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Kitchen Nightmares

Tuesday August 9 2011
Breakfast – salmon filet, sautéed spinach
Lunch – 6 hard-boiled eggs, sautéed spinach
Dinner – smothered chicken breast in “Thai gravy” (recipe below)
Other – 1 tequila-and-soda with lime

Wednesday August 10 2011
Breakfast – 6-egg omelet, salsa, sautéed spinach
Lunch – smothered chicken breast in “Thai gravy” (recipe below)
Dinner – salmon filet, red cabbage slaw
Other – 1 tequila-and-soda with lime (maybe two?)

I’m doing it. I’m going a week without any exercise. I’m blaming my work schedule, seeing as how I have to be in the hospital at 7 every morning this week, and I’m not in the mood to be a hero and wake up at 5am to swing some kettlebells. So there. Of course, this means I have to be super-strict with my diet, and not even think about touching a pinch of starch or dairy or grains of any sort. And so far, so good. Alcohol, on the other hand…

First off, here’s my dumb-luck recipe that actually ended up tasting amazing. Every so often, you find yourself hungry, not in the mood for take-out, but with a limited amount of things in your kitchen to sustain yourself. My solution is, always, throw everything in a pan, sauté it, and see what happens. So I did:

Thai Smothered Chicken Breast
1 lb chicken breast, cut into thin strips (you can also sub random rotisserie chicken cuts)
2 tbsp Nutiva Coconut Manna
2 cups turnip greens
1 tbsp green curry paste
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp coconut oil
(and the secret ingredient:) half a cup sliced shallots

Saute the chicken in some heated coconut oil and the green curry paste. Once the meat is about cooked through, add everything else in except the Coconut Manna (aka coconut butter; that’s the finisher.) Once the greens are wilted, take the pan off the heat and mix in the Coconut Manna (which will make the mixture nice and creamy, but mellows out the flavors a lot.) Add salt. More than you think you’d need. Consume while warm, or else the coconut butter solidifies a bit. Paleo-friendly, low-carb, gluten-free, customizable to your spiciness level, and the shallots add an addictive sweetness.

Alright, the week of a thousand dates continues. These are all kids I met on match.com over the past couple days (or earlier), and like I said in my earlier post, they’ve all seemed to write me at once, to the point that it’s hard to keep all the details straight on occasion. This hasn’t bitten me in the ass yet, but I’ll be glad to welcome that problem when it does show up. Without further ado:

Monday: The Killer
We’ve exchanged a couple quick phone calls and e-mails over the past week, all small-talky fun medical stuff, random weird things that have happened to us on rounds recently. (She’s a doc at the adult hospital.) She’s been out of town the past 4-5 days on vacation at the beach, and when I met her at Rojo for a drink Monday, she sported a semi-sunburned tan that she was desperately in need of. We had a pretty good conversation over a glass of wine and some paella she ordered (she paid for the whole thing). I nibbled at the shrimp, suavely flicking off any stray grains of rice. What did we talk about? A lot of travel stories, but mostly medical rambling (like doctors tend to do when they’re out in a social setting; despite our dreams of wanting to be well-rounded, there’s nothing as fun as presenting a mystery case.)

Not a *lot* in the way of flirting, other than eating off the same plate, and when she flexed her biceps in my face to show off how weak she was compared to me. We finished our drinks and made a tentative date to meet up again at The Wine Loft or some other wine-centric joint in order to drink heavier when we didn’t have to worry about work the next morning. I didn’t kiss her, and maybe I should have. This is what I mean about taking a bit of initiative and showing some drive. There’s an argument to be made against moving too fast and forcing these things, but the same could be said about moving too slow, yes. I did not learn my lesson when I repeated the process the next day. I’d give this date a solid B. The girl’s cute and sarcastic dark-humor funny, but she (like me) could loosen up a bit in general.

Tuesday: The Tennis Nerd
We decided to meet at Dave’s after sharing a few cursory e-mails and realizing we were both uber-geeks with a passion for fitness. She showed up in a kind-of hipster get-up, skinny jeans, Chuck Taylors, a tight white T-shirt with pink and black graffiti all over it, and ironically large glasses. She had a great figure; defined arms, just-broad-enough shoulders, abs that you could almost see through her shirt. But… how to put this nicely… she had an androgynous/manly face. Like Hilary Swank on an off day. And a nasally voice. It was a potential turn-off/deal-breaker until we actually got to talking and found out we had plenty in common, including our shared obsession with food shows, especially Gordon Ramsay and Anthony Bourdain.

I did OK on this date. I was more nervous on this one than on the one with The Killer, probably because I was thinking about the mechanics of the kiss a little too much. We split from Dave’s after a drink and fumbled for something to do. We walked around Five Points for a bit and settled into Jimmy John’s where I nibbled on a lettuce wrap sandwich and we flirted a little bit more over stories of the drunkest (most drunk?) we have ever been. Not that she was falling all over me or anything; I wonder if that really does happen outside of movies or late-night bar scenes. Maybe, just not to me. We walked up to her car and as she was gushing over how refreshing this date was compared to the last 2-3, every ounce of me was screaming “grab her and make out with her, you fool!” But I balked. She obviously noticed this, because as I drove home, I got *this* text message: “Next time, remind me to kiss you.”

I’d give this one an A-, only because I was a bit off with my ‘mechanics’ and she’s not the *greatest* catch out there. But I like her enough, and we had a bit of chemistry that has still yet to bubble up. Next date, Tuesday night, more drinky, more touchy.

Tonight: The Baseball Fan
She won me over with a profile picture of her playing stickball with some Dominican kids on a dirt road during a vacation. She’s a grad student (the best ones always are) and we should have a bunch of funny travel stories to share. She seems kind of plain and less-than-glamorous, but we shall see. We’re grabbing drinks at Rogue tonight, and then who knows? Keep it simple, stupid.

On the horizon: another half-dozen gals, at least, in various stages of online courtship and whatnot. When I actually get to the point that I can be selective and choosy with them, I’m going to need some advice. Uncharted territory, happening very soon, I hope!



3 thoughts on “Kitchen Nightmares

  1. glad to see you’re not overthinking things whilst they happen. :)
    you said it best: keep it simple.

    Posted by crossfit queen | August 11, 2011, 1:42 pm
  2. oh yeah….shallots make EVERYTHING delicious! can’t wait to try the recipe, but i need to purchase this nutiva coconut manna. whole foods?

    Posted by crossfit queen (haha) | August 11, 2011, 1:43 pm

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