Meal (un)Plan Monday

Last week, I didn’t blog because I was busy trying to solve my problems with excessive food and alcohol. And even though I should know better, I spent my nonworking, non-dealing-with-Dad hours going to restaurants, drinking, crying, tossing and turning when I should have been sleeping, and generally feeling sorry for myself. It didn’t help that I was supposed to leave for a planned vacation I desperately wanted and needed but had to cancel in order to help my father as he transitions out of an out-patient program and moves from his current apartment to a place in my own neighborhood and meet my various deadlines. Moving day is this coming Sunday, and there’s a lot to do to get ready. 

I’m also deep into recipe writing and testing for the last chapter of the book project. There will surely be more to do as it creeps along at its publishing world pace to completion, but after this the heavy lifting part of my job as recipes editor on the project will be behind me. This is why I don’t have a meal plan this week (that, and that I didn’t have time to get to the grocery store over the weekend). My fridge is full of containers of Middle Eastern salads–all reasonably healthy and extremely delicious. It’s the perfect chapter to go out on really. And the stuff only gets better tasting as it hangs out in the fridge. That’s pretty much what I’ve been eating the past few days but I obviously can’t share those recipes with you. If you’ve ever been to Zahav restaurant, you know what I mean.

In the past couple weeks, I have also made a few recipes from Fuchsia Dunlop’s cookbook Every Grain of Rice. And every single one has delighted and impressed me. I borrowed the book from the library but have since ordered my own copy. Even though I love cookbooks, I need to keep my collection very small because of my house’s space constraints. I usually test drive a book from the library before even considering buying it and I usually don’t decide I want it. But this one is different.

If you want to test drive it, I suggest you try this recipe for Vegetarian Gong Bao Chicken. It was the first one I made and it was a huge hit with me and Dan both. I followed the recipe pretty closely with a few minor adaptations. For one, I don’t have a wok–I cooked this in a large nonstick skillet. Secondly, I didn’t feel like deep frying the mushroom pieces. Instead I stir fried them in a tablespoon or so of oil. And finally, I didn’t use the two types of soy sauce she calls for; I just used the one I had in the fridge. 

Before I buckle down to Edible Philly/cookbook work for the day, I’m going to take a walk. I didn’t walk much last week either, even though I know how good it is for me. If only I could consistently do the things I know that make me feel my best. At least it’s a new week, and a new day.


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