Friday, February 14, 2014

T-rific Tunisian Salad And Tuna Pasta

Obligatory Valentine's Day post begins with my playlist, Nobody Loves Me: a Valentine's Day Playlist for the Eternally Single. I still rather enjoy the land war in Russia analogy I used: "The 'dating scene' is much akin to a land war in Russia, in winter—it’s brutal, brutish, unwinnable, and full of casualties." At any rate, Happy Valentine's Day, remembering, "Every day the 14th!" In all seriousness, it's pretty important to keep this sentiment in mind.
I am going to devote some time in this post to talking about cheating, mostly because it is an unfortunate situation I recently had to live through, but what could I possibly say about this other than it is painfully absurd, absurd that it is so painful, and well...just plain absurd!? Sadly, not everything we live through carries lessons--sometimes it's just dumb, grinding pain that baffles as much as it smarts (punny). To quote Jay-Z (yeah, what did you expect from a pragmatic girl like me, Rumi!? :): "the worst pain is the distress; Learnin you're the mistress only after that love gets slain. And the anger and the sorrow mixed up leads to mistrust. Now it gets tough to ever love a-gain." The best analogy I can think of to describe the experience of feeling "cheated on" is like one enormous slipping-on-banana-peel moment--there is nothing in it for you to learn from, there is no, "oh, if I had done this or trusted my intuition or xyz, we would not be here now." There is no, "I wish I were hotter, smarter, cooler," etc. moment either because most of the time the person on the other side is none of those things. And worst of all, the more decorum you conduct yourself with throughout this sordidness, the less appreciation you get for acting this way, ultimately because ease of temperament is confused for lack of concern. I, for one, detest scenes and comporting myself with dignity is paramount. I don't even raise my voice. Rationality is important to me, even though I am a sensitive person. And in the end, if you try to "fix" things, your friends might label you a doormat, be thoroughly confounded by you, all the while you are still left playing a part in one Dante's infernal circle of a mental movie directed by...you. In other words, it sucks. But this is all I am going to say about this and I only brought this up because the meal below was made under somewhat happier circumstances and clearly is an aberration from my usually all-vegan posts. Nevertheless, no need to be so Debbie Downer-esque because as Jean Grae put it, "It's still a love song." Life is still a love song :) Let live and let love.

Now, let's talk about this Tunisian salad. Start by playing this song from my music column this week first. Chop up tomatoes, cucumbers, cubanelle pepper, onion, and some mint. Squeeze at least half a lemon in, add olive oil, salt & pepper and Sah!!!! I could eat this salad all day, every day.

Next, the tuna pasta I invented, and oh what a felicitous discovery it was! Cook some whole-wheat angel hair pasta separately. In another pan, cook at least 2-3 finely sliced garlic cloves in olive oil, add the key, secret ingredient: 1-2 tsps. of turmeric! Then, add a whole can of oil-packed albacore tuna (for my vegan peeps, omit this step), add some capers, cook all of this. Add a little of the pasta water, squeeze the other half of the lemon in, and add green olives. Some chili flakes, cook the sauce down a bit but not too much, combine with the cooked pasta, and finish with parsley. I promise you--you will find yourself craving this Mediterranean style meal many, many times over. Good eating :)





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