I’m back on the zombie shift at the hospital. Hooray – I can pay for more bacon and cookbooks! I guess that balances out the sky-high cortisol levels caused by sleep disruption. Sorta.

At work, I ate leftover Damn Fine Chicken and veggies, and guarded the narcotics ‘til the sun came up.

I got home just in time to kiss Big-O good-bye for school and watch Lil-O prance around the family room impersonating Weird Al. I’d managed just two hours of shut-eye before starting my shift, so I needed to get horizontal pronto.

Alas, my sleep was fitful and abbreviated – which is fairly typical after my first shift of the week. Even after twelve years of working graveyards, it takes a day or two before I get back into the groove of sleeping during the day. With less-than-adequate sleep, I wasn’t about to prepare a fancy feast. Instead, I opted for a simple, no-fuss dinner: garbage soup and burgers!

I posted a different version of garbage soup yesterday, and I meant it when I said that you truly can make it with just about anything in the fridge.  After taking a peek in the crisper, I found a head of Napa cabbage…

…and some carrots, which I cooked with shallots in the pressure cooker.

I added a handful of crunchy dried shiitake mushrooms (they soften under high pressure)…

…chopped cabbage…

…and leftover bone broth to the pot.

I locked the lid in place and cranked up the heat ’til the contents reached high pressure. Then, after lowering the heat to a simmer, I cooked the soup at high pressure for seven minutes. And then the soup was done. Really. That’s all it takes.

I rarely plan ahead, so a pressure cooker is the perfect appliance for a busy, disorganized mom like me – especially when I’m craving rib-sticking comfort food and I’ve only got an hour to get food on the table. I’ll definitely be visiting my buddy Laura’s site, Hip Pressure Cooking, to get more tips. (Her Morrocan Lamb Tagine recipe is on my to-cook list.)

As I waited for the cooker to naturally release its pressure, I seasoned a pound of ground beef with Magic Mushroom Powder and formed them into patties.

I fried them up…

…and plated them with leftover Oven-Roasted Tomatoes.

Before I ladled soup into our bowls, I cut a fistful of dulse into each one.

I got this idea from my buddy Diana, who’s been encouraging me to get more nutrient-dense sea vegetables into our bellies. I’m going to spike all my soups and stews with dulse ’cause it also adds a bolus of umami (due to its high glutamate content!), too.

Speaking of nutrient-dense traditional foods…who’s heading to Wise Traditions 2012 in Santa Clara next week? I’ll be there with my pals Diane, Bill, Hayley, and Liz. Come say hello if you spot us!

About Michelle Tam

Hello! My name is Michelle Tam, and I love to eat. I think about food all the time. It borders on obsession. I’ve always loved the sights and smells of the kitchen. My mother was (and is) an excellent cook, and as a kid, I was her little shadow as she prepared supper each night. From her, I gained a deep, abiding love for magically transforming pantry items into mouth-watering family meals.

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