Though we are young at heart (i.e. super immature), my husband and I are now trying to keep up with our metabolisms that are seeming to slow down at a much quicker rate than we would like. In our 20s and early 30s, we could eat anything and not really worry about exercising and we looked fine and felt fine.
My husband turned 40 this year and I am close behind him for closing out this decade and we have noticed changes in our overall health. Which is why we are desperately trying to hold onto any remnants of our youthful selves that we can. My husband has started running everyday and I have joined a pilates studio.
My pilates instructor told me that only about 20% of a healthy lifestyle happens during your workout. 80% happens outside of the class, mostly what you put in your body. Booooo! I want to eat birthday cake every night for the rest of my life. WHY CAN’T I HAVE THIS REALITY? WHY!!!!
Okay, reality in check, the other week, we went to Costco and loaded up on bulk items. I love having a stocked pantry that you can make up all kinds of wonderful meals. In the past year, my husband and I have started focusing on having healthier pantry items in order to be able to whip up more quality meals for ourselves. During that trip we picked up a large sack of farro to test out and a flat of canned garbanzo beans because my husband has a fabulous hummus recipe that I love. If any of you have farro recipes, send them my way!
Farro tastes like rice and barley mixed together. It has a nice chewiness to it. I made this cold salad out of it which was such a delicious side dish to grilled tri tip, but also can be eaten on its on as a lunch. Anyway, enjoy everyone.
Every month we take a trip to Costco to load up on bulk items, such as flour, rice, canned beans, and canned tomatoes, etc… I have to admit, I love shopping there. Sure at first the crazed busy shopper experience got on my nerves, but now I am a pro. I know how to navigate the store, going in a counter clockwise direction around the store. This navigational trail seems to put us out of the course of frenzied craziness and only on the outskirts of traffic. If you must put yourself through the gauntlet of traffic, wait no, you want to swim upstream at this store!
Anyway, last week I picked up a large sack of farro, thinking hmmm… I have never had farro before. Looks healthy… says its organic… I wonder what that tastes like… Sold! (So if any of you have farro recipes, send them my way!)
Farro tastes like rice and barley mixed together. It has a nice chewiness to it. I made a cold salad out of it which was such a delicious side dish to grilled chicken, but also ate it on its on as a lunch. Anyway, enjoy everyone.
Below is my favorite smoothie recipe. Of course you could add a few of your favorite fruits: mango, papaya, pineapple, raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, etc… That’s what I love about smoothies, they are so versatile.
If you have any leftovers, you can place in a container and freeze. Later you can scrape it for a delicious fruit ice similar to a granita. A healthy and delicious sweet treat.
Today in yoga, our instructor read a Rumi poem called the guest house that really struck a chord with me. Enjoy!
THE GUEST HOUSE
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
Over the past year, with all of the fresh produce available to me, I have become a salad convert. Where I use to cringe at the the thought of a salad, now I delight in the idea of creatively bringing the salad together.
First and foremost are the veggies and fruits available through my CSA and local farmers markets. This week, alongside all the apricots, plums, broccoli, celery, and fresh mixed greens were the first picks of Gravenstein apples and lots and lots of zucchini and squash, not a problem, I love these items. I chose to grill my zucchini giving it a charred smokiness. To round out the succulent smokiness, I used the tart crunchy apple and sweet plum.
When choosing a protein for my salad this week, I chose to heighten the smokiness with bacon and used a Toma cheese which is a semi-hard cheese that has a buttery flavor with a…
What is more of a quintessential side dish than peas and carrots? It reminds me of 1950’s homemakers who wore pearls, heels, and dresses while vacuuming, ironing, and cooking with babies in toe. A time in American history where women were truly on the cusp grabbing their independence, but it had not happened quite yet.
Later, during my youth, you would find mediocre versions of peas and carrots packed in TV dinner trays. Although waterlogged and tasteless, they were a direct hearkening to flavors reminiscent of times gone by, but not quite forgotten. I thought it was about time to try to make it from scratch myself, since I am too young to have memories of the real McCoy.
Though I have to admit, I wasn’t wearing heels, pearls or a dress; more like blue jeans and a sacrificial t-shirt since I am a messy chef— I know outrageous right?! Anyway, the subtle sweet flavors…
When I was a college student, I remember taking lots of classes based on the psycho-analysis of “the process” of doing. I was an art major and by nature, artists are compulsive, that is what makes them artists; their compulsion to create. However, this is a fairly new way of thinking.
It wasn’t until the 19th century that the idea of art for art’s sake came about. Before then, anything artistic was commissioned works and were in effect utilitarian to the propaganda of another person. I relate it to modern day marketing, the commercials and billboards that give you an opinion of any entity, be it a person or corporation.
Out of the idea of creating objects that didn’t have to fulfill any role, be it moral or utilitarian, came a freedom to actually create items that were morally subversive. In my feminist art history classes I learned of Judy…
Well it is finally cooling down here. I am sure that I will probably be wishing for the warmer weather sooner than later, but for now I am glad I can get back in the kitchen without sweating up a storm.
The past few weeks, I have been relegated to granola bars, yogurt, fresh salads, delicious bites of cheese stolen in front of the cool glow of the open refrigerator door. All to keep my tiny apartment at a livable temperature. It hasn’t been a horrible existance by any means and my pants have thanked me by becoming looser and looser with a tad bit of weight loss, but let’s face it I love to cook, so I am happy to be able to get back in the kitchen.
Tonight, my husband manned the grill with some delicious chicken and I made a Mushroom Rice . This rice was a dish that showed up at quite a few family get togethers when I was coming up in the southern part of the United States. THe mushroom and soy sauce broth mix together a very beautiful nourishing umami flavor. I have added some carrots and peas to bring in some more veggie deliciousness, but use whatever is in your kitchen. Anyway, enjoy everyone!
We have received a few potatoes in our CSA basket the past couple of weeks. I love potatoes, such delicious root veggies, and so versatile.
Today, upon returning from yoga class, my husband had fried up this batch of Rosemary Parmesan Potato Chips. I mean what is better than returning from a zen like state to find fried root veggies? Definitely, a having cake and eating it too moment.
The delicate salty parmesan mixes with the fragrant piney rosemary with undertones of garlic; the chip becomes the perfect crucnchy base for this explosion of flavor.
I leave you with a Mary Oliver quote from yoga class tonight:
“Listen–are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?”
The other night I made garlic basil gnocchi to pair with grilled pork chops and grilled shishito peppers. All components of my meal that night were very simple to assemble, but served different purposes. The grilled pork chops and peppers were very flavorful with their charred exteriors, but needed a starchy component to round out the experience.
The gnocchi was perfect with its pillowy softness en-robed a simple sauce of fruity olive oil accented by the beautiful nuttiness of toasted garlic and pungent flavor of basil, topped with the parmigiano reggiano. Having frozen gnocchi made a home meal a little more special, with very little effort. Enjoy everyone!
My CSA didn’t fail me last week for sure. We received some delicious items in the box, including a large bunch of kale. Having seen kale chips all over the internet and wordpress, I wanted to try my hand at it too.
For some reason I could wrap my head around a leaf, becoming crispy when oven baked. I was sure it would be limp or not appealing, but I was wrong. It was crispy and salty and snack worthy.
Anyone looking for a more nutritious snack, this would be an excellent choice to play around with seasonings to make it more specific to your tastes. Below is the basic recipe that I used. Enjoy!