recent winners, stored here more for my benefit than yours. Perhaps they'll help you in a pinch or motivate you to finally experiment with aquafaba (I'm three for three with it).

Yogurt-Honey Mustard Dressing

"The Best" Vegan Gluten-Free Waffles - these really exceeded expectations; I used fine cornmeal in place of almond flour and vanilla soy milk instead of coconut milk; batter seemed thin but they turned out great

Red Curry Vegetable Soup with Kale, Chickpeas, and Sweet Potatoes - a recent favorite; I've so far subbed red lentils or cooked brown rice for the farro

Chickpeas in Spicy Pomodoro Sauce - never underestimate the power of fennel and red pepper flakes; I've made this twice lately and both times I reduced olive oil amount to 1/4 cup and entirely neglected to add the fresh herbs (even though I bought them) and parmesan - still super tasty

Herb-Mustard Pork Tenderloins - sometimes you have two pork tenderloins in your refrigerator, so you google "Ina Garten Pork Tenderloins" and, as you likely know, she delivers

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In the throes of my aquafaba experimentation, I impulse-made vegan snickerdoodles with the older children. I started with a PPK recipe but veered considerably. I'm very happy with the results, which turned out soft, chewy, and much more domed than the original recipe, so if you're into vegan baking (and aquafaba!), have at it.

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Vegan Whole-Wheat Chai Snickerdoodles

For the topping
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

For the cookies
1/2 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons vanilla non-dairy milk
2 tablespoons aquafaba
2 ½ cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper (or Silpats).

Mix the topping ingredients together on a dinner plate. Set aside.

Mix together all the dry ingredients (flour through salt).

In a medium mixing bowl, beat together coconut oil (room temp) and sugar. Add in maple syrup, milk, and aquafaba and mix thoroughly. Add in dry ingredients.

Roll dough into your desired size cookies and roll in spiced sugar. Place on prepped baking sheet and bake. (1 teaspoon-sized balls took about 8 minutes; 1 tablespoon-sized took 10 minutes.) Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes (this is important - they are fragile right out of oven but will firm up while cooling), then transfer to baking racks to cool completely.