Day 113: Plates of lettuce, dreams of noodles

April 23, 2007

Yesterday when we served our Indian vegetables over a pile of salad, we had a lengthy-ish discussion about the practice of serving a main dish over cold greens. We agreed that it was visually appealing in a Chinese restaurant, for example, for the main course to be served on a pile of lettuce. It looks good, you might pick at the lettuce a bit for some light refreshment, but you would normally actually eat the dish over rice or noodles. This evening we made Ginger-Soy Chicken on Shredded Lettuce which Rachael Ray describes as a “low-carb-lover’s delight”; a meal so healthy you should have two servings. And you probably would, because otherwise you’d be starving. I have an issue with the idea of “low-carb-lover’s”, is there such a thing? People who really love to abstain from bread and pasta and rice and all things good? The few times I have tried to cut down on carbs, for vanity reasons obviously, I have gone insane thinking about solid foodstuffs, while nibbling on meat and cheese and some carrot sticks. Where are the crackers? The potatoes? The bananas? It’s conceivable that other people may find high protein diets easier than this possibly, but surely nobody loves them, do they?

So the chicken tonight was fine, it was chicken. The tamari-honey glaze was nice enough, there was some red pepper flakes in there too with some ginger and garlic. Add the scallions and of course the ubiquitous chicken, and you have a very simple, pretty quick, stir fried dinner. And how much easier do side dishes get than chopping up some lettuce and bunging it on a plate? This meal is certainly fast. Unfortunately, what it gains in speed, it loses in satisfaction guarantees. We both ate it and thought, hmm, now what? Now what, indeed. This would have been pretty good with some spicy peanut noodles, and it wouldn’t have taken much longer. Even rice would be ok, although fried rice would probably be best as the chicken is a little on the bland side.

Tomorrow we get to make Thai Chicken, Pork, or Shrimp with Basil which sounds reasonable. Unless that is we are making the Thai-style protein of our choice on a bed of basil. Then we might be a little upset. Please let their be starch involved. L and I work independently, but we also collaborate to work together. On Thursday we have to go to Washington DC on a flying visit (literally- we’ll be there for 16 hours), and we’re leaving Baby A behind overnight for the first time ever. I never thought that we would be the kind of parents who had never had a night away from the baby in over 18 months, but that’s the way it has turned out. As our families are in Europe, we don’t have the option of taking her to the Grandparent’s house and having some adult time. We feel pretty guilty asking a friend to look after the baby overnight, as it’s such an enormous favour to ask, but having a toddler with us just won’t be practical under the circumstances. Although I have to say I miss Baby A already, just thinking about going. The friend is the same person we have lined up to be our guest cook, should we not be able to cook or post for some reason. Asking her to babysit and cook our dinner is too much like giving her some uncalled for life-swap, so we are going to cook Thursday’s meal before we go; for lunch on Wednesday most probably. That means that we will have two different burgers on the same day. We better get the chance to go out for dinner in DC, because when we get back Friday, we’ll be cooking the third burger of the week. Who says variety is the spice of life?

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  • Reply Joannie April 24, 2007 at 6:56 am

    I’m with you on the carbs — bring on the bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes! I don’t find any meal to be good unless it’s served with something starchy. And I don’t care how bad it is for me. I’ll fit it in somehow.

    You make an excellent point about food served on lettuce — beautiful presentation but really, lettuce becomes a garnish. It’s not substantial enough to hold up the meal, unless it’s lunch. And a light lunch at that.

  • Reply Helen | One Year Project April 24, 2007 at 7:41 am

    A very light lunch/ appetiser.

    Guess what the food we are having tonight is served on, oh yes that would be more lettuce. Three days of lettuce doesn’t compensate for a year of butter and EVOO.

  • Reply Ernie Geefay April 24, 2007 at 10:21 pm

    Don’t know if you’ve seen this already but if not Yu might be interested in this website.
    It’s got about 30 recipes each one with a cooking video to go along
    Good if you like to try cooking Thai food at home

  • Reply Helen | One Year Project April 25, 2007 at 10:22 am

    That website is great- how good does the food look?! Maybe next year we can work our way through those dishes.

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