So I've heard of the wonders of kale (called "green cabbage" in Norway) and this time of year our supermarkets carry it. The plant is perfect for temperate climates because a bit of frost makes it taste better. It can be used in anything you would use (cooked) spinach in and has about the same nutrients.
I'd heard of kale chips and made a batch. They came out all brown because the recipe said 10 minutes (very crispy they were!). I tried again today. I tore the leaves into bite-sized pieces, dribbled olive oil over followed by a sprinkle of tasty BBQ-type spice mix ("grillkrydder"). I let them bake for 7 minutes at 150 degrees Celsius. For my oven, that was perfect. The kale chips were still green but now crunchy.
I ate the whole tray in one sitting, and I've realized that if you make kale chips just right, they're like all those other chips: You can't stop after just a few. These melt in your mouth! For that reason, I'm not sure I'll repeat this particular experiment again. But, boy, did they taste good!
I keep trying to make good food for myself. I have been low-carbing for almost 14 months, and have never felt better. I swear by Jimmy Moore's podcasts as a way to keep myself updated on research in the field and have learned that as we age, we all probably need to cut carbohydrates, because carbs seem to wear us out faster than proteins and fats do. As someone who swore by whole grains for years, I found myself no longer able to digest them. I had heard that we get lactose intolerant with age because our ability to produce the lactase enzyme diminishes with age. It looks like something similar happens with carbs; we seem to get more gluten sensitive as we grow older.
After a year of eggs (mostly) for breakfast, and no more bread at lunch or rice with dinner, I have shrunk 4 pants sizes (without additional exercise), nails have gotten stronger, and digestive problems have gone away. I sleep better and think better, in spite of perimenopause. I was having a bit of brain-fog (or meno-fog) and even some surprising joint pains earlier this week, which may be either due to too much protein or a potassium shortage. My body guided me to the right solution even before I googled it; I bought a large container of Greek yoghurt, hazelnuts and sunflower seeds. I also got fresh blueberries and coconut cream. Talk about a bit of luxury! It tastes and looks good and I really enjoy the variation from soft-boiled eggs.
I do find myself missing my old eating habits sometimes (thank goodness for this low-carb pancake recipe!). There are times when I wish I could be vegetarian again, or have a nice bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. But as I keep reading about food and the chemistry of metabolic syndrome, and also about gluten, I realize that I'd be asking for trouble if I started eating grains again on a regular basis, or giving up the best source of amino acids (meat). I think I'd be more satisfied with my current diet choice if I get more adventurous with vegetables in my diet.
You wouldn't know it from this post, but I don't really care much about food. I care about health. Food is a part of health; food is medicine. I do enjoy gourmet foods, the seven-course meals with seven wines, because my taste buds work fine. I'm just not interested in how that food is made. I admire those who do know how to put magic on a plate because I find it baffling. I never watch cooking shows for that reason; I just don't understand what's happening. (As a girl, I had to ask five times for help before I finally understood how to make scrambled eggs, the simplest dish in the world.) I also get bored and so will step away from the stove. I use a timer to keep track of seconds and minutes so I don't forget what I was doing. (You're not the only one suspecting I have ADD.) For these reasons, I love recipes where all the ingredients go into one pan or pot and cook together. One-dish meals. I can chop stuff (and that's when I listen to the podcasts). So when I pick through my recipe books, I'm usually looking for something that resembles a one-dish meal. Fry up the chicken while all the veggies roast together sort of thing.
Surprisingly, my food ends up tasting good. May not ever look photogenic, but it tastes fine. So that's a blessing. I do feel a need to be more adventurous, to get more variety in my kitchen. Something like gourmet cooking for kitchen klutzes who can hardly hold a paring knife.
I know what that means: Salads.
Hmmm… Time to use my new library card and get some recipe books on salads. I love salads!