Lunchtime Vacation Cooking

There are good things and bad things about cutting out (almost) all processed foods from my diet. The good stuff is obvious: eating higher quality, better tasting food. And any of the bad really comes down to convenience, though I’m pleased to say I’ve mostly gotten over that hump. I make time to cook almost every day, and even when we go out to eat on occasion we’ve tended towards places like Eat n’ Park.

Don’t laugh. Seriously, don’t. When was the last time you really paid attention to what Eat n’ Park is up to? Besides being committed to serving and promoting locally-grown produce in their restaurants, they also have an amazing set of nutritional resources on their website and blog. They are hands-down the easiest restaurant for me to track food in LoseIt! and they’ve been doing for years what the health care reform registration will require all restaurant chains to do: make nutritional labeling consistent and accessible for patrons. Plus, LEED-certified restaurant in Waterworks? Opening in May? Bring it on. (Side note: I totally called them on the Fox Chapel/City of Pittsburgh/Waterworks thing on Twitter last fall, but let it be known that I was NOT the anonymous commenter on their blog. Also let it be known that I was totally wrong: @SmileyCookie pointed out that Waterworks shopping center is in fact within Pittsburgh city limits – something I did not know at all – but apparently I was not the only one confused by that.)

Anyway, back to my original intent, which was whining about the lack of convenience of eating healthy. Except it really isn’t so inconvenient after all. And this week, since I’m on vacation, I’ve had the flexibility to do mid-day cooking as well.

Trusty wok, meet stew meat and vegetables

Stew meat and vegetables, meet mushrooms.

And stew meat, vegetables and mushrooms, meet spinach.

Now all of you, get in mah belly.

Nutritional information for one serving of stew meat with vegetables and wilted spinach, approximate: 266 calories, 12.2 grams fat, 3.9 grams saturated fat, 81.3mg cholesterol, 104.7mg sodium, 8.2 grams carbohydrates, 2.6 grams fiber, .1 grams sugar, 30.6 grams protein.

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2 thoughts on “Lunchtime Vacation Cooking

  1. OK Andrea, I’ve been on a natural food kick for quite some time now. I’m trying to parlay it into going vegetarian, or at least mostly vegetarian. However, I can’t get full so I’m thinking I need to start eating tofu, but have no idea how to cook it. Can you put up an easy tofu recipe that has it mixed in with other stuff? I don’t think I’m ready to just eat it alone yet.
    Natalie :-)

    • So, assuming you saw this one: https://aerdin.wordpress.com/2010/03/21/tofu-u/ which was basically stir fry tofu in a wok with chives. That method of cooking with really high heat makes the tofu crisp on the outside, and with the chives and kosher salt it’s really delicious. You could toss it with Parmesan cheese, too. If you mix it with vegetables it’s an awesome stir fry dinner and supremely healthy. Check out Mike’s comment on that post, too. He had a great suggestion for a marinade.

      But if that’s too tofu-y for you, try this one: https://aerdin.wordpress.com/2010/03/09/curry-cop-out/ since it’s curry, and anything curry-flavored is fabulous.

      Or make miso soup: https://aerdin.wordpress.com/2010/03/05/who-knew-rice-noodles-had-so-many-calories/ except actually add the tofu, unlike me in that post.

      No matter what, the thing about tofu is to get as much moisture out of it before you cook it. I usually press it between lots of paper towels and stack some heavy books on it. Seriously. And I always buy super duper extra firm.

      We’re having D’s sisters over on Saturday night and doing choose-your-own-stir-fry-adventure in the wok. One of the choices will be tofu, so I’ll probably post that on Sunday. We’re going to marinate it…just haven’t decided in what yet.

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