Fennel Meat Loaf “Muffins”, Ikea, and “Fascinations”

"meaty" muffins

My dad’s house (which I suppose is mine too, but I dont live there anymore) was just painted and all the furniture except those in the bedroom were taken out. Hence my dad currently has no internet, no kitchen, and basically nothing outside his bedroom and walk in closet. As you can imagine, this leaves him incredibly bored and sick of watching cnn. So I suppose this is why he was up for some “bonding” time with me this saturday. My dad and I are not really into sports or anything, so we “bond” by browsing furniture disneylands. For example, today we ventured……….

Is is strange I secretly want to live in an Ikea showroom?


I think Ikea maybe overhyped and I do think some of their furniture is rather crappy, but I admit, I get giddy when I go there. I think I’m oddly fascinated by all things Swedish. I’ve asked my dad several times if we have any Swedish relatives, but alas, the farthest north as far as my family goes is the Netherlands. Anyhow, I didnt need anything, and I’m not a big buyer in general, but I did need a new pillow. So I test the merchandise:

Yes, people starred at the middle aged man taking a picture of a weird girl sleeping on the display

Hey, I had to take it on a test run! I dont know if you all do this too, but I will sometimes browse a store, ANY store, not just food or furniture related, and end up buying nothing, or something as simple as a pillow. The one exception to this is Top Shop in Oxford Circus in London. I know that Top Shop very well and they have an amazing vintage clothing section that I just cant leave buying only one thing from.

Anyhow……heres some Swedish food for you to drool over, although I dont promise its that “drool” worthy:

actually, this jam IS drool worthy!

This bread looked cool, like a Swedish version of lavash

I'm not a fan of muesli, but maybe since it IS Swedish....

ok, I love fish, but I think I'd pass on this....

Anyhow, speaking of “fascinations” I wanted to address one I have noticed swirling around the blogosphere (and actually, the Western world).

Eating Disorders

Now I’m not a psychologist, so I cannot diagnose anyone, but I’ve noticed a lot of people who dont have an eating disorder “lurking” and seemingly “fascinated” by all these “recovery blogs”. For the record, I do not wish to be classified as a “recovery blog”. Even though it is something I’m working on, I hope to fuse together my thoughts, cooking, yoga, humor, and sure, maybe some recovery insights. But its really amazing how seemingly normal (or at least, claim to be, eating wise) people lurk blogs about eating disorders. Personally, when I got out of treatment and started being open with people about my issues, I started to feel like a museum. At first, it was helpful to tell people what my treatment was like, how I got there, etc. But after a while, I was “fed up” (yep, pun intended!) and I just wanted to hand people a brochure so I could rest my mouth. My dad is guilty of these fascinations. When he took me on a pass while I was in treatment, I found a receipt in the backseat of his car with about seven eating disorder and recovery books. Granted, I know he is my father, and naturally, is curious about what his daughter is going through, but I find MANY people wanting to learn and examine these disorders more and more.

But you know what? I dont blame them.

It is rather fascinating that some people find it so hard to do the most basic thing for human survival. That some people can’t stop counting numbers, miles, calories, fat/protein/carb grams, pounds, etc. That some people make controlling their weight or their exercise a hobby. That some people are more scarred of eating a sandwich than being struck by lightning. It IS fascinating!

But I think my point is, is that there are more fascinating things out there. Yoga is a start (and I will be answering some more questions from the giveaway tomorrow). Nature, literature, travel, film, history, botany, etc…. I think its fine that people are curious about the disorder, but sometimes, I wonder if its because there’s a little “disordered” seed within them. Not pointing any fingers, just sayin. I appreciate people being open to listen to stories of recovery, perhaps it will squash some stereotypes about them. But I just hope other people won’t feel like “museums” as well. It’s a rather sad exhibit!

Like I’ve said, I’m very fascinated by Sweden. Do you have any weird or unusual fascinations?

On to some food, also a fascination…..

fennel grating action

The fennel turkey meatloaf muffins are super simple! If your vegetarian, you can substitute black or navy beans and 1/4cup flaxmeal as a binder. Otherwise blend

-1.25 pounds of ground turkey (no clue why everybody sells it at that same exact weight)

-1 large fennel, grated or finely chopped

-1 large zucchini. grated or finely chopped

-a few spoonfuls of salsa or tomato sauce

-hefty dashes of garlic and onion powder, salt, peper, cumin, and dried (or fresh rosemary)

Mix it up and bake at 400 for 30-40 min, it will take about 20 min if you do the vegetarian version!

Makes about six “muffins”

19 thoughts on “Fennel Meat Loaf “Muffins”, Ikea, and “Fascinations”

  1. These meatloaves look awesome. You are such a great cook. I would love to go to culinary school, but I feel that everyone would be against it and tell me I am wasting my money. But if I can find a scholarship? Maybe I will do it!
    You are right, yoga is much more fascinating that recovery. I am excited for a giveaway! Does it have anything to do with yoga?

    • O, I meant the stevia NuNaturals giveaway. You should TOTALLY go to culinary school, I know youd love it and its worth every penny, more so than some universities I think

  2. I am fascinated with the designers of Ikea, rather than Ikea itself. That place is such a maze and yet is so inviting. I can imagine how much research went into planning that giant place.

    I love that your dad and you bond over furniture. My dad and I love to chat about stock market movement. Random, yes?

  3. what a great recipe!!
    IKEA is incredible- i do not understand how perfectly it works
    eating disorders are super fascinating .. thats why i want to work w. them when i grow up!

  4. Eating disorders are fascinating, true. Not so much when you have actually been through one. I just don’t get the hype anymore. There are other fascinating things, like the show I was watching that just featured a guy with a balloon fetish. Minds are so out there.

    I love that you bond with your father over Ikea. I bond with mine on a bass boat while fishing and on the golf course, which I happen to suck at. Good times! 🙂

  5. I don’t know if people seek out eating disorders or if every food blogger has had one. Now their blog is just a hidden and “healthy” way to say they don’t have one anymore. When taking pics and drooling over food is not normal for most people. There ARE the extremes of people who have had a serious disorder and are making a recovery like you. I have had one but can honestly say I will never go back to that place in my life. Although training for comps etc…is another disorder for me I think. Oh well…at least i’m eating and not throwing up right? I am still over cardioing and restricting certain times but it is fascinating. So yep, you’re right LMAO!! I swear i’m blonde sometimes.

    I’ve never been to Ikea!! I suck!

  6. People do tend to have a fascination with anything that’s abnormal, but I think that a lot of the healthy living bloggers visit recovery blogs because to some extent, they probably all struggle with eating issues of their own, and can relate to what they’re reading to a certain degree. I mean, you do kind of have to have some issues with food to constantly be talking about it, reading about it, taking pictures of it… I’m actually getting kind of tired of tired of food being such a salient aspect of my life, which is why blogging is becoming more and more of a struggle for me, I think. Being part of the blog world kind of forces you to really live like food is the most important thing in life, when in reality, there are so many other beautiful things out there, and are we missing out by taking pictures of our sandwiches? I donno…

    I’ve always been fascinated by the human mind, which is why I majored in psychology I guess. The minds of serial killers actually fascinate me quite a bit… it’s just crazy how they can do what they do with absolutely no emotional reaction… creepy.

  7. I think people “lurk” the eating-disorder blogs because they might have problems that they fail to confess to (publicly or to the self). OR, some people can relate in some teeny-tiny way to ONE aspect of the person (maybe compulsive behaviors, or feeling dissatisfied in life, etc). But I definitely think that a lot more people (than they care to admit) have had, or do have , “issues” with it all, know what I mean?
    I can’t really relate to the “eating disorder” blogs….I can relate to certain aspects, but not that whole grand picture.I don’t visit the ones caught right up in it anymore, cause its kinda depressing to be honest. I think it can be hard for people not to get too wrapped up in it and become pigeon-holed.
    Like you said, if food is going to be talked about, make it fun and free. Otherwise, holy crap…all the stuff in the world that is so much more interesting/important (film, books, silly thoughts, serious world discussions, having no car, ha..anything). I think exploring other things and ‘getting outside of one’s head” can be profound.

  8. oh we all are a little messed up in the head with food and exercise. Society has engraved it in us. You can’t escape it. But I do think you can find peace with yourself and freely speak about it. Which is why I love your blog, honesty and openness. Its comforting. Oh and of course, your lovely humor, gotta love that!!

    IKEA is like furniture version of froyo, too many flavor choices and toppings that you just can’t escape. You want them all! haha.

  9. I think it’s great you and your dad can just get together and go hang out like that. For some reason anytime I get together with my dad, there has to be some sort of plan: like a family lunch, the lake, family dinner, him coming to my town for one reason or another then getting together for lunch. Typically food is involved obviously.

  10. I agree with you and many of the comments above. While I do find human psychology fascinating in general and am guilty of being a bit too introspective at times, I agree that there is some sort of fascination with eating disorders. I think maybe it’s because it does deal with such basic issues as food, exercise, etc. and so “disorder” can occur on a grand spectrum. Everyone has to eat, so everyone can at least relate a little bit. That said, many disordered behaviors can also be masked with the “being healthy” label. It’s confusing.

    For me, I may be dealing with OCD/ED stuff, but it doesn’t define me. I think that’s why I’m having a bit of blog ambivalence lately in that I’m tired of talking/reading about it all the time. There is so much more out there to all of us that at times, I just don’t even want to address it. It will always be there and I’m not ignoring it, but I do want to be able to focus on everything else. I’m rambling. Good post 😉

  11. I watched the movie too and I read the book many many times. I liked the movie, didn’t love it. It was fun for me because I was with my sister. I must say that I like the book better (as usual), the scenes that I imagined in my head is better than what came out in the movie, even with Julia Roberts and all.

    Before I started reading blogs, I did not know a lot of people with ED or knew too much about the topic. Now, I am more aware of it because of the things people write on their blogs. I don’t label blogs, whether it’s a recovery blog or not. I think in general we all want the same goal, to be healthy and happy 🙂 And everyone has their own journey .

  12. It’s funny, I find nothing fascinating about an eating disorder, be it my own or anyone else’s. I guess because I’ve been “in it” for so many years (off and on since I was 18, so nearly 17 years), and at this point, I just find it BORING as hell. Just my two cents’ worth.
    Yum, your meatloaf muffins sound scrumptious! I love fennel, and have definitely been looking for more ways to incorporate it into recipes. I’ll be passing this one along to the spouse–he’s the main chef in this abode! 🙂

  13. It IS weird, a bit. I’ve actually come across a lot of people that were never diagnosed with a disorder, but used to be probably close to it, and now are kind of thinking wistfully back on those times when they were skinny. Hm.

    When I first started my blog the whole disorder thing was a secret, and it’s come out over time. I was never in treatment, but I should have been.

    I’m actually getting really sick of writing about food and eating and I think I would rather write about shiznit like yoga, music, linguistics, etc… Stuff that I don’t get obsessive over but are super interesting to me. And coffee. I love coffee.

    I think there are people that like watching other people fail, too. And they want to see why the other people are failing, and maybe what they can do to avoid it. Or just because reading a lot of eating disorder blogs is like watching a car wreck – you just can’t look away.

    Rambling now 😉

  14. I’ve struggled with emotional eating quite a bit–I don’t think I’d classify it as an eating disorder, as I’m just as apt to throw a toddler-style tantrum (not unlike I did this morning where I was throwing books and hangers around because I’d effed-up my blog), as I am to shovel a bagful of potato chips or half a gallon of ice cream into my craw. I don’t seek out ED or recovery blogs–Quite frankly, I just like to read about food and find inspirations for new recipes I can try out on my family.

    As for other weird fascinations…As I state on my “About Me” page, I have minor obsessions with Watergate and Bob Woodward. Major obsessions include anything from the British Isles, especially all things Scottish or Irish, and serial killers (I was a criminology major in college, and the criminal mind fascinates me). I also go nuts for all things plaid, and anything with a black & white checked or houndstooth pattern. And I like collecting coffee cups.

  15. I’m so glad I came across this recipe- I just wrote it down and plan on making it one night this week for dinner- my bf loves meatloaf, but I rarely make it b/c I don’t eat ground beef- so I think this will be a good compromise!

  16. I am fascinated with Ikea- I always find something I “need”/want!! I am eating a slight variation of these Turkey muffins, but added bran and egg whites, along with the fennel/rosemary etc! I think it is really nice that your dad bought those books in attempts to try to ‘learn’ about ED, so he can better understand and help you. It shows he cares! Otherwise, I totally agree with the SICK fascination with Eating Disorders. Look how many tabloids sell when they list a so-called ‘Anorexic celeb’. It’s disgusting!

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