Monday, November 23, 2009


I'm finally using the last of the pasta I bought at Costco, hooray! To get more variety in my diet I am going to try eating different grains now- focusing on rice and Asian style dishes. I got a brick of tofu with which to experiment. I didn't know you were supposed to press it until KE showed me when he prepared tofu for dinner one night. I don't recall eating a lot of tofu growing up, so I'm not very familiar with how to prepare it. (Specifically how to get it to be like the tofu I've had at restaurants.) Tofu is one of those mystery ingredients I want to learn about. With winter break approaching I am getting excited for the culinary experiments - especially while staying with KE. Somehow it's easier to cook for 2 than for one... especially when you don't like left overs (like me).

I also purchased some Thai curry paste and a can of coconut milk. I'd like to try to make a curry dish with rice, veggies and tofu. I read in my big-ass sauce book about making a Thai curry and it's pretty simple, so long as you have the ingredients. In looking at what to make for my pre-thanksgiving I was evaluating my pans and I think I need a new 2-QT saucepan. I use it frequently and the non-stick coating is scratched pretty badly. I'd like to get a nice stainless steel one. I got rid of all my other nonstick pans and while cleaning them is a little more work, I like not worrying about flakes of teflon in my body :)

Tomorrow is Pre-Thanksgiving, I'll be sure to report our menu and how it went! (There's only 3 of us and my mom and step dad aren't picky, so I'm going vegetarian, and it will not be a feast, to prevent us all from overeating, a family tradition.)

Friday, November 20, 2009


My mom and step dad are coming up for an early Thanksgiving, because I wanted to spend T-day with KE (aren't they understanding parents :) )

I'm trying to keep up with my decision to be vegetarian outside of the house, my first test was Turkey at today's Landscape Architecture department Thanksgiving Feast. As the first test... it was pretty easy to pass up. And I wasn't saying to anyone's face so no feelings were hurt (that's one of the food issues that causes weight gain especially in the holidays as I recall from a certain 4th of July). There was stuffing that tasted like it was flavored with ramen packets, there were two types of yams (one of which was a little chunky and very tasty!) there were mashed potatoes that were "meh" and there was broccoli that I had to restrain myself from taking too much. I think it had garlic on it but whatever it was... it was tasty!

I'm still excited to read my new book on how to become vegetarian. I want to make sure I still eat well or rather... that I DO eat well.

I was looking through my spending and I spend more money on food than anything else (after rent). I have been more careful with how I spend money, because I really don't want to waste food. I bought a large tub of strawberry Stonybrook yogurt. And it is disgusting. I've purchased the little cups and they taste fine but this one tastes like it was flavored with melted down plastic strawberries. It's horrible! So instead of saving money by buying the big container, I wasted money because I cannot eat this yogurt. It is so frustrating. I also purchased a loaf of sourdough but then didn't eat it that night, or the next night then the next night it was stale. Ew. I stuck it in the freezer hopefully I'll be able to do something with it, what I don't know.

I am looking forward to Thanksgiving, but not as much as I am looking forward to Xmas, when I won't have final projects due the following week! I am looking forward to family time at both holidays, I love family time, especially over food. As long as I remember portion control it will be a great weekend.

As far as exercise, I did finally get dumbbells to exercise with, I haven't had a chance to exercise yet. I have Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. I did it one day (without weights) and I was still sore. I really want to do it 30 days in a row. Hopefully to start soon, like after he semester is over. I don't think I will be reaching my goal by new years. I finally stopped buying the mint M&Ms which will help I think. Sigh. 'tis the season to gain weight.

Mid October... sigh. Seriously need to get back on track. I was on the right track in mid October.. weddings. That's when I had two weddings to go to, with tasty food... and open bars :) I think trips to the city hurt my weight. Visiting friends, going out to eat. When I am at home, I don't go out to eat. I'm trying to eat more veggies. I stopped myself from buying pasta so I can start eating more rice. I'm trying to use what I have at home but I've also realized that I need to try to experiment with my cooking a little more. I love the staples I know how to make but if I am expected to feed additional people later in life, I'm going to need some variety. Not everyone is happy with a loaf of bread and cheese or steamed broccoli and pasta and cheese for dinner. Oh, and I think I eat too much cheese. I need to work on that.

So... how to eat well, enjoy variety, and have some experimental meals. I picked up some coconut milk and Thai curry paste... I have some tofu, I'm excited to experiment with it. To report back soon!

I made gingersnaps yesterday (97 of them!) this was the recipe. I baked them for about 8.5 minutes, They came out thin, flat and chewy. Just how I like them! Somehow they weren't as tasty fresh out of the oven but the next day they were super tasty. Very ginger-y. I wish I had some peach sauce and vanilla ice cream to accompany them!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Cheap food

The cost of food has been going down since the start of the industrial age. Please look at the increasing cost of medical care. See anything fishy? They are pretty much inverse. As the price of food went down, and cheaper calories from added-value foods were made more readily available people began consuming more and more... crap.

This is the topic I am obsessed with: food access, local food economies, food availability, changing the subsidy structure of the US.

A tasty dinner

What a tasty dinner.

Double cooked brussel sprouts ($3 for the whole thing, eating about 1/3 of the package)
roasted red pepper and tomato soup ($1.50, eating half of it)
sourdough grilled cheese ($3.75 loaf of bread, eating 2 thick-ish slices and a bit of cheese off a 2# block of Cabot Seriously Sharp. Cost... 8.99/lb)

Halve brussel sprouts then steam. Make grilled cheese sandwich using, remove when done and sautee brussel sprouts in pan (using a little extra fat. Olive oil or butter, I used butter this time but usually use olive oil). Heat up soup. Sprinkle with salt and pepper as desired. Serve. Dip sandwich in soup. Smile at your tasty meal :)

Man oh man. I love brussel sprouts cooked this way. Steaming makes them soft, sauteeing gives the the little burn-y spots that taste so good.

I should not have bought the mint M&Ms... sooo good,

Sunday, November 8, 2009

quick dessert

I have lots of frozen berries, and a bit of Ben & Jerry's vanilla ice cream (so good!)

In a small saucepan heat up, some berries, a splash of rum and heat until boiling for a little bit. Pour over ice cream and eat! Mmm. No need to add extra sugar like the compote recipes tell you too. Unless you want juicier berries.

Meat - This omnivore's dilemma

I'm contemplating giving up meat. I've been reading a lot about how meat should be eaten in small amounts, which I already do. And eating meat takes a larger toll on the environment than a vegetarian diet. My family was pescetarian growing up, after a certain age. I would eat chicken at friend's houses and restaurants, but I'm realizing now that logic is backwards. At a restaurant I can't know where the meat is coming from and being a compassionate carnivore requires knowing the origins of your meat.

Also I just wasted $9 of free range chicken because I didn't use it fast enough. I didn't even prepare it. I just bought it with plans to prepare it, then froze it then thawed it and somewhere in that process it went bad. And that pisses. me. off. I was all ready to make it and it had gone bad. Wasting food is one of my issues- I have a tendency to waste food. It's an issues I've been trying to deal with since living alone where I no longer have the excuse that my food was moved and is hiding behind my roommate's milk...

I got a book, The New Becoming Vegetarian, to read before I make the decision final. I do like meat... and I have no idea how to cook tofu. But I was vegan for 2 months back in '07 and that was fine- the only reason I came out of it was because I missed cheese.

It's also cheaper to eat vegetarian, at least, when you choose meat like I do. Sustainable/free-rage/local meat is expensive. I have no desire to eat the cheaper corn fed of questionable origin meats with lots of antibiotics.

One of the big things is getting enough protein, especially as I am trying to work out more... uh, in theory... but rice and beans is supposed to be a complete protein when eaten together. I made brown rice and mixed it into my chili. It was soooo filling.

I shall keep you posted on the transition!