Category Archives: Food & Health

Creative pursuits, Captain Awkward, and the overratedness of being “helpful.”

Helpfulness: Not all it's cracked up to be.

I hate blog posts that start with “Sorry I haven’t posted in so long!”, but, sorry.  I haven’t posted in a while.  Coupla reasons:

1. Lighting in my new kitchen is dim and awful, and it’s really hard to get good food pictures in there.  The photography went from “neat daily challenge” to “chore to get even one decent image.”

2.  After documenting my food for a while I figured out:  Hey, I eat in a way that makes me feel good and happy, I don’t need to examine it so closely.  I’m sure I’ll be back at some point when I’ve cooked something awesome and manage to take a decent photo of it, or just turn this over to Twistie to blow your mind with guest posts.

3. I’ve been more wrapped up in work and other creative pursuits than in food.  My short film The Wardrobe just got into its first film festival (EgoFest in Brainerd, MN if anyone’s out that way).

4.  I started a new blog at the beginning of the year at CaptainAwkward.com.  It’s full of curse words, brutal honesty, and sci-fi references, so if your vision of me is of a nice lady with recipes and pretty pictures you might want to just stay here. However, if you want to read about how to survive a bad breakup with the help of Dune or how to tell well-intentioned people to Shut The Front Door, stop on over.

Which leads me to my next topic.   Today I got a “helpful” comment from a total stranger, “Tom.”  Here it is:

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Green coriander and ginger broth with tofu

There is nothing bad for you in this soup

Man, Deborah Madison has yet to do me wrong, recipe-wise. Tonight’s dinner is from her Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison’s Kitchen. Described as a light, restorative broth, it managed to be filling enough that I couldn’t finish the whole bowl and full of crunch and texture from finely diced cilantro stems, ginger, and shiitake mushrooms.  I’ll post the recipe, but first, I need to make an announcement in the name of science.

An Important Announcement In The Name Of Science

Say you have tofu that is a little past its expiration date.  It looks fine.  It feels fine when you squish the package. You may feel tempted to cut a small piece off and eat it to check if it is okay to eat.  You’re just throwing it in soup after all.  How bad could it be?  The answer is:  Very, very bad.  Awful.  Do not do this.  Not okay. Put on your coat, go to the store, and get new tofu. You’ll thank me.

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Diets are bullshit. Also, food bloggers are not like Highlanders.

I guess I’m an official blogger, now that I’ve gotten my first spam from the diet industry for “weight loss software” and my first concern troll worried about my health.

Here are my feelings on diets:

  • You should eat whatever you want, whenever you want, as much as you want, in whatever manner makes you feel good, however you define that for yourself.
  • You cannot tell how healthy or unhealthy someone is by looking at them.
  • There is no way of eating that will guarantee that you never get sick or age or die.  You are probably better off focusing on healthy behaviors that make you feel good now (enjoying your food, getting adequate nutrition, getting exercise in a way that you enjoy), than chasing the latest headlines on what foods prevent or increase what illnesses.
  • Our culture is fucked up about food.  People who try to tell you what and how to eat generally have their own issues that they are taking out on you by pretending to be worried about your health.  It’s okay to tell them to mind their own business.

Eyes on your own plate, everyone.

In other awkward news, I started this site without Googling the name.  I liked the book by Steingarten, it sounded like a nice name, it described me pretty well, it was free on WordPress, no one would ever read it anyway, what the hell.

So then I found out that there is a pretty famous Serious Eats photographer/food blog by the same name.  Awkward.

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French toast and thoughts on a clean plate

That’s cinnamon-orange brioche French toast with mixed berry compote at Cafe Selmarie on Lincoln Avenue.  I ate it for breakfast with a cup of coffee, and it was good. Continue reading

Food diary: eggs, salad, falafel, Oberweis

Several years ago, two separate friends got me copies of the book Three Black Skirts:  All You Need To Survive.  I was definitely in a funk, and despite the pink cover it’s definitely a non-patronizing, smart book on getting your shit together, so it was not necessary to beat anyone to death with it at the time.

I own zero one two! black skirts, and I’ve since misplaced the book under a pile of dirty laundry or a stack of grad school papers on my messy desk, but one piece of advice I held onto was “Eat something green and fresh at every meal.”   Last night’s salad + today’s eggs make a good breakfast brunch late lunch.

If you want to know the random foods I ate over the last 24-36 hours, and some thoughts on how blogging turns eating into a weird performative act, read on.

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Food Diary

I love these croissants filled with almond paste from Nhu Lan Bakery, but even more than that I love their cafe sua da – individually-brewed iced coffee mixed with condensed milk over ice. And when I run out of eggs and greens, it turns out what I want for breakfast is SUGAR!

Other things eaten between Thursday morning and Saturday afternoon:  A Cuban sandwich, homemade chili, the last of the quiche & beet salad, a lamb burger, some nectarines, some terrible Starbucks truffles, and a neat breakfast sandwich from Dinkel’s with egg, bacon, cheddar, spinach, and pesto baked into it.

Greek yogurt with blueberry sauce

Yogurt may be the official food of women, and I really, really tried to like it for a long time, but then I came to the only logical conclusion:  Popular processed brands like Dannon, Yoplait, and all the “fruit on the bottom!”  yogurts are bullshit. Continue reading