Cook Once a Day
|December 6, 2012||Posted by Emily under Uncategorized|
Meet my kitchen:
It’s not actually used for many kitchen-y type activities. You know that episode of Sex and the City where Carrie said she uses her drawers to store clothing? Well, that would be me except I only have two drawers and kind of need them for my giant stashes of nuun, race fuel and granola bars.
Other than offering plenty of storage for my race nutrition, my kitchen is also useful for helping me keep my mild obsession with running totally on the DL.
As far as actual nutrition goes, my drawers are not the only thing that’s sadly lacking any real food. My (dorm-sized) refrigerator and full-sized freezer (unpictured in my entryway) contain nothing but beer, frozen veggie burgers and frozen produce (and more beer).
Obviously the person who decided to install a larger freezer than refrigerator does not share my food and beverage priorities.
Another unique feature of my apartment’s kitchen is the lack of an oven. When I toured the apartment prior to moving in, I didn’t even notice that the space was missing what many would consider a critical appliance for a residence.
My landlord was all “so I know you are probably worried about the fact that there’s no oven.”
And I was all “what’s an oven? Let’s talk about a shoe rack for my Hokas. Did you know this building is only .9 miles from my favorite running trail?”
My landlord, who apparently thought I was joking when I told him I’ve used an oven exactly three times in my life, insisted on buying me a “countertop oven.” I was picturing a toaster, and given my bagel addiction, didn’t refuse his offer. He delivered an actual oven for my counter. It even came equipped with a rotisserie device. In case, you know, I decide to graduate from baking premade cookie dough to making rotisserie chicken in the next year.
It’s probably not surprising, given the lack of healthy food (or any food at all) in my kitchen, that my daily diet is not the best. It tends to be heavy on things I can prepare in my toaster or microwave and light on whole food and nutrients.
Now that I’m not running for the foreseeable future and have some spare time on my hands, I need to do something productive to keep me from crying over nuun cocktails every night. When I was out with a broken foot last fall, I used my forced free time to take up pilates. When I started running again, there is no question that continuing to practice pilates on the reg kept me stronger, healthier and faster.
Well, with exactly no physical activities allowed while I’m recovering from the mystery rib injury, I can’t exercise the option of a new exercise. SO I’m doing the only other thing I can think of to help my return to running and racing.
I’m going to learn how to cook and up my nutrition game.
(Apologies in advance to the local fire departments and my upstairs neighbors).
In case you couldn’t tell based solely on my empty kitchen, cooking is not exactly my forte. It took me several years to learn how to boil an egg and it’s rare that I make something that is not heavily seasoned with burn.
But people assure me that not all hope is lost so my new (semi) running related goal is to conquer the kitchen while I’m sidelined from the pavement and the trails.
I was determined to start my cooking adventures last night so I found an easy, vegeterian recipe online and stocked up on fresh batteries for my fire alarm.
I then proceeded to get distracted by a happy hour after work and jeopardized night one of @emilycooks, but I left the bar dead-set on still getting some shit done in the kitchen.
And then I got home, went to make the food, and realized that it’s impossible to actually cook things without measuring devices, mixing bowls and pots and pans and shit. Super annoying.
I know. I know. You’re all overwhelmingly impressed with my culinary prowess.
Today, take two. Starting with a trip to Target to equip myself to actually use my countertop oven.
The recipe I chose to use for my entry into the culinary world is probably not one that many of you would even consider “cooking.” But let’s keep in mind that I currently consider preparing a plate of carrots and mustard “cooking.”
BABY STEPS, PEOPLE. Baby steps.
I wanted to make something vegetarian and healthy. And I wanted it to require less than 5 ingredients. During my initial google search for recipes, I kept finding dishes that sounded delicious but required entirely too many ingredients for my mini fridge and non-existent spice rack. So I started entering “5 ingredients” into my search terms and bam…the internet delivered. Fast, easy, recipes-on-training-wheels.
I’m embarrassed to tell you what I picked because it looks gross. But aesthetics aside, these babies sounded delicious.
So before I provide you with a visual to judge, let’s consider the ingredients: spinach, ricotta, parmesan, garlic, eggs, and salt.
Drooling yet? Me too.
Now that you’re all on board with the delicious, let’s move on so we can get to the judging.
I KNOW. Sounds (and looks) gross. But let’s revisit: SPINACH. CHEESE(S! PLURAL). GARLIC. EGGS.
And all I had to do was stir all of the above in a mixing bowl, spoon it into seasonal muffin wrappers and pop it into the “oven” for 20 minutes.
Bam. Cooking. Julia fucking Childs.
So yeah, I know. Before Tom Collichio puts me on speed dial, I need to up my game a little. Maybe flirt with double digit ingredients, maybe add more than one vegetable, maybe make something that entails more than 45 seconds of preparation time. But just think, if I’m making what one wonderful friend described as “lawn scraps in a snowman cup,” imagine where I’ll be weeks from now. Top Chef Season 11. That’s where.
Okay peeps, if you have recipes you think I can handle after reading a novel of a blog post to describe a 5 minute experience in the kitchen, PLEASE, send them my way so I can spare you from additional photos of culinary creations that look more like lawn mulch than human food.