ABCs of food

A while back, “The ABCs of Me” made its rounds through blogworld. I had fun participating with a post proclaiming my nearness to 40 (which I’ve now passed), my hatred for cleaning the litter box and my love for Broccoli Crunch Salad (which I surprisingly haven’t eaten much of since re-starting Atkins. I need to get on that.)

As I was driving back up from the Boyfriend’s one day, I thought it’d be fun to do an ABCs of food post. So here are a few of my favorite foods, from A to Z.

A: Almonds. Almonds are yummy. Raw, roasted, salty, sweet … I’ll eat almonds anytime.

B: Bacon. Yeah, you know a girl who loves a salad recipe that features a half-pound of bacon is going to include the stuff in her list of faves. Go, Broccoli Crunch!

C: Cheese. Cheddar’s my favorite, but Parmesan, mozzarella, ricotta, Swiss and provolone are also in the rotation.

D: Dill pickles. I admit, I cheated by googling “foods that start with d” because the only one I could think of was “donuts.” My doing so in no way diminishes the love I have for pickles — although I probably would have put them under P. When I was 2, the neighbors took to calling me “Pickle” because I ran around saying it all the time. (My mom and grandpa were canning pickles at the time.) And when I wrote restaurant reviews for the paper, I always spent time praising (or criticizing) the flavor of the pickle that came with their burgers/sandwiches. Yep. I said it: I’m a pickle connossieur.

E: Eggs. Devilled eggs are my favorite, but I also love omelets and fried eggs.

F: Fries. Even though potato is out of the question, other veggies also make good fries. Turnips, zucchini, butternut squash … even sweet potatoes at some distant future point in the low-carb journey.

G: Green beans. One of my go-to veggies. Delicious alone or in Dana Carpender’s Garden Veggie Casserole. Sometimes, I even use them as the base for a “spaghetti” of sorts, with tomato sauce, mozzarella and pepperoni.

H: Hummus. Something I can’t eat at the moment, but it’s still one of my favorites.

I: Ice cream. Needs no explanation, right?

J: Java. Only in conjunction with cream, ice and sugar-free syrup, in the form of a frappe. It was just the only J food I could think of besides “jalapenos” — and with my Midwestern taste buds, those’ll never be a favorite.

K: Kebabs. Cheated with Google again, but what’s not to like about meat and veggies grilled together on a stick? My other option would be kale, but I only like it one way: flavored with bacon.

L: (Sir) loin. You knew an Atkins girl couldn’t have a favorite foods post without meat. I don’t discriminate … beef sirloin, pork sirloin, ground or whole … any sirloin will do. I even love the word “sirloin.” It reminds me of a restaurant in Evansville, Ind., where I went to college. The name? Sir Beef. I don’t ever remember eating there, but driving by it made me snicker every time. When I googled “Sir Beef” just now, looking for a photograph to put with this entry, I learned it has since closed. I’m sure that was a sad day for Evansville.)

Unsweetened coconut milk

M: (Alternative) milks. Unsweetened coconut milk and almond milks are creamy, cool and delicious — and make killer iced coffee drinks with a lot fewer carbs than Starbucks.

N: Nuts. I know, I know. I listed almonds separately. Let this entry encompass all the other nuts out there, including macadamias, peanuts, walnuts, pecans and cashews. I’ll snack on ’em all. I just wish cashews didn’t have so darn many carbs.

O: Onions. Unfortunately, they’re one of the higher-carbohydrate vegetables. Lucky for me, green onions have a similar flavor for fewer carbs.

P: Pumpkin. ‘Nuff said.

Q: Quiche (crustless, of course). I’ve made recipes using tuna and mayo … sausage and veggies … whatever you can find in the fridge. No matter what ingredients go in, quiche always turns out great.

R: Raspberries.

Dana Carpender’s simple Spinach Salad.

S: Spinach. Preferably raw, although I find myself sneaking more and more spinach into cooked dishes. Still, my favorite way to eat it is in a simple spinach salad, like the one I make from Dana Carpender’s “500 Low-Carb” Recipes. Spinach, bacon, red onion and hard-boiled egg with a tomato-based dressing. I couldn’t find that recipe online, but this one with a Dijon mustard dressing instead of tomato paste sounds good, too. This one from the Food Network’s Alton Brown also looks tasty.

T: Tomatoes. Again, slightly higher in carbs. (Seems a lot of my favorite veggies are.) Even so, one of my favorite snacks  is a handful of cherry tomatoes … just 2.4 carbs in five.

U: I’ve got nothing. Google coughed up (pineapple) upside down cake, which isn’t even a very good option, and ugli fruit, which I’ve never eaten.

V: Vinegars. They add flavor without a lot of calories, fat or carbs (so long as you don’t go for balsamic).

W: Wings. When everyone else is ordering pizza, I can still get an order of hot wings with blue cheese dressing/dip.

X: Xylitol. Okay, it’s technically an engineered food — but it’s one of the family of sugar alcohols that allows me to enjoy  chocolate and other sweets without all the carbs.

Y: Yams. They’re more of a maintenance food, so I can’t eat them now. But they’re the only thing I can think of that starts with a “y.”

Z:  Zucchini. I could eat zucchini morning, noon and night — and sometimes do. It’s so versatile: Eat it raw with dip, fried in butter, grilled on George, diced in an omelet, cut thin with a veggie peeler and used as “noodles,”  baked into “fries” … I’m sure there are other ways to enjoy it, too.

How about you? Have any better “u” foods? Pick a letter and share your favorite with me.


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