Breaking my Kombucha Addiction (plus Meatball Wisdom)

Warning: This blog post is all over the place. But if you want to know about a delicious kombucha substitute, the merits of brown rice syrup, nice fish guys, or meatballs, read on!

Sock Monkey

My sock monkey onesie…and my sock monkey

This is low-FODMAP Paleo Day 15, and I miss garlic. My boss decided to eat an entire head of roasted garlic for lunch yesterday…bad timing, to say the least. But I’m finished interning at Leaflight until after classes start again, so now I get a real winter break! I hope everyone had a great Christmas. I got a guitar case and a sock monkey onesie; try not to be jealous.

For my holiday meal, I had Herbed Pork Shoulder and roasted sweet potatoes. It was delicious! So delicious, in fact, that I didn’t even think to take a picture. Gah. I’ll get better at this eventually.

Lately, I’ve been really digging the lemon water. My family has been sick, so we figured the extra vitamin C would be helpful. I’ve also been trying to break my kombucha habit (it’s so yummy!!), and I think I found a decent alternative! Ready for this??


Lemons and Mineral Water

Lemon juice + mineral water = sparkly goodness.

It’s not sweet like kombucha is, but you get the tartness and the fizziness, which is good enough for me! Yesterday, I drank the juice from two whole lemons AND two whole limes. I think I might’ve traded my kombucha addiction for a new addiction, but at least this one is cheaper and doesn’t have sugar in it!

Lemon Water

My snazzy lemon squeezer

Okay, I have an awesome Friday story to share with you! I stopped at Whole Foods on the way home from my internship in Chapel Hill yesterday, and my favorite fish guy was there. I’m not sure why, but every Whole Foods I go to has really nice people behind the fish counter. Not behind the meat counter, or the cheese counter, but specifically the fish counter. Anyways, I think this fish guy is my favorite of all the Whole Foods fish guys. If you’re in Chapel Hill, go buy some fish and look for the middle aged man with brown hair and a goatee!

Anyways, I asked him for half a pound of Spanish Mackerel. I always buy the cheapest fish there, and Spanish Mackerel is $9.99/lb. Plus, it’s good for you! I was a little confused because the fish under the mackerel sign didn’t look like mackerel, but I figured I was just being overly and pointlessly observant. BUT…it turned out to be Red Snapper! (an audible gasp from the audience would be appropriate here)

Red Snapper

The illustrious Red Snapper

He said, “You’re in for a treat, because this isn’t Spanish Mackerel. Just tell me it’s your birthday or something.”

“Welp, it’s my last day of work!”

“Good enough for me! I’m going to give you this snapper for the price of the mackerel.”

He then proceeded to wrap it up for me and slap the $5 price sticker on the package. (In case you don’t spend inordinate amounts of time in front of fish counters like I do, Red Snapper is typically $25.99/lb.) The lady standing next to me asked for the same deal and was turned down, so I was feeling pretty smug. Hehe.

Carrots and Zucchini

Those are some attractive vegetables

Sooo guess what I had for breakfast?? Red snapper masquerading as Spanish mackerel, that’s what. Plus the juice of a lime. And a lemon. Yikes I think I am an addict. I also had some veggies with a vinegar/butter/brown rice syrup sauce, which was pretty tasty. This brown rice syrup is a new addition to my diet after becoming more acquainted with the Jaminet’s Perfect Health Diet. I never really considered brown rice syrup a ‘natural’ sweetener, but they list it as a good option. I wanted to try it mainly because it’s almost entirely glucose, with no fructose. It’s made of glucose, maltose (two glucose molecules) and maltotriose (three glucose molecules). Through trial and error, I’ve discovered that any carbohydrate in any form gives me digestive issues, but like I said before, I can’t just NOT eat carbs. So I was on a mission to find the most easily digestible form of carbohydrate possible, something that would be almost pure glucose that I could eat with my protein and fat to give my body some carbs. Brown rice syrup was the closest thing I could find. I’m not sure how the maltose and maltotriose will work out, because they still have to be broken apart before being absorbed, but it’s worth a shot! Time for some good ol’ n=1 experimentation (:

Meatballs and Sauce

Yummmm liver.

For lunch/dinner I made meatballs, and I was all excited to post a recipe for you, but I think they need some tweaking before I do so. I decided to chop up some liver to hide in the meatballs, but apparently I’m terrible at hiding liver. Luckily I made a sauce to go with them (baconnaise mixed with coconut aminos, ginger, sesame oil, and brown rice syrup; sounds dangerous, doesn’t it?) and by drowning them in sauce I was able to get past the liver taste. Without the liver, I think they would’ve been amazing. Although I don’t have a recipe for you, I do have a few tips for general meatball-making:



Meatball Protips

  1. Do not assume you can fit all of the meatballs on one cookie sheet (why can’t they be called meatball sheets?). If you do, you might find yourself extracting a cookie sheet from the cabinet with your feet and attempting to lift it onto the counter with your elbows. And you might end up with meatballs cemented to said cookie sheet because you were not able to rip off a sheet of parchment paper with your elbows. (not as easy as it sounds)
  2. When hiding organ meats in meatballs, opt for the food processor. If you use a knife, the liver will outsmart you, and you will have large pieces of liver in your meatballs.
  3. Bring your meat to room temperature before making your meatballs. Unless you fish in arctic waters with your bare hands like a true hunter-gatherer, handling ground meat fresh from the fridge is straight up self-torture.
  4. Even if your cookie sheet is nonstick, use parchment paper. Otherwise your smoke alarm will go off.
  5. If you have a sauce for your meatballs, particularly a baconnaise-based sauce, do not attempt to dip a steaming hot ball into the sauce and take a picture of it. You will end up with melted baconnaise all over your iPhone, and you will not have a pretty picture to show for it. (see exhibit A, above)


Do you have a favorite meatball recipe or Whole Foods employee? Have you ever tried brown rice syrup or sparkling lemon water? Let me know in the comments!


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