Let’s get a couple of things laid out. First of all, I love to eat. Wait, scratch that, I love to eat GOOD food; good for you and good to my taste my buds (and sometimes my cravings apply to the latter and not the former… I’m human, forgive me). Secondly, I love to cook and be in the kitchen. I can remember coming home after elementary school and turning to the television to the discovery channel where I would watch cooking shows. I would imitate their dicing of tomatoes, garlic, & black truffles on my apple. So, to answer the question you are about to ask, yes I was a nerd. Thirdly, I have juvenile (type 1) diabetes. I was diagnosed when I was 14, just three years after my younger sister was diagnosed with the same thing. I try to eat right and stay on top of things, but I slip. I also cheat every so often and allow myself a regular dessert!
I’ll take “good food” for 10 points. Good for me? Fresh fruit & veggies, whole grains, & green stuff. Mmmmmm. I can see people now shrugging their shoulders and reaching for their big macs. By vegetables, I am talking about those brightly colored raw things over in the refrigerated section at your local grocer; not the boiled down, fried in bacon grease, brown and limp things you might like to call “vegetables.” Oh, and for the record, whoever said mac & cheese was vegetable, lied.
Disclaimer* I like salt & vinegar chips, brownies, white chocolate chips, pepperoni pizza, & diet coke. <–those are my splurges!!
I have a tendency to “make up” recipes and/or “experiment.” I won’t lie, sometimes recipes never make it to round 2. Others, I have made over and over again. The only problem is that I never write anything down, so I can make shrimp & grits 10 times but they may taste a little different every time. So mainly this blog is for myself, to make myself keep in mind what was a go and what was a bust.
Tonight’s dinner was a go and will cross my Teflon coated pan and wooden spoon again in the near future. Orzo and Lentils. This protein rich pasta dish was not only delish, but satisfying! I took a few peppers from my garden, sauteed them with garlic, onions & EVOO. Then I tossed in some cooked orzo & red lentils, freshly grated parm, chopped basil, and sun dried tomatoes. I added some chopped carrots at the end (just long enough to get them warm, but not to lose their crunchiness). Mmmmm. The orzo already had tad bit of protein and the red lentils added an additional source of protein as well as fiber, magnesium, potassium, folate, and iron.
1/2 cup of orzo is one serving, but with the addition of veggies and lentils, a solid 1 cup of the dish makes for a great entree. Add a salad or fruit and you’ve got a “figure friendly” nutritionally rich, tasty, and satisfying meal. Did I mention that this took 20 minutes from start to finish?!
Good food does not have to be bland and boring. It’s all about being creative, cooking with what’s available (preferably local), and being aware of what you are putting in your body. It’s easy to run to drive thrus or thaw frozen meals, but paying attention to what you throw in your grocery cart and grabbing a few fresh produce items, can really jazz up your meals and make your body say thank you!
For additional information on cooking with lentils, the Mayo Clinic has a great site http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/lentils/AN01640