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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Split Pea Soup, Seitan Stir-Fry, and How to Use Warcraft to Jump-Start Your Career


Thanks to Derek's client who so thoughtfully brought him fresh greens, tomatoes, and peaches from a local farmer's market as a birthday present! Because of that we got to enjoy salads despite our fridge being on the fritz and spoiling most of our fresh food really fast.

TVP & Tofu Soft Tacos
  • 1/2 cup TVP
  • 1 pckg firm tofu
  • 1/2 lb frozen spinach
  • 1 cup frozen roasted corn (optional)
  • low carb whole wheat tortillas (Trader Joe's reduced carb has only 50 calories each)
  • avocado sliced
  • salsa of choice
Yet another variation on the taco theme. I used to make breakfast burritos a lot with tofu packaged soy sausage which is admittedly delicious but high in sodium - this is my healthier version.

  1. Rehydrate the TVP in a little more than 1/2 cup hot water. Add sausage seasonings: breakfast sausage is usually seasoned with sage, thyme, red pepper flakes or cayenne. Or for a more taco meat-ish seasoning add chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and cayenne.
  2. Heat up a pan sprayed with cooking spray and add frozen spinach and corn. Cover and cook til not frozen - usually just a few minutes.
  3. Mash up the tofu - I usually just do it in the pan. Add everything else to pan and cook for a while longer.
  4. Serve in some warmed up wraps with avocado and salsa. Or omit the wraps for more of a huevos rancheros type thing.
Eat with 2 big bowls of salad; pictured below are the greens gifted to Derek - they even included some edible flowers!

I think one thing I would love to do is get a nutrition program that I could enter my recipes into and get a breakdown of their stats and also an overall daily nutrition analysis of our diet...


Split Pea and Sweet Potato Soup

  • 1 peeled and diced sweet potato
  • 1 1/2 cups split peas (green or yellow)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cube low sodium vegetable bouillon or
  • 1 Tbsp yellow curry powder
  • thyme and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups water
  1. In a medium pot, saute onions in 1 Tbsp water.
  2. Add everything else. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer on low for about 1 hour.
  3. Mash everything up with a potato masher or blend in batches in a blender/food processor.

I'm not sure what to call the main course...

How about:
Seitan and Bell Pepper Stir Fry

  • 1 recipe for seitan
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 red and 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 cup brown rice, cooked
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, no salt added
  • pepper, crushed RED pepper, salt-free seasoning
When I decided to be nice and make something with seitan so I could post the recipe for one of Derek's co-trainers I had no clue what I was going to do with it. This random assemblage turned out to be really good. It didn't need much seasoning since the seitan is pretty flavorful.

  1. Saute onion and bell peppers in 2 Tbsp water til translucent.
  2. Add seitan, tomatoes, and seasonings and simmer for a bit, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add brown rice and mix.
Although seitan is pretty easy to make using the recipe I posted, you may just want to buy it packaged. I believe the Morningstar brand "chicken" and "beef" strips varieties are widely available in the frozen natural foods section of local supermarkets, and the White Wave brand is available in the refrigerated natural foods section - looks like a tofu package. Those varieties have a ton of sodium, though.


Because I usually include some rambling, and I am pretty tired now that I'm in my test prep phase, I'd like to share one of my corporate networking secrets with any other rung-grabbers out there: start playing a MMORPG like oh, say... World of Warcraft, and then tastefully decorate your cube/office with game paraphenalia.

I can almost guarantee that more people will stop by to chat with you about the game, or similar games they've played, than you'd have dreamed possible, and it's surprising that so many senior management and even C-level people play. Maybe it's because it's so difficult to have a real social life in the corporate world, or maybe it's just that the finance and actuarial fields attract an inordinate amount of dorks - whatever it is, it's been an unexpectedly great networking tool!

Who would have thought that a mere entry-level could impress a C-level with the fact that she is a Warlord in the realm of Kul Tiras...but, there it is.

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