Dinnertime Confessions

Confession #1:

I’m sitting here with an ice pack on my arm, trying to sooth the heat of my Wednesday morning allergy shot.  I’ve got Idol on the TV, and I just filled my belly with a yummy meal.  Wanna hear about it?

Confession #2:

I’m stressed, cold, and a little worn down this week.  Even though it’s only Wednesday, I’ve been working late every night.  My work week started on Sunday, like this:

My job is fun.  I get to hang with cool people.  I love it.  Sunday was fun.  And cold.  And wet.  And more wet.  And did I mention it was wet?

Even though I had an hour and a half drive home, my poor fingers still looked like prunes when I got there!

I need some comfort food.

Confession #3:

I like to chop.  I spent more on my kitchen knife than I did on my microwave.  (To be fair, I bought the microwave at BJ’s Wholesale Club and it tends to short out every time I try to melt butter or pop popcorn.  This is especially annoying when I want to melt butter to put on my popcorn!)

Chopping up vegetables brings order to my world.  I really can’t explain it better than that.

Maybe it's the perfect squares? Maybe it's the memory of my dad chopping potatos on Sunday mornings? Whatever it is, I like it!

Confession #4:

I’m doing the Weight Watchers thing.  Vegetables are free.  I can eat as many of them as I want.  So, my basic rule of thumb is to double the amount of vegetables in every recipe.  And then, maybe, to double them again.  I follow this rule, even when preparing a recipe I get from the Weight Watchers web site.

Also, halve the pasta.  I know.  I know.  Cruel.  I LOVE me some pasta, but half a portion is plenty…especially when mixed in with all those veggies!

So, this is my version of one of their meals.

Roasted Veggie and Feta Orzo

1 eggplant
1 HUGE or 2 regular sized red bell peppers
2 green zucchini
1 big red onion (No, you’re not seeing double.  I used two tiny ones this time around!)
2 cloves garlic
1 can stewed tomatoes
a squeeze of tomato paste
Basil, parsley, oregano, whatever you like.  Fresh is best.
2/3 cup uncooked orzo
1 cup feta cheese

So colorful and pretty! My mom always says that meals shouldn't be all the same color. Do you think she'd approve of this one?

Chop all those pretty veggies into bite sized pieces.  Spray a couple of cookie sheets with Pam, plop those pretty veggies on top, add some salt and pepper, and then spray a little more Pam on top for good measure.

Roast in a 425 degree oven for about 20 minutes.  Yum!

That's two cookie sheets full of stress relief, folks. Feeling better already!

Occupy yourself for 15 minutes or so.  Let those veggies roast.  This is the time when I usually catch up on my breakfast dishes.  You can call that Confession #5.

Meanwhile, chop up the garlic.  Cook it up in a big skillet (after spraying it with a little more Pam, of course!)  Add the tomatoes and let them simmer for a while.  Five minutes should do the trick.

Oops, my bad.  You should have started cooking the orzo by now.  When the orzo’s almost done, pour off a half cup or so of the pasta water and add it to the tomatoes and garlic.  Spice up the sauce with whatever flips your lid.  I like basil and parsley.  I also like to squeeze in some of that yummy tomato-paste-in-a-tube to add a little extra shot of tomato-y goodness.

Take one last look at those roasted veggies. Once you mix them all together, they won't be quite so pretty anymore.

Dump all those roasted veggies into the sauce.  The eggplant will fall apart and melt.  This is a good thing!

Take the skillet off the heat and mix in the orzo and the feta.  This will not be a pretty meal, but boy is it satisfying.

I know it doesn't look like it, but this is a huge portion! There's some sort of optical illusion going on...

Seriously, I finished eating two hours ago and I’m still stuffed. This recipe makes four portions and each portion is 5 points plus in the Weight Watchers system. Yay!

Which brings us to:

Confession #6:

I intentionally make meals large enough to pack as lunch for the rest of the week.  I can never make myself get out of bed a second earlier than absolutely necessary.  So I now have three pre-portioned lunches in my fridge, waiting to be grabbed on my way out the door.

Suddenly, I can’t wait to go to work tomorrow!


One Comment to “Dinnertime Confessions”

  1. First of all I would like to say fantastic blog! I had a quick question
    that I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your head prior to writing. I’ve had difficulty clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas out.
    I truly do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first 10
    to 15 minutes are generally lost just trying to figure out how to begin.
    Any recommendations or hints? Kudos!

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