Thursday, September 24, 2009

Day 10 – 100-mile diet : Revelations and Amuse-bouche!

Good evening to all.

Today was a good day food wise! Not only did my mayonnaise turned out great and we found a celery the size of a small grocery bag and I was able to make egg salad, but we had an important realisation about this challenge while walking through the mall after work.

Let me explain…

For the longest time, my husband and I have had one tradition on Thursday night, every 2 weeks, when we get paid: We go for pad Thai before doing all of our grocery shopping and all. Now, this may not sound like very much, but pad Thai is one of my husband’s favourite things and tonight was the first Thursday we got paid and there we were running errands and no pad Thai. Actually, there will be no pad Thai for 4 payday Thursdays.

My first reaction, as I looked at my husband’s slightly antsy face making “jokes” about the fact we had only forgotten one thing, that being PAD THAÏ, I found myself going through the ingredients and trying a find a way to fake pad Thai for my hubby. That’s when it hit me:

Trying to find substitutes for things will only make this harder.

My egg salad was good at lunch, but without salt and onion powder, it just wasn’t the same. Tomato sauce without spices is just not the same, fries without ketchup just doesn’t taste quite like what I’m craving.

So WHY try to slightly comfort ourselves in “pretend” foods when we could just create a whole new thing or try something completely outside of the box!

I remembered one of the first recipes that James and Alisa write in their book:

Potato Amuse-bouche

All they are really are slices of beets topped with blue cheese mashed potatoes. I thought to myself: “Now, THAT is something you have to think outside of the box to think up!” So simple, but of all my cookbooks and all my dining experiences, I’ve never heard of something like that.

So we made them for dinner:

Local Blue-Brie cheese, melted in yummy waxy yellow mashed potatoes pilled high on top of slices of boiled beets 2 inches in diameter and ½ an inch think. Sent them in the oven at 250’F for 15 minutes to double-bake the potatoes and roast the beet and VOILÀ!

Paired with a tossed salad (complete with my own raspberry-maple vinaigrette) and two glasses of amazing local red wine, we had a meal!

Funny enough, neither of us missed the pad Thai after this.

So new mission: CREATE! Look at what you have and make something.

I send the challenge out to all of you:

One night soon, look in your fridge and create something with what is there! It’s a wonderful feeling. Share it here. I would love to hear of your experiments.


Thomas Winther said...


Just stopping by to cheer you on in your 100-mile diet endeavours :-)

Good point about making all new types of food, rather than making "watered down" varieties of stuff you normally make.

I find the same principle is good when trying to steer your diet away from meat - make proper veggie meals that will stand on their own, rather than just removing the meat from something you're used to or replacing it with stuff that sort of imitates meat but doesn't quite get there.

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