You guys have probably noticed a lot more simplified, entree-based recipes here on Tasty Yummies over the last few months. Much of this is due in large part to me having more nutrition clients and being able to speak one-on-one to the average, busy working person, who is oftentimes just beyond overwhelmed by the concept of making better choices with their food. This feeling of being unsure and overwhelmed can lead to failing before they even try. I hate hearing and knowing that. I also feel incredibly grateful to have this opportunity to step away from myself and see things from a different perspective. Food is my life but I know for many, even just one home cooked dinner a week is already more than what they are doing!
My first and foremost goal with this website has always been to inspire and empower, in the kitchen and with nutrition. I want everyone to know that eating well and making your health a priority, these things are totally accessible and possible. Read the rest of this entry »
If you follow me on social media at all, you may know that I am currently in London. We have 10 days of travel between London, Paris, Leeds and back to London before we head back to LA. A for-real vacation, just the hubby and I.
So far, it’s been an adventurous trip. Unfortunately the adventures started off on a truly sad note for us. Here’s a strange and very somber story for you, it’s affected me greatly and it’s been weighing so heavy on my mind, even amidst this exciting time of international travel with my guy.
We had a direct flight from Los Angeles to London, on Thursday evening. It was meant to be approximately an 11 hour flight. A few hours in, somewhere over the middle of the country I drifted off to that strange, blurry-headed, plane-induced half-sleep, when there was a call over the loud speaker for any doctors or nurses. A short time later, another call.
Suddenly several hours later, with about 3.5 hours left of our 11 hour flight, the bright lights turned on, a jarring way to wake. We received the pre-recorded notice that we were close to our arrival and that we should prepare for landing. ‘Trays and seat backs to the upright positions.’ ‘Bags stowed.’ It didn’t make sense. The map showed we were in the middle of the Atlantic, somewhere near Greenland. In the fog of sleep and slight confusion and with the pull of an extremely abrupt direction change, I opened up the digital map on the glowing screen in front of me. The flight path showed a very abrupt u-turn in the middle of the blue sea. Mark said “we’re turning back around, we’re going back.” Our plane was headed back in the very direction we had just come from and the arrival time now showed as just over an hour.
I have a very serious question for all of you… how in the heck is September almost over? Actually, make that two questions, I also want to know where the summer has gone? The Autumnal Equinox is just two days away and I honestly feel like summer just began. It probably doesn’t help that it has been a very busy summer and I have been traveling for most of this month. 12 days in a row were spent away from my home as I explored Maine, visited my family in New York, then returned home to quickly leave a mere 12 hours later, to visit a ranch and explore the adorable small town, Julian, CA.
I always find the end of September and the start of October to be a highly charged time for me, with lots of energetic shifts. Not only is change in the air with the start of a new season, but the fall equinox celebrates the equality of light and dark. As the sun shines directly on the equator, we experience (nearly) equal hours of daylight and darkness, all across the world! How cool is that? Because of this, the shift into fall focuses our energies on balance and as a libra, this equanimity is vital to my very existence. I thrive in the balance and I find myself at my best, most aware and most creative at this time.
Over the past few weeks I have had many reminders, presenting themselves in many different forms, to “honor yourself”. It’s easy in the busy time of summer to get lost in a sea of plans, to constantly be honoring promises to others and to fill the long days with socially-charged commitments. Summer is so focused on putting ourselves and our creations out into the world, feeding them and encouraging their flourishing growth in all the light surrounding us. I find as we transition toward darker days, the need to pause, to go within and to harvest our creations from these previous months. This time of rebalancing of our lives is the best for shifing our focus toward honoring our self. Armed with this knowledge of this time, the readings, reminders and messages, I have been able to focus on my energy inward these past few weeks. I have started to give myself the room to honor me and it has given me the space to see much more clearly.
Beyond this balance and the start of this energetic shift, with this new season I also very much enjoy the very literal harvest taking place, of the foods we eat and are creating. Apples and winter squashes, warming spices, stews, soups and baked goods. After our trip to Julian, CA at the end of last week, a town known for it’s apples, I was feeling inspired to create an apple pie with the beautiful apples we brought back. I planned to create a grain-free pie reminiscent of the slice of delicious gluten-free Apple Boysenberry Crumb Pie I had from a small bakery off Main Street. As I finished the last few bites of this pie, I dreamt of filling my own kitchen with the spicy, comforting aroma that filled this tiny little gold-mining town. Sadly, mother nature had other plans for me with her 100 degree summertime-like temperatures. While I really wanted to create this pie to share with you, I couldn’t imagine turning my oven on and slaving over peeling apples and rolling out dough. I chose to instead create another recipe, honoring the swing season. This special, but brief time where summer and fall meet.
I came across this recipe a week or so ago while browsing on the Epicurious iPhone app (which I am obsessed with) and couldn’t wait to try out my version of it. I changed a few things around like using brown rice instead of white and I added some things that weren’t in the original recipe (the beans, banana pepper, green zucchini, etc). Also, considering the corn that we got at the farmers market this week was still very small and a bit early in the season, we didn’t have a lot of it in the dish. Later in the season, that part of the dish will be even better, so we will for sure have to make this again when the corn is tastier. I was very excited though, that we did get to include the first banana pepper of the season from our garden to add a little heat on top of the poblano that was already in there. I made a bit larger of a serving that what the recipe called for, so we could eat it for lunches throughout the week. For a side dish at one meal, you could probably get away with just making 1 cup of rice.
We decided to cook up the corn and other veggies on the grill, which we were already heating up, so we could get some of that lovely smokey grill taste in the dish. You could easily cook the veggies in a non-stick skillet over a medium heat on the stove top if that is easier. This dish was light and refreshing and was the perfect side to the pork steaks from Sojourner Farms that we were cooking up. It had a very subtle spicy kick from the peppers and a great bright flavor from the lime.
Southwest Rice Salad
serves at least 8 as a side dish, less if you are serving it as your main entree
adapted from Bon Appétit
2 cups long-grain organic brown rice
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from 2 or ears) or frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 large fresh poblano pepper, diced
1 seeded spicy banana pepper, diced
1 medium zucchini, cubed
1 medium yellow squash, cubed
1 avocado, halved, peeled, diced
1 cup of canned organic black beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
freshly ground black pepper
Cook rice until just tender, follow directions on the package. Ours cooked for 50 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water. Drain again. Meanwhile, whisk lime juice, garlic and 3 tablespoons of olive oil in small bowl. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
Start your grill and get it to a medium-high temperature. Wrap the ears of corn in foil and place them on the grill. Toss the peppers, squash and zucchini with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add to a grill pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the grill pan on the medium-high grill. Cook the corn until it is done, approximately 10-15 minutes, cut off the cob once done and slightly cooled. Sauté the vegetables until they are just tender and starting to brown up a little, 15-20 minutes; scrape into a large serving bowl. Add rice, beans, green onions, cilantro, and dressing; toss to coat, top with avocado. Season with salt and pepper.