Crusty Country French Bread

Hey all!

I’ve been doing lots of research on my stomach symptoms, and I’m 99% sure that I have some type of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).  This hit home when I read over the list of “trigger” foods (those that set off IBS) and totally did a – “THIS IS ME!!!”

For example:

1. Fatty and fried foods (I LOVE nut butters, but they make me feel bloated and terrible, most of the time)
2. Anything with artifical sweeteners or sugar subs (if you give me anything with splenda/fake sugar, I am running for the bathroom within 30 minutes of eating it)
3. Alcohol (beer makes me the most sick, though more than one glass of wine gets me, too)
4. Dairy products (this one should’ve been a no-brainer, seeing as most things with cream either make very sick or just feel crappy)
5. Insoluble fiber like wheat, bran, starchy veg, brown rice, bulgur, dark leafy veg… (of course, all of the things I love, but I have noticed that after eating less wheat-heavy things, I feel better)
6. Carbonation (if I drink a soda, I’m running for the bathroom or have horrible cramps soon after)

Bingo.

So, I’m going to really concentrate on not eating these trigger foods.  I’ve been doing this since only last night’s dinner and today’s breakfast and lunch, and I already feel 100% better.

I haven’t eaten bread in quite awhile because I was straying away from wheat, but most of the websites I’ve read about IBS say that French bread is pretty safe.  I’m obviously not going to eat the entire loaf (okay, this might be a struggle, so I promise I won’t).  I also love baking bread.  Perfect excuse to make this beautiful, crusty country French bread!

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I used one packet of active, dry yeast, mixed with 1/2 tbsp of white sugar in warm water.  Stir, then let sit until it gets foamy, like the above picture.  This usually takes about 10 minutes.

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Stir in about 2-2.5 cups of AP flour or bread flour, with 1 tbsp of vegetable oil and about 1 teaspoon of salt.  Mix with fork.

Confession: I hate getting my hands dirty.  I refuse to knead things.  This bread was made entirely by whipping the dough about with a fork.

Cover the bread with a moist towel and let it double in size.  I believe this took roughly 15 minutes.  Pour into bread tin and place in a 375F oven for 30 minutes.

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Ding Ding!

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Note: I added a handful of rosemary sprigs to mine, because I’m obsessed with rosemary.

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I couldn’t just eat bread for lunch (I totally would, but let’s be real, that’s not the best choice on my part…), so I whipped up some tricolor bell peppers, onions and spinach.

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Mixed with some basil, pepper and salt.  I made an open-faced sandwich with Sara Lee basil encrusted chicken.

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Bon appetit!

Workout note –

My TFL (both sides) is absolutely killing me, so I’m just suiting up for a 60 minute walk/fast walk interval around my country roads.  I checked out The Great Gatsby on audiobook from the library, so I’m excited to give audiobooks a try!  I already know that I love the story, so we’ll see if the narrator is any good.  I’ll also do some free weight upper body exercises when I return, as I have two 10lb dumb bells in my basement.

Capital Food

I’m interning in the Capital this summer (good ole swamp-land), so I thought I’d share some of my favorite places to go out for food/drink in the city!

I live up near Howard University (Shaw metro, for those of you in-the-know), and have found some lovely eateries there.

Zenebech Injera

I hadn’t ever had Ethiopian fare until I came to DC, and I must say that I love it.  Now that I’m going Paleo, it’s a bit rough to eat here, since they don’t give you utensils and you eat your main dish by use of a spongy-bread called Injera!  Which, might I add, smells like sourdough, looks like spongy pita, and is totally delicious.  It expands in your stomach, though, so watch out!  This place is located right by the Shaw metro station (7th and T street), is very reasonable (entrees $8-12, beers $2, wine around $3.50), and gives you lots of food to take home for the next day!  They’re also a bakery for Ethiopian bread.

This places, though it’s certainly not an upperclass establishment and looks a bit shady, is heralded as one of the best in DC.  No joke.

Baked and Wired

Best cupcake place in DC. Don’t listen to those people telling you to go to Georgetown Cupcake, or Sprinkles, or wherever. Seriously – don’t.

Baked and Wired is like a gourmet-foodie’s dream. You walk in, and the cupcakes are covered in glass vases. On display. Drool.

Like the others, it’s located in Georgetown (something like between 36th and 37th), and it’s near the waterfront. I recommend grabbing a cupcake and walking down with your friends to the waterfront to watch some good ole rowing. We love rowing!

Tonic

A fun little restaurant just off of George Washington’s campus, it’s best known for its gourmet mac n cheese and tater tots. I love their fish tacos, and pretty much all of their burgers. PS, their burgers are the size of your head. Please take a friend.

It’s in an old Pharmacy, and the decoration is adorable. I’ve heard it’s a popular date-place for GW students.

FOOD TRUCKS!

Every Friday, most food trucks gather in Farragut Square for an insane food-fest. There are some seriously awesome trucks out there. My coworkers favorites include Basil & Thyme (gourmet Italian), Curbside Cupcakes and TaKorean (korean tacos!)

The food trucks also move around the city during the week, so you can always track them, on places like: http://foodtruckfiesta.com/food-trucks-washington-dc/. Bad news for us foodies.

Cheers!