Hi! How is everyone? I hope that for most of you, finals are over and you are home/with friends/somewhere exciting and wonderful with people you care about and not a care in the world 😀 As for myself, the first day of vacation was very nice: I spent most of it writing for my thesis (I now have ELEVEN pages, yaaaaay meeee!!) and I will probably do the same tomorrow. Then I’m going to give myself a break and read some theory/background that will help me flesh out my ideas, and then I will write some more. Rinse, wash and repeat.
Besides that, I did an experiment today! Not like a science experiment where things explode (although I admit, I do like that kind of experiment too :P), but a cooking experiment. I recently discovered this delicious honey-sweetened lemon curd from The Nourishing Gourmet and have made it twice now. We don’t have any lemons in the house at the present, so I thought I would try making the same recipe with clemintines. Clementine curd, yaaaaay!
Everything was going splendidly until I decided, in my infinite wisdom, that the mixture could get just a teeny bit thicker before I took it off the heat…and then disaster struck.
My expectations for the curd:
The painful, sad reality:
My “curd” was more like “orange-flavored scrambled eggs with lots of butter.” I panicked, and somehow thought that vigorous stirring would remedy the situation, but it just made the scrambled egg texture more apparent. And I was planning to whip it with evaporated milk and make refined-sugar free ice cream with it too! So I scooped a bunch of it into a small bowl and ate it, all the while gloomily staring at my computer.
But don’t worry about me…this is not my first cooking fail, so I got over it quite quickly! I have been interested in cooking since I realized the food was delicious and wonderful and the best way to have a steady source of it would be to learn how to make it for myself. Just kidding!! But seriously, I do think I love eating more than I love cooking. I have been cooking for myself ever since I moved into the House of Babes a year and a half ago, and I have never looked back at a dining hall since. (Unless someone else is paying, in which case I will graciously accompany them and very ungraciously stuff my face at the all-you-can-eat buffets!)
I love creating things, as you’ve probably noticed: music, stories, controversy. But I’ve always been afraid of performing, am painfully shy about my writing, and don’t really enjoy the confrontation that goes hand in hand with controversy. A warm, home-cooked meal, however, is something I take joy and pride in making and that I hate eating on my own. Chances are, if I like you, I have fed you something I made myself, whether it be cookies, cake or lemon curd.
I have recently embarked on a quest to eat more healthily, which has only fueled my cooking fervor. This means cutting out my two favorite food groups: refined sugar and refined grain. Now, I feel like I should put a disclaimer here: I realize there are many different opinions on how a person can eat healthily. For most people, what I’m attempting to do is a little bit crazy. A lot of people have suggested that I try just limiting my intake of simple carbs rather than stopping altogether. To these people, I would say: have you ever seen me eat a cookie?! That’s right: you haven’t. I can never ever eat just one cookie or just one piece of pie: once the sugar-and-white-flour monster has opened its seductively beautiful eyes and woken up to greet the world, IT WILL NOT BE STOPPED.
I’d be lying if I said eating a low-carb, low-sugar diet comes naturally to me. I love bread and pastries (I did live in France for three years after all!), and as a second-generation Bangladeshi, I am quite partial to my rice. Some days, particularly around the holidays, are super rough. I see people eating raw sugar cookie dough and stuffing their faces with stuffing (ahaha, pun!) and I’m sitting there picking around the marshmallows on the sweet potatoes and wondering what I’m doing to myself.
But I have never been one to back down from a challenge. And the thing is, I feel loads better: I have slept through the night every single night this semester (and that never used to happen before), I’m losing weight, I have so much more energy, my mood is much more stable…my body tells me that I’ve made the right decision.
But the best part? ALL THE NEW RECIPES I’VE BEEN TRYING!!!
Seriously, there are so many grain-free, refined-sugar-free options! (Another disclaimer: while I have been avoiding white and brown sugars, I am allowed to eat raw honey. I know that honey is another form of sugar, but honey has all sorts of anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that sugar doesn’t, and some studies have shown that honey helps in blood sugar control when compared to other sweeteners.) I’ve gotten quite good at making baked goods out of coconut flour, and The Coconut Mama has this AMAAAAZING COCONUT BUTTER FUDGE RECIPE that Cornflower has pronounced “fudge-gasmic!” I don’t see my new diet as an impediment to enjoying food but rather as a catalyst for new cooking adventures…that sometimes lead to sad (but delicious!) orange-flavored scrambled eggs.
I will close with some other delicious websites. Happy Friday evening!
Lauren from Empowered Sustenance has a similar diet to mine, so I can always trust her for delicious and healthy recipes! I particularly like the lemon mousse, which incidentally involves the lemon curd I linked earlier in this post!
Chocolate-Covered Katie ‘s recipes aren’t always grain free, but she does have some grain free options, and a lot of her recipes are sweetened with honey, dates, or even just plain old fruit! Her raw chocolate fudge cake is surprisingly light and chocolatey…although I did eat, like, four large chunks of it once, and then felt super sick. Oops?
And of course, there’s always Buzzfeed!! I admit that I haven’t tried any of these yet, but I’ve been lusting after the pumpkin scones for AGES. Perhaps that is my project for tomorrow? You will have to wait to find out!