Cooking With Josh

October 12, 2012

Josh with a block of tofu

Josh came into town this week! I don’t know if you remember him, but is my friend who was living and working at the Grand Canyon! (So cool, right?)

His internship just ended, so he came to visit me for a week! (Golly, did I feel special.)

I felt even more super special when I came home from work, and he had bought vegetables and laid out in them out in the kitchen to teach me how to cook! He is a great friend.

He knows that I didn’t own any pots or pans, so he brought me one!

He knows I can’t smell, meaning I have an extremely inhibited sense of taste. For me, textures are really important when it comes to food. When I think about what will taste good for lunch or dinner, I think about it in terms of what food feels like, not how it tastes… ’cause it doesn’t taste like much to me.

Since he knows that texture is everything for me when it comes to food, he bought various healthy foods that had different textures, so I could try a bunch of them and hopefully like at least one. (I liked his reasonable expectations – that he was hoping for me to like one thing.)

Is he such a good friend, or what? – To know me so well, to listen and remember things about me, and to care enough about trying to change my habits into healthy ones (and to keep me from being a miserable vegetarian/vegan during my step down challenge) that he’d go to all that trouble…

We cooked up some leeks, squash, mushrooms, and fake taco meat. (I had never had any of those things.) (We threw tofu in there as well.)

I had never seen a leek before. (I had to look up how you even spell the name of that vegetable.) I’d never seen the inside of squash. It’s a fruit, my friends! I didn’t realize if you cut into a squash, there are seeds. It’s all gel-ly, fruit-like inside.

I had never been in this aisle of the grocery store. I have never tasted multiple things in this aisle.

I was a bit skeptical of this meal. Fruits, veggies, and fungi I’ve never tried before? Fake meat? I know I’m not allowed to have real meat right now, but really, how good can this fake be?

Turns out, it was all delicious. Really. I had no qualms about any of it. And it didn’t seem completely impossible to make. We cut stuff up and put it in the pan. Then we ate it.

Then, Josh was master dish-doer, kitchen-cleaner. (I helped.) But he was so comfortable in a kitchen, and so quick with everything…

We’re like grown-ups! (Okay, he’s like a grown-up.) It’s weird, right? I remember going over to his parents’ house about a trillion times with his mom always totally taking care of us. Now Josh is just swish, swish, swish (those were the sounds of him speeding around comfortably in a kitchen) – a total wiz.

The next night, once the trial dinner was a success, we went shopping so that he could show me where I get everything. We went to parts of the grocery store that I’d never noticed existed.

That was last night. Tonight, we went to the Olive Garden, and I stuffed my face with deliciousness.

Today was his last day. We just got on different buses, and I already miss him.

4 thoughts on “Cooking With Josh”

    1. Hmmm, yeah. I never think about those first people to ever try these things. Yay for their bravery points!

      And yeah, things are going okay with the veg challenge – could be better, could be worse. I am slowly but surely opening my horizons, and trying to ease in some new good habits (such as eating more fruits/vegetables). 🙂

      1. I once looked at a guidebook to wild mushrooms, where they all get listed somewhere on the safe-fatal spectrum, and thought about all the poor bastards who allowed us to get this knowledge….

        Here are three things I’d recommend from the health angle.

        1) Dark leavy greens. Kale and Collard greens are best. I personally strive to eat a package each day, though in practice I fall short and it’s more like 5-6/week.

        2) Omega 3 fatty acids. There are 3 good sources of these. One is fish, the other two are flax and chia. The expensive option is to buy flax oil, keep it in the frdge, and put about a teaspoon on your food. (Do NOT cook with it! Though it can go on cooked food) The cheaper option is to buy flax seeds and use about a tablespoon/day (again, uncooked), but they ahve to be ground. You can buy pre-ground ones, though I buy unground and then grind them in a little coffee grinder. Once ground, they need to go in the fridge

        Chia seeds are another option, about midway between the oil & the flax seeds..Use about twice as much, but they don’t have to be ground. They should generally stay in the fridge, but aren’t as vulnerable to spoilage.

        3) Vitamins. Two things which the vegan diet lack are vitamins B12 and D. I take these as individual vitamins, though a multi or supplemented stuff will work OK.

        Let me know if you want any elaboration of if I can be of any assistance.

        1. Thank you so much for checking in on me, and for the advice!

          I never even thought about the fact that I could get my awesome Omega 3s without seafood in my diet!

          And I don’t know how I flaked on the vitamins, but I totally did. It was something I told myself to do in the beginning, then I just forgot about them. Thanks so much for the remind!

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