Since reducing my carb intake I feel great! I no longer think of this as a dietary change. I think of it as a way of life. Just like some people don’t eat radishes or broccoli or liver, I choose not to eat foods with a high glycemic index. In other words, in general, I don’t eat processed foods, sugars and most grains.
I say in general because life is about balance and moderation. On occasion, I’ll have quinoa or brown rice, but I don’t make it a daily habit. My body has grown accustomed to the low carb way of eating. I like the way it feels.
When I do decide to have a food that has a high glycemic index, my body responds almost immediately. High glycemic foods are like a fast-acting sleeping pill. I eat it and shortly thereafter I feel the strong need to take a nap. I’m not saying that I feel a little sluggish. What I’m saying is that it is almost impossible for me to stay awake after eating high-carb foods.
Seeking Low-Carb Alternatives
Because this is my new way of life, I’m experimenting with foods that I normally ignore in the grocery store. I’m learning to replace rice, pasta and breads with root vegetables. Yes, root vegetables are higher in carbs than meat or green leafy vegetables, but they’re not as high as a bowl of pasta.
Additionally, they come in handy when preparing meals for company. Most folks look for a little more than meat and vegetable on their plate. Adding a savory mashed root vegetable replaces the vacant spot usually occupied by mashed potatoes or beans and rice.
This Weekend’s Recipes
While in the grocery store I picked up turnips, rutabagas and jicama. I always thought rutabaga was another name for turnip, but I was wrong. There is a difference between the two. I hated them both growing up so I never bothered learning the difference, but this weekend has made me a convert. I love turnips and rutabagas! I didn’t get a chance to cook the jicama so it is reserved for this week’s culinary adventure.
I went online and found a few recipes that I used to educate me on how these vegetables respond to various conditions.
For the rutabaga, I used the Creamy Smoky Whipped Rutabaga recipe as the basis. I modified it to accommodate my taste buds and it was delicious! I’ve got requests to make it again next Sunday.
For the turnips (because I bought 5 small ones), I used two different recipes as the base. The first I used it as a “French Fry” turnip appetizer, and the other was a beautiful creamy, cheesy savory turnip casserole dish. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to locate the turnip casserole recipe at the moment. In essence, it was thinly sliced turnip seasoned and layered in a buttered casserole dish. To it, I added enough milk to cover the turnips. I cooked at 425 degrees until the turnips were tender (for about 30 minutes). Once tender I topped the dish off with a healthy layer of cheese.
I placed the dish back in the oven and allowed the cheese to melt and turn a little golden. For seasonings, I used salt, pepper, garlic, curry (just enough for taste but not enough to turn the dish yellow) and cayenne. It was gooey, cheesy delicious.
Of the three dishes the rutabaga came in number 1, the cheesy turnips number 2 and in third place were the turnip fries. The turnip fries were good, but we happened to like the savory dishes better. Although, my French-fry-eating-vegetable-hating daughter liked the turnip fries the best. Go figure.
My son’s girlfriend is going to the grocery store today to buy rutabagas and turnips. Her actions alone tell me the dishes were a success!
I’m having a blast Livin’ La Vida Low Carb!
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I really admire you Felicia!! Carbs have always been hard to give up. I get away from potatoes, bread and pasta when I can, but I love rice. Good for you!
Giving up carbs is harder for some than others. My hubby had a more difficult time than I did. He’s doing fine now because he’s seeing the benefits of giving them up.