Wee Scoops

Measure for Measure

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.

*goes running*


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4 thoughts on “Fennel Flannel #leanin15

  1. theotheri on said:

    Sounds a bit like the activities in our kitchen down here in Cambridge. Ratatouille is the word we use to somehow make use of the random unequal mix of vegetables that come of our summer garden each year at unpredictable rates.

    Oh and yes! spinach does that disappearing act! Chard has a little more stability about it.

    • Ooh… I’ve never tried chard… haven’t even got a visual reference for it. Green?

      • theotheri on said:

        Yes, chard is green, larger leaves than spinach. Comes in several varieties – swiss chard, red chard, etc. All the chards come with high anti-oxidant ratings and so are particularly healthy. Google “chard” & click on “images” to get a lot of photos of what it looks like.

  2. I think it all looks delicious!

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