I do come up with good stuff when I think about it for a while, too. Years ago, when I was making jewelry, a friend told me that traditional Navajo master silversmiths would design their creations this way--dreaming the whole piece over a period of days, process and all--and then they'd knock it out all in one go. I don't know if that's true, but I can totally relate, because this has happened to me. I find it profoundly satisfying when successful dishes come about this way. But magic is no one's possession, so we just have to take it however it comes.
Anyway, I was hungry and wanted something quick, but for me it has to be thoroughly gratifying--and nourishing--or it just isn't really food. I had recently tried an intriguingly simple spread recipe from "Clean Start," a gorgeously photographed cookbook by Terry Walters, that combined carrots boiled in vegetable stock, cashews, and light miso. It seemed to lack something for me (and my wife), but I liked the idea a lot, so I decided to revisit it and see if I could make it work for us.
I kept the original recipe intact, but while the carrots were cooking, I added some Vadouvan curry powder, Indian red chile powder, and grated fresh ginger and turmeric root to the broth. I also let the broth cook down to just the quarter-cup needed to thin the mixture. After the cooking was done, I added a few mashed cloves of garlic and a little freshly ground cardamom. With the utmost respect to Ms. Walters--I know she was trying to keep things clean and simple--this worked much better for my wife and me. I had it with gluten-free wholegrain toast and slices of very ripe avocado. Just before serving, I drizzled just a bit of Udo's DHA Oil Blend, and sprinkled a little dash of Haleakala red and Kilauea black finishing salts over everything.
Of course, this whole production was simply a response to that unexpected hunger I sometimes get when I eat dinner too early and then stay up too late. However, because I want my food to gratify not only my superficial, immediate craving, but my innate craving for beauty and my long-term health interests as well, I made sure all these bases were covered.
I got fed; good. I also thoroughly enjoyed what I ate; better. And from this quick dish, I got a blast of antioxidants, probiotics, phytonutrients, healthy fats, minerals, vitamins, and antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer compounds; freaking brilliant. Okay, I admit, I didn't need the carbs (especially late at night), but I rarely eat bread, and what's a spread without something to smear it on?
Note: I don't know if I recommended that cookbook highly enough, but it's an exquisite work. I almost always vary a recipe to suit my tastes--even my own recipes--so the fact that I monkeyed with one of the author's recipes should in no way be taken as anything but a compliment. Just thought I should say that.