Stewart Bell Jr. Archives
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This is our third month in compliance with the stay at home order to halt the spread of Covid 19. We are comfortable in our home and we’ve been able to work and study from here. But it has not been an easy time. The “snow day” atmosphere that first surrounded my family has been replaced by health concerns and uncertainty. We’ve sought comfort in food, with a few cocktails thrown in for the adults. In fact, we’ve been consuming ice cream by the bucket, brownies, cookies and anything else that makes us feel better. Judging from posts I’ve seen on social media, we are not alone.
At first, this seemed to me to be a reasonable response to an unusual and alarming circumstance. However, as the eating continued and the bathroom scale climbed upwards, I realized we needed a change. No amount of socially distanced walks in the neighborhood were going to make up for a pint of ice cream a day. (Covid Tip: Don’t let the ice cream addict in your life be the designated grocery shopper during a pandemic.)
I’ve always wanted time to explore the Library’s collection of food related materials and I decided this is my chance to try out new recipes. I tested several and here are the results.
I set four conditions: 1. The food had to be healthy 2. It had to be diet friendly 3. It had to taste delicious so that my family would eat it, and 4. The ingredients must be on hand or easily obtained. In the interest of full disclosure, substitutions were made and ingredients omitted or added due to personal taste and availability. These variances are fully noted.
Recipes were selected completely unscientifically from the March/April 2020 issue of Clean Eating Magazine available through RB Digital and Easy Keto for Busy People by Jennifer Marie Garza available through Hoopla.
Up first is Coconut Macaroons with Dark Chocolate from Clean Eating. These are advertised as gluten free, grain free and paleo
friendly. I had all the ingredients on hand except that I used semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of dark chocolate and the coconut was sweetened not unsweetened. They were easy and quick to make and a BIG hit with the family. A little on the sweet side because of the sweetened coconut, but they’d be great as written. Ok, they are still 5g of sugar each. But they are a cookie, after all.
The second recipe is Spicy Avocado Tuna Salad from Keto Friendly Recipes. This sounded great. I made the recipe as written except I substituted red pepper flakes for the jalapeno. It was simple to put together and I like that it used canned tuna as I always have some in the pantry. Sadly, this was a bit of a snooze. It looked and tasted bland. No one hated it, but no one loved it. In fairness, the jalapeno may have been the difference. I’ll try this again with the jalapeno and decide.
Third in line is the Cauliflower–Crust Pizza from Clean Eating. I’ve eaten cauliflower pizza before, but never made it. As the recipe
indicates, the toppings can be changed up and I did. Also, I saved steps by using frozen riced cauliflower instead of fresh, and a pizza stone instead of cast iron to bake it. Hands down this was the biggest surprise of all the recipes I tested. Everyone LOVED it. The crust was light and crispy and didn’t overwhelm with cauliflower taste. It’s definitely a keeper.
Finally, I had an assist from Tory on our staff. She saw a recipe in the Keto Friendly book and couldn’t wait to try it. Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers. Tory loved it. She substituted Swiss cheese for Provolone, but other than that made it as written. Tory said it was fast to make and is absolutely going into her dinner rotation.
This was a fun and tasty experiment. I will definitely be making these recipes again and I hope I’ve persuaded you to try some of our food related selections too!