Back to a time way yonder... the wee beginning of August when I was just as likely to accidentally eat a blob of quinacridone pink as I was to absent-mindedly get soy sauce on my paintings. Ie; (in simple terms) I was busy! Meals had to be almost cute in their ease of preparation, with the notable exception of some bento experiments, but I'll get to those later on....
Avocado kinda saved my life, the patron saint of summer classes, I think. And while these look humble, and I'm a pure sucker for anything wrapped in a warm corn tortilla (and I mean just about anything) - this was a good and special combo. Guacamole, corn, & chicken-baked white beans, with big chunks of onion 'cause I roll like that but you could leave them off I'm sure. Addictive but satisfying.
Even better than the tacos? It has sweet potato this time.
I got a huge bag of white pitas for free because there was a big nasty fly paper stuck to the side and the store couldn't sell it, so I tasted white flatbread for the first time in forever. Can I confess that it's kind of particularly delicious? At least if you haven't had it in a while. Way sweeter than whole wheat, and makes excellent sausage, pepper and onion pizzas. With big chunks of onion. Because I roll like that!
Believe it or not, dorayaki are a quick lunch, too! You just have to really cheat with the anko paste. And cheater anko paste can be way healthier, too, because you can pull the sugar WAY back. Basically just mash up some hot cooked adzukis with just enough sugar to make them lip-smacking, and just enough salt to make them more-ish, then make two fairly rich pancakes to sandwich it with. And put loads of vegetables on the side so you can pretend it's a sort of balanced meal. (which okay it probably is, just sucrose heavy. MMMMMM sucrose. MMMM dorayaki).
MMMMM CHOCOLATE PANCAKES DORAYAKI
I am feeling the Japanese, can you tell? This lunch took forever. Like, all morning to make, no joke. Worth it in every way, though! My first onigiri, everybody, and let nobody tell you that it's just rice in a ball shape, it is so much more than that. Even if you've made them yourself, they still taste all full of the love it took to construct them (the reddened burned hands, the totally occupied stovetop, the swearing at nori seaweed as it refuses to cover them completely).
The first day I made 3 -
1 triangle filled with avocado (yes again!), tiny cubed cucumber, wasabi, green onion and salt.
The 2nd triangle was filled with tiny cubes of braised sweet potato and shitake mushrooms done in kombu no tsukudani style except without sugar 'cause they're sweet already. (SO umami)
And the 3rd piece was mixed up with red beans, sesame seeds and umeboshi vinegar. yum yum yum yum yum yum yum yum yum yum !
(rounding out my oh-so stylish tupperware is some lightly steamed broccoli sprinkled with shoyu, an Nin Jiom herbal candy, a strawberry lollipop, and some yellow baby carrot pickles I made myself and have been eating like candy from the back of the fridge.).
It was a terrible blustery sweater-weather day when I took this downtown to eat it before putting in a long night at the studio, but after I got my green tea and an interesting seat to watch people from, and I took the first bite of my first pointy rice-ball.... I couldn't help but smile like a tyke. Really! It's all worth the effort for that first nori-wrapped bite.
oh yeah, Mr. Wasp thinks rice balls are delicious too. I have mixed feelings about this one. Shooo off my meticulous lunch there, little guy, sheesh!
Back on the fast track - the quickest cookies to make are shortbreads, of course. And an herbal-loving friend had a recent crisis requiring me to spend at least a bit of time baking. Basic basic shortbread, but with rose oil and black tea leaves. The tea didn't impart any flavour I don't think, but it added a really pleasant crispy texture!
And finally, my favourite - muffins! Featuring (do you see this coming?).... avocado! Yep, avocado replacing almost all the oil, date syrup replacing all the sugar, 50/50 whole wheat & oat flour, with orange juice, cloves, and a scattering of chocolate chips to seal up the deal. 100% eyeballed recipe, but it's really hard to screw up a muffin, which is why I secretly adore them more than cake maybe. These ones were surprisingly decadent with their buttery nuggets of green dotted throughout. Totally a win.
And then I finished my last studio class ever! Hurray!
No more turpentine, no more (mounting) hooks, no more security guards' dirty looks, la la la la la :)