Thursday, April 24, 2008

Single girl's rice bowl

Brian is off on another work trip. This is a bummer family and company wise, but kind of a relief on the culinary front because I can get away with half-assed food for my dinner which would surely cause an extended session of late night cereal consumption by Brian if he was subject to such meals. (Sometimes this is how I gauge the relative success of a meal--does he turn to a big bowl of cereal an hour and a half later? Not so good. Does he skip the cereal that evening? Pretty good meal.)

Two nights ago I had the big salad meal--an extremely large pile of greens, whatever raw vegetables I could find in the fridge and some feta and toasted walnuts for protein. Last night I had the "classic": a half a bottle of crappy Chardonay, a large glob of sorta crappy brie, some crackers and a little pile of cornichons all consumed while watching god knows what on TV and recovering from a Fiona melt-down of epic proportions (a few choice quotes "I'm not going to be your kid any more" and "you have to go in a cage and stay there with no food and no water." The girl comes up with imaginative punishments, eh?)

Today I resorted to my standby grad school meal: a mess of rice, tofu, cucumber and kim chee. I probably ate this at least three times a week when I was going to UC Davis. When you feel the need for something cooked, but don't have a lot of patience for fuss, this really is quite satisfying (though it does assume you have cooked rice on hand, that slightly dried out rice left over from take out last weekend works great, or grab one of those boxes of frozen cooked brown rice for moments like this when you are too impatient to cook it).

First take a cucumber--preferably one of the little un-waxed salad cukes, also known as a kirby cucumber--slice it up (peel it too if you have a standard waxed cuke) and toss it in a bowl with a little soy sauce and rice wine vinegar. Let it sit in this while you make the other stuff.
Cube half a cake of firm tofu (or less if you aren't that hungry.) Pour about 1T of canola oil in a non-stick pan and use a garlic press to squash one clove of garlic into the oil. Heat gently (don't brown the garlic, just let it infuse the oil with flavor and get the raw burn out of its system). Then chuck in the tofu and a little salt and pepper. If you are feeling patient, go ahead and brown your tofu. If not (I rarely am), just make sure it is warmed through.
Then get out a big bowl and warm up a pile of rice. Dump the tofu over the rice, dump the cucumbers and their dressing over the tofu and, if you want it spicy, pile it high with as much kim chee as your guts are capable of handling (or squirt on some sriracha sauce if you prefer it).
If you are feeling fancy you can drizzle it with a little sesame oil and sprinkle on some sesame seeds, but really, if you were feeling fancy, you probably wouldn't be making this.


ms. tea said...

sounds delish, i will have to try it!

last night my husband was out to dinner with a friend so i went back to my old bachelorette standby of boiling some whole wheat pasta (which he refuses to eat) adding some frozen peas just before it finishes boiling, and tossing them together with pesto (also a no-go for him), walnuts and sauteed garlic and olive oil. super easy, low maintenance 1 pot meal, ideally consumed as i did with 1/2 bottle of wine and 3 episodes of Big Love!

Anonymous said...

Iris had a huge-ass fit last week when Lou was out of town (do they plan it this way?) and when we were at a playground ten blocks away. This is why people living along those ten blocks would have seen an eight-and-a-half-months pregnant woman with a four-year-old on her shoulders yelling, "You were hitting me, mama! You're ALWYAYS hitting me!" (For the record, I was not and am not.) That night all I could do for dinner was a bowl of, yes, cereal, but on other nights when I'm a single gal, I try to do something fishy, because that is a food unseen in our kitchen when Lou is in residence. I also love a big salad with greens, others vegetables, cooked beans if we have them, dried cherries or cranberries, some kind of suitable cheese (feta, Parmesan), topped with a hot grain, like bulghur or couscous or kasha.

Anonymous said...

Have you read Princess Bubble? I read this and almost wished I was single again. It is Sex in the city for Kids. But clean.