Sunday, April 15, 2007

A busy day in cucina Sara

The thing I find funniest (?) about having had an eating disorder, is that the people most close to me, my family, have really no idea.... no clues at all about how bad it was or what it means to be on the other side of it. It's not that I've been deliberately secretive, and have even mentioned a few times that I was struggling with binge eating, but it just doesn't register. I suppose that to most people a 'food binge' is just eating a bit too much - a normal sort of thing, not a real disorder. I used to think that myself, but changed my mind when I figured out that normal people probably don't go eating food out of the rubbish bin! It's an exercise in frustration to try and make people understand. I'd have better luck trying to teach my cat how to clean the loo.

Tomorrow is bean chilli day and that means today is 'pre-bean chilli day'. Cooking red kidney beans is a delicate operation. They are not as lethal as the Fuju fish, but they do pack a nice amount of toxic Phytohaemagglutnin, which could quickly turn your mexican food party into a gastro-intestinal horror movie. Incorrectly cooked kidney beans can be more toxic than the raw ones so it's best to take the time needed to neutralise them. Today I soaked the beans for 12 hours. Tomorrow I'll rinse them then boil them 'vigorously' (i.e. boil their little brains out) for about half an hour, then turn down the heat and let them simmer for another two hours. Then they are good to go.

I found a blog called Eat Like Me, which is a record of what a cardio bunny dietician eats. The food voyeur in me loves reading about what other people eat and generally I amuse myself by pulling it apart and muttering under my breath about a lack of protein and general paucity of foodie imagination. I'm really a snob that way. So, to balance the universe, I thought I'd try to make more of an effort to put my own eating out there for public ridicule. Dinner tonight was the dish to the left. That's a chicken breast stuffed with ricotta, herbs and ham. Of course the exciting
part is actually on the inside of the chicken breast.... I served that with lots of veges, some chickpeas, sweet potato and a big dollop of my Grandmas peach chutney. I can be bribed to do practically anything with peach chutney. It's a terrible weakness.

I've discovered that mini icecreams in general and Paddle Pop mini milks in particular are excellent for a dessert that is really not damaging to my fitness goals. These mini's waltz into the room at a measly 40 calories each and have more potassium than sodium, which is a good thing for fluid balance. Heck, you could have TWO and it wouldn't even register on the 'food guilt-ometer', plus, my inner child has a thing for icecream and I like to keep her happy. ;)


  1. It's a very fine line between 'normal' overeating, and eating-disorder territory. And no, most people don't seem to get the distinction.

    Unfortunately, that too often goes for sufferers of binge-eating disorder too. I've now met at least a dozen classic binge-eaters, who are firmly in denial about the whole thing. They're displaying compulsive behaviour and are completely and utterly miserable, yet they're all 'Noooo, I don't have a problem, I just eat too much.'

    Everyone knows about anorexia and bulimia, but B.I.D. needs a big public awareness campaign.

    Your dinner looks fabulous, by the way. I think you need to come visit and cook for me for a while...

  2. The thing with BED is that, although it is a recognised disorder, it is a 'hidden' problem. Usually the sufferers are of normal weight or just slightly under or over weight and the external signs aren't considered too alarming. In the case of an overweight binge eater, then it's obvious but is usually just written off to gluttony and laziness.

  3. Anonymous4:21 pm

    YUM. Sarah, how do you cook that chicken and ricotta dish it looks sensational?!! I'm still drooling over those brownies and muffins in those photos...please post those recipies too!

    Kate (lurker who loves reading both yours and Keks blog, and now forgets to stop by the eas board :-)

  4. I have to agree with the above comments in relation to BED.
    Your dinner looks sensational. Life is too short to eat crap food, eh :)
    Liz N ;)

  5. Ah crap food ... where do I get those Paddle Pops from, any mention of potassium has me sitting up.. I need more potassium as I piddle all mine out! I was no doubt an undiagnosed Binge Eater too, but I got huge!

  6. Hi Kate, it's always good when t he BFLrs make contact. I try to get to the forum now and then, great people there! The muffins are some 'secret' fat laden recipe of my grandmas, but the brownie recipe is a lowfat one that I found

    The chicken is very uncomplicated. I just (carefully) cut a pocket in it and stuff with some ricotta, chopped up fresh herbs, chopped garlic and, in this case, some chopped ham. Mmmm. it's best to sear the chicken first or it dries out a bit much in the oven, but I skipped that step due to lack of time. It worked out ok but was a teensy bit tough on the outside.

    Chris I found the Mini Milks in New World but I'm lucky because the New Worlds are independantly owned and the one close to my house tends to stock a lot of things that aren't in other supermarkets. Look in freezers near all the other mini icecreams.

  7. SO how would you like to start a cooking company. There's me and Kek at least !


I love to hear from you! Tell me what's in your brain, your heart or your dinner plate :D.