Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Cut It Out

The phrase "cut it out" will forever remind me of Uncle Joey from Full House...  and now the baby twins from the show are wealthy, business owning adults who dress like hobbits/witches.  I feel old.  I also have been feeling icky lately due to digestive distress.  My stomach officially hates me.  So I've decided to go on an another elimination diet to cut out the sugar, processed grains, soy, corn, red meat, etc. from my diet.  I know I'm starting to sound like a broken record on these elimination diet posts, but they really do work wonders on my digestive system and they also have the benefit of increasing my energy.  I'm thinking this time I'm going to try making it into a longer term diet change, with the occasional cheat allowed (I can't manage without cheese and chocolate...)  Here's a list of the official cans and can'ts of the diet:

I know it looks like a ridiculous and complicated list, but it's actually pretty easy when you cut it down to the basic principle: eat low fat meats, fruits, veggies, beans, and nuts and avoid processed foods.  I started my diet last night and got pretty creative with some new recipes that turned out absolutely delicious.
The bowl on the left is curried lentil soup with chopped turkey bacon (all natural of course) which I ate last night for dinner along with a side salad of spinach and arugula topped with avocado, green onion, toasted pine nuts and a drizzle of a natural honey mustard dressing.  The dish on the right is a red kuri squash, gala apple and quinoa savory crumble.  I was feeling a little iffy on that one, a little worried about how a savory crumble would taste.  But I just ate that for lunch today and it was surprisingly delicious!  You can get the recipe for the crumble here.  The curried lentil soup recipe is listed below as it was a variation on an Alton Brown split pea soup recipe.  It was RIDICULOUSLY easy to make and super tasty.

Curried Red Lentil Soup

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 12 ounces dried red lentils (though yellow lentils or green or yellow split peas would also work)
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp each onion and garlic powders
  • 4 slices applegate turkey bacon, cooked til crispy then chopped
  1. Place the oil into a 4 to 6-quart saucepan over medium-low heat. Once heated, add the onion and a generous pinch of salt and sweat for 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and continue to sweat for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, making certain not to allow onions or garlic to brown.
  3. Add the lentils, chicken broth, salt and pepper (maybe a tsp each to start) and curry powder. 
  4. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook at a simmer until the lentils are tender and not holding their shape any longer, approximately 35-45 minutes. 
  5. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Using care and a stick blender, puree the soup until the desired consistency.   I just randomly dunked mine into the soup a couple of times and pulsed because I still wanted a little texture.  Watch out for hot splatters.
  6. Serve up in a bowl and top with some chopped turkey bacon.

(list of cans and can'ts from here)

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