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Unleash the (Cooking) Beast: Five Food Recipes Inspired by Warcraft

Unleash the (Cooking) Beast: Five Food Recipes Inspired by Warcraft

Have you ever wondered how it feels to live in an imaginary world? Although the magic and possibility of virtual reality is right around the corner, there is one thing that cannot be replaced by software. For me, that’s cooking.

Warcraft and food may seem like two distant and unrelated subjects, but cooking is art. Every artist needs inspiration, and for today’s article, mine came from this game.

Real-time cooking and preparing a recipe from your favorite video game can be really fun and inspiring. So, for all of you out there who love to sit and throw down a few rounds of Warcraft, I have prepared a list of meals reflecting each of the main races shown in the game. Keep in mind that these are not recipes from the game, so Beer Basted Boar Ribs are not among them.

Below is my list of five recipes inspired by the main races found in this game:

For Humans: Roe Deer

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    Image Credit: Maarten Vanclooster, Flickr

    Originating from 14th century France, this meal seems like something that would be served at a Paladins of the Silver Hand gathering. The central location where Humans are based  in the game is in Medieval Europe, so this meal was chosen accordingly. It is quite easy and quite tasty to make.

    What You’ll Need:

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    • 2 pounds of venison steak (or any steak that is your favorite)
    • 2 cups of almond milk
    • Ground cloves of minced garlic
    • ½ tsp of cinnamon
    • ½ tsp of ginger
    • Butter

    Instructions:

    1. Put a teaspoon of butter over the steak.
    2. Roast the steak until it is almost done and remove it from the pan to cool down.
    3. Mix all of the remaining ingredients and bring it to a low simmer. Allow it to sit on low heat until it thickens.
    4. In the meantime, cut the venison into strips or pieces, and fry it on high heat for a few minutes.
    5. Put the meat on the plate and put the sauce over.

    This meal is best served with matured Red Burgundy or Pinot Noirs, especially those originating from New Zealand or Australia.

    As Human Knights from Warcraft would say:For the king!”

    For Night Elves: Imam Bayildi

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      Image Credit: Smith190, Flickr

      This meal is derived from Turkish cuisine. Translated, Imam Bayildi means “Imam (a Muslim priest) fainted. My guess is that its name comes from its great taste. The reason I have chosen this one, in particular, is because I have always imagined Elves as very sophisticated, proud, and dignified people.

      I think that their diet is based primarily on vegetables, which is another reason why I have chosen a vegetarian option as the second on this list.

      What You’ll Need:

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      • 4 medium-sized eggplants
      • 14 oz. of onion
      • 4 cloves of garlic
      • Parsley
      • 1 pound of tomatoes
      • 4 teaspoons of oil
      • 1-2 teaspoons of crushed almonds
      • Laurel
      • Salt, pepper and a bit of sugar

      Instructions:

      1. Start by cutting your eggplants in two by length and make small incisions into the part that’s “meaty”. Salt them and leave them aside for a half an hour.
      2. Peel and dice the tomatoes. Then, chop the onion, garlic, and parsley.
      3. Using paper towels, dry the eggplants and fry them with oil for a while on both sides. Once cooled, remove the “meaty” part of the eggplant from the inside, and chop it.
      4. Put the tomatoes and onions in that used oil, and fry it until part of the liquid evaporates.
      5. Add garlic, laurel, pepper, some sugar, the inside of the eggplants, and cook for about 10 minutes. Then add almond and parsley.
      6. Put eggplants in prepared dish and bake for 10 minutes at 356-392°F.

      As Elves would say: “Ash Karath!”

      For Orcs: Southwestern Spiced Pork Tenderloin

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        Image Credit: Peter Pham, Flickr

        If by chance Thrall and Grom Hellscream happen to be your favorite chieftains, then this meal is appropriate for you. It is strong, spicy, and rich in calories – everything needed for the strong Orcish Grunt.

        I have never thought about the Orcs as ones who care about aesthetics, so I consider their meals to be simple, but rich in fats and protein.

        What You’ll Need:

        • 2 pounds of pork tenderloin
        • 1-2 tsp of chili powder
        • 1 tsp of smoked paprika
        • 1 tsp of cumin
        • 2 tsp of salt
        • 2 tsp of cinnamon
        • 1 ½ tsp of freshly ground pepper
        • 1 tsp of oil

        Instructions:

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        1. Preheat the oven to 450°F and put the pan in the oven. Dry out the pork with paper towels and cut off extra fat from the tenderloin.
        2. Put all the spices in one bowl and mix them together to create a dry rub. Massage the meat with plenty of the dry rub. You can be done with this step there, or if you prefer, you can allow the meat to sit with the seasoning overnight to help the meat absorb it more.
        3. Put oil in the pan and roast the meat for 10 minutes on each side. Reduce the temperature to 400°F. All of the cooking should take 25-30 minutes total.
        4. From here, you can do two things, leave it to cool down for 10 minutes and cut it into pieces and eat, or put it into a refrigerator to cool down completely, and cut it into very thin slices using a meat slicer to enjoy it as a great base for sandwiches.

        In the words of an Orcish warrior: “Bring it on!”

        For the Undead: Steak Tartare

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          Image Credit: julie borjjun, Flickr

          Since the Scourge and all other creatures belonging to this category roughly named “Undead” revolve around the theme of death, decomposing and dead bodies, the meal had to feel both dead and alive. Think about it, you have never seen a Ghoul baking or cooking something, have you? Therefore, the recipe had to include raw meat. French Steak Tartare fit the theme perfectly.

          What You’ll Need:

          • 2 x 6oz beef steaks
          • 2 egg yolks
          • 1 lemon juice
          • 3½ fl oz olive oil
          • 1 tsp of Worcestershire sauce
          • 2 pickles, very finely chopped
          • salt and black pepper
          • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
          • 1 red onion, very finely chopped
          • 2 salted anchovy fillets, rinsed, drained, finely chopped

          Instructions:

          1. Start by cutting the meat into thin strips. Although the general rule of the thumb is to cut against the grain, you will be cutting with it, and the strips you get in this way will then be diced.
          2. Take lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, olive oil, and the yolks and mix them in well.
          3. Add in the meat, pickles, mustard, onion, salt and pepper, and anchovy. Stir.
          4. To prepare for serving, place a ring (4 inches n diameter) onto the plate and fill it with the mixture. Press the edges to make them even.

          Since this meal does not include any cooking, you have to be extremely cautious about where you are buying the meat. The Undead may be immune to a whole plethora of diseases, but you are not.

          To quote Arthas, the human paladin prince who got turned to an Undead Lord: “Ah! At last.”

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          For Nagas: Paella Valencia

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            Image Credit: Peter Pham, Flickr

            I’ll admit it, I have always been a devout fan of Illidan Stormrage. Since he is a Night Elf (kind of), I had to include something for the race he commands over, the Naga.

            The few missions during the single player campaign were my favorite, and I fell in love with these earth and sea dwellers. Since they have a dual nature, the meal had to be appropriate to that duality. Paella, which includes seafood, plants, grains, and more represents Nagas the best.

            What You’ll Need:

            • 1 tsp of olive oil
            • 3/4 pound of peeled shrimp
            • 3/4 tsp of salt, divided
            • 1/4 tsp of black pepper
            • 2 of Spanish chorizo sausage
            • 2 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
            • 1 cup of chopped onion
            • 3 garlic cloves, minced
            • 1/2 cup of chopped tomato
            • 1 tsp of capers, drained
            • 1/4 tsp of saffron threads, crushed
            • 1 cup of short-grain rice
            • 2/3 cup white wine
            • 1 can of fat-free chicken broth
            • 1/2 cup of frozen green peas
            • 1/4 cup of water
            • 18 mussels
            • 2 1/2 tsp of red bell pepper
            • 2 tsp of chopped fresh cilantro

            Instructions:

            1. Begin by salting the shrimps. Although sea salt may be a good choice, it can be left in larger grains, so pick the finely ground one. Preheat skillet with oil on a medium fire and add the shrimp. Cook it until it is done and put it in a bowl, but keep the oil because you will need it later.
            2. Put thin slices of chorizo in pan and cook it for about a minute and then add the chorizo in the bowl.
            3. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and fry it until it gets brown in color. Add in onion and garlic and cook them for another two minutes with continuous stirring.
            4. Add saffron, capers, and tomato into the mixture and cook for a minute. Add the remaining ¼ tsp of salt, wine, broth, and rice into the pan and bring it to a boil. Cover the pan and reduce the heat, and leave it to stew for about 25 minutes.
            5. If the rice is cooked before that, you can proceed with adding the shrimp mixture, ¼ of the cup of water, and mussels. Cover it again and cook until most of the mussels are opened.
            6. Remove the mussels that remained closed and remove the pan from the heat. Add in bell pepper and cilantro and leave it to rest for a few minutes.

            To quote Naga Siren, the four-hand hero of this race: ”I am hooked.

            I believe that you will be hooked to this meal as well.

            Serve a true Warcraft meal on your table tonight!

            Featured photo credit: Peter Pham via flickr.com

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            Published on November 14, 2018

            Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

            Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

            With our busy, always on lives, it seems that more and more of us are facing constant tiredness and fatigue on a regular basis.

            For many people, they just take this in their stride as part of modern life, but for others the impact can be crippling and can have a serious effect on their sense of wellbeing, health and productivity.

            In this article, I’ll share some of the most common causes of constant tiredness and fatigue and give you some guidance and action steps you can take to overcome some of the symptoms of fatigue.

            Why Am I Feeling Fatigued?

            Fatigue is extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.  It is a reduction in the efficiency of a muscle or organ after prolonged activity.[1]

            It can affect anyone, and most adults will experience fatigue at some point in their life. 

            For many people, fatigue is caused by a combination of lifestyle, social, psychological and general wellbeing issues rather than an underlying medical condition.

            Although fatigue is sometimes described as tiredness, it is different to just feeling tired or sleepy. Everyone feels tired at some point, but this is usually resolved with a nap or a few nights of good sleep. Someone who is sleepy may also feel temporarily refreshed after exercising. If you are getting enough sleep, good nutrition and exercising regularly but still find it hard to perform, concentrate or be motivated at your normal levels, you may be experiencing a level of fatigue that needs further investigation. 

            Symptoms of Fatigue

            Fatigue can cause a vast range of physical, mental and emotional symptoms including:

            • chronic tiredness, exhaustion or sleepiness
            • mental blocks
            • lack of motivation
            • headache
            • dizziness
            • muscle weakness
            • slowed reflexes and responses
            • impaired decision-making and judgement
            • moodiness, such as irritability
            • impaired hand-to-eye coordination
            • reduced immune system function
            • blurry vision
            • short-term memory problems
            • poor concentration
            • reduced ability to pay attention to the situation at hand

            Causes of Fatigue

            The wide range of causes that can trigger fatigue include:

            • Medical causes: Constant exhaustion, tiredness and fatigue may be a sign of an underlying illness, such as a thyroid disorder, heart disease, anemia or diabetes.
            • Lifestyle-related causes: Being overweight and a lack of regular exercise can lead to feelings of fatigue.  Lack of sleep and overcommitting can also create feelings of excessive tiredness and fatigue.
            • Workplace-related causes: Workplace and financial stress in a variety of forms can lead to feelings of fatigue.
            • Emotional concerns and stress: Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as depression and grief, and may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms, including irritability and lack of motivation.

            Fatigue can also be caused by a number of factors working in combination.

            Medical Causes of Fatigue

            If you have made lifestyle changes to increase your energy and still feel exhausted and fatigued, it may be time to seek guidance from your doctor.

            Here are a few examples of illnesses that can cause ongoing fatigue. Seek medical advice if you suspect you have a health problem:

            Anemia

            Anemia is a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues. It is a common cause of fatigue in women.

            Having anemia may make you feel tired and weak.

            There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe.[2]

            Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

            Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition that can cause persistent, unexplained fatigue that interferes with daily activities for more than six months.

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            This is a chronic condition with no one-size-fits-all treatment, but lifestyle changes can often help ease some symptoms of fatigue.[3]

            Diabetes

            Diabetes can cause fatigue with either high or low blood sugars. When your sugars are high, they remain in the bloodstream instead of being used for energy, which makes you feel fatigued. Low blood sugar (glucose) means you may not have enough fuel for energy, also causing fatigue.[4]

            Sleep Apnea

            Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where sufferers briefly stop breathing for short periods during sleep. Most people are not aware this is happening, but it can cause loud snoring, and daytime fatigue.

            Being overweight, smoking, and drinking alcohol can all worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea.[5]

            Thyroid disease

            An underactive thyroid gland means you have too little thyroid hormone (thyroxine) in your body. This makes you feel tired and you could also put on weight and have aching muscles and dry skin.[6]

            Common lifestyle factors that can cause fatigue include:

            • Lack of sleep
            • Too much sleep 
            • Alcohol and drugs 
            • Sleep disturbances 
            • Lack of regular exercise and sedentary behaviour 
            • Poor diet 

            Common workplace issues that can cause fatigue include:

            • Shift work: Our body is designed to sleep during the night. A shift worker may confuse their circadian clock by working when their body is programmed to be asleep.
            • Poor workplace practices: This may include long work hours, hard physical labour, irregular working hours (such as rotating shifts), a stressful work environment, boredom or working alone. 
            • Workplace stress – This can be caused by a wide range of factors including job dissatisfaction, heavy workload, conflicts with bosses or colleagues, bullying, or threats to job security.
            • Burnout: This could be striving too hard on one area of your life while neglecting others, which leads to a life that feels out of balance.

            Psychological Causes of Fatigue

            Psychological factors are present in many cases of extreme tiredness and fatigue.  These may include:

            • Depression: Depression is characterised by severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness. People who are depressed commonly experience chronic fatigue.
            • Anxiety and stress: Someone who is constantly anxious or stressed keeps their body in overdrive. The constant flooding of adrenaline exhausts the body, and fatigue sets in.
            • Grief: Losing a loved one causes a wide range of emotions including shock, guilt, depression, despair and loneliness.

            How to Tackle Constant Fatigue

            Here are 12 ways you can start tackling the causes of fatigue and start feeling more energetic.

            1. Tell The Truth

            Some people can numb themselves to the fact that they are overtired or fatigued all the time. In the long run, this won’t help you.

            To give you the best chance to overcome or eliminate fatigue, you must diagnose and tell the truth about the things that are draining your energy, making you tired or causing constant fatigue.

            Once you’re honest with yourself about the activities you’re doing in your life that you find irritating, energy-draining, and make you tired on a regular basis you can make a commitment to stop doing them.

            The help that you need to overcome fatigue is available to you, but not until you tell the truth about it. The first person you have to sell on getting rid of the causes of fatigue is yourself.

            One starting point is to diagnose the symptoms. When you start feeling stressed, overtired or just not operating at your normal energy levels make a note of:

            • How you feel
            • What time of day it is
            • What may have contributed to your fatigue
            • How your mind and body reacts

            This analysis may help you identify, understand and then eliminate very specific causes.

            2. Reduce Your Commitments

            When we have too many things on our plate personally and professionally, we can feel overstretched, causing physical and mental fatigue.

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            If you have committed to things you really don’t want to do, this causes irritability and low emotional engagement. Stack these up throughout your day and week, then your stress levels will rise.

            When these commitments have deadlines associated with them, you may be trying to cram in far too much in a short period of time.  This creates more stress and can affect your decision making ability.

            Start being realistic about how much you can get done. Either reduce the commitments you have or give yourself more time to complete them in.

            3. Get Clear On Your Priorities

            If working on your list of to-do’s or goals becomes too overwhelming, start reducing and prioritizing the things that matter most.

            Start with prioritizing just 3 things every day. When you complete those 3 things, you’ll get a rush of energy and your confidence will grow.

            If you’re trying to juggle too many things and are multi-tasking, your energy levels will drop and you’ll struggle to maintain focus.

            Unfinished projects can make you self-critical and feel guilty which drops energy levels further, creating inaction.

            Make a list of your 3 MIT (Most Important Tasks) for the next day before you go to bed. This will stop you overcommitting and get you excited about what the next day can bring.

            4. Express More Gratitude

            Gratitude and confidence are heavily linked. Just being thankful for what you have and what you’ve achieved increases confidence and makes you feel more optimistic.

            It can help you improve your sense of wellbeing, which can bring on feelings of joy and enthusiasm.

            Try starting a gratitude journal or just note down 3 things you’re grateful for every day.

            5. Focus On Yourself

            Exhaustion and fatigue can arrive by focusing solely on other people’s needs all the time, rather than worrying about and focusing on what you need (and want).

            There are work commitments, family commitments, social commitments. You may start with the best intentions, to put in your best performance at work, to be an amazing parent and friend, to simply help others.

            But sometimes, we extend ourselves too much and go beyond our personal limits to help others. That’s when constant exhaustion can creep up on us.  Which can make us more fatigued.

            We all want to help and do our best for others, but there needs to be some balance. We also need to take some time out just for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate.

            6. Set Aside Rest and Recovery Time

            Whether it’s a couple of hours, a day off, a mini-break or a proper holiday, time off is essential to help us recover, recharge and refocus.

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            Recovery time helps fend off mental fatigue and allows us to simply kick back and relax.

            The key here, though, is to remove ourselves from the daily challenges that bring on tiredness and fatigue. Here’s how.

            Can you free yourself up completely from work and personal obligations to just rest and recover?

            7. Take a Power Nap

            When you’re feeling tired or fatigued and you have the ability to take a quick 20-minute nap, it could make a big difference to your performance for the rest of the day.

            Napping can improve learning, memory and boost your energy levels quickly.

            This article on the benefit of napping is a useful place to start if you want to learn more: How a 20-Minute Nap at Work Makes You Awake and Productive the Whole Day

            8. Take More Exercise

            The simple act of introducing some form of physical activity into your day can make a huge difference. It can boost energy levels, make you feel much better about yourself and can help you avoid fatigue.

            Find something that fits into your life, be that walking, going to the gym, running or swimming. 

            The key is to ensure the exercise is regular and that you are emotionally engaged and committed to stick with it.

            You could also walk more which will help clear your head and shift your focus away from stressful thoughts.

            9. Get More Quality Sleep

            To avoid tiredness, exhaustion and fatigue, getting enough quality sleep matters. 

            Your body needs sleep to recharge.  Getting the right amount of sleep every night can improve your health, reduce stress levels and help us improve our memory and learning skills.

            My previous article on The Benefits of Sleep You Need to Know will give you some action steps to start improving your sleep. 

            10. Improve Your Diet

            Heavy or fatty meals can make you feel sluggish and tired, whilst some foods or eating strategies do just the opposite.

            Our always on lives have us reaching for sweets or other sugary snacks to give us a burst of energy to keep going. Unfortunately, that boost fades quickly which can leave you feeling depleted and wanting more.

            On the other hand, whole grains and healthy unsaturated fats supply the reserves you can draw on throughout the day.

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            To keep energy up and steady, it’s a good idea to limit refined sugar and starches.

            Eating small meals and healthy snacks every few hours throughout the day provides a steady supply of nutrients to body and brain. It’s also important not to skip breakfast.

            Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents that sluggish feeling when your blood sugar drops.

            11. Manage Your Stress Levels

            Stress is one of the leading causes of exhaustion and fatigue, and can seriously affect your health.

            When you have increased levels of stress at work and at home, it’s easy to feel exhausted all the time. 

            Identifying the causes of stress and then tackling the problems should be a priority. 

            My article on How to Help Anxiety When Life is Stressing You Out shares 16 strategies you can use to overcome stress.

            12. Get Hydrated

            Sometimes we can be so busy that we forget to keep ourselves fully hydrated.

            Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight and is essential in maintaining our body’s basic functions.

            If we don’t have enough water, it can adversely affect our mental and physical performance, which leads to tiredness and fatigue.

            The recommended daily amount is around two litres a day, so to stay well hydrated keep a water bottle with you as much as possible.

            The Bottom Line

            These 12 tips can help you reduce your tiredness and feeling of fatigue.  Some will work better than others as we are all different, whilst others can be incorporated together in your daily life.

            If you’ve tried to make positive changes to reduce fatigue and you still feel tired and exhausted, it may be time to consider making an appointment with your doctor to discuss your condition.

            Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

            Reference

            [1]Oxford English Dictionary: Definition of fatigue
            [2]NHS Choices: 10 Reasons for feeling tired
            [3]Verywellhealth: What is chronic fatigue syndrome
            [4]Everyday Health: Why does type 2 diabetes make you feel tired
            [5]Mayo Clinic: Sleep apnea
            [6]Harvard Health: The lowdown on thyroid slowdown

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