Go soy!


 
Working at the Casino, I have trouble getting enough healthful protein. Although there is a full service cafeteria [two of them actually, operating nearly ’round the clock  — Foxwoods is the largest casino in North America] the normal fare for employees is hamburgers, grilled cheese, french fries, onion rings, cold cuts, nachos, hot dogs and then some veggies, a fish dish and an Asian dish that is so far removed from what I would consider Asian food that I have only tried it once in my nearly three months there.
 
Some days the fish is okay, but it’s a rare occurrence when it is good rather than dried out and tough. There is also a salad bar, a good thing over all, but not enough on its own for a well-rounded meal. [Just step away from the mayonnaisy macaroni/potatoes, the salad dressings, croutons, sugar free pudding [ghastly] and other noxious stuff.]
 
One solution I’ve found is cold edamame, an appetizer I used to eat nearly every week in Hangzhou. Flavored with star anise and chilies and salt, it satisfies a lot of my cravings — salty, sweet and spicy.  In addition, it is full of protein, fiber, essential fatty acids and isoflavones [only found in soy]. I pack them in my little cooler in a plastic bag with some of the water and take them to work. I eat them cold with a little more crushed salt and relax knowing that I’m getting enough protein to sustain me throughout the work schedule and that my body will be strong for taijichuan. 
 
Even better? One half cup [the edible peas] contains 100 calories. Go soy!
 
Here is a receipe I cobbled together from some restaurants I frequented in Hangzhou.
 
Put water in a big pot and throw in a handful of star anise and a few dried chilis and some salt.
Bring water to a boil and throw in a bag of Edamame, frozen.
 
 
Bring water back to a boil [about three or four minutes] and turn off heat.
Let sit for another minute and using a ladle with holes scoop out the edamame and anise into a bowl with some ice cubes in it.
 
 
Add some of the boiled water and cover and put in the refrigerator until cool.
 
When going to work I take some edamame and some of the water and put into a ziplock bag and toss it in my little cooler with some hummus, wasa bread and some olives and I’m set. No matter what the offerings at the Caf tonight, I’m prepared and know I can train taiji tomorrow.
 
[n.b.: I have low blood pressure and so I use more salt than someone who has elevated BP might.]
 
Happy trails.
 
 
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