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....

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