Thursday, June 14, 2007

Hey, Good Lookin'

Woah, well, post about weight and some folks are just all about the emails. Even if it's your own weight, the people, they've got a lot to say.

Rest assured, I'm not starving myself.

I eat quite a bit. And often. With friends, with family, even alone. In fact, here lately, I've been cooking my little butt off. (Yes, all irony and puns intended. And then some.) I've also been inspired lately by this girl who not only has been creating some fantastic delights in her kitchen but also seems to share my affinity for recipe substitutions.

Maybe it's the simplicity of the cooking I do or the fact that I am not sure I've ever completely followed a recipe but I find it to be quite easy and generally find myself a lot more satisfied eating what I've cooked at home rather than something that was prepared in bulk in some kitchen. There are always exceptions, but it's also, generally, those places that one shouldn't go to while wearing the same clothes in which they just ran five miles. And my kitchen? We don't mind a little post-run stank around here.

Not totally following recipes, though, does give one an enormous amount of creative license. While I don't despise onions, I'm not entirely fond of them, either. So the other night, while making stir fry based on this recipe I decided onions? Yeah, not so much. Squash? Oh yeah, baby.

And you know, it fit in just fine with the broccoli and asparagus. I did add it toward the end of cooking, though, which turned out to be a great decision. Ironically, squash is not at it's best when it's, well, squashy.

Stir fry, as many probably know, is the perfect runner's meal. It's all the things you need in a meal and it all ends up in one bowl. And to those of you making your stir fry from frozen vegetables let me just say while I completely understand the time and convenience factors, try fresh anyway. You will be so impressed with yourself.
Oh yeah, and there's chicken in there, too. But I've got to say, for some reason I can't really put my finger on, taking pictures of meat that you're cooking or eating or anything else just seems weird. Maybe this is because I am not really a fan of preparing meat but I am a fan of eating it so I just get over the preparation and cooking portion. Does anyone else feel this way?

Another too-simple-for-words cooking adventure of late was influenced by my latest trip to the Caribbean. Where they have fish. Where I had fish. Where I had mahi, iron content be damned, every chance I could.
I found this recipe and got all excited because the salsa portion of the recipe totally reminded me of an absolutely fabulous mahi sandwich I had while sitting in a seaside restaurant over-looking the bay on the last full day of my visit. It was while enjoying that mahi that I listened to sailor jokes and became friends with a young boy that told me not only was he going to become a famous drummer one day but if I came to see him play, HE WOULD LET ME IN FOR FREE. I always knew my involuntary adoration of musicians was meant to be.
What was not meant to be was the mahi. Trying to find good mahi in Colorado is like trying to find Rocky Mountain Oysters in the islands. I settled for tilapia. It was a very acceptable compromise.
The recipe, though, and it's fabulous salsa, called for onions. And I had every intention of using the red onion I just knew I'd bought. But when I opened the fridge, alas, there was no red onion. I was so sure I'd bought it. Who knew my onion aversion was so deep.
Instead, I decided a jalapeno and some roasted red peppers would have to do. And once again, they did.

I also added green peppers and later, the avocado. If nothing else, it was pretty.

And here again, I have no photo of the fish. I have a feeling, however, that it's less because of the I'm-creeped-out-by-photos-of-meat issue and more the once-food-is-in-front-of-me-I-must-eat-it issue.
The fish did need something other than salsa with it, though. I went with my all-time favorite side, sweet potato fries.

I have no idea if this is an "appropriate" culinary pairing but in my world, you can never go wrong with these. Never. Slice them, toss them in olive oil, sprinkle them with pepper or your favorite spice and sea salt, pop 'em in a 350 oven for 30-35 and that's it. They are always good and always remind me how much I love sea salt. Why the entire world isn't cooking with sea salt and no other sort of salt is beyond me.
No worries, internets, I do not starve myself to lose weight. In fact, when you're cooking like this, you're even more inspired to eat. You find yourself saying "oh, you know what would be good with this" or "next time, I'm going to add..." and before you know it, you have twenty more meals planned. For that evening.
Instead of asking yourself what's for dinner tonight, you just day dream about ingredients and spend your days searching for all the possible recipes that call for lime.


Bre said...

I know an awful lot of drink recipes that involve limes...

Otherwise, may I just say, you can cook fro me whenever you'd like!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Absolutely everything is better with lime.

Even though I finished supper not two hours ago, your post is making me hungry! No wonder I'm so fat.

Is there a trick to working with sweet potatoes? I tried making sweet potato pancakes a while ago and they just remained mushy - rather black mush once they burned.

brandy said...

I love sweet potato fries!! And all of E.b's recent cooking talk with pictures! And apparently using a lot of exclamation marks when I'm hungry!

GirlGoyle said...

You make it sound like a ton of fun. Though I love to cook, lately it feels like a jail sentence to have to worry about meals all the time.

e.b. said...

looks delicious! i am beginning to agree with you - food does taste better when conjured up in your own kitchen. that combined with my poor service the other night.

i too hate prepping meat and when lived alone cooked like a vegetarian - i can't handle touching or cutting it. i totally agree it is gross.

and finally - i also plan meals around an item and for some reason lately it has been red onions (i just love them) which seems to be the exact opposite feeling you have for them!

Backofpack said...

Here was my cooking adventure last night (for my parents, husband and son). Grilled sandwhichs of smoked mozzarella, turkey and sliced tomatoes (minus the turkey for this veggie) on sourdough. Tim's Cascade chips on the side, fresh local strawberries on vanilla bean ice cream for dessert. Sounds good, right? And it was - of course, it would have been better if I hadn't been caught up in talking to my Mom. I forgot about the sandwiches for a few minutes, so one side was perfectly golden, the other side...can we call it cajun-style? As in blackened? Mine and Riley's were perfect though - only three would fit on the pan, so ours were the second round and I paid attention!

Sizzle said...

why on earth would people think you starve yourself? that's crazy talk. those pictures make me want to cook!

egan said...

Do uppity people really email you when you write a post like that? Why don't they just comment on your blog? I don't get it. I'm hungry now.

The Exception said...

It is fabulous that you take the time to cook with fresh stuff and that you enjoy it. I wish I did!

Dawn said...

Boo to squash,but yay to broccoli and squash.

brookem said...

ooh sounds so yummy! i love squash. and great pics! mmm.

Danielle said...

I wish I was more of a veggie person...but I'm with you on the cooking and eating at home. I can't stand the portion sizes and knowing that even though the food tastes good, I could've made it better AND healthier and not had so much that I was ill from the thought of trying to eat it...