Monday, August 17, 2009

Monday's Challenge

Monday's Challenge: Feed yourself!

Yeah, yeah, yeah..I can "cook." But for me cooking means either: take-out, cereal, or heating anything in a bag or box from Trader Joe's frozen aisle. This was how I "cooked" in LA for the last 2.5 years, and surprise, surprise I gained a bunch of weight. So I'm trying to eat fresher food and eat more consistently throughout the day (this is a whole other post.)

I avoid cooking because I hate raw meat. I was vegetarian for many years, and I blame the vegetarianism for my complete inability to cook meat. I cooked salmon once while I lived on my own in Montecito. Once. I lived there for 3 years. The other part of hating raw meat is my anxiety!! Raw meat= e coli= imminent painful death. See? In my head cooking meat means you will die shortly thereafter...come on in, the crazy's just fine!

I found an amazing recipe blog: Use Real Butter. This lady's blog is full of delicious recipes, and even better, said recipes are accompanied by beautiful pictures and seem to be idiot proof..I mean..I did ok I'm guessing anyone who has been in a kitchen before can rock these out no prob. Today I chose to make the spicy chinese cucumber salad and a stir fry that very loosely followed the stir-fried chicken and asparagus recipe.

The cucumber salad was quite easy to make, and EXTREMELY delicious! I added extra chili paste because for some reason the last few months I have wanted everything HOT! If it's slightly painful to eat then I am happy..sweaty and happy. Oh yeah, I also added sesame seeds because I LOOOOOOOVE sesame seeds. Yum.

The stir fry was a success in my opinion!! It had the added bonus of forcing me to touch raw chicken! (Here we enter the incessant hand-washing portion of the cooking experiment) Not only did I touch the chicken, I de-boned the breast, cut off all skin and fat, and sliced it very thinly. I did not get pictures of this part because even with the hand washing, had I picked up my camera I would have had to throw it away..because you know..e-coli, death, etc.

See that chicken? I totally prepared that chicken.
Instead of asparagus I used water chestnuts, broccoli, carrots, snow peas, and green onions. I also intended to add mung beans but got a little overwhelmed and completely forgot to add them. See, apparently while stir-frying you don't throw everything in at the same time. I cooked the chicken until it was almost done, then removed it to a waiting bowl while I cooked the vegetables until they were almost done and then added everything back in the pan and cooked until the chicken was done. It was like an intricate dance..which coincidentally, I am also not good at.

In the end I think I may have over cooked it just a teensy bit guessed it..I was worried the chicken wasn't cooked thoroughly. But I'm still calling this one a success! I turned off the burner and said out loud, "Holy shit. I just made food." To which my Pops said, "Yes! And Easily!" He's so sweet and encouraging. Most encouraging was the feeling of accomplishment and tasting the end results. Seriously delicious. I'm excited to try another recipe.

Ironically this picture doesn't look super appetizing..but it was amazing!

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