Fennel Flannel #leanin15
I read the red “Lean in 15” from cover to cover and figured that the upshot was this: one has to earn one’s carbs. (On a day one exercises, one can eat normally-ish; on a day one does not exercise, one has to substitute the carbs with some kind of greenery.)
This is all fine and dandy if you are a live-alone youngster (especially if you stroll home from work past a well stocked greengrocer and have an overpriced tub of coconut oil in your hipster pantry.)
But what if you are a middle-aged mum, cooking for four other people, all of whom exercise on a combination of different days? Eh? This could be a pasta disasta.
It turns out that ratatouille is the way forward.
The principle of ratatouille was also evident in a recipe that took me down a very unfamiliar vegetable road. It involved buying fennel (Fennel?) that I had never seen before and only heard of in the context of Hipp Organic Baby Food thirteen years ago. It’s a weird vegetable. Smells like aniseed and looks like a bulbous onionesque leek. And then there was celery, that I hadn’t handled since I was about ten, during our short lived feed-the-guinea-pig phase.
But, when I boiled the fennel, celery and various random other vegetables in some chicken stock, it was really pretty palatable – with that same half-way-to-being-soup vibe that you get off of ratatouille. (The palatability may have been helped by the multitude of sausages throughout).
One of the first recipes I tried was a Thai Beef Salad.
It had way too much sharpness and kick for me, so the next time I just had steak and salad and that was great. Steak, salt, pepper: Tssssssssssss…. ready! Salad with an avocado and some feta cheese through it for deliciousness. Quite calorific and red-meaty for a “healthy” dinner – but it is certainly easy and certainly delicious.
The chorizo, chicken and spinach recipe is very delicious also.
It is amazing how much spinach shrinks. I kept shoogling the bag of spinach into the frying pan and it kept disappearing into wee dark green wisps.
So, all this carb-avoidance was getting a bit tricky. Frying up steak and garnishing everything with an avocado and a block of cheese wasn’t too convincing on the healthiness front.
So, I figured the trick is to have more exercise days, therefore earning carbs. Which is fine, as I am master of the FitBit.
I have enjoyed cooking random vegetables, but my kids are less convinced. The “weird” and “random” recipes in “Lean In 15” aren’t really family teatime winners. “It has weird food,” apparently.