Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Delicious Food Is Pretty

I've been having fun with color this winter.  This salad of a different color, comprised of purple kale, purple cabbage, radishes, carrots, pumpkin and sunflower seeds was delicious with a Vitamix-ed dressing of tahini, capers, garlic, lemon and dijon mustard.

These sauteed mushrooms with tarragon tasted even better than they look in this photo.

A pop of color or careful attention to garnishing can help to jar the palate from it's mid-winter doldrums.  

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Oh Holy Moly

Sometimes I realize I sure can cook.  In all honesty this most fabulous of meals doesn't really represent cooking skills, per se, but rather an innate knowledge of what tastes good and how to pull it together.  I wish you could taste it because I cannot possibly convey in words the deliciousness.  The photos might give you an idea, though.

The whole thing was quite an exercise of laziness and waste-not-want-not.  I bought a boxful of very pretty artisanal dried pasta from Target and cooked it according to directions, in only slightly boiling water, and not for very long.  In another pan, I sauteed zucchini, mushrooms, onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent.  I pulled out the rest of my leftover colorful greens (bok choy and rainbow chard), stirred them into the pan with more chopped kale and marinated olives -- kalamata and briny green.  Finally, a couple of tablespoons of marinara and a splash of veggie broth kept the food from drying out as it warmed in the pan.  I thought of adding a little tamari but, after tasting, decided against it.  So much delicious flavor and texture didn't need anything else.

I normally avoid gluten, but have found pastas to be less offensive to the system than breads, so I do indulge periodically.  This gem was a worthy vehicle for piles of beneficial and varied veggies.

Seriously, so good -- there's just enough left over for breakfast.

Monday, January 18, 2016

More Colorful Greens

You know me:  there are never enough greens.  Last night we enjoyed this lovely bowlful of baby bok choy and rainbow chard.  I think it's gorgeous in my grandmother's everyday china bowl.  This is one of a couple from this set which remain, and it's precious to me.  I have her formal china too, but I hardly ever use it.

These not-so green greens were lightly sauteed and then brightened with a few choice drops of ume vinegar.  Mmmm.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Something Warm

It's that time of year, in the Northern Hemisphere anyway, to add this healthy staple to the arsenal.  As we continue to craft our lifestyles, a pot of this in the fridge beats a bag of chips for those hungry-without-a-plan moments.

My green soup varies according to what is on hand, but always starts with a chopped onion and a couple of cloves of garlic, simmered slowly over low heat until transluscent.  Then broth or water (not too much -- the greens will cook down), roughly chopped greens (I try to use two or three types) and half a cup or so of cooked rice round out the ingredients.  I also love to add full-fat coconut milk and plenty of nutmeg.  The rice and the coconut milk make this a creamy, dairy-free soup after blending.  I love to garnish the top with a drizzle of truffle oil or artisanal olive oil.  The consistency above is from a submersion blender.  Those wand blenders are very convenient but don't yield as smooth a result as a Vitamix.  I enjoy the soup both ways.