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I don't really cook anymore

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Old 09-02-2010, 11:46 AM   #1
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Default I don't really cook anymore

That's not really true. I cook every day. But my "cooking" is rather boring because I feel limited in what I can cook that I know is healthy.

This is hard to explain.

Old Eliana was the queen of casseroles and my freezer was full of them. I cooked up a storm once a month and filled my freezer to overflowing with delicious...horrible...meals. And I felt like I was feeding my family well.

Now, my poor children! LOL! Dinner last night was stir fry of cabbage, broccoli, pine nuts, almonds, spinach, tomatoes and leftover pork. But I don't feel like I was cooking because I just threw it all together.

I think I'm in a recipe rut. I'm pretty picky about what I eat now, and I have some definite standbys.

I miss my casseroles! Not the taste...just the thought. I don't feel like I'm feeding my family well. Like my children are not going to grow up saying, "Oh remember mom's _______. No one makes it like she does."
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Old 09-02-2010, 12:01 PM   #2
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Don't worry Eliana-- the other day, after being away for a few days and not eating our usual fare, I made fish, broccoli, and salad, and my daughters were saying "oh it's so great to eat delicious healthy food again..."
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Old 09-02-2010, 12:08 PM   #3
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I totally know what you mean. Last night I tried a new "healthy" recipe for a Baked Rosemary/lemon chicken. After the first bite or so the family went searching for the BBQ sauce, and then my 11 year old son nearly cried out, "MOM, when are you going to FRY chicken again...yours is the BEST". I felt guilty.

I do make some of their favorites now and then and just eat something different, but I reserve that for Birthdays and special occasions instead of because it's Wednesday now. Maybe they'll thank me later in life...when they decide they need to take off a few pounds and actually have a clue on what healthy food is...
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Old 09-02-2010, 12:12 PM   #4
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I know exactly what you mean, Eliana..... I used to spend 2 hours on a single meal, and feel like I had accomplished something. Now I spend 20 minutes on seasoned tilapia and steamed veggies and feel like it's nothing.... even though it's delicious. I'm feeling rather limited, too. I miss the satisfying feeling of my old style of cooking, but not the food itself.
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Old 09-02-2010, 12:27 PM   #5
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Oh man I can relate. But my problem is I was the baking/ dessert queen and I have lately the guilt has made cave in. While the kids will eat healthier desserts it's just not "Mommy's iced brownies or peanut butter cookies". I am trying to lose the guilt and only do healthy desserts because I have a hard time resisting.
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Old 09-02-2010, 12:27 PM   #6
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I like to experiment myself. And I've noticed my cooking always tastes better using foods I know I like. Its fun to cook food in differnt ways, but I think its the ingrediants themselves that give the meal its pizzaz.

I suggest using things that your family likes to eat and make it more creative. Its always nice to try the healthier approach to an old classic. Like hamburgers or pizza, and even your yummy casseroles. There are several ways to make the usual high-cal junk food into a healthy-low cal treat. Try making chick-pea burgers, a tortilla mexican pizza, or a baked chick breast casserole.

Cheers.
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Old 09-02-2010, 12:28 PM   #7
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I've been toying with the idea of a fried chicken using olive oil to fry and flax seed meal for a coating. Not something I'd do every day or eat in quantity, but certainly a treat with possibilities.
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Old 09-02-2010, 12:31 PM   #8
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I identify too. My family misses their favorites. I have lightened a couple of recipes for casseroles that I make every now and then.
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Old 09-02-2010, 12:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calluna View Post
I've been toying with the idea of a fried chicken using olive oil to fry and flax seed meal for a coating. Not something I'd do every day or eat in quantity, but certainly a treat with possibilities.
I've done that with cornflakes. I'd forgotten about that. I just used an egg wash and dragged the breasts through cornflakes. "Fry" in a tiny amount of oil.

Another chicken trick I discovered is butterflying the breast!! My husband thinks he's eating a whole breast, but it's actually only half. It cooks faster and I think better.
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mini goals: ~211-10% lost;12/24/09 ~203 class I obesity 1/28/10; ~199 Onederland/15% 2/19/10; ~188-20%; ~185 half way 5/14/10; 179-bye 180's 6/12/10; ~174 overweight 7/3/2010;169-bye 170's 8/13/10;~164-30% 10/23/2010159-bye 160's~11/1/10; 153-35%~12/23/10; 149-bye 150's~2/11/11; 145 normal~2/14/2011; ~141-40%; 139-bye 140's ~135 GOAL! (129-45%; 117.5-50%)






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Old 09-02-2010, 01:24 PM   #10
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I can relate -- my options are very limited these days and I'm not the inspired chef I ususally am. I also used to love having a big cooking day and freezing things for the rest of the week.
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Old 09-02-2010, 01:37 PM   #11
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I'm now the queen of what DH calls "bistro cooking" - meaning that I make a lot of wraps with whatever protein is handy (usually shrimp or chicken, sometimes blackened tilapia or a little sliced pork chop) with lettuce, goat cheese, greek yogurt, and the "fancy" salsa from the deli section (I love mango-peach salsa). DH says that if anyone else knew what we eat, they would think we're nuts. I also make veggie chili with pumpkin and mixed dry beans. Strange how the staples in our diet changes.
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Old 09-02-2010, 01:45 PM   #12
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My staples have definitely changed! I love everything I cook! I could live off stir fries. They're simple and I can change the flavor with whatever seasonings I'm in the mood for. No recipe involved.

That's kind of my new thing. No recipes. I think that's why I'm feeling like I'm not a cook, even though that's probably actually the sign of someone who knows what she's doing.

I sure wish I knew how to cook fish properly, though. Occasionally it comes out right, but usually it's just awful. I've had the most success with an aluminum packet. We love Bourbon salmon, but mine is just awful.
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Long term goal: To still be calorie counting 11/9/2010
mini goals: ~211-10% lost;12/24/09 ~203 class I obesity 1/28/10; ~199 Onederland/15% 2/19/10; ~188-20%; ~185 half way 5/14/10; 179-bye 180's 6/12/10; ~174 overweight 7/3/2010;169-bye 170's 8/13/10;~164-30% 10/23/2010159-bye 160's~11/1/10; 153-35%~12/23/10; 149-bye 150's~2/11/11; 145 normal~2/14/2011; ~141-40%; 139-bye 140's ~135 GOAL! (129-45%; 117.5-50%)






My "goal" story: http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/goal...goal-post.html
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Old 09-02-2010, 01:48 PM   #13
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I have to say that several days a week I am even more creative with foods than I ever was. We weren't big casserole eaters, so missing them isn't an issue. But, I have added Thai, Indian, Filipino, Hawaiian and Vietnamese foods to my repertoire, along with using some reduced calorie versions of favorite foods. That works for me, because I need to avoid wheat, and those cuisines used very little wheat, more vegies, and less fat than what I used to cook. I have reduced calorie/higher nutrient versions of some of my families old faves like Fried Chicken, Bavarian Beef with noodles, etc. I "stretch" sour cream and mayo with knox, prepared and whipped-- a trick I learned at a spa I worked in. If I do make a casserole, I scrupulously watch portions, and usually I won't eat them because many contain wheat.

Desserts are the hardest-- haven't come up with many decent substitutes, but do have some low-cal/ wheat free ones that can stand on their own.
And pastries..... so far except for one muffin, I have had to say goodbye to them.

I have searched low cal, low carb, and healthy eating websites to find something that will stop me from being bored.(And stop my family from searching out and bringing home junk cause Mama's not baking anymore1)
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Old 09-02-2010, 01:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calluna View Post
I've been toying with the idea of a fried chicken using olive oil to fry and flax seed meal for a coating. Not something I'd do every day or eat in quantity, but certainly a treat with possibilities.
Olive oil doesn't tend to do real well with really high heat, and don't you need that for fried chicken? I have never made fried chicken. Grapeseed oil OTOH does great with high heat cooking. Have you ever tried it? It is incredibly good for you in fact they are comparable nutrition wise. Olive oil has a smoke point of 320degrees and Grapeseed oil has a smoke point of 420degrees. So, I guess it just depends at what temp you fry your chicken. Just thought I'd let you know! I also really like Grapeseed oil sprinkled on my salads
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Old 09-02-2010, 02:01 PM   #15
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This is something I am already struggling a bit with, only 2 weeks into this new cooking/eating style. I have issues with "palate fatigue" and will get very, very bored quickly if my diet starts to feel at all like "people chow" - tasting pretty much the same all the time. Boredom would be my downfall. Also, I love cooking and coming up with new recipes, so I am looking at this as a a new challenge - big, bold flavors and lots of palate variety within the bounds of my diet.

Here's a sauce I just came up with. I didn't measure the first time so this is based on estimated quantities, so I'll need to tweak it. If any of you care to try this and suggest tweaks, I would appreciate it. My ultimate goal is to amass a collection of my own healthy recipes, like a personal cookbook.

RobinD's Creamy Leeky Onion Sauce
by Robin Delargy

Leek, 1 small, chopped small, white and light green parts
1/2 white onion, chopped fine
2 scallions, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c white wine
1 cup chicken stock, divided
1 tsp. capers
1 tsp. mustard powder
1 tsp. dried tarragon
1 tsp. dried thyme
2 tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
juice from 1 large lemon
MCT Oil (or EVOO)
salt

Sauté leek, onion and scallions in 2Tb. MCT oil until they begin to soften. Add garlic, stir until fragrant (approx. 1 minute). Add 1/4 cup chicken stock, reduce heat to med-low and cook until reduced by half. Add wine, capers, herbs and red pepper flakes. Cover pan, and simmer until completely soft, adding more stock as needed.

When onions are completely soft, remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes. Puree in blender or food processor, slowly adding the rest of the stock and 2 Tb. more oil. Blend until smooth, scraping often. Add salt to taste. Serve warm or chilled (for a firmer texture).

Terrific with fish, chicken or pork.

Hugs,
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