Eating Alone In Half The Time

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Life Is Worth Living

April 11th, 2013 · No Comments

 Co-pilot 
 
Yes, life is worth living. 
My cat meowed because she wanted to tell me it was dinner time. And then after she had finished, went to her favorite perch, and meowed again. This time I figured that she just wanted to be petted. So I pet her, and she was butting the top of her head against my leg and purring. Is there more to life? 
 
Plus, because today is a special holiday, and I was basically out of everything, I was looking in the cupboards to see what I might have left, and saw two bottles of beer that had been there for over 5 years just waiting for the right occasion. Well, this was it. The world holds things in reserve for just the right moment. We really have nothing to do with it, except as recipients. I had looked in there many times before and don´t recall ever seeing them. 
Plus, for the first time ever, I had decided to purchase a wedge of swiss cheese several days before. Matza and swiss cheese. What else is needed? 
 
And then to hear Alexandra Burke sing Hallelujah. 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaWLsgxDzuw
 
My Dish For The Holidays
1. Put already rolled up flat noodles which do not need much cooking, having already been cooked to enable the rolling process, into the pan of boiling water from the coffee maker.  
The rest of the ingredients are put in after the noodles have cooked for about 3 minutes.  
The secret here is putting the greenery and garlic and onions in for as little time as necessary, just to get the stems of the broccoli crunchy but soft enough to enable you to chew them.  
2. slice up the broccoli, about 3-4 buds with diced stem (dont’ leave the stem out, except for the very bottom, because there are a lot of nutrients in there) 
3. slice up half an onion or 1/4 if large. Remember, you’re cooking for 1 person, unless you are lucky. I wasn’t.   
4. put in 5-6 buds of garlic (diced) – if you’re not planning on working or otherwise being with someone in the next 12 hours. I so, 1-2. 
5. 1-2 leaves of swiss chard 
6. And most important, 8-10 raisins. Believe me, they give just the added sweetness you need for this dish. 
7. add 2 heaping tsp of coconut oil, if still cold enough that it is congealed, otherwise, the equivalent in liquid form (staves off Alzheimer’s plus any number of other benefits which I have talked about exhaustively in other entries).  
8. lay on a glob of butter 
9. put the spices on after everything is on the plate, in order to preserve the benefits of the nutrients still left in the spices after what they have already been through in the packaging process, making sure that at least one or two of the spices are anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. I usually put more than most people would. In fact, most of my dishes are just the base for the spices which by themselves could probably support you to the level of health to which you have become accustomed once you stopped eating junk food, using less sugar and less flour, and if you’ve decided that vegetarianism is the way to go, less meat/fish/seafood, and started eating ‘under-cooked’ greens to be sure to retain most of their nutrients, etc.  
za’atar  
turmeric – major antimicrobial 
sweet basil 
oregano – major antimicrobial 
thyme – major antimicrobial 
salt 
10. Serve to yourself with a quarter glass of the wine your sister sent you for the holidays (not required part of the dish) made palatable with 4 drops of stevia.  
 
 
 
Fried Oatmeal Crunch Flat Cake 
You know, most of what we eat has a great taste but no personality. This has crunch, and if that isn’t personality in food, I don’t know what is. 
Ingredients: 
half of two eggs – well, that would be one egg you say. Well, not if you broke two eggs yesterday and managed to save them in a jar. So, this recipe calls for half of 2 eggs. 
Then a small amount of water – depends on how runny you want this mixture to be before you pour it into the pan. 
And some whole oat oatmeal. You can use instant but I can’t promise anything – not the crunch nor the halfway done oats which give it character (halfway done because you can’t just stand around doing nothing while you wait for it to really cook the whole oats) – so go ahead and try the instant stuff, but don’t blame me if it doesn’t live up to the reputation of this rescepie, recepe, reciepe, receipe – all the variations I went through until I searched for it on Google, and Google suggested ‘recipe’. Well, hell yes, why didn’t I think of that. 
And then add some buckwheat, the less the better until you shake the jar or whatever you do to the container you’re using to mix up stuff. But then, the buckwheat isn’t like wheat. True, and that’s the important part. Wheat instantly turns to sugar inside you while the buckwheat, not being a grain, does not. But then, oats is a grain. But, they’ve found (I love to say ‘they’ve’ as if that gives it authority and experience, and experiments and all the things that make authority, you know, authority. Even though there may be none of that stuff behind the ‘they’ thing. So, they’ve found that the body reacts differently to oatmeal, metabolizing it, or whatever the body does, more slowly and giving the turns-to-sugar thing a gradated, time-release quality which can be handled by the system and doesn’t create sucrose overload. And this is very important in diabetes for instance, where sugar overload in the system can cause all sorts of problems.  
Shake, and add more of whatever is needed to make it the pourable consistency you want. Then shake again. 
Now, this is the important part. Have the frying pan just on the edge of smoking hot and pour. This makes it non-stick-to-the-bottom safe which for most of my early years trying to survive with my own cooking, the truly one thing I couldn’t get a handle on. And then, tip the pan or use a fork or spatula to spread the mixture out thin if it wasn’t think enough. Cover and stand around, or make yourself tea. I really wanted coffee, but coffee makes me get up at least 5 times during the night while I’ve found the tea actually reduces the trips.  
When you have stood around enough, and have flipped the cake a number of times, transfer it to the plate, doesn’t matter if you haven’t sashed it since supper, since supper wasn’t that long ago and its still early spring. put on a glob of butter, pour on some syrup and enjoy. If you’re worried about the microbe thing on the unwashed plate, pour on some cinnamon which they say is one of the best anti-microbial, anti-mold, anti-a lot of other things spice around. If you’re really worried, put some oregano on or some turmeric both of which are even better. 
 
Totally Awesome Dish. 
Well, that was yesterday.  
Today, not as awesome as last night’s, and it was the same recipe using half of the quinoa and lentils left over from last night, plus some starting to rot mushrooms.  
So what went wrong? What had I left out? 
No, it wasn’t the starting to rot mushrooms. If anything they gave some extra flavor – not the rotting part which I threw out.  
So, I had to figure out what was missing,or too much, etc. And if nothing else, start from scratch. 
Had to figure out what was different: 
Was it the:  
oregano? because I had run out of it. 
turmeric? not much left but dumped in what I had. 
coconut oil? too much  
virgin olive oil? had put in more than I really needed because the mushrooms were sticking to the pan. 
coriander? which I had not unpacked last night. 
butter? left out because I felt that the olive oil and coconut oil were already an overload. 
The quinoa and lentils sitting in the refrigerator overnight? 
 
According to this, the cooking business seems to be complicated. Don’t get me wrong. It’s easy as all getout especially when you only have one pan, don’t know how much spices to use and just go by feel – which in my case it probably way too much spices, but I figure you can’t really go too far wrong with spices, particularly the ones I use, which have the added feature of taking care of any microbial overgrowth. 
Use your intuition and the voice in your head which basically tells you what to do if you are really listening, are not trying to impress anyone, use what you have and are creative by substituting what you do have for what you don’t. I always tell my English students: ‘If you don’t know the word you need, think of another way to say it. And the more creative you are, the more interesting your speech will be.’ One bright student during the first lesson said “Yesterday I couldn’t think of the word for moon”, and indicated that it was very embarrassing. When I said “Find another way”, she said “That round thing in the sky?’ Exactly, if you are speaking at night, and we’re not talking about spaceships, what else could it be. And you get the meaning across without missing a beat. Because language is all about communicating meaning, and only the sticklers are concerned with grammar and always having the right word. 
 
To get back to the dish. It appears that I will just have to start over again. 
So, here is the basic recipe: 
Dump dry quinoa and lentils into a pan and plenty of water. The more of everything you put in, the more meals you can create at one time, which: 
a. saves on gas or electricity 
b. saves the waiting time for them to cook. 
c. saves you from having to think about quinoa and especially about lentils because if there’re there, you just use them, whenever, without thinking. which I really don’t like doing,  
d. makes the next 2 or 3 meals much easier to prepare. 
e. keeps you fed even if that’s all you have, especially if you have at least one tablespoon of humus left. Have you ever tried quinoa, lentils and hummus. Great!!! 
Back to the recipe. 
1 diced red onion. 
5 cloves of garlic since I don’t have a date tonight. In fact, I never have a date. Maybe it’s all the garlic I eat while not thinking I have a date.  
2 and 1/2 leaves of swiss chard – when I pulled the leaves out of the pack, that’s what came out. Cut up the 2 and 1/2 including all of the stems. What’s so great about swiss chard? It tastes great (much better than spinach) – I would assume that kids would like the green stuff better if they were given chard instead of spinach, cooks a lot faster than spinach, the stems are very tasty and has a lot of fiber, has almost all of the nutrients as spinach without all the drawbacks, and costs a lot less because the marketers have figured out that spinach is what people look for when thinking about healthy eating, so they package it specially and charge more for less, while chard is just thrown in there, with all the original dirt, etc. You just have to go where the marketers haven’t been. 
Now, when the lentils are chewable without breaking a tooth, and the quinoa has a lot of small white circles – if you’ve never cooked quinoa, you’ll know what I mean when you see them – it’s done – which happens before the lentils. Drain, mix in a small amount of virgin olive oil, and put the onions, garlic on top and cover. Cook for another 5 minutes, and it’s ready, plus you have preserved most of the vitamins of the last three items.  
Then, add the spices after it’s on the plate so as not to lose any of the nutrients which, beside the taste factor, are what spices are all about, except for the antimicrobial, anti-mold, anti-whatever quality of some of the most widely used spices, which is necessary when cooking for yourself and undercooking, under-refrigerating, under-peeling/paring/scraping of the lone cook-for-yourself cooker. 

Tags: one pan cooking

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