I was stumped when a couple of people asked me today what I did over the last week. What did I do? I remembered sweating my way through another power yoga class, getting sucked into a day-long Top Chef marathon, and watching the entire first season of Friday Night Lights (gotta love Coach Taylor).
I know I spent a lot of time doing something else, though.
Ah, that’s right–cooking.
This week proved to me one reason why doing the low iodine diet while working was so difficult: time. I simply didn’t have the time to cook enough from scratch while working 12-hour days, so I ended up settling for what was in the cabinet or fridge, or what could be pulled together quickly. Hence, the rice cakes, and generally unsatisfying meals.
This week was different. I had plenty of time and a fridge packed full of good food with which to cook, and a bunch of recipes I wanted to try. As expected, there were some hits and near misses, but more important, I didn’t go hungry and managed to avoid the LID-inspired meltdowns of the past.
So, without further ado, a few ratings of what I tried this week:
Worthy of a blue ribbon:
- As previously mentioned, the no-knead bread. I made one loaf with whole wheat flour, and a second rosemary/olive oil loaf, which I’ve proceeded to eat a good portion of with a side of yet more olive oil. I am thisclose to hanging out a shingle and charging a ridiculous amount of money for homemade LID artisan bread.(That I’m eating the bread with a side of olive oil should give you the answer to my dad’s question of whether you lose weight on this diet. Perhaps some people do. Those people aren’t me.)
- Tomato sauce. For the first time ever, I made my own–from scratch. I’m talking from actual tomatoes. No cans anywhere to be found. No, I didn’t bother with the whole peeling thing. Didn’t matter. This stuff was great. I will be buying tomatoes in bulk this week to make a ton more. You may not be surprised to learn that this also went great on the rosemary olive oil bread.
- Sloppy joes from the LID cookbook. This may have been my excitement over eating something loaded with onions and peppers, which I mentioned earlier doesn’t really happen too often in my house.
- Roasted garlic mashed potatoes. I’ve made these before, but they’re worth noting here because a) they made the house smell so damn good; and b) they prove you don’t need butter and milk to make good mashed potatoes. Surprise, surprise–more olive oil.
Eh, but at least it’s not a rice cake:
- Lemon-blueberry muffins from the LID cookbook. I wasn’t sure about a recipe that called for THREE teaspoons of baking powder, but even that amount didn’t make them rise to look like something more than hockey pucks. Oh well. They’re better than eating goopy egg whites for breakfast.
- Roasted beet salad, from Bon Appetit. In the weeks before I went on leave, I became addicted to a beet salad from the place across the street from my office, and this was my attempt to recreate it. Beet soup, anyone? Now that I look back at the recipe, maybe I shouldn’t have segmented the orange over the bowl with beets in it, considering that the dressing wasn’t supposed to have a bunch of orange juice in it. Maybe I’ll just wait to enjoy beet salad after the diet ends, when I can have it the way nature intended–with goat cheese.
Surprisingly, nothing went straight to the garbage disposal. Not a bad track record for the first week.
Oh, and the cocktail of the week: the Parbar (as named by DC’s H Street Country Club, where I first discovered this fantastic drink) or John Daly (as named by a friend and her sister, because it’s the twisted sister to an Arnold Palmer). Lots of ice, a shot of sweet tea vodka, fill up the glass with lemonade. A perfect summer drink. (Or winter. Whatever works.)