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By Mary Honrud
For the Courier 

Surviving and Thriving

 

January 30, 2019



I have survived my first week plus of this Whole Life Challenge. I am feeling better about my health and my stamina. Those two miles on the treadmill are being accomplished in slightly less time, partly because I’m walking faster and not feeling out of breath at all.

I won’t lie, I’m still missing bread and dark chocolate. I’m allowed a bit of honey, so I’m trying to stave off the need for sweets with herbal tea with a bit of honey stirred in. Or I’ll eat a date. I did make a loaf of oats/banana/almond butter “bread”, but it’s not toastable! I’m sure I’ll make it again, but I’m not going to share that recipe here.

The well-being exercise for this week is to put into writing your feelings of love/gratitude/thankfulness for the people in your life. Or you could write a journal for each day with your thoughts for that day. Or you could write a steam-of-consciousness letter. The point is to sit quietly and commit your thoughts to paper. So far I’ve done a self-assessment, and an essay on my husband. (I hid that from him because it wouldn’t do for him to have that much love at once! His head might get too big.)

We’ve dined heavily on pork this week since I found both pork chops and country-style ribs on sale at the grocers. I pair them with air fryer “fries,” a green salad, and I still had a helping of my broccoli salad from last week. There’s also been fresh fruit for desserts.

Air Fryer WLC-Okayed Pork Chops

4 chops, 1/2” thick

4 Tbl mustard

2 Tbl honey

2 Tbl minced garlic

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp freshly ground pepper

Oil for spraying chops

Mix the spices together, then add the chops and coat them. Spray the basket with the oil. Put in chops. Set fryer to 350°. Cook 12 minutes, flipping the chops halfway through and spraying with oil again.

I mixed the spices, then added them to a baggie with the chops and a little olive oil. I let them marinate for an hour in the fridge, then I let them sit in the counter to warm to room temperature before cooking. I preheated the fryer to 360° for five minutes, cooked the chops for eight minutes. Then I flipped them and cooked another eight minutes at 370°. These chops were thicker than 1/2”, and had the bone in. Beef steaks are to be medium-rare, but I want my pork done, just not cooked to shoe leather the way my maternal grandmother cooked all meats.

Ribs in the Air Fryer

1 rack baby back ribs

2 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp granulated garlic

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp white pepper

1/4 - 1-2 tsp red pepper flakes

Season the ribs with the spices. Cook at 360° for 30 minutes.

Again, I mixed the spices together and sprinkled them on my country-style ribs, adding a little olive oil. I used garlic powder and freshly ground black pepper. I let the ribs set with the spices on them while they warmed to room temperature. I preheated the fryer five minutes, then added the ribs and cooked for 15 minutes at 370°. (I had four pounds of really meaty ribs, enough for two meals. I like to cook once, eat twice.) After the 15 minutes, I turned all the ribs over and cooked another 15 minutes at 370°. They still didn’t seem quite done enough, so I gave them another six minutes at 360°. The fat I’d left on them was nice and crispy, while the meat was still tender. The spices gave them a wonderful taste, so I didn’t miss the bbq sauce Dennis slathered on his portion.

Air Fryer Potato Wedges

2 medium russetts, cut in wedges

1 1/2 Tbl EV olive oil

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp parsley flakes

1/2 tsp chile powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

Mix the spices together. Oil the potatoes and sprinkle with the spices. Cook in the air fryer at 400° for 10 minutes. Shake the basket, and cook for another five minutes.

I’ve made these twice already. I like them so well that I took an old spice container I’d washed out, and have quadrupled the spice mix and stored it in that container. It’s labeled “for potato wedges.” I’m still using potatoes from last summer’s garden, but those will soon be gone and I’ll have to buy some in town. The few I have left are sprouting and getting wrinkled. I think I’ll try sweet potato “fries” in the coming week.

 

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