sometimes i cook things

I’m not a new years resolution girl. However, the end of the holiday season is a natural time to change one’s routine. Going from “holiday mode” (eating 5,000 cookies and four pounds of cheese each day) to “normal mode” (trying to include actual vegetables in my diet).

Truthfully, my healthy eating suffered before the holidays. I had a whacky schedule and life for the previous seven months of my life, once I was done with coursework and started internships. Going from Wilmington to Winston Salem with various Carrboro interludes meant living out of a car to a certain degree. Also, I moved during the nomadic period, but never really had sustained time at home to settle in. So my new place in Carrboro was more of a place I crashed and ordered pizza on the weekend than a home.

So my goal is to make it more of one, and the best way to do that of course is breaking in the kitchen.

I have done a few little projects that were good enough to share:

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Hippie brunch of whole wheat french toast and sauteed tempeh.

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YUMMY greens that were actually vegan!

I used the saute function on my crockpot and put in a bunch of olive oil, 1/2 a sweet onion (minced), two cloves garlic (minced), a bunch of red pepper flakes, and some cumin. I sauteed that til it was aromatic and golden. Then I switched it to slow cook mode and added two cans of fire roasted tomatoes (plus their juices) and a large bunch of collard greens, chopped up. I slow cooked that for about two hours (could’ve gone longer) and seasoned it with apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, and quite a bit of salt.

 

Delicious!

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Again, served it hippie-fied with tempeh. And on a base of cheesy polenta, mmmm.

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Something easy but tasty: my stepmother gave me some Korean kimchi-flavored noodles (the package says”for vegetarian”, but other than that I have no idea what is in it, except for of course a great deal of sodium). She said it was good with eggs.

Well, I ran with that and made a big bowl using 1/2 the noodles and 1/3 of the flavor packet (so as to not give myself instantaneous hypertension from all the salt) and topped it with an over easy fried egg. I broke the yolk and stirred it in and it made for the most heavenly rich, tangy broth.

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Another yummy meal, very simple: I had my friends and their little kiddo over. I took a premade soup (cashew carrot ginger), and added:

  • roasted carrots
  • more cashews, toasted dry in a hot pan
  • homemade broth
  • a little bit of wine I think?
  • spices

And cooked it til it was delicous. Semi-homemade, eh?

And homemade soup must always be served with grilled cheese!

The presentation was nicer when I served it to my friends, but here’s a picture of the leftovers. You get the idea.

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And finally, a recipe-ish using leftovers from my (to be chronicled) family post-Christmas open house.

Tortilla soup!

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I sauteed onion, carrot, celery, and pepper (all diced) in some olive oil, and added spices (cumin, chili powder, seasoned salt). Once they were aromatic and turning golden, I added some leftover roasted turkey and water and let that all hang out. Meanwhile, I broiled some red and green pepper slices and some cloves of garlic (also topped with cumin, chili powder, a bit of cayenne) til they got blistery and lovely. And whirred up the broiled veggies with some cherry tomatoes in the blender. I added the veggie mixture to the turkey mixture and seasoned to taste (the more cumin the better! Some apple cider vinegar was also nice). And because it was a little too virtuous, I added some cheddar cheese 🙂

All done! Quick and easy. And delicious topped with avocado and sour cream.

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Displayed on the beautiful tablecloth my mom got in Mexico!

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The next photos are not of beautiful cooking but do manage to capture an entire day of food! This was a highly inactive day, being the day I drove back to NC from my mama’s house in VA. I also had a limited appetite given the aforementioned holiday mode (a cookie and cheese based diet).

I wasn’t feeling breakfast- just had a cup of tea and frantically got ready to leave (after some unimpressive sleep).

Lunch was picked up at my favorite stop for cheap gas- South Hill, VA. Unfortunately the most appealing option there was McDonalds 😁

So I did my best and got oatmeal with fruit. And a coffee, of course.

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After unloading my car I was wiped so I had a nice afternoon snack in bed- I’m a big fan of these cashews, they are truly spicy! And their spiciness makes you eat them a big more mindfully (unlike sugary or cocoa-y nuts- I can probably put away 8 ounces of those guys at a time, eesh).

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I have yet to restock my fridge so dinner was a freezer endeavor: fish nuggets from Trader Joe’s and brussels sprouts, sauteed in a bit of olive oil with a new Zanzibar seasoning mix.

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And evening snack- I stole some exquisite Costco kiwis from my mom’s house. They are huge and fat and juicy and sweet. Picture this times two!

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That was not a normal day of eating, but it involved a level of mindfulness (and limited added sugar and dairy fat) that had been missing in my diet for quite awhile. I’m going to attempt to capture more of the things I make and eat in the hopes that it will help me get back in a healthier mode.

Have you tried any yummy recipes I should be making?

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