Thursday, June 14, 2012

Time to Catch Up

I have been off the map for a few days and feel like I have to catch myself up quickly so that I can be fully accountable for my diet these past few days. Sunday I had intended to take the day off from blogging. I needed a break, Sunday, being the Sabbath seemed the appropriate day to do this (though, I worked my real job, still). Also, taking a break from the blog gave me the push that I needed to try my hand at making mayonnaise. I DID IT! And it was good... and I didn't get salmonella! It was a great victory for me. But the next day, the victory was quickly forgotten because on Monday, we suffered a tragedy in our home.

In the early morning hours, our sweet kitty, Rosco, passed away. He was born with feline leukemia, so we have known that this day would come, but that didn't make it any easier. You see, he has been without symptoms for all of his life until about one month ago when he started having some difficulty breathing and anorexia. We have been mourning our loss for the past few days, so the atmosphere in our home has been very somber and not so creative when it comes to food. In all honesty, I considered throwing the whole diet out the window so that I could properly eat my emotions. I had my mouth set for a Taco Bell feast with a side of "Blue Box" macaroni and cheese, a giant milkshake, and maybe a late night cheesy western (greasy cheeseburger with fried egg, for those of you non-Lynchburgers) or two. Did I mention that I am an emotional eater? But, don't lose your faith in me, I stuck with the Whole30 inspite of my sorrow.

Rather than chronicle every morsel that I ate for the group of days I was absent, let me just fill you in on some of the highlights.

Swordfish steaks
Grilled eggplant (Note: Grilled eggplant is only good while it is warm, if it gets cold, it is nearly repulsive.)

Turkey burgers (topped with homemade mayo! oh, yeah, and some veggies, too.)

Homemade chicken salad (using the mayo again and my leftover Caribbean Lime Chicken)

Let me tell you about Tuesday. I had friends in town that wanted to get together for dinner. They decided that we should go to La Carreta, a local shoebox Mexican restaurant. I planned ahead of time what I was going to order by viewing their menu online. I was so proud of myself because I had it all worked out and I wasn't going to have to be too annoying when ordering. I had intended to purchase something they call "Ensenada," which is grilled chicken and shrimp with onions, peppers, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and guacamole. It was also supposed to be served with two tortillas. I had planned to just ask for "no cheese and no tortillas, please." But, when we got to the restaurant, the menu said that it also came with sour cream, refried beans and rice. I didn't want to be wasteful and just let the food be thrown away, but at the same time I didn't want to be a pain and ask for that long list of things not be included, so I changed my plan. I ordered what they call a "Tostaguac" instead. According to the menu, it was a corn tortilla with ground beef, lettuce, tomato, cheese and guacamole. So, I politely ordered it with "no cheese" (I had no intention of eating the corn tortilla) and patiently awaited my food's arrival. When the food arrived, it was just as I had expected, except it was covered in refried beans! I was so disappointed. I was able to pick thru the meal and eat the lettuce and guacamole and about half of the meat that wasn't drenched in beans. Needless to say, it was not a very substantial meal. And almost instantly, I regretted my decision to eat anything that I didn't make with my own two hands. My stomach was torn up for the rest of the night! No more eating out until I'm ready to be a huge pain in the patootie with specializing my order, so that I can avoid the pains in my own patootie!

In other news, I would HIGHLY recommend the homemade mayonnaise. I don't even really like mayonnaise, but this stuff was mmm mmm good! There is such a difference, in my opinion, between the jarred junk and the fresh goodness of this treasure! If you get the courage to try the recipe, let me know what you think! I'd love to hear your thoughts. I'm excited to try it flavored (I'm thinking chipotle or garlic and herb maybe) and in new salad recipes. I made it into chicken salad already, but I'm thinking about using it in a tuna salad in the near future and possibly making a creamy salad dressing for my tossed salad. This new, homemade world is so riveting!

Here's the recipe for the mayonnaise from this lady who has been super insightful and helpful with her plethora of paleo recipes. Try it!!!

"Homemade Olive Oil Mayo

1 egg
2 tablespoons lemon juice @ room temp
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup plus 1 cup olive oil (light, not extra virgin) @ room temp
1. Place the egg and lemon juice in a blender or food processor. Let them come to room temperature together, about 30-60 minutes. Add the dry mustard, salt, and 1/4 cup of the oil. Whirl until well mixed – about 20 to 30 seconds.
2. The only remaining job is to incorporate the remaining 1 cup oil into the mixture. To do this, you must pour very slowly… the skinniest drizzle you can manage and still have movement in the oil. This takes about three minutes or so. Think about three minutes during a WOD; it’s a fairly long time. Breathe. Relax. Drizzle slowly.

If you’re using a blender, you’ll hear the pitch change as the liquid starts to form the emulsion. Eventually, the substance inside the blender will start to look like regular mayonnaise, only far more beautiful. Do not lose your nerve and consider dumping! Continue to drizzle.
If your ingredients were all at room temperature and you were patient, you will be rewarded!"

Again, I'd love to hear your thoughts and insights!  And go try that mayo!

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