Monday, March 25, 2013

Food, Glorious Food

I'm a fairly healthy eater most of the time.  I like to make things from scratch, I buy mostly organic, only eat whole grains (no white bread/pasta/rice), I avoid high fructose corn syrup or anything processed, and I shop locally/seasonally as much as possible (considering my geographic region).  I have a lot of trouble with portion control, however.  Working late every day has also kept me from cooking as much as I would like to during the week.  To combat both of these problems, I've started cooking on weekends things that I can easily portion out and eat throughout the work week.

Quiche is one of the easiest things to make and it's a good way to use a lot of vegetables.  I sauteed mushrooms, asparagus, onions, and tomatoes, crumbled goat cheese on top of them, and poured over a basic quiche mixture (5 eggs to 1 cup of milk) seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and a little dollop of mustard.  Aside from being simple, tasty, and easy to split into 6 equal portions, quiche also always reminds me of spring.

veggie filling, ready for an egg bath

I also love making big batches of soup and then keeping them in individual 2-cup containers in the freezer.  If I need a quick lunch, I just pop one in the microwave for a few minutes and it's so much better than canned soup.
Before: aromatics and chicken, waiting to become stock
After: single-serving chicken and rice soups for the freezer
I made a spicy-sweet butternut squash soup as well, but it turns out orange goop isn't very photogenic.
And under the category of "things I can't believe I can actually do:"
When life gives you strawberries, make freshly hand-whipped cream...

Other than cooking, I also tried to get through a little bit of my Netflix instant queue this weekend.  I highly recommend the documentary "Ballerina," available on Netflix.  If you have a passion for dance or for Russian history/culture/language, you will enjoy this film.  Every movement, from their toes to their fingertips, has the purpose of expressing something.  It is seriously impressive and beautiful, especially considering the young age of these dancers.  I can't even imagine the maturity that must go into that kind of discipline.  It is a bit ED triggering, simply because of how thin most of these young women are, but you have to understand that they spend 8 to 15 hours a day dancing -- perhaps some of them eat very little in order to fit into the initial physique requirements, but the majority of them must eat or they wouldn't be able to stay in this profession because they would be too weak.  The ballerinas may look very thin, but they are actually incredibly strong, and they make it all look effortless on stage.  That is always the thing that impresses me most.  However, maybe because it's Russian ballet, the dancers are able to show wonderful emotion on stage while revealing almost nothing about the emotional/psychological effort of being a professional dancer.  The film doesn't delve much into what is required to deal with the constant criticism, the lack of rest, the pressure, etc.  The recent CW show "Breaking Pointe" did a much better job of communicating that aspect of dance.

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