Never Trust A Skinny Chef

San Geraldo is getting back into fighting trim. I really admire his determination and commitment. He joined a local group and has been doing phenomenally well, and we’ve been eating even better (and more) than before. I’ve spent a good part of my life looking undernourished no matter how much I eat. So, to avoid looking undernourished again, in addition to eating healthy with San Geraldo, I supplement with goodies (chocolate-dipped rice crackers, protein bars, cheese and crackers, Bailey’s Irish Cream). One of these days I’m going to sneak out for some churros and chocolate. Just don’t tell San Geraldo. (But, really, he doesn’t mind at all… or so he tells me.)

In addition to a great eating plan, the group San Geraldo joined shares recipes, which means he’s been inspired to be even more creative in the kitchen. We eat at home often now and he orders differently when we’re out. Last night’s dinner at home of chicken (sorry my vegetarian friends) in a spiced mushroom sauce, and vegetables on the side, was unbelievable. The group leader is Scottish. (She speaks slowly for San Geraldo or a Londoner translates for him.) Since the recipes aren’t described in American terms, they’re sometimes as confusing for San Geraldo as Spanish recipes, but he manages… and manages well. I’ve included the spiced mushroom sauce recipe below. (But, understand, I simply copied it; I have no idea what it means.)


Spiced Mushroom Sauce

• Fry Light cooking spray
• 1 finely chopped onion
• 1 red chili, deseeded and finely chopped
• 1 tsp each minced garlic and ginger
• 1 bay leaf, 1 tsp ground coriander
• 1/2 tsp mixed peppercorns, coarsely ground
• 1/4 tsp turmeric
• 200g close cup mushrooms, sliced
• 145 ml chicken stock (Bovril)
• 4 tbsp quark cheese*
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• Small handful of freshly chopped coriander to garnish

1. Spray a pan with Fry Light and fry the onion, chili, garlic, ginger, bay leaf, peppercorns, ground coriander, and turmeric for 5 minutes. (Add a little water if sticking.)
2. Stir in the mushrooms, stock, and bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes until thickish consistency.
3. Take the pot off the boil and stir in the quark cheese. Season to taste and scatter with chopped coriander. Serve immediately.

*Very low-fat fromage frais can be used instead of quark cheese.

Not to be outdone, I ‘ve been refining my culinary skills. I’ve recently been spotted pouring my hot coffee over ice at Cafe Manila … without assistance. And I made my own gourmet “Papaya Breakfast Bowl” the other morning. Half a papaya, Greek yogurt, and corn flakes (I was out of muesli).

Well, San Geraldo cut the papaya and scooped out the seeds. But I spooned in the yogurt and corn flakes all by myself. Brilliant.


Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

34 thoughts on “Never Trust A Skinny Chef”

  1. Good for San Geraldo! It can only be a positive move on his part. He will reap the benefits.
    And it looks like you will too Mitch! lol

  2. "I've spent a good part of my life looking undernourished no matter how much I eat."
    This is NOT fair, I hate you for it. I am struggling to keep carbohydrates out of my mouth and to cut down on fat. I lost 25 pounds, but no one has noticed. Life is not fair.

    1. Frank:
      Wallis Simpson (and I have no respect for Wallis Simpson) said "You can never be too rich or too thin." I don't know about rich but I can tell you, it was no fun being a skinny kid (at 12, I was 5'2 and weighed 72 pounds; at 17, 6'1" and 125 pounds). I'm grateful for my make-up now and know how much easier it is for me. But don't hate me because I'm skinny… (or something like that). Congratulations on those 25 pounds. I like to think of weight loss in terms of potatoes. Just imagine. 25 pounds is a hell of a lot of potatoes!

  3. Quark is a type of fresh dairy product. It is made by warming soured milk until the desired degree of denaturation of milk proteins is met, and then strained ~~ yum ?

    I'll take the recipe sans Quark no problem.

    Papaya a la Corn Flakes ~~ how inventive!!


  4. Sounds like a good creme fraiche, plain yoghurt, or even good ole sour cream might make a somewhat adequate replacement. Good for both of you eating healthier!

    Returning your cyber hug with gratitude.

    1. Jacquelineand….
      So glad you were able to take a break for a visit. I'm honored.

      Someone who cooks would know (without Google) what to replace quark with. I'd up just leaving it out.

  5. You go through all that trouble just for a little bit of SAUCE? It's no good, I'll just never get the attractions of culinary effort. Apart from fresh veg & fruit, if it doesn't come out of a tin, jar or packet then it just doesn't make it to my stomach!

    1. Raybeard:
      I can't believe all the work San Geraldo puts into these meals for just the two of us. If I had to prepare it, it would never happen. As you know, fresh veg & fruit is "cooking" in my book.

  6. Leave out the hen and the hen-juice (the stock) and that recipe sounds almost good enough to eat, although I can't even begin to imagine it being relayed or demonstrated in Spain-ish with a Scots-ish accent!

    Why people worry about this business of eating healthily I do not know – why not simply buy heavier cutlery and benefit from the exercise?

    1. Ian:
      And even my simple cooking mind could see replacing vegetable stock for the chicken stock. But, I thought of you last night: San Geraldo made "Poor Man's Steak" — the most delicious egg plant dish either of us can remember having and totally vegan.

      Do you suppose there's a market for "The Heavy Cutlery Diet" cookbook?

  7. San Geraldo is a good man — and you are apparently both good AND lucky. 🙂

    Should not have come here before breakfast, though… Now I am hungry!


  8. Which? Polyandry or the sauce? One of those I'm not likely to try because it means taking more trouble and effort than it's worth. Same goes for the sauce. 🙂

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