I know I'm alone on this one, but I really like food. Ha! My weakness is for sweets, but I like food in general. Oh, I don't like every food, I'm famous (okay, that's overstating it) for my dislike of olives, cucumbers and feta cheese. But in general, I enjoy the sensation of eating and the feelings of warmth and comfort that food provides. I like trying different things and I hate food ruts. Some folks, especially in dieting mode, find success in repeating the same meals over and over, and it really works for them. They put together the same exact lunch or dinner five to seven days a week and find that it's easier to not have to give it more thought than that. I totally understand this on a visceral level, but I get bored easily and would sit in front of my third turkey sandwich and baby carrots lunch in a row and I would be suicidal. I thrive on variety.
Fortunately, I date a fishmonger. I'm telling you, ladies, if you like food, you should find yourself a cute fishmonger. Fish and seafood are notoriously high in protein (fills you up!) and low in fat and calories (slims you down!). There are a million different kinds to eat, so if you don't care for one fish, there's another one waiting to please you. One night this week I decided I wanted sushi, but I certainly didn't want all the work that is involved in making sushi - with its nori wrapping and rice and all. So I settled for an even healthier option - sashimi, just plain old raw fish. I stopped in at Coastal Seafoods and asked Doug to throw together a few samples of whatever was best that day, and I came home with raw redfish, marlin, and scallops that I dipped in a simple mixture of soy sauce and wasabi. Couldn't be faster or easier, or healthier on all levels. Last night my fishmonger Doug offered to make us some dinner and, of course, I got a little nervous because I'm in diet mode and everyone has a different idea of what that means. But I needn't have fretted because Doug put together an amazing and light soup of shrimp, sausage and poached duck egg with fresh herbs that was delicious. He made the broth himself and skimmed every bit of fat he could out of it in deference to my goals. The broth was light and flavorful and while I have a long standing aversion to soup (it acts like it's a meal but it's really just a beverage), this sort of experiment went a long way in changing my mind.
So my challenge for this weekend, food-wise, is that it's a super fun girl's weekend. I love hanging out with groups of my funny and smart women friends for the weekend, but I don't always make the best food decisions! I thought long and hard about what to bring because I don't expect anyone else to provide for me just because I'm trying to drop pounds, nobody else is responsible for my decisions. At first I thought I'd bring a veggie tray with a light dip of some sort, but then I remembered that I love a local fishmonger and should take advantage of that! Plus I like the idea of getting in some protein to fill me up. So Doug picked me up a couple of pounds of unpeeled shrimp and cooked them up simply with some peppercorns and bay leaves. I also got some homemade cocktail sauce from Coastal to serve with the shrimp. Yum. And I'm whipping up an Asian slaw. I love raw cabbage and how it holds its shape with dressing on it for a long time, unlike conventional lettuce that droops after one minute. I've never made this particular Asian dressing, but what can go wrong with tofu, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, honey, lime, and other delicious ingredients? So no matter what other foods are at the table today, I feel confident that I'll have great go-to food that I can enjoy, and so can my friends. Win - win!