I worry about wasting food. Not wasting food as in “Oh that portion was too big, I’ll throw out the waste.” But wasting food as in, “I just spent all this time cooking and it’s inedible, now i have to throw it out and figure out my meal and clean up up the mess!”
So I’d never even try. The whole thing was too much emotional load.
Then last week, I was channel jumping on YouTube when I ran across a video about why restaurant vegetables taste so much better than home-cooked vegetables.
Now, I’m not a cook. I can make a few, staple dishes, mostly with predictably edible results. But… I’m sick of them. Totally sick of my normal meals.
Those meals include: chicken & veggies (basically a skillet meal), soft tacos, pasta, homemade pizza (on pre-made crusts), various egg dishes, pancakes. Oh, hot dogs. I can make a hot dog.
With where I am at on my health journey that set of food simply won’t work. It’s high calorie, high carb. Except the chicken and veggies which are – in my version – very heavy and only come out well about 40% of the time. Edible about 95% – good? Only about 40%, and that’s being generous.
If I want variety, deliciousness, and health – it’s time to cook.
When I ran across the headline of this video it piqued my interest. I can boil veggies and I can burn ‘em. I can microwave steamfresh veggies, which is what I normally do. But Nathan and I used to roast veggies and make this delicious roast chicken & veggies meal. I’d like to do that again. And other variations.
I was intrigued by the video’s headline. Ethan is an excellent explainer, so I watched a few times and bought fresh beets at a local farm.
Today, I was sitting here bored and aimless and figured I’d give it a go. Why not? I was hungry-ish and wanted something to snack on (though I do limit snacks as well, don’t y’know they’ll ruin your dinner?) and figured that if I really did screw this up, it would be ~25 min wasted, I have other snack like food that’s healthy, and it was only a single beet.
So I cut it up and used the parboil -> broil method from the video.
And for the first time, on my own, I actually got the Maillard reaction. That kind of crispy, slightly blackened, but delicious thing that happens.
What I did? I sliced up the beet, put in two extremely generous pinches of salt, boiled the slices for 6 minutes.
While that was happening, I loaded the sheet pan with a lot of EVOO and heated the whole thing up.
After boiling, I moved the sliced beets into the pre-oil-heated pan in my Ninja Foodi oven-thing for ~12 minutes. I could hear them start to crisp up as I placed them in the hot oil. I added some minced garlic and a generous helping of balsamic vinegar.
The result is as follows:
That is: these came out perfectly.
All that is to say: I finally got over my fear of failure and made some absolute deliciousness. This is an approach I can easily repeat in the future, and apparently will even work on the tons of frozen veggies I have.
It feels good to try something new, especially something I’ve so carefully avoided in the past. Maybe this will help me with motivation to try more cooking.