turkey day

last weekend, matt decided that he might want a cornish hen for thanksgiving. he brought me over to the freezer section because he wasn’t sure that a cornish hen should only be $2.50. when i saw that the brand was tyson, i strongly encouraged him to look elsewhere. adjacent were pheasants that were marked free range and are from a farm in wisconsin; toubl farm. he got one of those.

and we made it for thanksgiving! i even made giblet gravy. everything was very tasty.

i just so happened to have this cute little roasting pan from williams-sonoma that he fit in just nicely. matt rubbed him all over with salt, pepper, and third ward from penzey’s.

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this is before it went back in for the final 30 minutes.

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here are the giblets, getting ready to be boiled.

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and the final product. matt made some cranberry sauce and i had some carrots. i had also just so happened to have a ready-bake loaf of rosemary bread, so that got cooked up. without having much of a plan, everything came out hot and at the right time. i think this was the first thanksgiving that matt didn’t have to work and it was nice to spend it at home with him.

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uff duh

i got oh she glows every day because matt bought the author’s first one for me and it was a great addition to my collection. so, i decided to make the cover for lunches this week. aside from the fact that the sorghum still wasn’t done after three hours of boiling, it turned out pretty well. i swapped freekeh into the tabbouleh when i could tell that the sorghum wouldn’t cooperate (not before writing bob’s red mill a concerned note) and it’s nice and light and fluffy.

the whole dish calls for garlic, and i always add a few extra cloves, so i’m in no danger of vampires this week. it’s light, healthful, and filling. it was also quite a bit of work. i think the whole thing took three hours, so it’s a good thing it’ll get me through my three-day work week.

i’d take a picture but it’s halfway gone already!

texmex

matt’s monday schedule has changed a little, giving him the night off every other week. it had been a while since we had a date night, so i came up with a list of three (well, four) places and he picked one. i biked home in order to unload my gear and we cabbed to pasqual’s on east wash.

a million years ago, the only pasqual’s was on atwood and i knew one of the owners at the time. they had the best burritos. fast forward a bunch of years and many yummy breakfasts at the location on monroe street. now, their office headquarters and restaurant are in the old fyfe’s bistro and they still have the one on monroe, one at hilldale, and one in verona. good for them.

we sat at the bar, as we are wont to do. it’s about the same as i remember it from the one time i walked into fyfe’s and realized my pocketbook wasn’t big enough for the menu. i had the shrimp tacos, on the recommendation from the daytime bartender (he clocked out and left while we were sitting there, so i’m making an assumption). matt got the shredded beef enchilada. the chips and tomatillo salsa were pretty good. the tacos were very wet. but the shrimp had just the right amount of pop to indicate that they probably hadn’t been frozen. both the black and pinto beans were good. the rice had a smokey red sauce on it that i wasn’t too excited about.

the margarita’s are half off on mondays, so i enjoyed that. even though they were on tap.

day five, part one

last night’s dinner didn’t sit very well, even though it was pretty basic. either my body got used to the types of foods or my body is done trying to get used to them. in any event, i went to bed without an idea for day five’s lunch (i was going to have dinner leftovers, but didn’t want a repeat). this is where most adjusted food intake plans go awry.

so, i packed up some of the leftover cashew dressing, carrots, and cauliflower and told myself that since this is the last day, i can deal with it.

but, also, it’s friday, which i’ve turned into “sushi friday!” at work. it involves me starting a group order on eat street and everyone joining in that wants some.

for the past few days, i’ve been trying to figure out what to plan on eating in order to wean myself back to the food groups i’ve been avoiding. sushi rice and tofu didn’t seem like such a bad idea, once the tummy grumbled. so, i got to celebrate sushi friday! after all. i stayed away from shellfish (as per the diet) and got eel, tuna, and salmon. the miso soup has tofu and seaweed.

in any event, it was delicious and exactly what i needed after a week of modifications.

day four

there’s a very soy saucy/ginger/asian theme to most of the dishes; at least the ones i tried from days 1-5. today’s lunch was so-so. i’ve come to realize that i don’t really care for chicken breast that’s grilled one night, chilled, and served over a salad the next day. it just doesn’t taste good. or maybe it’s that it’s free range organic and that makes it not kfc, or that it’s not on the bone*? idk.

dinner is the detox hot & sour soup. it’s not very sour, but it has a little bite. i was planning on taking it for lunch tomorrow but i’m worried about it leaving me a little hungry. except, i was noting to myself on the way home today that i never felt any hunger pangs. each meal/snack was spaced out enough. i suppose it didn’t hurt that i didn’t get to dinner until 8 or 830, which is a little later than i normally like to eat before bed.

tomorrow is the last day! clearly, i could keep going, but i don’t think i could maintain this pace forever… not without a personal planner/chef/shopper. i’m not craving burrito drive (yet), but i’m looking forward to the evening when i can just come home and relax.

*i’d kinda like to try some bone-in slow-cooker recipes

day three

i’m in the pattern now; let dogs out, zap water, fill dog bowls, let dogs in, pour water, set the timer for three minutes, put shoes on, find watch/bracelet/ring, pour tea into the mug, rinse seeds from this awesome little teapot that i bought two years ago, enjoy tea while standing in kitchen. it forces me to be mindful of the day and warms my insides for the cooler weather and bike ride.

since i’ve been measuring the powders for the smoothies at night, all i need to do is add the almond butter, coconut oil, and almond milk and “blitz” (as goop likes to call it) with the immersion blender. two ice cubes and the smoothie go into my thermos and i can keep on with getting ready.

around 11:45 yesterday, i crashed. i could almost barely keep my eyes open. i figured there was a blood sugar issue, so i ate lunch even though i wasn’t specifically hungry.  yesterday’s lunch was the leftover chickpea curry, which was even better after sitting in the fridge.

i got back to my desk and had to put it down into sitting. i think i’ve done that four times in the two years i’ve had the standing desk. i probably could have laid my head down and napped, but that’s weird. i’m not in high school history class!

i got a whiff of the apple that had been sitting on my desk since last friday and decided that, even though it wasn’t in the meal schedule, it was necessary. after about 15 minutes, i was wide awake. clearly, there is a blood sugar thing going on.

around 4, i decided to try the crudité and dressing from tuesday’s salad and had a few bites, but was filled quickly.

i got home and made thursday’s lunch: romaine salad with carrots, onions, and soba noodles, a fancy miso dressing, and a chicken paillard with third ward seasoning.

*then* i made the last two salmon burgers with the asian salad from monday and enjoyed a couple episodes of chopped with the dogs in the living room before bed.

one thing i will say is that it is a lot of work doing this type of diet. lots of planning, forethought, and work. after lunch on thursday, my next three meals are soup and then i’ll wean myself back out of the reduced food groups. it’ll be interesting to see if anything affects me, good or bad.

i will also say that, even though i enjoy the company of my friends at the bar and the “cool-down” time after work, it’s been pretty nice to refrain from booze and spend my time cooking, even though my feet hurt.

day two

making the tea with microwaved water is a lot better. i was too full to drink the smoothie, so i brought it to work with me. yesterday was kinda weird in that i’m taking on a few more responsibilities and spent most of the morning in meetings, so by the time 12:30 rolled around, i had a headache. i’m not sure if i can solely attribute it to the diet.

lunch was just okay. maybe 10 minutes in oil, cumin, and cayenne wasn’t enough to marinade the chicken, or maybe i cooked it a second too long in the george foreman, but diced up, in the salad was just not any better than it not being there at all. the dressing was great, tho!

i wasn’t really hungry for the afternoon snack (i opted to bring pudding again because i didn’t want to eat a rice cake), but i can physically tell that there’s a lack of sugar in the meals and needed some fruit.

dinner came after i spent a while preparing the crudité for day three and i realized that the salmon cakes are really good. the recipe called for three servings, but the diet only calls for two meals. since i spent $20 on the salmon, i had to do some rejiggering to get one more meal of that kind in.

i don’t know if i could handle the planning and preparation for longer than a week. we probably spent four hours each per night to prepare days one and two. thankfully, a lot of what’s left is either a repeat or significantly easier.

i enjoyed tart cherry concentrate with my plain soda water last night and found it to be a refreshing break from water. i have to stop at jeni street for another tiny chicken breast for day three and i hope they have some cherry juice so that i don’t have to brave woodman’s the day after the election.

day one, part two

the five-spice salmon burgers were delicious. i didn’t even get that much grief from coworkers about committing the major faux pax of cooking fish at work. the george foreman grill that i keep there made swift work of the grilling, so the odor was minimal. the detox asian salad accompanying the burgers was hearty. i couldn’t finish the one serving.

when i got home, after settling in and saying hi to everyone, i had to start tidying up the kitchen from sunday’s prep. making three meals in one day uses a lot of dishes. after it was all cleaned up, we started making today’s lunch because it looked like a doozy. i guess it kind of was because i didn’t even start on making dinner until 8:05. the detox salad with chicken calls for a brown rice, gluten-free tostada. a cursory glance around woodman’s did not turn this item up, and since i’d already planned on shopping at jeni st, the coop, and amazon, i figured i could just make due with brown rice instead of seeking this out at a specialty shop.

matt helped with the pickled red onions because he can chop them like a champ; i should have taken a video. the george foreman grill at home made quick work of the teeny tiny chicken breast and i wiped the grill down to heat up the zucchini. the dressing took a while. thankfully, even though i have the vitamix, soaking them for 24 hours just sped it up a little faster. it turned out really yummy and i’m looking forward to lunch.

after this was all squared away, i started on dinner. chickpea and kale curry with brown rice. so, i can’t even remember the last time i used chicken broth in anything. it’s usually the first thing i avoid in an ingredients list, because who knows what happened to the chicken before it got cooked? well, i used pacific brand, which is made from free range chicken. dare i say it was the perfect flavor? O.O  after the detox is over, i might have to make chicken noodle soup.

i’ve streamlined the morning detox tea by microwaving the water. the teapot just takes too long and i have a condensed amount of time to get my butt out the door in the morning. it left me nice and warm for the bike ride, but too full for the “smoothie”, so i’ll bring that to work with me in the vessel that held my dear coffee every day, a million years ago.

matt has been known to make fun of me about my affinity toward kitchen implements and the number of them in the house. i feel like past me was vying for this occasion. since starting this journey, i’ve used the following to assist or cook: rice cooker, george foreman grill, vitamix, food processor, immersion blender, le crueset dutch oven, and parchment paper. maybe not vindication, but at least the appliances are being used.

i don’t seem to have slept any better than any other night, but i’m sure that will change as the week goes on. a full report on tuesday’s results will appear here later.

detox day one, part one

last night i had chicken for the first time in about 20 years. i guess it was just okay. we roasted it with avocado oil and third ward. and the meat thermometer actually got used in meat!

this morning (and each here after) started out with the spa detox tea, which consists of cumin, coriander, and fennel, and then a “smoothie” of almond milk with almond butter, coconut oil, and a mishmash of vegan protein and mushroom powders. it’s in quotes because it doesn’t have any fruit or ice.

lunch is a couple of five-spice salmon burgers, which i’ll report on later.