Roman homeless dude

When you’re trying to readjust your eating habits, think hard about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.  Too often, I have seen people who go on a DIET eat the very same thing for pretty much every meal.  I’ve done it myself.  Hell, I DO it myself.  It seems so much easier when you know the POINTS® or calories or carb count (pick your poison) of what you’re eating.

Grilled chicken on mixed greens with oil and vinegar, or diet (ick!) Italian dressing.  It gets old.  The idea of eating like that for the rest of your life becomes depressing, and, bingo, you’re back to your bad eating habits again.

Can’t say this enough:  you are learning to eat for the rest of your life!  Toss out the diet, dammit!

So, let’s say, you enjoy a piece of broiled fish — or a quick seared salmon filet on your George (Forman, grill that is).  And, for a veggie, you pick broccoli.  Steamed broccoli with a spritz from your oil mister or a squeeze of lemon.  That actually sounds like a pretty good meal.  Piece of fruit, or a Weight Watchers® cookie and you’ve got dinner.

Try this:  pick up a different vegetable at the market.  Like, broccoli rabe.  You walk past it on the produce aisle, may even find it interesting, but how the hell do you cook it?  Seems daunting.  Really, it is very simple to prepare.  In fact, while writing this post, I cooked some up for the lunch I’m taking into work.

Broccoli Rabe ala Janetaccia

Put a pot of water on the stove to boil. Grab a handful of the greens, and slice them into 2-3 inch chunks.  When the water comes to a boil, toss in the rabe.

Take a couple of garlic cloves and slice them.  Spray some oil into a non-stick pan, toss in the garlic and let it sizzle a bit (but not burn.  No good.  Bitter).

After a couple of minutes, when the rabe seems to be getting tender, take out a little water (say, a cup) and drain.  Toss the rabe into the pan, mix it up a little bit on a high heat, pour in some of the saved water, mix it up, bring the heat down to a simmer and cover.

In minutes, you have a tasty vegetable dish.  It is not as bitter as you may think.  You’ve come to know another vegetable, one which is, by the way, very good for you.  Our bodies LOVE bold-colored foods!

Something seems to happen with the greens, they take on a glisten of the sprayed-on oil, without requiring the addition of more.  If you want, you can certainly add a teaspoon or even a 1/2 t. of luscious extra virgin olive oil.

Later, I’ll write about the beauty of spices and what they can do to a simple dish.