This Ain’t Yo Mamma’s Cauliflower!

Ok, so one of the staples on the Ideal Protein meal plan is cruciferous veggies, and cauliflower is one that has quickly become my favorite!  It is so versatile, I had no idea all the cool stuff it could do.  So, in case you were wondering, it can:

1. Be grated and quickly sautéed in a tablespoon of olive oil to use in place of rice for a stir fry.

2. It can be steamed and then mashed with garlic and herbs instead of mashed potatoes.

3. And most astonishingly, it can be turned into bread!  BREAD!  Yes, blink, and read that again, because I said bread!

I’ve found a few online recipes for cauliflower breadsticks and pizza dough, and both were pretty good.  But the one that is my favorite, is the tortillas!  I followed this recipe on the brilliant and wonderful Joshua Weissman’s blog, Simple Palate.

pcHis pictures and process are spot on, so I won’t replicate them here.  But, I did change on thing up, in that I used purple cauliflower.  It does exist, if you’ve never tried it.  Tastes just like regular cauliflower, but is prettier to cook with.  And when used in Josh’s recipe, it comes out looking like blue corn tortillas!

Now, you want to follow the recipe exactly the first time, and then experiment with flavors, but the original is super tasty with just salt and pepper.  There are a few tips I’ll give:

1. Make sure you wring out all the water!  Wear rubber dish washing gloves.  Use cheesecloth.  And wring that stuff until you can’t wring any more!  Bonus, you get a good arm workout.

2. Don’t be surprised by how little cauliflower is in the cheesecloth when you’re done wringing out the water.  A little goes a long way.

3. I made 3 taco sized tortillas out of it, but you could do two larger tortillas, or a bunch of smaller ones.  But the key here is that the ‘dough’ is more like a ‘batter’.  Think pancakes batter.  So, when you put them on the parchment, it’s going to look runny and lumpy.  Trust me, it’s all good.

4.  Toasting them in a dry pan right before serving is what makes them taste and feel like a tortilla. So, don’t skip this step.

Below is a photo of my faux blue corn tortillas made from purple cauliflower, stuffed with ground turkey seasoned with chili powder, cumin, and a touchcts of cayenne, and some micro greens, all topped with a few drops of hot
sauce!

And the bread craving I’ve been having over the past month is gone, yo!

Try them!  You won’t be disappointed.

Ciao for now,

M

 

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Fries! I Wants Them! But wait….

So, while perusing the Facebook the other day, one of the healthy lifestyle magazines that I follow posted this little gem:

fries

WHAAAAAAAAT!?!?  No way, I thought, but sure enough, with a little research of the calories in a medium fry vs. the time it takes to work those calories off…well, no thanks!  And this couldn’t have come at a better time, because I’m missing all of my favorite foods, and the potato is who I’m missing most, today.

Oh, the glorious potato, so versatile, so delicious, so friggin starchy and, when fried to a golden sinful goodness, evidently creates over an hours worth of serious aerobic activity to counteract.

Ugh.  Anyway, just posted this as a reminder to myself when those McDonald’s fries cravings start to creep in.  An hour and twelve minutes in the pool.  Who has that kind of time?

Ciao for now,

M

And the Cravings Came in Like a Lion!

Today is day 12 and I can proudly say, I have not cheated once on this blasted diet!  And it was not without struggle and moments of weakness.  Luckily, and fortunately I was strong enough not to give in to temptation, even though temptation was absolutely everywhere this past weekend.

Temptation #1: Doughnuts in the office last Friday for a morale treat from the boss.  Now, it’s important to note, I don’t even friggin like doughnuts.  At all.  On a normal day, I would never eat one, but oh sweet baby Jesus, I wanted one on Friday.  But I didn’t.  Just made myself some Market Spice Tea (for those of you not in Seattle, it’s an orangey-spicy-warming-comforting tea blend from the tea shop in Pike’s Street Market), and took my no carb having self back to my desk.

Temptation #2: In stopping by the store on Friday after work, they were doing a cheese sample of fresh parmiggiano reggiano from Italy!  The godfather of cheeses, perfectly aged, was staring me in the face, just begging me to take a piece of it’s salty goodness.  But I didn’t!  And I was NOT happy about it!  Hell hath no fury like an Italian woman who can’t have parmiggiano reggiano!  I just bought my chicken breast and my purple kale and headed home.

bcw

Temptation #3: I went to see a play and they were serving wine, glorious red wine in all it’s glory, and during the entire show, Bacchus called to me to just indulge in a few sips!  But I didn’t!  I downed my water bottle and enjoyed the show.

Temptation #4:  Blind date for brunch.  Yeah, I didn’t think this through.  This was a terrrrrrible idea to do during the first month.  But, a buddy of mine was just sure I had to meet this co-worker of his, so off I went.  The dude ordered my perfect breakfast!  Bacon, eggs, and hashbrowns!  Oh, and an English muffin with house made raspberry jam. Did I have bacon?  No.  Did I have hashbrowns, or buttery nooks and crannies with jam?  No. I had a garden frittata that they screwed up and covered half with a yogurt coulis that I specifically asked them not to put on there.  So essentially I got two bits of egg and mushroom and four cups of tea for breakfast.  Took all my willpower not to drive through a McDonald’s on the way home, but I refrained.  Went home, had some roasted cauliflower and a chocolate coconut bar and took pride in my strength.

Temptations #5:  Grocery shopping last night for the week, and for the love of everything holy in the world I wanted bread.  I am craving every kind of bread, and somehow ended up on the chip aisle.  It was the Metropolitan Market, so the chip aisle is all healthy options, but none I can indulge in.  I saw a bag of pretzels.  Gluten free, vegan, covered in seeds, and I actually picked the bag up.  And talked myself down off the salty goodness ledge.  I set the bag down, walked to the cash register, paid and left before anything else called my name.

But oh, the break and wine and cheese…the holy trinity of my Italian heritage is calling to me like a Siren to a sailor, and it took every ouce of self control I had to not follow her song.  Somewhere behind the haze of temptation, I knew the consequences weren’t worth it.  Destroying the hard work I’d done over the past week wasn’t worth it. I have the word Forza tattooed on my arm, because, above all things, I am strong!  And if I can survive the past few days, and all of those temptations for the foods I truly, truly love, then I can do this!  I can see this through to the end!

These cravings might have come in like a lion, but I’m gonna beat them into lamby submission!  Forza!

Ciao for now,

M

The Afternoons are the Hardest

There are two times a day I crave carbs.  And not just any old carbs, but crunchy, salty, cheesy carbs.  I want anything from the Frito Lay world, and I want it in volume!  Any, or a number of these would be staining my fingers, tantalizing my taste buds, and expanding my waistline right about now 6 days ago:

fl

But today, today, in day 5 of my diet, today, I fight the urge with everything I have!  I do not take the elevator ride downstairs, and walk the few feet to the drug store to get a bag, today it would be Funyons, and enjoy their oniony goodness mindlessly while I worked the last few hours of my day.  Today, instead, I make a cup of hot orange spice tea to satiate my cravings, although it’s not really working.

Today is the first day I’ve actively felt how much boredom drives my appetite.  How much snacking is ingrained in my DNA, to where I think I NEED it.  I don’t need it.  I’ll survive just fine after it!  And there’s no need to go running for the first bag of salty, fattening, crisps I can get my hands on, because I have a goal to attain!

Evenings are no picnic either, but at least I have TV and chores to distract me. Work is just a mundane repetition of executive assisting a low maintenance boss where I just want to friggin eat!  Ugh!

But I can do this.  I had BBQ Ideal chips for lunch, and they rocked and helped a little.  But tonight, when I put that big red X on my calendar to mark that I successfully got through another day without cheating, I’m going to feel so much better than any chip could taste!

And when I step on that scale on Friday, I’ll be glad I stuck to my plan.

Ciao for now,
M

 

Damnit, I Cheated.

When one commits to a strict diet like this, the temptation to cheat is ridiculously high.  It takes a serious amount of willpower to not give in to those temptations.  And I’m ashamed to say that last night, I gave in, and I friggin cheated.  Ugh.  I’m so mad at myself.  And there’s no excuse other than my own weakness.  Although, there were factors that definitely led to my downfall moment:

  1. It’s hot!  Really friggin hot!  Which makes it impossible for me to turn on the stove as the inside of my apartment is currently sitting somewhere around 90 degrees and it’s miserable.  In Seattle, air conditioning is ‘not needed’ cuz it only gets hot ‘a few weeks a year’.  Yeah, well, with global warming, that hot is getting a whole hell of a lot hotter!  So, when your apartment is already 90 degrees, the last thing you want to do is turn the stove on to heat a grill pan to grill up some meat, or stand over a hot wok and do a stir fry.  So, the heat has definitely upped my level of frustration.
  2. I was given a great suggestion to get a rotisserie chicken for dinner, then I wouldn’t have to cook.  Brilliant!  So, I went and the store was friggin out of rotisserie chicken.  So, I went to the deli counter and asked for two of their roasted breasts.  I was on my phone, not paying attention, paid for my chicken and went home, opened the bag and the friggin chicken was fried!  And we’re not supposed to have fried anything on this diet.  Ugh, yet here were two beautifully breaded and fried breasts just staring at me!

I tore of some of the breading, but I also left some of it on, and convinced myself I didn’t care.  I chopped up the chicken, tossed it on a bed of mixed greens with my homemade lemon vinaigrette and ate it and didn’t friggin care.  And about 10 minutes afterwards, the guilt took over.  I was so mad at myself for my weakness.  So mad at the weather from forcing me to deviate from the meals I’d planned and already shopped for.  And more than that, I was frustrated because the minute you eat something that turns to sugar (i.e. breading on fried chicken), it kicks you out of ketosis and it will now take me 3 days to get back into ketosis, which isn’t the end of the world, but seriously slows down the weight loss.  Sigh.

I know I’m human, and I need to forgive myself this slip, but I’m really disappointed in myself.  And writing my coach and admitting what I did felt awful.  I hope to god I won’t have to go through this again, and I can stay on track.

Diets suck.  But I have to stick to this if I want to achieve my goal of beating my diabetes.  I can do this.  This wasn’t a failure.  This was a stumble on my road to a healthy, daibetes-free, me.  I can do this.  I am stronger than this.  I can do this.

 

CHIPS!! ACTUAL CHIPS! How I’ve missed you!

SVC

So, I just got to taste the Salt and Vinegar Crisps with my lunch, and people, these are awesome! They taste like a pop chip. They crunch like a pop chip. And they zing my tastebuds like Lay’s salt and vinegar potato chips! And the best part, they aren’t on the restricted food list! So, if I wanted to have them twice or even three times a day, I could!!! WAHOOOO!!!

I’m so excited to taste the BBQ ones later in the week!

Damn You, Starbucks!!!

It’s harder to stay on track with this diet on the weekends, there’s no question. More down time. More time to think about how hungry you are, or the cravings you’re having. And today is pretty bad. I am absolutely jonesing for bread and cheese. I’d kill for a quesadilla right about now. Or a panino with a few Italian cheeses melted inside. But, I’ve been good. And I was dealing just fine.

And then I drove through Starbucks. I was getting an unsweetened green tea, which is allowed, both because it is refreshing and because it’s bloody hot here today and I needed the cool off. And as I sat in the mile long line waiting for my turn to order, I look up at the board with pictures of the food, and what do I see? A friggin grilled cheese! Starbucks is now serving grilled cheese! And oh, I wanted one! I wanted one so damn badly, it took every ounce of self control I had to order my tea and ONLY my tea.

And now I’m home, and hungry, and my lunch was less than satisfying, and dinner seems about the same, and all I want is a grilled cheese. And nothing in my allowable food arsenal is going to satisfy me.

Damn you, Starbucks, for the yummies you make. Damn you!