Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Too Much Of A Good Thing

I love all things vegetable and fruit. I love cooking vegetables. I love Boston Organics. I love opening the big green box they leave in my entryway and breathing in the puff of fruit and vegetable aroma (or fruit/veg body odor, if you will) that accumulated over a day. It smells alive and healthy and earthy. BUT. Enough is enough. I have reached my limit with vegetables. I am starting to feel somewhat rabbit-like with all the leafy greens and roughage that I consume on a daily basis. I need a break.

No more vegetables! I want something with little nutritional value, little crunch, little green, and lots of warm olive oil and cheese. I bowed before my cravings and made a dinner that fulfilled at least half of those requirements.

Why not all the requirements? Simple.
Guilt. That’s right, guilt. I had leeks I needed to use up before they crossed the veg life line into a limp and cloth-like state. I can’t waste food! Secondly, I used whole wheat pasta instead of the regular white kind. I felt guilty using regular pasta when there was a perfectly suitable and healthy alternative in my packed pantry (seriously. It’s about to burst). I have an overactive conscience, it’s true.

So, without further delay, this was my non-vegetable, non-low-fat, non-protein rich dinner… with a lot of fiber.

Non-rabbit pasta with leeks

1 leak, washed and sliced (white and light green parts only)
8 oz pasta, regular or whole wheat, for those with a guilt complex
2 tbsp chopped parsley (omit if boycotting green)
1/4 cup grated parmesan
olive oil

1) Cook leek in olive oil over low heat till it wilts and becomes soft (this takes forever... as in 15-20 minutes)
2) Cook pasta in salted boiling water until just done, reserve a cup of pasta water
3) Add into pan with leeks, sprinkle with parmesan, drizzle with more olive oil. Add
pasta water in ¼ cup increments till you get the pasta to the level of hydration you are happy with (as in, till it’s no longer dry). Toss in parsley.
4) Salt, pepper… oooh maybe red pepper flakes. Everything is better with red pepper flakes.
5) Eat with bread and beer, if you’re really pushing the carbs. Which I was.


Jonathan said...

That pasta looks damn good. You look damn good too.

atp said...

Blimey, is anybody else feeling a little hot under the collar after reading that first paragraph?

Anna said...

Why thank you, Jonathan. Both my pasta and I are flattered. By the way, you know my grandmother reads this blog, right?
You need time away from the Woo! Come to Boston. I am sure Jerry misses you.

atp - I had no idea that talk of greens and roughage could have that effect on a person. I will keep that in mind! :)

hollibobolli said...

Wow. I was thinking you were going to say you went out and bought something fried in beef lard!!

I bow down before your excellent eating habits - and I am not kidding. You make me feel like a walking nutritional disaster!!

JC said...

Your ear is triple hot!

It's funny, our food habits are moving in opposite directions. I'm moving from "all carbs all the time" to more fruits and vegetables while you're moving away from fruits and vegetables. Although I bet I still won't be eating nearly as many fruits and veggies as you have been. Balance is the key.

I've really tried to like whole wheat pasta, but there's just something about it that doesn't taste quite right.

Ben Chen said...

I don't get it. You took a leek break? I have let guilt stop me from eating before, but didn't think that anything could stop you from eating what you wanted. I would think that you would house a package of beef franks or a steak.

Anna said...

hollibobolli - No need for admiration! You can rest safe in the knowledge that the Twinkie and Dorito calories I avoid, I compensate for with beer and cheese. Lots and Lots of cheese. Everyone has their vices!

JC - I agree. Whole wheat pasta is a little odd in texture. It took a little getting used to. It's not smooth at all - it's a little rough, kind of like when your tongue is really dry... if that makes any sense. It's really different from normal pasta.

Ben - Hee. Leek break. That's good! While I am no stranger to beef franks, I am still working my way up to steak. I just can't do it. I don't know why. I have never been a steak eater. I am working on it, promise. But no, nothing stops me from eating what I want. I just don't eat it every 5 minutes. Usually.