A few days ago I posted a photo on my Facebook page of my lunch. I had been trying to keep my fridg stocked with pre made healthy choices, and given that I had seen a lot of photos of oreos and such recently, I wanted to share a thought of some ways one could eat quickly AND healthfully. That day I was having kale with garlic and lemon, spiced chickpeas with ginger, and brown rice with turmeric and cilantro.
I was surprised how popular that post was. Even more popular than when I posted about Kareem Abdul Jabbar doing yoga, or quoted Camus (gentle irony). So I said I would follow with the recipes. I promise 2 of the 3 dishes can be done in less than 10 minutes, and they are all quick and healthy.
If you just want the recipes please skip the next paragraph, as I exercise my 'jnana yoga'.
There are all these threads coming together around our eating habits. Big food provides us with whatever maximizes their profits, and coincidentally (and sometimes perhaps not coincidentally) decreasing our health and increasing our weight. People involved in health and fitness (and those that make a profit from supplying its needs) tell us about juicing, eating raw, eating paleo, eating low carb.... Beautifully set cooking shows show amazing and elegant cuisine. But we also do not live lives where we have a kitchen staff, and even people like me who work part time are hard pressed to avoid the traps of cholesterol, trans fat, over pricing, animal cruelty, staying in budget, growing our own.... and still get everything else done that we are called on to do. I know what it is like to be tired and just want to make a p b and j, or eat digestive biscuits. I know what it is like to try to manage a household of different tastes and different schedules. I know what it is like to walk the gauntlet of the grocery trying to avoid pesticides, cruelty, worker ill treatment, over packaging, trans fat.... and to engage in the war that SOME companies wage to fool me into buying their outwardly pretty inwardly dubious wares.
Brown Rice with Toasted Turmeric
If you are optimizing reducing packaging and cost you will start by cooking a batch of brown rice. I typically steam it. If you are optimizing speed you will go to your freezer for your box of Rice Expressions Organic Brown Rice and microwave 2 of the packets (3 minutes each). You can also use the whole foods frozen brown rice, or some other one.
In a sauce pan heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil on low to medium heat. Once warm add a teaspoon of turmeric (or a bit more), some salt, and a few turns of black pepper. You can also put in a sprinkle of ground cumin. Give it a couple of minutes, till it starts to get a little golden, but not dark. Stir in the rice, and about a quarter cup of rinsed and chopped cilantro.
Keeps well in fridg, warms up well, and if you do the frozen rice ready in under 10 minutes.
Kale with Garlic and Lemon
You can certainly do this with fresh kale from your garden or farmers market and reduce packaging and carbon footprint. If you do that you need to wash carefully, and chop. Or you can procure a package of organic baby kale and rinse it in the package.
In a sauce pan over medium to high heat add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Add some chopped garlic and about a teaspoon of butter (can be left out, but enriches the flavor). Again a choice: fresh chopped, or Penzy's spices (in my opinion the BEST spices ever) has wonderful chopped dried garlic, much more flavorful than anything chopped in a jar. This will start to brown quickly so quickly throw in the rinsed kale. Usually enough water is adhering to it to steam it. Put on the lid and let it steam a few minutes. How long? How crispy do you like your kale? I do about 5 minutes. Stir once to bring up the bottom layer. Take off lid, drain if excess water, add salt to taste and a squeeze of fresh lemon.
Here I am going to give you a link, because I got this from Allrecipes.com
I will say, I made a few changes. First I did not crush my cinnamon sticks, I used powdered (penzy's again), and I used ground cloves. Second I used 2 cans of organic chick peas, and I rinsed them well. Third, mincing takes time and my family tends not to like big chunks of 'veg ter bles' so I grated rather than minced the onions and ginger and I used the penzy's garlic again. Saves time also. I also did not cook it for a full half hour, I found 20 minutes quite adequate.
I think it is possible to eat and feed a family in a way that tries to do well with those things that matter to us. I also think the act of cooking and eating is one that sits at the center of the various dimensions of self. It feeds our physical self, our emotional self, our creative self, and when we cook for and share food with others is one of the most basic ways to feed our social selves.
If you like these I will do some more. I am planning a really delicious moroccan salmon for tomorrow's dinner which I would be glad to share, for example.
(please note I am not on the payroll or otherwise have any relationship other than consumer with any product I mentioned).