Dinner out with a gal-pal! NO COOKING – lots of talking. Tune back in tomorrow.
Breakfast and lunch combined today due to my schedule: made scrambled eggs (one whole egg plus one white) with the “usual” mushroom, spinach, and some of the grape tomatoes from my garden. NO bread or starch. Off to appointments and work.
Late Evening: Having pre-sliced the bell peppers and cucumber the other night made the “immediate upon arrival in the house after work” gnosh much easier and less caloric. Man, I am ravenous between 5:30 and 6 pm. After a handful of each, I threw 2 chicken breasts into the pressure cooker after covering the top of each with a little mustard. Added a bit of tamari and ginger to the 3/4 cup of water in the bottom. Hit the pot on high until the pressure came up – then 8 minutes on the lowest heat that allows the pot to maintain the pressure. PERFECTLY done! While the chicken was “pressuring” – I reheated some cauliflower, cabbage and a couple of mushrooms in the microwave. In 15 minutes, I had 1/2 chicken breast on a plate with mounds of vegetables. That’s “fast food”! The broth is in a container for use later. The vegetables will be pureed tomorrow or Thursday for soup. Left over chicken will be lunch tomorrow. One pot, one bowl – Kitchen’s already clean.
TRUTH TIME: After all of these no-added fat, no starch meals, I admit that an hour or so later I am SO looking for sweets. Hopefully this too will pass. Can’t be soon enough for me. Guess I should just be happy that I am eating cleaner food, more often and that I have not resorted to pasta in 11 days.
Saturdays are wonderful! All that time – all that potential. A wonderful re-hash of many of my favorites from last week lead me to believe that I already have some “stand-by” foods in the fridge that I can go to for quick meals. Huzzah … wasn’t that really the point? I was able grab some shredded chicken and mix it into the remains of yesterday’s slaw, with a little added mustard – for a great, late lunch. No drive through — no junk. As ALTON BROWN says … just “Good Eats.”
So the countdown timer shows 28 days until SO’s return to the nest. “They” say that it takes 21 days for a new habit to become ingrained. I am behind the schedule to get all the habits I had hoped for to kick in while I have all this time alone. I’m doing pretty well in the cooking-to-eat-better and the-keeping-up-with-the-blog “habits” – but have not made a step toward the walking habit (get it?). I am taking my vitamins and supplements every day (for 2 whole days) … but that exercise thing really must be added. “I’ll start tomorrow.” Can I continue to use the “I can’t find the key to the gym excuse” especially when the weather is this nice?
I made dinner for a girl friend tonight, with whom I have been looking forward to catching up. Figured we needed something easy to put together while talking and that wouldn’t be complicated to eat. The menu: “It’s not a pizza Pizza“ & the Root Vegetable Puree soup. PS Kudos to Deborah for showing me the pizza when I visited her kitchen recently! She was a real eagle eye for hidden garlic and has a very creative knack.
Ingredients: one large pita bread (or a good soft flat bread), goat’s milk cheese (the soft kind in the pyramid container), spinach, mushrooms. (Yep they are still good after a week home from Sam’s Club).
- Oven doesn’t need to be really hot – you just want to heat the “not-a-pizza“ through and maybe crisp the bottom a little bit. I set the oven to pre-heat at 350 and then turned it down when I placed the pizza on the rack. But I am ahead of my self –
- Spread goat cheese on the whole pita
- Saute the mushrooms; add the spinach near the end and continue to attend to the mix until the leaves are wilted
- Place the spinach and mushrooms on the pita
- Place on the rack (without a pan) and lower the heat so the pita will heat without burning.
OK – it is the end of the week and I am not, I repeat NOT, cooking …
Well … that’s not really true. I did saute some mushrooms and bacon and then I added it to a couple of handfuls of pre-sliced cabbage slaw mix. Stirred in some goat cheese, just a little mayo (the bacon and mushrooms bring their own oil and moisture to the slaw), red pepper flakes and Tabasco. Had the slaw along side the remaining 1/2 of my shrimp burrito from lunch. Add to that a Guinness and call it dinner.
Received a bit of feedback from a friend and reader, asking about the root vegetables mentioned in the earlier post. After all, it is fall, its been raining in a lot of places – isn’t it time for a good root vegetable soup. BUSTED 🙂 and I totally agree. I’ve just been stymied about how exactly to cook those roots. Should I roast them first? That would certainly give them a wonderful sweet taste and a bit of different texture. But that means cutting raw and sometimes ornery hard veggies. On the other hand, am I just procrastinating with the pressure cooker because I don’t really know how it works or how long it takes with differing foods? Hot roasting oven or the pressure cooker plunge? My choice …
Pressure Cooker – experiment #3!
Root Vegetables prepped for soup … going for a puree soup in the long run so if I over cook them its ok.
2 sweet potatoes, 2 parsnips, 4 carrots, 2 turnips and an onion; the chicken stock that wasn’t spilled; and the rack in the cooker. Left the skins on after scrubbing well – we’ll see tomorrow if that was a mistake. Cut the larger ones into smaller portions so all are about the same size, and then cooked them for 12 minutes once the pressure cooker reached internal pressure. I plan to mush them up tomorrow. I will certainly need spices, there is not a lick of salt in any of it yet. A little research and I promise a soup story!
BTW: the carrots taste really good – for those in the know, almost as good as when they are cooked in a clay pot with a chicken. That recipe will be posted later. Pretty done with chicken for this week. Thinking I will make the soup tomorrow and then move on to pork. Day 5 better than Day 4 – at least nothing spilled this time.
John is in Dharamsala. Over 12 hours time difference. Love the internet and facebook for keeping in written touch. Wish I was on this trek with him. Miss his voice in the house.
Alright, I saw “Julie and Julia” and believe the time between initiating the cooking project and the first Julie melt down had to have been more than 4 days. Guess I am missing the competitive drive that drove Julia to mince all those onions.
Today started well – boiled eggs: one for breakfast and 3 for use later. Downhill from there. Waited too long for lunch and decided a sandwich from a restaurant was the best use of time. Energy frazzled by 4:30 pm. Home with a highly anticipated new kitchen trash can to find that the liner will not come out. Tell me I do not have to return this! Nibbled on some chicken hoping the protein boost would change my attitude as well as ability to cope with the obstinate liner. Reached for the vegetables pre-cut for snacks and managed to knock over the chicken broth that I had placed in the ‘fridge to separate the fat. All over the inside of the refrigerator – fat and all. I resorted to a bowl of cereal with raisins and rice milk. I give up.
It should not be this difficult to be able to have the energy and motivation to fix a good meal after a taxing day at work.