Food Inc.

Have you noticed that when I come back from just a few days away I am typically more creative with my cooking endeavors?  Maybe its just coincidence, or maybe its me craving some really good, healthy food.  Anyway, here are some of my new (and old) creations.

I planned on buying a large container of Fage 2% yogurt for the week.  But it went up in price to $8/quart and I just couldn’t make myself do that.  So over to the milk I went.  I got a gallon of organic milk for $6, and went home to make my own greek yogurt.  Its a little time consuming, but so very delicious.  And I have plenty of whey left over for smoothies.

You’ve heard me talking about the excellent turkey bread that Vicky makes, right?  Its a homemade wheat bread with ground turkey, veggies, and cheese rolled up inside and baked.   Well the other day at the gym I was asking Vicky when she was going to make turkey bread again.  And it occurred to me that I had most of the ingredients at home to make it.  So that was first on the slate for Monday morning.  I actually had a recipe for Vegetable Stuffed Bread that Vicky had given me a long time ago.  That’s what I ended up making, because I forgot to buy some ground turkey.  The thing that made it possible for me to make the bread was that I realized I had a bag of Trader Joe’s whole wheat pizza dough in my freezer.  I bought the stuff on a whim, and almost let it go bad, but stuck it in the freezer at the last minute.  Let me just say that this dough worked great!  I was really surprised at how easy it was to work with, and it was very delicious tasting too.

I grated and cooked up a ton of veggies and cheese, and followed the recipe.  Rolled it all up and put it in the oven.  TA-DA!   I was so excited when I took this out and it looked so perfect.  And I was even more excited that it tasted so delicious. Next time I might add a little more cheese and a little less vegetables.  This loaf makes about 8 nice sized slices at about 200 calories each.

Closer view:

And inside the slice:

It was very easy to make.  A little time consuming with all the vegetable shredding and chopping.  But in the end I have 7 lunches wrapped and ready for me to take out of the freezer for the days I DON’T feel like cooking (and believe it or not, there are plenty of days like that.)  I will try to post my version of this recipe in the next few days.

Lately I’ve been looking for organizational items at the thrift stores.  I found this old wooden box and thought it might work for my collection of perle cotton thread.  Perfect!

Whether its alive or an inanimate object, SOMEBODY feels the picture is incomplete without her in it.

I’ve been buying glass containers and decorative tin boxes at the thrifts to replace the bags and plastic containers of all the many bulk items I buy.  I reorganized the cupboard AGAIN.

Sunday evening I opened a can of pumpkin to try a new recipe that is not worth mentioning.  I only needed a tablespoon of pumpkin.  So that can of pumpkin has been staring at me every time I open the fridge.  This morning I decided to try the pumpkin custard oats again.  Between the pumpkin and the egg whites, the oatmeal gets quite voluminous.  I topped it with pepitas and some of that homemade granola.  Quite satisfying.

But there was still almost a whole can of pumpkin left.  I knew it would either go to waste, or I could freeze it, or…I could use it.  Looked up that oldie but goodie recipe for Pumpkin Custard .  Yumm yumm yumm.  this is my favorite way to eat pumpkin.  Very satisfying dessert, and I think there’s only about 60 calories per slice.  I’ve got a slice waiting for me as soon as I finish writing this.

While I was thumbing through my cookbook , I saw my old recipe for Shrimp and Avocado Fiesta Soup.  Hmmm.  I see its not in my blog’s recipe index.  I’ll have to post that for you, because its very easy to make and VERY tasty.  Low in calories too.  I was thinking tonight that you could substitute shredded chicken if you didn’t want the shrimp.  Or just put some beans in there if you’re in the vegetarian mood.  I think I’ll try it with lentils next time.

So the shrimp reminded me:  a little seafood talk.  That last bag of shrimp I bought (I always buy the pre-cooked frozen shrimp) seems like it is a little overcooked.  Not really enjoyable.  In fact, I picked out half the shrimp in this bowl.  And Sunday night (this is almost laughable) after having that perfect piece of salmon at the seafood restaurant, I decided to try a piece of frozen salmon from the bag I had bought at Walmart.  Ummm.  No.  No way.  There is no comparison.  Just to say, that if you are someone who thinks they do not like seafood, and you have never had really great FRESH seafood, give it one more try.  Pay attention when you are cooking it so you don’t overcook it.  I am convinced, once again, that you get what you pay for.  As little as I eat meat these days, I will buy myself a single piece of fresh fish once in a while.  Of course, the further inland you live, the harder it is to get fresh fish, I suppose.  We have one market in town that brings in really good fish, so I will go there.

So today I was all set to go to the gym for my TRX class.  I go out to the car, and it is like nightmare deja-vu all over again.  Same day, same class I want to go to, same DEAD CAR.  After paying over $600 for a new alternator, I was not a happy camper.  The worst part was that I would miss my class.  In the end, AAA came out and gave me a jump, the mechanics paid for a rental car for me so they can diagnose the problem, and I went to the gym and just did my own workout.  Since I’ve gone back, I’ve stuck with the lower weights and higher reps.  I set up a circuit of machines and free weights that I want to do, and rotate through them three times.  It gives me a really good workout, and also is a little more cardio.  I am being super protective of my back, and also, I think its just a good idea to change things up once in a while.   Followed that up with a nice 30 minute swim.  I’m really getting back into the swimming groove.  Its very meditative to me.  I only do sidestroke bakc and forth.  I might add some more vigorous moves in, but for now its a very good follow-up to my weights workout.

Well, its getting pretty late.  Gonna jump in the shower, wash my hair, and sit on the couch and watch something or other on the computer!

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15 thoughts on “Food Inc.

  1. My pantry is filled with similar containers! Since I don’t cook that often, I need hermetically sealed storage. 🙂

    Sorry about the car drama. Those things are valuable, but they’re also a lot of trouble!

  2. Boo hiss on the car! Hope it gets figured out soon! I like the looks of the vegetable bread and will be interested to see if it’s something this domestically challenged diva could handle!

  3. That old box with your colorful thread is so pretty! It must make you smile every time you see it.

    Guess who eats pumpkin every day? Chloe. I read somewhere that it might help her anal gland issues. So far it seems to be working. If I can save a monthly $20 vet visit (because I just can’t do that on my own – yuck!) by serving her pumpkin I will be so psyched!

    • Hi Juice and Chloe!! Hmmm, anal gland issues? The queen doesn’t like me talking about such stuff in public, but she has a problem back there. We might just be using a lot of pumpkin in the future. (I know how to do that and it doesn’t bother me, but she will not allow it.)

  4. I am always way more creative with cooking after a vacation too! Though I do enjoy the break from cooking and the delicious meals out, there’s something to be said for eating things you would normally have. It’s comforting.

    Your thread box looks like a work of art. So pretty!

  5. I was going to say the thread box is beautiful..How nice to have workable art just lying around. That’s how I feel about my great- grandmothers old quilts that I use on the sofa and in chairs etc….My great-grandmother and great aunt ran the only sewing / fabric/notions store in my small town ( until the equivalent of Walmart opened in the 1970’s), so I have happy memories of sitting around her store and just looking at fabrics and buttons and ribbons and such.

    I just finished a can of pumpkin –mostlly pumpkin custard oats and pumpkin cottage cheese..yummo..I want to make sure I have enough pumpkin to get me in to fall..last year’s pumpkin deficit was a fiasco.

    Thanks for all your support on my blog by the way

    • Wow, that’s fascinating that they had a store like that and you grew up in it. Maybe you’ll turn into a quilter yet!

      Pumpkin cottage cheese–darn, I thought of that. Should have tried it. Might mix a little of that pumpkin custard into the cottage cheese!

  6. I agree that your threadbox looks like are! Maybe you should hang it on the wall? Functional art? Cool.

    OH MY HOLY TASTE BUDS!!! I need that bread. I mean, like right this second I want some of that bread. It looks so good. I’m going to try to find some whole wheat pizza dough around here – it might take a bit of looking, but surely I can find it around here (since we dont have a TJs here). Please post your recipe for it! Oh and the shrimp and avocado soup too – that looks yummy!!

    Looks like I need to start stocking up on pumpkin! Pumpkin cottage cheese sounds good – I never would have thought of that!

    Your car = Grrrrr! Have they figured anything out yet? Sorry you missed the TRX class. 😦

  7. I adore the picture of the colorful thread in the wooden box – the second picture, natch. Agree with Jill – you should hang it on the wall!

    Hope they figure out what in blue blazes is wrong with your car!

    • Hi Jamie!! Whoa, it seems funny to have someone reading my blog who knows me in real life LOL! That’ll be fun to keep up with someone at work. Right now the internet is as close as I want to get to work LOL. Ha, sorry. I use LOL a lot around here…

      Yes, I really liked the challenge of the TRX.

  8. You need to come here and make me some of that pizza roll thingie! Yum! If it wasn’t so darn hot here, I would be having pumpkin oats. I so love them.

    I also like to mix pumpkin in with my yogurt – have you tried this yet? It’s quite good with a bit of honey and cinnamon.

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