Daily Dinner Coming Up

Food is all around

The local aqua jogging class has gained a new celebrity. She inspires fear and idolatry in about equal measure, and no one dares get too close.

Every Monday evening, there are about fifteen gray ladies in the pool, with Styrofoam “weights” around their wrists and waist. They move with purpose, following along with the instructor’s every order. Her left arm goes up, their left arm goes up. She tells them to “jog” to the other side of the pool, they dart there in good time and in a straight line.

And then there’s me. The new, notorious, unusually young participant.

I get in the water, people at the other side of the pool look up in alarm at the tidal wave I create. The instructor tells us to swing a leg above water (excellent for abdominals, apparently), I nearly drown. And always, always when she yells “left!” I go right. Enthusiastically, often colliding with whatever gray lady is audacious enough to get within two arm lengths of me. I have started getting scared looks when I enter in my bright pink suit.

No matter, though. The ladies love having me there, to mingle with the “young ones”. Once, I told the flowered bathing suit next to me that I had come to class straight after work and she broke out in a huge grin. “Oh, how lovely. You are young enough to work!”. And I love being there, because it earns me points. WeightWatcher points.

Yup, I decided it was time to lose the excess baggage. It has been about seven weeks, and it is surprisingly undifficult. I am eating less than I was, but don’t generally get hungry. I eat differently, but I call the shots. If I want a chocolate-covered cream puff, I can. Gorgeously runny brie at the store? I make room in my daily allowance and dig in. I do miss putting bite after bite into my mouth, without thinking about it. What I don’t miss, however, is the tightness in my pants and the straining of my shirts. A fair trade-off, methinks.

One thing that ticks me off about the diet, though, is that it means I want to blog less. Something to do with thinking about and keeping track of my food All Day Long. But! I think I’ve figured out a way to make this work to my advantage: Every day from Sunday through Thursday, I will update. Not usually with a long story, but with the answer to the dreaded question “what’s for dinner?”.

I make elaborate plans for my meals, plotting what I can eat on a day and gleefully anticipating what is to come. This is a hobby to me, not a chore, but I know it doesn’t work like that for everyone. When food still took up a somewhat smaller part of my brain, I would regularly have a tense commute home, annoyed at having yet another meal to think up. Stressed-out friends, upset colleagues and randomly overheard conversations on the train confirmed that I was not the only cranky cook. Weeknight dinners are often more like daily doldrums than delicious dreams. Here, I hope to help with that.

Most of the time, I will suggest a meal that I had myself that day. This means I cannot promise the food will always be exciting and new. I like an easy, comfortable dinner as much as the next girl. Given that I work five days a week and dinner has to be cooked after a 70-minute commute, it is far safer to promise that the ideas will mostly be fast and simple. Also, given the WW-points, there will usually be a lot of vegetables (no points in most of them!) and not too many carbohydrates (an awful lot of points per gram).

Given the recent lack of posts, I think a trial period is in order. The coming two weeks, I will post every day. Then I will take a break to go to Italy (pasta! gelato! formaggi! hurray) and after I get back, it is crunch time: do I have enough ideas to keep going? Time will tell, but your help would be greatly appreciated. Had a wonderful dinner? Let me know about it at shoeboxcooking@gmail.com . And if you add a picture? I might just be grateful enough to invite you over for dinner.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Daily Dinner Coming Up

  1. Manon

    Today I had beef soup, bread and scones wtih clottered cream and jam in Edinburgh. Not very WeightWatchin, I suppose, but real great in the sun. Alas, tomorrow a regular working day again, so I look forward to simple and healthy inspiration!

  2. bart

    Windy Sundays are perfect for some cooking, especially when risotto is an option 🙂
    Two weeks ago I was in Switzerland and I brought back a local cheese that (thank god) was shrink wrapped.

    200 Gr Risotto rice (arborio)
    40 gr Swiss cheese
    1 onion sliced and diced
    some garlic (i did 2 lttl buggers)
    1L Stock (mine was chicken)
    1tblspn oil
    1tblspn dairy butter

    Oil and butter in a skillet, slowly let the onion and garlic get a bit of color. Add the rice and make it shiny.
    Add stock, stir, add stok, stir, add stock….25 mins
    Turns down the stove, add the cheeeeeese and put a lid on it for a cpl of minutes.

    And for some fancyness add some crunchy fried onions on top.

  3. Darlings! You are the best! (Although I am a little jealous at the exotic cream and cheese…) Look forward to readin about your food soon. 🙂

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