2.23.2012

Just Eat The Damn Tongue!

I've not always been the most adventurous of eaters.  Unless it was a nice fluorescent orange and came out of a blue box, I would have nothing to do with it.  Around my mid-20's, when I was kicking butt at Weight Watchers and working out twice a day - I started to get creative.  I began to eat vegetables other than broccoli and even ventured into the world of fish!  I was proud of myself and I finally realized that there is an infinite amount of delicious food in the world that I should venture to try.  When I moved to Los Angeles, I was ready for a whole new world of culinary adventures.  As long as it didn't belong smushed against the sole of my shoe (read: bugs!) - I would try it at least once.  How would I know if I was missing out on something amazing if I didn't at least give it a shot?

After a few years of eating exploration, I started dating Matt.  Why not share all the wonderful things I had learned with a guy that I was going to marry one day?  One night, early on in our dating days, I took him to eat at Gyu-Kaku.  I thought it would be a great night, cooking up tons of delicious meat and veggies... drinking Sapporo... what could possibly go wrong?  Until I ordered the Gyu-Tan.


For those of you that have haven't ordered tongue at a do-it-yourself BBQ... the meat comes in very small pieces, sliced almost paper thin.  I grill it for a brief amount of time on both sides, then serve it with a fresh squeeze of lemon and my dipping sauce of choice.  The texture is not much different than a very thinly sliced piece of steak.  And honestly - with enough sauce and after enough beer - who can really tell the difference?  "Matt - try this.  It's fantastic!"  My exuberance over the delectable meat was only met with a face of disgust and repeated insistence of "no.  I'm not eating tongue."

We broke up a month later.

When we both came to our senses (me more than him) that we really did belong together, I had no idea the degree food would come to play a role in our lives.  Matt informed me that his new mantra was "Just eat the damn tongue."  If we were in a restaurant and the opportunity arose to try something new - he would take one bite.  One.  And this made me a very happy girl.  To this day, Matt has lived up to his mantra - partaking in something as atrocious as sweetbreads and doing it with a smile on his face.  (I'll admit: Matt earned a lifetime pass on ever trying unique food again after taking that bite at Rosemary's in Las Vegas.)

Eating Paleo has inspired me to get creative, try more new foods, experiment, and be brave.  I'm loving that I can find recipes for foods I tasted a long time ago, but never really considered making in my own kitchen.  The building blocks are easy and the options are truly infinite:  meat, vegetables, healthy fats, fruits, and a sweet potato or yam here and there.  Late last week, I roasted a kabocha squash in the oven and then cut it into small chunks to be used for different meals.  The squash sat in the fridge untouched (by anyone other than me) for almost four days.  Two nights ago, the following conversation transpired:

M:  That kabocha squash is good.
D:  I'm sorry, what?
M:  I like that squash.  Does it count as a vegetable?
D:  Sure.
M:  Can you make more?  They taste kind of like eating potatoes the day after they're made... all soft and good.

Apparently, he's been eating the squash at breakfast... with eggs and a sweet potato hash.  My food obsessive, adventurous heart was jumping for joy inside my chest!  It gets even better.  Last night, I whipped up a quick snack of kale chips to crunch on while we watched Tony Soprano and his crew deal with every day Mob life in the suburbs of New Jersey... while I was crunching away on my crisp salty goodness, I could feel the nearby set of eyes burning into the side of my head.  For once, it wasn't my food mooch dog.


D:  I'm sorry.  Would you like a kale chip?
M:  I thought you'd never ask.
D:  (hands bowl to husband who grabs a big pinch of chips)
M:  Thanks.  These are good.
D:  Glad you like them.  (hands bowl of remaining chips to husband who proceeds to finish them off)

I was also asked this week if it would be possible to make corned beef hash with sweet potatoes (post Whole30, of course).  I have since been searching and have come across a few very tasty, Paleo recipes and am looking forward to giving them a shot.

Hmm... I wonder if there are any recipes out there for a sweet potato tongue hash?  I sure hope not.

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