29 September 2013

Poisoned, and an Antidote


As a friend of mine states it so elegantly, when we GF-ers eat gluten, if feel like "our guts are rotting." All of my food intolerances--dairy, eggs, and wheat--provoke that kind of inflammatory response from my body. The sushi I bought at work yesterday? Q-poison. Didn't read the label--rule number one in eating out as a VGF person--and I was already eating when I noticed the sesame kale rolls were vegan, but, alas, not gluten-free. Poisoned. It's a fitting twist of fate, given that I am beginning a new job elsewhere on Wednesday.

Woke up today with a stomachache, joint pain, and the usual digestive issues. My detox/healing routine entails a diet of

1) eating mostly unprocessed food (staying away from sugar and only patronizing known establishments)
2) choosing fermented foods (non-dairy yoghurt and kefir, sauerkraut, miso, kvass, kombucha, et cetera, to restore friendly gut bacteria)
3) drinking water like a fish (my mom sent me my one-litre Nalgenes, and my record is five in a day, approximately the volume of blood in an average-sized female)
4) using the Vitamix to blend most everything to liquid and semisolid format (I've heard oatmeal is good this way)

for the next few weeks. And as much sleep as possible. All the exercise and good diet in the world doesn't mean a drop when you don't sleep, as another friend reminded me.

Downers! However, the bright side of all of this is it forces me to reestablish good self-care during the transition and for my new, stable schedule. Methinks I fetishize stability, both in the abstract concept of time and the concrete actuality of people. Try that kink on for size.

Squash is upon us, and I made a quinoa-butternut squash pilaf for a friend who is recovering from surgery. The high vitamin A content of orange foods promotes healing. While perhaps not technically a pilaf http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilaf since I cooked the quinoa in water, this is a versatile breakfast/ brunch/ lunch/ supper/ latemeal dish. Nota bene that latemeal is a Princeton construct I embraced only after graduation. I assembled the dish in such a way that one can add the roasted onions, tahini dressing, and salt to one's preferences. I try to serve VGF food in the most customisable way possible to new victims, I mean, diners.

Quinoa Butternut Pilaf
1 cup quinoa, rinsed (and soaked overnight, if possible)
2 cups water or veg broth

1- 4 cups frozen collard greens (or other greens of choice)

1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed to 1-inch chunks (about 5 cups)
5 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
4 small red onions, widely half-mooned (about 4 cups)
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil

1/4 cup tahini
2 1/2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons gomasio (or 1 teaspoon sea salt)
1 cup water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with parchment, foil, or Silpats.

In a small pot over high heat, bring the quinoa and water to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the frozen greens until the heat of the quinoa thaws the greens. Set aside.

In a large bowl, toss the squash and garlic with the two tablespoons of oil until evenly coated. Spread on a baking sheet and place in the oven. Repeat this procedure with the onions. Alternatively, mix the squash, garlic, and onions together and divide this mixture between the two baking sheets. Your call on how much you like roasted onions. Either way, bake for about an hour, stirring and rotating the pans at fifteen-minute intervals (this works really well while doing HIIT).

When the veggies are fork-tender and slightly browned, remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Separate out the garlic cloves and place them in a blender along with the tahini, vinegar, spices, and water. Blitz until uniformly combined.

To travel: mix squash and quinoa and divide into containers. Pack up the onions and dressing separately. Chill in transit. Assemble and reheat on arrival.

Quinoa, squash, and collards


Tahini dressing

Parting shots:
How a straightedge person pregames: tall decaf Americano with two shots and hazelnut syrup

This gothlete got new sneaks in advance of P90X on Monday.

And the Q stands for Quinoa.
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