I have a confession to make: I can’t cook. There has been much time spent on Pinterest drooling over the beautiful creations that people pin, and I have thought about attempting to make some of them, but then I just get discouraged because I actually barely know how to cook anything. I went to a university where they provided food for us, and actually, we didn’t really have access to cooking appliances. Anyway, I’ve got a little time off from work this week and next, and so my goal has been to actually cook using recipes. I bought a Better Homes and Gardens healthy cooking magazine and wanted to try the Seven-Grain Salad with Roasted Pepper, Feta, and Mustard Dressing. Because I live overseas and do not have access to specialty grocery stores like Whole Foods, I had to try to stick to the recipe as best as I could. It’s listed below:
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups seven-grain pilaf mix
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon finely shredded lime peel
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon coarse ground brown mustard (I did not use this because I couldn’t find it)
1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I couldn’t find this, so I substituted with chipotle pepper)
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 cup chopped cucumber
1/3 cup chopped roasted red sweet pepper (I used fresh sweet pepper)
1/4 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives
1/4 cup snipped fresh herbs, such as dill, mint, and/or parsley
1/3 crumbled feta cheese
It turned out decent for the substitutions I made, considering this was my first attempt at actually following a recipe and having to create a sauce myself.
So while not ready to go full-on Paleo Diet just yet, I am definitely trying to change what I eat. I would really like to lose a few stubborn pounds that have been hanging on for a few years and tone up. Pinterest really is my weakness–it makes finding different workout routines so easy! I really like to do distance running, but I tend to just get in the habit of one or two routines and not really changing things up, which doesn’t help my speed-work too much. Long, slow distance only trains the body up to a point and then you just plateau. Hopefully by adding different calisthenics, weights, and interval cardio, I can improve my speed for my distance runs.
I finally gave in and might be going down the path of Hipster tendencies (gasp) by branching out and expanding what I’m listening to. I really like listening to all different types of music, with a few exceptions, but as of recent I’ve definitely been leaning in the Hipster musical directions. A few albums I’ve downloaded recently of note are:
Wild Nothing/ Nocturne
To be quite honest, a lot of these groups sound very similar to me, but I really enjoy the Dream Pop sound. It’s easy listening for mornings driving to work or just relaxing. I’ve been listening to this album a lot as of recent; for anyone that likes easy listening I recommend this album. And to read a much better review please check out BBC’s review of the album.
Foxes/ Echo, Warrior, Youth (EPs/singles)
I don’t know why, because even though British singer Foxes seems like initially “another female singer/songwriter,” her music is really interesting. It is pop, but it just has a different sound. Youth is almost like something that would be a dance song in a club, but it’s still different. I hope she releases a full-length CD in the near future. Really like her stuff!
Delta Rae/Carry the Fire
This is my FAVORITE new album I’ve downloaded. I love blues-inspired, southern-rock-esque music. Bottom of the River is a very powerful song, but my number one on the album is Morning Comes, the tale of an every-man and the obstacles he faces in his daily life. Although different in sound, I think Mumford and Sons fans might like this one.
Hopefully this coming week I’ll have more dishes to share, and hopefully no disasters!