Saturday, September 13, 2008

I cook food and count the calories

I have more enough magnets to handle the things that I might want to stick on the refrigerator door. Often some of the magnets have nothing to hold up; that is, until I start cooking. Then I have to try to calculate how many calories are in a serving of whatever I am making, and little slips of paper with numbers start finding their way onto the refrigerator. This is the only way I can keep them safe from being tossed in the trash when a certain person I live with starts to clean up.

The church potluck rolls around once a month, and I have a hard time figuring out what to make. Last month I made lasagna, which was very good. They ate it. I think there was one serving left in the pan. The month before that, I made enchiladas. They were horrible, which I didn’t realize until much too late. The tortillas were mushy, and it almost makes me gag thinking about it now. And then there is the embarrassment of trying to feed something truly awful to my friends. I divided what was left (nearly all of it) in smaller containers and froze it to eat later, which did not improve anything. None of us wanted to eat it. I really hate wasting food, but I eventually dumped it on the compost heap. It is not for no reason that cooking for people makes me nervous.

So, for this month’s fellowship meal last week I took an assortment of things.
About a half a can of tomatoes and chili peppers was left over from what I had used to make some spicy soup the day before, so Richard opened a can of corn and combined them.

Sicilian eggplant relish.

Linguini and white clam sauce.

Red Thai curry (okay, it isn’t very red, but I did use red Thai curry paste).

Confetti grain pilaf.

And then comes the tedium of trying to figure out how many calories each of these contains. Everything that goes into the recipe must be weighed and the calories calculated for that amount by looking it up in the book or getting it off the label if it comes from a package or can. That will be a topic for another time, because we have found that one can’t trust the calorie counts on the labels. The food manufacturers lie and mislead. I did say that was a topic for another time. Moving right along. Once the whole recipe has been cooked, I have to figure out how I am going to determine the serving size – either by weight or volume.

So, the Thai curry was 91 calories for a 1/2-cup serving. Richard was sitting next to me at the meal, and he took a bite of it, leaned his head on my shoulder, and said, “Oh my, this is good.” Other people liked it too. Only one serving was left in the dish I brought home.
The linguini and clam sauce was 42 calories per ounce. Our son commented how much he liked it after he had gone back for another helping. Other people liked it too, and only about one serving left.

The pilaf was 19.75 calorie per ounce. Nobody ate it, because in the confusion of getting the food to the church on Sunday morning, I forgot the pilaf. I ate it for lunch all week with melted grated cheese on top.

I lost the slip of paper for the Sicilian eggplant relish, but it was about 45 calories for a 1/2-cup serving. I guess they did not like the way it looked, because they didn't eat too much of it. But it really tasted good. Even Richard said so, and if he likes it, it is good.

What started the whole calorie-counting regimen was the sorry state we were in 2 years ago, which is when this picture was taken while we were on vacation in California. As soon as we returned home, I started on the long journey to loose weight and Richard joined me a month later. I keep this picture on the refrigerator, with the pig magnet, to remind myself why I am going to all the trouble of calorie counting--and believe me, it can get really tiresome--and what I will look like again if I don’t do it.

As you can see, I am not a skilled food photographer. This woman takes beautiful pictures of food. Google found her blog for me when I was hunting for a way to cook peppers and fish, and she had a recipe.

There is one more important thing on my refrigerator. I look at it a lot.

And as a final note, I am firmly in the camp with April Showers regarding the evils of high-fructose corn syrup: None of the ingredients in these recipes contained high-fructose corn syrup.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love the family picture!!