Posts Tagged ‘Sis’

Whether You’ve Done It Before or Not

March 10, 2012 6 comments


My friends wonder if I’ve lost my mind. I have so many projects on the boards at the moment that it will take six months of dedicated work to get the pile whittled down to a convenient size. No matter; I’ll never get bored.

During our workout yesterday, I threw out a suggestion for Sister and our workout partner. All three of us ladies rank in the senior set and workout three times a week together. We’d all began a nutrition journey a couple of months ago to improve our health, lose weight, and get fit. And we enjoy doing it together.

My suggestion created another book project, one that Sis and I have thought about for a long time. Enter our friend, who creates her masterpieces in the kitchen. Yep! You guessed it; a cook book.

Call me insane, but this is something that can be fun and done with others. Joint efforts usually make for great experiences.

I’ve never done a cook book before. I seldom do recipes for friends and family. Even so, after our discussion, we had the table of contents, the introduction, the recipe categories, and three creative cooks who’ve just been put on a new nutrition plan for life. Sis is our photographer for the project, too.

What better way to expand our horizons on this food journey than to write a cookbook of our favorite creations that draw from those foods we’re allowed to have?

Keys to the Recipes

Our mutual nutrition plan allows only Stevia FOS as our sweetener. On very rare occasions honey can be substituted in small amounts, or dark molasses. Anything using white flour, sugar/sugar substitutes—other than the above, or regular potatoes is verboten. The plan, which is used for pre-diabetics or diabetics in crisis, uses a low glycemic index approach to food.

Taking the restrictions in mind, as well as those foods required by the plan on a daily basis, we began cooking differently and thinking about food in a more mindful way.

Case in point: of fast foods, the only one we’ve found that actually doesn’t trip the alarm meter on this plan is Taco Bells’ hard-shell taco, supreme or not.

Whole grains, which include brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, millet and a few others, can be used without fear. Whole grain flour from this list is usable, too. And don’t forget the legumes. They constitute a major part of the plan, along with Greek yogurt, nuts, and seeds.

Everything we eat now–with rare exemptions–are unprocessed foods; organic where we can get them. We’ve pulled away from the artificial, chemically supported pre-processed foods.

Why a Cook Book?

As I said, Sis and I have been thinking about writing one for a few years; ever since we began making our own tasty egg rolls and stuffed wantons. At that time we thought about creating an entire volume on those treats. Life got in the way, pushing the project to a back burner so recessed, it was almost forgotten.

Now, we must come up with inventive and tasty ways to include foods that our nutrition plan relies on, without breaking the bank or the plan. Each woman in our little group has an individual body type, certain food restrictions due to medications and allergies, and physical restrictions. Taking all of those facts into consideration makes for recipes that can be enjoyed by all of us and most others.

Planning and Execution

It took us about half an hour to have a plan put together. We do tend to make quick decisions. Execution won’t be the problem. I’m wondering if trying to get this done before June will test sorely our abilities in the kitchen.

We create new recipes each week for our menu plans. Sis does most of our cooking and delights in developing new taste sensations. Guests at our house don’t go away disappointed as a rule, either.

Sis will write most of the Introduction and do all the photography. She does brilliant still life photos. That is a plus for us.

Our friend, Jody, gets to create most of the breads. I will help her in that arena. Breads are my downfall. Sorry, color me embarrassed. I think of all those new grains to bake with and get positively giddy. Oooo… and the cookies that we can have; small batches only. Experimentation is the real fun.

I get to write and organize the book: recipes, detailed table of contents, and index. I’ll create some of my own recipes, as well.

As I mentioned before, we’ve already decided the categories. We’ll put in a minimum of 100 recipes, each with a lead photo of the finished dish. We’re sure to have more than that.

There you have it; our new project for the next few months. Of course, all the work on this cook book will get done around my work on other manuscripts that sit waiting for completion on my desk.

The difference in excitement in this project and the others is that this one has a physical element to it and I get to work with others on it. For me, brainstorming is some of the best inaction available in the world. I get fired up and the “little grey cells” whirl, dive, surface, and generally make me dizzy.

Who said writing must be about something you’ve done before?