What’s for Dinner?

We keep it pretty simple around here, meat and veggies and rarely a recipe. I prep for the in-house chef mostly. I can make a mean salad and a darn good sandwich, but we try to go light on the carbs. When the meat requires fire, Kody is the guy. He kills it on the grill and the gas-top stove.

Taco Salad. Meat courtesy of Kody. Chopping and assembly by me.
In the freezer section of your local grocery store.
Our go-to for leftovers. Taco meat on the front. Grilled chicken on the back. Gluten-free cauliflower crusts.
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Grilled sausage with sautéed mushrooms and onions to the left. Bacon to the right. Tomatoes from the farmer’s market. Another leftover success.
Baked cod and grilled asparagus, summer squash, and zucchini. A squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of parmesan.
Leftover zucchini, squash, and asparagus in my omelet. And steak, too, I think.
Sautéed Brussels Sprouts. Olive oil, salt, and pepper. Maybe teriyaki. I love them oven-roasted even more.
Speaking of oven-roasted, broccoli and carrots. Aren’t they lovely?
And the most gorgeous butter leaf lettuce. No roasting necessary.
Egg salad lettuce-wrap. That grilled chicken (salad) sometimes reappears here, too.
Lunchmeat from the deli. Cobb-ish Salad, anyone?
Kody’s first ever homemade pasta and Bolognese. OMG!

The other day my friend Rhonda asked me what aspect of life I will keep post-pandemic, and this is it. More meals at home. Our few dining experiences out in recent months don’t even compare. Some lessons we learn the hard way.

If you don’t know Rhonda, well, she’s an optimist, who finds silver linings, lifts others up, shares positively good stuff, and gave me a little award. Check out her blog. And thanks so much, Rhonda, for the recognition and inspiration!    

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Favorite quarantine meals? Go!

Everything’s a Journey: Today’s Journey—Food

For a year and a half-ish, up until Thanksgiving of this past year, I would’ve called myself vegan. Not vegan as in, I will never wear or own or sit on leather again. Just vegan as in, I ate MOSTLY a plant-based diet and refrained from eating animals.

Prior to veganism and upon moving to Houston in the summer of 2016, I ate without restrictions. The restaurant competition here is fierce, and food choices endless. We moved into a fixer upper and gutted the 1960’s kitchen. Reconstruction took a while, and well, “Hello, Twenty Pounds.”

I joined the gym and worked hard, at least I thought. I tried to eat better, at least I thought. But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t seem to outwork my eating. Something had to change, so I said “farewell” to the meat in my life and later said “later” to dairy. Around that time, a hurricane flooded our house, and I said goodbye to many things, including my new kitchen, the gym, and ironically, the twenty pounds. I maintained the loss for over a year, but also plateaued.

Then Thanksgiving 2018. Someone gave us a turkey, which I ate, along with unrestricted sides plus dessert, and I immediately gained five pounds. I realize I could have chosen differently like I had the Thanksgiving before. Anyway, maybe not immediately, but between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I completely gained five pounds. My food choices completely derailed. Nom! Nom! Meat and more meat plus cheese plus all-things-holiday. I wasn’t sticking to any sort of plan, I was missing the map, and I felt completely lost on my journey.

At the same time, my hubs KB decided the vegan thing wasn’t working for him, which meant suddenly it wasn’t working for me. His new thing, actually a revisited strategy, is low-carb, and my vegan choices—totally carb-heavy. Plant-based pasta and quinoa and beans and rice were no longer on the menu at home where my husband is chef, so I jumped the vegan ship and joined Team Low-Carb. With the cognitive dissonance as an animal lover (have you noticed that cows have the most beautiful eyes?) and my bleeding heart for living souls aside, I admit, I love a good steak—medium.

And so—my food journey continues. Recently, KB grilled grass-fed filet mignon and made a cheese sauce with heavy cream, cheddar and parmesan, thyme, sage, and paprika. (You’re welcome.) I roasted the broccoli.

During my vegan phase, my body started rejecting cheese. On occasion, I would eat pizza or chips and queso, and my stomach would shame me for my poor decisions. One day near Thanksgiving while having the lactose intolerance conversation with my mother-in-law Dana and her best friend Michelle, Michelle said, “Cheese from grain fed cows is the problem. When you go to the store, look at the European cheeses from grass-fed cows or even goats. Try Manchego. It is really good.”

And wow! Thanks, Michelle, you’re right. We’ve discovered a lovely goat cheddar, my dairy problem has leveled out, and Kody rocked my roasted broccoli with his cheese.

If I haven’t already, I have to admit how easily I’m swayed. Before choosing to “Go Vegan,” I watched a documentary called What the Health. Then, before fully committing to low-carb, I saw one called  Fat Head.  Funny how we have the tendency to conform and how you can find anyone to corroborate your beliefs and how you will find conflicting research and how truth is malleable. You just have to decide what works for you, and in my experience, that takes experimentation and a map.