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Rice & Spice and Everything Nice...

Posted Oct 23 2008 1:20pm

Thanksgiving pumpkin, pre-pie

I’m not feeling quite up to par, but for fear of losing my audience, I will attempt at least a short post…

Last week was very busy with my parents coming to visit, so I don’t have much food to post about. We ate most of our meals at restaurants – old favorites like Karyn’s Cookedand Chicago Diner, as well as a new experience at the Heartland Café way up in Roger’s Park. After hearing lots of positive feedback about the Heartland, I was only letdown. The soba noodles I had were mushy and lacked any sort of flavor. I believe the seitan was homemade, but it was also mushy. I liked the atmosphere, but I don’t recommend the food…at least what I got.

For Thanksgiving, I simplified my life (especially since I have such a small kitchen), and only made four dishes:

In addition, I made everything except the potatoes the day before, so I would not have quite so much cooking pressure come Thursday. Unfortunately, I got too busy to take any pictures…but I do have one of the final piece of pie (fabulous, by the way!). I wouldn’t makethe soup again, but everything else turned out well and my omnivorous parents seemed satisfied.

pumpkin pecan pie

This week – what I was hoping to be my first dive into the macrobiotic pool – started on a rocky note with some sort of stomach virus, so I haven’t felt much like eating anything, let alone new and "unusual" foods. I have made some progress (mostly due to a lack of hunger) and decided the first big step in my macro journey would be to cut out all forms of cane sugar. I won’t get into the gory details right now, but I think kicking the cane will do me a lot of good (I try to fool myself and say evaporated cane juice is a lot better than white sugar…but is it really?). I’m in the process of reading Sugar Blues by William Dufty, which contains lots of fascinating information. Though it’s not the most well-written piece, it’s keeping my resolve strong in times of temptation.

More progress on the macro front:

  • I’ve stopped baking temporarily and plan to do it only moderately in the future (I was baking, like, everyday for awhile…a little much).
  • I’ve cut out tropical fruits from my diet (I don’t think bananas grow in Illinois, so it makes sense that it’s not natural for me to be eating them…and a lot of them, at that). I have cut back on my fruit intake overall, as a sort of experiment. I was initially turned off to macrobiotics because of the limited fruit consumption (2-3 times per week), but I’m willing to give it a try to see what happens.

  • I’m learning to like sea veggies! I bought some toasted nori and decided to try Jessica Porter’s recommendation of eating a half a sheet a day (and then make a major sea veggie dish once a week – I was relieved to find out that the proportions of myfirst macrobiotic meal aren’t representative of what you need to eat every day…the standard macrobiotic pie chart of foods is based on weight, not volume). When I took my first bite, I was still thinking “ugh, I’m eating seaweed…” but before I could really finish the thought, it changed to “this is pretty good!” I should have thought about eating nori before, since I used to love sushi in my pre-veg days (I don’t eat much veggie sushi, although I might start trying to make my own).

Here are some recent [yummy] meals from a new cookbook I got for my birthday, Rice & Spice:

From Top to Bottom: barbeque tofu, beans and greens ragout, spicy tofu and broccoli - all with brown rice

I think that’s about all I have to report for now. Will keep you posted on the macro progress, especially after I start feeling better and am willing to get a little creative in the kitchen...

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