Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Psychedelic Tuna Salad & PARENCHYMA BALLS

Oh no. I did it. I incorporated my weird life into a recipe name. No, not the psychedelic tuna salad. What made you think that? My hippie tendencies confession yesterday? Noooo m'am, I'm talking about Parenchyma Balls. What the hell is parenchyma Emily? I'm not sure you want to know....

But I'm going to tell you anyway :) It's actually an anatomical term that can be applied to several organ systems. But here, on this blog, we're using it to refer to a layer of the testes. Yes, as in testicle.
Testicular parenchymathe basic cellular tissue substance comprising the testis, consisting of the seminiferous tubules and interstitial cells (Leydig and Sertoli cells) located within the lobules.
Just internal to the testicular parenchyma is this spongy connective tissue called the mediastinum. If you can grasp that the parenchyma is exterior to a spongy inside, you can follow along with how this recipe got its name. For all normal people (aka probably eeeeveryone except me) these little babies are called Lemon Coconut Melty Balls. And they're delicious. I ate several. By several I mean about half the batch. What inspired me to make this recipe? A. I can't have f*cking chocolate. B. I can't eat pizza, which our professor so graciously purchases for us during lab practicals. C. I need to preserve my sanity. D. Coconut flour has fiber in it. And I love fiber. Plus, we were administering the male portion of the practical so I obviously needed to make ball-shaped goodies. Puhhlease don't let me gross you out. These things are truly amaze-balls. I will wear out the word balls by the end of this post. This recipe will also give you a workout if you're like me and don't have an electric mixer. Or strong arms. Get ready for this coconutty WOD:

Parenchyma Balls or Lemon Coconut Melty Balls:
Makes about 30 1/2 tablespoon round balls.

Dry Ingredients: 

  • 1 1/2 cups Almond Flour 
  • 1 1/2 cups Shredded, Unsweetened Coconut
  • 1/3 cup Coconut Flour
  • 2 big pinches of salt

Wet Ingredients:

  • 5 tablespoons Raw Honey
  • 4 tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon Zest - I grated the f out of my thumb doing this, grrr
Additional Ingredients: 
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon Melted Coconut Oil
Buy In/Warm-up
Mix together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside.
Mix together all the wet ingredients in a small bowl.

Slowly pour in the wet ingredients to the dry mixture and mix the hell out of it.

Beast Mode Time: 
Stream in the coconut oil slowly. The mixture is going to thicken rapidly as it mixes with the oil and as the oil starts to cool down. Get those arms pumpin'! I'm pretty sure I'm sore from this part. 

Cash Out: 
Preheat oven to its lowest setting, for example mine was 170*. While it's preheating, use a 1/2 tablespoon to form little balls and set on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Once the oven is preheated, stick the balls in there, leave the oven door open a crack, and let them toast up for an hour. The end result will be yummy balls that are crunchy on the outside and melty and spongy on the inside. Hence, the name Parenchyma Balls. You can also eat those things raw. I did that too. 

I drive my professor's kids to their soccer practices during the week and I'm absolutely obsessed with them. They're so smart and hilarious and they help keep me sane. Their schedules have been off the walls recently due to our crazy, unpredictable weather, so I haven't gotten a chance to really see them for a while. Yesterday that changed. And they gave me a flower. At first when I saw it I was really confused. How the heck did they find a daffodil with a little purple flower growing on the inside? Is this some sort of new hybrid? Then I snapped out of being an idiot and realized it was placed in there. So cute. We joke around a lot, they think I'm funny and that makes my life. They also love Elle and play with her, which makes my life a lot easier because sometimes she's a brat and I don't feel like giving her any attention. She's cuddled up next to me right now, so at the moment she's cute. But when I woke up this morning she was kicking me again, sprawled out like a human, with her head at the wrong side of the bed. So she wasn't cute. Ok. I lied. She was. She just sucks at spooning sometimes. 

I finally bought more plain almond butter. I should make my own, considering I have like barrels of almonds from Costco. But honestly, I don't want to make my kitchen more of a nasty mess than it already is. Creating a batch of almond butter would just inspire me to go on a full cleaning rant and I can't do that again. Why? Last time I cleaned up after everyone in my apartment I had an allergic reaction thanks to a cocktail of cleaning supplies and nasty-ass, moldy gross sh*t growing in the side of my sink. I gagged so hard and almost vommed when I was cleaning it. Funny thing is? NO ONE CLAIMED IT. Like fo-real. Clean yo nasty sh*t up. Then my throat started to close up and I got hives ev.ry.where. Talk about attractive. Luckily I was able to make it to the grocery store where I looked no better than usual and I took an antihistamine and proceeded to pass out for like 32 hours. 

I took a break and went to CrossFit so my apologies if the next random bull sounds out of place. I am so freaking happy about my calluses. I know that's something weird to be happy about but I love them. Also, I read an article the other day on CrossFit Journal (I think...) on how to improve your double unders. Basically you start off doing single unders consecutively, unbroken for 2 minutes. Then you move up to 3, then 4, then 5, then you start getting the rhythm down for the doubles. So after the WOD today I did 2 minutes unbroken and peed my pants so much. Without fail I pee my pants every time I jump. Box jumps, jump rope, burpees, doesn't matter. Even if I pee milliseconds before. Pee. I think I just get really excited because I have no problem holding pee in. I'm gross. At least I don't toot. I think I would die if someone farted while we were working out. Die laughing that is. I have the maturity of a 6 year old boy. That's why I have a Hello Kitty stick on tattoo on my arm right now. She was right side up while I was doing handstand kick ups today. 

Alright, so the next recipe is my attempt to throw everything from my fridge together to create an amazing tuna salad. It's so colorful and beautiful that the only word I could think of to describe it was Psychedelic. I think it's fitting. This salad will not make you hallucinate or poop your pants or do something else that's super crazy. But it will fill ya up. And give you pretty hair and skin. Flax seeds will do that to ya. Oh and there are hemp seeds in there too. You may be rethinking my methodology for branding this salad as psychedelic but I'll reiterate once again: the only thing you'll experience is pure satisfaction. It's an awesome salad. And it looks SO pretty. Do I need to say that again?

Psychedelic Tuna Salad: 
Makes 2 servings if you're a big girl like me. 

  • 1 can Solid White Albacore Tuna, packed in water, dolphin safe and sustainable - skip this part, and I'll kill you, but first I'll force you to watch The Cove as I sob uncontrollably
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Red Cabbage - I bought the pre-shredded kind because I'm lazy. Feel free to use a mandoline, which I do not own yet, to shred into course strips
  • 1 cup chopped and halved Radishes
  • 1 1/4ish cups Kale, washed and torn into bite sized bits
  • 3 tablespoons Shredded Unsweetened Coconut
  • 3 tablespoons Toasted Flax Seeds
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Shelled Hemp Seeds
  • 2 tablespoons Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard - omit if this doesn't fall under your paleo philosophy
SO. Pretty. There, I said it again. 

Combine all that sh*t up guuud. 

I'm an embarrassment. But this salad is amazing. I love cabbage so much. Red, green, heck I'd even eat neon orange cabbage if it existed. There you go Monsanto, that's what you can manipulate genetically next. Neon orange cabbage. Ya f*cks. I hate Monsanto. They'll probably send a hitman for me soon. 'Cause I register on their radar and all...

OK. So I'm going to get good at push-ups too. I've gotta do 3x 50% of max (aka few to none) every hour. I've spent like 8 dillydallying around on this post and perusing the food section of Amazon.com so I've got a lot of catching up today. 

And it's like stupid nice out again so Elle and I are going to go frolic in a field. PEACE OUT HOMIES. 

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