Saturday, December 14, 2013

Sustenence + Odds-n-Ends

Just a couple of weeks out now, when fueling body, mind and spirit, it behooves us to choose wisely. This Italian preparation of one of my all time faves -- broccoli rabe -- fit the bill perfectly this morning. This was lovely with a tiny drizzle of balsamic vinegar (a little goes a LONG way!) but it would also be great with nutritional yeast on top. Here's my simple recipe:

Italian Broccoli Rabe

1 large bunch of broccoli rabe, washed and trimmed roughly
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium tomato, diced
1 can of chick peas, rinsed (you may choose white beans instead)
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. earth balance "butter"
a pinch of salt

On medium high heat, quickly saute onions and garlic in the oil, stirring frequently for about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add chick peas and salt, stirring frequently for a couple more minutes. Turn the heat back up to medium high and add the tomato and the broccoli rabe, stirring constantly as the greens wilt. You may need to add the greens in batches since they take up a lot of room when raw. Don't worry, no need to remove the original batch before adding the next. The size will quickly dramatically reduce, and the next batch can be stirred right in. I use two wooden spoons to more easily keep it all in the pan. Once all the greens have begun to wilt, add the earth balance to temper the bitter greens and silken the texture. Stir for a couple more minutes and remove the pan from heat, covering so it can continue to steam  until you plate it. This would be perfect with polenta, pasta, brown rice, quinoa or amaranth.

Incidentally, my sweet Mom made that pretty plate! I have mugs to match. I don't use her homemade pottery often because I would hate to break it, but I do feel closer to her when I use it.

For the odds-n-ends portion of the post, here are a couple of photos from the last few days --

The other night we attended a "white elephant" party where you bring an anonymous gift, pick a number and either choose a gift from the pile or steal one from someone else who has already opened it. The party goer whose gift is stolen then gets the same choice, and so on. When it was my turn, I stole this blooming tea system from a very sweet lady who is married to one of Andres' coworkers. Luckily, since I was the 11th chooser, I had already witnessed the sometimes ruthless nature of the game, so I didn't feel too bad about engaging in the shenanigans, myself. I love this! Isn't it cool? You boil water, put a little dried tea pellet into the teapot and then add the water and watch the tea bloom into a lovely flower. There are about 8 other pellets of different flavors and colors, so if I bloom any more pretty ones, I will share photos. I'm not competitive by nature, but I do enjoy this game.

My brother and his family sent us this beautiful  holiday arrangement all the way from Kazakhstan! Thanks, guys! Enjoy the season.

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