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March 08 2012 / Emily

Eating and positivity

I haven’t really blogged much about the “eat” part of my blog title yet, so here goes.  I do like to eat!  As a single person living alone, I am lucky to have a high tolerance for food repetition.  I’ll usually make one large recipe then eat it for 4-5 dinners in a week.  Generally, if a food item goes into the freezer, it is unlikely to be thawed and eaten later, so I know I need to just finish the whole meal in short order.

For the past 6-7 weeks, I have been making an effort to eat more deeply into my pantry.  I buy things on sale or to “stock up” then push them to the back of the cupboard in favor of the same few meals I tend to make all the time.  So the non-perishables start piling up until they start to reach perishability… because, really, even if the box/can/pouch is good for a year or 18 months, that “best by” date rolls around eventually.

So aside from meals for special occasions (Super Bowl party, baby shower, etc), while I’ve been allowing myself to buy fresh foods like fruits, veggies, deli meat, bread, cheese and milk, I’ve been limiting my non-perishable purchases.  Oh, except for cereal, oatmeal and raisins because otherwise I wouldn’t be able to eat breakfast.  As some of my staples like black beans, diced tomatoes, canned soup, pasta, chick peas, tortilla chips and salsa, etc. start to dwindle or vanish from my cupboard, I have to get a bit more creative and experiment with new food combos.

This week’s experiment turned out really well.  It has been delicious for three dinners in a row!  I had generally used my cous cous for one specific recipe, so I am glad to branch out some and have success.  Also I’ve only ever used creamed corn to make cornbread (mixed with a box of Jiffy), so I’m glad it can be used elsewhere too!  Check it out:

Creamed Cous Steamed Cous

1 cup cous cous
1 1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon “Better Than Bouillon” chicken base
2 cups fresh spinach, steamed
1 can creamed corn (14.75 oz)
spices to taste: I used curry powder, cumin and garlic
hot sauce to taste: I used Frank’s Red Hot

Boil water in small saucepan.  Stir chicken base into boiling water then add cous cous, stir and remove from heat.  Let sit, covered, 5 minutes.  (or cook according to your package instructions).  In pan or larger bowl, mix creamed corn, spinach, cooked cous cous and spices.  Add hot sauce just before serving.

For me, it made three dinners.  A lighter eater might get 4, or it would be a good side dish.

I need to work on my food photo taking skills.

I’ll try to hold on to that meal’s success while I admit my Lenten goal of positivity has faltered this week.  I think the disappointing finish in the marathon started it.  On Monday I went and got my bruised hand x-rayed, which showed no break.  Honestly I was a bit saddened by that as I thought a broken bone would have made the slow marathon a better story.  Being weighed at the doctor on a digital scale in a full set of clothes is never a happy number.  Then a few days off from running to recover/be lazy has resulted in my typical no-exercise-bad-mood, which I usually don’t identify until I really think on why I’m in a foul mood… I just figured that bit out right now.  (The light bulb has just blinked on!)

But my plan of thinking or saying something positive to counter-act negative thoughts or words has been difficult the past couple of days.  I can’t think of believable rebuttals to my negative thoughts so I’m left with “I am not ugly, I am average,” “someday I’ll find a man who is attracted to average,” “it doesn’t matter, I’m smart.”  They all just sound like the dreaded phrase “well he’s really nice” you hear when being set up with a person who looks like they took a frying pan to the face.  Yes, average Emily is vain and doesn’t want the man who settles for average to look like he took a pan to the face.

Oversharing, perhaps, but it’s my blog, and I mentioned in my first post that I hoped this would be therapeutic for venting.  So here it is.  🙂

I’m also cheering myself up by thinking about planning a big summer vacation.  Don’t really want to get into that until I have more plans, but just the potential of a big adventure is exciting.

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