I am burned out with cooking. And a large part of my mission in life is cooking. Changing the conversation around food, around bodies, around babies and single people and periods and sex and family and allergies and wholeness and therapy and kombucha and…ALL OF IT.
I just have one small problem.
I want to flame my tiny pink kitchen down to the ground. Ignight it. Light it up and watch it burn down in a blaze of glory, a la Bon Jovi. (I will gladly let you film this spectacle as I stand in the middle of the flames wearing nothing but my mom jeans and an old leather vest that belonged to my grandma in the 1990s with my son’s pink ukulele strapped to my back in exchange for a lifetime of free Chipotle.)
Then I want to walk away, and never look back.
This isn’t about food. This isn’t about my outdated micro kitchen. This isn’t even about my mission.
This is about self-care.
Last week, I started doing the thing where I eat trail mix for breakfast with a cup of coffee. Then I eat the same thing for lunch. I might grab a handful of cherry tomatoes or eat some cucumber slices off my son’s plate during lunch and start congratulating myself for making vegetables a “priority”. By the time dinner rolls around, I’m ravenous, have a terrible case of the bitchies and lose my words, so I groan and cry and end up laying on my bed in complete despair when I should be making dinner for my family. That is the moment when I want to douse my kitchen in gasoline, light it up with my Namaste candle and run away.
The trail mix is a bad sign, my friends. It means I’m giving up. I HATE GIVING UP. But sometimes I hate the process of not giving up more. It feels good to pretend I can’t cook. It feels like a whole lotta relief to plan to cook dinner and then say “eff it” at the last minute and orderThai takeout instead. It’s like a shot of heroin or the feeling you get when you cancel plans last minute because you want to stay home and watch Netflix in yoga pants and you have a legit, last-minute reason to do it.
Don’t get me wrong. These food hacks are totally okay. We all hit our max, and sometimes we live at our max for extended periods of time without much relief. There are seasons. I get it. I’ve been there.
But this isn’t it.
This is abandoning my commitment to taking care of myself. So, now that the world knows what that looks like, here’s what maintaining my commitment to taking care of myself looks like.
(Note: It might look differently for you, so no judgment here. Pound that trail (mix).)
- Hot breakfast.
- The end.
I don’t eat many grains because, with the exception of rice and sometimes oats, they really tear my stomach up. Plus, I FEEL better when I eat a protein and veggie heavy breakfast during the rest of the day. I like the feeling of something warm in my belly, too. It reminds me that my body is served best when I care for it in small ways. Plus, I don’t have to fight the trail mix bitchies.
Here is my plan of action: Fritatta. I make one large fritatta, portion it out into individual servings, and heat it up in the toaster oven while I get ready in the mornings. This is all it takes to make me nice. Well, this and a cup or seven of coffee.
This simple, humble little egg dish is great. You can make a million different variations of it, but here is my absolute favorite. The fact that I can go outside and gather many of these ingredients from my garden is a total bonus.
- 12 eggs
- 1 cup cheese (I prefer parmesan or asiago)
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 1 lb of browned sausage or cooked bacon, crumbled (I prefer mild Italian sausage, but you can skip meat altogether to make this vegetarian.)
- 1 medium onion, sauteed
- 12 oz chopped broccoli
- 2 medium zucchini, chopped
- 2 large tomatoes or 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, chopped
- 1 large bunch of swiss chard or spinach, roughly chopped
- 3 Tbsp of fresh herbs of your choice, or 1 Tbsp dried herbs. (I use rosemary, basil, and thyme from the garden)
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes (if not using sausage)
- Whisk together eggs, milk, herbs, salt, and pepper. Mix in shredded cheese.
- Add protein and veggies, and mix thoroughly.
- In a large, greased baking dish, bake at 350 degrees for one hour, or until the middle is cooked all the way through.
- Remove from oven and serve immediately. Cut into individual portions and reheat in the oven or toaster oven for 12 minutes at 350 degrees.
My individual frittata portions are hanging out in my fridge, ready to be heated and eaten all week long. I blasted Bon Jovi’s greatest hits while prepping and cooking and cleaning up the kitchen to make this all a little more tolerable. But I digress. I WILL TAKE CARE OF MYSELF THIS WEEK. I hope you can, too.
Call Me Young Gun,