*From Thursday, 08 May – https://www.livebelowtheline.com.au/blogs/6897
The last two day’s we’re very similar in may ways. I was lucky enough to have these days be non-working days, meaning that instead of throwing myself out of bed to go to work in the wee hours of the morning I made the executive decision to sleep in, miss my uni classes and throw myself into my uni assignments instead. As it turns out, sitting at home and staring at a computer screen in isolation actually lends itself to the challenge. There are no distractions or people that might effect any emotions you may be having. This was wonderful because I’d noticed though I felt quite good the lingering hunger that was now quite permanent was making me easy to be irritated. At this point I should thank mum and dad for taking the brunt of it over the last week.
My other favourite benefits of becoming a home-hermit during the challenge is that you don’t need to use a lot of energy, and best of all, all your food is right there in the kitchen for when you want it. That had to be my favourite thing about the past two days. I could take my time and cook up delicious meals when I was hungry, and I didn’t have to bother thinking about making sure I had everything I would need for the day -something that I was clearly not very good at. I’d come up with some wonderful recipes over the past few days.
I’d decided to have sit down dinners with my family from day 3 onwards, and on night 3 I sat down to my parents enjoying a meal of steamed carrot and cauliflower, beef stroganoff, schnitzels and steamed buns. This is when the most amazing moment of my entire LBL challenge occurred. As I was finishing up making potato chips and carrot/cauliflower puree my dad turned to me and told me to eat a schnitzel. I didn’t know if he was just trying to push my buttons so I responded with ‘I can’t’. But he was adamant and kept pushing for me to eat the schnitzel, going on about how he really didn’t want it and wanted more stroganoff instead. At this point I’d put my plate of very different food on the table right next to him but he persisted, and I continued to respond with ‘are you serious?’ and ‘I would if I could but I can’t.’ Mum and I both looked at each other with the most dumbfounded faces. It took a while but eventually it hit him, I was right in the middle of LBL.
This was the first time I had tried making this puree along with sliced potato chips with Italian herbs. I was so impressed with the flavour I gave mum and dad a little taste. Turns out it was so good that my dad decided to help himself to some when I’d turned away. My mum gave out a little shriek and couldn’t believe my dad would take food from his own hungry child.
Recipe #1: Carrot and Cauliflower Puree This was a favourite of mine so much so that I will be continuing to make it long after the challenge is over. All you need to do to make this recipe is cut 2 carrots and ¼ – 1/3 of your cauliflower into pieces and steam them. Once steamed, add the carrot and cauliflower into a food processor with a little chili and some Italian herbs to taste and blend. Check on the consistency and slowly add some water until you get a smooth texture. Voila! Delicious and nutritious.
Recipe #2: Potato chips This one’s easy, just remember to keep your eyes on the oven. Simple slice your potatoes into thin slices, place them on a baking tray, sprinkle with Italian herbs and bake in the oven on high until golden brown on one side. Flip them over, continue baking until this side is golden brown and you’ve got crispy chips. These chips so really well with the carrot and cauliflower puree because of the difference in texture.
Day 4 was very similar to day 3 in that I decided to stay home for most of the day and focus on my numerous uni assignments. The biggest difference with day 4 was that I woke up with enough energy in the morning to go to a bodypump class. This was a great treat as I hadn’t been to the gym all week due to participating in LBL. Needless to say it got me pumped up for the rest of the day. I had toasted oats for breakfast, pasta with beans, tomato paste, chili and Italian herbs for lunch and my favourite carrot and cauliflower puree with chips for dinner.
Though unthinkable, when dinner came around my father once again forgot I was doing LBL and kept telling me to eat the ruske pierogi that were on the table. Apparently there was too much food for him to handle -sigh. For anyone who doesn’t know what ruske pierogi are, they are cheese and potato filled Polish dumplings, pan fried in butter and they smell and taste AMAZING! Not only are ruske pierogi one of my favourite dishes in the world but the smell of them was turning my stomach in knots. My dad wanted me to do his dishes but needless to say, it wasn’t going to happen.
I decided to use my day 4 dinner to use up all my left over ingredients and cook for the following day so I’d have everything I needed for both work dinner and wouldn’t have to think about anything but counting every second until my midnight binge. I made two servings of carrot and cauliflower puree (one for night 4 dinner and one for day 5 lunch), potato chips (for day 4 dinner) and of course, everything else that was left went into a giant pot and got turned into a stew to be mixed in the pasta (for day 5 lunch and dinner). The stew comprised of onions, carrots, potatoes, Italian herb mix, chili, beans and water. Right at the end I mixed in the pasta and ended up with a large hearty pot of delicious-ness that I was looking forward to enjoying the following day. As a storm had just come through I was really looking forward to the stew in particular. The idea of tucking into a warm and hearty dish sounded perfect.
Recipe #3: Hearty pasta and stew. Brown some onions in a pan. Throw in all your left overs… In my case diced potato, carrots, Italian herb mix, chili, beans and tomato paste. Add water, bring to the boil, turn down on low and let it stew until everything in that pot is tender and the sauce is thick. Cook some pasta, drain and add to the stew once it’s finished cooking.
Whilst doing the rest of my cooking, I decided to toast off all my remaining oats so they’d be ready to go. Unfortunately I whilst I was distracted with my other cooking, I burnt a large portion of oats. The kitchen was smoky but I wasn’t going to waste my food, so I meticulously picked out as many of the burnt oats as a could in an attempt to salvage day 5s breakfast. I find it quite humorous just how desperate and protective us LBLs can get when it comes to our food. We’ll count ever grain of rice, pick up every crumb we drop and refuse to throw anything away. It was at this point I realised I hadn’t had my daily piece of fruit. And because I had salvaged enough oats, I managed to make something so good that I should have been eating for breakfast the whole time, toasted oats with grated apple.
Recipe #4: Toasted oats with apple. Toast oats under in the over, grate apple into a bowl, mix in the toasted oats. Simple, tasty and another dish I’ll continue to make long after LBL is over.
So another day came and went, another $2 was well spent. I used myself and cooked ahead and then I headed off to bed. –Terrible I know, but who can blame me, it’s day 4 and I can see the light on the horizon… and it looks a whole lot like lasange and sourdough.