“Half the cookbooks tell you how to cook the food and the other half tell you how to avoid eating it” ~ Andy Rooney
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True confessions: I didn’t live very well this past week
Second confession: I have a plan
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Here’s the thing
In past lives, when the week was getting the better of me, or when I could tell I was starting to slip; my mind added to my woes by asking myself why. Why didn’t I take a nap after long nights of on-call? Why didn’t I handle that situation with grace? Why did it take me so long to write that paper?
Why in the world am I not able to reverse course?
But I’ve since grown up (a bit), and I’ve learned to recognize that the whys matter not
Instead, here we are. What am I going to do about it?
And so, another week begins anew. The shifting of a small habit. Starting anew. Trying again, falling down, trying again and again and again
Today I scheduled some time away from the office and began filling spots on the calendar with little bits of pampering that will help heal the soul. I contemplated the get-away my husband has been urging me to take (ps: I’m thinking about getting on a train and riding until someplace sounds interesting enough to stay in for a couple of nights). This afternoon, a walk in the snow with the puppies.
Tonight I cooked a complete meal for the first time in a week
We plate our food and turn on some music. I can’t help but bring out the cloth napkins, the prettier tableware. It’s only Monday, no special occasion. This is no cause for celebration, this everyday dinner, but then again, it’s very much cause for celebration
Care. I’m taking it
If you’re like me and are ready to add some spark back into your healthy eating habits, you’ll need some new pages to turn along with it. I thought it might be fun to share a few of the newer cookbooks stacked on our coffee table
The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook | America’s Test Kitchen – Make sure to stock up on olive oil at Costco if you’re planning to cook your way through this one. Leave it to America’s Test Kitchen for great recipes, step-by-step photos, and helpful guides throughout. I was especially appreciative of the veggie cooking time tip sheet and the two-page guide for buying fish
Naturally Nourished | Sarah Britton – The My New Roots author and blogger created this everyday cookbook, noting that all of the ingredients can be found at a discount grocery store. Her recipes (as always) are beautiful, trustworthy, and healthy
A New Way to Bake | Martha Stewart Living – If Martha wants to put beets in her chocolate cake and granola in the pie crust, who are we to question? The healthier swaps don’t mean we have to sacrifice flavor
Clean Soups | Rebecca Katz – As Hawthorn University grad, I’ve followed her work for a long time. In her latest cookbook, she shows us how to use wholesome stocks and soups to naturally detox and stay energized all year-long. It’s amazing how one simple bowl can make a huge difference in the way we feel
The Yoga Kitchen | Kimberly Parsons – Using superfood-laced chocolate bars to align my chakras reminds me of Dana James. The author hosts yoga retreats and owns a health food cafe in London and brings us great recipes like sweet potato scones and herb-specked crispy quinoa burgers
The First Mess | Laura Wright – From the creator of the blog by the same name. Start spring off fresh with 125 recipes (all vegan) like chile basil lime tofu bowls, and her colorful “Thai-ish” cabbage slaw. She says the cookbook “is at the intersection of healthy, elegant, earth and seasonal”
Skinny Taste Fast and Slow | Gina Homolka and Heather K. Jones – Gina, creator of the blog by the same name, shares 140 recipes that are nutritious, flavor-filled and easy enough for weeknights. A great mix of slow-cooker or on the stovetop. The flourless chocolate brownie in the slow-cooker is high on my need-to-try list!
Celebrations | by Danielle Walker – The 125 recipes, organized by occasion (Christmas, Halloween, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day), make it possible for anyone following a grain-free diet to enjoy traditional dishes (and they’re so tasty, even those not following such a diet will enjoy them)
My progress report after week 7?
Total minutes of activity this week = 565 and Overall = 3655 (a combination of walking, kickboxing, yoga, resistance class, and weight lifting)
Total pounds lost this week = 0 and Overall = 12.3
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Tonight crispy herbed roasted potatoes were on the menu
Who would have thought a few simple ingredients could produce a dish with such amazing flavor?
Thinly sliced potatoes nestled in a pan, along with melted butter and herbs. After an hour in the oven, they become crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, aromatic, and beautifully golden underneath
They make the perfect partner for everything from the holiday turkey to grilled meats and roasted fish. I image they would also be great for brunch with eggs and bacon
Warning: there’s a good chance they won’t even make it to the table as you’ll find yourself nibbling slivers straight from the pan
A couple of notes about the recipe:
Four pounds of potatoes may sound like a lot, but they’ll cook down (I used a 10″ cast iron skillet)
While I haven’t tried, I think you could get by with less butter. There was quite a bit in the bottom of the skillet when I took them out of the oven
~ Adapted from Williams and Sonoma
Crispy Herbed Roasted Potatoes
- 4 lbs yukon gold potatoes
- 8 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ½ Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
- 1 ½ Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- fine-grain sea salt + freshly ground black pepper
- Pre-heat oven to 375°F
- Brush the bottom of an 8x8" (or equivalent) baking dish with 2 Tbsp of the melted butter.
- Using a sharp knife or a mandoline, thinly slice the potatoes.
- Arrange the potato slices vertically but at a slight angle in a circular pattern in the dish, filling it completely.
- In a small saucepan over low-medium heat, melt the butter.
- Add garlic, rosemary, thyme, a pinch of sea salt and a grind of freshly ground black pepper.
- Simmer for 1-2 minutes
- Drizzled the herbed butter over the potatoes
- Roast until the top edges of the potatoes are crispy (about 1 hour)
- Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.