I didn't really mean to turn this into a food blog, but I suppose food is what I've been focusing on recently. Why? Well, I'd like to get serious about losing weight and eating healthier. We'll see if the losing weight thing works out, but at least I can try to serve healthier food, right?
Okay, yeah, I know what you're thinking: What kind of diet includes homemade jam and spaghetti and meatballs, right? Fair enough. But I think there's a time and place for everything and it's about portion control and making good nutritional choices. After all, a teaspoon of homemade jam on a piece of multigrain toast isn't a terrible thing; the jam's a better choice than butter. And oh, my, is it tasty!
When I was on the jury, another juror I talked to had recently lost nearly 30 pounds. I asked him how he did it, and he said he eats six meals a day, but each meal is served on a 7" lunch plate instead of a dinner plate. Half of the plate consists of vegetables, one quarter is a starch/grain/carb, and one quarter is a lean protein. He's cut out snacking, for the most part, but he does allow himself a handful of peanuts each day.
That gave me something to think about. If I was to place more emphasis in meals on vegetables, what would happen? If nothing else, it would at least be healthier than the way I had been eating. Homemade, fewer preservatives, and organic are pretty good things to include too. And maybe if our temperatures EVER drop back below 100 degrees, I might even consider adding a little exercise to the mix.
In the wee hours of Saturday night, I made some blueberry jam. With these jars in the pantry, I think I'm done with my canning for now, unless I decide to can salsa--something I've done before and enjoyed.
A couple people were interested in the cauliflower recipe I made the other night. It was really pretty simple and so darn good! In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of butter. Add 1 small, sliced sweet onion (or half a larger onion) and 2 cloves of minced garlic. Saute a couple minutes until fragrant. Add 1/2 to 1 head of cauliflower florettes. Sear the cauliflower on one side before stirring; stir and sear again. Continue until the cauliflower is somewhat browned on the outside but still crisp. Salt and pepper to taste; I served it with a little shredded parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. Yum!
Finally, this is the coolest thing I've come across in a long time, and I found it on Woolie Mammoth's blog a couple months ago:
Salad in a jar! It's taken me this long to try it out, but I swear it's a really excellent idea, particularly for those of us who eat at work.
Anna said she fills several jars on Sunday and they stay fresh all week long. No need to make a salad before work in the morning--just grab a jar and head out the door. When it's time to eat, take off the top and turn it upside down onto a plate or into a bowl--the dressing covers the salad ingredients as they come out of the jar.
Here's how you layer them: In the bottom of each jar goes the dressing. I used a low cal Italian. The bit of water from the just-washed lettuce drained down and diluted it a little, which seemed just perfect because sometimes I think the low fat dressings are a little too strong.
Next add the veggies--the stuff that can sit in the dressing and marinade. I put in some sliced radishes, sliced onions, the leftover cooked cauliflower, and diced tomatoes.
On top is the lettuce. And for these I made for the next couple days, I added a small baggie of cooked shrimp. One of these quart jars of salad holds a meal-sized salad or enough for two side salads.
Okay, I think I'm done talking about food for now. Tomorrow I'll tell you what I've been working on in the Sweat Shop.