developing ownership of my meals

5 March 2014

Apparently I go in and out of phases where I become lazy and don’t cook. Thankfully, I’m out of that funk and back in the kitchen. (And I actually have a real, separate kitchen to be in, too!)

The past couple weeks I’ve had a lot of fun trying out new recipes, and of course, playing around with old favorites. I’m also getting better about being ok with leftovers — mainly because I’m trying to make things that I can put in the freezer for later. I mean, I’m still in old habits like only having chips and salsa, or crackers and hummus for my meals… but I’m doing better at having at least one normal meal a day.

caulisoupchickenstripslemongoatcheesesausagegravytunasaladwontons

1. Cauliflower Soup. My mom got me an immersion blender for Christmas. It’s my new favorite. I mostly make sweet potato soup with it, but it’s a pretty boring picture (but a very tasty soup).
2. Chicken Strips. That thing where I crave overly processed food but don’t want the overly processed part… also, I have to say, normally I stray from dealing with raw chicken since I normally don’t have much kitchen space. Happy to be over that now.
3. Lemony Goat Cheese Pasta Sauce (with bacon). This is a staple in my home. At least the sauce. Super easy. Very tasty. And you can change it up with various meats or spinach or kale…
4. Sausage Gravy & Biscuits. The biscuits are just the Pilsbury kind. But the gravy.. oh the gravy. I adapted one of Erin’s recipes from the Speckled Palate to be mostly dairy free, and it was pretty successful. I think the only thing I’d change next time is a little more gravy in my gravy to sausage ratio.
5. Lemon & Dill Tuna Salad. I had a lot of celery and it just sounded good.
6. Wontons! I spent so much time with empanadas, that I hadn’t made any sort of wonton treat for a while. Here I have pizza rolls (right) and banana & dark chocolate peanut butter rolls (left).

For the most part, things have been fairly successful in these cooking adventures. Well, with the exception of some burnt biscuits and some homemade beefaroni that just didn’t turn out quite right. The hardest part has been keeping myself motivated to keep cooking — which mostly comes down to reminding myself how easy a lot of good meals actually are to make — as well as keeping things varied enough I’m not getting bored with foods. That’s sort of why things like that lemony goat cheese pasta is something I make a lot: I know it’s super easy, and I know I love how it tastes. Cook pasta, make sauce, put sauce on pasta. Tastes fancier than it is complicated.

I’m having a lot of fun exploring new recipes. Having this kind of ownership in my meals is sort of empowering. I mean, I know homemade pizza rolls aren’t really healthy — but I know what’s in them and I spent the time and effort to put them together. I can’t wait to go to some potlucks or have dinner parties so I can share some of this! (Though, yes, it’s also nice to have all of this amazing food just for yourself and no one else.)

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