Mix and Match

I wish I had the time to really cook.  To try out the millions of recipes that I’ve bookmarked in a folder called, “Recipes to try.”  I’ve all but stopped reading a lot of food blogs because they make me hungry and they make me want to eat things that I wouldn’t consider eating in real life.  All this means is that those food bloggers are quite good at what they do.  🙂

Despite the time crunch in my life, I do need to eat and eating well is very important to me.  As you may (or may not) know, I do pretty much all of my food shopping at the local farmer’s market.  I supplement that with some shopping at a local co-op.  The grocery store has been relegated to the end of the line and I usually go once or twice a month for things like bottled water, nuts, and the like.  Basically, pantry items are all that I get from the grocery store and since I’m not eating many things that would sit in a pantry, I have no real reason to visit the grocery store other than I need to buy water.  (Please don’t groan or tell me about all the plastic that is being used, I am a big fan of people drinking their tap water, but the water here makes me sick…so much to my chagrin I’m drinking bottled water.)

I digress.  The problem with blog writing for me is that I can get started with the idea to write one thing and then a bunch of other offshoots pop up and before you know it the top of my blog posts are all these tangents from my original intention.  Maybe I should put a disclaimer at the top of my posts, “Please skip down to the bottom half if you aren’t interested in my divergent ramblings.”

Okay, back to what I wanted to write about.  So, food, it’s important that I eat and I don’t eat out.  (I’m tempted to go off another tangent here, but I won’t.)  My method for keeping myself fed and relatively entertained when it comes to food is to mix and match.  (Finally, we’ve arrived at the topic of this post.)  What this means is that after I go to the Farmer’s Market on Saturdays, I wash all my vegetables, toss the proteins in the fridge for refrigeration/defrosting, and get cooking.

I cook my vegetables all separately and then my meats separately.  Sometimes, if I’m inspired, I might combine the two, but keeping my proteins and vegetables separate is part of the mix and match method.  I try to go for color and variety with the vegetables and I try for variety with the proteins.  Then during the week, I mix and match my vegetables and proteins for each meal.  Usually, I look in the fridge at my foods and figure out which items call to me.  Then I put them in a bowl and eat away.

Let’s take a look at an example from this morning’s masterpiece special.

So, the presentation could have been a little more spruced up, I admit, but this is pretty fancy for me.  You don’t want to see what the usual mix and match special of the day looks like.

In the photo, the middle is half a roasted acorn squash filled with sauteed ground rabbit and onions, surrounded by purple (or is it red?) kale and onions, topped with dollops of harvest pumpkin chèvre.

This is a fancier mix and match than I usually do, but I was inspired this morning.  Usually, a vegetable and a protein and I’m good to go.

So what other things do I have on my mix and match list for this week?

Cauliflower.  I made this using a recipe I developed on the fly one evening when a friend came over for dinner.  I’ll share details with you at some point, but as in true Funny Eater style, I just go for it and don’t have exact measurements for you.  If I ever wrote a cookbook (which would be unlikely given my penchant for abstract measurements), it would probably have a list of ingredients and then vague directions about how much and when.

Moving on.  Red Russian Kale.  The only downfall to my mix and match method is that I usually use either onions or garlic or both for all my dishes and so I end up with a lot of onion and garlic.  I have been trying to figure out ways to cut them out, but they are just too darn convenient.  One of  these days.

Oddly enough, the kale looks very green.  I promise this time I’m giving you the right name.  It actually has some purple streaks at the stems when they are uncooked.

In addition to the acorn squash, I also roasted some spaghetti squash this week.

And you already met the purple kale.

I don’t have any pictures of the rabbit meat.  I forgot to take one and I’m too lazy to walk the 10 feet to my refrigerator and pull it out for a picture.

With meat, I usually end up cooking a dish or two in the middle of the week.  Meat tastes better freshly cooked, so I don’t tend to cook it all at one time.  I also will cook a filet of fish en papillote for dinner now and then.  So the protein cooking is usually a few times a week and ends up being whatever I feel like.

In addition to meat and fish, I usually keep a good stock of eggs around for meals.  Eggs are easy protein and I love them.  Bacon is also another easy protein and gets me my fats, too.  (Just keep an eye on what’s in the bacon when you buy it.  I buy nitrate/nitrite free bacon from Applegate Farms usually.  Still working on trying to source bacon from a farmer’s market vendor.)

So there you have it.  My sort of haphazard weekly meal planning.  I’m sure I’ve confused you more than help or inspired you, so feel free to post comments asking questions if you need some straightening out.

Cheers!

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