Basic cooking for bachelor alpha geeks

Just caught up with a good friend of mine who’s a tech geek and bachelor and needed some cooking advice. I’ve watched bachelor friends give themselves scurvy by getting home and ordering pizza every night. Being a tech geek makes it worse.

Your $badnessOfDiet += $levelOfAlphaGeek**3

So my wife put together the list of recipes below for him this evening. They are incredibly basic but are staples that you can make in big batches at the beginning of a week and eat the whole week. You can make a big batch on sunday, freeze half of it and keep the other half in the fridge and thaw it out halfway through the week as you run out.

The foods below are Low GI so will help you lose weight and you can eat as much as you’d like. They also contain much of what you need in your diet. If you’re a geek looking to lose some weight, this list is definitely for you. I lost 25 pounds (200 down to 175) last year eating mostly this. I’d throw in some fruit here and there (organic apples, banannas, grapefruit, oranges, etc..) The fruit is not as low on the GI scale, so don’t go nuts.

Also, try to drink your geek dose of caffeine AFTER you’ve eaten. You’ll notice your skin suddenly stops being so dry.

Lentils                                    Cooking Time:  30-45 min

Lentils are the easiest bean to cook as they don’t require presoaking.  Sort through the lentils to pick out any rocks.  Rinse them to remove dust.

Add 2 cups water and 1 cup lentils in a pot.  Bring to a boil then set to simmer.  Cook for 30-45 minutes depending on the type of lentil.  Start checking at 30 minutes. They should be soft.  Not chewy (undercooked) or mushy (overcooked).  Add water if you need to during the cooking time.  You can drain off any excess water if they are done cooking.

You can eat them plain or add some salt and pepper (such as ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper) or other spices.  You can add spices during the cooking except salt.  Only add salt at the end or the lentils won’t soften.  You can triple/quadruple, etc the recipe to make a big batch at the beginning of the week.

Dried Beans:                  Black Beans / Lima Beans / Kidney Beans / Pinto Beans

Soak Time:  8 hours                  Crockpot Cooking Time:  8-12 hours

Dried beans are also easy to make but need some planning.  You also sort through the bag of beans for rocks and give a quick rinse.  Soak overnight or at least 8 hours.

The easiest way to cook is in a Crockpot while you are at work or overnight because you don’t have to worry about the water level getting too low.  Put the soaked beans into the Crockpot and cover with about an inch of water.  Add spices, set the Crockpot on LOW then let the beans cook for 8-12 hours.  Start checking at 8 hours or when you get home/ wake up.  Beans should be soft.  Take one out and sample it to see if it’s done.   If you get home and they aren’t quite done, you can put them on high and they cook much faster but keep an eye on them.  They can get low on water and burn.

Some spices to add are garlic powder, onion powder, cumin seeds or cumin powder and pepper.  Again, no salt while cooking, it will prevent the beans from softening but the other spices are great to add while cooking.  You can start off adding 1 teaspoon of each spice per 2 cups of soaked beans and modify to suit your taste.

Vegetables:                  Cooking Time: 5-10 minutes

Go for variety when eating vegetables.  Steaming is the easiest way to cook.  Get a little metal steamer you put into the bottom of any pot.  Be sure to rinse the vegetables before cooking.  Good vegetables for steaming are broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, green beans, mushrooms and carrots.  Put in the steamer, add water until it just touches the bottom of the steamer, put in the veggies, cover, put on high until it starts steaming then set temperature on medium.   Most vegetables are done in 5-10 minutes.  Start checking them at 5 minutes until they are the texture you like.

You can eat them plain or drizzle with some olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice or even try balsamic vinegar.

Herbed Baked Chicken:                                    Cooking 50-60 minutes

This recipe works great with boneless breasts or thighs.  Rinse the chicken and put into a baking dish.  Over 8 pieces, drizzle a mixture of  1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1-2 minced garlic cloves and 1 teaspoon each of dried (or 1 tablespoon fresh) of your favorite herbs such as oregano, rosemary, thyme, basil, etc.

Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.  Take them out and check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer.  This is important.  The best way to not overcook or undercook is to check the internal temperature.  The chicken is done at 165.  If the chicken is already at that temperature, it’s done.  If isn’t not quite there, remove the foil and bake for another 5 minutes. Take it out and check the temperature again.  Repeat until it’s at 165.

If your bank doesn’t like your startup’s blog, they may freeze your funds

Update: The Fabulis story had legs like I’ve never seen before. When I posted it to Hacker News it shot to number 1 in about 3 minutes and stayed there for 6 to 8 hours. A few hours later Robin Wauters from Techcrunch picked up on the story and since then it’s appeared everywhere from GigaOm and ValleyWag to FT.com. Citi has now issued a formal apology to Fabulis emphasizing their support of the LGBT community which you can read here.

Update2: Jason posted this update about 4 hours ago with some additional rather startling detail. “Yesterday I was even instructed to come into the branch to view a print-out of the “offensive” content on our site which was in “violation” of their compliance officer’s review of our business account.”

My original post follows:

In an utterly bizarre move, according to the Fabulis blog, Citibank blocked Fabulis.com’s bank account a few days ago for “objectionable content on their blog”. To give you some context, Jason Goldberg the Founder & CEO is a good friend of mine and started his career working for Bill Clinton in the White House. He then went on to T-Mobile, picked up a Stanford MBA on the way, raised $50M for Jobster which ended up buying my job search engine, then founded SocialMedian (sold to Xing) and is now working on Fabulis.

Fabulis is based in NY but Jason is still known and loved by the Seattle startup community and we may one day even forgive him for going to the east coast.

The company is still finding their niche but it looks like they’re setting up to be a travel portal for gay men. Their blog has had a ton of hilarious videos of guys describing why they’re “Fabulis”. Zero porn, nothing even mildly suggestive or risque.

Just to be completely clear, we’re not talking about refusing a line of credit here. This is a cash account belonging to a funded company that was blocked.

I haven’t had a chance to speak to Jason about this yet, so I don’t have any more detail. But after Fabulis called Citi this evening they temporarily lifted the block while “a compliance officer is asked to re-review our website on Thursday”.

I’m curious why a bank would think they have the right to block a depositor’s access to their own funds based on that banks own moral judgment. Unless I’ve misunderstood the facts, this sets a very dangerous precedent.

Banks are highly motivated to hold on to your money as long as possible. If they have this power, it is very profitable for them to use it because they earn interest on your money every additional day it stays in your account. Ever heard of the overnight rate?

One might speculate that this is a form of redlining and that the LGBT community is the new target.

After their $45 billion dollar public money bailout of Citigroup in 2008 it’s ironic that they would block the bank account of a technology startup who’s goal is to create jobs.

Whatever the reason, I hope Citi’s PR team is kicking into gear because Jason is no stranger to mainstream media (CNN video) and this seems like the sort of thing that that will get picked up.

How a job is created

This morning I called in to C-SPAN’s Washington Journal to answer the question “Is it fair that the Obama administration has been called anti-business”. To give you some context, I consider myself a democrat and I voted for Obama (and attended the rallies, etc)

I’ve been ruminating over the issue for most of the day. Here are a few more thoughts.

At the front of every American’s mind right now is the awful job market. America has lost more than 8 million jobs since 2007. Both parties have hitched their idiological wagons to this talking point and are trying to appear to be more capable of solving the issue than the other guy.

The issue is simple: How do we create more jobs.

The answer is simple: You help grow existing businesses and you help create new businesses. That is how a job is created.

Let me say that again in case your ideological lense distorted that last sentence [or in case that blue hurts your eyes too].

You create jobs by helping grow existing businesses and helping create new businesses.

I’m a business owner in Seattle. I own a funded Technology startup. My goal is to grow my business into something the size of Google that employs 25,000 people. I’M THE GUY TRYING TO CREATE JOBS.

I’m trying to create jobs so hard that I work without a salary. Not only that but I invest my life savings into the cause of creating jobs. I also work harder at my job of creating jobs than most people work at their normal job. I regularly pull 80+ hour weeks. [I’m sure you medical interns are laughing at me, but you’re the exception and are clearly insane.]

Three friends of mine in Silicon Valley have taken some of their life savings and given it to me in the hope that they might help me create 25,000 jobs the way Google did.

But what is very very strange is that with all this Democrat and Republican talk of creating jobs, not a single democrat or republican has actually done anything to help my friends and I create jobs.

Nothing.

They haven’t helped startups get access to credit.

They haven’t helped startups spend less on taxes so they can spend more on growth.

They haven’t helped the people who fund startups. In fact there’s talk of putting them out of business because they’re “BANKERS“!

So really the message is that the American government does not care about creating jobs. The Obama administration doesn’t care. The Democratic party doesn’t care and the Republicans don’t care either.

The only job security every senator and congressman cares about is their own. So call or write your senator or congressman today and let them know that if they don’t do something that helps create new businesses and grow existing ones, you’re going to fire them.

While the jockeying and posturing continues in Washington D.C., my friends and I here in Seattle and people like us all over America will continue to work our tails off to help create jobs for you. We’ll continue to burn our savings. We’ll keep working without pay. Our friends will continue to risk their savings to try and help us.