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Archive for May, 2010

I have disappeared from the Internet almost entirely, huh? My apologies. Things have gotten very hectic this month. With work and family emergencies and medical appointments and apartment hunting and birthdays, you know, life…we’ve been resorting to almond butter sandwiches on farmer’s rye for most of this month. On the plus side, Husband and I found a place of our own!! We take possession next week (EEK!!) and I have a billion and one things to get done before then.

I need to tell you about my new kitchen. First of all, it’s the biggest kitchen I’ve ever had, which is so nice. It has more counter space than I’ve ever had, I could stretch out and take a nap on my counter if I were so inclined. And, and I have a double sink!! I have never had a double sink, ever! Ooh, how excited I am about a double sink. Plus, the window faces west so I’ll have all that evening sunshine pouring in while I’m making dinner. Can you picture it? Late afternoon…muffins cooling on the counter, entirely sun-drenched in that rich orange glow….*sigh* It’s going to be amazing. My own kitchen, how I’ve missed you. I would love to write you a very long letter, my own kitchen, about all the wonderful things I am going to do in you, make in you; but, I feel like that could get out-of-hand too easily. Only three more sleeps till I get to lose myself in that marvelous kitchen!

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My sister ‘Rene served me this absolutely delicious salad the other evening as a snack while we had one of our Buffy the Vampire Slayer marathons. (As a sidenote, I’ve just recently begun to watch the series and can I just say that these Twilight vampires have nothing on David Boreanaz! I may have to rethink my marriage to Husband *wink*)

Anyway, the salad looked so nice in the evening sun that was pouring through my sister’s window that I felt compelled to snap a picture. Of course, I didn’t have my camera with me and had to settle for my crappy cell phone’s camera. When I looked at the pics, they had a certain “toy camera” appeal and I knew a post was in the near future.

‘Rene graciously allowed me to post  the recipe for her salad and I’m so glad she did because it was just stellar…such a fireworks display of colour and flavour. It truly was the most exciting salad I’ve eaten in recent history and I know I’ll be making it again and again.

‘Rene’s Bean and Bread Salad

-1 cup washed and trimmed green beans, blanched

-2 cups day old bread of your choice, chopped or torn into small pieces

-2  T. olive oil

-1 T. Earth Balance, or other vegan margarine

-1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped

– 1 small sweet potato, peeled and thinly sliced

-1 small beet, peeled and thinly sliced

-2 carrots, peeled and cut into thin sticks

-6 small vine-ripened tomatoes

-salt and pepper, to taste

-1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

-1 tsp. Dijon mustard

-3 T. extra virgin olive oil

-1 T. fig balsamic vinegar

-1.5 T. brown sugar

Preheat oven to 400. Toss the sweet potato, beet, carrots, and tomatoes with 1 T. olive oil, salt and pepper. You could also add herbs of your choosing, if you wish. Bake in preheated oven till veggies are browned and crisp. The tomatoes will essentially melt and help flavour the veggie chips. Remove from oven and cool completely.

Meanwhile, preheat 1 T. olive oil and the Earth Balance over medium heat in large pan. Add the garlic and bread pieces and toss gently to coat evenly. Toast the bread until golden brown. Remove from pan and cool completely.

Blend the Dijon, extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, brown sugar, and salt and pepper together until well combined.

Toss the green beans, toasted bread, veggie chips, and parsley together in a large bowl. Gently toss the dressing with the salad to coat evenly. Serve immediately.

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Does your appetite crave specific colours? Or is that just me? I’ve noticed that the majority of my food cravings are colour-based…such as, “I really want something red for dinner tonight….tomato sauce maybe…or something with red pepper…”

I know that cravings can be your body’s way of telling you it’s missing something so I generally tend to eat whatever I crave. I never “count” fruits and vegetables in to my caloric intake (not that I’m a big calorie counter to begin with) because they’re loaded with so many vitamins and nutrients. The more, the merrier, I say! I am a fruit and vegetable free-for-all’er…if that makes any sense at all!

Anyway, I’ve been ridiculously busy the past couple weeks with a trip out-of-town, my birthday, my “day” job, and my newest endeavour (attempting to get my photography business into full-swing); so, Husband and I have been eating our share of super-quick meals. Tonight, I had enough. The thought of having granola and almond milk for dinner one more night was appalling and the past couple days, I’ve been talking incessantly about craving dark green and black (beans).

Enter rice and beans! This is one of my favourite meals to make because it’s absolutely delicious, really simple to prepare, and really nutritious. Another reason I love rice and beans…fried plantains! I never make a batch of rice and beans without frying up slices of starchy, slightly sweet plantain to accompany.

With just a sprinkle of cayenne pepper and sea salt, the plantains are a heavenly tropical treat. Really…I just couldn’t give up tropical produce…I’ll never be a 100% locavore…unless I happen to relocate to a hot, sunny island somewhere…..hmmmm…I may just be on to something…

My preferred method of preparing rice and beans is with brown basmati rice, low-sodium stock, black beans, and a big splash of hot sauce. This time around, I stirred in some wilted red Swiss chard to satiate my appetite for green. Served up in generous proportions with some sunrise-gold slices of plaintain…soft and velvety inside with a perfectly crisp and browned exterior…well, let’s just say my plate was all but licked clean in record time!

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