Top Chef, I am not.

Every once in a while, I try to “cook” – meaning, I try to make something that involves some effort.  As opposed to merely putting milk on cereal, or poking holes in the film and microwaving for 4 minutes and 30 seconds.

Sometimes, this works out well.  I’m pretty good at scrambling some egg whites (sometimes adding CHEESE!), and heating up some frozen home fries.

Sometimes, this is an epic fail.  Tonight I attempted to take some black beans and some chick peas and mix them together.  So I opened the cans, dumped them both in a Tupperware bowl, put the lid on and proceeded to shake.

But the lid was not 100% tight, and some…liquid? (the water/salt mixture the black beans were canned in) started dripping out.  So I tried to fix the lid, and apparently made it worse.  Shake, shake, shake…aaaaaaand beans go flying into the kitchen sink.  About half of them.  In hindsight, I probably should have taken a picture of it, because there were still dirty dishes in the sink.  Somewhat amusing. Very messy.

At least the dishes ended up getting done.

I tried putting a little balsamic vinegar in the mix (taking a tip from the recipe on the black bean can), but that ended up being just gross. Fail, fail, fail.  So now a 1/2 filled container will sit in the fridge, forgotten, for a month or two, until I clean out the fridge and can’t even recognize what it is/was.

I ended up heating up a Lean Cuisine, which also was semi-disappointing.  But not due to any culinary faux pas on my part.  Just…eh.

I eat a lot of Lean Cuisines, for a number of reasons:

  • When on sale, they are relatively cheap.  Sometimes 5 for $10.  Since I am a bitch on a budget, this is ideal.
  • Since I am so self-conscious due to my weight problem, a pre-packaged meal clocking in at about 300 calories and 9 grams of fat helps me feel a little bit better.  Like I’m sort-of making an effort.  However, it’s not really helping when I bring one to work for lunch, and then opt for something from the food court nearby.
  • Clearly, I am not Julia Child.  Or Rachel Ray.  Or Paula Deen.

I don’t know if anyone else has noticed this, but Lean Cuisine meals have an odd abundance of carrots in them.  Not just the typical veggie-based entrees, where it make sense, but things like meatball rigatoni!  I swear every pasta dish has shredded carrots in it.  Possibly even the sauce.  It seems to have more of a orangey tinge to it.

Are carrots the be-all, end-all of diet foods?  I’m just curious, because it seems like everything Lean Cuisine makes uses carrots as their #1 ingredient.  I know they’re healthy, but DAMN.  Lean Cuisine overdoes it just a tad.

Note:  This may also be true of other “diet” frozen dinners, such as Healthy Choice, Smart Ones, etc., but Lean Cuisines are on sale the most, so I end up buying them the most.

Note #2:  Memorial Day Weekend! WOO HOO!

About meredithelaine

forty-something. jersey girl in texas via california.
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4 Responses to Top Chef, I am not.

  1. sonyabegonya says:

    -aren’t you supposed to rinse the beans first?
    -carrots are filling and high in fiber so they are a great diet food.
    -get thee some preseasoned chicken breasts at costco.
    -learn to make rice……….1 part rice to 2 parts liquid (water or stock). heat to boil then turn down to low and let it cook for 20 min. there. done.
    -buy bags of frozen veggies that you simply nuke til soft

    voila! cheap, healthy, easy, tasty and you feel like a stud for having cooked:)

  2. meredithelaine says:

    Oh shit. AM I SUPPOSED TO RINSE THE BEANS FIRST?!?! Do I now have some crazy bean juice disease? DO I HAVE BEAN FLU?!?!

    You know, the Food Network has that show where they pick someone to be The Next Food Network Star! I think they should pick me, and give me a show: Teach Merry Death to Cook! Then they could bring on Bobby Flay and I’d be all swooning until he tries to teach me something. I burn the water and freeze the butter and it all ends up being a big mess. Bobby yells at me; I cry. But then Adam Richman comes in and says, “Hey Merry Death, cooking is HARD. I feel your pain, because I have had just about every job in the food industry. But now I have to fly off to a little town 50 miles from Wichita, Kansas, because they have the biggest loaf of bread EVER and they have challenged me to eat it. Come away with me, and watch me in the epic battle of Man vs. Food.” And then I look at him, then I look at Bobby Flay, and I shrug. “Sorry, Bobby, I’m out.”

  3. You don’t have to rinse the beans first. When I make black beans, I just open the can, dump them in a sauce pan and heat for about 5-10 minutes (until hot)–on medium or medium-low heat, stirring occasionally at first and a little more often once it starts bubbling. I usually try to throw in some good salsa. I don’t measure. Just dump some in. Sometimes I get all fancy and chop up fresh tomatoes and stuff. But that takes time and I’m lazy. lol Then when it’s done, I pour some in a bowl, put cheese on it, and OM NOM NOM.


    I used to suck at cooking but I just kept at it and then got better over time.

    • meredithelaine says:

      You guys have the best advice ever. If not for my friends, I’d be living on Burger King or some crap EVERY DAY. Bleh.

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