Sunday, May 24, 2015

100 Posts

One Hundred Posts, my friends! That's the vantage point from which I type to you right now. Almost a year ago, I created this blog as a way process life through the eyes of infertility. A lot has happened across these 100 posts. I couldn't even have begun to imagine where I'd be sitting, what life would look like, and how I'd be spending my time 100 posts ago. It's no exaggeration that the act of blogging itself has changed the course of my life. So as a tribute to all of the unexpected things that life has brought my way since I began sharing the journey out loud, I present something unexpected to you: pasta for Pentecost.

It seems rather fitting to throw a curve ball at my audience on a day that Christians celebrate the birth of the Church. It's a renewal of sorts, and we can all use a renewal now and again, can't we? When I last wrote to you all, it was to share a series of posts to highlight the struggles of Infertility Awareness Week. Y'all, I can hardly believe that was a couple weeks ago! And I've been hardly online since then. As you can imagine, it took a lot of work to compile that series and I needed a break from the keys. With that said, thank you to everyone who received the words I shared so kindly. And double thanks to everyone who took the time to share, pin, and comment on the series. It made a big difference to a lot of people... and I have the inbox messages to prove it! 

I'm happy to report that my time away from the keys has been mostly positive, though I was sick for several weeks with some kind of local plague. Spring is in full force, gardens are growing, and my kitchen is pumping out lots of yummy dishes these days. Being a freelancer for work now makes for a pretty meager budget all around, but most certainly in the food department. The past few weeks, I've been preparing everything from a CSA box. If you're not familiar with CSA's - look them up and get involved in one. You won't regret it!

That got me thinking about the little segment I have been sharing on 7QT posts over the past several months (you can search for the "WIWE" tag or read each post here, here, here, here, here, and here). Maybe this is something that other infertility bloggers might be interested in?

Here's my proposition to you, interwebs: If you are infertile and managing a special diet ( basically that means I'm talking to everyone who is infertile and eats!), then why don't you join me in linking up when you post a recipe on your blog? I have created a new tab at the top of the page called Sa Chistin (Irish for "In the kitchen"), so that's where all of the my recipes will permanently live. Go ahead and send me a link to your awesome and delicious recipes as well. I'll post it here on the blog and link back to you and we'll create a library of awesome foods for infertiles right here. If you link back to me on your blog recipes, I'll be featuring them here and on Pinterest as well. Feel free to steal the link-up photo below!)  And enjoy all the yummy food while you're at it!

Guidelines for posts: Anti-inflammatory diet recipes, Paleo recipes, Paleo AIP recipes, GAPS recipes, Functional Medicine Diet recipes, and any other kind of clean eating you can think of - including desserts, appetizers, snacks, entrees, beverages, breads, etc. I generally stay away from gluten, dairy, nuts, and unfermented soy. Nightshade family foods are eaten sparingly here; so are eggs. So that's a clue on what you'll be seeing me post here! That said, I know my diet isn't nearly as restrictive as some others are... so be creative. Post! Share! And let's see What Infertile Women Eat.......... starting now! :) 

Let's talk about one of my favorite food groups: things that involve cilantro and lime! Have you ever found a food combination that is just a win in every single recipe? That's how I feel about cilantro and lime. And avocado, if I'm being honest. In fact, you can easily add avocado to this dish. Don't listen to me for too long though - I'm going to tell you to add avocado to everything  if you stick around long enough to let me try! :) I did add avocado and some pulled pork to this dish today and it was delicious. Chicken would probably work well in this too, as would shrimp. That said, I know a lot of people on special diets (read: all of us, right?!) that have certain meats they have to avoid... so I left this recipe vegetarian and the rest of the creativity is up to you and your fridge!

I know that some people do this whole recipe thing for a living - but as you all know.... I'm not one of them. And I'm never going to be. I can barely stand the look of the same bowl posted on this page 5 times and I'm only on the first recipe post.... so bear with me and my lack of love for the cliche way that we're all called to do this lusty recipe thing online. I tried. Next time, expect one picture - or just words and me telling you it was delicious. Or maybe I'll take a picture of an empty bowl where the delicious food used to be. That sounds like a better advertisement anyway! :P This blog is normally dedicated to my cranky uterus, my curmudgeonly ovaries, and all the crazy things I've been up to over the past few years in trying to heal my gut and improve my health and make babies. Or not make babies, as the case may be. Maybe I should have started with brownies?

When I set out to put together a recipe the other day, I had no intention of taking pictures of my food and blogging about it. It's not second nature to me to do that yet. Perhaps that will change. I actually hope it doesn't! I just wanted something delicious to eat. And I've got progesterone to take over here, so I don't have all day to spend in the kitchen. And ladies, that ALWAYS wins in the list of stuff to do, amirite?!

See these are the things that really separate the infertile gals from the rest of God's creatures. I feel like we all have this DEFCON 3 list... where in our otherwise seemingly normal lives, when we can even remotely sense ovulation approaching... we start looking for the other officer in our marriage who has a key to avert crisis and we start negotiations and we discuss weighing the pros and cons of deploying evasive maneuvers, and we administer ALL THE MEDS. Where am I supposed to fit repetitive, over-exposed recipe photography into that equation??

Being infertile is fun, c'est la vie. So let's cook, shall we? This will keep your mind off your ovulation defect for at least 20 minutes. And even if it doesn't, this is still going to taste delicious. Even if you zone out while drafting together your adoption strategy in your head while boiling the noodles! It's as flexible as it is forgiving, and it welcomes all those tiny leftover veggies that you have hanging out on the counter, in the fridge, or just starting to grow in the garden... 

This can be a side dish or the main course. The ingredients lend themselves to an Asian-inspired flavor profile, producing a rice noodle dish that can be served hot or chilled. Perfect for a potluck, backyard BBQ, or picnic. It's also gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and nightshade-free! And if you avoid part of the garnish, it can be nut-free as well. If you need to avoid rice, you could go with another kind of noodle here (maybe bean noodles?) and I think that would also work. It's a pretty customizable dish, if-I-do-say-so-myself. Now, onto the fooodddssss...

Cilantro Lime Rice Noodle Salad
Prep Time: 10 minutes       Cook Time: 10 minutes      Portions: Serves 4          


6 oz thin rice noodles
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
1/4 teaspoon Himalayan pink sea salt
1/8 teaspoon course ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 carrot, peel entire carrot and dice peels into thin strips
1/4 head of cabbage, finely shredded
3 scallions, chopped finely
1/4 cup fresh basil chiffonade
1 and 1/2 limes, juiced
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons fermented soy sauce

For Garnish 

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, diced
1/8 cup chopped unsalted dry-roasted peanuts (optional)
2 radishes, finely sliced (optional)
2 chives, finely diced (optional)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (optional)

Cook the rice noodles according to the directions on the package. You don't want al dente noodles here, so make sure they are fully cooked. Once the rice noodles are fully cooked and drained, place them in a large mixing bowl. (If you will be serving this dish chilled, feel free to rinse the noodles under cold water while you are draining them to cool them off immediately.) 

All other ingredients (except the garnish) go into the mixing bowl with the noodles. As with all recipes, I recommend you add ingredients to your own taste and take my proportions as a suggestion only. Rice noodle salads are easily customizable to whatever vegetables you have in garden and/or the fridge, so add/omit whatever you'd like!

When you are ready to serve the dish, add the garnish on top for presentation. Mix everything in before plating up individual portions.... and voila!

You can definitely make this dish ahead (just leave the garnish off until serving) if you are going to serve this chilled. A night in the fridge is ok for rice noodles, but no more than that or they tend to go mushy on you. I made this the night before I served it and it was phenomenal. The noodles still had plenty of bite and texture to them. The veggies still had the crunch I wanted from them. And the flavors had melded really well too... I could easily have seen this as a backyard BBQ side dish.

The creaminess of the avocado and fattiness of the pork I added worked well with the sharp sweet-n-sour flavor of the noodles, but I have to be honest that I ate the rest of the dish without anything added but a fork! This dish had everything I wanted: crunchy, squishy, fragrant, chewy, tart, sweet, citrus-y, creamy, and great mouth feel to it. Not much more you can wax on philosophically about a rice noodle dish though. This ain't the home to food pron. And I seriously posted more photos of this dish than is even reasonable. But this is what they tell me you are supposed to do when you blog about a recipe... so feast your eyes out on the same bowl 853 times and pin this until your heart is singing with glee.

Go take your progesterone and eat your salad. And when you come back, tell me what you're eating. I'll have run out of this by then and I'll be hungry. Because I'm post peak y'all.... you know what that means for hunger, don't you?? hahaha. Thanks for reading along with this hundredth post. If you're new here, I hope you'll stick around despite my terribly cliche and mainstream food post. If you're not new here... and you tolerate all my random meanderings, drawings, and now recipes... tell me how this turned out for you. I'd love to hear your feedback! I bid you adieu, until 101....

Here's a downloadable recipe card, in case you wanted to print this out. Hover over the top right corner and click on the right button to "pop out". From there, you can download, print, or save it. Grey scale shamrock at no extra charge... 

How about one more pretty bowl picture for the road, in case you were upset that I didn't show pictures of every utensil in the kitchen touching the ingredients? ;) I suppose if I had really done this correctly though, I'd have made the noodles overflow the bowl in some artistic Rorschach pattern... 


  1. Congratulations on your 100th post! Looking forward to more recipe posts!

    1. Thanks, Tomato! I've already got a summer cocktail lined up to share soon... :P

  2. Looks delicious.. can't wait for more recipes.

    1. Thanks, Lucky! There wasn't a bite left of it by the time I got all the pictures uploaded! :)

  3. I was just wondering what I was going to make tonight for dinner; I think this might be it!

    1. Ahhh! My first person to use my recipe! You *have* to tell me how it turned out. Hope you enjoyed it. Happy cooking! :)