so this unemployment thing is pretty great! at least when it comes to maintaining the house and preparing meals, it’s not so great on the pocketbook of course, but i’m not going to worry about that

(it’s also been pretty awesome for my skin – my lingering acne has disappeared!)

so yesterday was just gross – cold and rainy all day, YUCK
so i decided to make dinner from what we had in the house (also part of Operation Make Room in the Freezer)

I ended up making a Spicy Italian Turkey Meatloaf, a vegetable melange, and broccoli couscous

(thanks for bearing with me while I work on my food photography)

The meatloaf was great, especially because it made me realize that I don’t really need a recipe for meatloaf anymore!

I’ve always been recipe-dependent – i’d memorize a few basic formulae here and there, like french toast custard and quiche fillings, but for the most part i did NOT cook without a recipe, and i felt pretty constrained by that.

BUT now I know that I can basically throw together ABOUT 2 lbs of ground meat (or a little less, and including turkey or sausage or whatever)
plus one egg, a half cup of breadcrumbs, a half cup of moisture (tomato sauce, ketchup, whatever) and seasonings, bake it for about an hour at 350 degrees with more sauce dumped over the top and you’re good to go!

I also substituted vegetable broth for the milk in the cheesy couscous and added fresh broccoli (sneaking veggies in wherever i can!)
the vegetable melange was frozen from trader joe’s

it all turned out pretty great!

I also made individual salads which brings me to my next realization


As Jeff says in one of my favorite moments on Coupling – “I get very tense around apples… Well, I get very tense generally. I think I’ve fallen into the trap of blaming fruit.”

I totally lost my shit the first time i saw that scene, because i also get really nervous about fruit – about fruit going bad to be specific, just like Jeff is referring to in that scene (when offering Jane an apple that MAY have gone south, when she shows up at his apt unannounced, it’s a great episode)

anyway, for most of college i refused to buy produce because i was so scattered (and to be honest, drugged out) that i KNEW i would not manage to eat all of it before it went bad

near the end of college i pulled my shit together and started buying produce again in small quantities, but it still made me tense and i was constantly eating pears and peaches etc before they were actually ripe (i told everyone that i preferred my fruit hard and sour!)

i was off-board, and we had a pretty decent kitchen in our campus apartment and my roommate and i made a point of cooking a lot. (which as anyone who went to a small liberal arts school know, brings your friends over in droves!)

and that’s when i started my weird scheming of how i can insert fruits and veggies into random dishes – sauteeing apples or bananas or other fruits to go on top of pancakes or waffles, or even just serving them as a side dish just to get them eaten – putting sauteed bell peppers into bean and cheese burritos – adding frozen veggies to scrambled eggs, especially corn and then using them in breakfast burritos with more veggies – making omelettes to stuff veggies into, especially mushrooms because they come in such large packages for one person to eat before they go bad! and so on and so on

(am i totally insane? please someone tell me they think about this too!)

(you know, now that i think about it – is it any wonder that i was much skinnier and healthier then? i ate vegetables and fruits with every meal, i was basically a vegetarian aside from the occasional package of deli meat or bacon that took me weeks to finish. hell, on the typical day i ate toast and fruit, or a veggie, egg and cheese burrito for breakfast, a (vegetarian refried) bean cheese and veggie burrito for lunch, a piece of fruit for a snack, and another bean cheese and veggie burrito for dinner, sometimes with a salad – tortilla chips and salsa for the munchies … damn! what happened? oh yeah, i fell in love with a meat and potatoes, onion rings and ribs, beer-drinkin’, sports-lovin’, polish sausage and funnel cakes, let’s-go-out-for-steaks-tonight, WONDERFUL BEAR-MAN!)

sorry, tangent…

ANYWAY, shopping and cooking for one or even two – especially when you don’t have a car IS HARD!

So Living Lettuce is my new favorite thing! I bought the heads in the picture almost two weeks ago and it has held up wonderfully in the fridge ever since!

definitely a fantastic buy!

ok, enough random product-shilling… time to go make a meatloaf sandwich for lunch!

(btdubs, i will make sure to let you know if ever get paid to do a product endorsement or if i receive free stuff, but so far NO DICE!)