If I lived alone and it was just me—I would literally drink protein shakes all day and eat the same meal every night. Not because I want to—but because it works. It mostly removes food from the equation and makes my life easier. The less time I spend thinking about food the better. So if it was just me, I would stick to the same thing every day.
But I have kids. And they’re not cool with that. So clearly, I have to make dinner.
The problem is that I’m a terrible cook. When I look at a recipe, I can’t even get past the list of ingredients most of the time before I’m already confused. There is almost always a 99% chance there will be something in the ingredients that I either have never heard of before or that I wouldn’t know how to use once I bought it. Even when I try to follow the instructions, it usually ends badly.
I’m firmly convinced that cooking uses the “mathy” side of the brain. I also believe this is the side that does puzzles, sews or makes crafts. Basically I attribute everything I’m bad at to this side of my brain. Whatever side it is!! So I know that anything too complicated is probably not going to work.
Now I used to be able to cook about 10 meals on rotation before I started losing this weight.
The problem is they were all things like Hamburger Helper and anything with Bisquick.
But if it was easy, I could make it.
And if it wasn’t easy—–fast food and pizza were my go-to foods.
But I know that I have to stop making excuses. By refusing to learn how to cook at least enough healthy meals to get a rotation going, I am always tempted to fall back on what I know I can do easily. And what I can do easily usually is horrible for me and not any better for the kids. It’s no doubt one of the main reasons I am trapped right now in an endless loop of losing and gaining the same 10 pounds.
So I’ve set a goal.
I’m going to start trying new recipes that I can make for the family and I’m going to attempt to trade out the more unhealthy versions of what the kids like to eat in favor of something healthier. Hopefully if I keep a record of what I’m doing then someone out there might be able to tell me what I’m doing wrong! Let’s see what happens!
This past week I decided to attempt to make a cauliflower crust pizza. And in order to do that, I needed to make a crust out of cauliflower.
Did you know “opening” a cauliflower (or whatever you call it) isn’t that easy? By the time I was done trying to pop off all the pieces of cauliflower I had made a mess in the kitchen. I hate to say that I’m 42 years old and I really don’t have a lot of cooking skills but it’s true. That is probably one of the reasons I struggle with my weight. Convenience foods are much easier! I even searched on youtube for a video on how to get into a cauliflower more efficiently. It still didn’t work for me!! There must be a better way!
I used the recipe for Mini Cauliflower Pizzas from HERE
Here are some pictures of me attempting to make cauliflower crust pizza.
Step #1–You have to shred the cauliflower into about 4 cups. But before that happens, you have to get into it and pop the pieces off! This is harder than it looks (at least for me!)
The pieces got all over the floor. This is just the section where I was standing. There were pieces of Cauliflower though all over the counter and even on other sides of the room. Every time I would attempt to get into it or pop something off of it—pieces would fly everywhere. Just getting into the cauliflower alone took me probably 30 minutes.
Last week, I ordered a Vitamix because I decided I would attempt to make Green Smoothies. The first one I tried was immediately dumped down the drain. I didn’t even take a picture of it. Round one of Green Smoothie was a major disaster. I thought maybe I could use the Vitamix to grind up the cauliflower. I have always wanted to try making the Cauliflower mashed “potatoes” or cauliflower rice. I thought it might work in the Vitamix but once again…..problems! I would put them in there and within 5 seconds it just stopped blending. So eventually I would just do a few pieces at a time. The picture below is when I was trying to do too many at once. I could only do 2 or 3 at a time for it to work .
This literally took FOREVER. Either I was doing it wrong (highly likely) or I needed a food processor maybe instead. I just know that it took me at least a full hour just to deal with getting into the cauliflower and then grinding it up in the Vitamix.
After this the recipe told me to cook the 4 cups of shredded cauliflower in the microwave. Now the recipe did not say how exactly to do that. Someone else would probably know but not me. Once again I want to point out that I believe a major reason why many people struggle with their weight is probably due to their inability or lack of knowledge in the kitchen. Maybe even their lack of patience. I am all of the above. I lack a lot of the basic skills in the kitchen that I think a person should know. And it’s not for lack of trying either!!
The other day I attempted to make asparagus in the pan but somehow I even screwed that up. My extent of vegetable cooking usually involves a bag of steamable vegetables that you pop in the microwave–bag and all. And even then I have to make sure I put the bag with the correct side facing up. Anyway….I decided to google how to cook cauliflower in the microwave and it appeared that I was supposed to add some water so I did.
That seemed to turn out fine. At this point I got a little excited because I started imagining that I probably could make the cauliflower faux-tatoes out of this and it might even work. I almost made a detour to try that recipe instead but in the end I was determined to stay the course and make this pizza!
After this, I had to add 2 eggs, 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese, oregano, basil and garlic powder. I managed to do all of that without incident. Yeah!
The only thing left was to form little mini crusts out of them. The directions said to make them about 4 inches wide.
This is what it looked like going into the smart oven. That may be more than 4 inches wide. What can I say? Not good at math either!
After baking them for 15 minutes, the direction states to just add the toppings (pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni etc) and then broil them for another 5 minutes.
And then they’re done!
Here is the finished project. And it really does look good!
Sadly it wasn’t. It was very mushy. You had to eat it with a fork. It literally tasted like mush with pizza toppings on it.
It took me FOREVER to make this including the giant mess I had to clean up. And after all that it was mostly inedible. I am 100% confident that this is all due to my inability to cook!!!! The recipe was very easy to follow for the most part and I’m sure a normal person would have had this made in 30 minutes tops. The recipe said prep time was like 20 minutes but I think it took me at least that long just to get into the cauliflower! All the comments gave the recipe rave reviews and everyone else had a good experience. This is another example of why I struggle with cooking. When something takes that long and still turns out badly, it doesn’t make me want to cook. It makes me want to order Papa John’s!
The problem, however, is that I really do need to learn. The reality is that these are life skills you need! I know that for me it is easier to just eat the same thing every night but that is not realistic for the children. They want a variety of things and if I don’t learn alternatives then it is just too easy for me to go back to the old standbys of Hamburger Helper, Bisquick and convenience food.
So finding a substitute for pizza that my kids will eat was a major fail. Not due to the recipe but due to me continuing to be a horrible cook! I am determined though to crack the code. I will eventually conquer!