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Okay, admittedly, we’re not going to talk about what I actually ate tonight, but instead a meal I made the week before Thanksgiving.  (Is it weird that I feel guilty for letting these pictures sit on my camera for so long, like the food has spoiled or something?)
The reason I’m relying on a fallback meal is because this is THE WEEK, the one that rolls around every year, where I’m right smack in the middle of my two massive back-to-back holiday shows, and most of my evenings have been too crazy for cooking.  Too crazy for anything, actually.

So crazy in fact that I feel obligated to listen to podcasts like Radiolab and Democracy Now during my commute to and from work just to squeeze in any sort of education that I can during my aurally idle minutes, since reading has been out the window for at least the past month now.
But instead, all I want to listen to as I ride my bike home in the dark after work is Cloud Cult’s Mr. Tambourine Man on a straight loop.  I’m having an indulgently mopey night, and that’s been helping.  It feels like a bit of a cop out to spend the evening at home knitting and eating sea salt dark chocolate and catching up on my Netflix instead of going to this show that I was invited to.  I’ve been waffling about it all day, but it’s sort of a new thing I’m trying — an exercise in reminding myself that I’m not always mandated to choose the most emotionally trying from the given set of options.

So instead let’s talk about this silly meal I made a few days before Thanksgiving — silly because who buys turkey and sweet potatoes the week of Thanksgiving and uses them for something entirely non-Thanksgiving-esque?  (Especially when they’ve recently admitted to not liking sweet potatoes.)

But I had seen this beautiful green head of Napa cabbage, and was in need of a massive protein boost so it just kind of fell into place.  And the sweet potatoes…well, I had seen this picture the day before while searching for my own Thanksgiving recipe, and couldn’t get it out of my head.

This is one of those wonderful ten-minute meals that makes your muscles feel reenergized after a bike ride home, leaves you with leftovers for lunch the next day, and makes the kitchen smell amazing.  

I started by sauteeing half a yellow onion and some garlic in a thin coat of olive oil, with some salt and freshly ground cumin.  To this I added one of my favorite go-to seasonings:

I usually just buy half a pound of ground, free-range turkey, which I added at this point along with a bit of a chopped-up jalapeno.

Stirring this until the turkey browned, I chopped up half of the cabbage and tossed it into the pan.  The key to cooking cruciferous veggies such as this is to keep an eye on the color.  Just like broccoli or kale, the cabbage will turn bright green when it’s perfectly done, like a little green light indicating its done before it descends back into a sludgy green and gets over-wilted.

I drizzled some soy sauce over the top to give it a final kick of flavor and steam, and finished it all off with a some fresh chopped cilantro.

The sweet potatoes were sliced into quarter-inch thick wedges, and tossed with canola oil (this gives them a browner, crunchier bake than olive oil), and a whole bunch of spices: ground coriander and fennel, dried oregano, and red pepper flakes.  I lined a cookie sheet with foil and baked them at 425 for 40 minutes, turning them halfway through.

And garnished the plate with a perfectly crunchy Fuji apple.  I am a food separatist, but I do rotate bites, and to me the texture trinity of mushy, chewy, and crunchy is perfection.