boat christening, Caesar Salad Dressing, croissant, danish, key lime pie, lemon tahini dressing, mushroom caps, pain au chocolate, potato salad, ratatouille, spinach potato salad, thali, Turkish pizza, vegetable thali
If you were going to lose you mind and just eat and eat and eat, Roman-style: while reclining all evening and leave the room only to vomit so as to eat more – what are the foods you would choose?
Okay, so we didn’t exactly go Roman, but we also allowed Guilty kitchen to reign without much remorse.”Sociopathic food kitchen” that’s what we might need to rename the blog. We abused food over here…and didn’t really think twice about it, before or after.
Okay, not exactly abusing food, but close enough for a couple of starving people that had been eating well, granted, but were frequently hungry for something more. Here is a sample of the good, the bad, and the ugly that a week of festivities can coral into a couple of gaping mouths. Recipes included, where appropriate:
To my credit, I started off not bad, then nose-dived somewhere around Friday night, by Saturday morning French pastries, it was all over.
It kind of started last Tuesday night when I decided that Turkish Pizza seemed like a relatively healthy option. I made my first mistake that day – I didn’t eat all day because I was running from one thing to the next, to the next and suddenly it was supper time. One meal day…that’s a recipe for pizza:
Turkish pizza does not have the usual tomato sauce base and sometimes even eschews cheese (which my partner hates with a cheese-hating soul passion). It is a thin dough with spiced meats (usually) and then your choice of vegetable, cheese, garlic sauce, hot pepper, fresh tomato, raw onion kind of toppings. Every pizza comes with hot peppers, tomato slices, raw onion and garlic sauce regardless. I ate that entire middle horn of plenty: ground beef, spinach, and a soft brie-type cheese folded in and brushed with egg.
I felt somewhat sorry later in the evening when I had the feeling of genuine fullness for the first time in weeks.
I tried to make it better to myself by getting into a really hot bath. Isn’t there an old wives tale somewhere that steaming pounds off actually works? I made my steam streamlining last even longer by drinking a litre of Perrier with a bowl of frozen strawberries dropped in. It was pretty decadent and I probably would enjoy its decadence fully in a future without the belly of pizza. Guilt…nasty thing that it is.
I got over it by the week’s end and completely made up for my Perrier penance.
A banana and a pear. Not a bad start, right? Except that I ate the banana in 2 seconds flat and lingered over the messiness of the pear until I had to throw it away it got so brown and marked up. I was on the road Wednesday, off to see my parents and share my new found food wisdom.
Which began well enough. I introduced my mom to one of my new favourites: the Brown Rice (instead of Quinoa) Grain Bowl, as my mother immediately expressed her hatred of quinoa when I presented my true favourite. I mixed in arugula, baby spinach, crispy tempeh, avocado, marinated tomatoes, lentils, chickpeas, and all the usual delicious suspects.
I topped off with a lemon-tahini dressing and some sunflower seeds and all seemed to go down with genuine appreciation.
I tried again at supper with Ratatouille and broiled mushroom caps. It began to dawn on me, I’m away from my husband – I should be eating cheese!
Garlic Stuffed Mushroom Caps
- pull stem from cap of white button mushrooms (around 12 of them)
- place one clove of garlic in each cap
- top with a square of cheese
- broil until water appears at the base of the mushroom
I went too light on the cheese out of a misguided moderation and it melted right off some of the caps.
Ratatouille, which I’ve posted the recipe for just recently, is just such amazing vegetarian eating. My parents don’t believe in eating a meal without meat – but I convinced them for one night to just try this vegetable dish. Served up with a nice glass of red wine, fresh bread and butter – how could it not be the absolute winner that it is.
All in all, not a bad day and a new dressing for those interested in making their own:
Tahini Lemon Dressing
The only preparation in this dressing is washing and slicing off the bottom third of the parsley stems, otherwise it all goes into the food processor and makes about 1 cup of dressing, which will keep for about a week. (The parsley is what disintegrates in this recipe making it a short-term item.) To thin out the dressing for another day’s use, thin it out with fresh lemon juice or water
- Small bunch (about 30 sprigs) flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 cup sesame tahini
- 2 to 4 large cloves garlic
- 4 to 5 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 to 6 tablespoons water
- salt, or to taste
This dressing falls into decadent food choices because of the tahini, a sesame seed paste that packs a caloric punch. 1 tablespoon of tahini has 90 calories in it – just imagine 1/2 cup. Still, when you want that sesame flavour that pairs so well with lemon, sometimes you just gotta.
A day of fast food.
The two hour drive home meant there was going to be some food desert choices along the highway. As I surveyed the McDonald’s menu board at the drive through, I felt as though an Egg Mcmuffin without the ham was the best I could do for a morning food item.
It wasn’t very good without the ham. I never noticed that the bun is dry, it doesn’t even have butter on it? Gross. Egg and processed cheese sandwich, please.
I made up for it later that night when I made the Motimahal haul: a cafeteria style food counter for fast Indian food just down the street from us. There is no saving grace here. Three Veg Thali: Spinach and Paneer, Pea and Tomato, the Butter curry sauce with a Lentil log, and Basmati Rice with mixed veg.
Yes, those butchered descriptions are the best cultural approximation I am capable of producing with regards to what was in my tray. I’m not snooty over here – I don’t know (and won’t pretend to know) their real names, I just eat their nameless goodness with appreciation.
I don’t even really know what happened Friday. Consciously chosen amnesia – I refused to record my food. The only picture I have is from the picnic-at-home supper we put together at Hunter’s request.
Caesar Salad (with European Caesar Dressing),
Quebecois Blue Cheese (unmeasured, just put out whole on the cheese slicer!)
Baguette with oil and balsamic
4 different deli meats
When I woke and found out that Erik had ordered French pastries to be fresh baked Saturday morning at 630am for pickup up at 7am, and when the landed on a board in front of me with a coffee at 730am in all their delicious variety…
well…something, something just got real.
Marzipan cream stuffed Almond croissants, Pain au chocolate, Butter croissants, and honey danishes all on one beautiful plate from the French bakery Zane’s Patisserie Boulangerie. They were still warm and crispy and light and I have finally heard the music of the spheres.
We had a picnic lunch of the same food from the Friday night before with the addition of an outdoor space in the Humber Parklands, and then rounded the food corner of the evening with a 56 square maki, sushi, sashimi showdown tray.
What an amazing day.
Sunday should have been our “Coming Back to Our Senses” Morning, but we still had 6 pastries. No we can’t just get rid of them, except in our stomachs.
Two days of pastries.
We made the road trip back out to my parents and they had a feast of a dinner ready for us. Steak and lobster draped in butter. The only thing that I contributed to the meal, and old favourite:
Cut up potatoes into a large dice and boil until soft, then drain and put back in the pot with two handfuls of fresh spinach. Put lid back on and allow the spinach to wilt as you make the dressing.
- liberal dash of olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- zest of one lemon
- juice of zested lemon
- salt to taste
Fold in the dressing over the spinach and potatoes. Very tasty – enjoy with steak and lobster.
Best to end things right with the last of the pastries: Honey Danish, a chocolate eclair stuffed with custard cream, two Dufflet Key Lime Tarts, and a bottle of wine. There was a single moment when we considered a second bottle of wine. I reserved a bottle of chardonnay to smash over the keel of our new boat as we were naming and launching her the next day. There was a moment when we considered drinking the wine and filling the bottle back up with water. We resisted the urge.
It was a great anniversary week for food, and at the end of it all – our boat was appropriately fête’d:
Onward into a new week, back at conscious and healthy food choices, with the recognition that our biggest weakness over the week was bread. We love bread. (Well…and sweets, but we can let go of sweet, sweet…but not bread.) I move forward with this in mind, and the goal to find healthy bread options that we can enjoy instead of binging so hard whenever an opportunity presents itself.