Breakaway Cook

Hot Salad of Long Bean, Carrot, Habanero, and Tofu


I was editing some of the photos I took during our recent swap in Mendocino, including one of a portly looking breakaway cook in a hot tub, so I decided to have a big bowl of vegetables for lunch.  I don’t think I’ve spent a single minute of my life thinking about how to lose weight, but that question is now residing quite squarely in the center of  my frontal cortex.  I’m inclined not to worry too much though, and figure I’ll just up my veg consumption to even more prodigious quantities and drag my ass out the door and up the lovely Mt. Baldy trail quasidaily. (This is the second time I’ve lived at the foot of a Mt. Baldy — the first was in Claremont, about an hour east of Los Angeles).

And thus was born today’s hot salad, made by peeling then slicing a large carrot lengthwise and then into long thin half moon, and sauteing it with

  • a handful of long beans
  • some spring onions and green garlic
  • a few batons of ginger
  • a whole habanero, seeds and veins removed, cut into large chunks
  • a few tablespoons of very soft tofu
  • some green fruity olive oil

There’s something about the fire of a hab on a hot day, counterintuitive though that may sound; it seems to open up the pores and, oddly, let heat escape. Try it sometime! The soft tofu dampens the heat quite a bit, and acts as a loose binder for everything else. With a big glass of bubbly water with plenty of Sicilian lemon in it.  Which reminds me: an update on my adventures in bubbly water should be forthcoming soon; I’ve changed my thinking on it.

A satisfying lunch on lots of levels.

Would love to hear your all-time favorite quickie lunches. And, just possibly, can’t-fail methods of losing weight. Besides, you know, eating less.