(Photo by Sumeet B on Unsplash)

Ok, you foodies, have at the menu for the week, and enjoy Jamie’s piece on some healthy shortcuts. I’ll catch you after with some things about donuts…

Braised Chicken with Fennel & Leek (Pic by Charlie)

Meal Plan – Week #13

Meals: (1) Pork Green Curry with Cauliflower Rice / (2) Butterleaf & Spinach Green Salad with Citrus Champagne Vinigartette, and Salmon Salad / (3) Braised Chicken with Fennel & Leek / (4) Harissa Chicken over Cauliflower Rice / (5) Black Bean Stew

Snacks: Chopped Veggies (for dipping) / Balsamic Herb Dipping Sauce / Egg Whites / Naked Popcorn / Berries / Thinly Sliced Cucumbers with Cabernet-Dill Vinergarrette / Blanched Green Beans with Garlic & Lime Vinigarrette

(1) Seared and baked Pork with Garlic, Lemongrass, & Ginger. Veggies included Broccoli, Green Beans, Carrots, & Red Cabbage, cooked in Coconut Milk, Green Curry Paste, and Lemongrass / (2) Salmon Salad contains finely chopped Celery & Cucumber, Olive Oil and Dijon Mustard, Garlic, Fennel Frans, Citrus Champagne Vinegar, and a pinch of Malden’s Sea Salt / (3) Seared Chicken to rest, sliced Leeks cooked down adding Fennel after then Vegetable Stock, and Garlic. Add chicken to pan and cooked to completed / (4) Harissa Tunisian sauce, subbing out the Spicy Peppers for Sweet Peppers, pan-roasted and food processed with Cumin, Coriander, Garlic, Lemon Juice, Tomato Paste, Smoked Paprika, and dash of salt as Chicken Marinade. Removed Chicken from Marinade to cook, added sliced red cabbage to Marinade, packed in separate portion areas of meal container for building and reheating to taste / (5) Cooked Onions, Leeks, & Garlic in stew pot, added Carrots & Celery, added Black Beans and Vegetable Broth with Episote, Cumin, Adobe, & a Bay Leaf, cooked down for 8 hours with periodic adding of Broth. Ten minutes before serving, add chopped Zucchini

I have this theory about donuts.

…Even if you aren’t a pastry person, a sweets person, a filling or icing person, or a person who is into bread goods, there is a kind of donut for you somewhere out there. And it will find you. I have seen them double deep-fried, elephant-eared, and made of things that aren’t even flour. I have seen them split in two, used as a hamburger bun, and coating a hotdog. I have seen them dressed up like other foods, stuffed like a turkey, and covered in so much goop you can’t even SEE the donut. I’ve also seen them bare-butt naked as babies with nary a sprinkle.

At least once a week, some form of donut is put on a trolly cart and paraded around Charlie’s office like some kind of carnival floating nightmare. Usually, the person manning the float will thoughtfully stop at Charlie’s office and close the door before the parade begins, giving a little indicator nod in her direction as she sits mid-bite of something made of five vegetables and a mess of beans. This is the cue.

…Then, further down the hall, the parade begins. Charlie can tell because the silence (but for the sounds of typing) ceases, and friendly voices start to come to life. Laughs are heard. The energy level on the entire floor completely shifts because sugared bread, custard fillings, bacon toppings, and old fashion icing are magic that way.

…And Charlie hears it, and senses it, but doesn’t get to be a part of it.


Food is more than just fuel. It’s more than personal pleasure and enjoyment. More than habit. More than a treat or a pretense to overindulge. It is also extremely communal. It’s familial and celebratory; it builds friendships, it rewards, and is a requirement to survive.

…But for all its forms and flavors, it is kind of amazing how UNinclusive we can make it. Which is something I’ve never really thought about (in true fashion of being a human with zero allergies) because it is only now directly affecting people close to me.

Not that I have never dieted before. Not that I’m not dieting right now. But going without as a choice is a very different thing from actual and absolute necessity.

Innocent donut day isn’t so innocent when the donuts aren’t about a little indulgence, cheating a little on a diet, or making Monday slightly more bearable. Now there is way more on the line, making Mondays even worse for one person shut out from the experience. And there is nothing comparable to give her to make up for it, no matter how much we want to.

And that just really bites.

For those of you, undertaking your nutritional wars in necessity, out on the battlefields every day, fighting your best fight while being battered with the heavy artillery of fast food smells, and your own version of donut float parades: we salute you and your strength.

…And we resist the urge to attempt baking you a “cake” fashioned from layers of tofu, filled with “riced” cauliflower, and iced in bean paste “frosting” because we really care about you.

But if there was a way to make that in any way appetizing, we’d create the crap out of it. And parade it on a Monday food float!

Just for you!