Sunday, June 26, 2011

Life (and death)

Mortality is scary.
I've been thinking a lot about life and death lately.
I've been reminded of the percentage; 100% of us die.

The things we do, no matter good or bad, don't affect that fact. Eating whole foods. Exercising our muscles. Using our brains. Feeling emotions. Avoiding stress. Releasing tension. Loving others and ourselves.

When someone gets close to the end of their life people say:
It's about quality of life now.

When isn't it about quality of life?
That's what it is all about. Living life the best way you know how, experiencing the best life you can in the amount of time that you have, whether that is 5 years, 30 years, or 80 years. I know I'm going to die. I don't know when.

I choose to live the way I do not to extend my life, but to improve every second that I have. Sometimes that means eating kale salads so I feel energetic and satiated. Sometimes that means I eat doritos with guacamole while sitting on my couch to give my tastes pleasure.

If the way you eat doesn't improve your life, maybe think about changing the way you eat.
Happy Eating.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Veggie Pesto Bowl

I ate this dinner in approximately 41/2 minutes. I inhaled it. It was delicious.

I modified the original recipe for the pesto, which is here.
I didn't modify much of the original recipe for the vegetables, which is here.

Making pesto wasn't as hard you might think it would be, with it's fancy name and all. You just pulverize some garlic, some toasted pine nuts, some basil, more basil, and a splash of olive oil and water to top it off. Not hard. Don't buy the kind in the jar, make your own.
You could add walnuts instead of pine nuts. Add flavored oils instead of olive oil. You could have family pesto night where you make a bunch of kinds and everyone tastes them all and votes on their favorite! That would be so fun if you had kids or foodie friends over for a cocktail party. I pretty much just cook for Chris and I at the moment.

1 1/2 Cups of Basil Leaves, Packed
2 tbsp Minced Garlic
2 tbsp Toasted Pine Nuts
1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tbsp Parmesan Cheese (the real stuff!)
1 large pinch of Salt
1/4 cup of water

Blend the basil, garlic, and nuts in the food processor. It should be chunky. Then thin out the pesto with the oil and blend. Add the water little by little until you reach the desired texture. Blending in between additions of water.
Viola! Pesto. Delicious.

Veggie Bowl:

16 Purple Potatoes
2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
5 Scallions Sliced
3/4lb Shelled Peas (I used frozen)
1 large bunch of Asparagus cut into 1/2" pieces
1 can of Cannellini Beans
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 tbsp Pesto

I boiled the potatoes. I think they would be really good in this recipe if they were roasted, although, that would add some extra oil.

Saute the scallions in the olive oil. I liked the scallions instead of onions, I don't normally cook with scallions but they add a subtle flavor and the green color was great in the green bowl of vegetables.

Add the peas and asparagus. Add a little water. Cook the vegetables for a little while, not too long or else they get mushy.

Add the beans when the vegetables are half way cooked.
Stir together and add salt and pepper.

Serve the vegetables in a bowl with the potatoes cut into quarters. Top with 1 tbsp of pesto.

Happy Vegetarian Eating!


How many times have you successfully cooked eggplant?
My number is 2.
Don't ask how many times I've attempted it, it's embarrassing.

Something about it.... that purple skin maybe, I don't know but it never seems to taste as good as I hoped it would. We went out to dinner to K Restaurant the other night. I ordered the eggplant something with cheese and tomato sauce, and holy cow was it stinking delicious. I wish I could make eggplant taste like that eggplant tasted. I secretly blame my lack of fryer, I think a deep fryer may be the key to scrumptious eggplant.

We had way to much fresh mozzarella cheese at our house a few weeks back. I bought it on a coupon/sale matching thing and then remembered we are two people and couldn't possibly eat that much cheese, even if it is seriously amazing tasting.
I decided to buy an eggplant.

Look at the pretty salad I made! I grilled the eggplant with a hearty pour of some olive oil. I used one of those cool pans made for making paninis. Have you seen those? It's like a skillet with raised grill marks in the bottom and it comes with a heavy squisher to make the marks on your food/press your hot sandwich.
I made mine look like a caprese salad, layered all together.
I reduced some balsamic vinegar for the top. Reduced balsamic vinegar is so good, I might add it every single thing I ever cook from now on.

Happy Eating!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Lentil Loaf

I've read other blogs about lentil loaf.
a lot of other blogs about it actually. You can use basically anything you want, it's a vegetarian meatloaf. Add breadcrumbs or oats. Add mushrooms or zucchini. Add walnuts or not.
I think reading about it made me more nervous to try making it.
Lentil loaf, evidently, can be somewhat difficult to make because it has a tendency to get crumbly. Some people use flax eggs to help combat that. I didn't have any fancy flax eggs. I didn't want to use real eggs though, to help with the vegan aspect of the loaf. I like vegan things.

Recipes are a guideline, a starting point, they aren't necessarily the only way something can be made. I used what I had in my kitchen. You could probably use what you have.

Sweet Yellow Onion
Jazz Apple
Milk (you could use almond milk or soy milk for a vegan option, but I didn't have any of those)

Start cooking your lentils.
Take a loaf pan and place aluminum foil or parchment paper through the pan so that it sticks out on either longer side. Spray with cooking spray.
Use a food processor and shred up about 3/4 of the apple. Put it in a bowl.
Peel and rough slice the carrots.
Dice the onion.
Put the onion and carrot in a pan with some olive oil and cook until the onions get translucent. Pull out the carrot and process them in the food processor.
Add both the onion and carrot to the bowl with the apple.
Clean and rough chop the mushrooms. Add to bowl.
Process some oats and add them to the bowl too. (I really don't like measuring) At this point the mush in the bowl will start sticking together. I wanted to add some nuts but upon opening my cabinet I had a total of 4 pecans left. I processed them with the oats. Can you count 4 pecans as an ingredient? Well, if you had a nut allergy you would!
Drain the lentils and process about 3/4 the amount you are going to use. Put the lentil paste in the bowl with 1/4 of un-processed lentils.
I added a splash of Guinness. Surprise! You could add the milk here too if it isn't sticking together enough.
Spread into loaf pan and smooth out the top.
Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour (I didn't even time it!) Just until it looks nice and baked with brown edges.
Let it cool! Maybe for another 30 minutes.

I made my lentil loaf the day before we were going to eat it so I put it in the fridge overnight.

Lift the foil and gently remove from pan and invert onto a plate. I used a serrated knife to cut slices. I served mine with mashed potatoes that were half potato & half cauliflower. I think it lightens up the potato a good bit, and I like the taste.

Mine didn't get crumbly, it was great. The key seems to be making sure your mixture is moist enough. It tasted so good. I wish I would have made a ketchup glaze for it though, so it would be a traditional meatloaf look-a-like.
Happy Eating!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hello Food World

I haven't blogged in a long time.
an extended amount of time.
I can't even tell you why really.
I have some great recipes to share.

Bean Salads.
Rainbow Kale Salad.
Homemade Pizzas.
Lentil Loaf.

I don't even have any pictures or anything to show you. I'm going to tell you all about them though. Stay tuned!