You guys may be shocked to hear this, but I have been on a diet for the last 4 days!!! Time to pack in the shredded meats, curries and mac and cheese for a few weeks and shape up for the summer. Every year I do something like this. A bit of an extreme diet for a few weeks. Now I can already see some of you health freaks planning your comments in your heads. BUT DAAANNNNN!!!!! Binge diets are sooo bad for you!!! Well I am going to pre-refute all of your statements.
I run and swim normally about 4 times a week. This exercise basically maintains my weight through a barrage of fatty carb filled meals and booze. For 2 weeks every year in the spring, all I do is cut out all meat, animal products(except yogurt), most carbs, most fats, and all alcohol! That's all. Haha. Its only the hardest 2 weeks of my life, once a year! With this drastic change, and the workout schedule slightly enhanced, I am able to do a lot of things for my body. I get enhanced energy for months to come. As a common heartburn sufferer, that also goes away for many months, despite what I eat after the 2 week diet period. And I lose a few pounds for the looooong bathing suit season in Bermuda!
I am still eating plenty of food. That is why I consider this to be a healthy thing for me to do. I eat a lot of fruit and veg, some chickpeas and lentils, a small amount of grains and seeds, and some yogurt. That's pretty much it! Did I mention Mandi is away for 2 weeks? We can NOT do this diet together. We get a day or two in, and one of us has a bad day. A few hours later we are drowning our troubles in taco meat. Had to stay at work an hour late? Mac and cheese. It's raining out? Pizza. You get the idea.
The hunger, mixed with serious withdrawals for alcohol and bloodlust for the taste of animal flesh have all kicked in and I'm feeling a bit loopy! I'm drunk on sobriety. Here is a sloppy post of everything I have eaten in the past four days!
One of the main things that made this year different from past years, was that I know a lot more about food than I did a year ago. I realized right away that salsa, tatziki, and hummus were all acceptable on this diet! This should be easy! But what do I dip in them??? I always dip bread or fried things into these condiments.
Tatziki was easy. It is delicious with a variety of grilled veggies. These are sitting in a little olive oil (just a little!) and lemon juice and salt. Just 10 minutes in this simple marinade is enough.
They are just placed on a hot grill for a few minutes a side. This was a common dinner and probably the best of the things I have eaten over the past few days. I say I might make this on a healthy night even when I am off the diet, but then again, hunger is the best sauce and I might be delusional about how much I liked it.(PS that's wayyy too much tatziki in the picture)
While you are not technically supposed to sauté things on this diet, I made 2 exceptions. One for this hummus, and one for the meal I am posting on Friday. This is just jalapenos and onions browned in a small amount of olive oil. Salt, pepper and garam masala added halfway. Put them in the blender with some raw garlic and chickpeas. It made for a nice Indian flavored hummus.
This would have been smoother, but my blender broke halfway through mixing it! I am not entirely convinced with hummus on raw veg. I did not like the flavors or texture combo. I tried some with steamed broccoli, it was passable but not much better.
Now what to dip in all that tasty salsa from yesterday's post??? I tried some carrots and red peppers but I pretty much hated it. My poor salsa was going to go to waste! This is when I had an idea Mandi is going to mock me for pretty bad. See, I like to jokingly make fun of Tastespotting with Mandi sometimes. Mainly it is out of frustration when my pictures are passed on! I don't have any real problems with the website, the teasing is all in fun. It is a great resource for the food blog community! Anyway, for a few weeks, it seemed that whenever I went to Tastespotting there was kale chips all over the place! This became a joke between the two of us for awhile (kalechipspotting etc etc...) and I never thought I would be making them. Well there I was at the grocery store trying to find something to dip in salsa standing in front of a beautiful fresh bunch of kale. Turns out, these kale chips I had been making fun of are FANTASTIC!!!!! I mean, I was sort of starving myself for a few days and we all know hunger is the best sauce, so if you make these and don't like them as much as I did, I am sorry. But yea. Really tasty. Unfortunately, not at all acceptable to dip in anything!!!
Kale chips on my site? Yea I'm still kind of ashamed actually. Just rip the leaves off the stalk at the appropriate places. Where are these places? Just ask the kale. It tells you where to rip. Then put the pieces in a bowl and drizzle on a tiny bit of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Mix them all around until VERY lightly coated and place on a single layer on a baking sheet. Put in the oven at 350 for 10 - 15 minutes. After 10 minutes, keep checking on them and touch them to see if they are crispy. I'm pretty much an expert since I have made them twice. They look soggy don't they? To the contrary. They are very crisp.
These remind me of the thinnest potato chip ever. They almost melt in your mouth. Crunch and melt at the same time. Wacky. They have an addictive quality to the point where I didn't even sit down to eat them the first time I pulled them out of the oven, I just ate them at the stove off the baking sheet... but then again, hunger is the best sauce. Did I say that already?
Further along in my quest to make something that I could finally dip into my salsa, I remembered an episode of top chef from a few seasons back. CJ tried to modernize and healthify tuna casserole and he topped it with a flax seed crisp I always thought looked tasty. Why not try? The recipe calls for whole flax seeds and sesame seeds. They only had flax meal at the store, but I thought it would work better anyway. Before I continue, let me mention that I love flax meal on yogurt and in smoothies. I have been putting it with yogurt and fruit for years (especially this week) for a healthy breakfast.
My recipe needed a bit more water than CJ's, I am guessing because of the meal instead of whole seeds. This pic is after it sat in the fridge overnight.
Looks good, smells good. Into the oven for 10 minutes. Not even close to done and it doesn't smell as good as it did 10 minutes ago! Hmm...
After 10 more minutes(20 total), it was done.
THIS WAS HORRIBLE. Yuck. I am still thinking about the grossness right now. Bahhhh. At least me posting this will stop my appetite for another hour while I think about how bad this was. Even with my love for flax and a ton of hungersauce built up, they were still bad.
They look pretty at least?
I ended up just pouring the salsa on some lettuce. I like salads with salsa, but they generally also have blackbeans and cheese and avocado. Things that I can not eat right now.
Honestly, after this picture I threw out those crisps. Gross.