Posts Tagged: food

What I’m Eating

Every December, I think, “I’m actually eating pretty healthy! I rule.” And every January, when I’m all carb-bloated and my skin looks God-awful, I think, “Girl, you were literally eating pie for breakfast. GET AHOLD OF YOURSELF.”

Which is all my way of saying that I’m back to meal planning and cooking at home. While I wouldn’t necessarily say I enjoy the actual act of cooking, I do enjoy eating in general, eating healthy food specifically, and eating food that is relatively cheap. This is mostly because I like to go out to dinner and order expensive things without feeling guilty, so I need to keep the rest of my meals cheap.

Anyway, I’m cooking for an audience of two, including myself, and my husband is nice enough but doesn’t constantly shower me with praise (weird?), so in the name of seeking validation, here are the dinners I made last week and the ones I plan to make next week. Also I recently went on a Carrie Brownstein interview binge and read her Grub Street column and it inspired me to keep track of everything I’m eating. I included links to recipes when I could.

Sunday: Turkey meatloaf, mashed sweet potatoes, ginger/garlic green beans
Monday: Panko-crusted chicken, curried carrots
Tuesday: Spaghetti with my mom’s homemade pasta sauce (it’s super helpful and cost-effective if you have a mother who cans a lot of food and you can just steal it from her)
Wednesday: Veggie chili (and Fritos, duh)
Thursday: Kale/sweet potato hash with fried eggs and cornbread
Friday: Daiya frozen pizza. Do you have a dairy allergy and miss pizza? Then just get this one. Forget all the other ones.

And here are my projected dinners for the next week!
Saturday: Zuppa Toscana, French bread
Sunday: Korean short ribs, potatoes, something green?
Monday: Crispy rice omelet (from Dinner: The Playbook)
Tuesday: Ham/pineapple/dairy-free cheese pizza
Wednesday: Potato/random fridge veggie hash
Thursday: Takeout (I have a deadline the next day and require Chinese food to meet it)

So that’s it! As I’ve mentioned before, grocery shopping is waaaaaay cheaper and easier when you plan out what you’re eating. I know for some people it’s a pain in the ass, but I spend all of my time thinking about food anyway, so it’s not all that hard for me. And as you may or may not notice, almost all of these recipes are extremely easy or feature very few ingredients. I’m busy, you’re busy, we’re all busy, none of us are making Beef Wellington. Also, I’m well aware that I cook like a mom. These are mostly very protein-centric, one-to-two vegetable sides meals that you would probably find on a table somewhere in the 1950s. Whatever. It’s my style and I can’t help it! What about you guys? What have you been cooking lately?

Lady Tip: Join a CSA

paiges produce

This week, Alicia at Jaybird wrote a post all about the joys of learning where your food comes from. It reminded me that I’ve never mentioned that H. and I joined a CSA this year…and it is awesome.

I’ve wanted to be a part of one for basically forever, but when I lived by myself it wasn’t super practical. This year we decided to split a share with one of H’s coworkers, and now we get a bag full of surprise vegetables every week. Pickup day is seriously the highlight of my week. So far we’ve had tons of peas and lettuce, radishes, cucumbers, some herbs, zucchini, peppers, and green onions. We even had one of these dudes, which I had to do some research to identify:

It was kohlrabi.

It was kohlrabi.

The best part of joining a CSA? Now I’m motivated to try out new vegetables I’ve never cooked before. I even got to make fried green tomatoes for the first time (because, like, what else am I going to do with green tomatoes?)! I’m not an adventurous person in any other arena, but when it comes to food, I’ll try pretty much anything. This CSA has been tons of fun because it’s pushed me to get out of my food ruts and encouraged me to try some new things. It also guarantees that I’ll eat way more vegetables.

It’s a low stress, relatively low cost way to get tons of vegetables (no grocery trips!) and I sort of like that it eliminates a lot of decision making. I know that on Wednesday night I’ll be eating whatever vegetables get delivered that day.

If you don’t have your own garden, you should definitely think about joining a CSA next year. Ours is called Paige’s Produce and I’d definitely recommend it! But if you’re not in the Columbus area, you can look up CSAs near you with this handy website.

What about you guys? Are you part of a CSA? What sorts of crazy fruits and veggies have you received this year?

Cover image via Paige’s Produce; kohlrabi image via Food Politic

Wednesday Link (Dinner) Party

Sorry the blog’s been a bit sparse lately. I really do like to update four days a week, but life’s been busy. H. and I re-started our home-buying process, and while I like to be all “the journey is the destination” and all that hippie bs, the truth is that this journey is hella annoying, frustrating, and stressful. So if I’m not updating WLTV on my regular schedule, just assume I’m standing in an empty living room somewhere trying to figure out where my furniture would go.

So I’ve been busy, but I haven’t been too busy to have a small dinner party. Having people over for dinner is so much more attractive to me than having a party, because eating and having long conversations are two of my favorite things. Last Friday, I invited my BFF Cat and her husband over to eat dinner with us. Cat is the absolute perfect guest–she always shows up early (but not too early), she always brings something, and she always helps in a very unobtrusive way (usually just by keeping me company while I finish things). I’m sorry if she’s not your friend and she can’t be your dinner guest. It’s seriously your loss.

Want to know what I served? Here you go!

For the main course, I made this braised pork ragu that I’ve been dying to try for months. I do not like to make fussy or show off-y things ever, but especially not when I’m having people over. It just stresses me out too much. The pork ragu was the perfect low-stress meal. I prepared it ahead of time and just heated it up when they were on their way over. Bonus: it takes a cup of wine, which means you’ll have some wine leftover to drink.

I stuck with my go-to basic green salad. If you candy the walnuts and mix up the dressing ahead of time, it’s no work at all to throw together. The walnuts make it seem a little more interesting.

I also made garlic bread sort of like this. But you probably already know how to make garlic bread.

Most importantly, I made Joy the Baker’s Man Bait Apple Crisp for dessert. It’s the best, and super easy.

Related to dinner party links: 5 Ways to Deal With Dinner Party Guests Who Won’t Put Down Their Phones. I’ll admit that I’m old and crochety and I find it unspeakably rude when someone texts through their entire hangout with you, barely making eye contact. That being said, if someone ever told me to put my phone in some weird phone basket, I would be like, “Um….no? Are you trying to steal my phone?” By the way, this isn’t a statement on Cat, who is a perfect guest and only brings out her phone for emergencies or to show me emails I sent her in 2004 when I was a stupid baby. But I think we all know people like this, right?

And that article from The Kitchn led me to my new favorite advice column, Ask a (Sensible) Midwesterner. As a sensible Midwesterner myself, I agree with all of her advice.

Image from Dinner: A Love Story

Recipes for People Who Are Tired & Grumpy: White Bean Soup

I like to cook. Really. And, as I’ve mentioned before, I like to meal plan. But don’t get the wrong idea…I don’t step into the kitchen every night with a spring in my step, just happy to be making a meal. I would say about half the time I actually enjoy making something. But the other half? Well, I like to eat, and cooking is just a means to an end. As I’ve mentioned before, that guy I live with doesn’t care at all about the quality of the food he eats (seriously, the other morning for breakfast he was eating pieces of bread with nothing on them…I AM NOT KIDDING), so I do the cooking. And honestly, sometimes I do not want to. Sometimes I’m just pouring things into a pot thinking, “WHEN WILL THIS BE READY I AM SO HUNGRY GOOD LORD,” and I don’t cheer up until I’m watching the X-Files and I’ve already eaten half my dinner.

In that spirit, here’s a recipe for you fellow tired and grumpy cooks. This one’s easy to make, relies on things you probably have in your kitchen, and really cannot be messed up.


1. Think long and hard about getting take out. Remember that you’re trying to save money on food and stick to your meal plan. Remind yourself that you purchased all the ingredients to make this and it won’t even take that long!
2. Rebel against yourself by sitting on the couch until you’re so hungry that you want to murder someone.
3. Stomp into the kitchen. Find your soup pot. Halfheartedly chop up half an onion and a few garlic cloves.
4. Heat up some oil in your soup pot, then dump the onions and garlic in. Stir them around a little until the onion is browned. Burn it a little bit and think to yourself, “That’s just caramelized. Don’t worry about it.”
5. Add in some spices. Which ones? It’s up to you! The world spice cabinet is your oyster! Thyme, sage, oregano, and rosemary are all good choices. Let the fragrant scent of the herbs carry you away to a place in which you’re already eating and in a much better mood.
6. Find some leftover, already chopped ham in your fridge. Dump that in the pot and let it get brown.
7. Pour in some water. Don’t bother finding a measuring cup. Ugh. Just use your drinking glass. You don’t even care! WHATEVER.
8. Add in 2-3 cans of white beans. Remember how much you inexplicably hate draining beans. Why do you hate this so much? It’s not even hard! Just dump in the first can without draining it, bean juice be damned!
9. Start to feel gross about that bean juice. Drain the other can.
10. Let soup simmer 20-30 minutes while you make Jiffy cornbread muffins because LIKE YOU ARE EVEN GOING TO BAKE SOMETHING FROM SCRATCH RIGHT NOW. There is just no way.
11. Mash up some of the beans a little with a potato masher.
12. Don’t salt the soup. Remember all that bean juice you dumped in there? Sodium city.
13. Eat. Apologize for all the things you said when you were hungry.
14. Definitely do not take a picture of anything because you don’t even want to deal with it right now.

I Threw a Galentine’s Day Party (and Ate a Ton of Food)

I forgot to take any pictures of my friends, but I DO have pictures of these flowers.

I forgot to take any pictures of my friends, but I DO have pictures of these flowers.

What’s Galentine’s Day? Oh, it’s only the best day of the year!

Okay, so if you’re thinking, “But wait, isn’t Galentine’s Day on Feburary 13th?” you are correct. But February 13th is a Thursday, and I can’t exactly skip work to eat brunch foods with my friends, so I threw a Galentine’s Day party on Sunday.

If you don’t know what Galentine’s Day is, clearly you’ve never watched Parks and Rec (or spent much time on the internet, I guess). Here’s Leslie Knope’s explanation:
Galentines-Day (1)

I invited all my best ladyfriends (one of them even came all the way from Indiana!), put up some poms and streamers left over from my wedding/bridal shower, and made H. leave (sorry, dude, it’s Galentine’s Day, not Guyentine’s Day).

Naturally, the most important thing about any Galentine’s Day is the food. Leslie Knope loves breakfast foods so much, and I wanted to honor that. We did not have waffles or a spray can of whipped cream, but we DID have:

Blueberry-almond french toast casserole
-2 kinds of quiche

I also made giftbags that contained chocolate, those chalky candy hearts, and Lip Smackers…because who doesn’t want Lip Smackers?

I love hanging out with ladies, talking about lady stuff, and being surrounded by feminine energy, so it was basically the best day ever. It was just a super special time to hang out with so many of my favorite people. When the guys came home, we were talking about body image, and then they had to play video games in the living room until we were done. Sorry bros.

What about you guys? Are you doing anything special for Galentine’s Day? At the very least, you should take yourself out to a diner and eat some waffles while you think about strong female role models.

Leslie Knope image via Retreat by Random House