Friday, March 9, 2012

On Cooking...

I really admire people who enjoy cooking & are actually good at it. I go through spells where I want to start cooking & eating healthier, but usually printing out recipes & adding items to my grocery list is as far as I get in the process. Where I live there aren't a lot of grocery stores that carry "specialty" ingredients. For example, my local Food Lion just started selling shiitake mushrooms. I haven't even seen an eggplant in years. Usually my inability to find something that a recipe from Cooking Light or that I found online is enough to kill my adventures in new dishes.

Another cooking buzzkill is that except for 1-2 nights a week I'm only in charge of making dinner for myself. It just seems like a lot of trouble to go through to prepare some elaborate chicken dish or cook a giant roast in the slow cooker when the only person eating is me. (Do you hear the sad trombone?) Then afterwards there are dishes and I HATE doing the dishes. Oh, you know what else I hate? Measuring. So there's another (lazy) reason why I don't cook more. I get bogged down with tedious tasks easily & prefer to just "eyeball" ingredients.

There are a few dishes that I like to make that are fairly simple & are probably more healthy than eating spoons of peanut butter & jelly or Cheerios for dinner. Keep in mind these aren't precise recipes, just a general overview of the dishes.

The first one I jokingly call the "Pretentious Couscous & Chickpeas Dish," for reasons I won't go into right now. I'm also kind of in panic mode right now because I can't find couscous in the grocery store anymore for some reason. The base of the dish is a box of Near East Roasted Garlic & Olive Oil couscous, cooked as directed. Once it's done stir in a can of rinsed garbanzo beans & a few teaspoons of lemon juice. I also add in a few of sun-dried tomatoes, which I find already seasoned in olive oil at the store. How much lemon juice & how many tomatoes I add are solely based on my personal taste. The leftovers usually last through another meal & I've never had a problem reheating it in the microwave.

The second dish is pretty simple. It's just a mix of (cooked, of course) penne pasta, baby spinach, olive oil, garlic, & feta cheese. I don't take the time to cut up fresh garlic cloves for this, instead I buy a small jar of minced garlic, which will keep in the fridge for months.


  1. I swear, I commented on this once already.

    Your couscous and chick peas sounds amazing. I must try, I adore sundried tomatoes.

    1. It's great! Hard to believe that prior to making that dish I'd never eaten sundried tomatoes.

    2. I like them in spaghetti, on pizza, I make a kick ass pasta with sundried tomatoes, mushrooms and spinach with pesto. I should post it sometime. I made it recently but it looked pretty goopy, but the alfredo pesto sauce was SOOO GOOD.

  2. That does sound good. I don't know why it never occurred to me to put the tomatoes in the spaghetti.