Everything tastes good when you don’t know how it’s supposed to taste.

May 30, 2008

Right?

So, last night I made two things I’ve neither prepared nor eaten before: tabbouleh and falafel (I know! I lack culture). I thought they both turned out pretty well, but then, really, what do I know?

There’s the falafel. I know, it looks sort of creepy.

And there’s the tabbouleh. If you’re down with grains, as I am, you may notice that it’s not traditional tabbouleh because it’s made with quinoa instead of bulgur. Really, I think we get enough bulgur around here. And my sister made quinoa recently, which made me realize that it’s been awhile.

I also had more roasted broccoli because it’s maybe the best thing that happened to me all week.

I was going to post this last night, but they were doing stuff to the sewers in our neighborhood and spraying our car with weird steam. I don’t want to know what was in it. Anyway, I had to go out and move it, because… gross. And then I was agitated.

I’m tired now, because I woke up at 3am, hungry and plagued by searing arthritis pain in my knee. At 5, I limped around and got ready for the gym as usual and then I actually laughed out loud at myself and my spunky stupidity and can-do attitude. Then I went back to sleep.

I just got back from a work thing, where I tried really hard to keep my weight off my bad knee and to eat a lot of broccoli and strawberries and grapes so that I wouldn’t be tempted to pick up the entire block of cheese from the cutting board or eat seven pieces of carrot cake. What? It’s got vegetables. So anyway, no actual dinner. I’ll probably have some tabbouleh about 15 seconds after I hit publish. Matt’s on the phone with his brother talking about simulated basketball games and I’m falling asleep on the couch and it’s a standard Friday night here at the See Food mansion. The big news is that we have air conditioning in the bedroom now. I hope it gets so cold in there tonight that it freezes my tears of happiness.

I’m not sure if I’ll be posting tomorrow because we’re going to a high school basketball exhibition kind of deal, featuring some players who are going to be college players soon, presumably. At which point they will become very important to me because of my freakish, out-of-character love of college basketball, so I’m trying to get invested early. It’s supposed to start at 8am (I will not be there) and last until… 12 hours later or something. Let’s see if I make it that long.

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I’m only blogging because Wii Fit told me it was time for a break.

May 23, 2008

Here’s what I had for dinner:

Another pita pizza. This one had tomato paste, a little bit of chicken-apple sausage, some pepper jack, some sharp cheddar, and a few baby bellas. And lots of love.

I had to go get my wedding dress altered after work today, and then I came home and promptly fell asleep. I woke up craving pizza, as I am wont to do after a bout of daytime sleeping, so I made this. There was also spinach on the side, but it looked like all of my other spinach so I’m going to ask you to just let your imaginations run wild. While eating, I started my long weekend by watching restaurant wars on Top Chef.

Interesting fact about Wii Fit: at a certain point, it makes you take a break. I would like it if someone came to the gym with me and told me when to take a break. “Hey, Jenny, this elliptical machine will kill you if you don’t step off for a few minutes.”

By the way, I’ve taken some flak from people (DAD) for disparaging the older community in my last post. I’d like to take this opportunity to formally apologize to the two old people at the gym yesterday, because I bet they read this blog and were very hurt. Just to clarify, I wasn’t (necessarily) being ageist. I’m not that way.

Okay, I think it’s time for more virtual hula hooping! I’ve been tagged by Glidingcalm to share five facts and tag five other bloggers. I’ll have to do that tomorrow. It’s going to take me that long to figure out what I’m going to say and come up with five people I can tag.


Stuffed up

May 18, 2008

I’m changing my middle name to efficiency. My middle initial is already E, so it should be a relatively seamless transition. Our wedding is now 98% planned. We have a date, a judge, a dinner reservation, rings, plane tickets to North Carolina, and, at this time tomorrow, we’ll be licensed to marry. Oh, and I have a dress. Now I just need shoes. THE HARDEST PART.

Most of that has happened since Friday afternoon, which explains the lack of posting. On Friday, we shared a delicious Mexican dinner with Donna and Ellen. Mexican used to stress me out because I would always weigh myself in the morning and have a few extra pounds of taco weight to process. Things have changed significantly since I discovered fajitas. It’s hard to make yourself too sick when your plate is basically the equivalent of one gigantic onion, a quarter of a chicken breast, and some peppers thrown in there for luck. The chips, though. They still conquer me.

Last night, we went to a party, where there was insanely amazing food like a mushroom/tomato/artichoke heart marinade, a goat cheese cake, fancy chips, fruit, and the greatest coconut cake of all time. There was also an impressive array of beer. It’s good to be an adult finally be several years removed from parties that center on tepid cans of Coors Light, and, if you’re lucky, a bag of chips that someone brought. Now food is the real focus, and I’m pleased. I like food. And something about having good food makes people bring good beer, too.

Tonight, I finally made the stuffed peppers I’ve been planning to make for about 9 days. I had the ingredients, but not the will to bake them. Something about having the oven on for over an hour when it’s 90 degrees outside and even hotter in our apartment. Now I really understand why the top chefs are always so shiny. It’s sweat. It’s not (just) that they don’t shower.

So, this may have been the last time I will turn on the real oven until October, but it was worth it.

These are adapted from another Ellie Krieger recipe for Greek Stuffed Peppers. I changed it up by using ground turkey breast instead of ground beef and by forgetting the spinach entirely. To make up for it, I had a spinach salad with walnuts and honey lemon vinaigrette.

I think I need to take some kind of a photography class. If I’m going to enrich myself, I’d really rather take something tough like boxing. Or yogilates. But there’s got to be a better photographer in me somewhere.

Now my face hurts from being all congested and my throat hurts from who knows what and I just finished one of those Edy’s All Fruit bars which helped for about .02 seconds, so I think I’ll mope around until I feel like I’ve reached a proper bedtime. Like 8:45.


Pit-za

May 15, 2008

I’m a little under the weather tonight, so I didn’t have the energy to make my usual gourmet fare (ha). I’ve been thinking about these pita pizzas since I saw them on Green Lite Bites. I crashed right after work and woke up wanting pizza, so this seemed perfect. Plus, the recipe met all of my criteria for the evening:

  1. bread
  2. cheese
  3. five minutes or less
  4. toaster oven-friendly

My version had tomato paste, chicken breast, peppers, basil, spinach, crushed red pepper, and reduced fat provolone. With broccoli on the side:

I don’t have much to say about this, except that it was good. I’m really posting it for my sister, because it’s a nice alternative to english muffin pizzas, which she and I both enjoy. The pita bread is more like pizza crust and didn’t get as soggy. It also holds up better under the weight of veggies than english muffins or tortillas or other not-pizza pizza bases.

I’m going back to sleep now. And by sleep, I mean, mindlessly watching Keeping Up With the Kardashians. It’s fascinating to see how the other half lives. Plus, we’re going to cancel cable soon and I need to get my fill of these sorts of things to remember fondly when I’m forced to do things like read books.


Something old, something new

May 1, 2008

We have tons of leftovers in the fridge, so I didn’t want to make a whole new meal. So, I was all settled on heating up some of that quinoa/corn/black bean salad. But then, we had a ton of spinach left, and some potatoes that were starting to look a little off. So I changed my plans at the last minute and decided to go with the last chickpea cutlet with some spinach and some baked potato chips.

The chips were ready, the spinach was awesome, I was so excited, and then… the chickpea cutlet was totally sick. I mean, I know it’s been a week or whatever, but it basically disintegrated in front of my face. GROSS. So I went out back to the grocery store and picked up some veggie burgers to stand in for the chickpea cutlet.

By then, the spinach was cold, the chips I baked were kind of limp, the apartment was about 900 degrees again, and I was in a really bad mood. So I just served it all up with some of my new sriracha as a dipping agent, and I added some yogurt after I tasted the sriracha and it almost made my face explode.

That’s a Morningstar Farms Mushroom Lovers’ Burger shoved in that pita there. It was actually really good. So I guess something positive came out of this experience. Or, at least, something besides a huge pile of dirty dishes.

Sriracha is pretty awesome. I don’t eat a lot of spicy food, so there were a few points at which I was actually crying, but it tastes good, and it complemented the chips and veggie burger well, so I toughed it out. Matt’s dad would have been proud of me. Also, my sinuses feel clearer.

I’m going to go let the power of my bad mood put me to sleep now. I should wake up in the perfect frame of mind to deal with the middle school group that’s coming to tour the library tomorrow morning. Ahh, 30 sulky 12-year olds. Perfect way to end my week.

But then, there will be Iron Man. So there’s no sense in complaining.


Mmmmmeaty

April 24, 2008

If you haven’t caught on yet, we typically don’t eat a huge amount of meat. Cows and pigs gross me out as a rule, so no beef or pork, and sometimes I get tired of heartlessly hunting the chickens, plucking them, etc. It’s a hard knock life.

We’ve had a lot of poultry lately, because every time I asked my mom what she wanted to eat while she was here, she said “No bulgur. Chicken.” So, I stockpiled chicken and turkey and we’ve eaten a lot of that recently, and there’s more in our future before it goes bad.

I lost my way again.

Oh, right. Okay, so, to take a break in the middle of all that poultry, I decided I wanted to experiment with a new protein source, so I tried Veganomicon‘s chickpea cutlets.

The cutlets were okay. I think they tasted almost too meaty, though. I made six, instead of the four that the recipe called four, so they were a little smaller. They’re kind of plain on their own, so I decided to mimic the gyros I used to get at Mediterranean Deli when we lived in Chapel Hill and Matt worked right next door to it. Oh, to live in a town with a Mediterranean restaurant…

Anyway, so, I broke one of the cutlets into two pieces, whipped up a tahini-yogurt sauce with Donna’s consultation, and shoved it all in a whole wheat pita.

That’s the rest of the tahini sauce. Is that gross? Sorry, I have no food filter.

I wanted to put some lettuce and cheese in there to complete my at-home Med Deli creation, but they wouldn’t fit, so I just had a salad on the side with mixed greens, goat cheese, and an agave-lemon dressing.


Since I know you were all concerned about this, I did go to the energy efficiency thing last night. And, good thing I did, because they had three door prizes (compact fluorescent bulbs, natch), and three of us showed up. So I scored a free light bulb.

Tomorrow I have to fast before my CT scan and echo cardiogram. For FOUR HOURS. This may not seem like all that long, but it’s from 10-2, a timeframe during which I typically eat AT LEAST twice, if not three times. What? I’m a snacker.

I’m also going to a nutritionist tomorrow, which means that I have three medical appointments in one day – a new record! At least one of them is food-related and, therefore, fun.


Okay, what now?

April 23, 2008

It’s 6:03 and I’ve already made dinner, eaten dinner, and cleaned most of the dishes. Am I some kind of robot?

Here’s what we had tonight:

Chicken-Orzo Salad with Goat Cheese.

I love these Cooking Light 20 minute dinners. They’re awesome for Wednesdays when there’s a 30 minute window between my coming home from work and Matt leaving for work. I changed a few things up with this recipe – spinach instead of arugula, balsamic instead of red wine vinaigrette, cut down on the olive oil. But, I did follow their suggestion of serving it with pita wedges. Because I do what I’m told.

And now, I’m sitting here watching Work Out and they’re FREAKING ME OUT with all their talk of visceral fat and gross stuff like that. One of the reasons I ate dinner so early was that I was planning to go to this program on energy efficiency at the public library, but now it’s raining and windy and I feel really lazy, so I’m not sure. Is it wrong to drive 3 blocks to a program on greener living?

Maybe I’ll stay home and be energy efficient by not getting off the couch. I can pick some recipes from this awesome book Matt brought home from work for me.

I like how it looks like it’s suspended against the back of the couch. I’ve been afraid to tell you this, but I’m a magician