What’s Cooking?

It’s been a few weeks since I spent some quality time in the kitchen. My freezer is empty, and the fridge is stacked with sad little containers: a wilted cup of sauteed cabbage, a re-used deli contained that holds about 2 ounces of dry-looking chicken breast, a Glad container with a breakfast-sized serving of pork chops that I think I made last weekend… maybe.

Between the half marathon two weeks ago and my crazy work schedule, I’ve been limping along with boring food that’s kind of cobbled together to make a proper Zone meal. And that just makes a foodie like me feel deprived. Dave and I call it “churchmouse syndrome,” i.e., there’s so little food around I feel like a poor churchmouse.

So today: HEB. And tonight: a fridge stocked with healthy deliciousness.

Here’s what’s on my cooking menu for the day; recipes and photos of successful dishes to come:

Beef Chili
Made with extra-lean ground beef and two secret ingredients (1 bottle of Shiner Bock Lite and a little cocoa powder)

Baked “Spaghetti” Carbonara
This is my experimental recipe for the day. I got a fresh shipment of tofu shirataki noodles this week, and found a Weight Watchers recipe for carbonara that uses turkey bacon. I’m going to noodle around (heh) with the recipe to make it Zone-friendly and see what happens. Cross your fingers.

Cauliflower Poppers
Caulifower oven-roasted with cumin and chili powder. Tastes great as-is, or can be mixed with some Greek yogurt to make a creamy side dish.

South Indian Curried Tofu
I was whining the other day about how I have a delicious recipe for curried chick peas that I really don’t want to make anymore because the serving size of chick peas on the Zone is just too small to make it worthwhile to me. And my genius friend — I’m pretty sure it was Stacey — said, “Duh. Make it with chicken or tofu.” Done.

Morroccan Meatball Stew
I have a sizeable collection of cookbooks because there’s always one recipe that jumps out during a browse-through of the book and requires me to purchase the damn thing just so I can have that one magical list of ingredients and instructions. This is one of those recipes: delicious little meatballs that taste great heated over a pile of julienned vegetables or cold as a snack with some fruit.

Mixmix Bibimbap
Dave and I were invited to participate in the taping of the TV show “Downtown” last May and during the course of the day, we ate a Koriente, a sweet little Asian restaurant just off the punk rock mecca of Red River Street. On their menu is a perfect Zone meal that is so tasty, it single-handedly makes the argument that eating healthy really can be delicious and fun and feel indulgent. Mixmix Bibimbap is a silly-to-say name for something pretty basic: small mounds of delicately julienned cold, raw vegetables — like carrots, cucumbers, red bell peppers, green cabbage, and red cabbage — mixed just before eating with warm chicken or beef and tossed with a light, spicy dressing. I skip the rice that comes with it and add some avocado for healthy fat. Is that not delicious-sounding? And look at it; so pretty!
In addition to these fancier contributions to my culinary adventures this week, I’ll also be prepping standard stuff that I always need on-hand to compose our meals: a head of cabbage, French-cut green beans, red grapes, strawberries, and chicken breast for breakfast.

Right now, I’m going to make a cup of tea and call my mom for a Sunday morning visit. Then… time to get cookin’…

What are you nourishing yourself with this week?

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  • Roni says:

    Well, I feel incredibly guilty for making the Cook’s Essentials version of Sitti’s chocolate cake we talk about on the phone this morning. If the cake wasn’t bad enough,I covered it with peanut butter/cream cheese frosting.

  • Melicious says:

    Oh, man! That sounds delicious.

    I already told Dave that I’m making that chocolate cake sometime soon… just need to plan for it when I’m doing LOTS of working out.

    The pasta carbonara recipe didn’t work — but everything else came out great. Of course, now I don’t feel like eating any of it. I don’t want to see food for at least a few hours. That was a LOT of kitchen time!

  • Roni says:

    Sorry your pasta was a bummer. I just watched President Obama’s speach and had a piece of cake. Two teaspoons of real vanilla was too much. After I dumped it in the batter I realized my mistake. There is definatly an after taste that is spoiling the flavor. On the bright side, I won’t eat as much!