Food, Glorious Food

I’ve been cooking a lot lately, which I know sounds weird to those of you who know that I don’t really enjoy cooking. I don’t hate it, and I get some satisfaction out of it, but there are many things I’d prefer doing. (Like having someone cook for me while I read a good book.) I think it comes down to preferring creative endeavors that produce things that last, like books. Food gets eaten. This is also why I don’t like gardening. Didn’t I just weed that patch?! Stop growing! Sheezus criminy.

But cooking is cheaper and healthier than eating out, and (a) we just bought a house so we’re paying off a lot of stuff and (b) I’ve lost 14 lbs since August solely by not eating as much crap, and I’d like to continue that trend. I think, also, that I’ve been in a bit of nesting mode, because the world feels stressful and uncertain. Plus, I’m happy to be in the house with all of our kitchen stuff, and all along we hoped to find a house with a basement so we could put an upright freezer down there and fill it with food. We have a house with a basement and an upright freezer. Time for the food-filling part.

Before the craziness that was October, what with a trip to Atlanta and a workshop and two Marillion concerts in San Francisco and LA and then driving home with a truckful of furniture, I prepped some slow cooker meals and whatnot and froze them so I could feel both our moms without having to figure out what to cook each day. I made an anal-retentive calendar of what I had to take out of the freezer each morning, what we’d be eating that night, etc.

That worked so well that I continued with the slow cooker meal prepping thing. I’m not quite up to doing a 40 Meals in 4 Hours extravaganza, but so far I have the following meals in the freezer (the morning before I want to cook one, I’ll take it out of the freezer): Italian chicken, chicken taco bowls, balsamic chicken, chicken gyros. We also have leftover chicken stew and some kind mystery meals already cooked and frozen; I blame Ken, who never labels anything. We’ll be eating some of those this week.

This past weekend I made sweet potato/jalapeno soup (the second time I’ve made it; the first time was when the moms were visiting), cauliflower stilton soup, and healthier mac-and-cheese. All are in the freezer for the future.

In the past weeks, I’ve also made

  • a chile egg puff
  • unstuffed cabbage rolls (basically cabbage, onion, ground turkey, and Worcestershire cooked together in a big pot)
  • goulash (with ground turkey)
  • a frittata with chicken, crumbled bleu, bacon, and avocado
  • vegetable soup with homemade mini meatballs (normal meatball recipe with ground turkey instead of beef, plus a bit of finely shredded baby spinach for an extra health boost). This is what I’ve been eating for lunch, with a sprinkle of shredded parmesan.
  • breakfast bowls (frozen)
  • split pea soup
  • turkey sausage patties (they’re all gone, though, and we need to make more. This time I’m going to use the George Foreman grill.)

On deck coming up are Thai soup (for my lunches), turkey meatloaf with zucchini and feta (a new recipe to try), and Michigan sauce (I have a hankering). And I should probably research another slow cooker meal or two…. Oh, and we’re hosting a Christmas get-together, and I’m already making lists of food ideas.

I don’t know who I am anymore, but at least I’m well-fed!