Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Cooking with Hawsepiper: The big-ass salad

One of our regular visitors here at the 'Q is a deckhand off one of our tugboats, a guy I'm trying to recruit to the darkside, and make a tankerman out of him. He seems weird enough to fit in. Slightly misanthropic, good conversationalist, super neat, a good cook, and he can count above 11 without taking off his shoes or unzipping his fly. Pretty much our target demographic for recruiting someone to work with oil.

 This guy's a healthy person, and has shown me some real support with my efforts in 2014 to get my health in order once and for all. But he only recently saw my big-ass salad.

 The Big-Ass salad is my staple food while I'm on board HAWSEPIPER's Afloat Global HQ/home for neurotic OCD enthusiasts. It's what I eat for my main meals about 80% of the time. It gets a little dull, but it's a nutritionally-balanced protein-laden and filling meal that keeps food from being the keystone to my happiness while I'm at sea... you see, that's part of the problem. I love to cook and eat. My salad is good, but unexciting, and I don't have the overweening need to sleep after I'm done eating. Instead, I walk or do maintenance, or, God forbid, sometimes even stand watch and work. I tend to have more energy AFTER I eat, which is good if you're someone who worked 100-hour weeks all through his 30's and still managed to stay overweight.

 Only downside to the salad is that I have to get to the grocery store once a week. Buying greenstuff in our home port is an exercise. Getting ashore is a challenge all alone. In New York, greens turn into browns very quickly, so fresh food isn't fresh long. But anyhow, here it is.

 The salad is made in 2 large 1+gallon tupperware bowls. Chicken is my base protein, but there's always beans. Calorie count tends to run around 630ish per bowl. One bowl lasts one day.

1 to 1 1/2 lbs boneless chicken breast, skin off
large onion
large green (or red or orange) pepper
large zucchini or spaghetti squash
1 handful baby bella mushrooms
2 heads of romaine lettuce
6 cornichon pickles (small pickles, or whatever's at hand)
1 15oz can of black, red, pinto or navy beans
handful of green beans, chopped
8 beet slices
8 medium green olives (I prefer garlic stuffed, but whatever)
1 large tomato
3 oz shredded cheddar cheese
4 celery stalks
1 large cucumber
2 carrots
black pepper
1 packet of Goya "Sazon" seasoning with saffron
 2oz olive oil
3 oz fat-free Italian dressing

  Cube chicken, slice onion, zucchini, mushrooms, pepper. Add 1oz oil to a frying pan, and throw everything in the pan. Season with black pepper and sazon.

 While that's cooking, cut lettuce, carrots, celery, tomato,pickles and cucumber, half to each bowl. Split beets, olives, beans (rinse well under cold water first!), cheese and cilantro between the bowls, as well. Add 1.5oz Italian dressing to each bowl. Add cooked chicken and vegetables, half to each bowl. Toss thoroughly, cover and refrigerate.

 And that's it. I usually mess with the chicken to change the flavor. Sometimes I cook it in soy sauce, Worcestershire or add a little ginger and honey while it's sauteing. Just shaking things up a little, you know?

 At any rate, since I started eating like this 9 months ago, I've lost 85lbs, so it works along with exercise and a daily walk.

April- about 290

Oct/Nov, 70lbs later.

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