You know what? I kind of miss cooking.
If it isn’t obvious, I’ve been spending a little less time in the kitchen these last couple of months. Not sure why. I mean, I’m mostly cooking for one these days, with the hubs spending most of his waking life at work, but that’s never stopped me in the past. Cooking for one is slightly more challenging, but it’s not impossible.
No, I think it’s just that one’s hobbies and interests tend to ebb and flow, right?
A few weeks ago, I came across a hell of a deal for a subscription to the paper version of Eating Well. Seeing as EW is one of my favorite online recipe resources – and that I haven’t had a paper magazine subscription, to any publication, in years! – I jumped on it.
The first issue arrived:
And as I sat, flipping through it, I realized how rusty I’d gotten. Orange cous-cous? Chard dumplings? Carrot soup? This all sounds…hard.
Oh, seriously, Shelby. This is pathetic. WTF? I used to dominate the hardest shit that Epicurious and Bon Appetit had to offer at least twice a week. And now I’m cowering in the pages of Eating Well? Pathetic.
But…let’s take baby steps.
So for the last couple of weeks, I’ve been just focusing on making my own food, rather than caving and ordering take-out or heating up a frozen box of crap. Even if that means assembling my meals instead of cooking them.
Salads? Nachos? Pasta + topping? These are mostly assembled dishes, in my mind.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Because: just because it’s assembled, rather than cooked from scratch, doesn’t mean it isn’t tasty and healthy.
Which brings me to…
Today’s EAT: Yet another version of round-cake-pan nachos! I am calling this Caprese Nachos. And it was delicious.
I used to hate raw tomatoes. Well – I still hate raw tomatoes. I definitely pick them off of salads and sandwiches.
But when seeded, diced, and mixed with a bunch of other bold flavors:
I actually kind of love them. This classic mix of tomato, fresh basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar was first introduced to me by one of my college besties, and although I used to give her dirty looks for the liberal application of raw tomatoes on her dining hall tray (and she, to me, ironically, for my enthusiastic use of ketchup), over the years I’ve come to love this combination.
I loaded the tomato-basil mixture on a plate of whole-grain tortilla chips, roasted red peppers, chopped chicken and mozzarella cheese (pictured above). Simple, easy, delicious.
Today’s DRINK: Pretty fitting that it’s a cold, dreary night tonight. Because I had just one bottle of beer left in the fridge, and it was a winter-y one.
I feel like I’ve been hoarding this 2007 Brooklyn Brewery Monster Ale for ages! Really it’s only been a couple of months, but that’s practically an eternity for a beer in this household’s fridge!
I’d seen this barleywine-style ale around the interwebs all winter and am glad I finally tried it! As expected, it was heavy, juicy, and extremely boozy with scant carbonation. Fruity flavors blended well with a slightly wheaty flavor: like eating sweet preserved peaches or figs roasted on a browned biscuit-y crust. At 10.1% ABV, it packs a serious punch, but it’s a perfect thing to sip on a night when you’re parked in front of a roaring fire.
(Or a roaring TV playing Bones reruns. Same thing, practically.)
Today’s RUN: 5 easy miles today. And I have to say: today was sort of a relief. I think my legs are still reeling from that Shamrock Half. It’s been ten days, and today was honestly the first day since the race that I have felt semi-normal – and was able to keep my normal easy-run pace without any extra effort. I’d planned to do a little speedwork this week, but I think I’m gonna scrap it and wait until next week. The old rule of thumb is a day of recovery for each mile run, and I guess by that standard, I’m still in recovery mode until the weekend.
Okay, then. I’ll just pile on the easy miles until I feel ready. I’m only 7.5 weeks out from my next goal-race half, though. And I’m hoping to get several weeks of quality workouts in between now and then. So get with the program, legs!
Today’s QUESTION: What’s your go-to “assembly-line” meal?” Pizza, nachos, something else? Do you have a favorite recipe when you’re cooking for one? Help me break out of my rut!