Monday, November 4, 2013

Frugal Foodie on a British Pound: Reflections on Optimizing Productivity


My lofty plans for posting three days a week have mysteriously disappeared. Instead, the day has been reduced to the number of minutes available and what can feasibly be accomplished in that time (not saying how successful that has been, but the framework can be useful). So, let's say I have…

  • 15-60 minutes, then I can begin to respond to or write emails, edit an EcoAg blog post someone has sent me, maybe read a short article...but perhaps not internalize it, and you know, write lists (like this one!)
  • 10-15 minutes, that’s basically just a drop in a very large bucket. One could feasibly check email (but not respond), grab a quick coffee, say hi to a friend, bask in what little daylight there is…
  • 1-2 hours, now we’re talking. I can actually read a couple of papers or a chapter for class, perhaps sit down and write something articulate, go for a run or take a yoga class, and generally get stuff done.
  • more than 2 hours. Wow, I can ruminate on the meaning of life, luxuriate in some free space to think, and you know, bake a pie.

...now the only problem is that there are still too few hours in the day, and more importantly, too few segments of time longer than two hours. What this translates into for the blog is abandonment, slotted a fifteen minute interval here or there, and stripped of any substantive messages or discussion. Despite a neglected blog and all outward e-appearances, I am still cooking and have not yet slid into subsisting on peanut butter and carrots. Furthermore, little did I know, but someone out there has designated November as “World Vegan Month”. Move over Movember (actually don’t, prostate cancer awareness is important…); here is something tasty and vegan for a bluster autumnal day.


Fall Back Roast Veg
1 fennel bulb, rough chop

½ medium winter squash (I used Carnival), cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 onion, sliced
1 sweet potato, cubed
1/2 cup butter beans, cooked
5-10 fresh sage leaves
3 cloves garlic, halved
2 tsp olive oil (or grapeseed)
1 tsp coarse sea salt

1. Toss veggies, sage, and garlic in olive oil and salt, and place on a baking sheet. Roast at around 180C (sorry, my oven switched units! But around 400F should be good) for 25 minutes. Fennel, onions, and garlic should be soft and a bit caramelized.
2. Throw in the beans and bake another 5 minutes. This would be a great topping for polenta or mixed into quinoa or salad. Enjoy!

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