Here's what I'm wondering.
When a boy walks into this apartment for the first time, tonight, for dinner...
Will he take one look at the bookshelves lined with 100+ cookbooks (I stopped counting after I hit triple digits), realize he's dating a hoarder, and run?
Will he inquire as to why not a single plate matches a single other plate? Why one person needs so.many. placemats? Why there is a photography light permanently stationed on the kitchen table? Next to the DSLR? That is filled with not a single picture of a single human but at least sixty pictures of brussels sprouts? Don't judge. They're CUTE.
Will he notice that there are no less than three pairs of identical running shoes in various stages of duress and decay in the closet door? Each of which I love in it's own special way and can most certainly tell apart, thankyouverymuch. (But only because they have race tags for different races on them. Which is also how I plan to tell the difference between any future twins that I have. Oh yes. I'm going to be a great mother.)
And then...there's the mustard situation.
Specifically, the six jars of specialty mustard that I have sitting on my desk. For inspiration.
I feel kinda bad about them because...I don't even really like mustard. So it's really a false advertising kinda deal. He'll either be (mistakenly) really happy that I "love mustard so much" or really grossed out by it...depending on his mustard preference.
But such is my life. And when Saucy Mama asked if I wanted to participate in a recipe contest looking for a healthy delicious recipe that uses one of their mustards...I thought...hmmm I'm all about healthy delicious and forcing myself to like things just because they're good for me (it worked with hummus!). And said yes.
The great thing about mustard, and why I wish I liked it, is that it adds lots of flavor to food with very few calories. In that sense...it's kinda the ideal condiment. Especially since it comes in so many flavors and textures. You'll just never get bored. Ever.
The one exception in my disdain of all things mustard...is honey dijon salad dressing. I'm vaguely obsessed with it. I could drink it. Really.
So I knew that if there was a chance of me liking a dish with mustard at all whatsoever...honey mustard was the way to go. And champagne honey mustard? Even better.
After some fiddling around in the kitchen, this risotto was born. Made with barley and not arborio rice, it has a great texture to it and is filled with whole grain goodness and over half of your daily recommended dose of fiber. 56 percent (!!!) to be precise. The deep caramelly flavors of the roasted brussels sprouts and apple pairs perfectly with the smoked paprika they are coated in and also with the sweet tangy-ness of the honey mustard, which imparts enough creaminess to the dish that you think you're eating a seriously calorie-laden dish. Have no fear, though, each serving of this boldly flavorful dish packs only 338 calories and 9 Weight Watchers points. It's also majorly low in fat and cholesterol. Totally ass-friendly. And totally delicious.
A recipe that you can feel good about stress eating. Love it.
Right, so. While last week was the week I spent emotionally eating everything in sight...
...this is the week where I pick up the pieces again.
I've been emotionally vacuuming instead. It's much better for your cardiovascular health.
In all seriousness, I hated the way I felt last week. Tired. Belly-achy. Just physically not good. Which begs the question as to why I kept eating crap. Uh...no idea. I think it's a vicious cycle situation. I felt crappy so I ate more sugar to temporarily elevate my mood, which only perpetuated the vicious cycle.
I should have gone for a run instead and gotten my endorphins the natural and more longer-lasting way. Which is what I did last night! I was anxious all day about tonight's dinner situation and so I went for a run. Six miles of head clearing awesomeness.
Reminding me once again that:
(Or lacing up those shoes to do whatever workout you're so inclined to do!)
But you will always regret eating four red velvet cupcakes in one sitting. Always.
While we're here, I just want to tell you all about an awesome going-on next weekend in NYC - the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival! If you're in the tri-state area and you like food, veg or otherwise, then you should definitely attend! There'll be lots of great eats, some awesome guests and speakers, cooking demonstrations, belly dancing classes, and some fab giveaways. Plus...did I mention I'll be there. Because I will! Let me know if you're thinking of attending so we can meet up!
Barley Risotto with Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Apples and Champagne Honey Mustard
Serves 4, an Eats Well With Others original
- 1 lb brussels sprouts, quartered
- 1 granny smith or honeycrisp apple, peeled and diced
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup water
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 cup barley
- 2 tbsp Saucy Mama champagne honey mustard
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400. Toss brussels sprouts and apple with smoked paprika and salt. Spread on a baking pan. Spray with cooking spray and roast for 20-30 minutes, until caramelized and tender.
- In the meanwhile, combine the broth and water in a medium pot and bring to a simmer.
- Spray a large skillet with cooking spray, heating over medium heat. Add the onion to the pan and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the barley and stir for 1 minute.
- Add the broth to the pan in half cup increments, only adding more when the last batch has almost entirely evaporated, taking care to stir constantly. Do this until most of the broth is gone and the barley is tender, about 40 minutes.
- Stir in the brussels sprouts and apple. Remove from heat and stir in the mustard and parmesan cheese. season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.