A little over two years ago, I took an office job. I was not physically fit exactly but I wasn’t doing too badly for myself. At the time, I was also a very active cigarette smoker. In December 2013, on Christmas, I stopped using cigarettes. I continued working in the office and I began to replace my smoke breaks with candy breaks. I ate poorly and drank too much alcohol. I did not exercise.
So yes, no more cigarettes. Now, I am as fat as Hell and I can’t stand it. I have been in the guilt and shame spiral lately as I struggle to change my diet and start exercising. I eat really well for a few days and exercise and then comes a bad day at work or home and into the bottom of a bag of potato chips I will go. I am working on it. I am trying. Well… That’s a little bullshit there. I think I am thinking of trying more often than I am doing. There is a lot of internal conversation over here, daily, about starting tomorrow and since I am starting tomorrow, I am just going to go nuts on this processed ass-fattening meat product of heart death.
Anyway. The initial consideration I had was to make a blog documenting a fat guy who had previous weight problems, overcame them, quit smoking and sat in an office, reacquired the weight problems, and was trying to do something about it. Well, I am not going to do that. I am not going to do that because I am afraid of not following through on a public forum and looking like an asshole. The bottom line is this: I feel like shit and I look terrible and I am trying to do something about it. I am not going to belabor you with the strugglebus ride I am taking to an attempted new fitness. So, why am I even mentioning this then?
Because healthy eating is actually awesome. It tastes really good. The world of flavors in vegetables, legumes, and grains is staggering. I want to explore it further. And that’s what this blog is about – exploring. If I put upon myself the notion that I need to post something on this new blog and that I need to create recipes to share with you and talk about with you– I think that will help me on my strugglebus ride. I can pretend all of you anonymous readers are my support group. And I can do this while talking about cooking and chemistry and fun things in the kitchen.
Worst comes to worst? I can bag the endeavor and post some nonsense about bacon lattices and ranch dressing and then go to Applebees, order something glazed, cry oily tears from my buttery face and die on the bathroom floor. Let’s see what happens. Today I am going to share a recipe I threw together to freeze in these plastic containers with ridiculous pastel designs to serve as lunches this week.
Chorizo and Black Beans.
1 pound chorizo (I am using a turkey variant from Mr. Bill’s in the A-Town Farmers Market)
1 large onion (Seriously, like softball size. Or use two medium ones.)
4 cloves of garlic
3 dried chiles (Or use some fresh jalapenos)
1 cup vegetable stock
2 cans black beans
1 tablespoon of Cumin
Pepper (You better have purchased that grinder by now)
Chipotle Hot Sauce (I love Tabasco’s)
Pickled Jalapeno liquid (optional)
1/2 cup beer (optional)
Please Note: An easy vegetarian variant of this dish is possible (and still delicious) – just omit chorizo.
1. Take your dried chiles, cut the ends off and pour the seeds out. Cut them into strips and place them in a microwave safe bowl. Add the 1 cup of vegetable stock and microwave it for 2 minutes.
2. Slice the chorizo into pieces. Make them the size/shape you want but not more than an inch. I try to make little rounds but turkey sausage slices seem to become little meatballs, but whatever. Brown the chorizo in the pan. When it’s browned and mostly cooked through remove it with a slotted spoon. Put it in a bowl somewhere away from the cat.
3. Chop the onion and mince the garlic. Add the onion to the chorizo renderings and listen to it sizzle and smell all the awesome onion smells. Salt and pepper the onion. (I love how the smell of onions cooking changes as the process goes on.) Cook the onion until it gets to summer fair fried onion smell. Reduce the heat to medium and add the minced garlic.
4. Dump the chile stock into the blender and thoroughly puree it.
5. Pour the puree into the onions and garlic and stir on medium heat for two minutes. Add cumin and stir for one minute. Add ½ cup of beer and couple teaspoons pickled jalapeno juice. Stir to combine. Dump cans (liquid included) of black beans into the pan and stir it all together. Hit it with as much chipotle hot sauce as you want. Get it good and bubbling. Then, reduce heat and let it simmer 10 minutes, covered. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and burning.
6. After ten minutes, reintroduce the chorizo. Stir it up real good. 5 minutes.
If you want to freeze it for lunch during the week, let it cool and then do that.
If you want to serve and eat. Then you better have already made rice. And it better be brown rice. And you better have put a bay leaf in it. And then you better make a brown rice bed to lay your chorizo and black beans on and then you better top it with some fresh chopped cilantro and lime juice.