Food Diary, Day One.

7.40 am: A really tart grapefruit and two Tylenols. I think my brain is trying to squeeze its way out of my skull, via my eye sockets.

10.10 am: Banana. On Fridays I try not to eat a lot in the morning because that is the day we have lunch delivered at work, and I am almost certain to overeat then.

10.40 – 11.51 am: Sumo skim latte with a shot of sugar-free vanilla from Zing! in Porter Square Books. I am very particular about my coffee, but not in the sense that one would imagine. I don’t know anything about Tanzanian Peaberry or Hawaiian Kona. I just like my coffee to be at a specific temperature — warm enough that I can still enjoy its heat, but not so hot that I burn my mouth. And never, ever cold.

12.35 pm: Lunch is supposed to arrive at any minute and I am scared that I won’t be able to hold out.

1.02 – 1.50 pm: Nibbles of shahi paneer, chicken tikka masala, naan, vegetable pakora, aloo gobhi and basmati rice. We had lunch brought in from Desi Dhaba in Central Square, which was good, but I much prefer Tanjore or Tamarind Bay, both in Havard Square, depending on whether I’m in the mood for something more traditional or more eclectic.

2.24 pm: An extremely sweet D’Anjou pear whose juice threatened to trickle down my arm and into my sleeve, reminding me of that small scene in Memoirs of a Geisha:

…I stepped into the kitchen of the okiya and found one of the maids leaning over the sink, trying to cover up the ripe pear she held to her mouth, its juices running down onto her neck. She’d had such a craving for it, she’d said, and begged me not to tell Mother.

4.17 pm: One Dove dark chocolate square from the office candy tray. I am desperately in need of something sweet, and while I am staring at another D’Anjou, I don’t think fruit will quite cut it at the moment.

4.45 pm: The chocolate fails to do its job. Time for Pear, Take Two.

5.03 pm: Two Advils. Surely this is how Wyle E. Coyote feels after the Roadrunner is done with him.

6.48 pm: A honking piece of mozzarella cheese while I write out my grocery list. I am starving, and tired. Tonight I just want to cook some food and go to bed.

9.42 – 10.26 pm: Diet Coke and dinner of a quick stir-fry of brown rice, chicken, edamame and walnuts, the recipe of which I pinched from an old issue of Bon Appétit. I’ve included it here, below.

Brown Rice + Chicken Stir-Fry with Edamame + Walnuts
Makes six portions.

½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
4 tablespoons soy sauce, ideally low-sodium
2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, sliced thinly crosswise
1 teaspoon honey
4 teaspoons sesame oil
4 teaspoons minced fresh ginger (I like a lot of ginger, so I might use even more than this.)
3 garlic cloves, minced (I like a lot of garlic, so I might use even more than this.)
1 ½ cups short-grain brown rice cooked, cooled
2 cups shelled cooked edamame beans
1 bunch chopped scallions (Keith likes scallions; Bon Appétit calls for 2/3 cup, chopped.)

  1. Stir walnuts in medium nonstick skillet over medium heat until lightly toasted, about three minutes. Drizzle two tablespoons soy sauce over walnuts; stir until soy sauce coats walnuts, about forty-five seconds. Let cool. (This step can be made up to three days ahead. Store at room temperature in airtight container.)
  2. Combine chicken, two tablespoons soy sauce and honey in medium bowl, and toss to coat. Let stand fifteen minutes.
  3. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add chicken and stir-fry for about two-three minutes. Add ginger and garlic and stir-fry for thirty seconds. Add cooked rice and edamame; reduce heat to medium and stir-fry until heated through, about five minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat; mix in walnuts and scallions, serve.