An update on the reading materials; I'm almost finished with Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver and I'm at a point where I'm dreading the end. She's such a fantastic writer, clever, witty and passionate. Every time I turn a page the longing to get my hands in the earth is almost unbearable. The way she describes gardening, farming and cooking makes me melt. After I part ways with Barbara, I'm on to "In Defense of Food" by Michael Pollen. Becoming more painfully aware of my dining experience at every turn of the page....
I worked another long day shift today, by the end of which I found myself in a hypoglycemic stupor. Despite my efforts to prepare a delicious and "I'm really looking forward to my lunch break" lunches -- and as truly exceptional as they may be *hate to brag*, there's nothing like a good ole diaper change to ruin your appetite. Or maybe it was the general smell and sight of sterility in combination with the scent of hospital food. Today, I actually clocked out for break and went back to work - until ushered off the floor by the charge nurse. Then I meandered around the hospital returning phone calls until my 30 minute time-out was up. Absolutely bonkers considering what yummy treats awaited me in the break room, but food was of no appeal.
I have recently discovered "LIBERTE" yogurts made in Quebec *another reason to love Canada -- some are low-fat yogurt cups with grains such as barley (the pear is fantastic), and then there's the ones that taste like heaven in your mouth. I prefer the latter -- "LIBERTE Mediterranean " with plums and walnuts. This reminds me of my beloved yogurt that I practically sustained myself on during my trip to Switzerland called "Yogos" (*or something to that effect). Delicious, rich, creamy, with fig pulp at the bottom; oh my! --- I was absolutely taken aback by the similarity. I highly recommend LIBERTE if you don't have the time or resources to fly to Zurich for a greek yogurt--- the plum walnut is a wonderful way to end a meal - because it is so rich, sweet and deliciously creamy. LIBERTE is now competing with Yo-Baby for a spot in my lunch box.... and I can tell you now; LIBERTE is in the lead.....
Not only was a LIBERTE yogurt, and some fresh fruit and vegetables awaiting me -- but a quinoa concoction I call "Fiesta Confetti"; in honor of my favorite and sorely missed holiday. Quinoa is my grain du jour, healthy, filling, and packed with protein-- I've been cooking with it all semester and have never been disappointed. Here's the quinoa recipe *first of many:
-1 cup of quinoa to 2 cups water * Combine and bring to boil. Let simmer till quinoa has fully absorbed the water and is fluffy and dry. I recommend cooking it till almost done, turning off the heat and leaving the lid on the pot to further steam the grains. Season with salt and pepper.
In a separate bowl...
- juice of zest of two limes
- two tablespoons of canola oil
- 3 Tbs. of melted *cooled butter
- tsp of honey
- 1/2 tsp of chipotle powder and/or cayenne *optional
When quinoa is cooled and dressing assembled, combine both with:
- 1/2 of orange bell pepper, diced
- 1 - 2 jalepanos diced (seeds removed) *adjust spice to preference
- 4-5 green onions, diced
- 1/3 cup of corn (if frozen - thawed, if canned - drained/washed)
- 1/2 cup of chopped fresh cilantro *adjust to taste
- 2 ripe and delicious tomatoes, diced
- 1 can of black beans rinsed and drained
-- > This is much tastier the next day when all flavors have melded, eat cold or at room temperature! Garnish with a lime wedge if serving to guests! Add a spoonful of your favorite salsa or diced avocado, sprinkle a couple of crushed organic blue corn tortilla chips - the combination of flavors and textures will knock your socks off. Not to mention the visual appeal of sitting down to a plate of food containing every color of the rainbow. Enjoy : )