Saturday, April 13, 2013

Cooking: Weeks 1 & 2

I meet with Maggie every 2 weeks.  In between meetings, I have lots of homework.  I love homework.  Feels like structure, keeps me focused and on task, gives me direction. My homework includes reading, writing and cooking. There are certain things I am to do each week, goals that Maggie and I have set together for myself.  One of those goals is to try new recipes.

Ever since we reno'd the kitchen, I've really been enjoying cooking more.  I used to hate it, then I got to where I could do it, even tolerate it but still, it could feel like a chore. Then we redid the kitchen and I just wanted to spend time in the beautiful space.  I would cook whatever I wanted, I did a lot of baking, but I think much of it was centered around just being in the kitchen.  More recently, cooking feels more like a gift, I am finding joy in the actions of cooking, even the shopping, although I will admit, Whole Foods is still totally overwhelming to me but I'm working on that too. 

Here is what I have tried out so far.

1.   Morning Glory Oats
Oatmeal with apple, cinnamon, golden raisins, almonds, a little sweetener and some ground flax seeds.  
 Result: I liked it.  It was warm, comforting and hearty.  I need to get some real maple syrup.  Because I didn't have any I used a little honey and a little dark kayro but it needed a little something more.  I threw in some Stevia, but didn't like that result.  But I would for sure make this again.

2.  Detox Juice: apples, bananas, parsley, lime, collard greens and chia seeds
Result: Shawn said it tasted like grass.  Megan was more complimentary with her "It takes fresh, like spring".  I thought it was ok.  Not SUPER YUM, but I love the idea of a detox, getting crap out of my system, rinsing the liver and all that.  I would make this again.  It would be good on a hot day with some ice blended it to make it nice and cold.

3.  Brown Rice Squares:  Dessert?  YES PLEASE!!!!!  These are awesome!  They taste like peanut butter bars AND they are vegan so I shared some with Jenn and she loved them too!  Instead of marshmallows and butter, they are held together with brown rice syrup, agave nectar and peanut butter.  There are sesame seeds in there as well and brown rice "crispies". 

 Result:  Yummy, yum, yum.  Yes please, over and over and over.

4.  Italian Style Pasta:  I'm trying this new thing where I don't alter the recipe at all the first time around.  Years of cooking with my husband have taught me that a recipe is just a jumping off place, but for this, I'm sticking to the original for at least the first go round.  For this recipe, it meant adding things I don't usually eat, like artichokes for example.  It's just a really hearty, heavy on the veggies sauce over brown rice pasta.

I made enough for my lunches for the entire week.

Result:  I liked it.  I think there are ways I could punch it up a bit next time, maybe run the sun dried tomatoes and artichokes through the food processor to really pulverize them and throw in a few more spices maybe. I was worried about the brown rice pasta tasting like cardboard, but it cooked up really nice and soft.  I didn't miss regular pasta one bit!  I will be making this again.

5.  Breakfast Quinoa: Quinoa, raisins, cinnamon, ground flax seeds and dulce flakes.  Dulce WHAT?  Maggie actually gave me 3 baggies with the Quinoa and the dulce flakes already measured out so I didn't have to go searching  high and low for whatever the hell dulce flakes are.  In my reading, I discovered that it's a form of a sea veggie, or seaweed if you will.  Apparently, sea veggies are amazingly good for you.  I'm a bit tentative about this because salty and fishy don't appeal to me much, I don't even like sushi for heavens sake.  But I'm also open to this entire process and will move forward with caution and lots of questions and I'm sure a few new shopping trips and try out these different veggies from the sea.

Results:  Breakfast quinoa is really good and stays with me a long time without making me feel heavy or sick.  Bravo for breakfast Quinoa.

Coming up Tonight....

6.  Sloppy Joes:  Turkey and the rest of the usual sloppy joe ingredients, heavy on the organic veggies.  I'll let you know how it goes. 

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