Thursday, June 19, 2014

Meatballs, Round Two + a Garden Update

This is an example of how I strive to stay within the Wahls Protocol guidelines but fall short (sometimes on purpose) nevertheless. I recently reprised my organic meatballs -- just meat and gobs of onion and Italian parsley formed into balls, cooked in a little coconut oil, drained and then bathed in an organic marinara. I added this last part for my husband's benefit, who'd rather have his meatballs with pasta and his burgers with buns. I gave him most of the sauce, but the bit that remained on my own meatballs was lovely. A simple, undressed salad of spinach and fresh dill and basil from my garden was a great accompaniment. The herbs took the place of dressing. So far so good with the Protocol.

But I decided I also wanted succotash. I had a couple of organic tomatoes, yellow squash and onions which I first sauteed in coconut oil, then lazily opened a couple of bags of frozen organics: corn and lima beans (non-Protocol). At the end, I stirred in more of the aforementioned garden herbs and drizzled a little olive oil. I'm sorry, I don't feel too guilty about craving succotash. What a delicious plateful!

My herbs are prolific, but we are well into 90+ degree weather in the deep south so they will surely go to seed any day now. I'll keep using them anyway, of course, but there is a noticeable change in flavor when this happens. My first priority now is to cut as much chard and kale as I can. Greens get much too bitter to serve the way I like them (barely cooked) after the hot temps. They will still be great in long-simmered dishes like soups, however.

A gardening note: last year I utilized companion planting to thwart would-be marauders, be they adorable and furry or slimy and creepy. I planted marigolds and onions around the perimeter and throughout my small plot. It worked like a charm. This year I tried to get by with the onions alone. Cute little inchworms (not as cute as the chipmunks, though) got to my kale. I understood this AFTER harvesting a big armful as they floated to the surface of the soaking bowl in the kitchen. I guess I've got to start wearing my glasses to the garden.  Ah, the adventures of aging.  The worms don't seem to like the chard -- maybe the oxalates in it are doing their job? Unfortunately I believe these little green squirmies will grow up to be the giant, juicy saber-tailed tomato worms that have decimated that crop in days of yore. See Ay Desnudos!  for the backstory. Maybe it's time to erect an arsenal of marigolds around the tomatoes.

Here are some garden shots including my munched-upon dino kale:

I planted four tiny cucumber plants and forgot what garden bullies they tend to be. I've gotten creative and have set up an additional trellis for them outside the garden fence. Every day I check to see where the cukes are going and correct their course if possible. I'll keep you posted.

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