Friday, 24 May 2019

Yup, I’m still on a pea kick!  I just can’t get enough of them right now.  This time I bought a bunch of snow peas at the grocery store and decided to whip up this fresh and crisp asian inspired salad.  I had this salad as a main dish but it would work great as a side too.  It was quick to throw together and so refreshing after a day out in the sun.  Perfect for summer!!!

It’s funny, not ha-ha funny but interesting funny, that I don’t care for cucumbers but I love pickles. There’s something about that briny sour flavor that changes them in a good way. Now I love green beans any which way so it’s only natural that pickled green beans would be a favorite of mine too. You won’t need any special equipment for these pickles and they are so easy to make you won’t get in a pickle making them, just eating them.

Black rice, sometimes called forbidden rice is so dramatic looking. It showcases other colors so well that when I found the most beautiful apricots in the market the other day I immediately thought of putting the two together. I could be happy with just those two things, a pool of black rice with a little apricot half nestled on top but I can’t settle for that, can I? No, I want something exotic and bursting with flavor but not so exotic that it’s difficult to make. This dish is just that, easy but so different and flavorful it will wow your tastebuds with the first bite. This dressing is great with chicken too so if you are a meat eater you can add some cooked chicken to make this dish a meal.

From the recipes I’ve been posting lately you would think that I have a meat obsession when nothing could be further from the truth. I’ve eaten a vegetarian diet for years and then a completely plant based diet for a year now and have never looked back. The thing is when adapting some old favorite recipes I sometimes would like the taste or texture that meat brings to a recipe. Bacon is one meat where it’s distinctive smokey/salty flavor is sometimes just what is needed to make the dish. These smoky almonds may not be bacon exactly but they do the trick in some of my favorite recipes and they make a pretty darn good (and addictive) snack all by themselves.

I love handbags.  Some women like shoes – I like handbags.  I have enough handbags that I could probably open a store and easily have enough inventory for a year.  I also collect stamps and little wooden boxes – weird, I know.  Apparently I collect cauliflower too.  Last week I opened my vegetable drawers and found I had 3 heads of cauliflower – that’s A LOT of cauliflower.  I used a bunch in my salads, shredded a whole head and made Crispy Fried Rice and even steamed a bunch for dinner one night.  Even after all that I still had a good amount of cauliflower left.  I Googled around for some recipes and got inspired after seeing a few for cauliflower couscous.  I love the way it turned out – perfect for summertime!  Enjoy.

I hope all you father’s out there had a great Father’s Day this past weekend. I had been reminiscing this past week of previous Father’s Days remembering how after church on Sunday we would all gather at my mom and dad’s house to cook out. Along with whatever was being cooked on the grill there were always fresh vegetables just picked out of my dad’s garden and strawberry shortcake made with his homegrown strawberries. What great memories!

I bet most everyone has had potato pancakes or at least heard of them and they are delicious, but now that I’ve tried Root Vegetables Pancakes regular potatoes have taken the back seat to these colorful and tasty little cakes. I’ll be the first one to say that beets have been, at best, on my ‘tolerated’ list of vegetables. They have certainly never been a star attraction. Lately though I’ve been using them in some different ways and found that they are delicious when prepared well. In this recipe beets are combined with carrots, onions and spices and held together by garbanzo flour which also adds a rich flavor as well as protein. Perfect as a side dish or as a meal paired with a fresh green salad.

I LOVE asparagus.  Just type asparagus in our search bar and you’ll see all the ways we enjoy it.  After eating this dish I might never eat asparagus any other way.  Truth be told it’s the dressing that makes this meal.  It’s so delicious I want to grab a spoon and slurp it all up.  While it is perfectly paired for asparagus it would also be delicious over roasted or grilled veggies, a green salad, pasta, rice and more. Enjoy!

We all have those days where everything just goes wrong or we don’t feel well or it’s just Monday and going back to bed sounds like heaven.  Days like that call for soup – but not just any soup – Miso Ramen Soup!  One bowl and your worries will be gone.  This stuff is powerful.  It’s amazing how good you feel after just one bowl!  Maybe it’s the fact that miso is bursting with health benefits.  Not only does it contain healthy doses of vitamin E, vitamin B12 and protein but it also has been shown to reduce the risk of breast, lung, prostate and colon cancer.  Miso has a very alkalizing effect on the body and strengthens the immune system to combat infection. Its high antioxidant activity gives it anti-aging properties as well.  It’s the new ‘chicken soup’ for the soul!

“Why are those people dipping chips in mushy carrots?”  This was the question my 5 year old daughter asked me this weekend while we were waiting for our movie to start (we saw the movie Brave – super cute!).  I explained that it wasn’t ‘mushy carrots’ but a nacho cheese sauce.  She asked if we can have  some and before I could reply, Caleb answers with  ”No!  But she’ll make us some at home.”  Gosh, they know me so well!