Friday, June 4, 2010

Food Waste Friday and Updates

Here's my food waste from this week. Actually, I don't think it's quite as bad as it looks. About a quarter of container of raspberries- it makes me a little sad that we couldn't get to all of them before they got really mushy and then moldy. I learned that I should not buy fresh fruit right before the weekend (at least nothing that will spoil quickly), because we don't eat enough snacks and meals at home to use it up before it goes bad (seriously, they were gross by Monday). A small scoop of mashed potatoes- I meant to feed those to Brody since I thought he would like them, but apparently forgot about them in the back of the fridge. A slice of pizza- I blame Jake for that since it was his pizza, and he refuses to eat leftovers. He says, "Leftovers make my head hurt."

All of the other little containers were ones that I just recently pulled out of the freezer. As I was packing lunches for Jake and Chris this week, I started to wonder what had happened to all of our little plastic bowls. Then I remembered that a few months ago, I decided to make homemade baby food for Brody. Which he refused to eat. I tried feeding them to him again this week, and when he refused, I tried to get our friend Delaney (who's 17-months old) to eat them. No luck there, either. I guess I am just not a good baby food maker. So, those are the containers of pureed carrots, sweet potatoes, peas, white beans and bananas which the babies would not eat.

We did manage to eat up a lot of other leftovers, though, so I am happy for that. Well, mostly happy- there were a couple more things that maybe should have made it into the food waste picture. Trying out a new recipe, I cooked way too much pasta salad with chicken and veggies at the beginning of last week, right before Chris went to Canada for a few days. (I swear it was really yummy, though- check out the recipe at the end of this post). I just couldn't eat that all myself and grew tired of pasta salad everyday. When Chris returned, I sent the rest of it to work with him in a to-go container, with instructions to find a homeless person to donate it to (he works on Hollywood Boulevard, I'm pretty sure that would be an easy task). I haven't asked him about it yet, but I really doubt he did it. My guess is that it's currently going bad in the refrigerator at his work. (Edit: Chris read this post and was offended. Although I meant to imply that I probably did a poor job by making too much food, and likely wasted more food than I was accounting for, he took it to mean that I thought he did a poor job and wasted the food by not giving it away. Actually, he gave the pasta salad to the janitor (custodian? does that sound better?) at work.)

And then there were some chicken wings from Fresh Brothers, which Chris ate even though they were more than a week old, and had sat out on his desk at work when he didn't eat the lunch that I packed for him one day. That night, he was vomiting and didn't make it to work the next day. I still don't think it was food poisoning since Jake had the same issue a few days before (and threw up on Chris in the middle of the night), and I just had the same problem a few days later. But still, it's making me a little wary of leftovers past their prime.

Along with clearing out leftovers, I've also been cleaning out other clutter lately, namely in my email inbox. I get a ridiculous amount of email each day, and a lot of it is just junk. Which I can quickly delete, but it still takes up time, especially since I compulsively check my email just about every time my phone notifies me of a new message. So, it's been taking far more time than just deleting it, but I've been unsubscribing from all of the lists that I should never have gotten on in the first place. Even the ones that go directly to my "spam" folder, since I also spend time checking that, just to make sure that an important email didn't accidentally get directed there. Hopefully, this will eventually save me time in the long run. But, I'm even more proud of the fact that I have cleaned out the non-junk from my inbox, too! I try to respond to emails pretty quickly, but I have a habit of saving tons of emails- things I want to remember to check into, things that I have found interesting, things that I think I may need to refer back to. And then they just sit there in my inbox forever, and I have to scan through them each time to figure out which ones are ones that I still need to respond to. So, instead I created a few sub folders for emails that I really do need to save, and deleted the rest. Now, I have only three emails in my inbox- two which are work-related things that I need to take care of, and one about plans for this weekend. And I can just open my email and see in a glance what's new and what I need to complete.

Also, an update about my attempt to stop checking email in the car- I have finally made some progress there. I have made it a habit to check my email right before I leave the house, so that I won't be as tempted to do so in the car. And then, if I find myself still tempted, I borrowed a Learn Spanish CD from the library, so I just turn that on to distract me. Honestly, I don't think I'm learning much, but it's keeping me safer.  :)

As for my 10 Personal Commandments, my anal-retentive self decided that I needed more of a reminder, and a way to hold myself accountable for actually following them. So I made a checklist with all 10 of them in columns across the top of the page, and then a row for each day of the month. I checked off 70% of them yesterday. I hope to do better today.

In case you're interested, here's that pasta salad recipe from my friend Debi, with a couple of little things that I altered. I wish I had taken a picture to share with you- it's quite colorful and pretty. It makes A LOT, so feel free to cut the recipe in half to avoid food waste.  ;)

Pasta Salad with Chicken and Veggies
(8 servings, 6 WW points each)
  • 1 ½ cups broccoli, florets, steamed
  • 1 ½ cups cauliflower florets, steamed
  • 1 cup asparagus, steamed
  • 1 package (12 oz) vegetable radiatore (spiral) pasta from Trader Joe's, cooked per package instructions (or any other spiral pasta will do, but this three-color one is fun!)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • ½ cup sweet red pepper (if desired, I may leave this out next time)
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ tsp black pepper, or to taste
  • 2 cups cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, chopped
  • ½ cup Newman’s Own Salad Dressing, Balsamic Vinaigrette
Steam cauliflower, broccoli, and asparagus. Cook pasta per package instructions. Toss all ingredients together and refrigerate. Makes about 8 servings (1 ½ cups each).

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