So two years is an acceptable amount of time to not cook anything interesting, apparently.
Truth be told, we have fallen into some really bad habits of eating terribly and also eating out WAY too much. Recently Justin and I decided enough was enough. We went on an insane crash  totally normal and nutritionally balanced diet, lost a good amount of weight and decided we couldn't go back to our old ways. The purpose of the diet was to lose weight, of course, but also to break us of terrible habits like soda and fast food multiple times a week. So now it's been about a week of getting back to eating normally and I find that it's not as tough as I thought, I simply am not craving all the bad stuff as much anymore. The main thing has been simply eating less during meals and less snacking throughout the day. The second step was picking up some good recipes that incorporated not only stuff that was low calorie but also maybe...good for us?

I picked up Mark Bittman's Food Matters  and that gave me a great jumping off point. Understanding why certain foods are bad (or good, for that matter) has helped inform a lot of the decisions I have made about cooking and eating. The main thing is that it took off an enormous amount of pressure to have a meat or protein with each meal. I have been stuck in a rut of protein and carbs for each meal and this opens up so many doors for experimenting with different ideas. I am hoping this good streak of eating well and avoiding junk will stick around. I also find that knowing that we're eating well most of the time will make splurging so much more enjoyable!

Here's one of the recipes I started with, adapted from Food Matters:

Spinach and Sweet Potato Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

2-3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
Salt and pepper
1/4 C Olive Oil
2-3 slices of bacon
1 shallot or small onion, minced
1 bag fresh spinach (I did not have spinach so I used one head of romaine, chopped. I think spinach would be better but it tasted fine)
1-2 TBSP red wine vinegar

Toss the potatoes in olive oil and salt/pepper. Roast in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes until crisp, turning as needed (mine were not perfectly crisp, didn't matter)
In a skillet, cook the bacon, drain on a paper towel. Crumble or chop.
Put the shallots/onion in the skillet and brown for about 10 minutes or so
Add the red wine vinegar and whisk (there was not much to whisk for me, but it was enough to incorporate the flavor) Add the bacon back into the skillet.

Add the spinach or whatever green you're using to a large bowl. Once the potatoes are done toss them on top of the salad. Pour the bacon/dressing over the salad and toss. Add pepper is desired.

This recipe is very adaptable. The original calls for bell peppers, ginger, and orange juice, none of which I had on hand and omitted. The combo of sweet potato and bacon is amazing. If you wanted to go even healthier you could leave out the bacon and use a simple vinaigrette in its place. I don't think the addition of 2 slices of  bacon is a deal breaker, however.