As I mentioned last Saturday, I'm participating in a weekly project on physical health. It was created by Callie (who has a nice blog) and Lauren. You can find information on it here.
My tendency is to get into a good routine of exercise for a few months and then fall off the wagon. During my sloth, I put on ten pounds, see I need to move up a notch on my belt, get depressed and realize I need to start working out again. So I do -- and the cycle repeats.
Right now I'm in the middle of a good phase. As incredible as this sounds, I'm motivated to get in better shape by blogging! I want to look good in my pictures. I get sad when I see too much waist around my middle.
This leads me to ask -- what motivates you to stay in shape? Is it looking in the mirror? Or caring what others think? Wanting to be attractive to a mate?
Am I the only person who wants to look good for her blog-readers??
Now, the "recipe." I eat a lot of vegetables 'cause they're nutritious and, if you cook them right, they can be very tasty. Growing up, my mom overcooked vegetables and served them bland, which made me think I didn't like veggies. Only later when I started cooking for myself did I realize that the fault was the bad cooking, not the ingredients.
Vegetables can be incredibly delicious if they are fresh and prepared well. A trick I learned is to season them with whatever appeals to you personally -- and for everyone that's different. I like intense flavors and spicy foods, so I'll stir-fry or steam some vegetables and add any combination of garlic, Tamari (soy sauce), anchovies, Tumeric (an Indian spice), jalapenos, and herbs (dill is nice).
Of critical importance is cooking time. Due to varying water-content, different veggies take different times to cook. If you put them all in a pot at the same time, some will be overcooked when others are just right. Experience teaches how long each vegetable takes. You want it to be tender but chewy. Texture is a big part of eating.
So, my most common dish is to fry up some garlic and seasonings in olive oil, add tomatoes early to soften into a liquid base, and then toss in whatever you want to eat -- some mushrooms perhaps, some green or yellow peppers, a little broccoli or cauliflower. Near the end, toss in stuff that doesn't need to be cooked much or at all, like celery or scallions.
Serve in a nice bowl and (if you eat dairy) sprinkle on some grated cheese. (Grating cheese yourself makes it explode with flavor.)
What do you like to cook?