Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Stuck in a Rut

Living by myself means that my cat often eats better than I do. Take last night for example – Basil had Pate with Duck Liver and Chicken last night. I had lamb salad. Admittedly that’s not so bad. But duck it ain’t.
I have a repertoire of dishes that I have on about a 2 week rota, that I have been rolling out since flatting days at Uni. These are:

Spaghetti Bolognaise – made from scratch thanks, no Dolmio grins here.
Thai green curry – with pork or chicken, using the Asian Home Gourmet spice paste, which is the only one with any heat in it. The Gregg’s one is just green flour paste. Don’t buy it.
Steak, with 3 veg. Boring, but boy do I love steak.
Rack of lamb, with roasties and broccoli. My sister gives me shit about how many times I eat this meal…I’m pretty sure she’d never turn it down though.
Crumbed schnitzel with buttered noodles and corn on the cob. Everyone goes WTF? when they hear about this meal. Mum used to make it for me on my birthday. I never cook it for other people, although Dad reminisced about Mum’s schnitzel the other day. I think it’s what he misses most!
Devilled sausages with mash and peas. My step-dad's favourite also.
Stir fried veg with beef and rice. Most of my friends got so sick of me cooking this Every Monday Night at Uni (to cancel out the Macca's and Beer weekend) that they still now refuse to eat stir-fries.

Boring huh. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE to cook. When Rich is coming over I’ll be more adventurous, and will do some long and drawn-out concoction in the weekends, but my week day meals are just blah.

This week I decided to be really out there, and cook things from Monday to Thursday that I would never normally do, either because I hate them, or it’s completely the wrong season. Hence the lamb salad last night. Lettuce has never been my favourite thing – what’s the point of it, you burn more calories chewing it than it puts in – and eating icy leaves is not part of my winter comfort food plan. But, the fresh crispy capsicum, carrots, lemon squeezes and garlic and rosemary lamb strips quickly fried was totally delicious. I had some for lunch today also and am feeling bright eyed instead of my usual afternoon blah. The rest of the week is as follows:

Cottage cheese and spinach canneloni. I hate hate hate spinach, and we used to get this every Tuesday for lunch at school. The pasta was always undercooked, the onions crunchy and the tomato sauce burned onto the tubes. I have refused to touch it ever since, but looking at my above list, I eat way too much meat, and this may be a good vegetarian meal for me to include. Plus I am a better cook than the crones we used to have in our dining hall. Pizza with tinned spaghetti and chowchow anyone?
Chicken paella. I’m doing a really dumbed down version of this, because I don’t like seafood and I can’t afford the proper ingredients, but it looks pretty easy. I used to make risottos a fair bit but got bored with the blandness.
Fish in filo pastry. I really don’t eat enough fish, and when I do, I usually crumb it and slather with tomato sauce. So good. But kinda cancels out the nutritive value. My flatmate in Dunedin used to make this so I emailed her in the UK to get the recipe. She said “wrap fish in filo, and bake”. I think I can handle that. I might make up a tartare sauce to tart (I know) it up.

So let’s see how we go. I had an interesting lunchtime conversation with a few workmates about the cooking routines they have with their partners or flatties, and it was really enlightening. Things that had never occurred to me yet were so simple, like pizzas, or fish burgers. I thought we should all share our routines and pick and choose from each others. There’s almost a book in there somewhere….or a blog. Hey I could even do a recipe sharing website! Oh…it’s been done?


jenontheedge said...

We get into the worst food ruts. This summer, we've been eating baked potatoes at least twice a month because the girls just discovered how much they love them. Pete's starting to complain, so I'll back off a bit.

In the winter, I make soup almost every week, pot roast at least twice a month, and chicken at least once a week.

Tamsin said...

we have lamb racks on our meal rotation too!
we also eat a lot of spag bol, chicken stir fry, soup, roast chicken and veg....feels like winter is a really boring time to eat - i miss the summer fruits and salads. have to start trying new things!