My New Iron BFF.

Sweet potato greens.
I had previously written about how I borrowed my friend's cast iron pan over this summer in order to keep my sanity. I mean, cook.
When I arrived back in Jacksonville and found my own place, I realized that keeping my sanity not only served me well, it was actually quite enjoyable. So I decided to keep on cooking- with my own cast iron pan. A simple 8 inch pan.
My cast iron pan stays on top on my stove. I don't ever put it away, as I use it for pretty much everything I cook. Bacon for the beans, eggs, spanish tortilla, mexican tortillas, granola in the oven,  meat, corn bread, roasted chicken, vegetables, greens... all I need to do, when done cooking, is rinse it, without soap, and put it on the hot burner for half a minute for it to dry. Done. It goes hand in hand with living simply, using my time efficiently, and eating well. Good, wholesome, tasty food that is nourishing, fresh, and free of crap- pesticides, hormones, antibiotics. Food that is not processed.
Roasted chicken.
My challenge living alone, or even when I have my children with me, is to eat a broad, good-quality variety of food, especially when it comes to vegetables. It is so easy to say to myself ''oh, this is so complicated to make, it takes so long, I don't have the time, I need to study, I want to go climb, I just want to go ride or run, I am too tired to deal...''  I don't want to commit to hours in the kitchen. I already must wash all dishes by hand, mine and my kids'- that takes time. I don't want to toil all day in the kitchen, I am done with that part of my life. But I still want, and need for my own and my children's health, to eat well. Bling! Along comes my BFF!
Portabello in coconut oil.
My BFF can cook anything in minutes. Baby spinach that is about to go bad because the package is too goddamn big for me to eat it all as salad? Throw it in the cast iron with butter. Sweet potato greens from the local farm that only last a few days before turning brown? Cast iron with olive oil. Left over mushrooms that my son asked me to buy and never ate? Cast iron with butter. My daughter doesn't want to eat anything for breakfast? Throw her in the cast iron. Just kidding, throw some eggs in the cast iron, and let her cook them. Zucchini, peppers, eggplants, onions, garlic... sautée them with the fat of choice on high heat, and no matter what kind of vegetables they may be, simple or complicated, they are ready to eat in a few minutes. Serve over, or with, quinoa, roasted potatoes, farro salad, rice, chicken, meat, pasta... the choices are infinite.
Thank you, cast iron, for being there for me. Your companionship and loyalty is deeply appreciated. Even if you burn me sometimes- I understand.

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