Thursday, August 9, 2012

Lifestyle Not Just Recipes

I suppose that there are those of you out there that take a look at the recipes and say, 'I don't have time to make that.  He must just have time to sit around all day and dream this stuff up, then shop and make just to blog about it....'  Well no way is that the case.  These dishes are made at the end of the day or early evening sometimes at lunch if I can, with a little thought to what is in the cooler when I leave for business early each day.  I might stop on the way for a few last minute items or lean on a pantry of small containers of vinegars, oils, spices and dried or canned goods.  Always I want a fresh component.

I look at how long it takes to make a REAL Beef and Burgundy, even a simple Skillet Chicken and I am not into multiple pots, side dish for the most part, lengthy clean up and recipes that take me 3 hours to digest at the end of the day.  Whatever I make I can easily scale to 4 or 6.  I generally work out swimming, biking, running, with pilates or other sports at least four or five days a week so coupled with business, I am hungry and so is the household.  Breakfast is quick and tasty, lunch sometimes not at all and a snack could be fruits like apples, oranges and bananas.  Smoothies might hit part of the mid morn.  I always key on flavor and speed.  But when I eat at the end of the day, I like to interact at home and have fun with what I make.  I want it fast and simple but with YUM as the outcome.  I aim for, ' Please sir, can I have some more! '  as my goal, the engaging response to learning and loving how to make food fantastically delicious.  It does not always succeed but that is the learning curve of having fun learing to make your own tasty meals.

My body smart food keeps my weight level, my sleep comfortable and inventory low and inexpensive.  Heavy dishes and complicated food is not my style. I get while it is and was all developed.  But now in my process of developing Vegetable Alchemy I have redefined my cabinets to highly nutritious, simple, flavor centered ingredients with a refrigerator that balances with essential vegetables and occasional fresh herbs.  When I want to add any kind of protein I shop  for it that day.

Constantly I read and hear of the challenge of getting food on the table.  I see the recipe sites offering scaled down versions of the same key work recipes over and over saying that these buzz words are what the consumer want.  Beware.  Preparing a variety of simple dishes is educational as much as mentally.  If you view it as a chore, then it will be.  If it makes you aggrivated, chose a box.  Vegetable Alchemy views eating body smart food as part of a lifestyle that integrates simple great tasting food into a little weekly workout for a good feeling body.  Love the colors, the flavors, the learning of knife skills, the understanding of technique and then plating the results and you will find yourself thinking: Lifestyle, not just recipes. I feel so good!  Happy Thursday.

Easy Sesame Noodles

Prep Time:   20 minutes
Cook Time:  10 minutes
Serves:            2

8        oz.        cooked linguini pasta, seasoned with salt and pepper, tossed with 2 Tbls olive oil
2       teas        fresh ginger, grated
1                     cucumber, lightly peeled and cut into thin strips (julienne) no seeds
2        Tbl       cilantro, fresh, coarsely chopped
1        Tbl       basil or mint, cut into thin strips (julienne)
3-4                  Napa Cabbage leaves
3                     scallions, just into thin rounds
2        Tbl       apple cider vinegar
1/4     cup       chunky peanut butter
1        teas       tamari or low sodium soy sauce
1        teas       sesame oil
pinch              sugar
pinch              red pepper flakes
1                     lime, cut into 6 wedges
1     teas          sesame seeds, lightly toasted

Toss the linguini and ginger in a bowl and set aside.  Place a sheet of paper towel on a small plate or tray and lay out in stacks the cucumber, cilantro, basil, cabbage and scallions.  Make and warm a dressing by stirring the vinegar, peanut butter tamari, sesame oil and sugar with 1 Tbl of water in a small microwavable bowl.  Cover and micrwave 30 seconds.  Stir and repeat.

To plate, arrange 4 ounces of the gingered pasta in large soup plates.  Neatly arrange the vegetables and herbs around the pasta.  Spoon even amounts of sauce around the dish and garnish with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, lime wedges and sesame seeds on each.  Gewurtraminer is a great tasty treat to accompany this dish.

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