Comfort Food

Comfort Food

Snow Window Open

Note to self … Close car window during winter!

Who doesn’t love comfort food?

We need it even more when winter drags on & on. I was looking at green grass for most of winter but now, suddenly, I’ve got snow mountains on the sidewalk. And we have a polar vortex that’s chillin’ things down for a day or two. What on earth is a polar vortex!?! Never mind, I don’t really want to know. Just bring on spring. Please!

I’ve segued from one cold or flu to another for the past month or six weeks. Now I have a sore throat that just won’t go away. Combine all that with some winter blues & I’m pretty close to forgetting all about diets & weight loss. Almost!

I don’t think I’ve ever been sick enough to not want to eat. I’m not sure if there’s any truth to the old saw about feeding a cold & starving a fever, but I was never motivated to starve myself in either circumstance. Quite the opposite.

Feeling as I do, it would have been easy to give up on the diet. I didn’t (well, not completely anyway), but I still needed comfort. Lots of comfort. Instead, I made a huge pot of silly-hot beef curry, adding all those ingredients that I thought might carry some natural curative properties. Chilli powder, turmeric-laden curry powder, tons of hot peppers, garlic, onion, cilantro. And, towards the end of cooking, three big thumb-sized pieces of fresh ginger. Adding a topping of melting Jarlsberg cheese to my big bowl of “medicine” gave great texture, along with a Vitamin K2 boost.

Cure a fever!?! This stuff is hot enough to give you a fever! Wonder if my strep throat bugs are the curry-resistant variety!!!

I also went into free-fall on fresh & frozen fruit, bananas, raspberries & blueberries. All accompanied by chocolate & cream. Sadly, it wasn’t always the dark chocolate.

Has it cured me? … Not at all.

Do I feel better? … You bet! Especially while I’m stuffing my face!

I’ll worry about what the scale feels next week! 🙂

 

I Love Yogurt … Who Knew!

I Love Yogurt … Who Knew!instant pot yogurt

I made my first batch of yogurt in my new Instant Pot® & it was so ridiculously good, I just can’t believe it! Check out the pic of that spoon standing upright in it. It is firm, with a really smooth texture, and it tastes so creamy that it’s hard to believe that it doesn’t contain any added flavouring. It is just the Natrel® 10%, with a couple of tablespoons of plain Balkan yougurt, a 6% fat version, as a starter. It may be the best yogurt I’ve ever tasted. I have taste-tested it with some skinny people, and even they like it!

This was done with what is known in Instant Pot® circles as the “No Boil” or “Cold Start” method of yogurt making. For this method apparently, the primary ingredient, the milk or cream, must be of the ultra-filtered or UHT pasteurised variety. Without boiling, the potential for bad bugs to flourish is higher in regular milks. The No Boil process, on the other hand, is the simplest thing I’ve ever done. Toss the milk in the pot. Add the couple of tablespoons of starter yogurt and blend this with the milk. Put the lid on & press the Yogurt button. The pot does its thing for 8 hours. You then remove the pot liner & stick it in the fridge to set. For this little effort, I just can’t believe the result.

Not everything has turned out so wonderfully well, on the first attempt, in my new pot. But this one is a winner. And, along with this yogurt being so good, it ticks many of the boxes I want ticked from a dietary standpoint too. It is deliciously higher in fat than most store bought versions. The 10% cream does have a few additives but I’ve regularly consumed far more processed products than this. Though I’m not lactose intolerant, it being lactose free should cut down a bit on the carb content. And it’s a very neat way to get some protein when you’re more in the mood for dessert than dinner. I’ll be adding some fruit & a little shaved dark chocolate to a big bowl of this for something positively decadent.

For taste, this outcome is a gourmand’s delight. Now I must see if I can replicate the amazing result, but with less expensive ingredients! Along the way, I will have to test drive the boil & cool method with regular milk (full fat, of course!) too.

Watch this space, I’m sure I’ll have some entertaining disasters to add to the list of Instant Pot® success stories along the way! 🙂

Natrel® is a registered trademark of Agropur, Instant Pot® is a trademark of Instant Brands Inc.

Why Do I Eat Cheesecake?

Why Do I Eat Cheesecake?Cheesecakes

Because my daughter makes the best cheesecake. And I mean the best cheesecake. She reduces the sugar content in her recipe, just to appease me. But then she adds white chocolate chips (those little blobs of synthetic whiteness are probably about 90% sugar!) & the base is made from those very famous cookies. You know the ones, the two dark biscuits with that creamy white center. Some folk like to dunk them in milk. I don’t want to say the name in case I trigger a snack-attack for anyone!

Anyhoo, these single-serve (hah!) cheesecakes are to die for. And when my daughter makes ’em … I eat ’em!

Knowing I wouldn’t be able to resist, I decided, well before the olfactory symphony came wafting from the kitchen, to limit myself to just two. I had been eating really well prior to this latest round of baking. I was at a point where I was losing weight gradually. I was not feeling hungry. I was enjoying a designer binge here & there. The very occasional intermittent fast, mostly just skipping breakfast & lunch, was easy. Everything was puttering along beautifully. And then came the cheesecakes. I didn’t have just two, I had three. What can I say, you can barely pack three into a bowl but they look so nice fighting for space there. Naturally, I poured about half a cup of heavy cream over them. Maybe a little more than that. But it’s only to blunt the insulin response, you know!

That was three days ago. And it’s only today that I’m getting back to feeling as safe & as well as I know I can feel on my new diet. During that time, I had to cram a bunch of safe starch (potatoes!) into my face. Along with cream-covered fruit & nut desserts. Anything to avoid the potential of eating something worse. Needless to say, the scale doesn’t hide the truth from me.

On the bright side, though, I am developing some really good strategies for avoiding falling off the dietary cliff. You know, like the times when you have just one cookie. Followed by the rest of the pack. And then you’re suddenly calling for pizza delivery. And yes, please, I’ll take the two bonus one-liter bottles of pop for a dollar! We need strategies for handling such urges & mine seem to be working well at the moment.

In real life, there will always be those times when we will consciously, deliberately, eat something not quite right for us. And if that’s the case, we need to know how to survive those occasions.

So why did I really eat the cheesecake?

While I really love my daughter’s cheesecake … I love my daughter even more!