I don’t really post about the whole gluten-free thing often, because it’s not really what this blog is about…though my rant, probably a couple of years ago, about how much I hated having to eat gluten-free really took on a life of its own (it’s one of the most-visited posts on this blog)…so I know there’s a few of you out here who might appreciate this.
I’m a lazy cooker. I didn’t always hate cooking, but hey, I have ADHD and I’m a busy, working parent these days, so fuckit, I get impatient about it. But part of my recent personal mindfulness project has included taking time to cook. And shutting off my brain so I can focus on the cooking. Focusing on the present. On the moment. Slicing up some stuff. Cooking it.
I’m starting to enjoy cooking again, and in turn, I’m starting to enjoy eating again. Even gluten-free eating. Yes, sometimes I still want to stuff a french baguette in my face. But shit ain’t all dipped in gold.
This week, I’m really into frying stuff up in a pan. It’s easy, it’s quick, it’s creative, and it also gives me a chance to use up stuff that might be almost ready to go bad in the fridge – and the last of the edibles growing in the yard before the frost hits (any minute now, here in the Northeast).
Gluten-free staples that I generally always have on hand:
rice noodles (they cook FAST)
gluten-free teriyaki sauce (I like the San Jay brand )
fresh garlic bulbs (I would just use the pre-diced, or pre-peeled stuff because I’m not a chef, and I have ADHD, but I read something creepy about the stuff recently, so I have been buying fresh, whole bulbs)
some kind of fresh chicken meat
(Sri Racha sauce is a good one to have around if you want to make things spicy)
Things I seem to have in my fridge lately because I’ve been cooking more:
fresh herbs of various types, like cilantro, and thyme
basil because it’s growing in a pot in my kitchen (though I think I’ve almost killed it somehow and it’s suddenly looking terrible, oops)
Things that are still growing in my yard because frost hasn’t killed them yet:
So, I put on a small pot of water to boil. When it’s hot, I’ll dump a portion of rice noodles in there and let them stand for as many minutes as the package says to cook them for – usually about 5-8 minutes.
While that’s all happening, start gently heating up a frying pan on the stove top. Toss a smidge of maybe peanut oil in there. I start pulling things out of the fridge that look like they might go together, and whatever chicken meat I have in the fridge. We often have a little pan of it already cooked in the fridge so we can do things with it like make chicken salad…or slice it up in a little stir-fry thing. (If you need a little more time to chop your ingredients, do the chopping before you turn the frying pan on, so you don’t feel rushed.)
The other day I chopped up some garlic, scallions, basil, banana pepper, thyme and celery (I did put the celery in a little bit before the others, so it could soften a tiny bit) and tossed it into the frying pan with the teriyaki sauce, then dumped in the pre-cooked chicken and noodles, added a little more sauce, let these sautée like that for a few minutes, gently tossing and stirring to keep it all from sticking to the pan – then you dump it into a big bowl and voila, delicious.
Tonight I did the same thing with rice noodles, chicken, teriyaki sauce, cherry tomatoes, cherry peppers, garlic. Also delicious.
Another variation – is chopping up these tasty things, sautéeing them, and putting them in spring roll wrappers (the learning curve is a little steeper, but once you get the hang of it, the payoff is great). Yes, you put the noodles in the spring roll wrapper too. Sometimes I make actual spring rolls too…those are also delicious.
Making cooking really easy, and putting in a little extra effort to be “mindful” in the process has really improved my outlook on eating. The kids also like watching me make food, and helping to make it, so there’s another little bonus.
And it doesn’t really take much time.