“I don’t cook.”
That is my standard answer when asked about cooking. However, I think I will have to change that statement because I now cook nearly every week. Not because I enjoy it, but because I want healthy food in the house. Every Sunday I cook a bunch of stuff and have it for the remainder of the week. My evenings are typically filled and busy with things I need to get done, so I like to finish my day job, eat, then move on to my projects/commitments.
After stating “I don’t cook” to a person I met recently, she looked at me and said, “Well, what do you eat, do you eat out all the time?” I’m sure I had a crazy look on my face because in actuality, I DO cook. I guess in the past I thought of cooking as preparing a meal that included all the food groups for people to eat and survive on. I don’t do that. I just cook for myself, and there is no one to complain, and no one who has picky food choices, etc. I cook most vegetables the same way, in a little coconut oil, salt, pepper, and lot of spices … boring but tasty.
So, a typical Sunday includes getting home from church and washing, dicing, slicing, sauteing, steaming food … I guess you call that cooking, huh?
Today, I decided try a new vegetable. I went to a local farmer’s market and bought Swiss Chard. I recently watched a video to see how to prep and cook it. Looked simple enough; like the way I cook collards, spinach, kale, etc.
I gave it a bath (in water, white vinegar and baking soda) along with the other fruits and vegetables I bought today at the market. Everyone gets a bath, then a vegetable brush scrub – sometimes with dish soap. I know it sounds excessive…. but when I watch all the hands that touch vegetables at the markets its a wonder (if you know me) I don’t come home and throw them into the dishwasher.
Anyway, I ‘cooked’ the Swiss Chard and it was pretty tasty. Tastes similar to other green leafy vegetables but with it’s own distinct flavor. I will definitely add this to the food rotation list.
The way I handle eating healthy, by cooking all at the beginning of the week, might not be for everyone because by Thursday, I am usually completely sick of whatever I cooked; but fortunately it is mostly all gone by the end of the week. I have to have a large number of options because I cook 3-5 veggies per week so I need enough options to rotate. This week was this:
- Red/Orange/Yellow peppers – I wrote about this in a previous post; a good snack veggie.
- Collard Greens – I cheated this week and used bagged ones – I knew I was not going to want to spend all afternoon picking greens.
- English Cucumbers – another good snack food
- Yellow Squash – I eat a lot of this during the summer.
- Swiss Chard – I bought one bunch. It shrunk down to about 3/4 of a cup. It was more expensive than I imagined – $2.49/bunch. I will have to catch this on sale in order to have enough for the week. LESSON LEARNED: Don’t be afraid to try new foods.
- Decided to try Quinoa too – I read it is a great source of protein, which I need because as you see, I didn’t cook any chicken, or other meat for the week. I’m not vegan or anything, it’s just that I had beef twice last week and I’m not craving anything ‘meaty’ so I decided to skip a week of meat and just have eggs, cottage cheese, and quinoa as my protein. It was pretty tasty. Will likely add this to the rotation about once per month.
- Bag of apples – was really inexpensive at the market
- and Cantaloupe was on sale; not my favorite but will satisfy the craving until juicy, red, decently priced watermelons arrive.
Before you decide you can’t cook and eat like this all week, fret not, because I don’t either. This food makes up about 70% of my diet now.
I might throw in a slice of Ezekiel Bread and peanut butter one evening, or I might go out with friends and have a salad with chicken on it … or sometimes I might decide to have popcorn with sprinkled with hot sauce for a snack. The Sunday cooking is primarily a way to not get caught in a state of being really hungry and going for junk food because I don’t have good food in the house. It works for me…. might work for you.
Sooooo, maybe I am a cook after all…. but I still wouldn’t count on me to cook a full meal for ya…. unless you want a Veggie Plate. 🙂