Intro to Terrible Cook

I grew up on Manwich, Spam, and Hamburger Helper.

When I got old enough to make stuff on my own, I cooked to make my dad happy, so that meant lots of Southern-friend whatever with a heaping side of gravy. Then I moved to San Diego, where I learned new and exciting spices, passionate and contradictory flavors with lots of cilantro and limon. As much as I loved it, though, it still wasn't what I was looking for. I still wasn't cooking for myself.

If I could discover a staple of recipes that I could cook easily and comfortably without the worry of "am I spending all this time and effort on something I'm not even going to want to eat," what would I want it to be? Vegetarian. Healthy, rich, flavorful vegetarian that feels like a treat to prepare and eat. And that would be to please me and my precious little tiny taste buds alone, with no one else in mind.

Of course, if you'd like to join me, you're always welcome!

That being said, I can't even boil water these days. In the last year I've mainly made lots of salads, hot sandwiches and simple pasta-with-veggies dishes. With nothing more than my trusty steed (counter-top hotplate) (yes, seriously) and my Lariat of Truth (Moosewood Cookbook), I will venture into the wild unknown of vegetarian cooking. Think "Lost" without the weird smoke monster or plot twists. But this is still going to be some trip.

So the goal is this: find and cook at least 1 vegetarian dish per month. That's reasonable. I can muster the time and energy (after each pay check) to try one new veggie dish just for little ol' me.

What bliss.

Wish me luck! This could turn out to be "Epic Fail" blog. :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

This week: cabbage, bananas, pumpkin, and sweets

It's that particular time when I'm craving sweets like a mad woman.  I've been all over the internet looking for Weight Watchers recipes that won't get me kicked out of the healthy eating community, and I'm making them today to save myself from myself!

I should've gone into a little more detail last week about the whole food routine.  One thing about being healthier and eating healthier is that you've got to dedicate some time to it.  At first this was really bothersome to me, because I already feel like there's not enough time in the day. (I mean, who doesn't?)  But it's turned out to be kinda awesome.  I spend Sunday planning my food, going grocery shopping, and then cooking or prepping for the rest of the week. 

Here's this week's challenge: 

left over bananas
left over bell peppers
major sweet tooth
Mexican food withdrawal
and the need for comfort food.

So here's what I've came up with:

Stuffed cabbage casserole (but I used chicken instead of beef, and quinoa instead of brown rice)

Tabbouleh with quinoa (I added chicken to this one, also)

Homemade protein balls (teehee)

Super Mega New Year and New Me

Long story short, last year about this time I signed up with Ron Lyon's Ultimate Body boot camp.  It was a great experience, and besides getting a whole new look on fitness, I learned a lot about nutrition.  And what I think I learned most about nutrition is that if you don't want to always be craving restaurant food, you better learn to cook.
Fast forward to this year, I have signed up for Weight Watchers, and I'm learning to cook (again).  haha
I've also signed up as a shareholder in a local CSA (you should do the same if you get the chance).
Last week's locally grown organic fruit and veggie haul was:

apples, oranges and pears
rainbow chard
bok choy
butternut squash
and red potatoes

and at the grocery store I got:
and lemons.

Out of that (plus some random pantry items) I made:

homemade apple sauce with cranberries (really good with vanilla greek yogurt)
oven fried zucchini and squash
pasta with butternut squash
chard and ham stuffed potatoes
stuffed mushrooms (soooooooo good!)
plus I bagged up the leftovers for random veggie additions later in the week.

Week one--- total success!  Yum! Plus I lost 2 pounds!


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