Day 11: My Husband Rocks

As I was sitting on the couch planning my meals for the week, my husband sits down next to me with a cheese and bean burrito in hand. He starts waxing poetic on the virtues of the blessed tortilla.

“These tortillas are amazing. They’re so fluffy and delicious! I almost feel like grabbing another one to just eat it by itself.”

“Go for it. You know I can’t eat them,” I say, avoiding eye contact with the tortilla.

He comes back, and just keeps expounding on the tortilla’s virtues.

“Seriously, this is so good! It’s flaky, and soft, and…”

I interrupt him to meekly ask, “Would you please stop singing the tortilla’s praises now, please?”

“Oh! Aww, kitty, I’m so sorry!!”, he says, realizing what he’s done. And he doesn’t stop there.

“This tortilla is awful. I am only eating it to get it out of your sight. I would rather be eating literally anything else. It’s so disgusting.”

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I married the best person. That is all.

#weddedbliss

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Day 9: Family Dinner Time

I realized after the fact that one of the recipes I had chosen for my meal plan this week involved using some equipment that we don’t own. Oops. So, change of plans. For breakfast prep, I made sweet potato applesauce mash, which was easy to make although time consuming because the sweet potatoes had to roast in the oven for an hour. I also made the applesauce from scratch, because I didn’t trust store bought varieties to not have sugar. The end result tastes like something you’d eat at thanksgiving. I feel like nutmeg and cinnamon have the power to make food remind you of the holidays for some reason. If I wasn’t on Whole30, I would have added just the slightest bit of honey, but honestly, it’s plenty sweet on its own.

I wanted to make dinner for the three of us, and wasn’t totally sure what I was going to make. I figured I’d just start chopping onions and prepping the vegetables we had until something occurred to me. The tomatoes needed to be eaten STAT, so I chopped those too. Wait. Were there enough zucchinis to make more zoodles? Yes! I made a thick sauce with onions, cilantro, garlic, tomatoes, and mushrooms and let it simmer while spiraling the zucchinis. This time I tried cooking the zucchini noodles instead of throwing them in raw. I actually left them a bit too long because I got distracted, and some of them turned black. Crap. But then I tried them and was like… omg… this is actually really good. They didn’t even taste burned, just roasted. In any case, cooking the zoodles really brought out a lot more flavour. Since the “sauce” was really more like a stew, I just threw the zoodles in there too. As I was prepping, I was wondering what to do about a protein source. Last time I made zoodles, we were starving after a couple of hours. I had already had white beans for two or three meals, so I needed something different. I was really disappointed to come home from the supermarket with tofu that I realized (too late) had a sulfate in it, so I can’t eat it. Then I remembered I had frozen organic edamame. Yayy! I put those in a pot to boil, drained them, and put them on top of the whole meal.

My roommate, husband, and I all sat down together at the table to eat dinner for the first time in what feels like forever. I was so happy that we all liked the dish. The edamame was a great addition. Cooking the zucchini noodles also was a great improvement from last time. By the end of the meal, we all felt full. And it was so nice to actually sit down and talk instead of stare at a TV. It’s moments like these that make families, blood related or not 🙂

Shabbat Shalom, everyone!

Day 6, version 2: Eating Things I Never Thought I’d Eat (And Liking Them)

I was never a picky eater, but there were two things growing up that I really did not like. Eggs and beets. We’ve talked about my aversion to eggs before. I really did try to like them! Beets never got the benefit of the doubt. In Costa Rica, we have a very popular salad that we call ensalada rusa- “Russian salad”. Just like I really doubt that “Greek salad” is actually called Greek salad in Greece, I have confirmed that “Russian salad” as I knew it is definitely not known as Russian salad in Russia. Ensalada rusa does contain several elements found in a lot of Russian cuisine, such as beets, potatoes, sour cream, and hard boiled eggs. My Russian belly dance teacher tells me the closest thing is Russian “Venigret”.

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(Photo found on Pinterest)

I digress. The fact is, growing up, I couldn’t think of many things more disgusting than Russian salad.

First there’s the Spanish word for beets. Remolacha. It sounds revolting. Ensalada rusa also has the colour of Pepto Bismol, which was in my mind inextricably linked to a very bad time. And of course, the hard boiled eggs didn’t make it any more appealing to me.

It wasn’t until many, many years later, when a friend invited me over for dinner and served a salad with fresh beets, that I realized that my hatred for beets had been misguided. All the beets I had ever had in my life had been canned! I still hate canned beets, and I have been pleasantly surprised to find that fresh beets are almost nothing like them.

Fast forward to my Whole30 experience. I’ve eaten more eggs in the past two weeks than I probably ever have in my life. I’ve been very happy to come to the realization that my dislike of eggs is really a dislike of yolks, specifically runny yolks. So instead of cooking them “sunny side up” (if you can believe it, I had to google how to do this), I flip them over so that the yolk gets cooked too. Which brings me to my next food adventure: “Sweet-beet hash with egg on top”. I got this recipe from the back of a package of Veggie Noodle Co. spiralized beets.

Stop the world! Lindsy is eating something that has BOTH EGGS AND BEETS! Voluntarily!!! (My Mami would probably be proud).

It was pretty simple. The thing that took the longest time to prep was the roasted sweet potato. You basically add onion, roasted sweet potato, mushrooms, spinach, and spiralized beets to a cast iron pan with some balsamic vinegar and put fried eggs on top.

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The result was so pretty and colourful! My husband jokingly said “Yes, you should always eat things with many different colours to ensure good nutrition. So let’s eat skittles!!” (lol, right?)

But really though. I was actually really happy with the result. Overall the whole dish was slightly sweet, what with the vinegar, the beets, and the sweet potato, but also had lovely salty notes from the eggs, and a lot of earthiness from the beets, spinach, and mushrooms. I chuckled to myself a bit. My inner child is probably looking on in horror at me eating something a little too much like ensalada rusa. I’ll have a talk with her about it, and make this again in the future.

Day 9: Fun with a Zoodler!

Gals. Guys. I’m super excited.

I got a Zoodler!!

(A what?)

A zoodler! I’ve been wanting one for months! Even before getting into the Whole30 thing, my husband and I had been wanting to cut down on the amount of grains we were eating. We had gotten lazy and started eating a lot of pasta and rice, because they’re quick and easy to make. I had had zucchini noodles before at a raw food restaurant. I thought it would be cool to still have noodles, but have them be good for you. The zoodler also came with a cute little insert with recipe ideas for noodles made out of zucchini, carrots, cucumbers, and other veggies.

So I tried it out! I like making my own pasta sauce with garlic, onions, tomatoes, and whatever else I want to throw in there. This is something great to do with tomatoes that have started turning soft but haven’t gotten to the point where you want to throw them away yet. No one cares if the tomatoes are soft if they’re going to be sauce anyway. Today I added Herbes de Provence, parsley, and leftover spinach from the farmer’s market. I was happy to get to use the rest of the spinach before it went bad too! I put a bit of chickpea flour in the sauce to thicken it a bit, covered it, and let it simmer to reduce for a while.

I cut the top off a zucchini, put it in my zoodler, and started twisting. OMG! It’s so beautiful!! And really easy, too!

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The sauce ended up kind of soupy, but I don’t mind. The recipe booklet said that you can boil the zoodles for one minute, but honestly, that felt kind of like a waste of a lot of water to boil something that can be eaten raw just fine. I just put the zoodles into the boiling sauce, figuring that they would cook a bit while in there. The husband said that they were a bit crunchier than regular noodles, obviously, but that they were good, and interesting. I made two zucchinis worth of noodles, which ended up being enough to make 4 servings 🙂 That means that I made enough for my husband’s dinner tonight plus lunch for all 3 people in the house tomorrow! I can’t wait to try it!