Mmmm Tiger Blood finally came to me. ‘Tiger blood’ is the Whole30 terms. For some, it’s like a light switch turned on and they would have so much energy even without the good old coffee. And for others, it’s more subtle. On week 3, Tiger blood finally came to me. I had so much energy although last week was crazy busy at work. I was also in such a good mood despite all the bullshit at work. It did end in a less of a high note though. Saturday I went out for coffee with my friend and we got caught up chatting girly stuff for way too long, and I wasn’t prepared. And when I finally got home, starving, I noticed that I’ve practically skipped lunch. I’m not sure whether it was because of this little disturbance in a diet delicately balanced, I woke up with a huge headache on Sunday morning, that gradually turned into a migraine. Oddly, it was a just a wee one compared to those I’m used to before but it did come with all of the side effects like depression and tiredness. I mean I took two naps on Sunday. To top it off, I broke the brand new portable glass thermos flask into million pieces (luckily in my sink) aaaaand cut my hand while I tried to clean up. So yeah, a terrible ending to an otherwise awesome week. Sir Atticus did His best to cheer me up on Monday morning, and no one does the cheering up as well as He does. ^^ So back to food, what did I eat last week? I do have to give some credit to my parents and be grateful for my roots as a Chinese. I’ve heard that after three weeks of cooking Whole30 meals, it might get pretty boring if you don’t know many ways to make different veggies. For me, vegetables have always been easy. I didn’t have to get to know many vegetables because I happened to know both Western and Eastern vegetables and ways to cook them. And for me, when in doubt, just stir-fry them. 😀 And I’ve been doing that a lot lately, just because I’m lazy. And any veggies can be made to taste good with just a wok, some hot enough oil, garlic and salt. 😀
And talking about stir frying, I like my veggies crunchy so I use a lot of vegetables that have that natural crunch to them, like green beans. Those beautiful little red balls are radishes, I love them because of their color. They don’t taste much like anything. But they are pretty to look at only when they are raw, cos once you fry them, they lose their beautiful pinkish red color. Those round things on the left of the radishes are king oyster mushrooms, so very tasty. And those disks with holes are lotus roots. I’m pretty sure you can find them in your local Asian supermarket, either raw or frozen. Mine are frozen but still, they are crunchy, and I love this form of a light and fresh starch.
So here you can see the end product. To accompany my delicious stir-fry veggies, I made some massaman curry. My favorite dish to order in a Thai restaurant is massaman curry with duck, so that was exactly what I made. I seared up the duck breasts whole in some high head and left them to rest while making the curry in the duck fat. I was lucky enough to find massaman curry paste that is Whole30 compliant but they did cost me a small fortune. And the sauce did need a ton of coconut milk to kinda balance the saltiness out. Guess you can really taste the salt when there is no sugar allowed to be used. To give the curry more texture, I added cubes of butternut pumpkin and eggplant. A traditional massaman curry has both potatoes and peanuts in it but since peanuts are on the no-no list and I didn’t want to make the curry too heavy with potatoes, I left both of them out. Still tasted good though cos duck is always so very good.
With duck massaman curry and stir-fry veggies as my lunch, I also prepped my breakfast. I fried up some scrambled eggs and a buffalo sausages. The sausages were spicy like chorizos so I wanted something fresh on the side. I bought some lettuce and made little lettuce taco breakfast boats, through in some tomatoes and green grapes and voila, a delicious breakfast.
Later last week when I ate all the duck from the curry but still got a lot of curry left, I added some chicken thighs and green paprika and fresh jalopeños to make a new curry. 😀 I think people have some deep prejudices against green paprikas. While red, yellow and orange paprikas taste great raw or cooked, green paprikas taste disgusting raw. But once you fry them slightly, they give out an aroma unique to them and they got beautifully with any meat, especially well with beef. So if you want to make an easy and healthy stir-fry dish, just use beef slices and green paprika and some onion. I guarantee it will put the famous beef and broccoli to shame. The key to stir-frying any veggies, is that use high heat, heat up the oil real good, and do not over-cook. And whenever frying something that doesn’t like to suck up salt much, like paprikas, carrots, green beans etc, add salt to the hot oil before adding the veggies. Actually, I like to do that with most of my veggies because then it’s guaranteed that with the oil they would suck up some saltiness to them.
At the end of the week, it was time to clean up my fridge. I used to make epic instant noodle soups with a lot of ingredients. I basically did the same thing here, just without the noodles. I got a carton of chicken stock (I love it), cut up veggies I found lying in the fridge like carrots, romaine salad etc, I fried up two eggs and put four slices of bacon and some left-over duck breasts into this… I guess soup? 😀 It tasted like comfort food, some sweetness from the well-made chicken stock, and freshness from the veggies and some smokiness from the bacon. I for one love boiled bacon, it’s gives some really tasty saltiness into the stock, and it’s a different way to enjoy your bacon other than crunchy and fried.
Finally, as a little feast to celebrate the weekend, I bought myself a big chunk of fresh salmon that happened to be on sale in my supermarket again (one of the best perks of living in Finland – you never run out of fresh salmon). I also got a little bag of huge shrimps from my mom, so I decided to made it a seafood feast. And since I couldn’t use sauces like fish sauce or soy sauce, I focused on herbs and things like that that goes great with seafood. This time, they happen to be chives, fresh jalopeño peppers, coriander, basil and garlic. Both of them turned shrimps and salmon into a delicious feast. And I wanted just something simple as the veggie dish, so I indulged myself and fried up a large pile of mushrooms. Mushrooms have the natural umami taste that goes very well with seafood.
Three weeks down… I can’t believe it. It wasn’t an easy diet by any means but on the other hand, it was surprisingly easy. And the reward? The energy, the good mood, the added strength to my workouts. So worth it. Do come back next Monday to hear what I eat for my last week of Whole30.