Tonight I made spinach and black bean quesadillas for dinner. I've made this recipe several times, and the results are good. At least, the Man and I like them, especially with fresh salsa. Jack? Not so much. Will? Don't ask. Still, I keep dreaming this is the kind of food my boys will take to: healthy, vegetarian, full of fiber and spinach goodness.
The thing is about these quesadillas, they're a pain in the tuckus to cook. Have you ever tried flipping two tortillas vaguely strung together by a little cheddar cheese and filled up with beans? Believe you me: the beans go flying. Not to mention that this is a supposedly low fat meal (I may tuck in slightly more cheese than the recipe calls for; sue me), so there's not a film of butter or oil on the pan making the tortillas easy to move around. No, it's cooking spray all the way.
So the frustrated flipping is overlaid in an aura of smoke from the tortilla bits burning on the pan. And it ends up taking a long time to cook the quesadillas because you can only do one at a time.
Tonight, as I was fixing them, I had this thought: Why do I cook stuff that's no fun to cook? Fortunately, spinach and black bean quesadillas are yummy (yes, Jack and Will, they are), so it's not like those awful meals that take forever to prepare and then sit there flabby and tasteless on your plate, and you feel so defeated you want to weep. But still, by the time dinner was over, I was tired and listless. Maybe I'd inhaled too much smoke from the pan, I don't know.
You know what I love to make? A Cobb Salad. You bake a few chicken breasts (and over the years I've learned how to do this so that the chicken breasts are nice and juicy, but still fully cooked), and the rest is pretty much just chopping. I like chopping. I pretend like I'm Julia Child and have a grand old time. I make a nice vinaigrette, feeling very urbane as I do, and voila! Dinner is served, and everyone loves it. Not a bit of smoke in my hair, either.
I don't have any big point to make here; I'm just pondering what the proper balance is between effort and end product. Really, what I'm pondering is why we don't order out more. Or why we don't embrace the raw food movement. No more cooking or baking! Just chopping! And chewing!
Somebody pass me a carrot.