food notes

Posted: January 12, 2015 in Uncategorized

I was all snuggled into bed last night, my eyes just beginning to droop, when I realized:  I forgot to blog!  Perhaps I should have hauled my carcass back out of bed and fired up my poky little computer, but I was wiped out.  I’m bummed that this means I won’t have achieved my challenge goal to write every day in January.  But really, it’s okay…the point of making that goal was to get myself back in the swing of writing.  I’m there.  All I have to do is keep choosing daily to do the thing.  Meanwhile, I won’t waste thought energy on overblown disappointment on this little transgression.

The way I wore myself out was a cooking marathon.  My 2015 focus on DISCIPLINE and INTENTION definitely includes the menu.  Saturday, I spent an hour or so poring over recipes.  The budget is tight this paycheck, so I was careful to choose recipes that used mostly stuff we already had on hand.  I created a menu plan – not “Monday we will have oatmeal,” but just a list of recipes we will use during this pay period, in whatever order strikes our fancy.  From the menu, I created a grocery list, which I stuffed in my purse so that we could pick stuff up on the way home from church.

I spent the late afternoon and most of the evening doing pre-cooking for the week.

I made a huge pot of vegetable stock.  I learned recently that you can do that with what I have basically considered garbage – stuff like the tops of onions and peppers, the peels of carrots, the pods of peas, veggies that are getting limp but aren’t yet rotten, etc.  Instead of throwing it out or composting it immediately, I now toss it all in a gallon Ziploc bag in the freezer.  When the bag gets full, I empty it into my stockpot, fill it up with water, add a bit of salt and pepper, and boil it for an hour.  Afterward, I strain out all the solid stuff (putting it in compost bin, so it can still help my garden grow) and what is left is vegetable broth!  FOR FREE, DUDE! And it’s not all overly full of sodium like the stuff I tend to buy in the store.

I used some of that stock to make a big pot of “Lemony Lentil Soup” since I have grown up to want at least a little bit of soup twice a day, most days.

I mixed up batter for Buckwheat Yeast Pancakes – it has to sit in the fridge overnight before the second stage, so I was able to finish the batter and cook up a whole plate of ’em this morning (they are so substantial that they do well as leftovers in the microwave.)

I cooked up a pot of cranberry sauce, figuring it might be a fun and different way to satisfy my sweets cravings (and with the way it bites, I shouldn’t be tempted to take seconds.)

I made a pan of brown rice – it is part of the “Brown Rice Bowl with Tamari Scallion Sauce and Edamame” dish that we like for breakfast, but there’s also enough extra to improvise other stuff with it.

G and I sat down and shelled two bags of edamame, so they’re ready for the quick cook.

I whipped up a huge pan of “Breakfast Greens,” a kale recipe that uses tempeh (nice protein source; I buy it organic, since there are so many issues about soy).  Who knew kale could be good for breakfast?  Dude. IT IS.

I prepped the stuff for “Savory Tempeh and Carrot Sandwiches.”  That’s a recipe that requires at least 4-8 hours of marinating, which worked fine for having it for supper tonight.

So basically I got about 95% of the cooking done for the rest of the week.  The fridge is bursting at the seams.  It took me way less than 10 minutes to cook up the filling for the sammies and heat up some soup for supper when I got home from work. Faster than fast food, folks.  That’s what I remember from my time living alone in my Davenport apartment – if I did my pre-cooking work over the weekend, what was in my fridge was not only better for me, but also faster and way yummier than driving through Mickey D’s.

A single day or a single week or a single pay period does not make a full year of success.  But with a bit of faithfulness, I can build consistency one day, and another, and then another after that.  Who knows…maybe I can even pile up a 2015 that reflects DISCIPLINE and INTENTION.

It seems possible.  🙂

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