Sunday, October 21, 2007

Time to Veg Out

Since I returned home, I've been keeping a low profile, staying home aside from quick little walks to the shops to restock my pantry, and I've been trying to get plenty of rest before heading back to work.

That's easier said than done, though: I tend to go through life with a lengthy To-Do list in my firm clutch, and even when I'm desperately behind on sleep, I feel the need to keep going. But I made a conscious effort to slow down this weekend, sleeping in and taking a nap and doing just the basic things needed to start my week.

Fortunately, the most basic task of all -- feeding myself -- is also one that tends to relax me, as long as I have an open schedule and plenty of good ingredients. And today I tapped the supplies of fresh produce bought at yesterday's farmers' market, and I decided to veg out completely:

For breakfast, I cubed the last of the bread I had tucked into the fridge before my trip. I layered the cubes in a baking pan with torn fresh spinach and snipped chives (from my windowsill), and then I whisked together local eggs and milk and poured the mixture over the top. With a little butter and Parmesan cheese and half an hour in the oven, it all came together for a hearty and wholesome breakfast casserole that was almost entirely local. And with a bit of pumpkin preserves and garlic-shallot jam on the side, it turned out rather elegant and tasty, too.

For lunch, I pulled out my old standby of broccoli-walnut pasta, using broccoli and garlic from the market, white spelt noodles made in nearby Amish country, and some of my oven-dried tomatoes.

And for dinner, I threw together cauliflower, zucchini, and sweet potato along with cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and olive oil, and I roasted it all for about 45 minutes until the vegetables were perfectly tender. I mixed yogurt with chopped cucumber and garam masala for a makeshift raita to serve with the vegetables, and I added a dollop of cantaloupe chutney on the side for an extra kick.

After a week of eating out, I can't tell you how good it feels to eat so many good vegetables... as well as to cook with them. About halfway through the week, I started craving my own home-cooking, and by today, getting into the kitchen felt more restful than anything else, if you can believe that.

I can't find a better way to veg out!


At 10/25/2007 3:38 PM, Anonymous jasmine said...

I find that eating out too much really starts to stress me out after a while. Glad you are back to eating some great veggie meals

At 10/26/2007 8:47 AM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

Thanks, Jasmine, and thanks for your company to wind down my trip! I enjoyed it!

I really did feel exhausted from eating out so much... all the thought about trying to find good food, trying to get a good balance of things... whew! It's good to be home again.


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