Friday, January 30, 2009


Liz and I had the task of sampling Zukay’s hot salsa today.  The deal here is that this stuff is highly fermented and raw.  I always wish that the products I am eating are organic, but when it comes to salsa I can meander.  The first disclaimer is that I was eating it with my favorite chip ever- Whole Grain Milling.  These organic corn chips are so good and produced in my Dad’s birthplace of Welcome, Minnesota.  Nearly anything tastes good on these.

The first thing to notice upon opening is that the salsa bubbles out of the jar, which I found awesome but disturbed Liz a little. I knew I was in for an adventure.  They call this a hot salsa but I would call it a medium.  I would, however, call it explosive as the fermentation feels like it is exploding in your mouth.  This was my favorite part of the experience.  It is the kind of food that makes you feel like you’re either going to die tomorrow or it will make you live forever (with more of the latter).  The heavy fermented sour flavor turned Liz off but I found it very enjoyable.  It helped to give the salsa a full body flavor.  I would have liked it to have more heat, though, as it was labeled a hot salsa.  Now that I have eaten most of the jar, I should have enough positive bacteria floating inside me to start a colony.  Adventurous food to say the least.  A solid 3 out of 4 stars.

Next up: Relish!

I'm a superstar now.

Your wishes must have worked...  I think the segment went pretty well.  And the producer did, too, because within an hour after I got back to work they contacted us asking to have me back in April!

You can watch it here.
EDITED: Nevermind, folks.  It appears that the video is gone.  I'll try to get another copy.


Watch me on TV today!

Well, we didn't find the Winter Medallion.  But it sure was fun looking for it!  Sorry for the relative absence during the hunt.  I didn't even do laundry, much less blog!

Right now I'm getting psyched up for my appearance on Showcase Minnesota, a show on Kare 11 at 10 am for you local folks.  Hopefully I won't spill the soymilk burn the corncakes or anything...

I'll post the video here if and when they make it available.  Wish me luck!!!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Follow Up

After the post about my Sunday routine, someone asked me to lay out the times for everything.  So today I kept track of my timing for everything.  Here it is:

1:00-1:20 Mixing and kneading bread dough
1:20 Bread starts first rise
1:20 Prep applesauce
1:30 Put apples in to roast at 400F
1:30 Prep granola
1:38 Put brown rice on to cook
[Down time: blog, laundry, soymilk or beans in the pressure cooker, etc]
2:13 Turn off brown rice
2:30 Take out apples, mash.  Turn down oven to 325F
3:00 Bake granola
3:30 Take out granola.  Turn up oven to 350F
3:40 Bread finishes first rise, starts 2nd.  (This took way longer than usual today.  I used different yeast and wasn't really happy with it.  Usually I'd put the bread in the oven by now)

I didn't need to make any soymilk today, so I left that out, but I usually do that during the down time or at the end.  On a good bread rising day, I'd say that I'd be done in 3 hours.  Today I'm just now putting the bread in the oven at 5pm- 4 hours total.  

Hope this helps!  I'd love to see others' cooking/baking routines!

The Hunt is On!

This isn't about food or gardening...But I wrote about the Medallion Hunt last year, so here's this year's first segment.

I haven't been this excited about headgear since my orthodontist announced he was removing the awful contraption from my teeth.  Who'd have thought that 15 years later I'd be thrilled to strap a headlight to my face at 10pm on a Saturday night and venture into a gloomy hollow?  

I'm not exactly an outdoorsy person.  I overheat very easily when physically exerted; my usual light olive complexion turns beet red with green streaks framing my mouth.  In the winter I shiver in our chilly 62 degree house, donning wool socks and slippers as soon as I slip off my snow boots.  I think something is wrong with my hypothalamus.  But for several days in a row I've voluntarily braved below zero temperatures for hours at a time.  I start with the base layer of insulation and build up from there: First the moisture-wicking socks, organic cotton leggings, and Cuddle-duds.  Then the thick organic wool socks, recycled polyester lounge pants (they don't breathe and that means I stay warm), and my favorite thrift store sweater.  Last come the snow boots, snow pants, winter coat, 2 scarves, hat with ear flaps, and Minnesota Mittens (made by special needs workers from recycled sweaters- get 'em at Mississippi Market).  

Then I pack a bag with headlamps, thermoses of hot tea, emergency warming pouches (made with wind power!), a sharp hand plow, and my trusty Blackberry (the modern girl's treasure map).  I pick up Mike from work and we stop in at Dunn Brothers for some fuel: decaf soymilk mochas.  Yes, decaf.  I'm a lightweight when it comes to stimulants.

The cold hits my exposed nose as soon as I step out of the car, but frozen nose hairs and foggy glasses won't stop me from hunting for the St. Paul Winter Carnival Medallion.  

What is it about this event that captivates every cell of my being for 12 days of January?  Is it the prize money?  Ten thousand dollars is a lot of money, for sure.  And I've basically already spent it in my daydreams.  But I think I'd do this for twenty bucks and a chocolate bar.  

Maybe the prestige?  Treasure finders get featured in news stories, online profiles, and become legends among hunters.  Some are hated and some are loved, but they are known nevertheless.  I don't think that's it, though.  The idea of having my photo taken with matted hat hair, a headlamp, puffy snow pants, and snot frozen to my face just isn't that appealing.

I've stayed awake until 2am, woke up early before work, skipped my yoga classes, and rearranged my work schedule to fit in more medallion hunting.  I've spent more time deciphering clues and tracking down references to obscure St. Paul landmarks in the past week than I've spent baking, knitting, or watching CSI.  What exactly is this thing that has come over me?

The only way I can explain it is the thrill of the hunt.  Now, the closest I've ever been to hunting is sitting next to my dad at Catfish Corners with my pink Snoopy fishing pole dangling over the stocked pond.  And this vegan gal is not about to don some blaze orange and take a life in order to eat dinner.  But is this adrenaline rush, this feeling of excitement, anticipation, and pure delight what keeps hunters waiting patiently in their deer stands?  

Last night, as Mike and I drove to a cold, gloomy park at my usual bedtime, he commented, "I wouldn't have thought you'd be into this Medallion Hunt."  Yeah, no kidding.  A few years ago I mocked the hunters digging in seemingly random snow drifts and searching like their lives depended on it.  I packed this Medallion Hunt away on a mental shelf along with Lord of the Rings, choose your own adventure books, and those fantasy role playing games I abhor.  

All it took was glancing at a few clues to get me hooked, though.  What the message board hunters call "noodling" (following the clues' less than obvious hints back to landmarks, historical references, or people, usually via the internet) is really just a euphamism for research.  And lord knows I love an excuse to do some research.  Throw in my passion for Nancy Drew, CSI, and any sort of mystery and you have all the prerequisites for a medallion hunt addict.  

Now, as I'm in the thralls of the hunt, I wrestle with going about my usual routines of cooking, cleaning, and working when the medallion is still out there, just begging me to find it.  I've considered using vacation time to clear work responsibilities out the picture so I can focus on what is really important in life: Tracking down clues and finding that medallion.  Luckily my family is equally obsessed, so I don't need to forgo spending time with them to fulfill my need to hunt.  The kids have mastered Google Maps this year and their little brains think just abstractly enough to be worthy helpers to the cause.  Mike actually went to work today on only one hour of sleep: He spent the night researching St. Paul gangsters and historic kidnappings, all in the name of the medallion.  

Will we actually find this treasure?  Realistically, the odds are pretty slim.  Heck, I'm not even a native St. Paulite- Why should I win this most rewarding St. Paul adventures?  There are plenty of folks that deserve it more than us, people who have been medallion hunters for decades and paid their dues.   

But that won' stop me from trying.  I'll keep noodling, donning my winter gear, and staying up past my bedtime until this prize is found.  Really- I shouldn't even be writing this.  I need to get my gear on and get out there.  Someone could be out there, right this very second, digging in my spot...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Winter Game Night

It's been ages since we had our last game night.  And I must admit that I didn't really decide on refreshments for this event until after my yoga class tonight...about an hour and a half before people were due to arrive.  

Here's what we will enjoy:

Cherry Lemonade made from preserved Door County, WI cherries, maple syrup, and organic lemon juice with sparkling water. 

A SUPER huge taco salad with locally grown lettuce, red pepper, green onions, black beans, TVP taco "meat", guacamole, black olives, and cilantro.  YUM!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Not Quite Avgolemono

In this post I'll assume that yesterday you 
1.  Read my blog
2.  Jumped right up and cooked my Stand Alone Rice
3.  Didn't actually consume all 6 cups of the rice in one day

So here's what you should make with the leftover rice!

Now, I'll preface this with a disclaimer that I've never actually had Avgolemono soup.  I've seen it made and imagined it, but when you become vegetarian at age 11 you miss out on trying some things (Not that I'd take it back for anything, though.  I can live without knowing what lobsters taste like).  

Avgolemono soup is a really simple traditional Greek soup made with just chicken broth, lemon juice, rice, eggs, and pepper.  I know... eggs in soup sounds really weird, right?  They give the soup a creamy texture, though.  It's not like an egg sunny side up or scrambled in the soup [shudder].  

Anyways, the creamy rice part of this soup remindes me of a congee, an Asian rice porridge that can be sweet or savory.  It is made by cooking rice for a long time in LOTS of water.  So I figure that if I cook the rice longer it can be the egg replacement and thicken the soup.  The amazing Earth Balance will replace the fat from the egg and then you're all set.

So here's my vegan version that may very well taste NOTHING like the original.  But it's super good!

Not Quite Avgolemono
Serves 2

1 1/2 cups Stand Alone Rice *
3 cups water or broth
1 no salt added bouillon cube if using water(I like Rapunzel brand)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp Earth Balance
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine rice, water (+ bouillon) or broth, lemon juice, and Earth Balance in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to medium-low.  Simmer for 20-25 minutes.  You may need to add additional water or broth to the soup as it thickens.  When done, the rice should be so tender it nearly falls apart and the broth should be thick and creamy.  Just a touch of salt and lots of pepper on top is how I like mine.

*I'm sure you could make this with regular cooked rice, it would just be a little less flavorful.  The subtle flavor of the garlic and veggies is really nice in this.  

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Getting it all done

My friend commented this weekend about reading this blog and marveling at all the cooking projects and wondering how I have the time for stepkids, work, etc.

I understand how it might seem impossible to cook food from scratch and still  function in society and not be frazzled to the max.  But other folks do far more than me, sewing their own clothes and grinding their own wheat.  All I know is how I've organized my own life to include these tasks that are important to me.  

Like with any commitment, though, cooking with few convenience foods requires some give and take.  To make time for cooking more, I've arranged my weekend into the "slack-off" day and the "get things done" day.  Saturdays I go to yoga, chill out, watch CSI reruns, and generally try not to feel guilty for doing nothing.  Sometimes I even hang out with friends!

Every Sunday I have basically the same routine.  I start the day off with some cleaning because sharing a house with 3 boys (2 of which have poor aim) means the bathroom ALWAYS needs to be cleaned.  Then I clean the kitchen enough to be able to cook in it all day.  

Every week I make the same things:
Whole wheat bread
Whole wheat rolls
Roasted applesauce
A pot of beans

Sometimes I'll make a big pot of brown rice or make almond milk instead of soymilk.  But this is my routine.  The good part about having this routine is that it doesn't take too long to get this all done.  The apples roast while the bread is rising (to keep the kitchen warm enough).  I use the hot oven to melt the peanut butter and Earth Balance for the granola.  It all fits together like a puzzle.
I think it is because of this routine that I've been able to keep my grocery budget under control.  And it's actually pretty relaxing to listen to music and cook on Sunday afternoons when I know that it makes the rest of the week SO much easier to handle.  

And what else are you going to do when it looks like this outside?

Super Amazing Rice

We don't really do side dishes in our house.  Even if things start out in seperate pans, they end up all mixed together in a skillet big enough to house both of my cats.  

Sometimes, though, when I'm cooking for myself, I'll keep my foods seperate.  Yesterday I needed to use up some leftover pinto beans and wanted some really tasty rice to eat on the SIDE.  You know, rice good enough to eat all by itself.  Here's what I mixed up.
*For the record: Mike and the kids resorted to their usual ways and mixed this rice up with the beans.  It tastes good that way, too.

Stand Alone Rice
Makes a ridiculous amount

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 carrot, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 small handful of parsley, minced
3 cups basmati rice
2 tsp. salt
5 cups water
3 Tbsp. Earth Balance
1/4 cup lemon juice

Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add olive oil and onion and stir to coat the onions in oil.  Saute for about 2-3 minutes.  Add the garlic, carrot, celery, red pepper and parsley.  Stir to coat with oil and then add the rice.  Mix thoroughly and add the 5 cups water and 2 tsp. salt.  Put a lid on the pan and let the water come up to a simmer.  When it reaches a simmer, reduce heat to medium.  You want to maintain a simmer, but not let the pan boil over, for about 20 minutes.  Keep an eye on it, though, because sometimes it is ready before or after that!  When the water has been absorbed, quickly toss the Earth Balance and lemon juice into the pan, give it a little stir and return the lid to the pot.  Let it sit for 5-10 minutes.  Then fluff the rice a bit, adjust salt if needed, and serve.  Extra Earth Balance on top tastes delicious, of course.

Stay tuned tomorrow for a soup recipe using this leftover rice.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Lazy Desserts

Being the baker of the family has its perks.  
I always get the birthday cake I want.  When it's midnight and I want peanut butter cookies, it's not a problem.    And when there's only one muffin left in the basket- I feel no shame in snagging it because I baked it.  

But when I'm tired or sick or just plain lazy, there's no one to bake me cookies or ask me what flavor cupcakes I'd prefer.  I'm sure Mike could bake if he tried- but we count on him for the amazing meals whipped up in 15 minutes, not scones.

So when I'm craving something sweet and don't have the energy to bake something, I have a few treats that require almost no preparation that I depend on.

Banana chunks with peanut butter and chocolate chips  (I'm not alone on this one!)

Peanut Butter Pudding: Plain yogurt with peanut butter and maple syrup stirred in 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzels: Equal parts peanut butter and chocolate chips, melted in a pyrex bowl in the toaster oven.  Dip the pretzels in and eat them!

Cinnamon Apple Dip: Plain yogurt mixed with cinnamon and maple syrup.  Dip the apple slices in and eat them!

Totally Decadent Hot Chocolate: Non-dairy milk with cocoa, maple syrup, a dab of vanilla paste, and a little bit of chocolate chips melted in.  Whisk together and sip it.

Hmmm... Looks like most of my quick desserts involve chocolate or peanut butter or both.  That sounds about right.  

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Waste not, Want not

Just like making almond milk leaves you with almond mash that is too good to throw away, cooking with shitaake mushrooms can leave you with tough little stems that need to be repurposed.

When I'm making soup with shitaake mushrooms, I don't like to include the stems because they can be pretty tough. I usually thow tasty little veggies like mushroom stems into my "broth bag" in the freezer to save for the next time I make broth, but now they have a better purpose.

Shitaake Mushroom Jerky!
I have to give all credit for this idea to a woman I've never met.  She's a friend of my coworker/friend Nick's partner Sarah.  She's traveling now, but can pass on recipe specifics when she returns.  

For now, all I know is that the mushroom stems are marinated in soy sauce, lots of ginger, garlic, and molasses.  Then they're dehydrated in a low-temperature oven.  

I probably ate a full cup of this jerky yesterday.  I'm convinced that if we all snacked on this instead of junk, no one would get cancer.  Just think of all the great nutritents in these little stems!  Plus, they're chewy, salty, and delicious!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Do the Almond Mash

Tonight's baking extravaganza all started when Mike wanted some chai tea.  We had just finished our gluten free spaghetti with homemade tomato sauce and homemade bean/tofu balls.

"I wish we had some milk to go with our chai", he said.

So I got to work on making some almond milk for the chai (I must admit I was doing this mostly because I really wanted some almond milk chai, too!)

I just use my food processor to blend up the almonds and water to make almond milk (no fancy Vita-Mix for me...yet), so I have a good amount of almond pulp leftover when I strain the milk.

In the past I've usually used this pulp in cookies, but tonight I decided that muffins were in order.

Hence, the Banana Chocolate Almond muffins!

Banana Chocolate Almond Muffins 

2 medium bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)

1/2 cup packed almond puree*

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup canola oil

1/2 cup water

2 tsp. vanilla


1 1/3 cups brown rice flour

2/3 cups tapioca starch

2 tsp. xanthan gum

1/2 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. baking powder


1/2 cup chocolate chips


*This is the almond mash leftover after making and straining almond milk. 


Preheat oven to 350F and line a 12-cup muffin tin with liners.  Mix together the banana mash, almond puree, oil, water, brown sugar, and vanilla.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, starch, xanthan gum, salt, and baking powder.  Carefully stir about 1/3 of the flour mixture into the banana mixture.  Then add another 1/3 of the flour and stir.  Finally add the last of the flour and stir.  Fold in the chocolate chips. 


Spoon the batter into muffin tin liners- I like to fill these pretty full for 12 big muffins.  But if you like little muffins, you'd probably get about 16 of them.  Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean.  Remove from pan to cool.

Monday, January 12, 2009

FLog #4: Cooking for an army

It's amazing how much food we can go through in a day when the kids are here.  Mike brought home a 5 lb. bag of russets today and we used them all.  There are 2 lunch-sized portions of dinner left over, but that still seems like a heck of a lot of potatoes for 4 people, right?

Wait.  Let's back up.
I should do this in chronological order.
Here's my day in food:

1 slice (a big fat slice) of whole wheat homemade bread with peanut butter
16 oz. water

[1 hour yoga]

1 clementine
16 oz water

1 cup of raw cabbage, carrot, and celery with my yogurt/veganaise ranch dressing
1 cup pinto beans
1 leftover cornmeal pancake

1 oz. Taza Chocolate Mexicano, vanilla variety
16 oz. water

2 Yves sausage patties (I ate these while cooking dinner because I was SO HUNGRY!)

a big ol' mess of roasted potatoes topped with broccoli and nutritional yeast cheeze sauce
1/2 cup pinto beans

Anytime I make roasted potatoes I think of this commercial where this totally clueless looking woman is shocked to find out that she can open a bag, dump the contents on a pan, and have roasted potatoes in half an hour.  Amazing!  

Even more amazing?  This works with actual potatoes, too!  Sure, you have the terrible inconvenience of washing them, cutting them into chunks, and drizzling with olive oil, salt & garlic powder... But the rest of the steps are the same.  450 F for about a half an hour.  And then your roasted potatoes aren't filled with:

Potatoes, Vegetable Oils (Sunflower, Cottonseed, Soybean and/Or Canola), Modified Food Starch, Contains 2% Or Less of: Rice Flour, Salt, Tapioca Dextrin, Yellow Corn Flour, Spice, Black Pepper, Leavening (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate), Dextrose, Garlic Powder, Cornstarch, Disodium Dihydrogen Pyrophosphate, Xanthan Gum, Annatto (Vegetable Color).

Yep, that's right.  You don't actually need to add any modified food starch or disodium dihydrogen pyrophosphate to make roasted potatoes!  Someone should tell Ore-ida!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

FLog #3

I missed a few days of my food log.  My meals haven't been very inspired lately- I need to get my act into gear and do some cooking other than rice, beans, and bread.  

Here's what I ate today:

12 oz. smoothie (yogurt, almond butter, banana, flax seeds, maple syrup)
8 oz water

[1 hour yoga class] 

2 cups summer squash soup (homecanned)
16 oz water

1/2 cup salt and pepper cashews (so freaking good!)
1 1/2 cups  chai with soymilk

2 cups rice, tofu, kale, mushroom dish

*After eating my late second lunch/dinner I was craving something sweet really badly.  But with no baked goods and no ice cream in the house, I was forced to do something drastic.

This is chunks of banana drizzled with peanut butter and sprinkled with chocolate chips.  It was amazing.  I will probably do this again.

32 oz water

slice of whole wheat homemade bread with Earth Balance
1 cup of pinto beans 

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Flog #2

When I have a class at night, I usually eat breakfast at home and lunch and dinner at work. Today I just ate one big meal in the middle!  You might also notice that I had 2 milkshakes today.  One was even before noon.  I just want to state that both of these shakes are entirely Mike's fault.  He practically forced me to buy ice cream and make shakes.  At least milkshakes get me to drink hemp milk! (I really only like almond milk for drinking and I need to make some more)

Today I ate:
A huge bowl (maybe 2 1/2 cups?) of potato soup

16 oz chocolate shake (vanilla Rice Divine with chocolate hemp milk)

2 Tbsp. cashews, 1/4 cup raisins, 1/4 cup dulse

1 satsuma orange

1 1/2 cups raw cabbage, carrot, and arame salad (from the deli!)
1 cup brown rice and kung pao tofu

1 8 oz coffee shake (decaf with vanilla rice divine and chocolate shavings)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

What I Ate

Let's last post was Saturday.  A lot has happened since then.

1.  My KitchenAid mixer broke.  I've already had to replace the motor a couple of years ago because I accidentally didn't tighten the screw that holds in the attachment cover and it got stuck in the beater and broke the motor.  This time it's a mystery- It just won't turn on!  No frosting until I can make it out to the repair shop that's only open while I'm at work.  Is this worth taking vacation time for?

2.  I delivered my first dishes to Mr. C and he really, honestly doesn't want me to cook for him.  Not because the food is bad, but because he'd rather eat his ramen.  I'd like to object, but if I were 90 years old and someone was trying to make me change my diet, I'd be pissed too.  We'll see if his friend talks him into changing his mind.

3.  I successfully went nearly 2 weeks without baking cookies.  That has to be a world record...okay, maybe just a Liz record.  I broke down last night and make some oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies, but forgot that 100% oat flour and rolled oat cookies don't hold together all on their own.  Duh.  So we had to peel the one huge too crispy/undercooked cookie off the silpat mat and eat them right away.

4.  I taught a class tonight about transitioning to a vegetarian diet and/or eating less meat.  It was good because it forced me to brush up on my nutrition...and evaluate my own diet.  I think I'll copycat fellow food snob Catherine tonight and do a "flog" (food log) to make sure I'm on track.

Today I ate:
2 corn pancakes with a Yves sausage patty and slice of vegan rice cheese in the middle and maple syrup on top
(yes, like a breakfast sandwich on pancakes.  I promised these to the kids)

[1 hour yoga class]

2 16-oz glasses of water

1 16-oz smoothie with soymilk, banana, and peanut butter 
(the juice bar special this month!)

2 cups of black eyed peas, brown rice, kale, red peppers leftovers

1/2 organic candy cane

a few orange slices and almonds
16 oz water

About 3 cups of stir fried cabbage, celery, and carrot with ginger and garlic and Bragg's
About a cookie's worth of leftover disaster oatmeal chocolate chip cookie

*My eating isn't over for the day.  I came home and realized that we only have a few veggies and condiments in the fridge, so I threw together the stirfry so that I could think enough to figure out what else to cook.  Just veggies won't hold me over for too long!

It's interesting to see how I eat written down.  I really do graze all day!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Double Tomato Black Eyed Pea Soup

Today was a really great day.  I can't nail down any one particular thing that made it great, but combination of sleeping in, playing Risk with the family while eating popcorn and chocolate before noon, having lunch an awesome friend, and cooking for Mr. C (my new personal chef gig!) is making me happy.  The only stressful part of my day so far was when I gave my step-babies' momma and kids a ride home- Not stressful because of the company but because the slightly grey day turned into an icy sleety dark day really quickly.  But when I got home I found my Netflix movie waiting for me!

So right now I'm cooking for Mr. C.  I hope this works out okay.  It's always tricky cooking for someone else- especially when the person who hired you is not the person you are cooking for.  He insists he is just fine eating ramen noodles and canned food, but his friend thinks otherwise.  My strategy is to win him over with cookies, roasted apples, broccoli stir-fry, baked tofu (his fave), and some Double Tomato Black Eyed Pea Soup.  

I'm giong through a phase right now where I'm obsessed with roasted red peppers.  So far I've eaten some every day this year.  

I'm testing the recipe for this soup today to make sure I wrote things down right last time I made it.  I'll share soon.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

First Breakfast of the New Year

Well, I started this new year off by sleeping 11 hours- until noon!  At least I stayed up until midnight on New Year's Eve.  Sometimes I only make it until 11pm.  I do love my sleep!

Once I enjoyed my morning routine of feeding the animals and bribing crazy barking Hannah dog back into the house with banana pieces, I got to work on making a rocking good breakfast.

This is a variation on the wheat free corn cakes I made for Christmas breakfast.  Except...I undid the whole local thing by serving them with California spinach, avocados, and jarred roasted organic red peppers.  Oh, well!  These cakes are super versatile- they can be sweet like pancakes or savory!

I just wilted some onions and spinach in the cast iron skillet after the corn cakes were all cooked and tossed together some avocado chunks with 1 roasted red pepper, a little cilantro, minced onion and salt.  This felt like a pretty darn healthy brunch with the good avocado fat, spinach, and whole grain flours in the corn cakes.  

Now I've got to run to the co-op to pick up some black eyed peas!  How could I have forgotten to get them yesterday?  That was a close call.  I've eaten black eyed peas on New Year's Day for as long as I can remember.  I remember one year when we ran out of black eyed peas at the co-op and I had to go from store to store trying to find one that was open on NY day!  I'm just a little superstitious...