For you, the dress code is casual.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Of Food, Beans, Pilates, and Idiocy

Yesterday was a gruelling foodie day of cleaning, shopping, and cooking. For about $25, I've got food for a week and a bit.

I made falafel from scratch with chickpeas and red lentils. It was kinda a futzy culinary effort because the recipe was way off-base moisture-wise, and it's hard to get it nailed down to the right texture, especially if you're cooking it low-fat like I do.

I think a lot of amateur chefs don't realize how much their natural environment affects baking. They look at baking recipes and think they're universal, but the qualifier no one talks about it is, there are regions where the moisture in the air will affect dryness in flour, etc. As a result, your recipe could need more moisture, it could need less. Don't just blindly follow what's there, right?

So, I know the texture falafel's got to be at a minimum, so I wound up having to use all the rest of my homemade bread breadcrumbs. Sigh. (Now I gotta start making bread again!) Finally I got it right, and fried 'em all up on my Griddler with about a teaspoon of oil for every 12. Made, like, 50 of 'em and a sandwich takes 3. Cool. Muuuuch lower in fat than about 90% of the falafels in the world, I imagine.

I made one of my favourite cheap, rustic, invent-a-recipes I came up with over the years. It's always a variation of this:

A pound of sausage meat or sliced sausages (this time was garlic sausage, but I also love doing mini 1/2-inch meatballs of Italian sausage meat) sauteed. When it's almost ready, one well-chopped huge sweet onion gets chucked in and sauteed 3 or 4 more minutes. Then I add one each of chopped yellow, red, and green pepper, so lotsa peppers. Saute until the peppers soften. Add a drained, rinsed can of butter beans or cannelini beans. Give it a good mix to get the beans coated with all those flavours. Add a small (340 mls or so) can of tomato sauce. If you're being cheap, add dried basil or oregano to your satisfaction at this point. Cook about 15-20 minutes at a simmer, then get ready to serve with greens and crusty bread. If you're splurging, wait till the end and add a 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil. Shit, it doesn't even need cheese it's so tasty and nice. I will throw in 1/2 cup of chopped flat-leaf parsley with the cheaper oregano/basil effort, too, sometimes.

I'll even serve that on the side of hash browns and eggs, and everyone always likes 'em. They're lunch this week, all week. Falafel will be dinner nightly. Ooh, boring times ahead, but a good mix of foods, and on the very, very cheap. Well done!

But now I'm all bagged and really don't want to go to work, much less START a workweek. Ha.

At least I did 20 minutes of Pilates (on I started another routine, actually, a 35-minute "beginner's" routine that was a waste of fucking time. The woman was the stupidest instructor ever, and it's the only video she does the instruction for, so that's fabulous. I flipped out and shouted at my laptop, "You are a STUPID, STUPID instructor!" and ended that routine after about 8 minutes of wanting to pop a vein. :P I chose a Level II routine instead, since I've done some Pilates in the distant past, but holy shit was that effective. I expect a world of abdominal hurt by about 9pm tonight, never mind the morning. Great workout. Man, it's been a while since I've done Pilates. That could be a useful 3-4 time a week routine, actually, at 20 minutes in length. Holy abdominal hell, I'm sure. Good stuff. (Wow, I feel like an alien has taken over my brain. I'm liking this suffering shit? What's wrong with me, anyhow?)

Oh, by the way: I've been avoiding discussing politics because I'm so very disgusted by the Clinton campaign these days, with Bill spouting off about cover-up conspiracies and Hillary being a fucking IDIOT enough to even broadly speak of candidates getting assassinated, and every other fucking thing they've been doing, that it seems pointless for me to speak of it. I'm just biting my tongue and hoping this week resolves who's running and the fuckin' mouthpiece unit of the Clintons can shut the hell up and take an exit at stage left. God. Hoping!

Ahh, fuck it. Back to my coffee.