Happy Friday thinkers,
I’ve decided to start a new series, highly inspired by this one–one of my most frequented blogs as of late–with a bit of a twist. I will be posting weekly with images I feel have inspired my edible notions and yen. As I am a visual person in many ways, my mind often seeks out visual stimuli to try and make sense out of the world. I am able to capture some of those fusing moments through photographs, online videos, memes and gifs. Sometimes it’s something as abstract as the angles of a building and oftentimes it’s something as obvious as the meal of the week. Either way, I hope you will join me in this journey of Edible Inspiration! And thanks again to Erin Boyle for rousing this idea.
1) The happy golden surprise awaiting us in this week’s CSA box. Summer butternut squash, yes please!
2)These paint-stroked red peppers have added an extra crunch and carotenoids to our meals this week. Happy for the zesty color and the nutrients.
3)As simplistic as it seems, this large glass jar has contained some very important dry goods I keep on hand, and it makes me very happy.
4)After a day of reading in bed and not feeling like a champ, this salad–with its iron crunchy punch–really helped give me a boost.
5)This sweet meowmix often makes my day, but his always welcomed cuddles helped rejuvenate my mind and concentration. Plus, Waits makes love to the camera, you’ll probably see much more of him. =(^–^)=
Thanks for taking a peek and remember…bite responsibly! #edibleinspiration
Good Day Everyone,
Happy Vernal Equinox !
Springtime represents so many things in our society, that it’s hard to overlook this major transitional period–and subsequently positive alteration to the environment–by way of beautiful blooms, pollination and the beginning of a new growing season. Spring washes over us all and makes way for sweet morning reads by a window and fresh spring salads to compliment the change of weather.
As March settles in, I am finding my time being stretched in different directions and all I can think about lately is savory goodness to satisfy my longing to stay nourished through the busy days of work and creative projects. This recipe revealed itself one late afternoon while I was alone in the kitchen and peeking into our refrigerator for what we had “in stock” at the time. These are the moments I enjoy most in the culinary experience because my imagination stands a chance. Have you ever heard that we all like a range of options, but if you present too many, we’re less likely to come to a solidified choice? Well on this particular afternoon, we were just scant enough in the produce department that is our kitchen, that I felt a happy inclination towards this vibrant and delicious spaghetti dish.
I knew I wanted pasta, but mother time had not gifted enough to me in this instance to warrant making it from scratch. However, I was able to use Tinkyada spaghetti noodles and they were just what I had in mind. I wanted a noodle I could wrap my fork around and spaghetti, along with farfalle, remind me of Spring! Also, I wanted to–as I’m sure most of you know about me–balance color, but I did lean on the green end for this dish.
I wanted to balance the semi-soft nature of the dish with something crunchy, and after cutting open the butternut squash, I was in luck; seeds! I decided to combine the butternut squash seeds with the other three you’ll see listed below to make a nice crunchy medley. Honestly, I initially wanted these roasted, but I went with toasted and I was pleased with the results, however I recommend trying both ways. Additionally, I did not hull the butternut squash seeds but ate them as they are.
The peas and the butternut squash balanced their sweetness and semi-savory nature perfectly and will dance on your palette with divine texture and pleasure.
Take a moment this spring to appreciate the colors nature offers, appreciate the remainder of veggies nestled in your fridge and prepare yourself a happy Spring sketti!
Splendid Springtime Spaghetti (gluten-free)
- 1 package gluten-free spaghetti (I used the Tinkyada brown rice kind, but the quinoa pasta is great too!)
- 1/2 cup green peas (fresh or frozen)
- 5 or 6 sun dried tomatoes (cut into strips and re-hydrated if purchased dried–boil water and place dried tomatoes in hot water after removing from heat; soak for 10 min.)
- 7 or 8 thin slices of purple onion (cut in half, and separate into slivers)
- 4 white mushrooms (cut into thin slices)
- 1 bundle of flat leaf parsley(leaves and majority of stems minced)
- 1 1/4 cup red kidney beans (cooked and drained)
- 6 or 7 glugs extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp Spanish paprika
- 1 tsp garlic granules
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp dried marjoram
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 medium to large butternut squash (roasted strips)
- A couple of glugs extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- A few shakes or cranks black pepper
- All butternut squash seeds from cut squash (rinsed well and partially dried–either toss pulp or use for compost)
- 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds (raw; optional)
- 2 tbsp sunflower seeds (raw; optional)
- 1/2 avocado (per person, thin slices)
Instructions (butternut squash)
- Preheat oven to 375ºF
- Rinse and peel squash and chop off bottom and top
- Slice in half through the vertical perimeter and then use seed scooper or large spoon to scoop out seeds and pulp
- Place seeds into a bowl reserving them for the seed mixture topping (see above)
- Cut squash into 1/2 inch thick strips, about an inch and a half long
- Place squash strips in medium bowl and cover with a couple of glugs olive oil, salt and pepper
- Toss squash with hands until it is lightly coated with oil, salt and pepper
- Distribute squash evenly on baking sheet and bake for 30 to 35 minutes (flip half-way)
- Once baking is complete, place aside
Instructions (pasta dish)
- Begin by prepping all veggies
- Boil enough water to be able to submerge entire pasta amount (I break pasta in half); salt pasta once pasta is added. Cook 10 – 15 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Gluten-free pasta can get mushy very easily, that’s why you want it to be slightly undercooked or perhaps this is your taste
- Drain, rinse and place pasta back into sauce pan or pot
- Add olive oil and all spices and marjoram to cooked pasta
- Add all veggies except butternut squash
- Mix well, but gently so as to not tear apart the spaghetti
- Add lemon juice and salt to taste and stir
- Keep over a very low heat to warm until the next step is complete
- In a bowl, mix together all seeds, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper (lightly coating seeds)
- In a dry skillet, over medium heat, add seeds and toast until golden brown (note: add the sesame seeds toward the end of the toasting process as they will brown much faster than the other seeds)
- Serve pasta in bowls and place butternut squash slices on top, then fan out avocado slices and finally sprinkle with seed mixture
- Serves: Approx. 4 people
- Enjoy out on the patio, your front steps or in whatever immediate outdoors area you have and I recommend following this meal (15-30 minutes later of course :p) with a kombucha!
Good Day Everyone,
There are moments when all we really want is something comforting. In fact, our choices are often affected by our moods. Keeping in mind that ‘comfort foods’ are often associated with cravings, I’d like to share with you all a list of some of my favorite comfort foods as of late and give you a little perspective as to why I’m not turning toward the more grease/processed sugar/gluten-laden/soy-dense foods with any regularity.
First, to address why I try to stray from the aforementioned food categories. More than anything, my body is so sensitive to even the most remote toxin that I’ll suffer for days in some shape or form. While this may have been something I was willing to put up with years ago, I’m coming to the conclusion that these days of suffering are more than just moments of uncomfortableness. What do I mean? Every time I throw off the balance of the pH in my body by some extreme (when I introduce foods I have an intolerance to), I suffer from a myriad of harmful affects that are making pathogenic layers in my body. Yep, that’s right, layers. That’s how I like to think of it, that is. I’m really hurting myself long-term if I eat my “naughty” foods often, and nobody else has to live with the aftermath but me. Maybe you relate to this, maybe you don’t, but don’t forget our body is always talking to us, even if what it’s saying is less subtle.
Second, the list. These foods are not all necessarily in season as of now, but have been at some point or another, comforting and calming. I believe in loving what you eat and introducing love with each step in the process of preparing what you eat. Thus for me, comfort foods are a full-circle endeavor. Let me share some of those foods with you!
Why eat this?
Brothy soups are full of warm fluids to help flush out a lot of toxins from your body. According to Chinese medicine, if you carry too much heat in your body, one way to help cool is by adding hot foods. As strange as this may sound, it’s very helpful and affective. Try having some hot soup with your cool salad to balance out your body.
Why eat this?
CAROTENOIDS! That lovely, vivid color that you see before your very eyes is packed with nutrients. It’s also high in vitamin-c and loaded with beta-carotene (that will convert to vitamin A), which helps the integrity of the skin, wards off lung and oral cancers and improves eye-sight. Color says a lot about a food’s beneficial properties.
Why eat this?
Mushibooms help to increase your immune system, so you can stay happy and healthy and boost your vitamin D. Also, Mushies are loaded with b-vitamins; b-vits are responsible for turning the carbs you eat into fuel; very important!
Why eat this?
Bananas are incredibly healing, easy to digest, and will provide energy without overworking your digestive system. Additionally, bananas are an essential way to provide your gut with prebiotics, assisting in the proper absorption of helpful probiotics, later.
Why eat this?
Raw cacao is a better source of vitamin-C than trusty orange juice. BAM! Also, raw cacao is incredibly high (in it’s raw form) in antioxidants and (one of my favorites), it will help to balance blood sugar. 😀 Yes, please.
Why drink this?
The red chai masala is high in antioxidants, which will help ward off any of those nasty oxidative toxins that have made their way into your system. Also, this blend contains ginger which will help to aid in digestion or an upset stomach. Hibiscus chamomile tea helps to sooth and relax, and in the process it assists in lowering your blood pressure.
Why eat this?
Okra is delicious! What I’d like to highlight about okra is its mucilaginous (why it’s so slimy) quality that helps to relieve digested food from your body so it doesn’t hang around and fester, creating pesky problems. Need I say more?
Why drink this?
There are a multitude of ways this smoothie is fantastic, but here are a few. The chia seeds, hemp seeds and flax will provide you with a fantastic source of omega 3 while also assisting in balancing your blood sugar, providing a complete protein source and more. The olive oil helps to add a little extra weight to the drink, and by weight I mean it aids in making the smoothie more filling. Also, cinnamon acts as an appetite suppressant, which is great if you’re going awhile between meals.
Why eat this?
(see above) Although bananas and raw almond butter are not the ideal food combination, eating this delicious snack on an empty stomach, and not directly following a meal, should be ok to go.
Why eat this?
The citrus juice will help you absorb the iron that’s stored in the greens. Also, it’s a delicious combo. ^___^ If you’re weary of TOO much fat, maybe skip the walnuts, but I say, if you’re eating a whole foods diet, those walnuts (raw, soaked, then dehydrated of course) are your friend because they are just the right amount of monounsaturated fats (those omega 3s) to help your brain.
Whew, I suppose I comfort myself often, but another way to look at this list–and what you’re eating–is that it (consumption) can be a consistently enjoyable experience if you want it to be–we teach our body and our brain what to want. I hope this list is of some help to you all and if you have any questions or thoughts, shout out! And remember…bite responsibly!
Healthy and Happy SxSW Eating Days,
HAPPY NEW YEAR, everyone! I’m here this morning to top off the final six of my 12 foods, lessons, concessions, thoughts and ideas of 2012. I’m a day late with this one, but here they are nonetheless! Tell me what yours are if you can think of any.
7. Soup: Hot, brothy, or even creamy soups…what more can I say. They ease digestion and help eliminate those pesky toxins whilst adding a savory treat to your palate. My favorite lately, a simple miso (I vary the miso type) with wakame or dulse and these big straw like rice noodles, so deeeelish. I was much more experimental in 2012 with soups, here’s hoping I make even more in 2013!
8. Squash: We have gone squash crazy this month, wherein I’ve prepared more dishes from squash than I thought possible. What is more, most thick skinned squashes have a much longer ‘shelf-life’ than most other fruits and veggies, thus they sustained us when we hadn’t yet gone grocery shopping. Best discovery, delicata squash. I prepared a dish wherein I sautéed delicata squash with a gluten-free pasta, chickpeas and greens…savory and delicious. This particular squash has a natural umami. Most adored squash, butternut…I could eat this EVERY day. Most fun squash, spaghetti! Most underrated squash, pumpkin.
Oats: Oh, what to say about Oats. :p I mention these, mostly because they have been a breakfast standard for most of 2012. We buy gluten-free whole rolled oats, and dress them up in all sorts of ways in the morning. I don’t know where my morning appetite would be without oats! Cool finding: Blended oats with all my ‘fixins’ is rather scrumptious and a welcome texture change.
The Farmers’ Market: Some of you may have previously read my post on why I like shopping at the farmers’ market, but regardless, I couldn’t leave the market off of my list because it has been a remarkable learning and growing experience for me. I’ve come to understand even more, a sense of community I don’t think I truly understood before. I’m getting to know some of the farmers and coming to understand their trade with more intimacy. I tried to grow a few things in 2012, and hope to do more this year. My weekend routine was not the same if I had to miss our market trip; thanks to SFC and everyone who has worked hard to keep these markets up and running. Eating local has changed my life in many ways.
Again, thanks to everyone who made writing this blog in 2012, more special than I imagined. With the multitude of blogs out there, if you’ve ever taken the time to read mine, I am truly appreciative.
And remember…bite responsibly!
Healthy and Happy New Year Vibes,
Woody Allen – Sleeper (1973)
Maria Bamford – Paula Dean skit (2012)
I hope some of this will be helpful to some of you in the coming days, weeks, months and years to come. Remember, all of our bodies are different If you have any additions to what I’ve stated, please let me know, I would enjoy hearing from you. Understand that keeping our body strong is something that should and easily can be an ongoing process. Respecting those around you, the source of your food in connection to its proper season and the quality of its nutrients is an optimum way to keep your body and mind aligned with the earth and its effects on you and those you love.
And remember…bite responsibly…especially right now. ^____-