Living up to my namesake

Last night I lived up to my namesake. More just (someone with) my name. That is I made a delicious meal of a spin off of 3 recipes from Everyday Living (a Martha Stewart magazine). Get it? Martha... I whipped this up in just over an hour after getting home after a long day of hardworking out! It is nice to be able to enjoy a new recipe even when you are tired from a hard days work!

Stuffed Poblanos and Cilantro-lime rice

Stuffed Poblanos Ingredients
(The first thing I did was half the recipe and make it for two... one for me and one for me (the next day), so feel free to double it for more hungry mouths). Below is my interpretation of the recipe I found in this months Everyday Food.

1 can (14.5 oz) Fire Roasted Tomatoes with green chilis
2 chippolini onions (or 1 small white onion), chopped
3 cloves garlic (2 whole, 1 minced)
salt and pepper
1/2 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup organic cornmeal
1/2 cup Almond Milk pepper jack cheese
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 large poblano chilis, halved lengthwise with stems in tact, seeds removed

Preheat oven to 425. In a blender combine tomatoes, half the onions, 2 whole garlic cloves puree. Season with salt. Pour sauce into a 9x13 baking dish, set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine beans, cornmeal, 1/4 cup almond milk cheese, remaining onions, minced garlic, cumin and salt and pepper.

Divide mixture evenly between poblano halves. Place on top of sauce in baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over top.

Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, until poblanos are tender, sauce is bubbling and cheese crispy. (Note: the instructions have you cover with aluminum foil, bake for 45 mins. Uncover and continue until sauce is thickened and cheese is browned, 10 to 15 minutes). Mine turned out tender enough, sauce was thick enough and cheese crispy enough. Plus, who wants to wait that long!

Cilantro Lime Rice ingredients:
1 cup brown rice
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp garlic sauce (store bought--olive oil, garlic, s&p, lemon)

Cook rice as you normally would.

In the blender combine cilantro, lime juice and garlic sauce with 2 tbsp water. Blend until smooth. Stir into cooked rice and fluff with a fork.

In addition to this I made some more delicious roast cauliflower with peri peri spice.

Interesting juxtaposition
After preparing the delicious meal above and consuming said dish, I collapsed on the couch, exhausted from a 5am 8 mile hilly run, 1 1/2 hours in the gym lifting weights, 1/2 core work and a decently speedy SRC 6 mile club run. I flipped on the tellie and found Biggest Loser and Throw down with Bobby Flay. I wanted to watch both, so I flipped back and forth. I started to think about it and started to laugh at how contrary my viewing choices were in relation to each other. On one hand, you have the Biggest Loser which was touting super low fat, pretty boring bear bones weight lose eating. Yes, the point is to lose weight, but it is also to maintain it and who is going to eat steamed chicken and veggies (cooked in plastic bags by Ziploc baaaaaaaadddd) and 100cal processed snacks for their entire lives? They were illustrating the evil "old way" the contestants use to eat and you could see a bit of longing in their eyes for a bite. Yes, they want to lose the weight and keep it off, but a life on a permanent diet.

On the other hand, you have the no holds barred, nutrition be damned, Throw down which was an episode about the best cheesecake. One slice of cheesecake by the cheesecake master whom Bobby Flay was as big as my head and included not only the cheesecake, but two layers of chocolate cake and frosting. Wow. I am sure a slice had enough calories for 2 people for 2 days.

It set me thinking though. Do we have to exist in a world where we either you are either in one camp or another? Should food be so black and white, good and bad? Should we be overly aware of the nutritional value of our foods or living ignorant bliss? When I was watching the shows, I felt strangely like I had to choose. But then I realized that I didn't have to choose, not now. Without knowing it over time, through education, choices and practice, I moved out of a place where I get to occupy the vast gray area in between those ends of the spectrum. I get to have an abundance of flavors and culinary experience AND fantastic nutritional value. How cool is that! Watch the two programs just insighted one of those ah ha moments, in which I realized that I don't have to compromise one for the other (nutrition for taste, taste for nutrition). And that is such an amazing realization. While I have known this for a while, I had been struggling with the trusting it. It was just one of those things where are hard to reach place in the brain keeps saying, "it tastes so good, so it must be bad!" Silly brain! Luckily for me, I transitioned to a place where EVERYthing I chose is good for me. And its not even a choice anymore, I just DO, when it comes to food. I don't drool over someone else's cheeseburger or pine away for a piece of pizza. I don't have to battle myself over a slice of cheesecake. Even though my brain is behind the time, my body is a whole food machine. What it comes down to for me, is essentially I get to live in informed bliss. It took time to get here, but it is a great place to be!