This meal came out so tasty I dreamed about it the next day! I finally found some in-house made frozen grass fed beef bone broth (say that five times fast!) at BiRite market. It wasn’t cheap ($13 for a quart) but I could also just pick it up and not mail order it , so convenience won out. I let it defrost over night in the refrigerator.
I have a thing for all things miniature and couldn’t resist these adorable little red cipollini onions.
Look how cute they are! I have never cooked with cipollini onions so I poked around the web for some tips and came across a video with Mario Batali and Michael Symon (my favorite Iron Chef!). I watched for inspiration and tips as I peeled my onions. It’s a cute segment (follow link above) and although he was making creamed onions I took the initial cooking tips which were to brown them on each side in olive oil and salt and then add liquid to finish the cooking. Worked like a charm! Thanks, @mariobatali!
I was cooking just for one. I browned 3 onions like a pro 😜, and when the second side was close to done I added some chard to the pan and gave it a minute to wilt in the oil with some extra Himalayan pink salt. I then threw in a quarter of the beef stock. It made all kinds of fun cracking sounds — I felt fancy. I stirred the stock to get up all the tasty brown bits from the seared onions.
Then things got a little odd, as they often do in my kitchen lab. I tossed in some red pepper flakes and some ground coriander. I realized too late that I don’t really like coriander (it has been a long day!) and it smelled funny to me. My solution? Throw in a bunch of cinnamon. Yikes! Was that a mistake?! Who knew… But it started to smell pretty damn good.
I picked some fresh rotisserie chicken and let it soak in there for a bit and then I served it up.
HOLY COW, it was so delicious. Deeply savory, slightly spicy, with sweetness from the onions and freshness from the chard. It also felt very nourishing.
Will definitely be making some variety of this again (maybe without the coriander 😉
Dinner tonight was a win! Tasty, a little spicy and tangy, with tomato-y goodness. The zucchini noodles were raw so they still had a good crunch but were slurpable and the tuna just melted in and wasn’t overly present, in a good way. Mr. Foggy Foodie’s review: “this was one of your best so far.” YAY!
Giving up lots of foods in the hopes of revived health has been, well, hard. I was about to paint a rosy picture about the greater good, blah blah blah, but honestly, this has been challenging. I still haven’t gotten myself to cook meat, so protein has been extra challenging, especially with no eggs.
Another sad thought was giving up dining out with friends, which is a major source of life enjoyment for me. I’ve decided that just can’t happen and I need to find places that are able and willing to accommodate this craziness. And guess what, I did!!!
I went out twice this weekend and minus the convoluted ordering process, it went relatively well. I did think the first waiter was going to punch me in the face but I noticed he was cranky in general and my friend assured me I was totally nice and apologetic and didn’t deserve any wrath. Phew.
An interesting byproduct of this shift in eating is having to find new things to order. I have never in my life even considered ordering or even eating octopus for dinner. I first tried octopus last year with my big brother (who is the culinarily adventurous one) and didn’t hate it. So when faced with a menu of pasta and pizza and other assorted current “no-no’s,” I made the decision to be intrepid and order the octopus! They were kind enough to pair it with asparagus instead of the normal accompaniment. And it was DELICIOUS! What an awesome surprise!
It was meaty in texture and taste and had a nice little crunch from it being seared or roasted or however they cooked it. I topped it with fantastic extra virgin olive oil and gobbled it up. Score.
Then on Saturday, Mr. Foggy Foodie and I had plans to cook, but got tired and lazy and went to one of our favorite restaurants instead, Mission Beach Cafe in the Mission. I can’t recommend this place enough. Every meal there is consistently well prepared and scrumptious. I know they have good beef and tons of veggies on hand so I had confidence ordering would be pretty simple, and thankfully it was and our waitress was totally gracious and kind. Phew! I had grass fed beef, no butter, and sautéed veggies in olive oil. It was divine and I was a happy camper.
So, there you have it! I successfully left my kitchen and had wonderful meals out with loved ones. Yay!
I’ve been making these morning shakes and can’t seem to call them smoothies, as I associate smoothies with fruit and sweet and oh, so much yum.
Mr. Foggy Foodie came up with “morning soup” and I think it is the perfect description. It takes the brain away from feeling sad about missing sweet fruit smoothies and back to appreciating this concoction as a tasty savory soup.
Now, this must be noted: I have a pretty high tolerance for weird combinations in the vegetable/spice world so this may not be for everyone!! MFF (Mr. Foggy Foodie) gobbles it up but his review is that is “fine” and “tastes like what it is”. I guess that works, especially with limited breakfast options. I actually really like it!
This is a quick way to get lots of greens, and good fats and fungi fighting agents!
Without further ado here’s the “recipe”. I use recipe loosely as I just lob all of this into my nutribullet without measuring.
If you try it, please let me know what you think in the comment section!!!
I am not going to lie, the last few days have been brutal. The cramps in my lower back, hips and quads were intense and constant. I am someone who has chronic pain (more on that another time) but this rocked me in a different way, probably because it was not my usual pain. And it scared me. Was I doing something detrimental? Should I give this up? I shot a couple of emails off to my doctor, who’s assistant called back and reassured me I was ok, that my body was just reacting to a drastic change, and I wasn’t dying. Yes, I asked if I was dying. Or something to that affect. Lol. I did apologize for acting like a crazy person. She said that it is common in this stage. Phew. I had already up my potassium rich foods yesterday and Doc told me to up my magnesium.
I woke up yesterday feeling like I had been beaten. I proceeded to put only potassium rich things in my body, which included a whole avocado and sea salt, a can of sardines (HOLY HELL, I am NOT a fan, but desperate times…), and then went out to buy greens for lunch which I melted and then added ghee and sea salt.
Still I felt no major change. Dinner consisted of dark meat chicken, Brussels sprouts, and chard. And pre bed time I had some beef bone broth (could not find grass fed at any store in San Francisco, which seems totally odd to me) and a scoop of almond butter and a handful of magnesium (just under 400mg) as prescribed by Doctor.
Falling asleep was hard with the pain and I woke up today feeling a tiny bit better. I made myself a very weird morning smoothie of spinach, radish, ghee, coconut oil, collagen (powdered grass fed beef hide — gross sounding, right?! Thankfully very little taste!), cinnamon and salt. It was odd, but full of good nutrition. I then took some calcium/mag/potassium and other stuff in the form of Bone Up from Jarrow.
I have to say this is the first time in over 3 days that my legs aren’t aching terribly. Thank all that is good in the world!
I’ve been suffering from cramping the last couple of days and couldn’t tell if it was a back pull or being slightly out of joint or “carb-flu“, which can be caused by dramatic decreases in carbs and can be avoided by slowly starting to decrease carbs (whoops, I went whole hog!). Tonight the cramps are more centralized in my quads. I spoke with my Aunt who has done low-carb diets. She said I need to increase my potassium and the cramps and back aches are common when switching to these low carb diets. She thought she had pulled out her back, too. This was a relief to hear.
Apparently, you need around 4700mg a day and most people fall short. That’s the equivalent of 5.6 cups of cooked spinach. Good lord, who wants to eat that much spinach every day? I have been eating leafy greens and a large amount of sea salt (which has potassium) but apparently not enough potassium. How are you supposed to know these things?! I guess ask and you shall find out. 🙂 I took a supplement with a small amount of potassium (all I have in the house at the moment) and just chugged some sea salt water. I really just want my legs to feel better!
Tonight I made a layered salad type thing. Cucumber, avocado, chicken breast, basil “chimichurri” type sauce (basil, olive oil, s+p, garlic, and red pepper flakes in my handy NutriBullet), and sautéed spinach and arugula. It was really delicious!
I have a friend who told me it wasn’t nutrient rich enough and I need more nutritive and potassium filled veggies. Sigh. This is exhausting. She also suggested nusalt. Maybe I’ll look for that tomorrow, but potassium salts have been linked to heart attacks and I certainly don’t want to go down that road! But potassium deficiency is also linked to heart attacks according to Google. You can drive yourself mad!
Maybe I’ll stick to the potassium rich vegetables in this list that are approved. Apparently chard and spinach waaaay out beat kale. Too bad I’ve been eating kale each morning. Live and learn. Apparently, I’ve got lots to learn and leg cramps to prove it.
So, you’ve heard the rules and the motivation. Now what? First and foremost, let me reiterate that I only know so much, am not a doctor and am not meaning to dole out advice, just experience. There, that made me feel better.
Well, I thought I’d catch you up a little with things I’ve cooked and things I’ve learned. Number one thing I’ve learned is that there is sugar in almost everything. And things that I thought were excellent choices at the beginning were on the no-no list like vinegar and pickled and fermented food, as well as pork and processed meats, even uncured salami (yum!). So, I probably only really fully got on board with this regime about a week ago even though I started on January 4th. I am, however, giving myself some props for getting it going even with initial hiccups in food choices. This is hard, man!
Here’s what’s been happening:
So, there you have it. We are now up to date. Thanks for getting through this if you did!