Break It Down

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:

Cook Quinoa:
-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 : )

1 comment:

  1. Reading this has made me lament even more that you are not my roommate! We could have taken turns making meals with leftovers for lunch! Well, you'll have to come over (really!!!) and we can make ridiculously healthy and delicious foods together.

    This is my newest inspiration: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/22/dining/22mlist.html

    Absolutely worth the pain of registering to read the whole article!

    Keep writing, I love it!