Saturday, October 19, 2013

Living With a Picky Eater

A happy man with his liquid-egg omelet and red grape juice. 

Living with a picky eater when you're a food blogger is quite a challenge. My husband Jeff, ultra-inventive when it comes to his artistic passions--photography, videography, writing and music--not only would be happy to eat the same thing for breakfast, lunch and dinner; he often does! When I ask him if he doesn't get a little bored dining on the same fare so frequently he looks at me blankly and says, "Well, I've been married to you for all these years, haven't I?" Nice guy.

Jeff's favorite Welch's Red 100% Grape Juice in his beloved Porky Pig glass.

Among the things he won't eat: most vegetables, many fruits, fish, beef, pork, lamb and anything with sugar in it before noon--this last because he says it disagrees with him until after lunch. Among his favorites, in no particular order: unflavored rice cakes, rye bread, succotash (or Trader Joe's Soycutash), carrots, lemons, apples, unsweetened cereal (usually dry, eaten out of a large plastic cup--but never for breakfast--with Crispix being his favorite), liquid eggs (more on that later), cheese (but not cream or stinky kinds), roasted unsalted almonds, Progresso soup (lentil, minestrone and chicken tortilla, though he admits when pushed that he likes my homemade versions better), chicken, turkey, and black-bean veggie burgers. Jeff's drinks of choice are Diet Coke or Welch's Red 100% Grape Juice; he doesn't like the purple variety and since none of our local supermarkets stock the red anymore, we order it by the case, courtesy of the very obliging local supermarket chain, Gelson's. He does love sweets, particularly chocolate, and has an abiding weakness for a candy bar he enjoyed growing up in New York City, Goldenberg's Peanut Chews. Oh, yes, hubby also doesn't touch alcohol or coffee, about which he teases me by calling it "dirty water." What a joker!

Now, you ask, how can I remain married to this fussy man? Well, truth be told, he's pretty easy to please if you make him approximately the same thing every day, or allow him to whip it up himself. Imagine, if you will, that though cooking is one of your passions, you're too tired to put together a dinner one evening. In totters hubby from his home office and happily throws several Morningstar Spicy Black Bean Burgers in the skillet, sprinkles them with lemon juice, takes a second pan and pours in a generous amount of Trader Joe's frozen Soycutash--a blend of corn, red peppers and edamame--more lemon juice plus some Parmesan and faster than you can say, "voila!", dinner's on the table--no fuss, no muss. It's pretty good, and if you want it again the next night, the chef is happy to oblige.

Ingredients for Jeff's favorite morning omelet, plus cheese.

But since we began with dinner, let's backtrack and talk about breakfast--and we'll end with a simple recipe for Jeff's signature morning dish, an omelet made with three ingredients--really two if you don't count the spray of oil in the nonstick ceramic pan:

The Liquid Egg Omelet


Oil Spray
Egg substitute
Parmesan Cheese


1) Spray a nonstick omelet pan with oil. Warm on medium for a few seconds. Pour egg substitute into the pan (my hubby uses Trader Joe's Nulaid ReddiEgg, sometimes adding some liquid egg whites from another carton and once in a while a whole egg, with the amount depending on whether he's sharing it with me).

2) Sprinkle grated Parmesan on top (Jeff uses Trader Giotto's Parmesan & Romano blend) to taste. (Notice: no salt, spices or other additions in this simple 5-minute version, but feel free to add them to yours!)

3) Let eggs firm up a little, then tilt the pan in various directions, lifting the edges to let the liquid slide into the spaces (often I sneak in and do this part when hubby's distracted).

4) Flip omelet over to brown on the other side, or flip over on itself to create the typical omelet shape (though sometimes the omelet falls apart and then you have scrambled).

5) Slide onto a plate and drink with a glass of red grape juice diluted with a little sparkling water.

And that's breakfast a la Jeff!

That's all, folks!

Please check out my audio interviews with my husband on his food and restaurant picks:

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