If giving actual hugs via internet was possible I’d send one to each of you. For now, though, a simple thank you will have to suffice. When posting yesterday I didn’t know what to expect but reading all of your kind, understanding and supportive comment just makes me have to say it once more: my heart feels so full. All of you are awesome!
Like I said the initial struggle turned out to be a learning experience. Any kind of ‘slip-up’ I had used to be a fail in my eyes and made me feel I’d never make true progress in recovery. These days, I notice what happens, occasionally still feel disappointed by setbacks or repeatedly making the same ‘mistake’. But I also acknowledge them as lessons – and some need one or several repeats to fully sink in, right? At least I can say it took me multiple revisions to finally understand the citric acid cycle or analysis in school, too, so why would recovery be any different ;)?! Sorry for the lengthy intro. What I’m getting at was to say I’d share some more of my recent lessons [in satisfaction] while also loving my veggies on this What I ate Wednesday – and a side of chickpeas knowing Jenn will appreciate them. There we go!
Starting off with another recipe from Happy Herbivore Light & Lean found its way into my lunch box [and onto a plate for prettier pictures]. The Skinny Puttanesca jumped right at me when looking through the pasta chapter because I’m a huge fiend of green olives. Black ones? Keep them. Green, however, yes! Once more I tinkered the recipe to use what I had on hand. No storebought marinara but my usual quick from scratch recipe, kale instead of spinach. And though Lindsay lists chickpeas as an optional ingredient you know they are most definitely not optional for me.
Two things about this recipe. First, if you read Carly’s [great] post on words that shouldn’t be used to describe food you’ll know that skinny is one of them. I’m using this here as it’s the original recipe title and that’s fine with me. Secondly: I honestly don’t like giving bad reviews. So let me start out by saying that yes, I did think the dish tasted good and I’ll probably have it again [given I’ll be able to locate another spaghetti squash – why, oh why is their season already over?]. However, I took it to the office with me where it served as a cold lunch. As mentioned before I’m not fond of cold main meals so this played into my rating. Also – and this once more might just be a subjective feeling – I wasn’t satisfied after finishing. Spaghetti squash is great but it’s not pasta. Next time I’d either add even more [and there already was half a cup in there] chickpeas or add some ‘real’ pasta/rice for a more satisfying dish.
Not all of my own creations are completely satisfying, either. More often than not a lack of creative cooking juices combined with special produce anxiety facing the question of how to use a new-to-me-ingredient best. Note that this was not the best way to try sunchokes for the first time. But it still was strange but good due to using a [vegan] cheezy broccoli sauce/soup as a base layer, topping it with all kinds of vegetables and – yes – cereal. Don’t knock it till you try it – they’re a great replacement for breadcrumbs when you’re out of the latter. And when the final dish wasn’t as satisfying as I’d hoped? Simple solution: eat more cereal. It was yet another sign I hadn’t eaten enough before and no reason for despair.
Making up for the unsatisfying – or: yet to be perfected – experience of that dish, however, was our last family dinner. With only a vague idea in mind and no recipe I simply hoped for a somewhat edible outcome – and was more than pleasantly surprised by the result. Some might assume I was on an ‘Eat more kale’ mission when serving my parents the blog world favourite at almost every family dinner. Actually, though, I’m not. Just being savvy when it comes to using up produce. Okay, maybe there’s a little newfound fondness for my parents had never eaten kale in any other form than as part of traditional German “Grünkohl” [kale stewed to mush with pork chop ribs and a specific type of sausage]. That’s why I was wary serving it to them as the main ingredient of a dish I created myself [read: that hadn’t gotten the approval of another blogger and his readership before].
I’m excited to share the recipe for this one with you on Friday. If you have yet to get into kale: this is the recipe for you. It’s approved by my dad and trust me when I say that says something.
Another sign of approval was received by this cake as my contribution to the buffet on New Year’s Eve. Though I was breaking two major rules of serving guests here: trying a new-to-me recipe and it being not just vegan but low-fat, too. It’s the Chocolate Cake from Light & Lean. Again an occasion of keeping my fingers crossed for the best but I didn’t expect getting rave reviews. Don’t you like when your expectations are exceeded?
Seeing how long my post has already become I’ll leave it at that and wish you a very happy Wednesday!
Happiness inducing today: Treating myself to something I’d been eyeing for ages [will share it soon].
What were some of your latest recipe hits and misses?
Are you wary of serving guests healthier fare?
Kale: yay or nay?