Archive for April, 2020

ROASTED CAULIFLOWER SOUP

The only good thing about this CHILLY Spring that we’re having is that it’s perfect weather for soup!  I never made cauliflower soup before! I added a dash of cayenne pepper to give it little “pow”.  If you like cauliflower, you’ll LOVE this soup! Thank you, New York Times Cooking!

ingredientsmerlin_149765442_1974b603-81dd-448c-bcbe-456066c12f53-articleLarge

1 large head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), stem discarded, florets cut into 2-inch pieces, leaves reserved (if available)

2 medium white onions, halved and thinly sliced

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin

1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander

Sea salt and ground black pepper

2 tablespoons salted butter

4 garlic cloves, crushed

1 large potato (about 14 ounces), skin on, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 quart vegetable or chicken stock

2 tablespoons sliced almonds

Coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves, for serving

directions

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Arrange the chopped cauliflower, any cauliflower leaves and the onions on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with cumin, coriander, 1 teaspoon salt and  ½ teaspoon pepper. Use your hands to mix everything together, then arrange in an even layer. Roast until the cauliflower is browned and cooked through but still has some bite, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Stir in the potato and turmeric, add the stock and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover and cook until the potato is soft, about 10 minutes.

When the cauliflower is done, reserve about 1 cup cauliflower for the topping (including leaves, if you have them) and add the remaining cauliflower and onions to the soup. Return the soup to a simmer and cook until flavors meld, about 5 minutes. Blitz with an immersion blender until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Toast the almonds in a dry skillet over low heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 4 minutes. When you are ready to serve, ladle the soup into warmed bowls. Top with the reserved roasted cauliflower and a scattering of almonds and parsley.

 (recipe found on cooking.nytimes.com) 

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CORONAVIRUS: THE HIGHS ARE HIGHER

In a recent post, I mentioned that for the first time in my life, living in these new set of circumstances, I’m feeling moody. I’m noticing that my lows feel lower and my highs feel higher.

Yesterday I discovered that my local cosmetic, health, and beauty aid store, Harmon, was open. I felt giddy.  Armed with my mask and gloves, I ventured out. I needed things like toothpaste, toothbrush heads, disinfectant wipes and (gasp) more boxed hair color.

I always go to Harmon with a list–this way I can stay focused and just stick to the items on my list. This is virtually impossible to do at Harmon. I always get sucked in and wind of leaving with at least ten extra items that I didn’t need. In the past, I would get into the car and scold myself. NOT YESTERDAY. Yesterday, the extra sponges, cleaning products, cotton pads,  and dark chocolate delighted my soul. I can’t believe that I’m saying this but the one item that brought the most bliss was a cuticle nipper. That’s right, I splurged and imagesbought a Tweezerman spiral spring cuticle nipper so that I can give myself a manicure without making a mess of my fingers. JOY.

Leaving the house now is challenging. You have to be armed with a mask and disposable gloves in order to stay safe. Going into any store can be soul crushing when you see empty shelves and panicked faces. Harmon was an uplifting outing for me–the shelves were stocked and I was able to experience a higher high from a simple cuticle nipper. Who would ever have imagined……

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PASTA WITH CHORIZO, CHICKPEAS, AND KALE

Thank you,  New York Times Cooking,  for this DELICIOUS dish!!! I used half the chorizo,  not only to make this healthier, but because it was all I had in my freezer.  The kale, chorizo, chickpea combo works! YYYYUUUMMM!!! It will surely lift your spirits!

ingredientsmerlin_171317148_4f924285-2110-4e51-8595-016e89ea9549-articleLarge

Kosher salt and black pepper

8 ounces fusilli or other short pasta

¼ cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling

7 to 8 ounces dried chorizo, thinly sliced

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 bunch scallions (6 to 8), thinly sliced

1 bunch curly kale, collard greens or mustard greens, stems removed, leaves torn into bite-size pieces

Shaved Manchego, for serving

directions

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package instructions until al dente.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add chorizo and cook, stirring, until blistered and oil is bright orange, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chorizo to a medium bowl.

Add chickpeas and scallions to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until chickpeas begin to blister, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer chickpeas and scallions to the bowl.

Add kale to skillet, season with salt and pepper and cook, tossing, until wilted, about 2 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer pasta to skillet along with 1 cup pasta water and cook over medium-high, tossing with kale, until liquid reduces and coats the pasta, about 2 minutes.

Return chorizo, chickpeas and scallions to skillet and toss to combine. Drizzle with a little olive oil and top with Manchego to serve.

(recipe found on cooking.nytimes.com)

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CORONAVIRUS: DID I JUST HAVE A NEW BABY?

Twenty-eight years ago, I experienced my first bout of real anxiety. I had my first child. images.jpgWhile I didn’t suffer from postpartum depression, I felt 100% all over the place.   I am a highly disciplined person who relishes in routines and predictability.  This new baby threw a monkey wrench into my life—every day was different, there was no routine to be found, and predictability? FORGET IT! I yearned for structure so that I could feel like me again.

In order to cope, I put myself on a schedule. Every day I woke up, did some form of exercise, showered, and put on make-up. In my mind, I had to accomplish this all by noon. In essence, I was rushing to go nowhere.  And yet I persevered. I remember so clearly holding my daughter and looking down at her beautiful face,  at noon,  and saying “Ok, Jess……now what?” Yet this ridiculous routine calmed me down.

Let’s flash forward to today and what’s going on with this crazy coronavirus. Once again, that same anxiety is back. I feel 100% all over the place because nothing is normal. Not surprisingly, I am behaving very similarly to the way I reacted when Jess was born. I am clinging to my regular routines. I have to confess that I’m still getting about of bed at 5 am and doing food prep when I certainly don’t have to! And yes, this wacko behavior is somehow calming me down.

Last thought. I was always amazed at how long it took to get out the door when I had that first newborn. The diaper bag had to be fully loaded—I had to always check if everything was in there. Now, when I leave the house, it seems no different. Gloves? Check! Mask? Check! Wipes? Check! Hand sanitizer? Check! Same stress, different reason.

Be safe! Stay healthy! XOXO

 

 

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SWEET WHEAT BERRY BREAKFAST

I was reading Food and Nutrition magazine and this recipe caught my eye. We never have time to make something different for breakfast like this–maybe we can try now?! I’m going substitute berries! 

SERVINGS: 10BerryBreakfastBowl-780x520
SERVING SIZE: ½ cup wheat berry blend with ¼ cup plain or vanilla yogurt
PREP TIME: 20 minutes
COOKING TIME: 15 minutes

ingredients

1 cup raw wheat berries, rinsed

1 cup red pear, diced

1 cup red grapes, diced

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

2½ cups plain or vanilla yogurt

directions

Rinse wheat berries in strainer and place in a pot with 2½ cups water. Bring to boil, then cover and simmer until wheat berries are tender and most water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and drain any remaining water. Place wheat berries in a medium bowl. Mix in pear and grapes. Stir in cinnamon and nutmeg.

To serve, place ½ cup wheat berry blend in bowl and top with ¼ cup of plain or vanilla yogurt.

Cooking Note: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

(adapted from a recipe found on  https://foodandnutrition.org/)

 

 

 

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