Thursday, May 16, 2013

7 quick takes- I'm hungry! edition

Today is my last evening of teaching classes, so perhaps we will get back to normal in terms of dinner.

1. Every evening is different, so I rely on my crock pot and rice cooker. The other day, I was running out the door and I realized that my husband would be home in an hour and hungry from not eating lunch. I put brown rice, coconut milk, skinless chicken thighs and onions in the rice cooker....covered it with water and added garlic powder and some dried herbs. It was pretty good!

2. A very quick soup...I put about 3 cups of pre-sliced crimini mushrooms in a saucepan, covered it with water and let it cook down a bit. Then, I added 2 diced zucchini and let it cook a bit more. Then, add some garlic and onion powder along with some salt and no-salt seasoning mix. I had some half and half in the fridge, so I put that in to make a sort of cream of vegetable soup. Put chopped fresh tomatoes on the top of the bowl. It was good and took about 5 minutes.

3. Most of the food I make doesn't just start life in a crock pot. I usually have to brown some onions first, but I still like to clean up and then let the dish stay warm in the slow cooker until whoever is home for dinner gets home. Last night we had potatoes, three-color bell peppers, onions and some browned pork sausage from the crock pot. It was pretty good. It was missing some freshly chopped Italian parsley, however.

4. If you are going to live out of rice cookers and crock pots like I do, please have a fresh salad as well. In the old country, they have lettuce and tomato at every meal during the summer. In the winter, one must do with a fresh cabbage salad. It certainly lightens up a meal!

5. I am such a victim of marketing. I didn't know what quinoa or chia was three years ago, now we consume and enjoy both products quite frequently.

6. Are you a paleo eater? Are you a fruit and grain only vegan? Are you gluten-free? Do you eat right for your type? Are you sensitive to lactose? I am trying to eat well. It's not going well. All these conflicting messages are too much. I have some natural remedies for my lupus and Sjogren's, but they conflict with other ways to eat. And then there is the fasting requirements and 'ancient' ways of fasting to conform to. It's all too much. This is the ultimate 'first world problem.' So- I will just do the mixed-up diet- whole grains, no fast food, meatless on Wednesdays and Fridays in non-fasting seasons. That's all I got.

7. I haven't written a pretty happy funny real in a long time...but you have to run over and read their mojito recipe. I am superbly jealous of their lilacs, but they deserve them and the sun after a long winter- all the better to drink a mojito!
If you have a super quick 5 minute prep meal, please share in the comments!

21 comments:

  1. #6: I so hear you. It's maddening how many competing messages I get on Facebook, Twitter, and in my blog reading.

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    1. with my lupus, supposedly I shouldn't eat any nightshades- potatoes, tomatoes, peppers...um yah- not going to happen! (I do try to limit potatoes to once a week...)

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  2. We had a potluck at work on Tuesday and we made chicken legs/wings in the crockpot. I never thought to do that and they came out really good!!

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    1. hmmm...maybe on high with some oil/no liquid??? Did the wings brown?

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  3. I try to be more paleo. I did get off the rails, recently. But, I'm trying to get back to what I was doing, in the middle of 2011. Technically, I subscribe to the attitude espoused, by the owner of mark's daily apple, Mark Sisson: (80/20 rule > not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good).

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    1. The other aspect I like Sisson for his use of spectrum. Certain paleo people (and it goes back to personal context) will reject certain things wholesale, like dairy, or milk. Sisson places dairy against a spectrum, reasoning: if you were to consume milk, it would be raw milk, or cheese (I love my cheese). He won't condemn white rice, wholesale either: it's a benign starch, without the side effects of brown rice, and quinoa (if unsprouted). Another place to check out is, Weston A Price Foundation.

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  4. Here's my easy meal, although it does take slightly longer than five minutes.

    Put a pot of water on the stove. Add chicken or vegetable bouillon cubes (or use stock if you happen to have that). When the water boils, add rice and any vegetables or leftover meat you have in the fridge. Presto, instant easy rice soup.

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    1. that is less than 5 minutes prep- if something isn't super-fast, I'll be tempted to eat out which is just silly

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  5. "Me too" to #5. Five years ago I laughed hysterically at barefoot shoes. Four years ago I wrinkled my nose at quinoa. Three years ago I howled at caveman dieters. And two years ago I was still singing "Ch-ch-ch-CHIA!"

    I get so that I am (probably rightly) afraid to make derisive remarks. I know I will be "eating" my words soon enough.

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  6. You have to watch out with quinoa and other things that are imported, though. Sometimes a food becoming trendy in the US has negative consequences in the native locale: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/16/vegans-stomach-unpalatable-truth-quinoa

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    1. yup...I actually posted this link before! We eat quinoa twice a week...trying for balance- if California can farm rice, quinoa should be possible as well!

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    2. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of the contributors to "The Guardian"...

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  7. I have to try these things in a serious way. They just sit on my counter in glass jars. I will get them into a pan and think of you.

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  8. Sounds delicious. I have to try and get back to cooking for my poor hungry kids (13 and 21). The recent death of our husband and father--the rock that held out little family together--has devastated us all, and no one more than me it seems, as I do well to drag home frozen dinners from the store and heat them up. My sons needs more attention, not a mom who weeps at every glimpse of something that reminds me of him. But it's been less than 2 months, and I feel like I have been scraped across the pavement, despite professional care and support groups out the wazoo for us all.There is no pill, no group, no well meaning friend who can fix this pain. I try to keep turning my face towards God rather than away, though some days it;s all I can do to sit in the shower floor and scream "You send him BACK!!!! Robert, you come BACK!!!" over and over till I am exhausted.

    On another note, I visited a Syrian Orthodox Church's bookstore today. It is near my home and they have a nice little bookstore, only open after sunday services, with beautiful Icons, Russian Nesting Dolls, beautiful painted eggs, and books from all Catholic traditions (Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Byzantine, etc). It was very interesting, especially reading abut their services on the website. It's my understanding that Roman Catholics are not allowed to take communion at Syrian Orthodox churches. Is this your understanding too?

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  9. Hi! I really enjoy it when I have a minute here and there and I can read your blog. We are vegans in our home. To help with any confusing diet ideas 'out there' try reading the China Study by T. Colin Campbell. After years of research and working with/on various government projects/boards, he wrote a book to end the confusion. It is very fascinating. I hope you'll read it to the end.
    God bless
    +JMJ+
    amr

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  10. I'd take the China Study, with a grain of salt. There has been plenty of debunk, done by noted biologists; and others, especially those in the ancestral health communities

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  11. Easy crockpot chili - Monongahela Valley style (i.e., no chili powder)
    1 lb. ground beef (or turkey)
    1 onion, chopped
    1 can diced tomatoes with green peppers & onions (or use stewed tomatoes)
    1 can Campbell's tomato soup
    1/2 can of water
    1 can light red kidney beans, rinsed
    In a skillet, brown the ground beef (or turkey)with the onion. Drain off fat. Transfer it to the crockpot and add the other ingredients. Stir well. Turn crockpot on low for several hours. Serve with corn muffins made with Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix - really quick to make, and tastes so good hot out of the oven with a little butter. When you've been at work all day, and come home weary, a bowl of this chili will make you cheery :)

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  12. re #6 and all the competing healthy eating claims out there, I recently stumbled across <a href='http://drbenkim.com/articles-orthorexia.html">this article that addresses how too much attention to healthy eating can lead an eating disorder</a>. It's an interesting piece and I especially loved the anecdote about the Benedictine monk. I thought you might enjoy it.

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  13. Melanie, thank you. I've read part of that article and I LOVE it and I'm sharing it on Facebook. Possibly while eating chips. The food-as-perfect-healing thing has bothered me for years, and the conflicting information is maddening. Isn't it enough that we try to feed ourselves and our families without striving for some kind of Platonic ideal diet? I remember a Time article from a few years back about a group who try to eat the minimum daily calorie limit in order to increase their lifespans. The writer said that the way they view food was almost pornographic because of their self-inflicted semi-starvation.

    Kerry, I'm so sorry. Saying a prayer for you and your boys.


    Our fastest knee-jerk dinner is the macaroni and cheese recipe at Like Mother, Like Daughter. Or taco rice, which goes, make rice, thaw some chili I have made an frozen, shred some cheese, get out the salsa. You can add other things like corn and sour cream and shredded lettuce and chopped avocado if you've got them. Put it on the table and let everyone customize their rice. I should use my rice cooker to do more actual cooking, as you do.

    We're omnivores, and the only ways our diets are complicated are by my husband's deep and personal hatred of onions and my oldest son's Type 1 diabetes, which mandate carbohydrates at every meal and snack and mean we have to keep juice and candy in the house in case of low blood sugar emergencies. Because of his needs we have a lot more processed snacks in the house than I really want. TI mean, there are healthier and homemade alternatives and I do them some of the time, but I have to feed him six times a day. It's a lot.

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