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If I were running on this, everyone would be able to get away with everything.

While running, I pretty much stare at the same angry-gorilla-looking smudge chunk in the baseboard of the gym.  If I look up, Glenn Beck’s crazy-civics-teacher apparel and bat-shit crazy speech elevates my heart rate into the potentially-falling-off-treadmill range.  If I look left or right, I get disoriented and potentially fall off treadmill.  If I look at my feet, I remember I have no rhythm and therefore can’t fake it.

When I get off the treadmill, I go do weights and attempt to figure out my average mile time and average mph in my head.  When I succeed, I know oxygen is finally getting up there again.

This means that as I’m leaving the gym and gulping water on the way home, my brain is free to dream about food.  In between paychecks, this means trying to think of recipes that can be assembled from whatever leftover chunks of food happen to be laying around the house.

Thus, Lazy-Ass TexMex Hungry Gym Brain Casserole:

  1. Dump a couple of cans of beans (I used pinto & kidney, but feel free to use black, garbanzo, whatever) in a casserole dish.
  2. Dump a can or jar of tomatoes in with the beans.
  3. Fill can or jar with water and toss that in, too, before throwing can in recycling bin.
  4. Toss in about a cup, maybe a cup and a half, of brown rice (assuming you have a jar of bulk rice handy, though I suppose you could also use any other sort of rice or grain you found in the cupboard).
  5. Add spices (I used some chipotle powder, chili powder, cumin, a dash of turmeric, & a bit of cayenne).
  6. Throw in some veggies (suggestions: frozen peppers, onions, corn, anything on the verge of going bad that might remotely fit in with everything else…)
  7. Stir.
  8. (I realize I didn’t mention meat. That’s because I’m a vegetarian and I have Hubby mostly converted.  The beans add protein.  If you really need meat, soy crumbles, or an eye of newt, throw it in before stirring.)
  9. Make a quick corn tortilla topping (I swear it takes about 3 minutes or one punk song, if you work fast):
    • Throw 1 cup AP flour, 1 cup corn meal, 1-2/3 teaspoons baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 cup of water in a bowl.
    • Mix.
    • Clean off counter-top and sprinkle a bit of cornmeal & flour.
    • Put mixed-up blob on counter and roll it out like cookie dough (if you don’t have a rolling pin, get creative & use a clean wine/beer bottle or a cup dusted with flour). (Cutting it into strips and making the thing look fancy is optional.)
    • Put your cornmeal cookie-dough on top of the rest of the mess.
  10. Stick casserole dish in oven at 375 for about 30 minutes or so.
  11. Take it out and sprinkle it with cheese (veggie shreds, rice cheese, cheddar, toe cheese, no cheese, whatever floats your boat).
  12. Stick it back in the oven at 400 for about 10 minutes (or ever how long it takes you to write a page of dialogue between some sisters who can’t really seem to say to each other what needs to be said).
  13. Take it out, cut it up, dish it out, sprinkle with hot sauce/salsa/nothing, and eat it.
  14. (I ate it before I realized I could take a picture of it.)

This recipe has been brought to you by the letters L, A, H, G, B, and C.

Also, because I sometimes go back and read Robert Crais’s earlier Elvis Cole books for sarcastic inspiration (sarcastic character inspiration, not…oh, shut up, you) & I have recently realized that not only are they fun little romps, but they have built-in cookbooks.

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