Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Easy Way Out

I'm still feeling pretty crummy.  Saw the doctor yesterday and he said I'm about 60% recovered and wants me on continued rest throughout the week- not exactly the prognosis I was looking for especially when I'm sure things are piling up at work. Reactions from friends and family have run the gamut from "60%! That's great!" from the Little Mary Sunshines to "60%??? That's all???" which is more in line with how I'm feeling about this illness.  I understand it's going to be a long road to being 100% myself again but when even doing nothing is exhausting, it's hard to be excited about slightly better than half.

All these percentages got me thinking about the proportions of me.  How, exactly, does one embody 60% of themselves? And currently what 40% am I missing?  It didn't take much introspection to realize what 40% of my personality has gone missing lately.  Sense of humor, optimism, carefree and fun-loving have been replaced with stress about being sick and the ramifications on other aspects of my life, worries about how to ensure I don't relapse into this illness again, sadness about being stuck in the house and missing events like my future sister-in-law's bachelorette party and sheer exhaustion from, well, all of it.  Oh yeah, and patience.  I'm definitely lacking some of that these days.  I want to be well.  I want to have the energy to walk the dogs. I want to laugh without coughing.  And it's not happening fast enough.

After a half hour conversation with a girlfriend this afternoon I hung up the phone, my voice fading and in need of a nap. I awoke a little refreshed and in the mood to make dinner.  I whipped up an old favorite, Spicy Asian Glazed Chicken and a simple fried rice side dish. This quick and easy side is great to make when you have leftover rice in the fridge, which we just so happened to have this evening.  What I didn't have was a variety of fresh veggies on hand, so I just tossed in the basics but included some yummy alternate options below. My perfect variation of this dish would include all of the veggies listed but feel free to use whatever combination you have on hand!  You can also make it a full meal by adding a cup or two of chopped grilled chicken, cubed steak or cubed tofu!

Disclaimer: In keeping with the theme of the day, between the recycled main course and the day old rice, I have determined this post to be roughly 60% new.

Serving size 2/3 cup
Yields 6 servings

Cal: 163  Fat: 2g  Carb: 29g  Protein: 7g  Fiber: 3g 

Fried Rice

non-stick cooking oil spray
3 cups cooked brown rice
1 cup carrots, shredded
2 tbsp water
1 cup frozen edamame, thawed
1/2 cup scallions, chopped
1/2 cup egg substitute (such as Egg Beaters)
1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tsp ginger root, grated

Veggie variations

1 cup Chinese bean sprouts
1 cup shitake mushrooms
1 cup shredded savoy or Chinese cabbage (bok choy)
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed

Spray a wok with non-stick cooking oil spray and heat over medium heat (if you don't have a wok, a large saute pan will do nicely).  Allow the pan to get hot and add the carrots and water.  The water will act as a steaming agent to get the carrots softened nicely and then evaporate without affecting the final consistency of the dish.
Saute the carrots for 1-2 minutes and add the edamame and scallions.
Saute the veggies together for 2-3 minutes more and add the rice.
Toss until the rice is warmed throughout and then push the mixture towards the walls of the wok, or pan, making a well in the middle.  Add the eggs to the well and scramble.
When the eggs are almost cooked through, mix well with the rice and veggies.  Add soy sauce and grated ginger and cook until the rice is only slightly moistened by the soy sauce.  

Bon Appetit!