The Sugar Fix

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Featured above: Delmonico Steak with Baked Potato Chips and Baby Brussels Sprouts with Homemade Bacon

So, I’ve been eating relatively healthy since the end of my Whole 60. Mostly I’ve just been keeping the diet up, adding things like legumes and some grains, but more or less sticking with it.

But I’ve noticed, the one thing that kept sneaking in: desserts. It’s odd, because sugar has never really been my thing. My thing is bagels, and pizza. Like any good New York Jew. But here’s the thing about my life post Whole 60: I haven’t been craving bagels or pizza anymore. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ve had them and totally enjoyed them, but I haven’t been thinking about them the same way I used to. It’s sugar that’s been a constant desire.

Not even all day, just really after a nice meal at the end of the day. I’ve been massively wanting dessert. And actively disappointed if I don’t get it.

It got me thinking about what a job the sugar industry has done on us, really! Sugar is in everything, so my logic is, I must be craving the sugar that I normally would get in things like bacon, or ketchup, mayo, salad dressings, seasonings, etc., that I’ve now virtually cut out of my diet. So.

To combat this bad habit, and also cause we woke up on Sunday and had a big fully Whole30 style breakfast (pictured below), and then realized we had exactly 30 days until we went on vacation, we are back on Whole 30. Yay!! And, I’m actually already feeling so much better, and happier with the state of my life in general.

The PokPok Cookbook Project is still coming.  But it’s coming in April. March is strictly for feeling good. Recipes galore to come.

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Scrambled Eggs with Alaskan Smoked Salmon and Leeks, Cast Iron Potatoes and Steamed Kale

Project: Buy an Apartment and Move: Completed!

So, I have been missing for an instant while I…bought an apartment and moved!!! Yay! Anyhow, that’s been my main project for the last few weeks. Here’s an image of our first meal in our new home:

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Not too shabby for being not completely moved in and no grocery store trip since moving in. On the menu: crispy pork belly and purple brussels with an apple pork condiment and apple butter. YUM!

Anyhow, moving has brought it’s own set of eating challenges, even though I waited until the last minute to pack my kitchen and it’s almost completely unpacked already! And, we’re away this weekend, plans we made long before we knew we were moving. So, once we get back the plan is to go back on Whole30 for a month. You can expect some more of those recipes and, of course, words of wisdom.

And then…at least as of right now, I’m planning for my next project to be the Pok Pok Cookbook. So, keep posted, it should be an interesting project and it will definitely be a delicious one.

Whole 60: Days 40 – 50

I have to admit, I’ve been really feeling this diet lately. I just, feel so good! I mean, at the same time, I can’t wait to have a drink; but really I think we’ll be eating primarily like this in the future. I’ve really learned a whole new way to cook, a whole new understanding of what I’m putting in my body, and honestly (and most importantly) what it feels like to live without all that crap in your body. And, it feels really good.

It also feels good to be approaching the holiday season feeling so healthy. We will be doing a Whole30 compliant Thanksgiving…mostly. I am making some desserts that don’t include sugar, even though you aren’t really supposed to do that. I’m using monkfruit extract in place of sugar, but only a bit…and I’m making a parfait with coconut yogurt that I think I can go sugar free entirely with…I’m gonna cook some berries down without sugar, they will still be sweet and delicious. So, it’s sort of cheating, but really not, considering we’ll have been on this thing for 53 days at that point, and considering we won’t be eating pie. Or stuffing. Or bread. So, ya know, you gotta live your life, too. We’ll just be so close to our 60 day goal at that point, seems a shame to screw it up just for a holiday.

Anyway, here’s some stuff I’ve been eating during the last 10 days. Recipes to follow.

Egg Fried in Delicata Rings with Potatoes and Bacon

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Sous Vide Scallops with a Tomato/Red Onion Salsa served with Collards and Bacon

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Prosciutto and sage wrapped Chicken Breasts with Sweet Potato Waffle Fries and Salad

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Mackerel Poached Egg Salad

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Hake and Sweet Potato Curry

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Poached Eggs on Roasted Brussels with Bacon

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Again, I’ll post the curry recipe, the prosciutto wrapped chicken, the scallops, etc., in the next few days. In the meantime you can use the images for inspiration using whatever you have in your home! Enjoy.

Whole 30: Days 27 & 28

It’s the countdown! To…halfway. Meh. Anyways, days 27 & 28 both actually had fantastic breakfasts and dinners, both. Simple salads and picking at lunchtime both days. But seriously, those breakfasts and dinners.

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Example A. Simple. Elegant. Delicious. Perfection. Roasted the baby brussels sprinkled with salt and olive oil at 425 for about 40 minutes; meanwhile fried up bacon and poached some eggs. Boom. I could eat this every day.

IMG_5364.JPGExample B. I will be so sad when my local farm closes for the season. Right now, I’m just throwing in whatever’s lying around from it; peppers, mostly, but the most beautiful peppers…and this breakfast got some of their collard greens thrown in with some eggs and ham and scallions. The peppers went in the potatoes with some red onion and some farm thyme, and it was all magical.

The thing about these breakfasts is, I can’t really get into a full sized lunch, I’m really just in the mood to pick till dinner time after such a big feast. Still, they’re awesome.

Dinners!

Day 27: Sous Vide Squid Stuffed with Tomato Salsa

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This was outrageously delicious. Firstly I know, why do you have to sous vide squid, but I’m telling you, it makes squid like, the best food out there. It’s like butter melting on your tongue. And the whole thing is easy, only takes about 1 1/2 hours total even with the sous vide.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. squid, tubes and tentacles 
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 scallion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoon ghee

Preparation:

  1. Heat sous vide to 136 F. Meanwhile, salt and pepper squid and place in a vacuum seal bag. Pour olive oil over and seal.
  2. Add squid to sous vide and cover. Sous vide for 1 hour.
  3. A few minutes before the squid is ready, mix tomatoes, cilantro, scallion, lime juice and fish sauce together in a bowl.
  4. Remove squid from sous vide. Pour off any cooking juices and pat dry.
  5. Stuff tubes with salsa
  6. Heat ghee in a large skillet over medium high heat. When melted and shimmering, add the stuffed tubes and tentacles. Cook until lightly browned; about 2 minutes on each side. Turn out onto a plate and top with more salsa.

Day 28: Prosciutto Wrapped Striped Bass with Mint and Steamed Chard

IMG_5372.JPGPretty simple meal. Really you just need to concern yourself with the quality of your ingredients, and you’re pretty much set.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. striped bass fillets
  • 3 oz. prosciutto
  • 1/2 cup mint, 2 tablespoons chopped, the rest whole leaves
  • 1 large bunch of chard, trimmed, and cut in 1/2 pieces, both ribs and leaves
  • Ume vinegar to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ghee

Preparation:

  1. Lay slices of prosciutto down on a plate. Lay mint leaves on top of them. Place a fish fillet diagonally on each, and wrap.
  2. Heat ghee in a large skillet. When melted and shimmering, add fish and cook through, flipping once halfway, about 3 – 4 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of your fillets.
  3. Meanwhile, heat an inch or so of water in a large pot.
  4. Place chard in a steamer. Once water is boiling, place steamer in pot and cover. Steam for 2 – 3 minutes until the chard is bright green but the ribs are still crispy.
  5. Transfer everything to serving platters. Pour the ghee the fish has been cooking in over the plated fish, and sprinkle with chopped mint. Pour Ume vinegar and salt and pepper to taste on chard. Serve immediately.