Tag: Fruit and Vegetable

Teeny little health-bombs


O Meus Gradissimites,

Even the healthiest eaters among us go through rough patches. Recently, despite my best endeavors, my belly has been uncooperative, my taste buds lazy (due to non-stop congestion…thanks, bizarre weather patterns), and my usual ability to eat copious amounts of fresh fruits and veggies (especially those leafy greens…yum!) has been smacked-down by a rather inconvenient (and frankly worrisome) European outbreak of a super-strain of E. coli.

What’s a veggie girl to do?

Health bombs. Teeny little health bombs.

Shall I elaborate?

The other day, faced with appetite-malaise (just made that up) and a refrigerator full of potentially hazardous vegetables, I concocted a green-monster soup/porridge of healthy and surprisingly tasty goodness.

This involved the following components:

  • A rather large cooking pot
  • a bunch of brown rice
  • a bunch of green lentils
  • a bunch of red lentils
  • a couple tablespoons of chia seeds (my latest multi-seed, multi-grain loveaffairadventurefriend)
  • some Vegeta veggie stock
  • A hearty dose of fresh water
  • A big garlic clove
  • A lot of zucchini
  • a potato
  • a bunch of watercress
  • a bunch of cabbage
  • a bunch of cabbagey-green things that I had frozen but forgot what they were
  • a bunch of spinach
  • 2 chili peppers
  • An immersion blender

There’s no way I would have been able to eat that many good things at a time. Needless to say, once all was said and boiled (and blended), I had leftovers for the freezer (preparation for future appetite-malaise) AND lunch for the next few days.

I knew it would be healthy. I really didn’t expect it to taste as good as it did.

I’ve gotta say, a little bowl of this goodness is satisfying, nourishing, tasty, comforting…just right for an ambivalent belly. Even if I slack on quality food for the rest of the day, I’ve done pretty well (nutritionally speaking) after a bowl of this goodness.

Also, the green was really quite pretty. It looked somewhat like a happy pesto afterward….

What else?

And tonight, I made a veggie curry…. but instead of brown rice (which is awesome, of course), I cooked up a bulgur and lentil base. Bulgar and red lentils have about the same cooking time, so I did half and half in the same pot. Easy-peasy 😉

In a big pan, my curry concoction involved leeks, garlic, potato, zucchini, olive oil, curry powder and some liquid from the bulgur/lentil pot.

My carnivorous man loved it.

Any rice love?

I had a craving for risotto the other night, but I was in health-bomb mode. I skipped the risotto rice (fun as it is), and used brown rice instead. I also skipped the dairy… I know, that’s the point of risotto. But this was really good! I made a not-risotto with fresh mushrooms, veggie stock, zucchini, and some roasted pine nuts to serve. It was great. The brown rice is nutty-chewy perfection, and the other flavors were satisfying in the risotto-like way without the blood-sugar issues of white rice and the belly bloat of dairy.

I’m just saying…give it a whirl. It’s not risotto, but it’s damned good 🙂

Rapid Update


What a beginning of spring! It’s been a sequence of great weather, great friends, great food, great babysitting, and Spring Cleaning… I love it!

Some recent, easy food hits:

1. The Sandwich- Billion-Grain/Seed bread (fresh, of course, from our local bakery) with Flamengo and Emmental cheeses, some chopped fresh leeks, oregano, salt, and pepper, toasted. YUM.

 

2. The Soup– a base soup comprised of a head of cauliflower, a medium zucchini (about 2 cups, chopped), and about 1 3/4 c chopped leeks. Cook and blend into a lighter, happier, healthier potato soup replacement. Save and freeze some for later use. Season according to your mood. Today I added salt and pepper and some fresh chopped leeks. Perfect.

 

3. The Sugar Spiral- Yes, it is nefarious. It strikes suddenly, usually in the form of My Man Sweetness… He’s been plying me with a variety of pastries, cookies, and almond tarts. We’re ending it after today. It’s been fun, but that much sugar just isn’t good for anyone! 🙂 Back to whole grains, veggies, and feel-good foods for the spring and summer 🙂

 

I’m also trying to finish knitting a market bag from plastic bags for a friend’s birthday…nearly finished! (I’ll try to remember to post a link on how to do this later!)

 

xx

Spin-offs are the greatest…(Aka, hack of Baked Eggs via 101 Cookbooks)


I’ve been under the weather off-and-on for a couple weeks now (weather change, rain, hormones), and today’s surprise gift of sun in Mafrica came with a hovering sinus headache.

Whatev. More relevant to my general situation is that my man works nearby, and though the puppy and I are on our own for several hours a day, I get to feel like a contributing member of our young household for a solid two meals every day.

It’s not much, but I’m relatively new here, and I’m making the best of it.

The other week, I re-introduced to our kitchen an old faithful from Heidi Swanson’s fantastic online journal, 101 Cookbooks. Not only is she just lovely, the site is full of healthy, hearty, beautifully-varied recipes and stories, along with the requisite envy-inspiring photography.

So, on that day (the other week), my lunch menu came from Heidi’s Baked Eggs recipe.

And now, a note about my kitchen.

We live in a relatively old building. The outside is dismal and looks as though it has barnacles growing on the wall. (Yes, I know they are really lichens and such, but the idea of barnacles on my building amuses me. Incidentally, barnacles are considered a delicacy here.)

The inside of our apartment is actually pretty cute. There’s enough retro flare to maintain a theme. The kitchen is bigger than most small apartment kitchens. The refrigerator is tiny (european, of course) as is the freezer. The stove is gas, and I have no way of determining the temperature of the oven.

I like it that way. It absolves me of responsibility if the food doesn’t turn out.

Relevance? All recipes involving an oven, I wing. I peek and test and tinker. Thus I have no useful commentary to add about the baking times of recipes I cite here. I thought you should know.

Now, back to the eggs 🙂

The night before, we had had spicy bean burritos, and I had two tortillas and some spicy black beans left over. I also had a jar of salsa open. And, you know, some eggs.

I microwaved the tortillas just enough to soften them, tucked them down into a couple of ramekins (Continente, 50 cents each), spooned some black bean mixture in the bottom of the tortilla cup, and cracked a couple of eggs into each dish.

While those were baking (see Heidi’s recipe…I’m not responsible for those details), I made some sweet potato wedges in the oven (a bit of olive oil, sea salt, and rosemary).

If you have the right baking and serving dishes, it’s easy to make home-made (but slacker) food look wholesome and rustic. A nice, simple salad with baby spinach and roma tomatoes, or another attractive combination always helps.

Anyway, lunch was a success. A glass of red wine, and all was done.

Bringing it on home…

So, today, I feel a bit like poo. My man had meat (some burgers) he was going to cook for his lunch, so I threw some olive-oil coated frozen potato balls in the oven, and I prepped an omelet for myself.

Then I saw my happy little ramekin. And the crumbly, broken bits of the end of some very tasty, seeded bread we’d enjoyed this week.

Baking paper was soon cut into a square to line the ramekin. The bread was soon squished by hand to line said ramekin. The omelet mix awaiting the frying pan took a detour, into the ramekin and into the oven.

Yum. Cute. Pretty. Healthy-ish. And easy. Very, very easy.

I’ll figure out dinner in a couple of hours. 🙂