Fooding, Beets

I’m not going to lie. I just can’t stop thinking about food. I’m obsessed. The more kitchen things we get from our registry, the more I want to use them. But it’s more than that. Counting my fruits and veggies every day has become a game. (Yesterday = 1 V8 fusion with 1 serving of fruits and veggies each, 1 apple, and 1/4 of a butternut squash.) A game I want to win! I want to beat my stupid texture issues and my stronger desire to eat doughy things over green, leafy things. I want to stop buying veggies and then throwing them out after a week. The madness has to end.

So last night, I decided Beets were going to be had. And I was going to roast them. Thanks to the lovely Christina who said: Beets. Get a few. Cook them on a sunday. (wrap in foil, set on a baking sheet, cook at 350 for like 45 minutes or until you can slide a fork through them. Then peel them. Let them cool and stick them in the fridge for another day.) Then, on a weeknight I douse them in a simple vinaigrette and shallots, bake them for like twelve minutes so they caramelize. Add them into a salad while they’re still warm and add goat cheese and toss… and seriously. You get the BEST weeknight meal full of goodness. The cheese melts all through the salad. Add a big slab of toast and yummmmm.

Through these posts, I’m realizing remembering that making the time to cook these items is way simpler than I have built it up to be. And with veggies, it’s kind of hard to eff it up, because if you do, you can just adapt it to being something else.

I did actually forget the part about sauteing in chalets after roasting until just now when I re-read Christina’s comment. which sounds DELICIOUS. So I’ll have to try that next time for sure… or with the other batch of roasted beets I have chill-illin in my fridge.

Beets are the hearts of the vegetable world. After they are cooked, the peel slides right off and leaves a fleshy, bleeding mess. Even right now while I’m typing, my fingers are still died red, but I’m pretty fascinated by it and not at all grossed out. I exclaimed many, many times that, “DUDE, it’s like I’m holding a real HEART!” Probably not at all, but one can imagine.

Juicing For Health Dot Come says :

Beets are loaded with vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and C.  The greens have a higher content of iron compared to spinach.  They are also an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, sodium and iron.

While the sweet beet root has some of the minerals in its greens to a lesser degree, it is also a remarkable source of choline, folic acid, iodine, manganese, organic sodium, potassium, fiber and carbohydrates in the form of natural digestible sugars.

Its iron content, though not high, is of the highest and finest quality that makes excellent food that is blood building.  This renders it highly effective in treating many ailments caused by our toxic environment and surrounding.

I added some garlic and herb whipped chevre and I think I’ll snatch up some walnuts at the corner store near work to sprinkle on top. And POOF! Lunch. They were hanging out in the oven while I ran around and did laundry and worked on a bunch of other stuff, they took two seconds to cut in half and pop into the fridge, and this morning I chopped them up while Kamel worked out in the living room. I call this a vegetable success.

Next up! Kale chips.

Food Round Up

When I asked for advice on better eating and how to incorporate more variety, and more fruits and vegetables into my eating world, I had no idea what kind of response it would generate. You all blew my mind!

Kamel’s response to the first few comments hits the nail on the head. He said, “Basically, they’re telling us to grow up.” Which is true. And one day, we may just do that.

Rachelle said: I know you say you get sick of things quickly, but if you build up a few good base recipes it really helps. For example, we love tacos. That can become chicken tacos, fajitas, taco salad or regular tacos. I make a tomato based stew that can have fish or shrimp or chicken added to it. Our backup plan is always roast chicken with a carb and a veggie, which is really fast when you get the precooked kind. Crockpot stew is easy for work days, or you can make a giant pot of soup (like minestrone) on the weekend and freeze it in containers. Chicken tortilla is also good for that. Good luck!

Kimberly said: I’m going to sound a bit . . . lame here, but maybe think about doing a weekly meal plan. It sounds really annoying, I know, but I did it for the past month or so, and it was uh-maze-ing.

We would do the “what do you want to have?” “I dunno, what do you want to have?” “I dunno, what’s in the fridge?” “I dunno, what’s in the freezer?” thing when it came to having dinner and it drove me nuts. Plus, besides the grocery store basics, I’d never know what to have, and I’d always end up having to run to the shop for that one pesky ingredient that I didn’t have whenever we inevitably decided on making food. With a meal plan, you can try new recipes and shop according to what you want to make, as opposed to drawing a total blank at the store as to how things are going to come together.

Of course things change and things come up, so sometimes meals have to be moved around, but I’ve found it to be a really really great starting point. And by doing it weekly, it might not give you enough time to get tired of the food you’re eating.

and Lauren (not me) said: Do you have a wok? I’ve found that has helped me A LOT with vegetable consumption. Plus it’s quick. Most veggies cooked in a little olive oil soy sauce basil salt taste devine. Or even more delish Is a sauce made of balsamic vinegar, honey olive oil and soy sauce. I can eat anything cooked in that. That sauce made it possible for me to eat mustard greens. I recently signed up for an organic vegetable box so it’s kept me on my vegetable cooking toes, and also generally made me feel healthier.

We do not have a Wok! But now I want one! Although… I may need a tutorial in how to actually use one. Unless it’s “Heat, oil, stir” and then I think I’m ok. A lot of you suggested Mark Bittman’s cookbook “How to Cook Everything” and I’m hoping to begin my cook book collection/discovery sometime after the wedding. I think this book in particular should be required reading for Kamel who had issues cooking fresh pasta the other day. Sigh.

Also the Whole Foods app seems to be a big hit in the comments. We haven’t played with this yet, but it’s on our To Do list. This goes hand in hand with our need for more time during the day. Once we get a minute to look through recipes we might like and make a list of ingredients, we’ll be on our way to the grocery store, attempting to make something edible.

Nicki (and Maris who has been bugging me to get one for ages) suggested: CROCK POT! I am seriously so lazy that I start it the night before, when I go to bed, and we eat it for dinner the next night. My staple is frozen chicken boobs, I throw those in there with anything and it turns out delicious.

We had one on our registry from the beginning, but then of course it went out of stock (as SO many things have done!! Driving me crazy!) and I just added another one onto our list yesterday! So let’s hope we get one and I can experiment with lazy warm dinners that don’t involve spaghettios.

A lot of you, including Carrie, suggested Costco for Produce: When I’m not so crazy, and the month before your wedding falls into the crazy, I try to make one new recipe a week. Skinnytaste.com is a staple and I make some of those recipes all the time, per the first comment.

I wanted to throw out going to Costco, or Sams, or BJs, or whatever. David and I get a week’s worth (sometimes more) of produce: apples, stuff for salad, a dinner veggie, and vegs for snacking which we take to work everyday. We also get our proteins there: ground turkey, chicken skewers (frozen), panko tilapia fillets, boneless pork chops, chicken boobs (heh, stole that). It makes for ridiculous freezer tetris, but we have things for when we plan our meals (turkey for Asian sesame meatballs) or when I get home and it’s all, “Craaaaap. Forget to take something out.” So it’s panko tilapia (4 pts each) with oven roasted potatoes. Et voila, fish and chips.

I’m totally checking out Skinnytaste.com because 1) I love the internet and 2) I loooove when I don’t have to think about whether or not something is good for me. I want someone to think about it first and then give it their stamp of approval.

Today I’m asking for some more help, since you all seem to have ROCKED that shit last time. I need suggestions like craftosaurus offered up when she said: I try to find ways to eat veggies that I get excited about because dreading them does me no good. Sometimes that means putting them in something where they get overshadowed (fruit smoothies and pesto are excellent vehicles for spinach…. I honestly hesitate to elaborate, lest I become That Girl Who Talks About Spinach Smoothies Everywhere On The Internet. Really.).

Sometimes it means making them taste different than I thought they could (i.e., take a big batch of kale, torn in pieces, toss it with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, and RICE vinegar: spread on a baking sheet under a broiler until it crisps up – not long = kale chips!)

And sometimes it means adding in something I really, really want to eat. I like salads ok, but if I know my salad has avocado pieces and green olives, I get psyched about it.

Because the truth is, as much as we’re trying (V8 this morning! hooraay!), my pickyness is not making it easy. If fruit is too soft it grosses me out, if vegetables are too limp, I feel the same way. What are your tricks on making things you don’t REALLY want to be eating, edible? Do you have any trick dipping sauces (That aren’t awful for you), some ways of cooking things that make the texture/flavor better? I know you have links and tips up your sleeve. Don’t hold out on me!