Wednesday, June 23, 2010

So, How's It Going?

I've been asked a few times how the Escapades v. 2.0 are going.  Honestly, some days are easier than others.  I find myself craving familiar foods, although they are different than those that I would normally crave.  Last week, I had a mystifying craving for ham.  I broke down and bought some NC-produced country ham.  And it was delicious.  I'm eating less meat, which any dietitian will tell you is a good thing.  I'm also eating a lot more fruits and vegetables--another good thing.  Overall, I'm pretty pleased with myself.

Yesterday, I made a quiche using Miller Produce eggs and zucchini, with Cackleberry Farms' feta.  I also threw in some jarred red peppers that were sitting in the fridge.  I haven't had quiche in ages, but it seemed an appropriate use of the many ingredients I had.

LA bought a smoothie recipe book (I don't know if that would be considered a "cook"book, since nothing is cooked), so we've both been making smoothies left and right.  He's sticking with the more traditional fruit-and-yogurt smoothies, while I'm branching out.  I bought peaches and blackberries, then threw them in with some (organic) vanilla yogurt.  That was a satisfying, albeit crunchy smoothie.  Lesson learned: strain the blackberries after pureeing to get rid of all the seeds.  I made another one, utilizing the lesson that I had learned, and the results were even better.  I made another with cucumber, avocado, and kale.  I didn't realize at the time that my yogurt was vanilla, instead of plain, so it made for an odd smoothie.  Not bad, but not at all what I'd expected.  After buying some plain yogurt, I decided to give it another shot.  This time I added a small can of V-8 that I had sitting around.  The resulting smoothie was a most unsettling color.  While it tasted okay, I think the vanilla version had been tastier.  I should probably stick with the fruits, since those turn out the best.

Lunch today was the result of needing to use up the rest of the kale that I'd picked up on Saturday.  I was planning to cook it with garlic, then toss with spaghetti.  That would've involved at least two pans, and I'm lazy.  I bought some new potatoes from Miller Produce last night, thinking I'd make more Spanish potato salad, but soup sounded like a better idea.  I'm a huge fan of the Toscana soup at Olive Garden (even if it does come out of a microwavable bag), and I had the majority of the items to make something similar.  The Toscana soup has spicy Italian sausage in it, and I was going for a vegetarian version.  A diced onion, quartered potatoes, shredded kale, some water and a little milk all made for a delightful soup.  I got a little heavy-handed with the salt, but it all worked out in the end.  As usual, I measured nothing.  When I make potato soup, I think about the soup that my Grandma B. used to make, and I try to imitate the flavor of hers.  Her soup never included kale or potato skins, but she may have still recognized it.

I've done pretty well in other ways, too.  I'm drinking a lot more water, as well as herbal tea.  The teas I've gotten from "the tea lady", as we call Linda, owner of Indigo Tea Market.  She has a plethora of different teas, my favorite being the Long Island Strawberry, which is a green tea.  The Moroccan mint is also wonderful.  LA mixes the peach tisane with normal orange pekoe to make a flavored sweet tea.  I actually bought a kettle for all the tea I've been drinking.  Yesterday I fell off the wagon and had a Diet A&W root beer.  No sugar and no caffeine, but plenty of other questionable ingredients that caused me to feel guilt for the rest of the evening.  It was, however, the first soda that I'd had in a week and a half!  I've also (mostly) stopped eating sweets.  I've never had much of a sweet tooth, but what little I had is in decline.  I ate one of my beloved Cheerwine truffles, and it was so sweet!  No sweeter than it had been the last time I'd had one, but I'm apparently getting more sensitive to the sweets.  I have to give LA props, too, since he's been eating a lot fewer sweets, and that's really an accomplishment for him (we won't mention the toaster pastries that he bought at the dollar store). 

All in all, this has been easier than I thought, although still a struggle at times.  I'm still getting enough to eat, I'm eating foods I enjoy, plus I'm having to broaden my horizons and try new items and recipes.  I've got garlic scapes waiting for me, as well as an eggplant and a horribly ugly tomato.  Guess I know what's on the menu for dinner!

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