Salads 101

Jan. 11th, 2012 01:07 pm
opusculus: Digital Devil Saga's Argilla's voring mouthboobs (Cannibal mouthboobs)
Lately I've been trying to get the hang of salads. I grew up having salad as the designated side with dinner every night, and there's something about that that makes it come off as really, deeply and sincerely, boring to me. All I ever had, and all I ever did when I took over the family cooking was lettuce + random dressing. BORING. And making the lettuce the main course never quite…worked for me? I always felt weirdly dissatisfied.

But I bring my lunch to work most days, and while I have no problems filling it on days that I cook myself something the night before, I really needed something besides frozen tamales/burritos/chicken pot pies etc. to fill it on the days I don't. So! Salads are something I can do in 10 minutes even if they're a bit on the complicated side, and I have these adorable little sauce thingies that I can use to put my dressing in so it doesn't get all soggy, and therefore they seem like a good solution to that. I like sandwiches more, but I hate pre made sandwiches because they get all soggy and the flavors mix and sometimes it's still fine if I really, really loved the sandwich in the first place but I just don't like them as much. And my usual objection to salads - that they're not filling - is kind of negated by the fact that I pack that lunchbox FULL, dudes. I have breakfast (yogurt with fruit or fruit and cheese, normally), miscellaneous fruits to serve as snacks, miscellaneous chocolate to serve as desserts (Green and Black's Maya Gold is the most delicious thing ever, for the record), miscellaneous cheeses to serve as snacks in case the fruits aren't enough, and maybe a cookie or two just for bonus, and usually in the morning it's kind of bulging out at the sides. I usually don't finish all this, but I like having snacks available and if I don't have fruit available I feel grumpy all day. And there's basically no restaurants nearby that actually serve fruit, which is really great incentive to have it available.

But since I've never actually really made salad, I'm sort of in the process of teaching myself how to make a good salad. So here's a summary of what I've been learning about how to make a satisfying salad from what I have available.

mmm tasty food. )

...I don't know if this is the worst icon for food or the best icon for food.
opusculus: Black hole (Default)
You know you've been hanging out on fandom_wank too long when you have a dream about a fandom that has people who kill anyone who snarks on it. And since I was taking a class on it and couldn't stop making sarcastic comments about it, I was thus doomed. Except for the fact that I was a werewolf and could therefore probably eat them. I woke up and wtfed a lot. The book was the most pretentious vampire Victorian steampunk you have ever thought of, though.

Also I read Pratchett's new book! God I love his brain.

And this morning I stopped off at a donut store for breakfast on my way to work. It's a bit depressing to realize that you start work early enough that your donut is still warm. But at least it's a tasty sort of depression.
opusculus: Black hole (Default)
Why is it always the most important emails that get eaten? I've been waiting for some coworkers to get a list prepared for me for a couple weeks, and they just asked me if I'd received it because they'd sent it a while ago and I never responded or did anything with it. I will never not be convinced that computers are malicious.

In other news, I've been experimenting with tracking my food and counting the calories in it, mostly just out of curiosity since I haven't really done it with any degree of accuracy before. But I am just incredibly bemused at how inaccurate it has to be unless you eat nothing but prepackaged food or weigh every single ingredient and then weigh your leftovers and subtract. Even then, you're still dealing with pre-existing water weight and the fundamental fact that no food can ever be fully standardized nutritionally. I mean, like. Most the time in the morning, I eat some fruit, some cheese, and some hard-boiled eggs. I'm weird about eggs because I eat maybe a quarter of the yolk, because I like a bit of yolk to flavor the whites but I don't like it as a dominant flavor.

Now, how the hell would you calculate this? I mean, theoretically yes, I could cut the egg apart, pull the egg white away from the yolk, weigh each, eat my eggs the way I like them, and weigh the remaining yolk and figure out the calorie content from that. But a) I'm not quite that neurotic about it, thank you, b) really if we're talking nutritionally varied foods, I kind of assume that yolk has to be one of the most varied just because I can't imagine egg laying hens don't adjust the amount of nutrition they give their eggs a lot based off their current health, because a sick hen who's off her feed and barely laying eggs just can't afford to give up as many calories as a healthy hen.

Or bacon. I've gotten some bacon that was mostly fat. I've gotten some that was mostly meat. Is there any sane way of calculating that besides some generic "bacon" ideal that's probably horribly inaccurate for the individual piece?

And then there's apples and really fruit in general which I have to think is just incredibly off. I've been alternating between baby Jazz apples and rather large Pink Lady apples and just entering the same amount because they're apples and I'm not weighing them individually to see how big a difference the differing size makes. How much of a difference is there between a Jazz and a Pink Lady nutritionally? How much is there between a Pink Lady that came from a healthy tree that was well-watered versus a Pink Lady that's from a tree that just isn't quite rightly positioned to the irrigation system and underwatered and also had an animal eat a hole through its trunk? Are you supposed to like, weigh the core after you're done? What if you eat the core? Some people do. Is that incorporated into any calculation of an apple's nutritional value?

Even prepackaged food isn't entirely a solution. I've known for a while that the FDA really doesn't have the power to enforce much on the food end of things, so I was really vastly unsurprised when I heard that someone did some unofficial studies that said nutritional labels are incredibly inaccurate. I'd google it, but I'm at work so I don't want to further distract myself.

tl;dr inaccuracy bugs me.

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January 2012

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