Before starting this regime, I'd say we ate out at least twice a week. That number hasn't necessarily changed all that much, but following the rules has affected the locations at which we dine. Fresh/local/organic seems to go hand in hand with this particular type of upscale American bistro restaurant. You never see a fresh/local/organic Mexican, Chinese, or Indian place. (Chicagoans, if there's some place I'm missing out on, PLEASE fill me in...)
So, much like living on a Reservation in South Dakota, the only solution is to COOK IT YOURSELF.
Enter Thursday night's lamb rogan josh with jasmine rice:
The recipe is one I found on SparkPeople. Since you can read the recipe here I won't bore you with the details, but it basically involved a big simmering pot of red onions, green chilies, tomatoes, garlic and ginger mashed into a paste, chunks of tender lamb meat I chopped from a loin we bought from Crystal last week, and healthy doses of garam masala, chili powder, turmeric, cumin, and coriander. Salt to taste, obvs.
Though the recipe doesn't include it, I also threw in some spinach for extra large muscles.
The curry came out incredibly fragrant and spicy, the garam masala and chili powders working together to smell and taste just like your local Indian restaurant's version. Opening the tupperware the next day for leftovers honestly felt like digging into a doggie bag of leftover carry-out.
This is very exciting. I consider myself a decent cook, but very very rarely do dishes come out tasting like something I would have paid $30 for...
We finished the meal with some simple coconut milk sherbets, an easy recipe from an Indian cookbook my mom gave me for Christmas one year: fill two cups with milk, adding two tablespoons each of dried coconut and granulated sugar to each. Stir and freeze.
I froze these a little long, so we had to sort of chip at them with our spoons, but after the spicy lamb, they were cool, refreshing, deliciously creamy and sweet.