The TV is on right now. Because it is September 11, there is a replay of the news casts of that morning 12 years ago when nearly 3000 souls lost their lives in NYC, DC and VA at the hands of terrorists. But, for the last 12 years, on this day, I think about my brother. It was 12 years ago when he was scheduled to be at one of 2 meetings in NYC. He took the meeting across the river in New Jersey, his colleague was in the World Trade Center. September 11th is also my brothers birthday. So for the last 12 years, not only do I call my brother and sing off key, wish him a great day and promise his gift will be in the mail soon. I am just extra grateful that I get to spend another year with him. Happy Birthday, Jeff! Love you.
As I have mentioned in the past, I have found that one of the ways to keep the creative flow involves infusing creativity into my everyday life. Keeping my art journal (join us for the next 30 day art journal challenge!), what I chose to wear in the morning, gardening, this blog. But, my absolute most favorite creative thing to do (outside of knitting of course!) is cooking without a recipe.
Lately we have been embracing Asian bowl meals. Pho, bibimap, curries, noodle bowls. So many possibilities within each option. It is hands down my favorite way to use up leftovers in the fridge.
Pretty much the formula for me is protein(s) + starch + veggies (cooked and raw) + sauce/broth/seasoning
Proteins. Beef, chicken, tofu, seafood, pork and any combo of each. This is a great way to use up left over stuff from the grill, or roast. Heck even hamburger works awesome. I cut everything up into bite sized pieces. I usually end up eating less meat than when I eat a traditional meat-and-three kind of meal. One of my favorite things to add is an over-medium egg. I usually top the completed bowl with it. The yolk adds a rich texture to the sauce.
Starches. I love noodles. We eat them at least 3x a week. Being gluten free means having to look beyond spaghetti and ramen. There are so many options in Asian cuisine. My favorite is thin Korean sweet potato noodles. I also love spaghetti like rice sticks (not too thin! tiny vermicelli get lost in noodle bowls) mung bean noodles, and 100% buckwheat noodles (hard to find, most have some wheat in them). Rice is also a good option. I love Korean bibimap. But I tend to prefer noodles.
Veggies. Anything goes. Left overs are great. Quick stirfry to some green beans, onions, mushrooms, broccoli to clear out the fridge. If I am grilling my meat for my noodle bowls, I might also throw some pak choy, portabellos, zucchini and sliced onions on the grill as well. I also use a lot of cold veggies for garnish. Bean sprouts, romaine lettuce, spinach, snap peas and green onions are my faves. I also love adding healthy portions of fresh herbs like mint, basil, and cilantro.
Sauces/broth/seasonings. Most times I do not bother making a formal sauce. When I do, it is usually a lemon curry. I blogged that recipe here. I have recently tried my hand at home made pho. The broth takes 2 days to make, but so worth it (but you will want to make a huge pot and freeze the leftovers). I used this recipe. Most days I do not make a sauce or broth at all and just add a ton of seasonings. My favorites are crispy onions (there are GF ones in the Asian grocery), tamari (GF soy sauce), fish sauce, GF hoison sauce, sriachi, sweet chili sauce, sesame oil, and fresh lime.
I recently bought some large pho style bowls. I like to layer the ingredients, but when I sit down to eat, I need room to mix the edges as I eat. Every Asian bowl meal is different depending on what I have on hand and what I am in the mood for. Just a daily reminder of another way to live creatively