Sunday, February 7, 2010

Changing My Mood About Food

This week we had a whole helluva lot of snow dumped in our region of the country.  Over two feet in our neihborhood, up to three feet in others. It was a mighty big storm. The night before it hit, my husband moved our barbeque grill (AKA Max*) into the garage.  I took it as his hint to me that he might be right, and I wrong, about, you know, our power going out during the storm. I said "Nah." He said "What if?" and he was urging me to purchase a generator.
Admittedly I gave him a hard time about the generator. I even invoked his childhood in rural Colorado into my argument with "Did your family have one? How often did you use it?" And his answer of "No, we didn't have one, but we could have used it if we had" didn't win me over.  No generator would be purchased on that day. I nixed the idea.

The weather gods laughed, but I couldn't hear them.

So early early Sunday morning our power went out.  I apologized to my husband when I awoke later that morning and felt the chill in the air.  Both from him and the lack of heat. I shouldn't have made fun of him about the generator. I thought he was awfulizing the situation.  I admitted I was wrong to have laughed at his suggestion that our power might go out. But in my defense, I've been in a lot of snow storms and never lost power. Rainstorms? Yes. But not snow.  I'll chalk this up to "live and learn" and we might even buy a generator when they restock the shelves.  After a day without power, I learned something surprising about how I have been stuck in a bad mood about winter food.

Winter cooking, for me,  has always translated to big pots of soup, slowcooker cooking, meat and potatoes, gooey warm cinnamon rolls. Stuff that is rich and heavy. I seem to eschew anything cold, anything resembling a salad. I turn away from tomatoes in the grocery store because I fear they will be bland and grainy.  I skip melons, I ignore berries.  But is it really necessary?  Why do I have to eat the big vats of comfort foods?  Maybe I should pay a little extra for the vine ripened tomatoes and enjoy them?  If it keeps me from packing on the pounds during winter, then maybe it would be a worthwhile investment. Every winter when I pack on the pounds I get grumpy as I make my way (weigh?!) into the Spring.

 As I stood over the hotdogs grilling for lunch (all beef, reduced fat) and later the hamburgers (90% lean) I had an epiphany.  It doesn't have to be summer in order for me to make healthier eating choices and I actually decided I had been allowing myself a "pass" on gaining weight in the winter because it is winter.  I was using winter as a justification for weight gain.

As I sat down for dinner with my family last night, I looked at the happy faces enjoying the burgers and thought they love summer too, why not bring summer into our lives all year 'round?

Here is a recipe my whole family lives on during the summer, and I'm going to make this sucker next week. It is from My Stolen Cookbook (or more commonly known as The Creme De Colorado Cookbook). All of the ingredients can be purchased in the dead of winter easily.

Grilled Sesame Chicken: 4-6 servings
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup soy sauce
1-2 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon dry mustard (I prefer Coleman's)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup chopped green onions
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 whole chickens quartered (or you can just use a lot of chicken breasts)

Combine marinade ingredients in a large ziplock bag. Add chicken. Squeeze out air and seal. Marinate in refridgerator for 4-8 hours.  Remove chicken, reserving marinade.  Grill over medium-hot coals or if using a gas grill, low to medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until chicken juice runs clear and it is cooked. Baste frequently with reserved marinade

Feel free to add your own favorites in the comments.  Let's get some more Loser Mom recipes on the radar. Maybe more of you will join me in my mood swing!

*As far back as I can remember we have always had Weber grills in our family. My father loves his Kettle grill, we now have a gas Weber. Being the daughter of not one, but two sociologists, I cannot help but name our grill Max, after the famed sociologist Max Weber. I know, it's a sickness.

1 comment:

Andrea Meyers said...

Good for you! We practically run a soup kitchen in the winter, and over the years we've adopted soups that taste good and won't pack on the pounds and send me into hibernation.

Most of our favorite are very easy, like this black bean soup that I can whip up for a quick weeknight meal.

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