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Holy Nelly! I’ve got veggie back!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

You might ask yourself after reading the title of my blog, “what in heaven’s name is she talking about?”

Veggie back is what happens when a person stands in the kitchen too long, cutting vegetables endless until one’s back starts to scream fiercely for mercy a few hundred times over.

Yep, that’s what I've got.

Yesterday, in a fit of foolish ambition, I decided to cook two recipes from the Spark Cookbook, not just one. And then, I decided to double both recipes. I guess I’m a glutton for punishment.

Wow. That’s a lot of vegetables! I think that was a total of about 4 green bell peppers, 1 orange bell pepper, 1 yellow bell pepper, 8 shallots (not all pictured), 1 red onion, 1 sweet white onion, 5 snack sized celery sticks (not pictured and I diced them), 6 green onions (not pictured), a 15 ounce bag of sugar snap peas (a substitution for snow peas because the store didn’t have any) and a half cup of parsley.

And that’s not all, I could have been there chopping a few seconds longer if I used the 8 green onions called for by the recipe instead of 6. I went with 6 because all the bundles in the store only have 6 green onions and I didn’t know if I’d have the energy to cut up and freeze the remaining 6 green onions.

Ah, yes. I was right! Now if I was a little more fit and if I didn’t get all that back pain while chopping vegetables, the process would have been much quicker. As it stood, I was cooking for hours because I had to take breaks from all that chopping.

Then on top of that, I had to chop some turkey kielbasa before throwing one of the recipes together.

I think I sliced my finger a few dozen times. Fortunately they were more like paper cuts and none of them drew any blood. Still, I could do without slicing and dicing my fingers.

That’s why I tend to avoid the potato peeler if I can. I tend to peel my finger right along with the potato. (Sorry to offend the faint of heart there.) I guess I’m just not coordinated.

Now, frankly, I’m not a fan of the whole GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) thing, but really, if they are going to screw around with nature in a laboratory, couldn’t they genetically modify food to chop and peel itself?

That I might be interested in!

But then I’m afraid the food might start talking back!

“Heck no! I’m not peeling myself! What, are you crazy? Chop myself? I’m sorry, I don’t think so! I’m getting out of here! Adios! Arrivederci! Esta loca!”

Yes, my food is multilingual. Why not? It’s more interesting that way and frankly, it’s my fantasy, so I can do with it what I want!

Anyway, backing the crazy train up, I decided to cook the Bluegrass Jambalaya and the Quinoa with Pea Pods and Peppers.

What did I think? Well, they are growing on me. I like the Jambalaya recipe better than the Quinoa recipe, but I think that’s mostly because it has more elements of protein in it, namely turkey kielbasa and shrimp.

At the end of the day though, I feel like I’m missing something. It’s not the recipes’ fault, they’re quite good. I guess I’m just wired with a personal need for a little more meat or other proteins like nuts and stuff. Maybe the quinoa (a meatless recipe) would taste better if I chop up the Brazil nuts I have sitting in my freezer and maybe I could add some thyme and black pepper since those are spices that pair well with lemon because lemon juice happens to be in the recipe.

I already tried adding pineapple to a few bites of the quinoa today, and that didn’t quite work out as well as I had planned. Frankly, it bombed. It works great in stir fries without any seasoning though. It helps give it a certain “je ne sais pas” that keeps me from adding sauces or salt to the food. I love pineapple. It’s awesome, just not this time.

Also, frankly, I think I’m having withdrawals. Melting withdrawals. You know that crazy cheese thing I talked about a couple of blogs ago. Yeah, if I can’t melt my cheese, I’m just at a loss.

I found out last night what apparently causes my cheese craziness. Casein. Yes, I was watching public television last night while I cooked. I think it was Dr. Furman that talked about the addictive nature of cheese. He got that right! It’s frankly out of control.

I mean seriously, if you read my blog “Hello Portobello: Ramblings of a health conscious cheese-aholic,” there’d be little doubt in your mind that I’m completely addicted to cheese, in particularly, melted cheese.

The mushrooms I ate the other day as a direct result of the Hello Portobello blog – not Portobello’s but close enough, these have 10 fewer calories per serving. The mushrooms were also topped with one of my favorite salt-free spice mixes, Penzey's Mural of Flavor. I love Penzey's! Mmmm.

Anyway, so what does this mean? Should I expect cheese-induced dt’s (delirium tremens) if I go cold turkey on cheese? I hope not.

I don’t think I can give up cheese. That might be the end of me. Maybe tomorrow I’ll melt the two cheese sticks I budgeted in my snack calories on my food, one stick on the quinoa after adding the thyme, black pepper and Brazil nuts, and one stick on the jambalaya.

Yes, that sounds like a plan. The world all of a sudden seems like a better place. A sigh of relief. … My cheese lives to see another day!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    It does look good. I bet it tasted awesome.
    1773 days ago
  • WILLOW49
    Both look yummy! I understand all too well about veggie back; I often do big batch cooking :)
    1773 days ago
    You are allowed to sit for some of the prep. I find I do better when peeling over a trash can when I'm closer to it. Less to pick up later. A high chair or stool is helpful. I prep all my veggies for the week when I come home from the store. That's a lot for me since I'm following the Eat to Live plan.

    The other thing that helps is one of those thick rubber mats that cashiers stand on. Standard equipment in my kitchen. It really helps.

    And then you can go out and walk around the house inbetween veggies. Get the body doing something else. Even consider doing stretches in preparation to the prepping to help strengthen your back??
    1773 days ago
    Love it! Veggie back and I can relate... this summer our local market was selling coloured bell peppers for $5 a case, now a case weighs 11 pounds and that was cheap so I bought a case of each colour.. of course, then proceeded to wash, and chop all to freeze.. I too got veggie back!!!!! But having those frozen peppers is sure nice now that they are soooo expensive again.

    Your dinners do look really good..

    1773 days ago
  • -POOKIE-
    Those dishes looked great!
    1773 days ago
  • KITT52
    looks healthy and yummy...your making me
    1773 days ago
  • MARYBETH4884
    But with all that chopping done looks like you 'll have leftovers for a couple day! No veggie back tomorrow!
    1773 days ago
    Eating Healthy, emoticon
    1773 days ago
    Where on earth do you buy your produce???? It's sooo pretty!

    1773 days ago
    I actually knew what Veggie Back was--I too chronically suffer from this issue. I find mine is followed by comments at the Pot Luck dinner of--wow, you cut perfect pieces of vegetables---they are all the same size! My mother's fault--that is how she taught me... oh dear, I am now realizing my mother suffered from Veggie back as well... this makes me wonder---are you my cousin?

    Great blog--I enjoyed it
    1773 days ago
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