Thursday, June 5, 2008

Overshopping, Overeating, Overabundance, Overwhelmed

I think I'm into my 3rd week of not overshopping, and whew, what a relief. I think I'm actually getting good at this minimalist approach. It's getting to the point that I don't want any food in the house that can't be eaten within a reasonable time, including what's in my pantry!

My freezer is still bulging with preportioned soup, stews, and other cooked meals, but I took out a 4lb pork shoulder (chili verde), and a whole chicken to cook within the next 2 days. No point in buying more meat when I had some in my freezer. Now, all I have left, in my freezer, is one leg of lamb, that I bought on sale after Easter, and some chicken feet.

I can't believe what an effect this has had on my eating. Because I have to use up what's freshest before buying more.....and I only eat, basically, three meals a day (with one snack)......I still can't eat all of this food fast enough! Sometimes it's just overwhelming. Everyday, although my fridge has never looked so bare, there is still so much to eat.

The point of buying fresh foods is to eat them when they're fresh, so not overbuying is key. I hate throwing anything out, so I used to try and just eat it all! Huge portions of salads and other veggie based meals were the norm. I still can eat bigger portions of these foods, but because I can clearly see the overabundance of food, not only in this country, but in my own house, my own fridge and pantry, I saw that I was eating alot, not because I was neccessarily hungry, but because the food was there and it had to be eaten. Hmmnn....

It had to be eaten..... Says who?

This country produces more calories in food than the population needs, by at least 30-40%. We, as a country, cannot possibly eat, nor do our bodies need, all of the food that is produced. It is not my responsiblity to make sure nothing is "wasted" by eating more than my body needs. And, if I have to throw something out, so what, I know where to get more. I just can't burden myself with this thought of waste. I can only practice trying to buy enough, but not too much, to reduce my own waste. Reduce the garbage on my thighs, lol!

The other affect this is having on me, is my feelings of needing to "stock up" on food....that probably feeds into my habit of "hoarding". I used to buy at least 2 large, and 2-4 small containers of my favorite yogurt, because I use it in smoothies, salad dressings and as a meal in itself with honey, and or almonds, etc. But having it in the house, available in abundance set me up for yogurt binges. No more. Just one container of yogurt at a time, and it's worked out fine!

I pretty much already know what I'm going to eat today, the last of the bok choy (that was the only thing left from my CSA box last week, woo hoo!), and green onions with beef short ribs, a salad with the romaine from the farmers market and the last of the roasted cauliflower,( I have another head in this weeks CSA. Tomorrow I'll cook the chicken from the freezer for the meat, and to make stock for some cauliflower soup, and then roast the thick-stemmed leaves, to serve on top or in the soup.)

Tuesday Menu

coffee/cream
rye bread. almond butter, raisins
Indian lentil and lamb stew/veg soup
fruit smoothie, mango, strawberry, blueberry w/fiber
roasted cauliflower, rutabaga, shallots
spicey bean soup w/baby squash

I was at the Mall, and thought about going to See's Candy , but I went home and ate lunch instead.....I thought I could spend my sugar calories in a better way another time.

Wednesday

coffee/cream
oats/milk dried bluberries
Reeses candy eggs (6)
Korean style short ribs w/shredded cabbage, bok choy, and green onions
white chedder popcorn (compulsive waste of food and calories)
small fruit/fiber smoothie, orange juice (1/4c.), blueberries and strawberries
apple, baby carrots

I ate some oats before I left for work, and once I got there I decided, since I had been so good lately, to "treat" myself to the chocolate, peanutbutter eggs on a co-workers station. I managed to only eat 6, but it didn't make me feel better, hopefully lesson learned.

Korean Braised Beef Short Ribs (done in the pressure cooker)

3-4 lbs beef short ribs (6-8)

2 c. water
1/2 c.soy sauce
1/4 c. molasses
4 tbl. toasted seasame oil
2 t. dry mustard
1t. red pepper flakes
sliced onion (I used red)
sliced garlic (I used 4-6 cloves)

Throw all of this in the pressure cooker, cook on high pressure 25-35 min. Remove ribs and reduce sauce to thicken. Serve with sliced green onion and sesame seeds.

This recipe was adapted from "Starting With Ingredients" cookbook, by Aliza Green. It smells crazy good while it's cooking! I think if you wanted to do this in a dutch oven on the stove top, you would bring it to a boil, transfer to a 300 degree oven for 2 hours, or until the meat is tender.

11 comments:

sheryl said...

Those ribs sound awesome! I usually do them in a dutch oven in a smokey BBQ sauce and a few other things like dijon and honey and let them go for a few hours but the Asian style sounds even better. I MUST look into a pressure cooker. So much quicker.

It's hard to not over shop when everything looks so fresh and good in the store.

I tried your roasted brussel sprouts and cauliflower but on the BBQ instead and I am addicted. (I have a BBQ basket) I also did beans, broccoli, onions, zuccinni and anything else I could find in the fridge. Roasted veggies are so good! Thanks for the ideas.

Tracy said...

sheryl,

You've got to look into cooking with the pressure cooker! Although I know summer is almost here and grilling will be the cooking method most appropriate, the pressure cooker cuts the cooking time of, normally, long cooked meals, it's a good compromise in the summer without having to heat up your kitchen for hours braising meat!

Nothing makes me happier than to know any of my suggestions provide inspiration for home cooking, and especially eating more veggies!

Tori said...

I need to get a pressure cooker, that recipe sounds yummy. Earlier in the week I roasted my brocciflower and it turned out great! Thanks for the roasting idea!

Jen said...

Tracy,

I'm such a copy-cat! I made the short ribs last night. Greg was saying "thank you, thank you, thank you!" What an easy recipe!!

I love when you tell me exactly what to cook on your blog :) That's the hardest part for me, figuring out what to make.

Thanks again for always posting the PERFECT thing.

xoxo

Regina said...

Thanks for another great idea for the veggies.

Tracy said...

Tori,

I haven't even begun my "pressure cooker" campaign! I think I might have to start doing some cooking videos too!

Mark my words, it'll be the next big thing to resurface in cooking!

Tracy said...

Jen,

I reheated these ribs on a bed of baby boy choy...delish!

Shred 1-2 heads of baby bok choy by slicing across the with of the leaves into 1/4"(since we use the same size salad bowls I would use 2, lol).

Line the bottom of a microwavable bowl with shredded bok choy and place ribs on top, (I removed bone and cut meat into large dice, spoon some sauce over top, and microwave until heated through, then toss. (or you can reheat meat and sauce on stove top and pour over bok choy)

The boy choy wilts slightly but stays crunchy.

Tracy said...

Regina,

Wait for my roasted cauliflower and onion soup with curry and chili powder....I almost ate the whole batch last night!

Keturah Y. said...

Reduce the garbage on my thighs, lol! LOL! That's a great motivator for me ;-)

I love your recipes. I love to back, but not so much to cook. Thanks for being generous and sharing! I can't wait to try the ribs. Bring on the soup!

Keturah Y. said...

Oops, I meant to say "I love to bake." I hope that clears up any confusion...

Jennifer said...

Did you say chicken FEET?