I’ve tried various iterations of a food journal over the years. The first was a physical journal, where I tried to keep track of everything that I ate for each meal and where it came from. It was nice when I kept up with it, but often I would ignore it for a couple weeks then try to write everything down all at once. I would inevitably forget things and then lament that my memory was too weak to remember what I had for lunch two weeks prior. It was also a bit repetitive, and I think it would have been more effective to just write “Coffee, every morning, forever” at the beginning instead of mentioning the beverage with every breakfast.
That continued on and off for a couple years, and then I attempted keeping a journal via Google Docs for easier accessibility, but with similar results. Success finally struck when I moved again to write here. On a deadline (which I ignored this week…America!!), with plenty of room to expand on the new things I tried, ideas for improvement, and linking to the many food blogs these recipes come from. A year later: we’re still here! Some of the details are lost, but the main bits are all here (and infinitely more easily searched). If you are really curious about what falls through the cracks: breakfast is coffee, eggs, and hot sauce, and lunch is almost always dinner leftovers.
Vegetable dumplings. I should never me allowed to grocery shop hungry. I went after work without a real dinner plan in place (we had just gotten back from Philly) and I had a dumpling craving. I contemplated buying frozen dumplings, then convinced myself that they weren’t that hard to make. And it’s true, they’re not……but that also take a long time!! I finished enough to eat by around 8, took a break, and had finished the rest by 10. Let this dinner journal be a reminder…dumplings are very time consuming!! And I didn’t even make the wrappers. (But they were really delicious, especially with chili oil, soy sauce, and vinegar.)
15-minute Chinese hot oil noodles. These noodles were a much more appropriate after-work cooking project. I used bok choy and they came together wonderfully fast.
Big salads with lemon vinaigrette and hummus. Last Wednesday was our town’s first farmer’s market of the year, and this meal was a celebration of ALL the produce: lettuce, radishes, snap peas, roasted garlic scapes, and a quick lemon vinaigrette with a dollop of hummus on the side (pita optional).
Sugar snap salad with miso dressing. I doubled this salad to bring to a 4th BBQ where it was a welcome counterpoint to all the burgers and dogs. We had it for dinner first though, along with some leftover dumplings.
Picnic! Cheese, crackers, dilly beans, bean salad with tahini dressing (red beans instead of white), and kale salad (sans goat cheese, subbed almonds and dried cranberries). I wasn’t sure what kind of greenery to bring, and I had left the Smitten Kitchen cookbook open on the stand after making the snap pea salad. It just so happened the kale salad was on the adjacent page: decision made.
Savory oatmeal. I finally gave this trend a go…and this is basically faster cooking polenta. I stirred in a bunch of scallions and then topped with an egg. Not my favorite egg vehicle, but a solid breakfast option when there is no bread or leftover polenta.