I’ve been feeling rather uninspired about food lately.

I started a downward spiral into less-healthy eating a while ago, most likely around Christmas.  It has stuck around and then, in March,

pardon the hair, I was sick

it became worse.  There’s nothing like feeling like crap to make your food choices revolve around convenience rather than nutrition.  Suddenly I find myself at work, eating an apple I happened to pick up out of the teacher’s lounge and thinking “Wow, this tastes superb!  Why haven’t I bought apples for snacks lately?”  Oh, maybe it’s because I’ve been buying 100 calorie packs.  You know, they’re super convenient.  I don’t have to put the carrots into a baggie, wash the grapes or strawberries, deal with cutting the kiwi in half…. Are you hearing what I’m saying?  Essentially I went back to being lazy about my food choices.  Now granted I had been sick for a month, misdiagnosed with a heart problem and given pills which could double as sleeping pills but still…. I’d given up my fruit/veggie snacks simply because they weren’t convenient enough?  Please excuse me while I bang my head on the table.  I obviously need a wake up call.

Actually, I need a big wake up call.  I stopped journaling my food a long time ago.  I managed to continue losing weight for a long time.  After the start of the new year (and the start of a lot of my personal life drama) I reached my original goal weight of 175 and allowed myself to get a bit more lax.  It’s turned into laziness and a blatant relapse into old food habits.  I’m attributing the fact that I haven’t gained weight to my mostly meatless diet.  At least something’s been saving my butt.

I’ve been having a great time exploring lots of Asian themed meatless meals, figuring out the right way to cook tofu so it actually has flavor AND doesn’t fall apart.  Unfortunately, just before my week of medical horror, I experimented with a new dish which sort of brought together everything I’ve learned so far.

It wasn’t the food which made me sick.  But, for some stupid reason, my mind has blamed my illness on the meal.  I had tons of leftovers and they literally sat, untouched, in my refrigerator for a week and a half before I mustered up the courage to throw it out.  (You read that correctly, courage.  As in, I was afraid smelling it would  make me relapse to a full sinus infection and heart problems again.  I never said it was rational, I just said it was happening.)  So where does this leave me?  It leaves me with a plethora of meatless meals I don’t feel like making anymore and beyond that a bunch of meals I used to make which are certainly not in my healthier vocabulary.  It’s a tough place to be, really because I know there are great meals out there to be made, I’m just feeling so uninspired about food.

I’d like it to be simple, please.  Oh!  Add in convenient too!  And, if you could make it that special blend of things which doesn’t leave me wanting or craving something I can’t quite put my finger on and which usually leads to me raiding the kitchen cupboards in search of anything I can fit into my mouth.

it was super good, actually

*sigh*

I know, I know…. nothing is simple.  I struggled with a grocery list this week and while it did contain fruits and veggies for snacks again, I had an incredibly hard time coming up with meals to eat.

In trying to think about the last time I’d been inspired by food I remembered a class I attended one weekend in which a vegetarian meal was provided.  (You didn’t even get a non-vegetarian option and I was totally skeptical.)  It ended up being one of the most amazing meals.  Ever.  It was one of those times when I really wished I knew how to make something like that or that I could even identify the ingredients.  (Yep, sometimes those veggies are just THAT foreign to me.)

Anyway, there was a corn chowder which was so yummy and tasted so fresh I swear they had to have picked the veggies out of the garden and thrown them in the pot at the last moment.  There was also some rice stuff which I thought was dynamite but it wasn’t exactly called anything and I couldn’t identify what was in it and so I’ll just chalk that one up to “maybe some day.”

So anyway, this is a rather long and rambling way to say I made corn chowder for lunch/dinner today.  There are a zillion recipes for corn chowder on allrecpies.com and so I narrowed it down by searching for vegetarian corn chowder (though throwing bacon in this sucker like one non-veggie recipe had called for sounds super yum).  I settled on one which looked simple enough, quick enough and modifiable enough that it called my name.

The original recipe:

  • 2 cups cubed potato
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 11 oz can creamed corn
  • 15 oz can whole kernel corn
  • 12 oz can evaporated milk
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt

The directions said to throw the potato, celery, and onion into a pot and cover with water; bring to a boil and simmer for 20 min or until the potatoes are done.  I left out the onion.  I hate onion.  I added in carrot, I have no idea how much.  Then it said to drain the water and add in the evaporated milk, creamed corn and regular corn.  I used frozen corn instead of canned and so I had to throw in a bit of water to make up for the water which would have been in the can.  I just did it until the thickness “looked right.”  I threw in some sugar snap peas because they’re my new love, the cayenne pepper, some fresh ground black pepper and nixed the salt altogether.  Then I let it simmer for 20 minutes or so on low.

Ok, this was super good.  It tasted just as fresh as the one from the class and I think this might have been better and I totally blame it on the cayenne pepper.  It gave just the tiniest amount of heat which served to make it interesting… you know, just enough so that you’re aware something else is there but not enough for there to be any real spice to it.  YUMMY!

At any rate.  I’m sharing with you in the hopes you’ll share with me.  I need fairly simple (I don’t like cooking all day) recipes which may or may not contain meat.  Please share your favorite(s)!

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