22 April, 2012

simple standard lunch

Being parted from your beloved can certainly inspire poetry. Ian is studying abroad and, oh man, you should see the e-mails we write one another. Except for the fact that I will not be sharing them with the world via internet. I've been trying to focus on some of the other, less romantic, positives of him being away: when I need a break from studying I clean instead of just chatting, there are way fewer dirty dishes, I can let the cat sleep on his pillow. It's not much, but it's a reminder to focus on the simple joys in life. It's hard to do that when life is zooming all around you. Sometimes you just have to step back and simplify things in order to see all the beauty.

For me, simplifying what I eat can definitely help. I like to do this by preparing a week's worth of lunches all at once. It's nothing special but it's tasty and filling and healthy, so it gets me through the afternoon quite nicely. In fact, I often get comments when I eat this at school. Somebody says, "That looks good, what is it?" and I'm surprised because it's really just beans and rice. In fact, that just happened to me right now as I am writing this. So, if you've ever wondered, here it is:
  • Cook 2 cups of brown rice, according to package instructions
  • Cook 1lb. of dried beans - I use a pressure cooker and it takes <30 minutes. If you don't have one, try soaking the beans overnight first. Then drain, re-cover with water, bring to a boil, simmer for several hours, until tender. Alternatively, you can use canned beans, just opt for salt-free and drain them before using. [We could talk about the hazards of BPA-lined cans here, but I think that if that gets you to eat a nutritious meal then it might be worth the risk.]
  • Steam or lightly sautee green vegetable of your choice - broccoli, green beans, a bunch of kale or chard. Sometimes I even cheat and use frozen vegetables.
Get out a few portable containers (glass, please, if you will be microwaving). Add a large spoonful of each of the above. I usually aim for close to 1 cup of each. You might feel satisfied after eating less than this, but it's pretty low calorie and I usually find myself wanting to eat the rest in a few hours. Drizzle on some olive oil, freshly ground black pepper, and turmeric. I'm pretty liberal with the turmeric - everything should be yellow.

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