Friday, May 27, 2011

Dirt in a Lovely Lemon and Oil Marinade (Oy Vey)

   Unrivaled artistic ability, right here.

    Is it normal for fish to taste... dirt-like?

    As should be apparent from my having to ask that question, I don't usually eat fish; I don't actually like it. Not much, anyway, unless it's fried or from a can. Yes, I am a classy girl.

    Since I'm on this diet and everything, I've been trying to diversify the foods I consume to find some things I'll want to have after this is all over. It won't do to give myself intolerances to things I can still eat, and anyway, Variety is the spice of life! as my sister always tells me. I've found a few that I'll want to keep around... Dates, for instance. Ohhh my goodness. The appearance they have of mushy honeyed beetles has put me off them for years, but no more! And sweet potatoes, too. I never liked them much, nor yams, but I'm growing to appreciate more now.

    However, after this last experience I've had, I don't really want to venture into fishy cuisine ever again. Was it a bad fish? Does being farm raised make it bad? I know it's not desirable, but farmed raised doesn't mean it has to taste like dirt, does it? I marinated it in lemon juice and ginger and olive oil, and it smelled good while cooking, and a little piece off the edge tasted nice, but when I ate some from the middle it really just... tasted like dirt, with some lemon juice on it. Lemony dirt. It was a tilapia fillet, and it was very cheap. CAN I REALLY BE BLAMED WHEN THEY'RE ON SALE?

    I also made some coconut brown rice to go with it. Yeah... that didn't work out either. It had the loveliest, creamy flavor, but I cooked it for like, over an hour and it was still hard. This one I must attempt again though, because the flavor was just divine. I crunched my way through two servings of it, which just goes to show.

    I made a salad, too. Just some random stuff and salt. At least that was good!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Roasted Veggies and Chicken Breasts

    There's nothing special about this dish, but it just turned out to be the most flavorful and lovely meal I've had since starting my diet. It was very simple to prepare, just chopping the vegetables and chicken and throwing them into a baking pan.

    You can see most of what I had in there... Chicken, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, onions, cabbage (turned into burnt cabbage paper - surprisingly good!), carrots, celery and a few radishes (are you even supposed to cook those?). I mixed the juice from a lemon with olive oil and rosemary and sprinkled them all with basil and salt.

    Things got a little burnt in the process but I kind of like that, anyway. Just great flavor overall!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My Elimination Diet

    Well! A lot of experimentation has been going on in the kitchen recently. On Monday last week I began an Elimination Diet. I've been rather struggling to find things to eat, since I somewhat made the diet up myself (sound familiar?) and have had difficulty finding meal plans that suit my fabricated regime. While I think I already know the cause of all my troubles (dairy, once you count out gluten) I nevertheless felt I ought to do the thing right and start back at the basics.

I'm removing:
refined sugars
grains (sans brown rice)
citrus (save lemons, for seasoning purposes)
nightshades (tomato, potato, peppers, paprika, etc)

    ...When I say doing the thing RIGHT I really mean doing it kind of, in a manner of speaking, correctly. Without heaping spoonfuls of sugar to tide me over I've resorted to other means... I've eaten more honey in the past week than I have in my whole life, probably. And with spices and the like I haven't been willing to check what family they come from, in case I'll have to get rid of them, too. I may only be harming myself, but if I can't add a tablespoon of cumin seeds to some vegetables, what's the point!

    I think I'm missing garlic the most, though. They don't generally say to cut it out, but advise that you scratch anything you eat regularly. Maybe it's not something to boast about, but I will anyway - 7 or 8 large cloves of garlic in one dish is completely acceptable in my book! As we say here, you can never really have too much garlic; it's a myth.
    After about 3-4 weeks I hope I'll be feeling better so I can start adding things back into the mix. I've been trying to decide between corn, soy and, um, potatoes. Corn and soy would both make my meals far easier and more diverse, but I just love potatoes! I've already planned on making some up, all herbed and mashed and delicious...

    Well anyway! If anything turns out properly, I'll take some pictures to share :)  

Friday, May 13, 2011

A Mother's Day Meal: Butter Chicken & Saag Paneer

    Well, so much for my plans of special magnificence! I intended this Mother's Day meal to be a whole lot more spectacular than it actually turned out to be... I got a little less than 3 hours of sleep and felt completely terrible in my gut region. But hey, it's an important day. My mom has toughed out a lot worse for me, so it was worth it!

    In the end the results were not very pretty (nor the pictures; I was too tired to do the thing right) but the food was actually really good. Considering this was my first time making Indian food, I'm rather pleased with the outcome. Also considering I made up the recipes to begin with... and then further altered them to the point that I can't really tell you what happened in the kitchen that day... I'm amazed the finished product came out edible.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Pineapple Fried Rice (Thai Style)

    Mmmm... Thai Pineapple Fried Rice. It doesn't get much better than this! Fried rice has been one of my favorite dishes since I was a wee ankle biter, along with mashed potatoes and gravy. There's a Thai place here that makes THE BEST Pineapple Fried Rice, but it's a bit pricey. I wanted to try to replicate it myself since that's always the cheaper option. The results were delish even with a... minor goof when I first made it...

    Okay, so. I couldn't find the curry powder in the cupboard so I asked where it was. Some was given to me and I threw it right in, never stopping to consider that the smell was a bit off for Thai cooking. I went about my merry business. Upon serving, I thought something tasted a little weird but I couldn't figure out what the heck it was... It took a lot of dinner table speculation, but we finally nailed it. Obviously the Indian spices didn't quite belong and got a liiitle bit ornery when the other flavors started poking fun. They could hardly be detected in the end, but just make sure you're using Thai curry powder :)

    As with any fried rice recipe, all vegetable options are, of course, optional, as well as the cashews and raisins (I didn't have them, so I didn't add them). And naturally all of the quantities can be altered, too.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Spanish Flan Recipe

    Okay, for real, I LOVE flan. I love all custard and flan is the best variation there is, in my humble (and correct) opinion. This recipe was surprisingly easy and fun to make. I've never tried making caramel before so felt a bit nervous about it all, but there was no need to fret. Notes at the end.