“Find the new you by doing something old that you let go” – Jasmine Rice The past few weeks have been extremely physically and emotionally exhausting for me as I finished my marathon and then just days later attended the memorial of one of the most amazing people I’ve ever known. I wanted to lighten up my blog a little this week by reminding myself (and you) that sometimes it’s the little things we have let slip away that can bring us joy. Ordering pizza at our house in 2000 some would say wasn’t even pizza. A large Mama Rudy on whole wheat crust with extra sauce and no cheese from Rudy’s in Lawrence, KS, which consisted of a ton of veggies and no meat, was our go-to…or should I say it was my go-to and Drew was just so chill he wouldn’t complain. He was a good sport. What college guy says “yum, can I please have more meatless pizza with no cheese”?
When Drew and I were in college, in addition to eating healthy pizza, I wanted to start cooking more to save on money, plus I was feeling a little domestic. I love to cook, but I don’t really like following a recipe, so I just experimented. Sometimes my inventions turned out amazing and sometimes they turned out so bad that I tried to toss them before he got home because I didn’t want him to feel obligated to eat my inedible invention. Throughout our marriage I cooked often, sometimes simple throw together meals, but I liked cooking healthy meals for us and I did actually get better as the years passed. However, all of that cooking stopped cold when we got separated. When I moved into my apartment, I had no appetite and no energy to cook. One of my dear friends cooked me food and brought it to work because she wanted to make sure I was eating, but there were days that I couldn’t eat and then when I did decide to eat it was a half bag of chips or a few bites of a banana. I took a photo of my refrigerator at one point because I remember thinking how sad it looked, like a poor college kid, but I didn’t have energy to grocery shop half the time, and when I actually did shop, I would end up tossing food that just went bad. Cooking for one blows, and I am not a fan of leftovers. When I finally did have the energy to cook, I felt like I was wasting food so I just stopped. My eating out (when I was actually hungry) increased which made me feel like crap because I have always been a healthy eater and no matter how hard you try, eating out is usually always worse than cooking at home due to the added fat and salt that makes it taste amazing. There are other things I struggled with when I cooked. For instance, I had a dream kitchen when I was married complete with an amazing 6 burner Viking stove and a big, beautiful island to prep on. I had amazing pans and knives to cook with and my 3 dogs would hang out with me in the kitchen watching me cook in hopes I would drop something, all while classical music playing in the background. I no longer have my dream kitchen, my fancy pans or my 3 dogs watching me cook. I find that every time I cook in my current kitchen, I start to get sad and would rather just eat scrambled eggs or order take out.
“Cooking Jasmine Rice with Jasmine Rice”
About 5-6 years ago I told Drew I would love to start a blog called “Cooking Jasmine Rice with Jasmine Rice”. How fun that could be! The problem was, I wasn’t the best cook in the world so who in the world would want to read that? Plus, half of the country seemed to be on a keto/paleo kick so rice was out and “Cooking Cauliflower Rice with Jasmine Rice” just doesn’t have the same ring to it. I decided a few weeks ago, when I was carb loading for the marathon, that I really wanted to cook something in my kitchen and take back my love of cooking, even if it meant I had left overs. I no longer have my 3 girls to sit in the kitchen with me, but I do have my Bailey (who ended up getting a few crumbs that dropped). I no longer have my fancy pans, but hey, I cooked in college on much cheaper pans than what I currently have and they worked. And music…instead of classical I opted for salsa so I could dance around as I cooked. So here you go, the first ever “Cooking Jasmine Rice with Jasmine Rice” recipe # 1. Jasmine Rice Arancini Balls (I LOVE ITALIAN FOOD) It’s not low fat or super healthy for you, but yummy on a fall night when you just want to eat some carbs. All in moderation I say…
- 1 cup jasmine rice
- ½ cup white wine
- 2 ¾ cups chicken broth
- 2 Tbs or a nice pour of olive oil
- 1 Tbs butter or just hack a piece off
- Dash of salt
- 3 cloves of garlic chopped fine or use garlic press
- Some Italian seasoning If you have it (oregano/garlic/basil)
- Chop up some parsley (about 1/8 cup-ish)
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese or more, I love cheese!
- Mozzarella cheese cut into cubes
- 2 eggs beaten
- Italian bread crumbs (if you have plain just spice them up with some herbs)
- Oil for frying
** I did try baking some of these and they also turned out great! Instead of frying them place them on a pan at 350 degrees and spray lightly with olive oil spray, bake about 20 minutes. You can also use gluten free bread crumbs/flour for a gluten free option.** Instructions
- Add oil and butter to pan and sauté garlic on medium. Add rice and coat
- Pour in white wine and cook until evaporated then add in chicken broth. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed, add salt and Italian seasoning.
- Pop pan into fridge for about 10-15 minutes to cool.
- Once cool enough that you can touch it with your hands, add parsley and Parmesan cheese
- Use your hands to make a ball about the size of a ping-pong ball, stuff in a piece of the mozzarella cheese and mash the rice around it to enclose the cheese.
- Have 3 bowls, one filled with your flour, one with egg and the last with the bread crumbs. Cover each ball with flour, dip in the egg and then dip in the breadcrumbs. Do the rice balls all at once before you fry them.
- Add about 2 cups oil into a deep pan over medium heat. When the oil is warm cook 3-5 balls at a time for about 3 minutes, moving them around to make sure they are browned. Strain them on a plate covered in paper towels.
Serve right away and dip them in marinara or ranch or just enjoy by themselves.
I still am not cooking a meal every night or meal prepping on Sunday for the upcoming week like many of my friends do, but I feel really happy that I got back into the kitchen and had fun and cooked something that actually turned out yummy! It’s baby steps for me and if I just start with cooking one meal a week as I’m getting back into it, I’m ok with that.
Is there something that you have given up? Something you really miss doing and life has just gotten in the way? Trying new things is always great and exciting and encouraged when you are healing, but sometimes realizing that there was something in your life that you really did love, but you let slip away, can light you up when it’s reborn. I encourage you to think of something that you have let slip while you have been “living life” and see if it brings a smile to your face. And if you happen to try my Jasmine Rice Risotto Balls I would love to hear how they turn out and what changes you made. Make that list of things that you “used” to do before X happened, before Y was born or before you started Z job. Do something “old” for you this week, You Got This! XOXO~[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]