Are you tired of my elimination diet? I sure am.
I get tired of food really easily. The honest truth is that many days, I’d just rather not eat. I’m tired of how much thought it takes.
I don’t know if it’s a family thing. Just about everyone in my family has said to me, “if they just invented a pill that would have all your nutrients, I’d do that over eating 9 times out of 10.” Apparently my grandmother was like that too. Ugh. Eating. You have to do all this planning and then all this prep and then it just disappears and you’re left with a mess to clean up and shortly after you clean it up, you have to think about planning and prepping for the next meal. Jeez.
Anyhow, here’s an elimination diet meal that you can actually throw together without much thought when you’re not in the mood to be fussed about supper.
Dairy-Free Lemon Cream Sauce and pasta
1 can coconut milk
1 tbsp coconut butter (this is mostly for texture, you could probably skip this or sub one or two teaspoons of coconut oil)
1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1-1/2 tsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp dried chives (or a few stalks of fresh chives)
1/4 tsp salt
fresh ground pepper
You’ll want to check your ingredients on the rice pasta and make sure you’ve got a good brand that’s pretty much just rice flour, rice bran and water. You should probably also check that your coconut milk doesn’t have any sulfites (the good ones are “coconut extract, water”).
Dump the can of coconut milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and simmer until it reduces – about 30 – 40 minutes. When it’s thick, reduce the heat to low, add the coconut butter, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, chives, salt and pepper and leave over low heat while you put your pasta on to boil.
When your pasta is done and drained, you can just toss the sauce with the pasta.
Obviously this could be dressed up in any number of ways. Toss in some chopped tomatoes? Or top with toasted almonds and roasted pears? Add some garlic if you’re allowed that. Mix half and half with some pesto? Top with fried green beans? Add some curry?
The sauce itself is rich and thick enough that you can use it as a dip as well.
* * *
There was more drama with the kitchen ceiling yesterday.
Our pipes froze. Just the cold water line to the bathroom sink and the toilet. So for the afternoon, the toilet couldn’t flush and the cold water tap wouldn’t run. It was very strange because, obviously, those pipes are inside the building, between the kitchen ceiling and the bathroom floor, so why would they freeze, particularly when no other pipes in the house were affected.
The answer lies in the fact that our kitchen has a bump-out near to those pipes. So the house juts out two or three feet for the kitchen wall, then there is a tiny roofted bit over the bumpout as it comes back to the regular house exterior wall. The pipes in question are well inside of the regular house interior wall, however, the roofed section has a little hollow attic-y part to it, which contains some insulation horizontally along the roofline – buuuut, where the attic-y part angles up against the house’s exterior wall, it isn’t insulated vertically.
When the joist space was empty, the fact that all this cold air was coming in at the floor-level from that atticy space wasn’t a big deal. It was probably just making the house cold. But then we put all this insulation below the pipes, and actually above the pipes as well, so that this cold air that was coming in just at that level was sealed in with the pipes. From the bottom, we’d seen that horizontal insulation coming in at first floor roof level, so it looked fine. How could it have occured to us that above that would be exterior wall, blocked by the roofing of the bumpout on the exterior side and blocked by the floor joists on the interior side, which might not have been quite adequately insulated when batting was added in the 80s?
“Thank god we had this cold snap before we’d put all the drywall and paneling up,” Ian said.
“Thank god for incremental improvements,” I said.
We come back to the concept of scrum in home improvement. In scrum/agile software development, you try to release regularly, even if it doesn’t feel “done” to the developers so that each new feature has a chance to prove itself in the wild before you complicate things with more and more features.
Definitely, debugging this issue when we could just tear down some vapour barrier and pull out some insulation was way, way easier than if we’d motored further along doing other work.
It’s also kind of amazing that the soundproofing insulation made that much difference. They don’t even give that stuff an R-rating, because it’s not meant to be used for thermal insulating purposes. And yet – the kitchen was probably 18C, while above the vapour barrier and insulation, frost was forming on the toilet’s drain pipe.
Anyhow, Ian ran to Home Depot for some thermal insulation and spent the evening pulling down everything along that wall, cutting back the soundproofing insulation and then sliding thermal insulation vertically up the inside of that wallspace. Then he ran vapour barrier along the inside of that wallspace to block any drafts that might be bringing attic-y air into the floor joists and tacked everything back up.
Luckily today was just as cold, so that gave us a bit of a chance to test that the new set up will hold up. So far, so good. Still have running water and everything. Which is good, because tomorrow the cold snap is supposed to break and on Saturday, we’ll be raring to get drywall up there so we can put paneling up there so we can clear this massive pile of salvaged boards out of our back room and start putting things back together.