Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 67, Tuesday May 12, 2009














Diet Download

My wife is on a very weird diet these days. She eats only protein one week; protein and some veggies the next week; protein, veggies and some carbohydrate the week after. Beyond this, I lose track.

The only implication of this with me is the fact that I need to shop accordingly. Gone are the days when I would mindlessly pick up vegetables of all sorts and red rice and good freshwater fish. Now I have to be a little more careful and think ahead of time and be aware of which week of the diet cycle we are in.

Not that she is taking the diet well. After all, how much of grilled chicken and boiled eggs can one person have? She is not the most fish friendly person and hence, that is not an immediate solution either.

As a result, she has been eating very less and headaches are frequent. Every cloud has a silver lining; in this case, a lining comprising of food otherwise not allowed in the cycle. She called from work complaining about a headache. I was at the market scratching my head over what to buy. Sensing her discomfort, I asked her if she would like to have noodles for dinner. I guess she was really suffering because she readily agreed. This gave me new impetus to shop. I had seen some organic shallots and basil leaves. Picked them up. Went to the frozen section and picked up prawns, imitation crab and something called “Premium Fish Fillet”. Honestly, never heard of Premium Fish! Also I picked up some packaged egg noodles.

In my mind, I was priming myself for some seafood noodle stir-fry. Quickly got home, defrosted the seafood and chopped some shallots and garlic. Did the usual frying and sautéing and simmering with the veggies. Added the seafood and stirred, but not for too long. After all, all good cooks advocate against overcooking seafood. Then I boiled the noodles, drained and tossed it with the stir-fried stuff. And presto!

Noodles were reduced to a soggy mess! Fish pieces and prawns were scattered all over the place. Crab strands hung limply like they were having a bad hair day. And I realized my mistake. I should have put the noodles in cold water before mixing, which would have stopped them from cooking any further. But in my haste to cook dinner, I went ahead and made the cardinal error of them all. I overcooked the noodles!

Not even the bright green perky basil flavour could salvage it. No amount of soy sauce or vinegar made it taste any better. It tasted like fish flavoured toothpaste, heaven help us! And it did nothing to reduce my wife's headache. Smart woman, she quickly whipped up toast and omelette. And to rub salt in an already bleeding wound, she folded in mushrooms and black olives in the omelette, making it as distanced from basil accented seafood noodles as possible. That, coupled with some medicines cured her headache in a jiffy. And I, instead of humble pie, got to eat dinner, however 'breakfastish' that may be.

Moral of story: diets are not something to be messed with!



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