Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ode to Nigella

One of my friends, W., has recently discovered the talented and lovely Nigella. He heard her voice one afternoon on NPR and was drowned in its robust Britishness. As a neigh-sayer he figured that she was probably all voice, but after a gander on the Internet he found her to be the new object of his fantasy affections.

The next day when he confessed his indecent ideas to me (he had already told his wife who balked and kept on cooking her beans and rice) I told him I knew all about Nigella. Someone said that she is an object of desire for both men and women; men want to be with her while women want to be her. I know R. even had a teeny crush on her, though she is a bit chunky for his tastes. Never one to shrug off a gift, I would love to be her, I admit it. At least to have just a dash of her personality and rounded figure.

A recurring daydream of mine is to have my own cooking show on the Food Network. Not a chef or really even a cook, I love to cook and find it all so Zen. Even when I am stressed out, sad or just plain frustrated, I find cooking calms my soul. When I mentioned this in Weight Watchers the leader scoffed saying that “food is not the answer when you are upset.” I agreed, but added, “Eating your feelings isn’t the answer, but sautéing, roasting or chopping them away is, for me.” I think only those who love to dabble in the kitchen can understand.

Another article I saw referred to Ms. L as the ‘Queen of Food Porn” I love it. Food, cookbooks, cooking shows, talking about food, cooking are all so sensual to me that even making my shopping list can be considered orgasmic. One of my favorite past times is to get a load of cookbooks from the library, a bottle of wine and a free Friday or Saturday night and peruse. God it is heaven.

And what I love about this British biscuit bombshell is that she makes no apologies for her curvy figure and voluptuous assets. Though quite a few heads taller than me, she handles body well and emphasizes her sensuality in each movement, caress of the food, smile and wink at the camera, and sexy enunciation of the edible words. It’s like the foreplay. Unfortunately most men I have dated only care about the main event and skip the fondling, sweet nothings and sizzle that revs it up. But Ms. L would never allow that in her kitchen.

Oh to be Nigella; beautiful, smart, sexy and all with a sweet smile. That is who I want to be. Until then, I will just have to be a cheap copy.

With that, here is a recipe I made the other night and loved. Enjoy!

Rainbow Salad
This was concocted on a night when I was really hungry and didn’t want to go off plan so I only had about 4 points to use. I made a huge batch and ate it the next day, a surefire way to stay on track.

Lettuce (I used one bag of iceberg jazzed with carrots and one romaine heart)
Cucumbers (I like the pickling and hot house kinds since they aren’t waxed)
Red and green Cubanelle peppers
Shredded carrots
Sliced celery
About 3 medium pickles
10 or so Kalamata olives
Half a jar of pickled beets (sliced)
Half a jar of vinegar-marinated mushrooms (chopped)
1 can or artichoke hearts (chopped)
1 can of hearts of palm (cut)
1 can of sliced green beans
3TBSP of grated parmesan

I mixed it all together in a big bowl and seasoned with salt and pepper. Then came the dressing.

1 part grapefruit juice
1 part lime juice
3 parts olive oil
Salt and pepper
Dash of cumin

I find it easiest to make my dressing in a jar and shake away. The I put a light coat on the salad, tossed with my hands and voila! A fantastic salad with lots of textures, tastes and only 2 points. For lunch the next day, I spruced it up with a chicken breast and the next day I put in some feta. Use any vegetables you like (but I must admit I am hooked on pickled beets ever since North Carolina.)

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