So, I've been on hiatus. Or more accurately, feeling creatively stifled in the kitchen with "The Diet." Oy, it's so lame. But it's working. I've never attempted any sort of food restriction- er, make that restriction in general. I pretty much let it flow, do my thing, and if stuff isn't the way I want, I reflect and readjust. This.is.hard.
I'm down to five weeks left (woohoo!!!), and have been 90% good on following this bad boy. I have had a few slip ups, but nothing too serious... Let's see: three digit bar bills and small plates of steak tartar, deep fried poached eggs, bone marrow and lamb cassoulet with E and his boy, which was much too much fun, missed my train, and had to wake up, still intoxicated, at 7 am to get home for an 830 am meeting; B's recipe party and her addictive Cambodian hot wings and A's Oreo truffles; the few gin and tonics I threw back on a Fort Myers-Atlanta-Manchester flight; Bloody Marys with new friends in Reagan-National courtesy of Delta and some bartender, the free glasses o' wine and quesadillas at the TFA event in DC, drink tix at some rando nightclub in DC, iced coffee with R yesterday (with cream- OMG- cream!!(*@*@ where have you been the past 5 weeks!?) the granola bar I just split with H and capped my evening off with... Ok... Reflection: 75% may be more accurate. Whatevs.
I also tried to be forthright in my meetings with the group, admit to my slips ups, be present in the group and one with the challenge. Yeah, that worked out well. They were so supportive (insert eye roll here). One woman, when I mentioned I may have imbibed a small amount of vodka the previous Saturday, screamed across the Circle of Trust, " THERE IS NO ALCOHOL ON THIS DIET!!!!!!!" God, get her a Melba Toast. I think her blood sugar just dropped through the basement. Who begrudges or judges someone a smidgen of vodka? Can you imagine what Exorcist-head spinning would've occurred should I truly 'fessed to the carnage I laid waste to at the bar(s)*?
I was seriously taken back by her reaction. And the dirty looks I received. Murphy O'Meyer. So, tonight, did I mention I polished off H's grilled cheese crust at dinner Monday night while I waited for my boneless, skinless piece of leather? Hell no! We are apparently not in the Circle here: it's not only a competition amongst the other teams, but also among ourselves. I think that's sad. I mean, sure, when that crazy starved Bostonian about bit my head off for a little extra protein, what I really wanted to yell back was, "Listen lady, I am sooooo sorry you only lost .5 lbs this week and followed this ludicrous plan to the T. I am so sorry that I have FUN and sometimes my fun (well, a lot of the time) includes a drink (or three)! Also, totally want to apologize that I lost 2.5 lbs and threw back some forbidden elixir. Kiss Kiss!" But I held my tongue and just sort of stared at her because really, cutting her down does what? But in my mind, oh in my mind...
Despite the setbacks in the kitchen, I have adapted a few tasty dishes to fit the rules. This is a quick, quick meal, pretty good looking, and actually, kind of sophisticated-rugged. The amount of protein in this diet has been hard for me to swallow (literally: I have to water-chase every bite of ground bland turkey), but I love scallops. They are pretty darn expensive though- about $13.5/lb here. Trader Joe's has frozen ones, but you can't get them dry enough for a good sear. I splurge each week and get a pound to enjoy over two days (I have to eat eight ounces per serving). They are like large pearls of tastiness. Love them. And cabbage has diuretic properties. All the better to help pee out my slip ups.
And S: this here's a shout out to you. Keep going with your soon-be-svelte self. No reason not to be a hotter than you already are! BOOM!
Seared Scallops and Cabbage Salad
8 ounces dry boat scallops (large ones, not smaller bay ones)
1 cup raw shredded purple cabbage
1-2 clove(s) minced fresh garlic (more or less for preference)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 ounce finely grated part-skim Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground cracked black pepper
Heat a medium non-stick sauté pan over medium-high heat. Dry scallops on paper towels to remove any moisture. Season with pepper. Once pan is hot, spray with cooking spray. Place scallops in pan without crowding or touching. Sear on each side for 2-3 minutes. The scallops should still be soft in the middle and slightly translucent, but with a golden sear on top and bottom. Set to the side.
Prepare salad while scallops are cooking. In a jam jar, blend garlic, pepper, oil and lemon juice. Shake vigorously. In a bowl, toss cabbage with dressing. Add cheese and toss again. Top with scallops. Season with more pepper, if desired.
Shrimp would probably work really well too. I would try the huge tiger prawns though. Frozen shrimp works well: you're still able to get it nice and pink and juicy. If you're not dieting, add that salt and maybe a little more olive oil to the dressing!
*If you're a stranger here, or even a friend: no need for an intervention. It just seems alcohol is a lot easier to justify a cheat here (and there) than, say, a cupcake.