Let me just start by saying, I really don't know how to cook at all, so it's a feat of amazing proportions that I am managing to feed myself away from my parents kitchen. Since living in London during my junior year of college, I haven't really had to cook for myself 24/7. Senior year didn't count because I was always busy and either threw together a sandwich or ate at one of the many fast food joints around campus. The staples of my diet then consisted of sandwiches, pasta dishes or rice dishes. And lots and lots of cereal.
And oh, what a long way I've come from those cereal days!
Right now I am trying to eat my lunch as slow as possible because that's how good it is! I read in one of my recipe books (not sure which one) about making a dressing that consists of olive oil, juice from a lemon and crushed garlic. I am all about making my own salad dressing. I haven't had store bought dressing in years. It's just too easy, too healthy and much cheaper to make my own. Trust me on this.
So I made a salad with chopped red onion (I freaking LOVE red onion...will try and include it in just about every dish I make outside of breakfast...and sometimes even then), then made the dressing separately in a small cup. 2 teaspoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice (squeezed from one lemon slice was enough), crushed a small piece of garlic and mixed that with the rest of the ingredients. I tossed the salad with the dressing, took a bite to test and see if I'd like it (first time using lemon juice in a dressing)...mmm, good, check....next ingredient added was left over canned tuna (bout 1/2 the can), taste test....check, delicious...then I sprinkled some crumbled feta cheese on top, tossed some more, taste test....and CHECK, freaking amazing!!!
It's like a flavor explosion in my mouth. I luuuuuuvre it!!! I've only got a few bites left and I'm already getting the Awesome Food Blues. Ya know, where you're half way through eating something phenomenal and you get sad cause you know it's going to end soon. Know what I mean? Who's with me on this one??
I got the Awesome Food Blues last night as well, mixed in while a little British Blues because I made a jacket potato for dinner (a baked potato stuffed with your choice of food, very common dish in the U.K.). A Jacket Potato was the first thing I learned to cook on my very own, thanks to my English roommate Laura.
Recipe: Prick the potato in several spots, coat in olive oil and dried rosemary. Microwave for 2 1/2 min, flip, 2 1/2 min on other side. Put in preheated oven at 425 degrees for 20-30 min. Take out, cut open, stuff with 1/2 can of tuna (after you've drained the water from the can) and some corn. I know that sounds weird, tuna + corn, but it is amazingly good. And because it was baked with olive oil on it, it's nice and crispy on the outside. I ate the entire thing and then wanted another one, it was that delicious.
Other recipes I've become obsessed with making (just lightly touching on them, if you want more detailed instructions, let me know and I'll provide them in the comment section): Roasted veggies (red onion, tomato and red pepper) mixed with penne pasta, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and feta cheese. A Morningstar Spicy Black Bean Burger (that's not really spicy, but instead flavorful) with homemade guacamole on it (ohmygod, cue mouth watering now). Whole wheat couscous mixed with roasted veggies and feta cheese. Kidney beans mixed with red onion, tomatoes, olive oil, and red wine vinegar (can be served as is or over pasta).
I hope to learn how to cook meat dishes really well...but for now, I don't want to spend the money on the meat not knowing if I'm going to mess it up or not.
And my lack of meat recipes should also indicate to you that I am constantly craving a burger or steak. Wanna hang out? We'll probably be eating somewhere with meat. Deal with it.
Sincerely (and hungry again now, thanks),