Friday, May 24, 2013

Feeding My Face

I'm in the middle of reading Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy by Frances Mayes.  It's a memoir-style account of a couple's purchase and refurbishment of an ancient Italian house on five acres of fruit orchards and olive trees. 50% of the story recounts the couple's efforts to renovate and beautify their property.  The other 50% is all about food.

There are plum trees on the property.  The market sells hand-made cheeses made from the milk of angelic cows.  The couple throw handfuls of wild mushrooms and arugula over mounds of spaghetti sprinkled with parmesan and eat it on the terrace in the shade of overgrown pear trees.  That kind of thing.

I'm trying to think of a way to segue from Italian locavorism to my diet, but I can't do it.  There's no way.  The two have nothing in common.  I'll put it this way: there are some foods that I enjoy as much as Frances Mayes enjoys her home-made peach confiture, but my foods are not so poetic.

I discovered that my local grocery store offers fresh bean burritos (made with cheese and salsa, and served with a tiny tub of sour cream), 2 for $6.  Good deal, eh?  Steam up some fresh veggies, microwave a burrito until the cheese melts, and there's dinner.  I buy them anytime I'm in the store and they've been freshly made.  (That's around once a week.)

The other, slightly further-away grocery store makes a quiche florentine  that I'm partial to.  Since I can't share it was lactose-intolerant Ken (darn, what a shame!), I get the whole pie to myself.  (I don't eat it all in one sitting - that would be gross.)  I manage to bring home a quiche just about every other week.

I try not to rely too heavily on prepared foods.  But when work has been harsh and I'm super-hungry before I even get home, my dinner of last resort is toaster chicken.  I buy these frozen rectangles of processed chicken, approximately the size and shape of Pop-Tarts.  They go into the toaster, where they sizzle, spit, set off the smoke alarm (sometimes) and drip grease onto the kitchen counter (always).  They're probably not the most healthy thing one could consume, but they're quick and simple.  Throw some veggies or fruit alongside them, fill up a bowl with organic, low-sodium corn chips, and you have a dinner that can pass, even if it won't win any awards.

So that's mainly what I'm eating these days.  What do you think - should I try harder in the kitchen, or does your dinner menu make me look like a domestic expert?

11 comments:

Warped Mind of Ron said...

I had Fritos and Bean dip for dinner last night... so you are a gourmet chef.

DarcKnyt said...

We have to lose a TON of weight, so we have special dietary needs. Before that, McDonald's was a staple. (I know, I know, but we like it. ;) ) And KFC. And Burger King. But when you're on unemployment, processed, unhealthy foods like Ramen noodles and Hamburger Helper are the venues of choice. It's hard, and not healthy, but we had little choice.

Now that we do, we can't afford to eat luxuriously for other reasons, so my wife plans and cooks every night. She doesn't love it, but she has a handful of things she does and does pretty well. We cycle through those and have just enough of a repertoire not to get bored and disgusted. :)

I think you're doing fine. If you're happy, eh. Who cares? :)

wigsf3 said...

Mmmmmmm toaster chicken...

Jenski said...

Sometimes I will have popcorn or chips or Cheezits for dinner. (Although rarely the chips or cheezits because I try not to buy processed food.) Otherwise I have been doing okay on the healthy-eating front .I hate spending money on buying prepared things, so that helps. My go-to is usually cheese something - quesedilla, nachos, grilled cheese, etc.

Sparkling Red said...

Ron: Fritos have starch and beans have protein, so that's a balanced meal right there.

DarcKnyt: Mmm, McDonald's. I love their flat little hamburgers. Well, I am happy, so I guess I'm doing alright. :-)

wigsf: I don't know how I ever lived without it.

Jenski: Seriously? I would never have guessed it, based on the culinary delights you post on your blog. I guess popcorn for dinner wouldn't make as interesting a blog post.

Granny Annie said...

Be sure and try Amy's lean frozen dinners, especially her Mexican and India cuisine.

Lynn said...

I try to make my own food at home (no meat for me there - I eat vegetarian at home.) But I do eat meat in those Healthy Choice dinners - I get those for lunch fairly often. I say whatever works for you, eat it. :)

Sparkling Red said...

Granny Annie: I've long been a fan of Amy's burritos. I'll check out the frozen dinners too.

Lynn: That sounds like a good approach. Sold!

LL Cool Joe said...

I can't cook, no one in my family cooks. We only ever eat prepared foods. No one's dead yet.

Sparkling Red said...

Joe: LOL - that's reassuring! :-)

Vanessa T said...

Really, all that matters is if your health is okay, and you're happy with what you're eating. Life is hard enough without complicating things in the kitchen, too, right? :)

Although those dinners you mentioned from your book sounded divine, and I wish I could cook like that! Really, I wish I could eat like that. :) I miss spaghetti.