Anyway, last week I made a very simple dinner of steak with rice salad.
Of course no one knew what rice salad was and everyone was reluctant to try it but, again, I rode on the reputation of producing good food and shared this French dish I first tasted while visiting a friend in France 8 years ago. I had yet to make it nearly as delicious as the first time I had it until last week. I called in some recruits (in the way of websites) to find some decent recipes that I could meld to form something that would appease both my appetite and the ravenous appetites of the guys.
First things first, you can never go wrong with feta cheese. My cheese repertoire is pretty limited so I rarely use it in cooking. The cheeses I like are feta, goat, fresh, raw mozzarella, and American, occasionally. If you catch me on a good day, cheddar cheese or pepper jack with crackers are also an option. But feta is a good stand-in and so pungent and flavorful that it quickly makes even the most bland things (such as rice) quite flavorful.
|It's blurry and doesn't look appetizing, but it's good!|
Here's the recipe: (which, in my head, I read 'ree-sipe)
3 C brown rice
1/3 C olive oil
3-4 T lemon juice
3-4 T apple cider vinegar
6 tomatoes the size of my fist, diced (if you don't know how big my fist it, try tomatoes the size of a tennis ball)
6oz feta cheese crumbled
How to make it: Make the rice how you normally would. Then soak it in cold water to cool down the internal temperature. Separately, mix all the wet ingredients and the seasonings. Put that aside until the rice is cooled down to either fridge-temperature or room temperature. When the rice is finally cooled, mix your liquid-y mixture and the feta and tomatoes. Put the rice salad into the fridge while you grill, or even for longer, so that all the flavors can mix. Voila!
For those of you who don't know, in 2010 I was diagnosed with insulin resistance. It causes some other issues in my body that make me need to eat and live a healthier lifestyle. I often falter because I love carbs and I love sweets. Every now and then, though, I become inspired again and try valiantly, for about a week, to eliminate all these things that are essentially toxic to my poor little body. You see, I should be eating a diet reminiscent of a diabetic to maintain steady glycemic levels, so this is really the elimination of carbs altogether and multiple small meals each day. But recently I've been feeling really under the weather and was advised, yet again, by my mom to try eliminating the toxins from my body. I did some research and found that of the people that are insulin resistant, with the other manifestations of the poorly functioning pancreas, 85% are gluten intolerant. WHAT?!!
Thankfully, I am not like other gluten-intolerant folks or Celiac peeps who are immediately affected by the intake of gluten. But I have learned that consistant consumption of glutenous things have a serious affect on my intestines. I will spare you the details. But it is advisable to significantly reduce the amount of gluten I ingest to spare my body the toils of processing the high levels of carbohydrates.
I spent a week experimenting with my food and felt pretty steady throughout the week. No intestinal distress and no calling out sick (except because I had bronchitis). I was pretty pleased with the results but am actually horrified at the thought of giving up sweets, pasta, bread, and other tasty gluten-filled delights. It's going to be slow-going and I am extremely reluctant to abstain altogether, but this information and my gluten fast have given me insight into foods that can and do trigger upset in my innards.
Anyway, all this is to say that I probably will continue to cook gluten-laden foods because they're delicious and filling and cheap. And one can only eat so much rice and legumes before other gastrointestinal issues start to pollute the earth. I'm gross, I know. I'm sure I make my parents very proud. :) But the more I learn about the impact of diet on my body, the more compelled I feel to share it with ya'll.