Being Proactive

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I have a pot of soup simmering on the stove.  I got home after work and doing the deal down at 4th and Berry and set about getting my cook on.

Last week I didn’t cook and ended up eating peanut butter and toasted english muffins all week.  This is not necessarily a horrible thing, but I know better than that.  So, I scooted right home and whipped up a batch of soup that should last me through the week and than some.  I love to make this recipe.  It’s the same one that Steve gave to me when I was visiting Hudson in January.  Although I definitely take it a bit further than then recipe he forwarded to me.

It really is just a simple lentil soup with wilted spinach.  I take it a bit over the top.  First I press about three cloves of garlic into some hot olive oil, then I saute a large onion in with the oil and garlic.  Next, once the onions have browned up nicely, I stir in some bulgur, also browning that.  While this is happening, in a separate pot, I have French red lentils simmering in a vegetable stock spiked with sea salt and bay leaves.  And off to the side, a very large pot of brown rice is cooking.

Excuse me, a second, I should go check on the rice, it should be about done.  Yup, and damn, my kitchen smells good.

After the bulgur and onions are nice and brown I add in a full head of chopped up curly headed parsley, 1 bunch of dandelion greens, then sea salt, fresh black pepper, loads of cayenne, rosemary, onion salt, garlic salt, and brewer’s yeast.  Stirring briskly and letting them all meld in the oil.  Then I quickly chopped up two carrots, 4 Roma tomatoes, and 1 head of broccoli.  These are then added and mixed into the pot.

After which I open up two cans of tomato paste and put them in too, adding water rinsed through the paste cans to the mix.  After this has all been stirred together I dump in about a pound of fresh spinach.  Then I take the French red lentils off the back burner and dump them into the soup.  And voila!  There’s my food for the next week.

The total cook and prep time, including washing up the dishes, is approximately half an hour.  I started making the soup at 7:30 p.m. and at 8 p.m. I was putting on the kettle to make myself a cup of tea and check my e-mails for the day.  I’ll let it simmer for about another hour or so, enough time to watch the episode of Shameless I down loaded, then I’ll pull it off the heat, and portion it out.

I take 1/2 a cup of brown rice and add 1 c of the red lentil soup to it.  It gets cooked down, so it’s almost like a dal, and when I get to work I add about a cup of water to it and toss it in the microwave.  One half hour of work equals about twenty-four servings.  I am not joking.

I lived in a co-op for a little while in my early twenties and I cooked food twice a week for the 30 plus/minus tenants living there.  I got so used to cooking up big batches of food I sort of never went back.  I can cook a single meal for myself, but it makes so much more since for me to just cook a bunch and portion it out.  I throw a weeks worth of dinners and lunches in the fridge, then the rest of it gets frozen.  I don’t have to think about doing it again for a couple of weeks.

The irony being that I probably spent more time last week thinking about cooking the soup then it actually takes to cook.  The end result being English Muffins and peanut butter for a week.  Ha.  But I got all proactive tonight and that won’t be the case for this week.

Which is good, sense I’ll be hanging out in Burlingame all weekend and won’t have an opportunity to cook again until the following weekend.

That is exactly how full my life is, without any online dating in it at all!

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