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Week 2: What we ate

by on July 5, 2010
 

My guide to messy eating

The first time I wrote this piece, years ago it was a guide on how to eat huge profiteroles without covering your face in cream.This weekend, past, it translated into ‘How to eat a hamburger with all the trimmings….and no burger buns’. Don’t get me wrong, I love bread but the soft, sesame-studded buns are not on the menu just yet. And though I could very well have left the burgers alone, I wasn’t going to let my first ever celebration of Canada’s Independence pass by unmarked.
Lime-pickled onions on my hamburger
So, loving success, celebrations and the perfunctory food that must follow, here is my advice on how to eat anything especially messy things, charmingly:
  • First arm yourself with some serviettes – tissues, cloth, anything that will be able to eliminate traces of the number of calories about to be ingested – up to and beyond the RDA. And then find yourself a good place to sit or stand – maybe in a corner where no jostling elbows and backs will get a piece of your stuff!
  • Second – ditch the cutlery. Maximum pleasure is directly proportional to the potential to look like a right ass – the more risks you take when you have little to lose, the more pleasure!
  • And finally, use only one hand, that’s the ultimate key to success! You must, absolutely must keep the other hand free – that’s your get out of jail card, your escape route – emergency exit, you forensics destroyer – wiping away all traces in a flash.
  • And then take the plunge, don’t be afraid to take a deep bite, making sure the tip of your nose shares in the joys of mayo and ketchup and even mustard too.
  • Eat with gusto, using your intelligent other hand to clean up as you go along.
There – success guaranteed!

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And this is the what we ate this week:

Week 1
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
Sunday
Vegetable frittata, with courgettes, tomatoes, mozzarella
Lentil pancakes adapted from Passionate about Baking, patiala chicken, coconut sambal and coriander chutney
Monday
Blueberry and Cucumber smoothie, adapted from food52
Green Salad
Cottage pie with spiced Butternut squash topping, adapted from Fig Jam & Lime Cordial
Tuesday
Butternut squash coconut cake
Chicken & Butternut squash salad
Fennel soup with Tilapia
Wednesday
Coconut crepes, mixed berries and crumbled goat’s cheese
Lentils with turkey and leftover shephard’s pie
Roast chicken with roast BNS, kohlrabi, turnips, onions and paprika
Thursday
Cherry Berry Crumble, adapted from Elana’s pantry
Roast chicken salad
Baked seabass with courgette ribbons
Friday
Almond cake with blueberries & kumquats, adapted from Elana’s pantry
Green bean & Feta salad, adapted from food52
Autumn Olive Medley, adapted from food52
Saturday
Leftover cake from Friday
Hot Harissa soup with gluten-free bread, from Elana’s pantry
‘Bunless’ burgers

One of my concerns this last couple of weeks has been breakfast looking and eating like breakfast. The idea of soups and cakes for brekkie sounds weird but they actually worked pretty well, giving us the energy we needed to face the rest of the day. -‘?y key focus has been on exercising right – I start most days off with some time on the trampoline before I have breakfast and then some lunch times at work, I go walking. I’ve also taken to cycling in the evenings and the pain in the back is lessening….slowly but surely. I love my bike even if I look super silly in my red, white and black helmet. It is so obvious I’m a greenhorn as I cycle past real bikers (aka Dutch people), who sort of look me up and down, wonder why I need head protection and then quickly summarise that I am new to this world of two wheels. I smile, ready to use the excuse of not being born on a bike as my pass. Very often, I come across people cycling with one hand and sending text messages with the other, other times it’s boyfriend and girlfriend, cycling as one: each person holds their bike with their outer hands and then the inner ones are wrapped around waists in a lover’s embrace. In the meantime I need both hands 90% of the time I’m in motion! Oh well, who cares?

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Discoveries

By far my greatest discovery (and I made this in week 1) has been the addition of soft-boiled eggs to a salad. OMW. Oh My Word. In quarters, they transform a salad from good to great. In one mouthful. They lend a softness to each scoop of greens that is not moist or wet or unpleasant in any sense. Rather, you get a melt-in-your-mouth, soft caress from the combined white and orange of albumen and yolk. I am thinking of how turn soft-boiled eggs into a salad dressing. Any ideas?

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I have also learnt that were whole garlic bakes well and its cloves soften, ginger doesn’t do the same. Use it fresh and don’t experiment – you have me to do that for you! And my kumquats…..were an absolute delight in Friday’s breakfast. They lifted, sweetened and perfumed the cake plus gave it bite with citrus.

I also found Elana’s pantry and I love her recipes. She is gluten-free and uses a lot of Almond meal in her baking and cooking. My first ever experience with an almond meal cake was disaster DISASTER and ended up in the bin! Thanks to Elana this week I’ve baked with almond meal and I think the issue in my previous failure was the combination of yogurt and oil. Which means as soon as I get some lush plums, I’ll be giving it another go.

Limes for 1

Lime pickled onions

My recipe to share today is perfect for the months of grilling ahead. If you don’t like raw onions, here’s what you might enjoy – Citrus pickled onions

My Mexican friends always had delicious onions at their house every time we went over for a BBQ. One day my friend P, (who also gave me the idea of starting this blog) shared the secret with me: lime juice! In Mexico, they use a lot of limeon (lime) in their cooking.

To pickle the onions, slice them and squeeze the juice of a lime or two over them.

Sliced limes and onions

Then leave them to ‘macerate’ at room temperature or in the fridge.

Sliced onions in Lime juice

An hour later, they will be ready.

Sliced onions in Lime juice

They will taste wonderful, every single time – the lime juice dulls the strong, (over-powering) taste which puts some people off.

Pickled onions

It slightly softens them too, preparing them for the burgers or salads that must follow.

Lime-pickled onions on my hamburger

Notes

You can pickle the onions with lemon juice or vinegar (and a bit of oil and salt)

Maturing time is about 1-2 hours

The onion slices don’t have to be steeped in the juice but they should be tossed so all pieces are coated

If you don’t like onions, you could use thin slices of fennel

By the way, are these turnips?

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I think they are but I’m not sure. Please let me know if you know for sure what they are! Thanks.

As you do when you’re on a diet, sometimes you cheat or slip. I slipped this week – all the fault of Toy Story 3, the cinema and the pick and mix corner where we let the children buy more sweets than they could eat in a week. I soon found favourites….I however estimate that it came to no more than a very small handful the whole week. Plus a pinch of some chocolate orange truffle, a gift from Barcelona and only a very tiny bit of cream cake, and some Pide (Turkish bread). Overall, honestly not bad. I’m learning to pause and physically hold myself back before I stuff my face!!!!!!

Enjoy your week. ♥♥♥