There was a chilli cook-off at my job recently. I didn’t get to compete, but I did sample. As I joined the crowd of co-workers slowly migrating past each steaming crockpot to get a few spoonfuls of someone’s contest entry, it amazed me how unique each entry was. The rich, sweet spiciness of a beer-based chilli. The mysterious notes that I couldn’t quite decipher that were collected in another pot. Cocoa giving earthiness to a chocolate-based entry. Celery jumping out on my tastebuds on a buffalo chicken chilli. No two dishes were alike.
The variety was intriguing and fun. And it made me realize that my diet of late has not been intriguing and fun.
I find myself in a cooking rut. There are meals that have served me well in losing weight that have been go-to meals for me, and maybe I have relied on them too much. Meals that are quick to make, like my slimmed-down lasagna. Frequent grilling. The same yogurt and cereal breakfasts. I never put myself in a box when I was eating poorly, but now I seem to have painted myself into a corner of my kitchen.
Clearly there are boundaries to be set–I can’t eat fried chicken every day and expect to lose weight, for example. As a result, my “frying” is of the oven-fried variety, and when I make French fries, I just toss them in the oven instead of in a percolating pool of oil. And I tend not to eat a lot of pasta dishes. Although I go with whole wheat pasta when I use it, I prefer to go with couscous or a starchy vegetable on my plate (I lived on pureed pumpkin and winter squash for many months this year and loved it.) But as this is a lifetime change, I need to find a lifetime worth of meal ideas if I don’t want to burn myself out.
Sounds like I have some homework to do, browsing the Weight Watchers recipe section, and paging again through the many cookbooks I have. I am up to the challenge.
Can you help me out? You are able to browse my blog and see the recipes that I rely on, but what are your go-tos? I encourage you to share some of your favorite recipes here, or point to them on your blog. Thanks for expanding my repertoire!