This past week has been a little odd cooking-wise for me. After three years of making just about every meal side-by-side with Brad, I forgot what it’s like to cook for myself. Suddenly, I’m using the full amount of onions a recipe calls for, I’m giving veggies and herbs an impatient rough chop instead of a fine dice (Brad’s bigger on knife skills than I), I’m not embarrassed by how little salt I’m using, and I’ve eaten mushrooms for the first time in way too long.

And I won’t lie: It felt good to leave the broth and smoothies behind. To keep myself from feeling guilty, I’m looking at these next few weeks of solo cooking as forging our post-protocol path. I’m learning how to soak our grains, make healthful breakfasts, work fermented foods into our diet, and educate myself about how to not just feed our stomachs, but nourish our bodies.

Here’s what I’ve been eating for breakfast:

Soaked Oatmeal: I use steel cut oats and walnuts and soak them together for 24 hours in water with a spoonful of kefir.
Modified Green Smoothie: I couldn’t abandon green smoothies entirely, so I made this one with coconut milk, a few spoonfuls of whole-milk yogurt, two handfuls of spinach, a few leaves of kale, fresh orange juice, a few frozen strawberries, a banana, coconut oil, honey, and ground flax seeds.
White Smoothie (which was actually pink!): Kefir, coconut milk, coconut oil, fresh orange juice, frozen strawberries, a banana, honey, and ground flax seeds. I’m not sure why I expected this to be white. It’s probably all the veggies–they’re confusing my sensibilities. Anything not green is white.

For dinners, I chose recipes I’d always wanted to try but thought Brad wouldn’t enjoy and then modified them if needed:

Greek-y Flatbreads with Whole Wheat Naan: I soaked my wheat flour in 2 cups water and the 1/3 cup yogurt for 24 hours before I made these and I have to confess I didn’t think it would be safe to eat the soaked flour. It smelled funky when I opened the soaking jar and it was clumpy in the naan dough. But I went ahead and made it anyway (adding more yogurt and water than the recipe called for until I got a workable dough) and it was just fine. I topped the naan with hummus,  shredded turkey, spinach, fresh red peppers, feta, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt, and pepper.

Risotto-Style Barley with Orange and Kale: This was divine and it reheated surprisingly well. I’m definitely making this again soon, maybe next week. I soaked the barley in water for 24 hours and I knew it fermented because it hissed when I opened the jar. I can’t even tell you how healthy I felt at that point. I can’t wait to try barley in other risotto recipes. (Pictured above.)

Mushroom and Farro Soup: True Narnian food. I added red wine instead of the sherry, simply because a bottle was languishing in the fridge. There are few things that bother me more than wine languishing in the fridge. This was yummy, especially paired with my leftover naan.

photo: Jacqui Scoggin for So Good and Tasty

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