Food Rut and Adventures in Vietnamese Cooking?
I’ve been in such a food rut lately. I’m tired of tracking everything I eat, thinking of how I can “budget” my points, deciding if I want to be healthy or bad, meal planning, grocery shopping… food has basically taken over my life!
Once upon a time I loved to cook – I regularly updated my binder of recipes, which thankfully I still have, but has since collected dust in my pantry. These days if I seem to come up with a meal plan for the week, by the time meal time comes, I just don’t want to eat whatever I had in mind. This then results in eating whatever is accessible – which isn’t always good – or eating out. Looking at recipes for inspiration doesn’t seem to do much either.
Yesterday for instance I picked up what appeared to be a delicious looking tikka masala simmer sauce, and it ended up blah. I’m sure it’s a good sauce in general but I just was not feeling it. What did I have instead? Rice with veggies and hoisin sauce. Then snacked on chips and salsa. Can we say, boring?
I have been quite addicted to watermelon, which I can say is a much healthier obsession than popcorn with butter, but also not the most substantial meal either.
Just now I attempted another browse of the interwebs to see if I could find any inspiration. Then it hit me. I have been obsessed with Vietnamese food lately! When my mom cooked bún thịt nướng (grilled pork with vermicelli noodles) last week I have been thinking about it nonstop. Then I had green papaya salad at (the aptly named) Green Papaya in Bethesda and have been longing to make it myself. Then this past weekend mom made bánh bèo (steamed rice cakes) and I was in heaven. So I guess you could say I haven’t totally lost sight in my love of food. Maybe I need to embark on finally learning how to cook Vietnamese dishes. I can’t just rely on visits to my parents’ house or the local Vietnamese restaurant (which there aren’t many in my immediate vicinity).
So, here’s a challenge: Learn to cook Vietnamese food. It does excite me. Let’s see if it will taste as good (or pretty close to) mom’s. I’m thinking the reason I have yet to make these things, thus lengthening my food rut, is it’s outside of my comfort zone or requires buying new ingredients. Maybe I’ll just raid mom’s house.
Here are some recipes I’ve found on Pinterest today…
If you’re wondering why popular favorites like bánh mì sandwich and phở aren’t on my list of things to cook, I’ve either already attempted them and failed (pho) or it’s just better to buy them at the store (banh mi).