The other night I was on Twitter and asked the collective if there was some kind of serivce where someone could create five mealplans and shopping lists a week for me. I thought, man, whomever comes up with something like that would be awesome. Thankfully, the Internet knows everything. My twitter friend pointed me in the direction of Fresh 20. Each week they send you recipes, shopping lists, and all the nutritional information for the meals. The meals are affordable and healthy. They have plans for carnivores, vegetarians, and gluten-free people (antiglutenarians?). There are also other similar services whose names I cannot remember.
I decided to sign up for a year. I’ll probably use it for a week, but right now I’m into it.
Anyway, the first week’s recipes came via PDF and as we’ve discussed, I am a notoriously picky eater so I was skeptical but I decided to forge ahead. Then I was really busy M-W and had no time to consider cooking. On Wednesday, after 12 hours at work (OMG WHAT?) I went to the store to get ingredients for two of the recipes—pita pizza and kale and mushroom cacciatore. First up, the cacciatore!
Now, I was immediately worried because I’ve never eaten kale, it looks weird, and it’s very rough. It did not feel pleasant against my fingertips. I was sad about possibly putting the weird roughness in my mouth.
First I thinly sliced a pound of baby bella mushrooms and browned them in olive oil.
I was pretty pleased with my knife skills during all this mushroom slicing. I was kind of a machine and I didn’t cut my finger, which will please my family. I am known to them as an industrious finger cutter in the kitchen.
Then I had to deal with the kale. Yes, that is a Diet Cherry Pepsi, the only beverage that matters.
I poked at the kale a bit because it was very odd looking. Poke poke poke. It didn’t poke back so I felt safe to proceed.
The instructions said to wash the kale but the leaves were very wrinkly and weird so I wasn’t quite sure how to do that. I just used common sense and got them wet and shook the water out. I bet Ina Garten has a dedicated Kale Washer.
Then I sliced two bunches of kale into thin slivers. I thought, “This is a lot of fucking kale.”
I took the mushrooms out of my pan and added the kale, a thinly sliced red pepper and half an onion. The recipe said 1/4 of an onion but that is just silly. That’s the same as no onion. I would have used a whole onion but I’ve kind of developed some kind of… allergy or reaction to onions in the past year. I have to be very careful with the onion. The recipe said yellow and I used red because I’m a rebel. Oh, I also added 3/4 tsp each of kosher salt and black pepper.
You should know that kale doesn’t smell terribly pleasant when it is being cooked.
While that was getting ready, I minced 3 cloves of garlic. The recipe called for 2 cloves of garlic but again, get real. When the kale and onions and peppers had softened, I added the mushrooms back, 28 ounces of diced tomatoes, some italian seasoning, a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and the WINE.
Now, for the wine I used a very classy brand in a very classy container.
Yup. That’s goddamned right. Adult juice box. I bought it a couple months ago while wandering around this liquor store with my friend L because a. it was cute and b. funny and c. tiny. The recipe called for 1/4 cup of wine but that seemed ridiculous. Jesus would drink more wine than that. I probs used about 3/4 cup. Then I sipped at the rest because it’s good not to be wasteful. I also added black olives, which weren’t in the original recipe but I thought they would complement the wine and I was right.
All those ingredients simmered together and became something that resembles a cacciatore.
I served it over angel hair pasta. It tasted pretty good! I am not entirely sure about kale yet but the recipe made enough for a few days and it was good enough for me to want to make it again. Also, kale tastes nutritious. You can feel the vitamins seeping into you. I don’t know how I feel about that but later, I kept thinking about the Soul Glo commercial so I sang, “Just let your kale glo!” It was funny. To myself. Which is sad.
Also, people on Twitter love kale.
Experiment 1 with Fresh 20, successful!
I have some recent writing news bits.
We don’t know how to talk about children in a short essay, Eleven, at The Rumpus.
I have a short story about falling satellites in Wag’s Revue.
I wrote an essay about when writers reject rejection in Kugelmass, a print magazine, so maybe buy it.
Pinch nominated me for a Pushcart for my story Sweet on the Tongue in Issue 32.2. Thank you,Pinch!