Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Bare Essentials Soup

For my yum-fast (I really need to think of a better term) I'm using a very basic soup to fill nearly all my nutritional needs. There's no technique involved here, no browning, no deglazing - it's just throwing stuff in the crockpot, with water. Here's what went in:

3 lbs 2 oz moose leg (later removed 6 oz bone, so 2 lb 12 oz moose meat, including marrow)
1 lb potatoes (mostly yellow-fleshed)
8 oz sunchokes
8 oz beef liver
8 oz chopped kale
1/2 cup chopped dried kelp

Before eating, I'm also going to throw in some fresh greens so I don't get scurvy or anything.

I am also eating eggs for breakfast (2 this morning), hard boiled, and I am drinking water and roiboos tea, which may occasionally have a splash of whole raw milk in it.

I played around with the USDA nutrient database (which does, surprisingly, have data for moose meat) and after some guesstimating and wiggling based on the fact that my moose had a bone with lots of marrow and the lack of any significant fat in the USDA numbers suggests that theirs didn't... I came up with a macronutrient ratio for my soup of 30% carbs, 15% fat, and 55% protein. The total amount of calories in the batch is somewhere between 2000 and 2200, depending on whether you believe me or the USDA about fat levels in moose.

Regardless, that's.... a little lean. And it explains why the bowl I had for lunch, while entirely edible and, as planned, fairly bland, filling and inoffensive, didn't satisfy me for very long. I had another bowl at about 4 o'clock in the afternoon (and I ate lunch at 1:30 - my two eggs for breakfast at 9 lasting nicely until then.)

Also, the volume suggests it's at least 3 days' worth of food for me (my 5-quart slow-cooker is basically full). That's not even 800 cal/day, which is a bit less than I was planning to eat - but before you call the medics, remember that I'm really not very big and my basal metabolic rate isn't a whole lot more than that. And, too, I have a fair bit of body fat to run on, and once my body adapts to doing that, it should be able to squeeze a couple hundred calories a day out of there without too much difficulty.

So, I'll see how I fare on this batch. I think I'll sacrifice a (leg of) lamb for the next one, for the extra fat - or a cross-rib roast and cook it in a bone broth. I'll probably add more starchy tubers too, as the carbs could be raised a bit.

Right now I feel a bit low-energy, but that's just as easily attributable to the complete absence of caffeine in my body today and the pile of housework tasks in front of me. After the soup I had for lunch, I DID feel a really strong desire for something sweet - the fruit bowl was beckoning for sure - but it passed quickly with a cup of plain tea.



Blogger walker. said...

Did you add salt to the soup? Or herbs? I'm tempted to try this.

2:01 PM  
Blogger spughy said...

Nope - no salt, no herbs. It's not bad, and it's easy to eat when you're hungry, but hard to eat when you're not. That's the point. :-)

10:36 AM  
Blogger Rikke Rørbæk Olsen said...

Are the sunchokes there for a specific reason? Nutrition-wise, or is it just a filler? Anything else equally good I could dump in it?

8:10 AM  
Blogger spughy said...

Sorry Rikke I didn't see your comment for a while! The sunchokes are there for a few reasons. First, they're starch, which I think you need to have; second, they contain inulin, which is a good prebiotic supporting your intestinal flora; third, they provide a hint of sweetness which, in a stew like this, actually lessens the palatability a tad; and fourth, they are cheap, local and plentiful. :-) You could certainly substitute other things or leave them out entirely.

7:51 PM  

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