Orange you glad I wrote this blog?

When I was a baby I went through a phase where I’d only eat orange foods. I also went through a phase where I rubbed leftover white foods all over my body. My mom tells me she’d sit me in my high chair wearing only a diaper whenever she fed me oatmeal or banana and marshmallow fluff sandwiches.

Anyway, apparently I ate such an abundance of orange foods-squash, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and carrots, that my skin achieved the hue of a Jersey Shore cast member in the absence of a spray tan. I wish the habit of eating plenty of orange foods carried on into adulthood, but it’s only been relatively recent that I renewed my love for orange veg.

Sorry for the excessive repetition of the word “orange.” As a writer, it’s important to ensure there’s a good variety of vocabulary to keep your audience interested, am I right? But there are no synonyms, just like there’s nothing that rhymes with it.

Whole, naturally orange foods (i.e. NOT Cheetos) are rich in nutrients, especially Vitamin A, which is good for the eyes, skin, and reduction of inflammation.

Yesterday at work, for the first time in forever, I was afforded the joy of an uninterrupted meal time. I feasted on a modest portion of pasta, adorned in broccoli, carrot, and perfectly cooked sweet potatoes. I called the dish “What’s in the Fridge?” because it’s essentially all that’s left in there aside from condiments. I have four types of mustard and nothing to dunk in them. I think I’m getting off track again. What I was trying to say was that the sweet potatoes-good god the sweet potatoes, they were by far the star of my meal. I sliced them into quarter-inch thick circles and seasoned them with salt and pepper only, baked them until their sweet, syrupy juices bubbled in the oven, and that was it. Simple and delicious.

So I vowed to eat more orange. It works out well for now, considering there’s not much else in my kitchen to eat-a few cans of pumpkin, frozen carrots, and a medium-sized butternut squash. There’s also a six-pack of Leinenkugel Harvest Patch Shandy, which has orange on the label. Today is orange day.

I got a little distracted this morning and ended up skipping breakfast, a habit I’ve been trying to kick for awhile. A lot of people are into the intermittent fasting thing these days, claiming that skipping their first meal provides them with extra energy and superhuman lightness or something like that, but for my body skipping breakfast contributes to fatigue and increases the chances that I’ll make poor food choices for the rest of the day.

I realized I was hungry a little bit after posting a blog about nothing in particular and decided to hit the default button and make something super easy-a smoothie. Even though the weather’s been chilly, I can appreciate a smoothie in any season. I autumn-ed this one up, throwing in the blender a delightful mix of frozen banana, canned pumpkin, maple syrup, ground flaxseed, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and some allspice. I topped it with some chopped pecans, raisins, and a little more cinnamon, which I choked on during my first sip. It was delicious. It almost made me accept that fall was here. I’ll probably accept it fully as soon as winter hits. And I will never accept winter. Never.

I casually knocked back a couple of beers while picking up around the house, put on music and shimmied in the hopes that dancing might convince me I was having a fun time being an adult. The strenuous work built up an appetite, so I decided to make a counterproductive mess in the kitchen and concoct some butternut squash soup.

It was delicious. See, I wish I had photographic evidence. I really planned to. This is why I’ll never make it as a vegan Instagram celebrity. I don’t have a smartphone to take those cute square photos, and I don’t have the willpower to keep from eating food that’s sitting right in front of me begging for consumption. A friend at work suggested I start putting recipes on here. But I don’t really follow recipes. I just add things until it tastes the way I want it to, and nothing ever tastes the same as it did the previous time.

But what I can do is tell you all about it. I roasted the squash in the oven until it was all soft and syrupy just like the sweet potatoes. I threw it in the blender, like a hot smoothie, with veggie broth, sauteed garlic and onion, sage, a pinch of nutmeg, and the tiniest amount of maple syrup. That was it. Once again, simple and delicious. Before serving it I added a couple shakes of red chili flakes and some white navy beans I had to use up. Used ye olde toaster and crisped up some whole grain bread for dipping and I was ready to chow. Although the dish was easy enough for the worst cook to master, it was one of the most satisfying meals I’ve eaten in a long time.

Orange foods. They’re pretty great. I guess it’s the season for them, too, which I’ve never understood. You know you can enjoy pumpkin-flavored things all year round, right? There’s always canned pumpkin at the grocery store. Even I know this, but find myself brainwashed like the rest of society into eating so-labeled seasonal foods only when it’s acceptable to do so. No more, my friends! I’m breaking the chains and eating canned pumpkin in July!





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