The end is near…

… but I feel like we’re really getting in the swang of thangs.

This week we had some pretty killer meals.  My favorite so far was the Cajun Spiced Porgy Fish (I modified this recipe of course – replacing the flour with coconut flour and the breadcrumbs with flaxseed).  It turned out amazing especially when served with this Thai coconut soup, a freshly sliced mango and some lime to come along side and add a little citrus-y kick.  Image

Also, don’t even get me started on how good this Mexican Braised Beef was.  I didn’t roast it in the oven, just boiled on the stove — and it was unreal.  We made the plantain tortillas again (much easier to work with when the concoction is cold instead of room temperature) and they über tasty with all of the toppings. The radishes (another food I never have in the house but have come to really appreciate) raised the bar texturally.  The spice was spot on and I can’t wait to put this regularly into our repertoire.

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Yes, I still miss having a baguette with squishy, stinky cheese and a glass of red wine.  But I don’t miss the feeling of stuffing myself so extremely full.  I don’t miss feeling like a huge glutton at the end of the day.  I don’t miss figuring out lunch 2 minutes after I should have left for work. I don’t miss eating sugar at my desk and then crashing at 3pm because I am out of energy.  I do not miss that.

I enjoy seeing God’s creation of flavor and texture in ways I haven’t experienced before.  I enjoy knowing my new favorite vegetable is a Zucchini even if I still have trouble remembering how to spell it (thank you, red underline).  I enjoy knowing what I am putting in my body and what hands (recently washed) worked to make it and knowing that if I go out to eat, I don’t need to spend the least amount of money on the most amount of food.  My perspective has changed.

I don’t want to be one who “lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence… fatten{ing my} heart in a day of slaughter.”

I want to be one who “is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.”

It finally feels like I have a better idea of what it looks like to tame my body, my cravings, to change my habits.  It is a long hard road for this sinful lady, but one that will bear fruit and joy. I’m still looking forward to the next 2 days of clean eating and pray that I will have instilled in myself a few good habits that I can continue in discipline.  I will not be a puppet to my appetite. And this blog will not only be about food.

Not so weighty…

Not so weighty...

Not so weighty but so very appreciated and exciting: Sean’s Cooking this weekend.

First of all, this man cooks me breakfast everyday and it is such a blessing. He’s been making my corner-stone two eggs with one yolk over medium with a 1/2 of an avocado. He rotates in sweet potato hash, sausage and banana pancakes on the side, too.

So the pictures you’re seeing?

Prosciutto wrapped asparagus with shredded chicken (Chinese five spice, salt, pepper, etc) and a citrus massaged kale salad with blueberries and apples (one of our faves).

Then a banana blueberry bread with almond and coconut flour, a Cauliflower stir-fyi with peppers, onions, basil, cilantro and an over easy egg on top. Finally you see blueberry banana pancakes make with almond butter and topped with a balsamic reduction and coconut milk. I’ve shown this picture to you before, but we had them so often, I felt like I should include it again.

Not pictured: a plantain and coconut soft serve (what?). I know. I’m looking forward to seeing what else this man comes up with this week.

Recipes and such – Week Two

‘Cause I’m going to want a few of these later:

Plantain Tortillas – Made these cause Sean was craving corn Tortillas – really held up nicely!
Tomato soup – Creamy without the cream.
Crock Pot // BBQ Chicken – Went off of the recipe totally for this one.  Made my boiled spiced chicken instead.  Worked well with just 2 chicken breasts.
Damn Fine Chicken – Didn’t really follow this one to a T either.  Added sesame oil (FTW) and loved it.  More shallots, please.
Zoodles and Meatballs Sounds like a kids meal, but with the Focaccia Bread? Grown up for sure.
Blueberry Banana Paleo Muffins – These are delicious – although I would add some sugar to them next time to kick it up a notch (t minus 21 days).  Pour on some Coconut milk, cinnamon and nutmeg?  Nailed it.
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There is a creativity in cooking that I’ve really enjoyed this past week.  What to cook, how to cook it, how to work around a recipe when I don’t have 100% of the ingredients.  Its fun, fly by the seat of your pants type of stuff.
But yesterday, while cooking, I was in a fog.  Tired, worn down and a little absent. I’ve been reflecting recently on my own self reflection (which is ironic, yes, but the truth nonetheless). How much self reflection do I do?  Is it accurate?  Is it enough?  What have I discovered or learned from it?
But he {Jesus} would withdraw to desolate places and pray.
                                              Luke 5:16
I’m not a very self aware person.  I think that’s part of the reason I wanted to do the whole30.  I don’t pay attention to what is going on inside of me (or what I’m putting in my mouth to feed myself, really) and I’m not good at listening to the Spirit speak. It might have to do with my multitasking tendencies.  It is such a skill, and yet such a distraction when I need to focus on one thing. In prayer, I find my mind wandering.  I have to pray out loud if I want to have any more than 5 minutes to sit still and know that He is The Lord.
I am about to go into a Redemption group within my church here in NYC.  It is a group that is focused on the book of Exodus and how that story is the framework of the Gospel. How God brings forth a better Moses to his people who are fickle, untrusting and unfaithful to Him, and redeems them by enacting justice for His glory.  I look forward to having time every week in which I can self reflect with others in the room out loud. Asking them for insight about who I am, what I do and why and how to better steer in the direction of Jesus.  To be more like him in thought, speech and love… and even in my relationship to food.

But he answered, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”                             Matthew 4:4

It has begun.

We are on day two of the Whole30.  It hasn’t gotten hard… yet.  Well, other than the 8 hours of cooking I put in over the weekend. I wanted to start us off right  with some semblance of success. Start with a plan as much as I possibly could, but try not to be too glued to my preferences or comfort just in case something didn’t end up the way I wanted it to.

Recipes we made on Saturday + Sunday

5 Spice Slow Cooker Ribs,  Silky Gingered Zucchini SoupEnchilada SauceChocolate ChiliSavory Breakfast Casserole, Almond Flour Biscuits, Sweet Potato Mash and Bacon because… bacon.

Recipes we will make tonight

Gingery Pork and BockChoy Soup (recipe at the bottom based off of the Ribs recipe above) and Roasted Cauliflower Hummus to eat with all of our veggies for a snack.

All in all, I am surprised by the amount of patience I have had in the whole endeavor.  On Sunday, we had the breakfast casserole. Good with the ribs as the add in meat and some added red bell peppers.  After Sean preached out in Brooklyn, we went out to brunch with some sweet friends and had burgers (minus the bread and fries, of course) with side salads. Not too shabby.  But I was starving in about an hour.  My body is missing those slow burning carbs I guess. Having the chili (from above) ready to reheat at home in some green pepper shells as a vehicle with olives, onions and chives was really helpful.  Then I revisited cooking to make the almond biscuits, enchilada sauce and sweet potatoes.  After tasting it all to make sure it was up to par (wink wink) I had some Zucchini soup with Sean before calling it a day.

You’re probably thinking, “Wow, good for her. So prepared. What a flawless day one!”

Don’t worry.  We already messed up.

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You wake up. You feel groggy and your throat hurts.  Showers and water and breakfast don’t heal all wounds.  You say to your lovely, beautiful but albeit tired wife, “Will you get some Emergen-c ready for me?”.  She dutifully responds with a ‘Yes’ and figures if you feel like you are getting sick, she should take some precautions as well.  So she gets some Tangerine Emergen-c ready for you and herself.  You are running out the door.  You both take the shot of tangerine vitamin C goodness and realize – that was very sweet.  Like very sweet.

Fructose, Fructose, Fructose.  What aren’t you in?!?

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What the face of failure looks like?  Laughter in this instance.  The Paleo Diet is not my savior, thank the Lord.

Every preparation I can make, every plan I put into place, are all under the power and providence of God. He is the Shepherd and I am His precious sheep. And I will follow, knowing that He is all powerful and at the same time, personal and intimate. 

“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

                              Luke 15: 4-7