Okay, time for a check in. This 10 days has gone by fairly easily! I feel like it’s become more second nature, and so it’s not as much of a struggle. Both my honey and I feel fantastic…like, I actually have thoughts first thing in the morning,(which have always been a sore point for me) while jogging or working out, or even just having a cup of coffee, like “It’s an incredible day to be alive!” Not sure yet which foods are the culprits but it’s obvious that it’s because of the diet.
The one thing that’s kind of a bummer is that it’s boring. I could totally see having this as the base of your diet, but the strict nature of this specific time period that I’m asking myself to not cheat at all, ever, is unrealistic and not maintainable. I can do it for the 60 days (I hope!) but I do find myself trying to avoid going out to dinner, or meeting friends for a drink, or doing anything with anyone that I’m not in charge of what I’ll be able to eat. And that’s a super bummer.
But, ya know, I feel good. 😀 I’ll be happy though when I get to the part where I can ease up a little.
Anyways, here are some of the things I’ve been eating:
More coming with recipes. These are just for inspiration. I find I eat a lot of big breakfasts and a lot of salads with a protein on top…sometimes taco meat, sometimes canned mackerel, sometimes tuna fish salad, sometimes grilled chicken, and so on.The trick is always having fresh and seasonal stuff around. I’ll keep posting recipes for the more complicated.
This morning I was able to make me some eggs before I went to work. I scrambled them in bacon fat and then mixed in a couple tablespoons of pork sugo, which was the special item I got from this week’s meat club. I can not stress enough how great meat club is. Live in Brooklyn? Join it. I would say more, but the first rule about meat club is never talk about meat club.
For lunch, I packed a mason jar with salad greens and cherry tomatoes. Then I packed a half an avocado and a tin of mackerel. Boom. Lunch, done.
For dinner I had some wild Alaskan salmon sitting around, and it was super cold, so I decided to go quick and dirty with a lemongrass and ginger broth with salmon, shiitake and tatsoi. It was the perfect meal for a chilly evening.
Lemongrass and Ginger Broth with Salmon, Shiitake Mushrooms and Tatsoi:
- 4 cups fresh or canned chicken stock or fish stock or beef stock
- 1 stalk lemon grass, trimmed and halved lengthwise and crosswise
- 1 scallion, thinly sliced
- 4-inch piece ginger, peeled and finely julienned
- Juice of 1 lime
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce (I used Red Boat, which is the only sugar free one I’ve found. It’s delicious…but if you know of others please let me know!!)
- 1 lb. of salmon fillet, skinned and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, trimmed
- 2 cups sliced tatsoi
- In a large wide saucepan into which a steamer will fit, combine stock and 5 cups water. Place over high heat to bring to a boil. Add lemon grass, scallion, ginger, lime juice and fish sauce, and reduce heat to low.
- Put salmon in a steamer over simmering broth. Cover and cook just until salmon has turned pale pink. Remove steamer from pan, and add mushrooms and tatsoi to broth.
- Return broth to a simmer. Remove lemon grass and discard. Add salmon cubes to broth. Ladle soup into bowls and serve.
Oh, my god, if only I was doing this for only 30 days!!! I would be so psyched right about now. Well, I guess I can take solace in the fact that 30 days is almost up, and I’ve been able to do it. So? The next 30 will be cake. And then, afterwards, I will eat cake. Like, a giant, sugary cake with lots of icing. And I will eat it alone. 🙂 In the meantime…
Breakfast. This was a really good one. I just e-heated some roasted veggies…popped a tablespoon of ghee into a skillet and re-heated that way so they’d still be nice and crispy. Then I fried up a couple slices of bacon and poached some eggs. The eggs worked beautifully on the roast veggies, it was a match made in heaven.
Lunch! I went with the tried and true:
Simple salad with arugula, avocado, cherry tomatoes and smoked mackerel. Used the oil from the canned mackerel for dressing. Always yummy, always simple and quick.
For dinner I got a little complicated. I had some broccolini that was totally beautiful and longed to be eaten. So I steamed it and marinated it with some water chestnuts while I made the rest. Pollack curry and roasted delicata squash with pomegranate seeds and a pomegranate molasses coconut yogurt for dipping. The whole thing was glorious.
Here’s how I worked it, in the order I worked it:
Marinated Broccolini and Water Chestnuts:
- 2 heads broccolini (or broccoli, sliced in thin slices)
- 1 can water chestnuts, chopped in half
- 1 tbls. coconut aminos
- 3 tbls. rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. monkfruit extract (optional)
- 3 tbls. sesame oil
- Mix coconut aminos, vinegar, ginger, monkfruit and sesame oil in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Boil 1 – 2 inches of water in a large pot. Place the broccolini in a steamer. Once the water is in a full boil, add the steamer full of broccolini, cover and steam for about 4 – 5 minutes. The broccolini should be bright green and still crisp.
- Drain, and place broccolini in a large bowl with the water chestnuts.
- Pour marinade over vegetables, mix well, cover, and allow to marinade for at least a half hour, but preferably more.
Next, Roasted Delicata Squash Rings with Pomegranate Seeds and a Pomegranate Molasses Coconut Yogurt Dipping Sauce:
- 1 – 2 delicata squashes, sliced and seeded
- 3 – 4 tbls. pomegranate seeds
- 1 tbls. pomegranate molasses
- 1/4 cup coconut yogurt
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Pre-heat oven to 400 F.
- Place squash slices in a single layer on a baking sheet, and sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Place into the oven and roast for 40 minutes, until the squash slices are nicely browned. Keep in mind the underbelly will be more browned…I prefer not to flip them as it kind of caramelizes the bottoms, which I find delicious. Alternatively, you could flip them halfway through for even browning.
- Transfer to a plate and sprinkle pomegranate seeds over.
- Mix pomegranate molasses with the yogurt, and serve alongside the squash.
While the squash is roasting;
- 1 lb. pollock or other white flakey fish, cut into 1″ chunks
- 2 zucchini, chopped into chunks
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped
- 1 can of coconut milk
- 1 tbls. ginger
- 1 tbls. curry powder
- cilantro to garnish
- Sauté onion, zucchini and cauliflower in ghee until soft, about 5 minutes
- Add 1 tablespoon ginger and 1 tablespoon curry powder (or to taste). Cook for a minute, then add fish, coconut milk, and 1/2 cup water.
- Bring to a boil and cook through for about 5 – 8 minutes, until mixture has thickened up a bit.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately.
This all sounds way more complicated than it was. It was an incredibly satisfying dinner. You should definitely make this.
Today was fairly unexciting. Fruit for breakfast, and a leftover stuffed acorn squash for lunch.
I knew I was flying solo for dinner, so I had planned on a big salad with some canned mackerel on top, keeping it simple. But when I got home, all my salad greens had turned. So, I just cut up an heirloom tomato and an avocado, threw on some salt and threw the can of mackerel right on top. I included the packaging because you totally want to buy this. It’s in there with some olive oil, a pepper, a pickle and a carrot, which I also threw onto the salad. And it was great, greens or no greens. Buy Cole’s Wild Chub Mackerel! They also have a Smoked Wild Mackerel that’s pretty delicious.
So, as you might expect, I ate some bacon today. I took the block of it to my local bodega and they sliced it up for me, so nice and saved me SO much trouble. I’m going to freeze most of it, I swear! 😀
Anyhow, today was good for a few things. First of all, I suddenly was able to make a perfect poached egg. I’m pretty good in the kitchen but I’ve always struggled with the poached egg. And yet somehow, today, I woke up able to do it.
I give you Exhibit A. Breakfast. Simple, elegant, tasty. Mix the eggs with the arugula and you have a masterpiece.
The second part of my learnings today: I realized I don’t always have to make things complicated, and I can always just have a big salad. So, I did a lot of that today.
For lunch, a BLT&A salad on a bed of arugula. Um, it was easy to make, and also incredibly yummy!! Also, I felt incredible after I ate it. So, there’s that.
I enjoyed it so much, and was so impressed with my newfound poached egg skillz, that I decided to combine the two for dinner. I added apples to the dinner salad, too, and it was everything I ever wanted in a meal. Feeling like I can last six more weeks. Maybe.
Things are progressing smoothly. I’ve also been feeling really good, with a lot of energy, despite this cold that I’ve definitely been fighting from the season change. Another work day! But this time I had time to cook up a little breakfast (above) before I left home and just re-heated once I got to work. Also, that pear was delicious.
Lunch was leftover chicken tikka masala. I also brought in some salad greens and a whole tomato that I chopped up into the greens at lunchtime, and topped it with a little olive oil and some vinegar. Yum.
All that was left was dinner. I had a steak prepped from my meat share, a 60 day aged Dominico steak. So, that was a no brainer. I also still have a bunch of potatoes so I decided to whip up a sort of potato nik. Super easy. Also something different and really yummy. And then I steamed some chard to make it all come together.
For the potatoes:
- About 2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled
- 1 medium onion, peeled
- 2 eggs
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons almond flour
- Cooking fats (I used beef tallow)
- Grate potatoes and onion by hand or with grating disk of a food processor; drain in colander or strainer. Combine potatoes and onions in a large bowl with eggs, salt, pepper and almond flour.
- Put a good chunk of cooking fat in a large, deep skillet, either nonstick or seasoned cast iron; turn heat to medium-high. When fat is melted and shimmering, put all the batter in pan, and smooth the top. Cook, adjusting heat so mixture sizzles but does not burn. Continue until bottom is nicely browned, at least 15 minutes.
- To turn, slide cake out onto a large plate, cover with another large plate and invert. Add a little more fat to pan if necessary, and slide pancake back in, cooked side up. Cook 15 minutes or so longer, until nicely browned.
Another morning at home, another glorious breakfast! I pick up my CSA share from the farm down the street on Saturdays, so I popped by there for some fresh greens on which to place my eggs (also picked up), more purple potatoes and a specialty pork terrine from my meat share. Yum! I did the eggs over easy this time so the yolks soaked all over the steamed chard. Served with my homemade hot sauce that I finished yesterday. Delicious.
Then we were out for most of the day, and we actually ran into a challenge! Being out without food much longer than anticipated in an area of town not known for it’s healthy food options. Fortunately, this being NYC, there were abundant fruit stands, so we ended up just buying a bunch of fruit and eating that. It was totally yummy and felt much better than we would have had we gotten the empanadas advertised over the fruit stands shoulder.
But! By the time we got home we were still pretty hungry, so I abandoned any fancy cooking ideas and grilled up some pork chops and made a salad. We still had a tangerine and some blackberries from our fruit outing, so those went in the salad along with some spinach, walnuts and pumpkin seeds. Dressed with a pomegranate concentrate/olive oil/red wine vinegar combo. I sometimes like the one flip method of pork chop cooking but tonight I alternated sides every minute, which I always find makes for a lovely light brown evenly cooked chop. Flowers harvested at CSA pick up as well. Thanks Added Value Farm! Day 6, complete.