Despite being done with grad school and now living a 2 mile walk to work, I have still spent the better part of this year stressed about preparing simple gluten-free dinners. Maybe it was adjusting to cooking for one, trying to learn how to share a kitchen with a roommate, or just still being on the go a lot since I am gravitate to a life of being busy. What ever the reason, I have found cooking to be a labor and stress this year when I used to find it full of joy and creativity.
Yesterday I read a great article “Avoiding Burnout.” In it, start-up veteran Andrew Dumont talks about the simple steps he takes to balance his life of busy work and trying to maintain sanity. I really took this to heart. At lunch today, I was discussing the article with ,my co-workers who also spend most of their days in the crazy rush of life balancing an intense work-life at a cambridge based software company, family, friends, pets, and still want to make time for the things they love – paddle boarding, yoga, art, home brewing, rowing, running, cooking, reading and more.
My friend Marc was particularly insightful pointing out that he wants to make time for the things that he loves but in making time for them, not turn them into an obligation. So true! To look at my calendar is to see a sea of commitments that blur into an vertigo of anxiety. I tried color coding Google Calendar into fun and work but all I see is obligations. So I have to remember what it means to enjoy the things I am making time for. Last night I took an important step, I blew off yoga to go for a long walk with Tal and Puck the Dog. It was windy and cold and wonderful. Our friend joined us by the end and by the end of the night I was falling asleep in mid sentence I had had such a fun night. And yes, I even managed to have a fabulous gluten-free dinner at Amsterdam Falafel!
So this month I am making a commitment to myself and to those I care about to avoid Rach burnout! It begins by not over programming my life and that means not planning all my meals to be cooked on Sunday. Yes I respect people who find this to be a healthy approach that helps them prioritize nutrition, but for me, it is just un-fun and miserable. Eating the same thing day after day is just miserable for me.
So what does this have to do with a simple gluten-free dinner of kimchi, mango, eggs and rice? The idea is enjoying food and living in the moment. I live biking distance from 4 major grocery stores. There is no need for me to buy all of my groceries in one day a week. Sidenote, when I do, I create so much more waste trying to plan for 7 days. Instead, I have been thinking for 2 days at a time. At the end of the week there are random items which provide a great opportunity for some creative simple gluten-free dinners.
Recipe – Kimchi, Mango, Eggs and Rice
- 1 Bottle of your favorite Kimchi
- 2 Cage free eggs
- Sliced Mango
- Brown rice
- Soy sauce or Braggs
- Sesame seeds or chia seeds
- Sauteed spinach (optional)
- Sriracha sauce
- Sliced green onions
Cook brown rice according to directions. Scramble the eggs and cook in a pan. Slice the mango into thin strips. Combine the mango, rice, kimchi and eggs in a bowl. Season with the remaining ingredients to taste. Have leftovers, heat gently for lunch the next day.
What is your favorite simple gluten-free dinner?