Sunday, May 20, 2012

This Weekend's Eats

I've been gluten-free for nearly 3 months now!  I can't believe I put it off for so long because I've found that I'm really into the dietary self-discipline it brings.  Despite having had not one but TWO stomach bugs (or one nasty stomach bug that reared its head twice in as many weeks, as my doctor suspects) AND a cold in the same timespan, I am generally feeling better being off the wheat/flour/bread/beer.

These are the benefits I note:

1. No post-meal bloating or embarrassing tummy tunes.

2. I have eaten more fruits and vegetables in the past 3 months than perhaps I did all of last year.

3. I have become more aware of what I eat and how it affects me.  I am trying to eat more simply, to eat foods that are less processed and more natural.  I am getting closer to my food.

4. I can still have all the wine I want!  Beer, who needs ya?

5. I have lost 10 lbs.  (This is not entirely good, as now I need to buy new jeans--something I haven't done in about 7 years.  Maybe it's time to pull the trigger on this pair that I've been stalking for a while?)

6. As one who has a hard time making a decision when confronted with too many options on a menu (in a store..., in life generally...), I can now suss out the gluten-free offerings and relish the ease of my dinner decision almost being made for me!  Also, I can always have a salad, and this has started making me happy.  Go, salads!

7. Macarons.  All the macarons I want!

That said, part of cutting out gluten was to boost my general immunity and it turns out I am just getting over a cold.  But I think it probably takes longer than 3 months to truly take one's immunity to the next level.  I was getting a cold nearly every other month so I had 4 healthy, cold-free months this time.  If not eating gluten can help me to stretch the time between colds, then I am happy.  Besides, I was running around like crazy, traveling, and stressed out over major life things.  Sometimes a cold virus comes a-knockin' and there ain't nothing that can keep it out.

I spent this weekend cooking and even doing a little baking.  It's never as much fun cooking for one, but that didn't stop me.

My first attempt at gluten-free baking:  peanut butter-banana-chocolate chip cookies.  Lo and behold, they are VEGAN, too.  (That's like 10 extra points.  Toward what, I don't know?)  The recipe was quite simple, and the cookies were wonderful--moist and banana-y with a good crumb.  I put half of the dough in the freezer to use later, but when I ran out of cookies this morning it was promptly dispatched to the oven for more cookies.  Now that I've had these cookies, I realize I cannot be without.

(You can find the recipe here.  I am in love with this website already.)

Friday night's dinner was smoked pork sausage and potato-cabbage colcannon.  I found the loveliest petite head of cabbage, which was perfectly sized for one.  The outer leaves were a pale green, but inside it was yellow and filled with hardy sprouts and stalks that were the color of cauliflower.  It was like a hybrid cabbage/brussels sprout/cauliflower veg, and it was perfectly everything for everybody (me).

Yesterday I was strolling around the Etienne Marcel/Rue Montorgueil area, availing myself of the lovely markets (and the cute boutiques on Rue Tiquetonne) when I found myself with arms full of asparagus, radishes, and the most charming grapefruit-sized heads of butter lettuce my eyes ever did see.  (As I was washing them, I thought how darling these leafy babies were, all wrapped together like a hug.  That's right, butter lettuce = a hug.  [Washing lettuce makes me nuttier than usual, apparently.])  I grabbed some scallops and an ashy goat's cheese, and went home to get to it.  The second picture doesn't do my dinner justice, so you can focus on the one of the bright salad with tomatoes and radishes and the aforementioned goat's cheese.  But I assure you, the scallops were divine.

And look at these little radish mice!  The produce cuteness don't quit!