I'm a carb-a-holic. Don't get me wrong, I love vegetables, but when it comes down to it, the rice/pasta/quinoa on my dinner plate is usually my favourite part. Which is probably why I will never be a size 3. And also why I turned into a raving lunatic the summer I attempted the Atkins diet in an effort to drop a few sizes (the greatly misinformed young adult that I was).
I don't believe in a world where "carb" is a dirty word and vegetables are forsaken in favour of fatty meat products.
I know cutting them out makes you drop ridiculous weight (while I was a raving lunatic at the time, I did drop a dress size doing Atkins), but at what cost? Atkins actually encourages scrapping a slice of whole grain bread for PORK RINDS!
On what freaking planet are fried pork rinds a healthy option?!
If I were ever to attempt to manage my carbs again, I would go raw - brightly coloured, crunchy veggies and not deep-fried animal byproduct, thank you very much.
Not to mention that the animals and the environment care very little about fad diets and very much about the violence inflicted upon them and the endless pollutants being omitted into the atmosphere every minute because of our over-indulgence in animal-based products.
Honestly though, I think the world is becoming aware of how ridiculous the old low-carb high animal-protein diets are because I held a garage sale this morning and I couldn't even give away my old Atkins and South Beach books.
I'll also note that while I did drop weight doing Atkins that one summer, nothing compared to the summer I went vegan. If you want to cut something out of your diet and drop a quick few pounds, cut out the cheese and butter. I lost ten pounds in a month by doing absolutely nothing but stuffing my face with everything other than meat and dairy. I didn't go vegan to lose weight, it was just an added bonus, but the results cannot be denied.
So, this entry is about my undying love of carbohydrates.
Because I really and truly do love me some grains, I try and at least rotate the kinds I am eating so that I am not sitting down to a bowl of pasta every evening. And I also have a rule that vegetables have to take up more space on my dinner plate than grains.
Because I'm always looking to expand my carb repertoire, I stumbled upon the glorious grain called millet.
Millet is old school. Historically, it's one of the oldest foods on record and is even mentioned in the Bible several times as a key component of bread. Sup, Gluten-Free Jesus! (Interestingly, while I was partaking in one of my compulsive google-clicking extravaganzas I came across this interesting article about the "body of Christ" being literally gluten-free. Not relevant here, yet too curious to not share).
I am neither gluten-free, nor Jesus (that I know of, anyway) so none of this really matters but I always find "eating historically" to be an interesting concept in a time when even our soybeans can be (and often are) genetically engineered in a test tube. And the thing is, millet is really, really good. And good for you, as it is high in magnesium and fiber.
Admittedly, it did trip me out a bit when my mom pointed out that the cute birdseed sticks we used to hang in my beloved childhood budgie's cage were made exclusively of millet, but I pressed on and tried the recipe for Meximillet anyway, found on page 118 of Veganomicon. The recipe involves cooking the millet with jalapeno, garlic, onions, tomatoes and a host of Mexican-inspired spices, topped with freshly chopped cilantro.
The texture was surprisingly, polenta-like, which worked out well for me because polenta has been one of my favourite foods since I was in diapers. I didn't tell Paul what we were eating before he sat down and his response was "Wow, what the hell is this? This is good" so I'm going to give it a double win.
I served it up with a side of tofu-baked navy and black beans and red delicious apples in bbq sauce (recipe on page 96 of Calciyum). Truthfully I defaulted to the baked beans because I didn't quite know what the millet was going to taste like and I figured them to be neutral enough to go along with a Mexican-inspired meal, but they ended up being the perfect accompaniment for the Meximillet.
So embrace your inner carb-lover. Just within reason and never at the sake of vegetables.