Monday, September 7, 2009


Not many people have as much to be grateful for as I do, so I'd like to share my gratitude with you. This dinner setting above is pretty much what I am treated to every evening (or some local variation). My husband does the veggie shopping and preparation on a weekly basis. The above dinner plate has steamed kale, purple cabbage, and beets boiled, peeled, and sliced. On top of that is some garlic walnut mezze (lower right) sprinkled with ground flaxseed (tastes like nuts). And finally, on top are slices of red pepper, some really great cheese, and cherry tomatoes. Eating this meal with chopsticks slows down my consumption and allows me to mix or daintily pick something up and snarf it down.

The meal is usually accompanied by my favorite shiraz (upper left) from organically grown grapes, although it is shipped from Australia. I've not yet found a locally grown substitute that I like as much as this one.

I realize that few people are blessed to have a partner who not only enjoys doing this, but actually prefers it to my rather messy excursions into the kitchen. Not that he doesn't enjoy my cooking, but the simple unadorned veggies here can be whipped up into a more spicy creation or enjoyed as is. We usually have myriad plastic containers in the fridge filled with various variations on this theme: brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale, purple cabbage, beets, asparagus, collards, and more occasionally, various kinds of beans.

Additional protein is usually tofu or salmon. This makes for a very colorful, simple, and tasty dinner. One problem is that it is easy to eat too much, and I have found that overeating at any one time makes me get hungry that much sooner! I'm not sure why this happens, but it does. I do better when I eat smaller, more frequent meals. It's not exactly low calorie, either: I need to be careful or I will gain weight on this wonderful fare. (That might be because I like to saute up these veggies in olive oil and add flavorings, and that adds quite a few calories.)

When I think of the limited options available for some people, I can understand the need and/or desire to drive up to a Taco Bell or McDonald's and let them prepare it for me. But the difference between fast food and this slow food is enormous, both in the impact of its preparation on our precious planet, and on my waistline.


  1. Delightful. I'm envious. :D

    Cooking is not my thing, but I seem to find myself doing more and more of it. Never thought about chop sticks slowing down the process....that's a good idea. Never learned the art but have some on hand for various craft projects. I might just look them up to give it a try.

    I'll pass on the salmon or any fish for that matter. Hubby loves fish and especially salmon. Poor thing, he either gets fish out or cooks himself. The tofu is ok; however, I understand it promotes estrogen production and eliminate as much of that as possible since the cancer I had was estrogen positive. Ugh. Tweezers are handy for those three whiskers that have appeared since I'm also taking pills to prevent the cells from estrogen uptake.

    I'm working on adding more veggies to my diet; I'm stuck on broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, green beans sometime, peas are ok. I'm growing kale in the garden as a way to encouage me to eat it. Brussel spouts - never. :D

  2. I could easily be a vegetarian but I am married to a meat & potatoes kind of guy.

    As much time as I spend at the Farmers' Market you can imagine the veggies I bring home each week. I do manage to work some into my husband's diet each week, it is not easy. The meal above looks very good but I would probably leave off some of the cheese.

    Good post DJan.

  3. My husband took over the shopping and the kitchen last year while I was recovering from a pelvic fracture. I think we are eating much better; like you, the fridge is filled with plastic containers of vegetables, just about every one you listed (!) and the meals have become so much more simple. Good plain food that is easily tarted up with hot and sour paste or other spices.

  4. Lucky girl having a husband that is so health conscious. My husband would cook steak, grilled corn and wedge salad every night. I like using the chopsticks to slow yourself down - I think I'll invest in a pair. Great idea.

  5. DJ,

    Well maybe those healthy foods are what's keeping you very enthusiastic. We use chopsticks but it doesn't slow it down hahaha, with the noodles and the meat and veggies and slurrrp the soup after hahaha. Tofu is a great substitute for meat, hmm I like tofu cooked with soy sauce and black beans... try it chopsticks! I mean is very tasty.

    Now I am hungry.

  6. You are lucky to have a husband who cooks – mine does not like to. If I don’t want to cook he’ll offer to make me a grilled cheese sandwich or open a can of pork’n beans and that’s about it – well, no, maybe a peanut butter sandwich…So we eat well if I am not on the computer too long, if not it's just what we can gather in the kitchen.

  7. DJan! That looks incredible! I LOVE the colors we get when we eat well. Fast food is so colorless. The color is one of my big cues that I'm eating well. (Disregard pink popcorn! lol)

    Grizzly CAN cook but doesn't. However, he is comPLETELY supportive of what we're doing in the 30 Day Throw Down! and that's huge. It would be very hard if you had a fast food die hard or someone who wanted to live on boxed macaroni and cheese with hotdogs. But I have come to a point in my life where I won't let someone else's choice dictate where my health and well-being will end up. That's up to me. I'm blessed the whole family is on board and we're ALL seeing benefits. You are inspiring. :)

  8. You are so lucky to have such a husband..God Bless....Great post..Unseen Rajasthan

  9. My husband was the Mess Hall 1st cook at one point in his military career, but I'm afraid he doesn't delight me with his culinary skills.
    Nope, I'm the head cook and bottle-washer around here, a position I'm sure to hold, until I'm too senile to remember where the stove is located.
    Your right about the chopsticks, it does slow down your eating, so does eating English style, with a knife and fork (simutanously).

  10. I'm happy to say that my husband enjoys veggies almost as much as I do, we really enjoy the ones that we harvest. Unfortunately our tomatoes had a blight this year and rotted on the vine :(
    I need to hone my chopsticks skills!
    Sunny :)

  11. Looks great! I've always been a fruit and veggie lover. My diet is chock full of fresh produce and salads with some seafood. But I do like eat one or two Cajun dishes a week, with no remorse. I just dance it off!

  12. It looks very healthy. I am terrible about vegetables. There are very few I really like.

  13. Yummy! I could taste each item as you named and described it. I also like how you acknowledge how fortunate you are to be able to choose to eat nutritiously. Some people are so elitist, so holier-than-thou with their foodism, and preach it like a religion, which is enough to make me go buy a Quarter Pounder with fries, just because.

    I love to eat healthy and would all the time if somebody else would fix it. I could be a full-on vegetarian if somebody else would fix it. When my husband cooks, I'm happy he is cooking and cheerfully eat whatever he makes. (He tends toward the grill or gourmet, and it usually involves meat, or at least fish.) Bon appetit, and a long and healthy life to you both!

  14. Your meal looks so colourful DJan and so nutritious too. Are you a vegetarian, almost?
    Blessings, Star


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