When our youngest son left for college last fall, we missed him like crazy.
But there were a few upsides. Less laundry. Cheaper grocery and utility bills. Cleaner home. More freedom.
And as it turns out a few unexpected downsides. With our smaller nest, meal planning and grocery shopping seemed a big chore. Really, isn't it just as easy and no more expensive to eat out? We fell into the trap of eating out too often . . . and even worse, drifted into eating in front of the television. After so many years of family meals at the table, I was just worn out. My zest for cooking gone.
But, after a few months, eating out lost its charm. Too expensive. Portions too large and too salty. Food overly processed or just not tasty. We both found ourselves missing my cooking and our time together over a really good meal.
We've slowly weaned ourselves away from unhealthful foods – limiting sugar, pasta and white bread. No cookies, chips or junk food in our pantry. But as we cut back on less healthy food choices, we were left with a void.
We need some new new recipes, some different ways of cooking with new ingredients and methods, and we're in this together. I'm the chef and my husband is the line cook. He does what I tell him to do. I like this. He does not. He says I'm irritable when I'm hungry.
From time to time, I'll share our cooking adventures here.
Part food photography.
Part recipe review.
We'll cook our way to health and happiness.
Tonight's meal was this Power Green Salad from Sprouted Kitchen that tastes as good as it looks.
This crunchy salad features kale, black lentils, chopped apple and cucumber, toasted pumpkin seeds, and parmesan cheese with a honey dijon dressing. As any good cook will do, I tweaked the recipe a bit - adding a little more or less of each ingredient according to our preferences. I don't care for garlic, so I only used a half a clove in the dressing, and I didn't add any salt at all. We found black lentils at Target in a pouch, already cooked - a big time saver.
Next up, I plan to try a few recipes from the latest book by Anna Jones, a modern way to cook.
I'll keep you posted on how it goes. Please send or post recipes you've found to be tried and true. Many thanks from the Chef and her helper.
And, have you watched the PBS show, A Chef's Life? It's a wonderful mixture of reality and food and southern charm. A great warm-up for an afternoon in the kitchen!