The Chopped Effect

I am seriously addicted to Chopped on The Food Network. I have my DVR recording all episodes. Man, they play the show a lot! I have to preview my recordings and cancel the episodes I've already seen or I think I would hit my space limit.

The show has actually made an impact on how I cook. It's really challenging to get excited about cooking for one person so I usually go with really simple meals. Spaghetti and noodles. Steak and a veggie. Frozen dinner. Cheese and crackers. Fried potatoes with salsa. Greens in bacon. Occasionally, I'll actually make a mixed salad but that's about how crazy it gets.

However, seeing how they whip up colorful and tasty dishes in really not that much time has inspired me to make more of an effort in my meal preparation.

One night, I diced up a cucumber, tomatoes and celery and dressed it with a vinaigrette for my side dish. Beautiful, full of texture, tasty and healthy. Another morning, instead of my simple fried potatoes and onions, I diced up a red potato, a yukon gold and a sweet potato and cooked them with garlic and white onion. The colors made it quite lovely and I liked the combination of the different potato flavors.

What I haven't done yet, but want to, is to make a puree. That seems to be the go-to answer on the show with the weird ingredients. I think I might try it with one of the greens I get with my organic fruit and veggie delivery.

I'm going to be sad when I've seen all of the episodes. Maybe I'll try another cooking show after that but most of them are so fake to me. "You can make this dish in 20 minutes!" Yeah, if I have some do all the ingredient prep work for me!


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