Oh, January... the time when a good chunk of humans decide to do a complete 180 on how they are living for about 30 days and then resign themselves to being their old selves for another year.
Personally, I don't do resolutions. There is nothing wrong with me and honestly if I wanted to put a little polish on this human, I don't have to set myself up for failure by making it an all or nothing proposition.
Well, at least not any more.
There was a time when I did the South Beach Diet in order to drop a few pounds. It worked... but the pounds came back with friends and it was not worth standing in my kitchen SOBBING and WHINING about how I just .. ahem.. "WANTED ONE GODDAMN BOWL OF WHITE PASTA WITH BUTTER IS THAT SO WRONG OMG I CAN'T TAKE THIS ANYMORE"
In case you are wondering, LB told me to "eat the damn pasta already".
So, I did... and I liked it.
That was quite a few years ago and now, although this isn't a new trend, per se but the past few years have seen a lot of pushing for "clean" eating and "non-processed" foods.
I'm not the first person to rail against this but I'm going to do it anyway.
Clean eating implies dirty eating.
Food is not dirty.
Dirty eating implies a morality on food.
Food is not moral or amoral. It's food.
The thing is that this whole "clean eating" thing passes a judgement on people who either cannot afford to or choose not to eat the food that is "morally pure"
And when you "cheat" and have a candy bar, you are sure as hell going to feel terrible.. not because you just ingested a bunch of sugar, saturated fats and preservatives..(mmmmmmsugar and faaaaat) but because your subconscious mind is going to be telling you that you ate the "bad, dirty food".
And non-processed food?
Are you growing your own wheat, corn and oats? Are you slaughtering your own chickens? (ok maybe some of you are but you get my point)
This is 2022 for crying out loud. This is not the 1800's. Sure, modern humans have fucked up a lot.. and I mean a lot ...but we live in modern times and we are subject to, like it or not, modern time constraints and modern living. Unless you are living off the grid in a cabin in the woods, I don't want to hear about it.
I am a fortunate human with a fair amount of extra time on my hands. I work an 8 hour a day job from home, I have time for yoga in the morning, a short workout in the afternoon (if I feel like it and I usually don't), a regular guitar lesson one day a week, and time on the weekends to indulge myself in a lot of hobbies. And I enjoy cooking...
and sometimes, dinner is macaroni and cheese and hot dogs because ... sometimes I am just mentally exhausted and also?
I like them.
Convenience food is not a crime. Eating hot dogs once in a while is sure going to send my lovely 49 year old varicose veins into a tizzy from all the salt (I'll just drink a lot of water and have a banana and some of my hippie horsetail tincture.) .. but I like hot dogs. and I will eat them.. and I will eat them with a side of box mac and cheese.. because I like it and I will enjoy the hell out of that meal.
I’m often asked this question about, “What’s your guilty pleasure?”
But I think the only thing you should feel guilty about is not taking pleasureNigella Lawson
On that note, here are a few convenience foods that we've been enjoying lately.
I found Kevin's Natural Foods in my grocery store. It was actually a prepackaged sauce and meat combo. The chicken was already cooked and you just ... heated it up and dumped the sauce on it.. TADA! Dinner. We liked it so much that we ordered a ton of the sauce packages direct from Kevin's Natural Foods. You will notice that this says Keto + Paleo on it. We are not either of those things. We just really like them.
When I make dinner, I toss some veggies in there too and then serve over some rice that is usually cooked quickly in the InstantPot. Lately it's been frozen green beans because I have two giant bags of frozen green beans because I was SURE that I didn't have any green beans and haha there was already a mostly full bag in the freezer. I used to do this with peas. I guess now it's green beans. .. ask my mom about the ridiculous stash of corn syrup I used to have when I lived at home because I was SURE I did not have enough for the Annual Christmas Cookie and Candy Making Extravaganza (TM)
But I digress.
Anyway, we have tried a lot of the sauces and so far we really like them. Some could use a little more heat but that's easily fixed.
If you want to check them out, here is a link .. Kevin's Natural Foods. We really like the Cilantro Lime, the Korean BBQ and the Thai Coconut.
We also discovered Seemore Sausages and have ordered the Chicken Lovers Pack more than once. The Chicken Chili Verde makes for some really really good and really easy tacos. I think we put some crunchy red cabbage with it.. or maybe it was red pepper. I don't remember. The Bubbe's Chicken Soup was really good in risotto with a few frozen peas thrown in (or.. you know... green beans)
The Chicken Kale Pesto made for quick dinner with sauteed sausage, some spinach that was lingering in the fridge, tossed with pasta and a little pasta water and Parmesan to make a quick sauce. We got that garlic and black pepper pasta from our Off the Muck Box... but that's a different post .