who, me cook? (part 1)

Confession: I am not the world’s greatest cook. Not that I’m horrible at it or anything, cooking is just not my forte. It’s just so…meh, I don’t know, wouldn’t you just rather eat a brownie and be done with it??
Okay, that wasn’t a very nutritionist-like thing to say. But everything in moderation, right? That means brownies, too.
Anyway, we’re talking about cooking-woes because that is what’s on my mind. I have to come up with a creative dinner to serve my friends tonight. The phrase “my friends” is very important because as some of you might know, cooking for yourself and cooking for other people are two very, very different things.
When I used to cook for myself when I lived away at school, I’d basically throw anything into cooked noodles that sounded relatively appetizing. And nine times out of ten, it would come out delicious! Like this creation I concocted long ago that I lovingly called Garlic Pasta Dump:
Looks delicious, huh? And it was! The catch?
There’s no sauce on this pasta.
Not because I don’t like sauce, oh no. It was because I was too lazy to make sauce, or didn’t even have it on hand. But I didn’t mind because I thought it was delicious just the same, and I was also extremely hungry. See what I mean? Cooking for only yourself equals diminished cooking expectations, at least for some people, and this is definitely the case for me. Cook for others, and the tables turn a tad. In the case of this pasta, I just wouldn’t have felt right serving sauce-less pasta to friends or fam.
The moral of the story: College has made me a lazy cook. However, we are still at square one and I still don’t have a dinner planned for tonight!  Let’s procrastinate a bit more, however, and talk about the rest of this dinner. These potluck dinners occur between myself and two of my good friends from undergrad, and we rotate which part of the meal we make – main dish, side, or dessert. Me, I try to get the dessert portion of the meal as many times as possible since as a nutritionist, that is what I happen to “cook” best. My two friends are actually fabulous cooks – Raluca dominates all things pasta, spices, and garlic; Andy is King of the Meats, especially pork chops and fresh caught perch. And me? I should have tempeh, worldly spices, and only the freshest vegetables growing out of my ears, right? Being a Master of Public Health Nutrition, right?

So what do I do when in this predicament? Maybe there are some of you out there who also find cooking real-food a minor inconvenience to daily living. My tips for you: Try to fit 3-4 food groups into a meal, never underestimate the power of canned and frozen vegetables (they are as nutrient dense as fresh, if not more!), and garlic, salt, and pepper alone can do wonders for flavoring up a meal. And be creative!  For tonight, I’m thinking:
Whole wheat angel hair (good source o’ fiber)
Chicken broth (low sodium!)
Butter beans (heck yes, plant-source protein)
Spinach (vitamin A! iron!)
Olives (monounsaturated fats)
Garlic (to fend off vampires)
 Gorgonzola cheese (minor calcium contribution, major deliciousness contribution)

Salt n’ peppa

I’ll let you know how it goes. Pictures àla my new camera to come in the near future!P.S. Meet my new camera, Cornelius (yes, I name my electronics)…

…who takes pictures like THIS!

He’s pretty swell.

2 thoughts on “who, me cook? (part 1)

  1. Did you cook the pasta in the chicken broth and then drain it off? Or did you serve it as more soupy-pasta. I've never heard of putting broth with pasta.Also, what are Butter Beans? Sound intriguing… also never heard of them! Sounds delish!

  2. Recipe and pics are to come in the near future ;)Butter beans are basically just another name for…lima beans! I will admit that I actually did not know this until I looked it up just now. And like all beans out there, they are a great source of protein and have tons of fiber.Apparently, there's another butter bean out there, too: http://extendingthetable.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/butterbean.jpg. Read about him here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Esch

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