Week 19, Day 1
Over on my food blog The Dinner Hour, the last entry came shortly after I found out I was pregnant, and it was all about the interesting combinations I was putting together in response to earliest-pregnancy cravings. Shortly after that — say, about 10 minutes after that — the energy I had for cooking, shopping for cooking, and thinking about cooking just vanished, perhaps going into hiding from the perpetually unsettled stomach that appeared just five minutes after that.
And so it’s 15 weeks later, and The Dinner Hour is still awaiting an update. But as of this weekend, I managed to cook not one but two meals in a row. Meals involving a nice balance of protein, carbs, and vegetables. Meals with flavor that didn’t make my stomach flip. Meals that even resulted in leftovers.
The energy level is back enough to cook, but not quite enough to cook, blog, and photograph all at the same time. And I will confess to having had some help in the sourcing department; a marinated tenderloin from Central Market’s butcher counter, two pieces of salmon from Central Market’s to-go case, and a big basket of organic vegetables from Greenling. Without those head starts, we probably would have been looking at more Kashi meals or another plate of scrambled eggs.
Instead, on Friday, to go with the salmon, I took three organic Japanese eggplant, roll-cut them, and put them in a big glass baking dish with two stalks of organic broccoli trimmed into florets and discs, all tossed with a little canola oil, a little sesame oil, organic tamari, and a few splashes of mirin, then roasted them at 400 for 25 minutes. Some basmati rice and the warmed salmon with a little peanut sauce and we had a nice dinner. I put all the leftovers together in one glass storage container, and wound up having them for a lunch with a handful of green tea soba noodles. (Somehow, eating with chopsticks keeps me on an even keel.)
Then for Saturday’s dinner, that big glass baking dish was pressed into service again. Butternut squash cubes, dried cranberries, and pecans, with a very little bit of olive oil and just a drizzle of agave syrup. I put the ancho-coriander marinated pork tenderloin on top of the squash and put that in a 375-degree oven for 45 minutes. Earlier, I’d started cooking Greenling’s fresh pinto beans with garlic, a chopped Hatch chile, and a bottle of beer. After half an hour or so, I added a bunch of organic collards to the pot, chiffonaded like my great-aunt Helen was doing long before the Lee Bros. were even a gleam in their daddy’s eye. A bit more water and the lid and I walked away until everything was done. Those leftovers made a great Sunday supper.
None of this is to say I have any idea what I’ll manage for dinner tonight. But I’m starting to feel like I’m on the way back. If this keeps up, I might even wind up making and freezing ahead for right after our little sous chef makes his appearance in February.
Note: Once again, for convenience sake, cross-posted to The Dinner Hour. Where my goal will be to get some unique posts up in the next week or twelve.