Friday, January 30, 2009

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry

A girl's got to eat-and I don't like stuff that tastes like thought I would share a few things we've tried around these parts that mesh well with a running lifestyle, yet don't taste like cardboard. I was up a few pounds after the holidays-not anything to become obsessive compulsive over, but enough that I needed stop the willy-nilly mass consumption of everything I wanted to eat. These are a few of the recipes we found that had nice flavor, the kiddos would eat, and didn't cause any feelings of guilt that sometimes come after shoveling a bunch of crap into the old fuel tank.

Cooking Light was always an old favorite recipe source for me, and we've been rediscovering it as of late. The first new recipe we tried and enjoyed was Ma Po Tofu. Put aside any bad feelings you might have toward tofu, and give this a go. This was a great substitute for the night I was jonesing for Chinese buffet food, and I think that the next time we have this, I'll get chopsticks and let the kids go to town with them.

Another keeper for the new year is Cooking Light Chili Mac, made with my new favorite Kraft 2% milkfat cheese. We've been using the 2% stuff for awhile, but this is the first 2% cheese we've found that melts like the full-fat variety. We add more in the way of seasonings and chili powder, but it's a good basic recipe to add or omit, and it's oh so filling.

I need to try the Chicken Tamale Casserole again....I was distracted and unfocused while I prepared it the first time, and did a bunch of things out of order, not long enough, or just plain WRONG. Due to my high degree of user error, it didn't turn out how I think it should have, but the flavor of my messed up version was decent enough for me to think it could actually be pretty good if one is a fan of listening to and following directions. I might try that some day.

Another great dish we recently tried is not from Cooking Light, but from fellow runner HikerGirl. It's a crock pot meat loaf made with turkey, and when it's all ready, you get to schmear it with that yummy cranberry sauce from a can. Or don't. To me, though, nothing beats that HFCS jelly in a can, and an occasional pinch shouldn't kill me. That recipe is as follows:

Harvest Time Turkey Loaf

2 lbs ground turkey meat
2 beaten eggs
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1 apple, peeled, cored and coarsely grated
1/4 cup apple juice
1/4 cup minced onion
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup fresh parsley (optional)
1/4 cup ground walnuts
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
cranberry sauce (optional)

Combine all ingredients, except parsley sprigs and cranberry sauce, in a large mixing bowl. Mix well and shape mixture into a round loaf. Place in crock pot/slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 5-6 hours. Slice turkey and garnish (well, schmear liberally in my house) with cranberry and/or parsley.

Anyway-that's some of what we've tried and liked lately. I get into cooking and recipe ruts sometimes, so I'm all ears if anyone would to throw back some "fuel that tastes good" recipes.

We're not doing inverted keg stands or anything here-but I do like a nice beer or glass of wine with meals here and there. A couple of beverages we have enjoyed lately include this fine beer, Ommegang Abbey Ale from the Brewery Ommegang in New York. MMMMMM. It's a meal in a bottle. I wish I knew all the good words that people with expertise in tasting might use to describe it-all I can say is that I enjoy it and am in no rush to slam a bottle of this beer-it's one to savor.

Another recent find that we'll purchase again is Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock. Great stuff-another beer to sip slowly and enjoy. My son thought the white plastic ram tied to each bottle made for excellent combat play, as well.

The last interesting surprise has been the discovery that there IS in fact a red wine that I like. After hearing about Argentinian Malbec wine ad nauseum on Fdip podcasts, I finally said fine, fine, I'll try one but won't try too hard to like it. I was intrigued, though, about the idea of my mouth and teeth turning purple. Lo and behold, the 89 point, very inexpensive Alamos Mendoza Malbec wound up being something that was just "like buttah" on the tongue-and it did indeed stain my entire mouth a lovely shade of purple. Even my husband, who typically turns a shade of red himself from the sulfides in red wines, was able to drink this wine without the usual flushy reaction. I'm not sure what they do differently with wine in Argentina, but he sure enjoying being able to have a little red wine that doesn't make him look like a grape.


L.A. Runner said...

Thank you for the recipe links! I can't wait to try some of them.

Oz Runner said...

great blog, we're always looking for new recipes around here..