Category: Recipes and Ideas
I had some ground lamb in the refrigerator to thaw and make meatballs with. I also had some parsnips patiently awaiting their fate, and planned on making creamy parsnip soup to go with the meatballs. It's been a while since I really cooked though, and I didn't realize I had no onions. I couldn't make keema either, because I had no onions. I was at a loss, and running out of time.
So I pulled out a great cookbook (I have many, and rarely use them). This time it was the Cook's Illustrated Perfect Vegetable cookbook. Parsnips... they recommend steaming and pureeing (with a few other ingredients, including cream), or roasting them (with just olive oil, salt, and fresh parsley). I chose the easier recipe that would require no substitutions (other than having no fresh parsley on hand, so I substituted curry and ginger powder for that). Chop them a uniform size, somewhere between 1 and 2 cm, after removing the core from the large ones, toss it all together, spread on a cookie sheet, and cook for about 30 minutes at 425 (shake the pan or turn them a couple times to prevent too much browning).
Then I started the meatballs. I usually put onions in those, but the kids always complain, so oh well. I just added salt, puffed millet, a little sweet rice flour, and a bit of curry powder. I started these in a cast iron pan on the stove, then moved them to the hot oven to cook through once they were a bit browned.
The parsnips were almost done, and I still hadn't devised a carb. I pulled out another cookbook for instructions on how to cook quinoa, and that was done 20 minutes later. The whole thing only took me 40 minutes. Now for the taste test...two picky children.
My six year old hates parsnips, so I just told him it was roasted root vegetables. He loved them! Any vegetable is good if it's prepared right, and roasting them really takes out that bit of a flavor zap that they can have. This is good; a potato substitute for a kid who, despite my shielding attempts, always asks for potatoes.
The meatballs were great too, the best lamb meatballs I've made so far. I combined all three together, and it was much like a couscous meal I once had. This was followed by a basic salad with some pine nuts and radished tossed in. (The pine nuts would also be good in the couscous-like combination)
That should fuel my busy day tomorrow, Thursdays are always crazy for us.
I spoke too soon of victory, as Thursday night it hit me. This one seems to strike at night. I ate nothing all of yesterday, just drank some. I did find a recipe for home-made electrolyte solution online, for those who don't want all the additives in pedialyte and such. It's just 2 Tablespoons honey (or agave), 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp baking soda, and 4 cups water. Not too bad tasting, and a great way to rehydrate. Broth is also a good option.
I just ate a bowl of rolled quinoa mush, after more than 24 hours of fasting. I'm getting some energy back. Hopefully my digestion will return to normal soon. The aches and chills are gone also, it's not a good idea to do break-falls a couple days before getting sick! Everything that could hurt did hurt yesterday, but I'm happy to say it was because of the illness, not an injury. (I did manage to do a flip, with no arms supporting me, onto the cushion to land in a nearly perfect side breakfall...as somebody who never could do cartwheels or anything, even as a kid, that's pretty amazing)
This is a great cake! Explorers can have tapioca, so I'm enjoying adding that to my baking, it makes up for the loss of eggs. I made these in muffin and bun pans, but I think it would work in larger cake pans (I always start small, to get things cooked through without falling, as those can be problems with gluten free baking)
Explorer Applesauce Cake
2 Cups applesauce
3/4 or 1 cup agave (use the lower amount if applesauce is sweetened)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking power (I forgot to put this in, and it still worked)
2 cups flour mix (about 1/2+ cup tapioca, 1/2 cup sweet rice, 1/2 cup teff and 1/2 cup amaranth)
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup dried fruit (optional, I left out)
1 cup chopped macadamias or pecans (optional, I left out)
1/2 cup grapeseed oil and/or melted ghee
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, prepare pan with oil or ghee and a dusting of flour (I like teff's color for this cake)
Combine wet ingredients in one bowl, dry ingredients in another, then blend together. (the original recipe has more detailed instructions than this, but I liked the results I got, perhaps adding the fruit and nuts makes the other steps necessary.)
Bake cake size for 45-50 minutes, smaller muffin sizes for 20-30 minutes, until the cake springs back when lightly touched.
This should work with pureed pumpkin or similar purees, just use the higher amount of agave. So if you can't have apples, try it with something you can have.
Smoothies are on my mind today. My throat is still so sore that I can hardly handle solid food. My body feels much better and I got a good night's sleep last night, but I feel like my throat is attempting to do a spontaneous tonsillectomy.
Before taekwondo I usually just feel like having a smoothie for breakfast. Apricots, almond butter, rice bran and rice milk (with a little veggie glycerine) make for a satisfying smoothie. My kids don't like the texture of it, but that leaves more for me. Today I didn't feel like almond butter either, with my throat, so I used 3 frozen apricots, about 5 frozen cranberries, rice milk, v.glycerine, cinnamon and a mild cottage cheese. I'd prefer ricotta, it's smoother, but I only had cottage cheese. It was tangy and good. I think I'll call it my Thanksgiving smoothie.
I often have a simple green tea smoothie, as an energy drink, though it doesn't have quite as much substance: ice cubes, powdered green tea, v.glycerine, and rice milk. Ricotta works well in it too, but cottage cheese might be too tangy for this one.
I found a new organic energy drink that is sweetened with agave nectar. I don't see much use for pre-packaged energy drinks in my life, but it's nice to see improvements in them. When my workouts are never more than and hour, I have plenty of time to make a smoothie beforehand and eat a meal afterward. I do sweat plenty in that hour, so I may consider adding a little sea salt in there somewhere, though I have developed such a taste for salt, that I probably get enough.
After taekwondo I always shower and sit in my infrared sauna, to reduce sore muscles. Hmm, maybe I should add a pinch of sea salt to the water I drink for sauna-ing.
For my trip last month I bought some raw power berry trail mix (Navita, I think). It was expensive, but better than the toxins I would have eaten without it. It had dried goji berries, dried mulberries (not rated, but more tasty than I expected), dried aztec berries (not rated on the diet, and not my favorite), cashews, and cocoa nibs. I pawned off the cashews to my family for the most part.
What excited me about this was how good the cocoa nibs are in a trail mix! They work really well, with no sugar or other toxins, like chocolate chips have, and they won't melt in the heat. I don't like them by themselves, but when eaten with a handful of slightly sweet dried fruit, they really hit the spot. Their crunch is also a nice contrast to chewy dried fruit.
If you make your own trail mix (and chocolate is allowed for your type), try it with cocoa nibs. You can easily crush the whole cocoa beans into nibs, if needed. I've since made it with just goji berries, pecans, and cocoa nibs. Even though it's not a chocolate bar, it really satisfies.