Sunday, July 22, 2007

A Crazy Cooking Day!

Today, I apparently turned into a madwoman. I spent the whole day grocery shopping, cooking, packaging, and freezing. Oh, and doing dishes. Lots and lots of dishes. I'm pretty sure I used every cooking utensil, pot, pan, cutting board, and prep tool--and some of them twice. However, the net result was a growing stash of good food in the freezer.

It doesn't make sense to do anything else, really. I'm so careful to purchase organic food, humanely raised meat, and plan nutrient dense meals. Then, I have to work 14 hours, and I go to McDonald's. Yep, that makes sense. Deplete your body with stress and exhaustion, then eat crap. So, one of my efforts this year is to develop a freezer full of quick meals, or quick go-withs. Also, I'm trying to free myself of the expectation to always fix great food. Because, if I can't, then I buy more crap. And eat it. Frankly, I could cook something better than that, even if I only had 15 minutes-as long as my freezer was full.

So, this is what I did today. First, for the Sunday Game of the Week on the CLBB, I chose to cook from Sizzle with America's Top Chefs. This is more of a magazine supplement than an actual book, but it cost $10, so I'm counting it as a book. (Speaking of way to expensive stuff, did you know that you can print out unlimited coupons for Borders for 25% to 30% off any one item in the store? Who knew?) Anyway, nothing much appealed to me today, except...this Grilled Bread with Beans and Bitter Greens. Thick sliced rustic bread is grilled until toasty, rubbed with peeled garlic, then spread with a paste of white beans cooked with garlic. That's good, right there. But gets topped off with bitter greens (chard, escarole, turnip greens, etc.) which are sauteed with onion and garlic, then seasoned with red pepper flakes and red wine vinegar. This is probably my new favorite food. It was YUM-my! I could SO make this my lunch every day. It even beans out the goat cheese, roasted pepper, and arugula on a toasted English muffin. With food like this, I could become a vegetarian!

I also roasted a turkey breast, but I didn't eat any. No special reason. I just don't really like turkey. I had high hopes for this one, because it was a kosher turkey breast, and I really like kosher chicken. Alas, no. Leaves more for the Husband.

I needed something to eat too, and a Broccoli and Rice Casserole sounded good. So I made one. Hearty with brown basmati rice, full of antioxidant rich broccoli, onions, and garlic, and made with a lowfat white sauce, with some sharp cheese added for more protein, I can feel good about eating this.

I also stocked the freezer with pork wontons for Wonton Soup. This is another morph recipe left over from the Balsamic Roasted Pork Tenderloin. The filling was really good, and would make great lettuce wraps, especially if you added some chopped water chestnuts. I didn't take pictures today, but I will when I make the soup. These little wontons are really cute; hope they don't disintegrate once they hit the hot broth!

Of course, it wouldn't be dinner without dessert. We have an old favorite--a cheesecake concoction made with reduced fat products and Splenda. It's called Cheesecake Parfaits, but I quadruple the recipe (yes, really) and make it in a 9x13 pan so we have it all week. If anyone is low-carbing, the crust can be made with almond meal instead of graham crackers. It's just as good, if not better. However, this makes a great company dessert layered in stemmed glasses with fresh berries or frozen berries cooked until tender with Splenda and vanilla. Either way, it's very good--a nice, light finish to any meal. (It's also good for breakfast, not that I'd know from personal experience!

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