12 February 2012

On My Mind & In My Stomach

Whoa.  I have spent SOO much time lately reading about food and nutrition (FaN from now on, 'cause I've got a lot to say about it), thinking about FaN, and not least in the kitchen trying to engage with FaN.  And I have utterly failed to record my progress/findings/adventures.

Which means that I now have entirely too much to say and can hardly organize it, so I will go with an that tried and true method, which may make me look organized though I am not: bulleted list.
  • Popcorn.  So since last August, when I was on the HCG diet (I'm not linking to anything because I don't endorse any one supplier of HCG drops, not to mention it's a bit controversial.  I appreciate how it worked for me, though) and then started in to low carb eating, I didn't eat popcorn.  Which was a huge deal because I love popcorn.  In fact, when I did a search of this blog, confident that I must have documented my affection for the crunchy stuff, I was astonished to find it mentioned just in this peppermint popcorn recipe three years ago.  Huh?!  OK, cut to a confession: since I finished the 21 day sugar detox on January 21st, I've given myself an all you can eat season pass to Popcorn Land.  And not just any popcorn.  This Kettle Corn.  The recipe recommends ghee as the fat of choice, and it is delicious that way.  But after much trial I can assure you that bacon grease, regular butter and coconut oil are also wonderful substitutes.  And I feel foolish that I've been using 1/3 cup of sugar when 1/4 would have been enough.  Oops. Anyway, now I feel I've taken this kettle corn to the next level, ever since I figured out that if I pop it up, portion it into 12 oz to go cups with lids (this is sustainable since I reuse the cups and lids) and store it in the freezer, it's ready to go anytime we need a snack.  Too bad my discernment on when I "need" a snack isn't as sharp and clear as it should be.  
  • Chocolate.  The aforementioned 21 day sugar detox was good for me.  I had already been eating low carb, so giving up everything but meat, vegetables, oil and nuts was mostly not a big deal.  I felt really good and I lost three or four pounds.  But I definitely had chocolate in my head and identified just how much it's my stress busting go-to food.  So unfortunately, between kettle corn and chocolate, I'm pretty sure I've gained back what I lost.  The last few weeks have been stressful and I can tell by my chocolate consumption.  I very strictly limit myself to 70% and up.  Even so, when I chop a Trader  Joe's 72% Pound Plus Bar (not the whole thing!) and add it to these "breakfast" cookies made with hazelnut meal and then can't stop eating them all day long though I hid them from myself in the back of the freezer, well, that's gotta be a chocolate overload.  And you know I'm serious when I say gotta 'cause I don't even like that word.  
  • Beans.  This is turning into a manifesto about how I went low carb and am now moving into trying properly prepared grains (and legumes) and other carbs back on for size.  If there's a pun in there, it's intended-size, get it, size?!  So, more for budgetary reasons, and because Koji eats beans more readily than meat, I've been experimenting lately.  Last week I cooked up a huge batch of pinto beans in the crock pot.  The yield was startling, an amount that wouldn't possibly be dented by mere usual employment in chili and "taco slice" (we eat our taco stuff piled on white Japanese style rice instead of in tortillas.  And we started out calling it "tacosu raisu" with Japanese pronunciation.  Then my kids turned that back into English and it became "taco slice," which I don't correct because I think it's hilarious).  With MUCH skepticism, I decided to try this Silky Bean Fudge.  Wow.  That's a delicious wow!  I don't know if it was more acceptable to me and my Japanese friends because we are used to sweet bean paste--anko.  But my mom liked it too.  
  • Meal Planning.  Planning is not my strong suite, though I keep trying to work on it.  It's hard for me to buckle down to deciding ahead of time what we are going to eat.  Still, I'm starting to understand that frantically trying to produce dinner from nothing when it's after the kids bedtime is much, much worse, a real recipe for disaster!!  Yes, Koji is almost nine; I'm a slow learner.  What's working at the moment is this:  

it's a Moleskine notebook, maybe 4 x 6.  It travels with me in my bag and I write anything and everything in it, including meal plans, as above.  So far, so good.  I know, I still haven't figured out what to have for lunch tomorrow.  Suggestions are welcome!

Not sure if anyone at all was able to track with that food-related brain dump, but I feel better having dumped it.  Hope to see you in this space again soon!

No comments: