making the most of what you have

A recent article in Bitch magazine about lifestyle blogs really resonated with me. The piece’s premise was that many of these lifestyle blogs are just the newest way that women are comparing themselves and coming up short. And you know? As silly as it, I think I fall into that trap pretty easily sometimes.

It’s all well and good to remind myself when reading food and decor blogs that the writers behind them are probably not actually spending all of their time being perfect. Or that the writers of some food blogs/sites are paid to do so and therefore, creating new recipes is their job. Even knowing that, it’s hard not to get frustrated with myself for spending far too many nights eating a last-minute meal while sitting on the couch in front of the television.

I would love to spend my days creating little crafty projects, sewing my own skirts and making all of my own sauces, pickles and other condiments. Wouldn’t many of us? The reality is that I work hard and I work a lot, and while I can’t imagine doing anything else, sometimes it really is just that — work.  I love what I do most of the time, but it certainly does wear me down. And it’s times like those when the last thing I can think of doing is coming up with a healthy, creative meal.

Last week BK and I realized we’d spent a little too much dinero during our “whambamthankyouma’am” tour of Santa Cruz and SF. We’d gone grocery shopping the night before his sister and her boyfriend arrived, but by the time we returned home from the city Monday afternoon, the fridge was looking pretty devoid of substantive meal ingredients. Nevertheless, in a frugalitarian effort,  I decided we should try to put off grocery shopping again until the following weekend and just use what we have. I stock a lot of dry goods and we freeze a lot of stuff, so I figured this was pretty doable.

We only made it a few days before our friends invited us out for Mexican food, but here’s what we had in the meantime.


Not the prettiest, but quite tasty.

 A while ago we had picked up a can of ahi tuna from Santa Cruz-based Dave’s Gourmet Albacore. Dave’s specializes in gourmet, Pacific, wild-caught canned seafood. It’s a cool business. Anyways,  we tried the recipe on the back of the can for teriyaki tuna, which just called for cooking it quickly in some teriyaki sauce and then throwing it over rice. We made our own teriyaki, which turned out a bit salty, and served it over brown rice with a side arugula salad. It was surprisingly tasty, albeit a bit too salty.


 I still had a few frozen containers of soup leftover from this year’s soup swap, so Tuesday became the “orange meal:  Butternut squash bisque, grilled cheese with cheddar on Udi’s bread and red pepper strips.


This was a long work day in which I got called back to work after I left. Thankfully, BK was nice enough to make me an omelet and fries when I got home and collapsed in a heap on the couch. Thank you BK!

I failed to take pictures of lunches and breakfasts. We’d eaten breakfast/lunch in the city on Monday, but for Tuesday and Wednesday I ate lentils over rice, seasoned with butter, garlic and a variety of spices. Breakfast both days was yogurt and toast.

Like I said, Thursday was a failure. I got busy and ended up just getting some raw cauliflower “tabbouleh” from New Leaf for lunch, and then later our friends called us and invited us out for Mexican. We were powerless to resist.

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