The Skinny Daily Post™

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from a really average woman who lost 100 lbs.
and works every day to keep it off.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2003  

Emergency Food
Putting good food before bad

I’m not a fan of laying in a lot of food when there are grocers nearby. The act of going and getting the food, making a habit of that, is a good habit to get into. The more often you shop, the fresher your food can be. Buying little bits often is a better habit for eating in a healthy way.

But there are times when I don’t have anything planned, and don’t have fresh food in the house and I’m too tired, ill, or plain cranky to shop. At these times I need to rely on my stores.

Eating what’s in store can be a dangerous proposition. It can easily lead to a kind of grazing that has you consuming thousands of calories in a single evening. You know, a handful of marshmallows here, a half a dozen crackers there, some chocolate chips, a bowl of cereal, a can of soup, some ice cream. You never eat a meal, so you don’t feel as if you’ve eaten much, but by the end of the night, you’re a thousand or two thousand calories over the top, and not particularly satisfied.

Here’s what’s almost always in store in my house these days:

Sugar-free almond or peanut butter
Raw or roasted almonds, macademia nuts, walnuts, pecans
Wasa (rye crackers)
Dried fruit: cherries, apricots, figs
Frozen soup I’ve made and stored or bought and stored in microwaveable/boilable bags
Whole grains: brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, barley
Canned beans: Black, kidney, navy, garbanzo
Canned salsas
Canned or packaged tuna
Olive oil, nut oils, citrus oils (lemon, orange), toasted sesame oil
Frozen veggies and fruits, the sort without added anything, especially sugar or sauces: broccoli, asian mix, cauliflower, peaches, blueberries, cherries
Protein supplement (a whey/soy, vanilla-flavored blend)

With these things in store, I can make up a fast frittata with frozen veggies and wild rice. I can whip up peach-berry smoothies, or heat up a fast bowl of soup.

A stir-fried grain dish with the barley, frozen veggies and dried fruit will work. Or I might sauté up the veggies and serve them over a baked yam.

The peanut butter will mix nicely with a little olive oil, beer and chili pepper to make a great peanut sauce to serve over steamed cauliflower and broccoli, atop brown rice.

The beans could mix with the canned salsa to make a fast, dense chili, eaten with brown rice or without it.

Mix the navy beans and tuna and frozen broccoli with a teeny, tiny bit of lemon oil and an even tinier bit of toasted sesame oil. Cover and nuke it up for a fast, super nutritious, delicious, and not very pretty dinner.

Tuna, olive oil, dried cherries, a touch of lemon oil, almonds. Serve on wasa bread.

Play with the nature of hummus or bean paste by whizzing up with navy beans or chickpeas with any nut butter (though tahini is traditional). If you have fresh garlic, use it. Toasted sesame oil, used sparingly, can give it some of that tahini kick. If you have lemon or lime juice, use that, but if you don’t, experiment with the oils, and with cumin, curry, rosemary. No one says your bean paste has to be traditional to be good or good for you. Serve on the wasa.

At any rate, do have good emergency food in store AND a plan for using it. It can keep you out of a world of overeating.

The well-stocked pantry, Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross

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