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Just back from Whole Foods, where I did indeed procure two tubes of the umami paste. I’ve opened one to taste it, and it’s just the ticket. I also picked up some stuff for the next batch of grub.

I decided to go for the ratatouilleish version of grub, what with all the spring vegetables. Zucchini duty will split between one large green zucchini and two smaller yellow crookneck squash. I still have organic lemons for bitter, and since I’m up in weight, I decided to double up on the greens (nutritious, low-calorie bulk) and got a perfectly enormous bunch of red dandelion greens to go with red motley kale I got—I’m not sure of the variety, but this is the one that’s sort of narrow on the stalk.The lemons (along with the 2 Tbsp of some kind of vinegar I usually add) is in service to the greens.

I got four Roma tomatoes (which I think this time I’ll chop in the food processor rather than blend: crushed instead of soupified) and a 10-oz cube of extra-firm tofu for the protein.

I was intrigued to see (when I was picking up the umami paste, next to the sun-dried tomatoes) that Barilla Plus now has whole-grain penne pasta, so I got that for the starch: I just cook it in with the grub so it absorbs the liquid from that, more nutritious than plain water. It also keeps the grub from being too soupy. “Plus” refers to added omega-3.

I’ll definitely be using the umami paste. And I’ll be using carrots (for my food from the “orange” group, as defined by David Heber) and of course celery (if I remember). So this grub will be quite hearty but I would think quite low in calories.

For the allium role I got garlic and also 8 spring shallots, which I’m looking forward to. (Pronunciation fetish: shallot is pronounced with the accent on the second syllable, as in the poem The Lady of Shalott, by Alfred Lord Tennyson.)

Fruit snacks: Manila mangoes, which I continue to enjoy greatly, and two small boxes of red raspberries.

Avoidances: Managed not to buy a Halloumi cheese (not a good time for more fat and salt), telling myself that it will still be available when I’m under 170 lbs. I of course avoided the ice-cream aisle altogether.

I did notice that working from a list enables one to ignore pretty much everything that’s not on the list: I found myself focusing on getting the next item, rather than simply browsing, which tends to make me much more vulnerable to impulse buying of inappropriate foods—or simply foods I do not now need. I ate my morning mango just before going to the store, so I was not hungry, and that helps as well. I did see the Barilla Plus whole-grain penne, but I was at the time trying to figure out what to use for starch. I didn’t want rice, white or black; I considered the baby potatoes when I saw them, but I prefer to keep potatoes as a rare treat.

UPDATE: On my walk I was mulling on this recipe, and I decided that I’d go with 4 oz of the pasta (one half-portion per meal for 5 meals) and I think I’ll also add a drained can of sardines to increase protein (and add more omega-3). That should also help the umami. Given the volume of the dish, I doubt that the sardine flavor will be noticeable—even if it is, it’s a flavor I like.

UPDATE 2: In an attempt to remember the celery, I wrote out a recipe that I’ll follow tomorrow:

2 Tbsp olive oil
8 spring shallots, sliced thinly
Salt, pepper

Sauté until looking good. Then add:

1/3 – 1/2 c minced garlic
1 c celery, chopped
3 carrots, diced
3 serrano chilis and 1 habanero chili, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
4 domestic white mushrooms, diced
10 oz tofu, diced
1 large zucchini and 2 yellow crookneck squash (will add squash second day), diced
1 large eggplant, diced
1 wad slivered dried tomatoes
1 large handful chopped basil

Sauté a while. Add:

4 Roma tomatoes, chopped in food processor (good idea)
1 can sardines, drained
2 Tbsp drained capers + 2 Tbsp liquid
3/4 cup red wine
2 Tbsp red-wine vinegar
2 Tbsp umami paste
4 organic lemons, diced

Let cook covered for 5-10 minutes. Add, after they’ve cooked down in a separate pot:

1 enormous bunch red dandelion greens, chopped
1 bunch red motley kale, stems minced, leaves chopped

Simmer covered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add:

4 oz Barilla Plus whole-grain penne

Cover and continue simmering for 15 minutes or so. A good handful of pitted Kalamata olives would be good. I cut them in half to (a) stretch them further, and (b) check for pits.

Dicing is quick and easy: I cut the vegetable length-wise into slabs, stack those and cut length-wise into strips, then cut across into dice.

Written by LeisureGuy

10 June 2012 at 11:06 am

Posted in Daily life, Fitness, Food, Grub

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