Thursday, May 30, 2013

Better luck next time

I’m going to cut to the chase and say this post might be a bit of a disappointment, since the dish I made wasn’t the greatest. But with changes I think it has promise, so I’m giving it a chance. (Plus, I took photos and didn’t want them to go to waste).

I started a new “diet” last week. I hate using that word even though I suppose that’s what it is. After years of relying on—and doing (mostly) well—on medication for my ulcerative colitis, I stumbled on an old book I purchased when I was first diagnosed about the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. SCD is a way of eating targeted specifically for people with inflammatory disorders (UC, Crohns, IBS, celiac, etc.) It’s very similar to a paleo-style diet, except a bit less strict as some legumes are allowed whereas in Paleo they’re not. SCD is basically a grain-free, refined sugar-free, lactose-free lifestyle. The cons: no grains of ANY kind (even couscous and quinoa), no refined sugars (i.e. chocolate, booo!!!), and no lactose. But that still leaves a lot: pretty much all fruits and veggies, meats, seafoods, non- or very low-lactose cheese (which are in abundance, I’ve discovered!). I actually CAN have dairy if I make my own yogurt (because it needs to be fermented for 24 hours) and use that yogurt to make other items like ice cream, cream cheese, etc. I decided that if this diet can reduce my dependence on medication in any way, it's worth a try.

Consequently, I’ve been combing through cookbooks, pinterest boards, and recipe websites to find both basic recipes (how do I make pancakes?????) as well as more interesting meals. Tonight was a combination of Google + what I had in the cupboard. I decided to do a version of this guy since I already had beef, sundried tomatoes, and fresh basil. I nixed the pasta, but did have a homemade sour cream that I was planning on substituting for the cream cheese. I also figured I could use beef broth instead of the wine. Incidentally, I CAN consume dry wines, but just didn’t have any in the house.

I pan-fried the beef, deglazed the pan with the beef broth, brought to a simmer and added the sundried tomatoes, reduced heat and stirred in a good dollop of sour cream and the basil.  I served with a side of kale massaged with olive oil and garlic. And topped with goat cheese, because…well….why not?

 ^ Preparing the kale for its massage............The finished product ^

The verdict? It looked significantly better than it tasted. Unless you think it looks like shit. Then maybe it’s on par. Here is my analysis:
1) the beef I had was really stewing beef….so not the best quality. 2) I thought the beef broth would have been a decent alternative to the wine. Nope. Should have used chicken broth in that case. The beef broth tasted really “fake.” It reminded me of Campbells Beef N’ Barley soup, which is good.....if you’re 12. 3) The sundried tomatoes tasted great on their own, but this particular recipe would have been better with dried sun-dried tomatoes—not those in oil like I used. There was a bit of a flavor fight going on there.

The goat cheese was awesome. I’d eat anything with goat cheese on it.

So there you have it; not my best moment. I will have to post a recipe for the cinnamon-almond pancakes I made this week though. Now that was a success!