Thursday, 25 June 2009

Happiness and contentment are the inverse of the glycemic index

Note to my endocrinologist:

I was a very bad boy this morning. Fasting, as ordered, I went to the hospital for my bloodwork, as ordered, in anticipation of our appointment next week.

In keeping with my usual practice, I celebrated the breaking of the fast (as I often do the appointment itself) by taking myself out to brunch afterward. Usually not the best choice, foodwise, but better than skipping, and better, usually, than many of the options. For instance, usually there is some kind of omelet involved, or something along those lines, rather than a big stack of pancakes or something.

Today, I went to the Original Pancake House at the Forks. Which is not my favorite, the menu is sort of limited and they have breakfast fries rather than proper hash browns (for the record, the only places that seem to still have proper hash browns are Dennys and Perkins, neither in close proximity to the St Boniface Hospital, or on the way anywhere useful from there) (aside: anyone in Winnipeg who knows of a hole-in-the-wall kinda joint besides Falafel Place that has shredded hash browns, drop me a line) (and Falafel Place is great, but if I'm going that far, I might as well get the latkes and the falafel).

But I was in 'a mood', and so I decided to treat myself to the signature Giant Apple Pancake. I'd once, long ago, had the ham-and-cheese giant pancake, which was actually sort of bland and really greasy. But how bad could it be?

O. M. G.

While by the time it gets to the table it isn't 'fluffy' like in all the pictures, it was a thing of great beauty and deliciousness. Eggy, crepey batter covered in sliced, firm, tartish apples. Enough cinnamon sugar to eliminate any need for butter or syrup (which didn't stop a man across the way from me from slathering his with both). I do not want to think about the carbo load I placed myself under. I do not want to think about what I have done to my internal organs and peripheral nerves. I only want to think about about how unbelievably yummerific (let's put that in in bold caps:) YUMMERIFIC it was. Once again: O. M. G. I couldn't even finish it. And I tried.

I spent part of the afternoon in a PhD defense trying to devise ways to introduce more apple and cinnamon sugar into my diet, without screwing it up with anything too healthy, like oatmeal. Which wouldn't be too bad, now that I think about it. Hmmm.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Reading, eating, not working, cleaning

Okay, I've got three MA students all trying to finish this summer, a grad student in another program needing to finish a paper, and a PhD advisee (I'm not her advisor, but I'm on the committee) set to defend next week. So I've been reading and commenting (and occasionally rewriting) manuscripts like mad for the last several weeks, with at least several more to come.

I'm going on leave (meaning a 20% cut in salary, just in time to move to Toronto for 6 months or so in August) in a couple of weeks, and would really like to have a vaguely clean house before I go.

So what am I doing? Shopping for clothes and trying to come up with food that will cook in a single pot and be eaten out of a single dish.

I'm not proud of this, but it works. I do it one serving at a time, cuz I'll just keep eating it if I don't.

85 g (dry) whole-wheat spaghetti or spaghettini (or I suppose angelhair or whatever)
1 Tbls smooth organic peanut butter (drained of as much oil as you can manage)
1 Tbls fake balsamic vinegar (not the good aged stuff, but the supermarket kind)
1 Tbls lite soy sauce
dash Tabasco(r) sauce (to taste)
dash toasted sesame oil (to taste)
dash garlic powder (I'd use fresh, but this is easier for a single-serving)
dash ginger powder (ditto)

add-ins if you want and as available: bell pepper slivers, pickled ginger slices, green onion slices, diced or julienned chicken breast, diced tofu, etc.

So start the pasta cooking in plenty of salted water. In a largish pasta bowl whisk together the rest of the ingredients until emulsified (this isn't complicated, folks). When cooked, drain the pasta quickly and add it to the pasta bowl. Toss until pasta is thoroughly and uniformly coated in the dressing. Add garnishes. Shove in face.

I've also used the basic dressing (a little less than the 3 Tbls I use in the pasta, but you see how it goes--equal parts of the big three and then a dash of everything else--and added into chicken flavor ramen noodles for a kind of peanut-satay soup thing. Really good with grilled chicken sliced up and heated in the broth....