Deviled Eggs

I’ve read that if you store eggs wide side up, and stir a bit while boiling them, the yolks will be centered.

By Alyssa McFarland (variation)

12 eggs

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

2-4 dashes Tabasco or other hot sauce (optional)

Salt, to taste

½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

½ tsp. garlic powder (optional)

6 Tbsp. mayonnaise (use Hellman’s or Best Foods, “real” mayo)

Paprika for garnish

Place eggs in a pot full of cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 13 minutes. Drain the eggs, rinse under cool water, and peel. Let cool in the refrigerator.

Halve the eggs lengthwise and scoop out the yolks. Put the whites on a serving plate, hollow side up. Place the yolks in a bowl and mash with a fork. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the paprika. Mix well.

Fill the hollows of the whites with the mashed egg yolk mixture. To make it look pretty, you can fill a cake decorating tool with the egg yolk mixture, and squeeze it into the whites.

Sprinkle tops with paprika.

If serving this at a potluck or party, remember it is only safe at room temperature for 2 hours.

Recipe: Roasted Sweet & Sour Sweet Potatoes

Roasted Sweet & Sour Sweet Potatoes

By Alyssa

 

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 shallot, chopped

1 large sweet potato, cut into chunks

2 cups Broccoli slaw

Salt to taste

¼ cup pecans

 

Dressing:

2 Tbsp. olive oil

Juice of one lemon

1 Tbsp. honey

½ tsp. Dijon

 

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix 1 Tbsp. olive oil with sweet potatoes and shallot and roast ten minutes. Stir sweet potatoes, and add slaw and salt.

 

Roast for 10 more minutes. Stir in pecans, roast for 5 more minutes.

 

Sweet potatoes should be soft and slaw and shallots should be slightly browned.

 

Stir in dressing and serve.

“Could savoy cabbage be the new kale?”

I just saw this headline in my email. Already have a recipe for that!

Sesame Roasted Savoy Cabbage

by Alyssa

 

Ingredients:

About 3-4 cups chopped savoy cabbage

1-2 Tbsp. sesame oil

salt to taste

 

Method:

Heat oven (convection if possible) to 350 degrees F.

Mix the oil and cabbage in a baking dish and sprinkle with salt.

Bake for about 30 minutes, stirring once.

Keep and eye on the cabbage to make sure it doesn’t burn. Ideally, some of the edges will be browned but not black.

Serve as a side dish.

 

30 Days of New Foods Recap

When I originally started this “30 days of new foods” challenge, it was soon after Election day, 2016. The past three years have shown me that my gut instincts were correct: President #45 and many of his followers appear to be scared of things that are different. In general, conservatism tends to be like that: stick with the tried and true. As a progressive, I seek out and embrace things that are novel and different from the norm. I am excited by new foods, new types of music, and different ways of dressing. I like to listen to foreign languages and try to learn them, try out new ideologies and religions, and push boundaries on gender stereotypes. I’m not saying everyone has to be like me, but…imagine a world without tacos, Phở, Thai iced coffee, crispy orange chicken, or samosas. I contend it would be a much blander world.

Even pizza was once considered an exotic food, as in this 1944 article from the New York Times.

 

30 days of new foods: Day 30: mystery squash

Recently I found I was having a hard time pulling dinner together. I have lots of recipes and cooking experience, but when my daughter would ask, “What’s for dinner” and I realized my plan didn’t go farther than broccoli and corn chips, I realized I needed a little help.

So I subscribed to Sunbasket, a meal kit that offers lots of gluten-free and dairy-free options. One week, this white lumpy guy showed up in my box (tomato for scale):

 

They called it a summer squash and indeed, that’s how it seemed to be: similar to a zucchini or yellow summer squash.

 

Cooked up with oil and seasonings it looks like something like this:

 

My best guess is that this is a white pattypan squash, just oddly shaped. Do you know?

 

My whole 30 diet adventure

On March 1, 2018 I started an elimination diet plan called Whole 30. I lost about 9 pounds in two months, which is not bad considering I consumed two jars of mayonnaise during that time. Since I was most eating meat, veggies, fruit and fats during that time, I cooked every meal from scratch and had to come up with some creative ideas.

One of my favorite tactics, was to mix 4 to 6 ingredients together with mayonnaise as a cold salad, and eat it on the go if necessary. So for example, I might take cook sausage or chicken, combine it with chopped apples and or fruit sweetened cranberries, along with some endive, perhaps some fennel, and some walnuts, mayo over the whole thing stir it up and eat it. Deelicious. I also got a spiralizer and got serious about spiralizing vegetables. I never been a big fan of zucchini, but spiralized zucchini does work well as a substitute pasta, or noodle type ingredient, mixed with meatballs, or tossed into a soup and cooked for a few minutes. Other vegetables I spiralized included yellow squash, purple cabbage, sweet potato, potatoes, cucumber, and something else I can’t remember what the heck it was.

I relied on various Whole 30 cookbooks of which there are several, along with recipes printed from the Internet, and the latest Nom Nom Paleo book.

Let’s take a look at some stuff I ate:

 

Spiralized potatoes, bacon and parsley

 

Frittata with mushrooms, carrots and more.

 

Chicken broccoli stirfry with cauliflower rice.

 

Spiralized potatoes and this thing that looks like a mushroom is actually the core and end of the potato after the rest has been spiralized.

So what was it like going a full month without any grains, dairy, sweeteners, carrageenan, MSG, sulfites, and alcohol? Well about 4-5 days in I went through withdrawal symptoms, probably mostly from nixing sugar from my diet, as well as rice and other high carb foods I had been consuming. The withdrawal symptoms felt like… I don’t know the flu maybe …kind of headachy and just overall blah and yuck. But when that faded I felt pretty darn good. The most impressive thing is how balanced and stable I felt. I wasn’t constantly riding the blood sugar roller coaster, doing stupid things like grabbing some chocolate, eating it, and then thinking “I don’t feel so good” and reaching for something else stupid like Doritos, and then wondering why I still didn’t feel good, just stuffing my face trying to feel better. Obviously the strategy was not working for me and I knew it so I wanted to turn over a new leaf and try this new diet, which is billed as a way to reset your habits. So on the 30 days of Whole 30, you’re not supposed to have chips, or anything that is a treat, like cookies, pancakes or muffins or anything like that, even if all the ingredients comply with the dietary restrictions. This is to help you overcome habitual eating patterns.

Oddly, the thing I missed most was simply some sort of bland white food that I could use as a base for a sauce laden meal, or a soup. I could not use rice, noodles, toast, crackers or anything. But I could use that “zoodles” (spiralized veg). So I made my share of “cauliflower rice” and “zoodles”.

Going in, I already knew that alcohol, sugar, wheat, made me feel sick in one way or or another. So when it came time to do the food introduction phase, I didn’t even bother with these. The first thing I did try was soy, specifically miso, figuring it would be just fine, and 15 minutes later my stomach was like “what the hell did you just do? “. Then I had some tofu. And I spent the next hour or so feeling like digestive disaster was going to occur. Actually beyond that first hour I didn’t really experience any problems. But I do feel a little wary of soy now and will do some more experiments in the future. I did not appear to have much trouble with the other ingredients I tested, except some excessive burping after eating cows milk yogurt, but I knew that was likely to be an issue anyway, as I have had that reaction with dairy products for several years now since my gallbladder trouble.

Now that I’m eating my regular diet again (minus sugar which I am not eager to get back to), the digestion has been working overtime, which is a little rough, but at least I can have a break from all this cooking. And now I know if I need a “reset” I have a plan that has a community behind it.

Random salad of endive, apple, spiralized yellow squash, walnuts and dried cranberries, with lemon juice and olive oil.

 

Cauliflower, bacon, tomato sauce and I forget what else.

 

Tomato stuffed with ground cashews and parsley.

 

Purple salsa: red cabbage, tomatoes, lime juice, red onion, salt and pepper. I couldn’t have any chips with it though so I ate it with ground beef.

Japan was amazing 3: Food Surprises

Breakfast bar at Hotel Nikko Narita…I could not find any non-dairy milks, which was a surprise since I’ve heard most people in Japan are lactose intolerant.

 

The breakfast bar at Hotel Hikko Narita offered supplements.

 

Top to bottom: fruit, mystery substance, soup of some kind.

 

Oshinko pickles, soy sauce, and a shrimp floating in broth with mystery substances, one shaped like a flower cut out.

 

Raw fishes of various kinds.

 

Bottom to top: Shrimp, okra and mystery substance skewer over seaweed, mystery substance, gelatinous mystery substance over monkfish liver.

Indonesia was amazing 3

I had some amazing foods and meals in Yogyakarta. Our hotel had this stunning breakfast buffet. Here some other meals.

Novotel Yogyakarta Hotel Breakfast Buffet

 

I actually can’t remember where this was!

 

Ordering off the menu at Novotel Yogyakarta Hotel. This was one of their local specialties.

 

 

I can’t recall the name of the restaurant but they had the best tempeh ever.