I wanted to end the year on a high note, namely, that I conquered the world of slow-cooking. But things didn’t quite go as planned. I tried to make the best with it, sharing some of the fun on my Instagram Stories. People were kind enough to offer some helpful comments along the way. Which I guess is the benefit of something taking 9, to 21 hours, to cook; you’ve got plenty of time to get advice.
“Don’t open the lid!”
“Don’t look inside!”
“Get another brand of slow-cooker!”
“Get an Instant Pot!”
“Go back to your Dutch oven!”
“Add more liquid”
“Don’t add more liquid!”
While it was nice of people to offer tips and advice, the idea of cooking something for nine hours and not once looking into it, or touching it, seemed a little too far-fetched for someone who is a cook, who has been looking, touching, and tasting, along with the way, for too many decades to recount here. I like to check seasonings, feel the textures, and prod for doneness. But I was told every time I lifted the lid I was adding 30 to 60 minutes to the cooking time. So I resisted as much as I could, until I couldn’t resist, and checked on the progress. Which wasn’t quite happening as planned.
Continue Reading Slow, as it goes……
Hello my dear friends!
What’s so beautiful about these days is that life feels like it’s everything all at once.
The new year feels exciting and fresh. I’ve spent some time the past week sorting through my 2018, feeling pretty proud of the ways I challenged myself, and grateful for the surprises the year held.
A fresh year always feels exciting but I’ve been slower this year about defining what sort of personal and professional challenges I want to take on.
This double broccoli quinoa bowl is a favorite of mine. And it’s quite simple. I cook up lots of broccoli, then puree half of it into a pesto. The other half is cut into little florets. Tossed with some quinoa, sliced avocado, and a drizzle of feisty chile pepper oil, it makes a nice, nutrient-packed meal to kick off the new year.
Here’s the thing, if you don’t have quinoa, don’t get deterred. You can certainly swap in a pasta or any number of other foundation ingredients. Farro would be nice, millet might work. Or, you could go with barley, pearled barley, orzo, or your favorite brown rice. If you’re in the mood for something a bit more substantial, you can serve this over an omelette or frittata. Other times I might have it with a poached egg on top. Or I toss in some baked tofu, or pan-fried tempeh. Legit – it’s hard to screw up. Any leftover broccoli pesto is A+ on your snappiest, crunchiest crackers.
I should mention that I do like this served with a bit of feta crumbled on top. I wrote that into the recipe as (optional), but if you’ve got some feta on hand (or goat cheese), and you’re not vegan, go for it.
You can use a food processor, blender, or hand blender to make the pesto.
For easy left-overs I make extra quantities of each of the main components, and use them throughout the week – the broccoli pesto, chile oil, quinoa (you can freeze it if you don’t use it). This broccoli pesto is also great as a slather on your favorite veggie burger.
Enjoy! And I hope you like this as much as I do. xx, -h
Last April, Food52’s Cookbook Club chose Smitten Kitchen Every Day as their book to cook through that month, but I promise, this isn’t the point at all. The club has monthly picks and a yearly Bonus Book, a cookbook participants cook through at their leisure. So while April was my book’s month, for 2018, that book was Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden.
I already loved this book. We talked about it that month in regard to a crunchy asparagus salad that I mixed with chopped jammy eggs on toast, with a photo that still makes me smile. I told you that you needed to buy that book right then, especially if you also delighted in inventive but not overly complicated vegetable preparations (225 of them, even) and things you hadn’t thought of but would immediately tuck into your repertoire.
This soup is built on a monster white pepper broth. White pepper with jolts of ginger, and stabs of garlic. I like it just shy of scalding, racing down my throat, sweeping through my sinuses in one boisterous, fragrant swoop. This is a soup I make often, particularly when I need a boost. And, while I float other ingredients in the broth, mostly to make a meal of things, that part of the equation is usually an after thought. For me, this soup is all about the clear strong broth, the invigorating way it makes me feel, and the way it lights up my insides. This is a soup for the coldest days, the runniest noses, and the shortest days of winter. You should make it too.
A couple words of wisdom here. Serve hot. As hot as you can stand without betraying your tongue. It’s an experience that’s just not the same when the soup is served lukewarm. On occasion, I’ll whisk in a bit of brown or red miso for a fuller-bodied, creamier broth experience – also the beneficial miso nutrients. But, try it straight and clear first. -h
One of the very best ways to work toward beautiful, luminous, glowing skin is through eating well and mindful hydration. Your skin is often a direct reflection of the internal eco-system of your body, and, being nice to your inside is one of the best ways to positively impact your outside. It’s the foundation you need to support good skin, bright eyes, strong hair, thick eyelashes, healthy nails, and on and on. Eating a seasonal, plant-centric, whole foods diet is a great place to start, but I thought I’d take today to highlight a few skin-friendly superstars in this Luminizing Breakfast Beauty Bowl – they’re extra beneficial and skin-supportive, and quite easy to work into your day to day.
The base of this beauty bowl is a simple mixed berry smoothie boosted with some chia. The berries are compact, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory powerhouses, rich in cleansing fiber and collagen-boosting Vitamin C. I use mixed berries (blackberry, blueberry, strawberry) for a bit of diversity (and because they’re quite easy to come by in most freezer sections) but if you really want to step up your Vitamin C game, you might trade in acai for the berries now and then. Switch it up – diversity in your is also important.
Use whatever plain, unsweetened, yogurt you prefer – coconut yogurt, Greek yogurt, nut milk yogurt, or sheep or goat milk yogurt – the probiotics here help balance out your digestion and overall internal ecosystem. Use whatever yogurt works for you. Chia helps with tissue repair and skin regeneration. That’s the foundation here.
Beyond that, you can boost your beauty bowl with as few or many other ingredients as you have on hand. Pick at least a handful. Here (pictured) you see digestion-friendly pineapple wedges, pomegranate seeds (thought to help reduce UV photo damage), Vitamin C-rich citrus (blood oranges and mandarin segments), a sprinkling of nuts and granola, some crushed dehydrated raspberries, and a sprinkling of bee pollen.
I love serving this sort of thing as a DIY breakfast option. You can make a big batch of smoothie (pourable straight from the pitcher), and then offer up a “buffet” of toppings. Everyone can customize their own bowl to their liking ;)!
Continue reading A Glow-promoting, Luminizing Breakfast Beauty Bowl on 101 Cookbooks