In the last couple of months the blog has been as barren as the trees around the lakefront. Id like to keep my pace around the 10-12 post a month mark, not only to keep interest up (both for you and me) but to keep my work in the forefront. I may not have the urgency of the beginning of my journey, but I can certainly make the work as conscious as it has been in my most successful times. The trap for me is saying "this should be automatic" and then quickly falling back into my former bad habits. I may have personal inertia, but my personal friction seems to pull me back to the bad habits, hence the need to stay deliberate in my work. I realized that I had not done an "In The Kitchen" blog post for quite some time. I did a bit of cooking this week, so I thought I would take a few snaps to share.
One thing I wanted to try was to take more control of my snacking. I am cooking most of my meals, why not my snacks? I had a hankering for chips and decided if I made them myself I would have less on hand and I would have earned the indulgence. I got various root veggies and some oil and got frying.
What you see here are sweet potatoes and parsnips. I had a turnip, but the water content was so high that the chips burned before crisping. As a famous hot lunch once said, though, "two out of three ain't bad". As you can see there aren't a bunch of chips, this is probably two parsnips and one and a half large sweet potatoes worth. Probably two to three hearty servings. It was great that the yield wasn't that high because I didn't have a huge bag of chips sitting around tempting me, and I was more careful with them because I knew how much work went into them. Not only in the cooking, but cleaning. I had never deep fat fried before, and I do not have a fryer, so I used a normal pot. There was oil EVERYWHERE. Drips on the floor, aerosolized oil on most of my cooking surfaces, and on the ceiling. I got the kitchen clean, but my apartment still smells like a McDonald's. There was certainly a sense of accomplishment for all of the work, though.
The next kitchen project was a test recipe. I had been inspired by a cooking show to make a fall lasagna. Pasta is not on the top of my "healthy foods" list, but it looked incredible, and the annual Davis' turkey day potluck is coming up, and I am aiming to impress. I trolled the internet looking for recipes and I found a Martha Stewart offering that looked promising. In the comments I saw that people had success making substitutions with less fat and calorie ingredients, so I decided to improvise off of the recipe and see how it turned out. I have to say I knocked this one out of the park. This is butternut sage lasagna:
I was a little worried about the flavor initially, hence the missing piece. It turned out great, though. Creamy, savory, and surprisingly not as dense as I expected. The absolute best part is that according to my calculations it is only 200 calories per slice. Even if I am off by 50%, and I doubt I am, this is a reasonably healthy side dish for a fall occasion, and a great vegetarian entree for the meatless days. This one is definitely going in the recipe book.
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