Sometimes . . .

I like to go into the grocery store and buy a baguette, some cheese, and dark purple grapes or grape juice.

Then, if it happens to be a day when I went grocery shopping on an empty stomach (never a good idea), I’ll eat these items on the way home and pretend I’m a French maiden living in a quaint, provincial village, prancing around saying, “Bonjour!” to everyone I meet and spontaneously breaking out into song, “There goes the baker with his tray like always. A lot of bread and loaves to sell!”

Sorry. Got a little carried away with the Disney movie there. (But that is my favorite Disney movie).

Really, this post is about food. I’ve been a bit of a health nut (just a bit) ever since high school when Coach Evans made us write down everything we ate every day during volleyball camp. I’m not sure why he did that, but I know it was really good for me. It made me think twice about eating junk food, drinking pop, and not getting enough water. Then, in college, Coach Mary included information about healthy food choices in our summer workout book, and taught us about it during the season.

I’ve always wanted to stay in good shape, but until I moved out on my own (several years ago), I wasn’t forced to consciously eat healthful foods. Cooking for oneself can easily turn into a smorgasbord of frozen pizzas, TV dinners, Lean Cuisines, and cups of soup, and sometimes it did (particularly because I lived an hour from a good produce section in any direction). Lately, however, I’ve chosen to turn cooking for myself into a more healthful adventure. I’ve been drawn to whole foods, different fruits and veggies, and less processed foods.

I have never purchased white bread for myself. I’ve started baking and cooking with whole wheat flour. I rarely buy beef from the store (since I’m spoiled by my upbringing munching on Walter or whichever homegrown cow we were devouring for the year); in fact, I don’t even eat meat all that often. I’ve found that protein sources like black beans, certain veggies, eggs, tuna, and dairy products give me plenty of protein without as much saturated fat and with much less preparation time.

My sister-in-law is a vegan, and this Christmas, she prepared several vegan dishes for us. The lasagne she made using squash for the noodles and cashew paste for the cheese was delicious, filling, and inspired me to try more vegetables. I’ve recently made a broccoli and leek soup, cream of carrot soup, and a rice dish with nothing more than butternut squash and peas. A dish like that will fill me up, and it won’t leave me hungry two hours later! I varied the broccoli soup one day by blending in some avocado, which gave it this rich, creamy taste.

A silly experiment I tried came from my BH&G magazine–using a can of black beans instead of the eggs and oil in brownies. As usual, I tried my experiment out on other people (why do I always do that?) and took the healthyish treats to FCA. The seven kids there only ate 3.5 brownies. They had a good flavor, but the texture was undesirable. I think it might be because I used my mom’s made-from-scratch brownie recipe. I’m going to try again with a brownie mix because, really, who makes brownies from scratch anyway? I’m sure that’s what BH&G meant in the first place.

Those are just a few of my adventures in the kitchen. What new foods have you tried lately?



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