Why no, it does not.
I have never been a big fan of fish. Mostly the texture… it just didn’t sit with me right. But B-man and I are trying to eat healthier, wholer, and more… varied. So I bought some fish at Earthfare today.
It is a pretty cool store, to be honest. But that’s beside the point. I tackled my fears today. I made fish! By the way… it was delicious!
First I took Anise seed, and crushed it.
We bought this for making Limpia bread at Thanksgiving time, so it has been sitting around for a while, but I read online that it is a good flavor to go with tilapia. My house smelled like licorice, and that was a little off putting, but I figured… if it didn’t taste good I wasn’t at any loss, since I wasn’t looking forward to the fish any ways.
You also need some salt…
And some panko bread crumbs.
Then take the filet (B-man and I just split one)….
Salt both sides, and them rub the Anise seed into it, and then dredge in the bread crumbs.
In a frying pan pre-heat a few tablespoons of oil, and then cook the fish for 6-8 minutes per side.
I cooked for longer on one side than the other. But AH! It was so delicious and flaky, and the Anise seed was the perfect complimenting flavor!
I also wanted to make something I like… in case the fish didn’t work out for me… so I made couscous…
Pictured above is a spinach and romaine salad with beet sprouts and pine nuts, then the fish, and then the lemon spinach couscous all the way on the right.
Oddly enough, I loved the fish, gobbled my salad, and didn’t care for couscous much. A bit too lemony maybe? I dunno. But this is a huge hurdle for me. I will definitely be trying to sea-oriented dishes in the future. Got any recipes or suggestions for me?
I don’t think I have been over weight my entire life. If you asked me to draw a picture of myself, I would probably look average, maybe even skinny. I guess you could say that I have a deceptive view of my own body. I’m always willing to try a new “diet” to lose weight, or to do whatever seems like it will work fast. I am a typical American, I want the fast results. But I know that isn’t the way things work. I didn’t gain all of this weight in a month, and I’m not going to lose it all in a week or four. I wish it worked like that. B-man and I have been working on trying to make our lives healthier. To eat better. “Lite”-er, less fat, more veggies, less frying, more baking. I’ve tried lots of things. But none of it sticks. Why? I dunno. I don’t like tomatoes. Do you know how many diets depend on tomatoes? Lots. Or the ones that depend on bell peppers to add calorie-free flavor? Lots. I can’t eat bell peppers, so that doesn’t do much for me. But I’ve been doing some thinking, some watching, and some reading. Reading! can you believe it! I think I’m starting to like reading. Just by the way.
So, I did accumulate a small collection of books that address the way Americans eat. The way I eat. This “western” diet that is known to be the cause of the top for fatal diseases in America. I know about this – and yet I still do it. I’m not good at explaining what I’ve been reading. I tried talking to my husband about it, and ended up gluing him to the couch so that I could read to him for 2 hours. We read the book “Food Rules” by Michael Pollan. I wasn’t expecting to love it. But I did. I do. B-man and I have been focused on trying to eat healthier. But what is healthier? What about eating better? But what does that mean? Well, to be honest – my definition is probably a little different from yours.
I’m not going to say “I will only eat this many calories” because instead of focusing on the external cues to controlling eating, I want to focus on how I feel. Do I feel hungry? Do I not feel hungry. I don’t want to feel full. That’s not a good feeling.
I want to eat good, whole food. I am not going to say “organic.” I am going to say local. Why local? I want to buy local meats, at the least, and everything else when I can. I want to eat animals that are raised well. Animals that eat what they’re supposed to eat. Cows don’t eat corn. But all of the meat I find in the store is corn fed. I was talking to B-man about this. How, for thousands of years cows have been pasture fed, and then quickly it changed to a corn fed diet because corn is cheaper, faster, easier. What ever. But we’ve done the same thing to people. People haven’t been eating processed crap for thousands of years. My body isn’t made, or adapted to eating thing like high fructose corn syrup or xanthan gum. Does my body know what to do with these things? Do it know how to make the most of these new processed food? Despite the fact that many of these processed foods contain the same nutritional values, that doesn’t mean that it’s being treated the same way once I eat it. The book doesn’t say that – that’s just some of my thoughts. I want to eat animals that have been taken care of, animals raised the way they should’ve been, and not animals raised as part of a massive factory operation.
So we’re going to eat local meat, milk, eggs… along with a fun adventure. What we’re going to do is… well… try to make more things from scratch. Or… try. i am up for trying. We’re going to try and make tortillas, or bread, or pasta…. everything. Things that we would normally buy at the store…. we’re going to try and make it. Should be… interesting.
The Food Rules offers some guidelines to judging for yourself which kinds of foods are going to be better for you. B-man and I read the book together, and we’re picking things to do, things to apply, things to change. It’s the kind of thing you read, and then hopefully some of it sticks – unlike the hard and fast lines that diets draw.
We’ve also given ourselves a new challenge: to TRY NEW THINGS.
So the goal is to go to the store, farmers’ market, coop, somewhere, and find something new to try. Something I don’t like, or something I’ve never cooked before – and try it again. So that is what I am going to blog about. The new things – like that failed eggplant adventure.
I’m going to keep writing about this change in my life. I guess I need to be more specific about my goals, but I am having such a hard time paring down everything I’ve been thinking, reading, watching, learning.
Back to the books.
I’ve been questioning the things I eat lately. Not because of the food blog – I started that because of this questioning. I eat a lot of crap. I’m aware. So I am trying to cut back on the crap. Lol. Yes, the ultimate in high class! So, I am going to cook more. Which is some times easier said than done.
Today I went to the farmers’ market in market square with my friend Brooke today. Then we went to Tomato Head and ate and sipped our drinks and talked – forever. It was a much needed girl’s day. Like… I don’t think I’ve ever had one before, so it was good.
While out and about at the farmer’s market, I bought the following:
Except for the misshapen Zucchini on the left, that came from my garden. So I bought:
- 1 cantaloupe
- 1 eggplant
- 2 “gourmet” dog buscuits (umm… for fun).
- 2 ears of corn
All of these kind of make sense, except the eggplant. I really don’t like eggplant. But I wanted to give it another try. Plus Brooke was buying eggplant… so I wanted to be cool.
I was going to make ratatouille… but it has bell peppers, and mushrooms. Yuck. That wasn’t going to work. So I decided to make my own version… with out the afore mentioned items, and with pasta. Best idea ever.
- 1 medium sized vaidalia onion
- olive oil
- half a box o’ shell pasta
- 1 misshapen zucchini
- 1 eggplant
- 1 can diced, no salt added tomatoes
- garlic (chop your own, I’m a lazy butt).
- Vodka tomato cream sauce – this really made the dish
- mozzarella cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup of water
Onto the prep:
Boil your pasta. Mine called for 12 minutes. BUT… it goes in the oven later with sauce, so I only cooked it to ALMOST al dente.
Cut up the eggplant into chunks. Small chunks. Mine were too big. I also didn’t peel the thing. Supposedly it softens. LIES. Peel it. Do it.
This is a swish of garlic, and a tablespoon of garlic… about 3 cloves. Trust me. It’s good. Cook over medium heat until garlic is getting brown…
Ummm… cook your onion in this goodness. I didn’t. I forgot. So I had to sautee it later and add it in. Don’t make the same mistake. Add your sliced onions now, and not when the picture says…
Cut the zucchini into rounds. It’s sooo pretty. Plus it’s my favorite veggie, and Zuko loves to eat, which cracks me up. Zuko likes Zucchini. Couldn’t have planned that.
Add the eggplant to the pan. Cook. Stir. The onions should already be in the pan.
Add some rosemary. It’s good stuff. But not too much, ya hear now?
This is where I remember that stupid onion.
Slice it up, then… if you haven’t already…. throw it in ANOTHER pan to sautee.
Back to the main pan now:
Add those tomatoes, including all of the juice, to the eggplant.
And the onions. They’re all juicy and sweet and caramelized. Don’t just throw them into this mixture raw… onions need special treatment. Hmmm… yumm.
A tad bit of parsley…
And then some Oregano.
Also add a cup of water. Let it simmer. Let that spongy eggplant suck up all that hmm hmm goodness. Also, add a bit of salt.
Preheat the oven to 370, oil up your favorite baking dish, and then spread the entire contents of your pan into the baking dish.
Cover with a layer of pasta.
And then a layer of Zucchini. Save the extras for dinner tomorrow… zucchini is the best veggie ever.
Buy this sauce and bring it home.
Lovingly spoon the sauce out over the zucchini, be sure to cover and of the pasta that is showing or it will get crispy in the over.
Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top… just a bit…
Cover the dish with foil, and stick it in the oven for 45 minutes.
Open the oven.
Take the dish out.
Remove the foil.
Sprinkle mozzarella cheese.
Return to oven uncovered for 5 minutes.
Marvel at it’s deliciousness.
Store extras in serving size plastic containers for husband to eat later.
I still don’t like eggplant. It tasted good, but I just couldn’t get past the texture.
BUT!!!! Holy freaking cow. The past shells… were… amazing. So creamy and perfect. I don’t know how it’s done, but I would make this again just to eat the pasta and zucchini.
So, I can say I have tried it, and I gave it a darn good try, but I don’t think I will be buying any more eggplants just to look cool.
Okay blog-buddies… tell me a food, or recipe, that you think I should try. I am allergic to bell peppers, raw apples, peaches, and cherries (but if the fruits are cooked they are fine… I can’t eat any bell peppers, ever. Sad… they used to be my favorite veggie). I’m also not a big fan of seafood… but if you point in the direction of a favorite recipe, I may be willing to try it.
Okay guys… I’m serious about this. I know… I’ve blogged about my weight before. I can’t help it, it’s a big part of me… ha ha… get it? (Umm… I’m like this in real life. Sorry).
So, along with riding my bike 8 miles every day, I am back on the calorie counting wagon. But, I’m not only going to count calories! Why? Because I’m sneaky, and if no one is watching, maybe the calories don’t count. So, additionally, I am going to start taking pictures of everything I eat. Then, I am going to post a picture of it at oneshinystar.com/food so that I am a bit more motivated to eat healthier… ya know… since any one and their mother can check it out. So to check out my goals (at the bottom of the page) and my first food diary, go on, and click on that link!!!
When I was growing up my Mama would make strawberry chicken salad. It is exactly what it sounds like, and it is delicious. I would probably make it every day for forever and never get sick of it. I know a lot of people Salad = Diet Food. Even if that is true – and it can be, even with the original recipe (not the one I made). But regardless. I love it. I could go on for days about salad. Okay… maybe not days, but you get the point. So the other day I made a suped up version of the salad in hopes of copying the salad we shared at a local restaurant weeks ago. Their’s was better, but mine was pretty darn good.
Let’s take an adventure…
Start with pretty green lettuce. I like romain, but you could definitely add spinach. Just none of that iceburg stuff. Nope, none of that. I just chopped then ripped.
Next I added my quartered strawberries. I love cold salads, so everything (except the chicken) was refrigerated before it was added.
For the chicken I trimmed a single chicken breast of all the fat, dried it off, put a healthy dash of salt and pepper on both sides, then tossed it on the George Foreman grill until it was cooked. When it was finished, I cubed it!
Next: Candied walnuts. I don’t like walnuts. But if you cover them in sugar and butter, I don’t mind. lol. I don’t know how to explain how to make these. I melt some butter, then add sugar until it gets to the soft ball stage, then I add the nuts. I have some experience in the fudge-making department, which has led me to my magic candied-nut making abilities. Good luck.
And last but not least, wait… that’s a lie. I hate blue cheese. It is one of my least favorite cheeses… BUT – used in the right amount, and the right size, I think it adds a interesting tone to most salads. It’s kind of… bitter… salty… tangy? Yeah, tangy. Perfect for sweet things. But I hate those big clumps. Nothing ruins a salad faster than a mouth full of blue cheese. Crumble with care.
There you have it! A beautiful, summer salad!!!
I’m also a big fan of fancy-looking drinks, so my “mock-tail” of the evening is just ginger ale in a pretty glass with some fresh strawberries.
What a beautiful start to summer. Now, if only we could get the A/C working!
So, my camera isn’t dieing, but my batteries sure are! I have noticed a huge difference in my available shutter speed! So, please forgive me for the next picture. It would look a lot more apatizing if not for my camera.
And what is this?
Salad… that’s just lettuce.
Baked Mac’n'Cheese… well… I made a box of craft, then baked it with cheese and bread crumbs on top. Delicious, and easy!
Pork Chop… Yum. This was by far the best thing I’ve ever made on my George Foreman Grill.
We got the grill for our wedding, and I didn’t want to use it too much because I thought it would be a pain to clean. BUT recently B-man told me he really likes it because it is so easy-peasy to clean! Yeah! So. For these delicious pork chops you will need:
- 4 small pork chops (for two people)
- 2 heaping spoonfuls of Grey Poupon mustard
- 2 tbsp of honey
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp cumin
Dry off the pork chops. Mix all of the other ingredients together. Spray your griddle (so nothing sticks). Brush the sauce on one side of the pork chop, put it on the grill, then sauce the other side. Repeat four times. Cook until done… once it’s white on the outside, and you can cut it and not see any pink. Varies by cooking method.
I take a lot of pictures of food. I think it’s because I like cooking, and I love eating. So, let’s take an adventure in “Food Land” because I have quite the collection to share!
We went to this restaurant on a lunch date the other day.
We just walked there. I have driven past it probably a million times, it was 11, and I was craving some biscuits and gravy. Probably my favorite food ever. No worries, I was successful in my endeavors, and I did procure the goods:
B-man got a BBQ sandwhich and fries.
I was kind of hoping for something really cool that I could submit to Diners, Drive-ins and Dives so I could meet Guy Fieri… no such luck. The food was average, but really cheap. I think my gravy is better… and it comes from a package. BUT… I cannot cook bacon to save my life. Yes, the last time I cooked bacon I had an entire high-rise apartment building evacuated. It was awful.
Back to the restaurant. Have you ever seen cans this big?!
It was a real friendly joint, and lots of locals started coming in around noon. The lady at the check out (upon seeing B-man’s credit card) asked if we were related to the Reeds around here. I guess it’s a family that’s been in South Knoxville for many a generation, but alas… we hail from… Virginia.
Even if I was hungry and didn’t feel like cooking… I would probably cook before coming here again. It wasn’t bad, it was just not as good as I was hoping for. BUT, we took an adventure, we walked a block, and I had biscuits and gravy. Definitely not a wasted trip.
Recently I have kind of fallen in love with salad though. I know – strange. But it just feels like nothing is as satisfying in the weather than I nice crisp salad.
This one had salt & pepper chicken, manderin oranges, croutons, and a blush red wine vinaigrette. It was delicious.
I also have a thing for cheese. Not so much lately, but in general. Hmm… my favorite cheese product is definitely Macaroni & Cheese, but my second favorite would have to be this beauty:
Alton Brown told me that Grilled Cheese always tastes better when made with two different cheese, and after some experimenting. I must agree. Try it – you’ll be in cheese heaven. Or fatter. Hmmm… I guess they might be the same thing. I also like to add some chopped up ham (umm… I chop up the lunch meat and then heat it up in a little skillet). If you add protein does that make it better? lol.
And that, my dear friends, is my most recent adventure to Food Land! Thanks for visiting!