Eating Alone In Half The Time

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May 19th, 2009 · 2 Comments

Sorry about that, but the roasted peanut-cayenne-za’atar(za’artar)-cheese sauce for the burger was so good I could not put it down. Normally I can conquer that problem by not tasting before the shoot. But this time, either the test bite was too big and left only 3/4 of the burger, or the sauce had spread over the plate too far, or… Well, clearly, a photograph of it was just not meant to be. Remind me to make it again.


peanutsauce.jpg Peanut Sauce on Eggplant. I finally re-made my peanut sauce. Complements the eggplant perfectly. A word first about the eggplant. Always cut different size slices – for three reasons: First, unless you are a machine (or using one) the slices will not be the same height anyway. Making them substantially different gets away from the premise that you failed to cut them evenly. Second, it adds a bit of élan to the plate. Third, if some are under or over cooked, at least you have the rest so not all is lost. Which brings me to the main point here. The skin. Unless you get the skin cooked, the concept is lost. Which means that you want to cook the eggplant on a low flame with the heavy cover on most of the time. Get the oil (olive oil with a dash of sesame oil) very hot. Put each piece in and immediately turn it over. You want to get oil of both sides and not just the first side which acts like a sponge forcing the addition of more oil which you do not want. The other way of course, is to brush oil on each before putting in the pan. But that’s the intelligent way and no one is consistently that smart. Now the sauce. Good dry roasted peanuts from a trusted source, washed and placed in a small amount of oil, flour, milk which is heating on low flame. Once you have overcome the problem of lumps, too little liquid, etc, start adding the spices. My favorite adage “remember, you can always add more”. Be careful here because you have very little sauce being generated and these spices go a long way. Cayenne pepper, Turmeric, black pepper, ginger, za’atar or thyme, salt, and a quarter teaspoon of honey. Most people overdo on this. Of course, I am the only one who has ever tried this recipe :).


avocadocheeseomelet.jpg CheesAv Folded Omelet. Cheese, avocado, 2 eggs, (tsp milk, tsp flour – you can leave this out), tsp brewer’s yeast (vitamin Bs), small amount of turmeric and black pepper (cancer prevention and more), cayenne pepper, thyme (anti everything). The orange is in bite sized holders so that you will get some of the white part of the peel. 
“An orange has over 170 different phytonutrients and more than 60 flavonoids, many of which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour and blood clot inhibiting properties, as well as strong antioxidant effects.” There is greater absorption of the nutrients when the actual orange is eaten rather than getting the vitamins by supplement. In research on flavanone in oranges, the herperidin molecule which is anti-inflammatory is found in the peel and white pulp of the orange peel rather than in the juice.”
 But, if you are bent on joining your ancestors, forget oranges – or any citrus, or greens for that matter, and concentrate on what a friend of mine wrote he had for lunch “Just finished eating a greasy, oily cheese sandwich”.



brocandvegdogs.jpg BaseCamp. Walnut Broccoli. Soy, mushrooms, onion, garlic, broccoli. Any number of sauces can be put on this, or soy sauce as I did.


Za’atar (Arabic: زعتر‎), also spelled satar, zahatar or zatr
“Za’atar is generally prepared using ground dried thyme, oregano, marjoram, or some combination thereof, mixed with toasted sesame seeds, and salt.[4] Some varieties may add savory, cumin, coriander[5] or fennel seed. A Lebanese variety of Za’atar usually contains sumac berries, and has a distinct dark red color…Za’atar is popular both in cooking and as a condiment in Armenia, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, the Palestinian territories, Syria, and Turkey.”
Quoted from Wikipedia’atar


completebreakfast.jpg Potpourri Breakfast. Everything which might go fifen shortly. In this case, the mushrooms (if you lok, you will find them), and the avocado (the green) and yes, the banana. The sum total covered a large number of nutritional bases for the day including those to which walnuts and pecans add substantially. However, I will concentrate on avocado and mushrooms only.

Avocado – protects against prostate, breast cancer, improves absorption of carotenoids (in greens), oral cancer (if it is a Hass avocado which was the subject of the study on avocados) which, by the way, is the most important type of avocado worldwide accounting for some 80% of avocados marketed, all derived from one mother tree which Hass bought in 1935 and patented, (first patented tree). The original tree died at the age of 76 with its offshoots all over the world.

Champignon (crimini) mushrooms – prevention of heart disease, colon cancer, decrease of asthma and arthritis symptoms, protected blood vessel damage, protection against Alzheimer’s disease, and helps maintain aging cognitive functioning. See mushroom warning top.


cashewoatmeal.jpg Cashew Oatmeal. There is tremendous satisfaction in just opening a tin of Quaker Oats for the first time. It is so full that you could not fit one more oat in there. Now that’s completion. Actually, I just felt like mush for breakfast. Somehow brings back the old days. Added cashews, raisins and cinnamon and of course the brown sugar (honey would have been better) and milk. The cashew on top is just to tell you that there are others. Sort of a signature. I could go on and on about cashews but CINNAMON is the real winner here. Cinnamon – anti-blood clotting, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-fungal including Candida, preservative, helps response to insulin, balances blood sugar level, enhances cognitive processing amoung others. This is one of the ‘golds’ of spices throughout history. And be sure to take a look at this reference: Honey and Cinnamon. These foods which we call spices are so much more than taste enhancers, they are incredible in what they can give to our lives in terms of health. A master of spices is a true master of the universe. At least of our healthy physical universe. You think I’m kidding. Do some digging and you’ll find out the truth. This is not for most of us. We will just continue on with our lives blissfully (or not) unaware of the potential within arms reach. I just read that cinnamon before and after chemo helps diminish the after effects. This is not the source but an anecdote of how it may have helped in reducing after-effects of chemotherapy.


hottomatoslaw.jpg What-I-Have Cabbage. Saw some recipes today which sounded great. The only problem is I don’t have any of the ingredients, and it would take more than I want to spend to get them, and what would I do with the raw stuff that’s left over, and anyway, it would take too much time to prepare, and I’m living alone so who am I going to impress? All I have is some cabbage, an onion, garlic and some spices. What am I going to do with that? My answer – in 20 minutes is the dish you see. But you will not find this in any cookbook. Except mine of course. Its the spices which make it. Garlic is fried by itself in a small corner of the pan with sesame oil and rosemary. Turmeric, black pepper, oregano, basilicum, tomato paste are all added randomly to the basic cabbage and onion which has been basting itself in the unoccupied corner. Then comes the moment of the mix, and it’s ready. Truly delicious.


brown bean beet soup 

Beet Bean Soup. On a 1 to 5 scale, this is a 7. The 10 is reserved for anything I make on my birthday. This does take a little bit of planning. Not for the soup, but for the beans which were soaking for a day, water poured out and set to re-soak in new for 4 hours and then boiled. – an boiled – and boiled. Beans are tough. I usually compromise and eat them semi-cooked. Have had no complaints yet. The beets are a little bit easier – boiled without peeling. I just figure that anything with dirt on it has to be nutritious. Remember, the basis of green is dirt. That beet water is full of good stuff, so with the veggie burger, the kashkaval (or any ) cheese on top, this is one high protein, all the advantages of eating beets, dish. And the time line and in-depth thinking that went into this? With a sudden impulse, set the beans to soak. When I figure they had had it, I cooked them almost forgetting and burning the pan (once again). Once cooked, did not know what to do with them. Finally made one of the other dishes below. Again, because there are always more beans than you figured, had leftovers. Meanwhile, I had made beets the day before. Again leftovers, which I put into a bowl. That’s the setup. Needed the bowl, so poured them into the other bowl with the beets. Pure serendipity for a great soup.

Tags: cinnamon and honey · peanut sauce · soup · spices · za'atar

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