Simple pleasure: cold coffee

Some call it iced coffee, but at my house it’s just cold. Every couple of days, I make a batch of hot coffee in my much-beloved glass Chemex. Even though I rarely drink more than one cup, I always make at least two. That un-drunk cup goes into a glass peanut butter jar (one of a dozen or so in my cupboard) and then into the fridge to be enjoyed at breakfast the next day. I used to pack a glass with ice and dress it up with raw sugar and milk or half and half, sometimes a splash of vanilla extract. But then the automatic ice-maker broke (as they always seem to do) and I just never get around to making cubes the old-fashioned way. At some point I stopped the milk, then the sugar, enjoying the deep roasted notes of my favorite French Roast from Jim’s Organic Coffee. Sipping cold coffee from a cold jar, over breakfast on the back deck, is one of those truly delicious simple pleasures of summer.

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The next supper

If I were to start a list of Five Minute Foodisms, I’d put this near the top: always think about your next meal. Some of the biggest barriers to eating well are time and energy. So, save yourself a little of both by preparing some of your next meal along with your current one.

If you’re boiling eggs, chopping vegetables for a stir fry, making a sauce or washing greens for salad, prepare a little extra! At least enough for another meal or two. This is a routine time-saver for me. If I’m cutting up tofu or tempeh for a meal, I cut the whole block and store the rest. If I’m cleaning lettuce, I wash the whole head. If I’m slicing into an onion or tomato, I slice or chop the rest so it’s ready for the next meal, even if I’m not sure what it will be. When I get home from a long day of work, or am feeling lazy on a day off and don’t know what to make for dinner, I can say, well, I’ve got some chopped scallions and tomatoes…maybe a nice salad? Or an easy omelet?

Today I started building a salad with some lettuce, arugula, tomatoes, cucumbers and scallions. I washed extra lettuce and cut some extra scallion tops and threw the rest in containers. I threw in some tofu for protein and cubed the rest of the package. Then I whipped up about a cup and a half of peanut dressing, dressed my salad and put the rest in a glass bottle. It will keep in the fridge for weeks, and I’ll drizzle it over salad or one of my quick vegetable, grain and protein concoctions.

Cooking this way provides me with double the pleasure: a good meal in front of me and anticipation of the next one!