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Sunday, January 11th, 2009

2009 Determination

I can spend 8 hours in the kitchen baking but I can't manage to spend 10 minutes in the kitchen cooking. Years ago when I was into "health food" (the old-fashioned term for whole foods) I had to cook. There weren't convenience food for vegetarians and people who eschewed refined foods like white flour and white sugar--if you ate like that you had to cook. When did I get so lazy and learn to dislike cooking so much?

I don't believe in resolutions. I believe in goals or a focus. My "determination" for 2009 is to work on my cooking skills again and learn to eat fresher and more healthy food again. Not a diet but more a return to a healthier way of eating.

To refocus, I went looking for a pan that is more a quick cooking method -- like a wok. I don't like overcooked vegetables. Most of them I prefer raw but I know some are healthier cooked and more digestible that way too.

I received a gift certificate for Christmas to a local kitchen store. The obvious purchase of course would be something for baking but I went looking at the cooking section instead (ok--maybe I checked out the baking first but just for any good deals!!). I saw this new pan called a "Hot Wok". Looked like what I was looking for for my cooking needs. It was a little more than my gift certificate but it seemed like the perfect pan for what I wanted to do with veggies and stir-fry. Imagine my surprise when I discovered it was dishwasher-safe as well as non-stick! I don't think I will need to use the dishwasher for clean-up but at least that is an option if I want to use it. I liked that versatility. It's a good size for me--not too big and awkward but big enough for a meal for more than me. Win-win!

Anyone have any good recipes or ideas for a lazy cook with a new pan?? :)

I forgot to mention--it was on sale for $6 off. With my gift certificate I ended up buying it for $3.50--not a bad deal (even if not for baking!!)




25 Comments
SarahS
Is it a deep one? It's hard to tell in the picture. I've got a pan kind of similar to that, with a lid. I love mine. I use it all the time. For veggie stir fry. Mine also cooks a boneless chicken breast without the need for any type of grease or spray. You don't eat meat though right? So that doesn't help you at all. But I LOVE the pan for all uses!
Snelly   Sunday, January 11, 2009
lgrant
Don't eat meat. But, you can do tofu or some of the meatless meat type products for more protein if desired. It's more shallow at the back but deeper in the front for easier tossing (I guess). Nice weight. Heavy but not awkward. We'll see how it cooks when I figure out how to cook again. LOL

http://www.amazon.com/Typhoon-Non-Stick-Inch-Gloss-Blac...

Here's a better view of it and description.
LGrant   Sunday, January 11, 2009
SarahS
Yep, looks almost exactly like mine. I hope you enjoy yours as much as I do mine. My favorite part is that it's REALLY nonstick. Even with veggies I never have to put anything in the pan before cooking them. It really helps keep things low-cal.
Snelly   Sunday, January 11, 2009
lgrant
That's what I want, Snelly. I haven't read yet--do these handle metal utensils or do you have to use wood or silicon or something? I'm sure the instructions tell me. Didn't know if you knew or not. It's not exactly a wok with the round bottom but close. I have an old one that is similar but bigger and getting worn. I am happy to get rid of it--I didn't like using it for much of anything. I prefer stainless steel or cast iron for most things but occasionally a non-stick is a good thing. :)

Nevermind I found out no metal utensils. That's ok--I have plenty of wood and silicone to use. :)
LGrant   Sunday, January 11, 2009
reera
Good for you. I just bet we will be hearing all kinds of great new ideas from you.I have a pan just like it too. I also used my new mico-steamer tonight for zucchini and asparagaus and it worked great. In addition I had a salad with watercress, tomato, avacado, mushrooms and 3 ounces of tuna tossed with shitake mushroom/balsalmic vinegar dressing, bought ready made at whole foods. Oh, I also put some sunflower seeds in it. Olive oil and some of the other oils are actually good for you and need to be included in your diet so don't be afraid to use a little cooking.
dannie   Sunday, January 11, 2009
SarahS
Lgrant, I never really read the instructions on mine, so just to be safe I usually use silicon utensils with mine. Occasionally I forget and use metal but I've never had a problem. I've even thrown mine in the dishwasher a time or two just to get it extra clean every once in a while.

Dannie your recipes always sound so good. My meals sound so boring next to yours. I'm going to have to step it up a notch.
Snelly   Sunday, January 11, 2009
lgrant
Dannie has a talent. Wish I was as driven to cook that well but at least if I manage some stir-fry I will be improving things.
LGrant   Sunday, January 11, 2009
SarahS
Dannie, do you have any other suggestions other than olive oil? I've always heard it's good for you, but I just can't hardly stand the taste. So I try to do everything oil-free.
Snelly   Sunday, January 11, 2009
lgrant
Snelly, I've heard the lighter olive oils are pretty tame. If you can find one of those maybe it won't seem so bad. The greener they are the stronger they are. I'm not a huge fan of olives so olive oil doesn't do a lot for me but the lighter ones I tend to buy aren't bad.
LGrant   Sunday, January 11, 2009
RoseDeaton
Hey Sis, Dennis and I have walked the neighborhood for the last three days. I feel better already, Denny has a cookbook I gave him in college called "A Man and His Pan". It probably has a lot of meat recipes but I am sure they could be modified. I will keep my eyes open for something else, I have always enjoyed eating healthy, just love fresh vegetables and fruit, I love seafood. I could be a vegetarian except for my carnivore husband. LOL. I love walking and feeling geed about my health. Even with my PD the best thing to do is exercise. Congratulations on you 2009 challenge. I am trying to do it too,
gigi   Monday, January 12, 2009
SarahS
Thanks, LGrant. I may have to try that. I'm pretty sure the last one I tried was a dark green. Could be why I didn't like it much. Are the lighter ones just as good for us?
Snelly   Monday, January 12, 2009
lgrant
I hesitate to make comments about nutrition since my last two comments (i.e. celery and eggplant!) have been incorrect. I believe the lighter oils still have nutritional value and are better than other oils but I think the greener the oil, the higher the health value. Maybe Dannie can correct me if I am (again) wrong. :)
LGrant   Monday, January 12, 2009
SarahS
I figured that was probably the case. But I'd also guess it's still better than using vegetable oil if I need oil for cooking something. So I'll probably go ahead and get a bottle and try it.
Snelly   Monday, January 12, 2009
Lionheart
Hi Linda, I love love this butternut squash curry- you can make it a vegetarian or vegan, up to you:
http://bread-and-honey.blogspot.com/2008/10/butternut-s...

I didn't use the fish sauce and it came out fine. You can tune the spice to your own tastes. Good luck, I like your determination!
Lionheart   Monday, January 12, 2009
lgrant
Awesome, Lionheart! Looks like a good recipe and most of the stuff is stuff I can get pre-chopped or prepared for lazy cooks like me! :) Thanks for sharing! Looks like there are easy ways to make it more vegetarian!
LGrant   Monday, January 12, 2009
Leslie
I like to add a little bit of sesame oil to my stir fry. It is a wonderful flavor and a little goes a long way.
Leslie   Monday, January 12, 2009
lgrant
Dark or light, Leslie? I have both. I bought some dark last year for a recipe. I know it is very strong and takes very little to flavor something.
LGrant   Monday, January 12, 2009
RAGrise
i was going to comment but richie is making me car sick. lol sautee tofu in evoo with garlic and add some veggies and noodles. mmmmm....
Richie & Ashley   Tuesday, January 13, 2009
lgrant
:) Sounds like Richie needs a time out.
LGrant   Tuesday, January 13, 2009
RAGrise
no way!! then i have to drive.
Richie & Ashley   Tuesday, January 13, 2009
lgrant
I always prefer to drive. Ask anyone.
LGrant   Tuesday, January 13, 2009
RAGrise
Are you gonna use your new pan tonight?
Richie & Ashley   Wednesday, January 14, 2009
lgrant
Why tonight? No, no baking that I remember. Just got confirmed that my shipment made it to UT so I'm cool. Maybe tomorrow night. I have some bananas I need to use up and would like to make a banana caramel cake recipe I found but it wouldn't be good for the baby pans. It needs one big pan to do the job. I have nearly 2 cakes worth chocolate cake cubes in the freezer I need to use up before I end up with another cake I'm trying to give away. I'd really like to do the lemon cake or a vanilla one like I did for Dylan's 1st. It's a good solid cake that would be pretty in that pan.

Maybe I'll do the chocolate one again in small cakes just for the cuteness when I go back to the library in a week or so.

After I found out I can't get annoyed at Christmas lights still being turned on at night I'm not in a baking mood. LOL
LGrant   Wednesday, January 14, 2009
I think you will find if you buy the more expensive greek olive oil it will have a better flavor. I have taken to just using a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar on my salads and it makes a very tasty salad dressing.
Carol   Thursday, February 5, 2009
lgrant
Thanks for the tip, Carol. I will check that out. Surely one of my stores has some Greek olive oil to try. :)

Now if I could just learn to like cooking as easily! :)
LGrant   Thursday, February 5, 2009
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