Hi! How have you all been doing? Good I hope. I’ve been under the weather this past week. One of those nasty, unidentifiable bugs that make you feel generally lousy (runny nose, itchy throat, achy body) but not lousy enough to render you totally bedridden. And if I’m not feeling lousy enough to be bedridden, then you know where I am…doing everything else but. Slogging through work, going to meetings, cooking for my home (and for my blog…which incidentally is really the same sort of cooking), running errands, and then going to bed at night feeling spent and pitiful. I wake up the next morning feeling just a measure better and think I can do it all over again. Sigh. Not the best of habits admittedly. You feel lousy for a reason…your body is telling you that you need to slow down, catch a breath, and reboot for a bit.
But do I every listen to my body?
Only when it tells me to go out and buy a pain au chocolat.
I know…I’m hopeless.
But I’ve come to accept my own special brand of hopeless hopefulness. And it is liberating. In my 40 years on Earth, that is the shining nugget of wisdom I can share…accept yourself, love yourself. You are amazing. And so is everyone else. Let’s high five and hang out!
If only we all did that a little bit more maybe we would all be in better moods…and think more of the next pain au chocolate instead of the next political move or the next bomb to drop.
Or maybe I am just hopelessly naïve. What can I say…hopeless hopefulness right?
In any case, if we need a something a little more virtuous to eat, because hopeful or no perhaps it isn’t such a good idea to subsist solely on French boulangerie, here is a little something that may fit the bill.
Garlic Mushroom Quinoa
- Olive oil
- 300 grams mushrooms (I used Swiss brown mushrooms)
- 4-5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 2 sprigs of parsley, leaves picked and chopped
– Heat a couple of swirls of olive oil in a pan or skillet. When the oil is hot add the garlic and sauté just until the fragrance hits your nose. Do not let the garlic brown.
– Add the mushrooms to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and sauté, tossing in the garlicky oil, until they start shrinking and releasing their juices. Sauté further until they reabsorb all their juices and are soft and cooked through.
– Add the butter to the pan and toss just until the butter has melted and the mushrooms have become slick and shiny.
– Add the quinoa and mix gently, cooking for a couple of minutes until the quinoa has absorbed the flavors of the mushrooms. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add the parsley, toss, and remove from the heat.
As I have said many times before, I do not eat anything solely for its nutritional benefits. If I eat something, it is because I actually like it. And I like quinoa, truly. It’s got a pleasant bite and a nutty flavor, is a great carrier of other ingredients, and, as a bonus, may put less on you waist that its equivalent in white rice. Add some woodsy mushrooms and a touch of garlic and it is the perfect accompaniment for any kind of roast meat. Although it is great on its well, or maybe with a fried egg on top.
Let’s try to ignore that I just had to go an add two tablespoons of butter. It’s worth it though. Trust me on that.
I had dinner with an old family friend last week, a psychologist, and he looked at me and said, “Your father was an old soul, your mother and brother are old souls, but you are a young soul.” I didn’t know whether I should have cheered or been ashamed. Had I no wisdom? God, I knew I should have been cultivating more sophistication in my free time instead of eating through my neighborhood bakery. But he quickly reassured me, “You are wise, but have a certain naïveté.” So I guess it’s really true. Hopeless hopefulness. If it means always having something to laugh about, being able to find sliver linings, having the skill to brush myself off and start again, never experiencing the boredom of having “been there and done that”, always exploring, (and I suspect it keeps the wrinkles off as well)…then may I always stay the same.