Sunday, September 18, 2011

Cooking, Food Shopping, and my Pantry Challenge

Life has been so very busy that I haven't been cooking as much as I like. I am focusing on quick salads and easily prepared main dishes--and after all, I only have to feed and please myself.

Here's what I have always hated about making salads: constant cutting, dicing, washing, spinning of the different elements. Solution: I've started buying really good, high quality organic lettuce in plastic packs. A mix of "super greens" and bags of romaine hearts as the basis for twice-a-day salads. My initial concern was the higher cost--seems ridiculous, on the face of it, right? just wash the damn lettuce! I tell myself... but I don't. The outcome, however, is that it is so easy to grab a handful of clean greens, chopped romaine hearts and dump them into a big bowl, add cherry/grape tomatoes, snap peas, chopped celery, crumbled feta, and either a half-can of tuna or a sliced hard-boiled egg. And whatever else is in the fridge.

How stupid was I?

Ok, I am all over that. The outcome is a great lunch for me at school twice weekly, plus at home ease.

Once cooler weather comes I want to start playing with slow-cooker soups again. Mostly beans, chicken, and beef, plus vegetables, using homemade stock or organic boxed broth.

This week I cooked:
  • Black bean soup, with organic pork sausage, onion, garlic, and thyme
  • Chicken breasts rolled around roasted red pepper strips and goat cheese
  • Salmon with Old Bay and lemon
Because of my low-carb diet, I am not cooking breads, cakes, or anything like that. In other words, my flour, sugar, and various cooking supplies are going begging. One pantry shelf is completely full of these supplies, while I waffle about what to do with them. My constant notion: cook cupcakes or cookies for my students. Love the process, give away the results...

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