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Monthly Archives: May 2014

This week’s Indian meal

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I eat Indian food about three times a week, but with a small household, three dishes gives me three meals.  This week I made tomato rice, a dry channa dish, cauliflower kootu and an egg roast.  I’m not very satisfied with how it looks–the colours are too similar–but as usual, the taste was quite good.

indian

Weekday fare

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Previously I wrote that my lunch usually consists of a salad and that I consider asparagus a weekend lunchtime treat.  My weekday meals are really quite dull, with the exception of dinner.  It’s a combination of time pressure, wanting to cut calories, and trying to eat a balanced diet that leads to some rather uninspired but relatively healthy meals.

Breakfast typically looks like this: a slice of whole-grain toast with butter and a cup of chicory drink with hazelnut milk.

coffee

toast

Sometimes it’s a nice homemade loaf with spelt, rye or hemp flour, but most of the time it’s just this store-bought stuff.  The problem with homemade bread is that I’m rarely content to stop with one slice, so although the nutrition might be superior, the temptation to overeat cancels out the benefits.

Lunch usually consists of a bowl of yoghurt or quark and a green salad.  Sometimes I’ll make a salad dressing, such as the black sesame seed one in this picture, but often I just toss in some black olives and pour a bit of flax oil on it.

poppyseed_on_black

In the late afternoon I often feel peckish and eat a bit of fruit.

That’s how I eat on a good weekday.  Most weekdays are good days, but I’m not someone who enjoys healthy food so much that I’m not at all tempted to eat junk food.  It’s something I have to work at, every day.  Having my meals already prepared is the main way I avoid temptation.  I prepare my lunch in the evening, when I’m heating dinner, and take it to the office.  I prepare my dinners on the weekend, so that they only require minimal preparation after a long day at the office.  I don’t keep much junk food in the house and I prepare my shopping list with the week’s meals in mind and try to stick with the list.

I’ve been eating like this for a number of years, and it has gotten easier, but I don’t think it will ever be effortless.  I envy people who genuinely love vegetables.

The garbage game

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I’d like to throw away as little as possible, but I take a certain delight in producing food waste.  I’m not talking about leftovers which rot in the back of the fridge and have to be thrown away–I try to avoid that–but all the bits I chop off the vegetables I prepare.  I think it started when I made a real effort to ensure I ate enough vegetables.  The fuller the compost, the greater the victory.  It’s something of a game for me to see if I can fill up my little inside compost bin twice a week.

I do the cooking once a week, and usually create enough garbage to fill the bin once.  It’s a bit easier to see it in a bowl, but that’s about how much garbage I have to generate, twice if I want to ‘win’.  With only two people typically eating here, it’s difficult to do it, especially as anything that’s wasted doesn’t count toward my goal.

bin

Most of the bulk in that container is from a cauliflower, but there’s almost always something bulky.  That’s good, because I’d never make my goal with carrot tops and garlic skin.  My weekday lunchtime salads–which typically consist of cucumber, carrot, sweet paprika and lettuce–and fruit snacks usually contribute another half a bin.

It’s a silly game but for some reason it motivates me to use more vegetables.  If only I could find a way to gamify exercise and cleaning!

 

A vegetarian weekday meal

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This week I made kusherie, a rice and lentil dish topped with a tomato sauce and onions.  It’s a vegan dish that’s easy to make in advance and heat as needed.  I cooked the onions at serving, and reheated the lentils and tomato sauce separately.

kushari

I served it with chard and celery in an egg-milk sauce.  That was something I made while the kusherie was being warmed.  This is not one of my more photogenic dinners, but it was quite filling and something I’ll consider cooking again.

Another asparagus lunch

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While the asparagus season lasts, I try to prepare it twice a week.  Sunday I had green asparagus, which was pan-fried with a bit of tumeric, salt and pepper.  A dash of milk was added just before serving.  This recipe came from a Slovenian friend.

asparagus

A simple weekday meal

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This was one of my weekday meals.  It’s a sweet potato pseudo falafel which is baked, eaten with lettuce, pita, and a yoghurt/garlic/lemon sauce.

falafel

My usual system involves doing the preparation on the weekends so that I can enjoy home-cooked meals during the week without having to put in much effort when I get back from the office.  For this dish I made the sauce in advance, along with the batter for the ‘falafel’.  To complete the meal I shaped and baked the falafel, washed the lettuce and toasted the pita (which was not homemade).

I served it with a green bean salad.  The salad and dressing were made in advance, I simply poured the dressing over the salad when I got home from work.

beans

A Monday in May

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For the evening meal I had a simple chicken curry, rasaam with okra and sweet potato, and green beans in peanut sauce.  I also made a very easy vegan chocolate ice cream using coconut milk.

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