Wednesday, April 30, 2014
I recently heard someone say that August was like the Sunday of Summer. I feel like lemonade, especially homemade lemonade is something that should be in hand on a lazy Sunday afternoon at the end of summer.
It's fresh, light, tangy, and just sweet enough to quench your craving for something sweet in between lunch and Sunday dinner. If I had a deck, balcony, back or front porch, I would take a full pitcher of this with me and read until the pitcher was empty and my mind was full.
Hope you enjoy!
1 part lemon juice
1 part sugar
4 parts cold water
Or, if you'd like your measuremtns in cups, use these:
1 cup lemon juice
1 cup sugar
4 cups cold water
Mix everything (in a large pitcher) like a rock star, and drink it like royalty.
Monday, April 28, 2014
As a curried soup, this has a lot in common with other curry dishes. One of the problems with using curry, in my mind, is that it generally over powers most other flavors. To counteract that you need to use another strong flavor - pomegranate, coconut, or pineapple, just to name a few non-meat choices. In this case, it's paired with coconut and, most shockingly, sweet potatoes.
1/2 sweet or yellow onion, diced OR 1 teaspoon onion powder
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
5 cups chicken broth
1 (15 ounce) can coconut milk (original recipe calls for light coconut milk, but I think you loose some of the needed flavor when you do.)
1 1/2 cups apple sauce
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon curry powder
|Clockwise from top left: Nutmeg, ginger, onion powder, curry powder.|
|Roughly 5 cups of sweet potatoes here - yum yum yum!!!|
|There are nine potatoes here - the can gives a good size reference.|
|Topped with coconut milk for an extra bit of contrast.|
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Serves 2 for main dish, 4 for side dish.
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar (no substitutions!!)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon ground oregano (or 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, crushed)
salt/pepper to taste
3 bell peppers (red, yellow, or orange - one of each is my favorite), diced
2 cups cherry tomatoes
2 cups diced cucumbers (mini cucumbers work great)
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion (about 1/8th of an onion)
1 cup crumbed feta
1. In a small bowl or jar, whisk or shake together all the vinaigrette ingredients. Add salt and pepper to preference- set aside.*
2. In a large bowl combine all of the vegetables and gently toss together. Top with feta cheese and gently pour dressing over everything.
Serve immediately at room temperature, or chill before serving.**
*Dressing can be made ahead, and if desired, mix the onions in as well and let them marinate a bit. This reduces the sharp edge of the onion flavor and allows ingredients in the vinaigrette to blend together better.
**If you make this salad ahead of time DO NOT mix in the dressing or the cheese. If you mix in the dressing or feta and then chill the salad, it tends to pull out water from the veggies, making the veggies limp (rather than nice and crisp) and the dressing watery.
Saturday, April 12, 2014
Today I tried batch and freezer cooking for the first time in earnest. IT WAS EXHAUSTING!!!!!
I've been known to make a large pot of chili or soup and freeze what we didn't eat in portion size containers for consumption later. However, today I tackled four meals.... in bulk.... at once. IT WAS EXHAUSTING!!!!! I have decided that 1) it's a learned skill with a learning curve and 2) takes a certain amount of endurance (did I mention that it was exhaaaaaaaaaaausting?!). However, as I look at my clean kitchen - dishwasher loaded, pots and pans washed, and a freezer and fridge chock-full of lunches and dinners for this week - I feel satisfied and very accomplished.*
|Hot dang. Would you look at that pretty girl. She worked hard today. |
I'm about to give her a mop and maybe declutter the corner.
The bunny trail that led to my undertaking this newfound lovely insanity started with me reading this post that I saw on pinterist, then reading about twenty different posts on the same site (Organize Yourself Skinny) - not exaggerating either - and reviewing previously found literature. My interest in taking charge of my life was renewed.
Here are the thoughts that gave me the motivation to tackle it:
• Time is a premium this week, thus no time for healthy cooking (for any meal really, double bummer).
• I honestly want to be healthy and loose weight (in that order). No more hiding!
• The idea intrigued me. Why not give it a shot? If I'm going to chop one pepper, why not three?
• I have to think about food at some point, why not think about it all at once?
Having similar thoughts? Keep reading.
|My fridge and freezer are full of pre-made salads, healthy soups, and snacks. Way to go me!|
It's all about education. One of my favorite quotes is "What I do depends on how I feel about what I know." Apply it liberally.
What do I know about my body? About food? What do I know, through experience or study, how they interact optimally? What do I know about regular exercise and it's affects on me personally?
Personally, I believe bodies are a gift from God that we get to learn how to manage properly. Thankfully, I also believe that He's given us health guidelines. (I'm not getting preachy, just personal.)
How do I feel about those things will reflect in what I do. I decided it was time for me to care a little more and take charge of this aspect of my life.
In regards to healthy eating here are some of my basic and repetitive thoughts:
• It's a lifestyle, not a phase.
• You need to think about your food.
• The more you learn, the better off you are and will be.
• Always keep learning. Use various sources (Doctrine and Covenants 89, Dr. Fuhrman's book Eat For Health, OYS) but use critical thinking skills.
In conclusion: Knowledge is power. Get educated. Come to care about it enough to act on it.
*Studies (that I remember studying, but don't now have the references for) have shown that people who exert all their available efforts to and are fully committed to the pursuit of meaningful and worthwhile goals are happier than their counterparts. My personally summary of it was "There is deep satisfaction in work." ....and not necessarily 'I get paid for this work', but the more generally definition of 'exertion'.
Friday, April 11, 2014
While I normally seek inspiration from others, I rarely keep a recipe as I found it. It's nothing to do against the original creator - I just flat out like to tinker with food.
|POM Juice in it's glory. Photo rights go to this site.|
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Depending on what else swiss and caramelized onions are paired with, the flavors that are highlighted are different. In this sandwich, there is almost a sweet, nutty and earthy flavor that is brought out. Pair that with the salty, smokey, and peppery taste of the pastrami, this sandwich becomes an instant favorite.
The pastrami I used here was from Trader Joes. I will say that although I really liked it, I haven't had tons of other pastrami to compare it to. Also, I used sourdough bread as I abhor rye bread which apparently is the more popular for this kind of thing.