Thanks to a poor heart, a lot of travel is out of our reach. No insurance; No out-of-country travel allowed for me and my wife. It is just that simple.
One advantage to this is that one big retirement expense has dropped from our budget. We are flush with unspent cash that was once budgeted for travel: plane fares, hotel rooms, expensive restaurants. Well, restaurants are actually still in our budget. London, Ontario, has some nice places to drop a dime. We especially liked our recent visit to the Spring Restaurant in an old church on Springbank Drive.
Still, my heart doctors have me on a Mediterranean diet and a lot of restaurant meals do not answer my dietary needs. Dining at home is a fine alternative. It is fun. Challenging might be a better word when I am in the kitchen.
The other day I saw some dark green rice ramen in Winners. Ramen is that noodle stuff many of us ate when single and in a hurry. It came in a noodle-filled box with some flavorful powder. It was flavorful if you count lots of salt as flavor. Peel back the foil covering the bowl shaped container, pour in some boiling water and within minutes one had a meal. I haven't had ramen in years.
When I saw the dark green ramen, it brought back memories and thoughts of I-can-do-better. I bought the package. I boiled it and a little too long, I might add. Then set it aside.
I fried some chopped red and yellow sweet peppers in a little olive oil in a large wok. I added some green onions to the mix and when the onions started to show signs of cooking, I added some chopped broccoli, diced cashews to the mix and four ounces of chopped cooked chicken we had leftover from a previous meal. I had some Indian sauce in the fridge, so added that with a little finely chopped garlic. With all nicely mixed, I added the still warm ramen noodles.
The dinner was tasty and healthy. It had lots of vegetables and very little meat. I overcooked the noodles slightly but I'll know better next time. All in all, a very good dinner with interesting ingredients. It was fun to make and a pleasure to eat. It went very nicely with our the five ounces of red wine we have each evening at dinner.
And it was inexpensive. Our budget is still awash with cash.