How not to cook

You haven’t seen many recipe posts from me lately because I am not doing much cooking. As we know, butter is my favorite ingredient, and it is hardly compatible with a healthy eating plan, let alone a weight-loss plan.

My Weight Watchers leader asked me about where I’m struggling with my diet, and I told her it is having to forgo the enrichments: butter, cheese, cream. You know, all the stuff that makes food actually taste good. I miss them. A lot.


Tonight I tried to make something that was healthy and low-fat and actually tasty, and failed so hard on the last count that I threw the entire batch in the garbage before it was even finished cooking. I am hard-wired not to waste perfectly good food, so this was a big deal for me.

I attempted to make a kind of bean dip or bean casserole or something, I’m not sure what. I had some fat-free refried beans and some Ro-Tel tomatoes, and thought maybe if I mixed them together and added some cheese, it would be a good quesadilla filling. But one taste of both ingredients and I had to demur.


No fat = no flavor.

The Ro-Tel Tomatoes with Lime and Cilantro were unpleasantly sharp-tasting, and I knew they’d do nothing for the flavor of the refried beans. Out they went.

Instead, I tried using pinquito beans, which are nearly fat-free but have plenty of flavor that I actually like. I was going to pair them with a can of fire-roasted tomatoes and add some sautéed onions and garlic with lots of Mexican spices. Sounds good, right?

It was not good. I would have sworn that onions fried in (a modest pat of) butter could make any dish palatable, but not this one. Once I’d combined all the ingredients, I tasted it and nearly wanted to cry. Sharp and bitter. Complete crap. Into the garbage.

This is why I don’t like cooking from my pantry—I just don’t keep enough interesting ingredients on hand to make good recipes without a supermarket run. And it’s also why I don’t like being on a diet—all I really wanted was beans and lots and lots of gooey cheese, maybe with a tortilla for garnish. Come to that, I could have skipped the beans. And the tortilla.


I have had this magnet on my fridge for years, and now I remember why!

Perhaps the moral of this story is, don’t start cooking without a recipe, especially when you aren’t even sure you like the ingredients you’re using!


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