It's finally getting chilly in Florida! OK, not really. It's just cool enough to open the windows, which has been most enjoyable. I consider it high-time we have some soup around here. I'm also happy to rely on some lettuce, arugula, peppers, cherry tomatoes and cilantro from our garden to make our meals this week.
We originally thought this food face reminded us of our dear friend who spikes his hair. (Incidentally, Nora loves the gel-stiffened hair style.) But on second thought, we didn't want to be too offensive as he visits so much we gave him a key to our house for his birthday. So, I rethought the situation and figured it could just be a crown.
These are the enchiladas I made a week in advance and froze. I just popped them in the oven straight from the freezer before serving them. Unfortunately, to keep the family from snacking until they were served, I suggested a walk. But as usual, we ran into friends in the neighborhood. This part we love. I just wasn't proud of myself for letting the enchiladas crisp a little too much on the edges. They were still very good.
Recipe for Spinach Enchiladas
1/2 can fire roasted tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon or more ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon or more chili powder
1/2 teaspoon or more garlic powder
1 cup onions, sliced
1 cup peppers, sliced
4 cups spinach, packed
4 oz. sour cream, more or less to taste
2 cups cheese, more or less to taste
6 burrito-sized corn tortillas
Combine tomatoes and next three seasonings, set aside. Saute onion and peppers in oil until softened. Add spinach and wilt. Soften tortillas.
Spread one spoonful of sour cream on tortilla. Spoon spinach mixture into tortilla and top with cheese. Roll tightly and place in a 9x9 pan. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
Top with tomato mixture and bake at 400'F for 25-30 minutes until warmed through.
To Freeze: Leave off tomatoes. Cover with foil and freeze. Before eating remove from freezer, top with tomatoes and bake.
Sometimes people and things go a little crazy in the spring time. It's called Spring Fever. But what do they call it in the fall. . .in a still rather hot Central Florida? I've been told I've been missed. And I am ashamed. I will not go into details. They aren't worthy of your time. Simply put, I worked a lot last week and at the same time had a computer that didn't want to work at the same time.
I posted the below paragraphs over a year ago. However, the information still applies. Because the Maitland, Florida, library is starting a Cultural and Learning Center tonight and because I am one of the featured upcoming speakers, I thought it would be wise to post these facts again. Especially, since there will be new eyes to Eat Like a Rabbit. These stories are powerful and encourage making positive food choices. I enjoyed rereading them. I hope you do, too.
Add 1 tablespoon sugar to the dough during kneading. Rolled out the dough to about 1/2 inch thick and let it rest about 1 hour. Lay the sliced peaches out on the crust. Drizzle or brush with olive oil. Sprinkle remaining sugar and rosemary leaves over bread. Bake at 500 degrees (or as hot as your oven can get) on the middle rack for about 8 minutes depending on how hot your oven is.
Recipe for Pizza Crust
I apologize, I do not know the original source. This recipe comes via my mother-in-law.
1 1/4 cups water, warm
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon yeast
If using a bread machine, pour in water and oil. Add flour, spreading over entire bowl. In one corner, add yeast. In the opposite, add salt. Set on dough setting, which should complete the first kneading and rising.
Remove dough onto floured surface. Knead to work out the gas the yeast produces. Divide dough into two or three parts. Roll out very thin with a rolling pin. Allow to rise one hour.
Top and bake pizza at 500 degrees or as hot as your oven gets for 8-9 minutes or until the crust is nicely brown and the bottom is baked. Mine actually takes 11 minutes. Guess my oven isn't the strongest.
Two Sundays ago, we did the Ride for Ronald. We rode only the 30 mile leg. (The other options were 60 and 100 miles. We do know people who did the hundred.) But at the half way point, I was so hyped that I wanted to do the 60. I overheard someone else asking if anyone knew the route for the 60. Guess he wanted to keep going, too. But since we didn't know the route, we stayed on the 30 mile trek. Praise God the weather was lovely. Not as hot as it could have been. It was a great day for a ride
I have two words for you. Dorm. Room. This is totally a recipe I'd like to send to my dear cousins off at college as soon as it gets cool enough that these wonderful items don't melt or fall apart before they get there. And if you're lucky enough to have a fridge in your room (we did, even in high school), you can totally make this recipe in your dorm room and be a hit on your hall.
Not once but twice this week, I have dropped a full plastic container of something. . .honestly don't even know what cause I was afraid to look. . .out of the freezer and onto my right foot. Fortunately, it wasn't my left foot, which I already broke while pregnant nearly two years ago. And fortunately, the boxes didn't land in exactly the same place each time. I'm pretty sure the second opportunity was successful at breaking a toe. Luckily, that appears to be all.
Below is a guest post by a good friend who is using Eat Like a Rabbit as an inspiration for cooking new foods and for eating better. I'm glad that she shares a recipe that is out of my comfort zone. This recipe originates far away from the Cajun swamp where I grew up.
Recipe for Gado Gado by Fely Rugless
1 head cabbage, shredded
1 bag frozen cut peas and carrots, preferably just carrots
1 bag frozen French cut green beans
1 bag diced potatoes
1 can bean sprouts, actually preferably fresh sprouts
1 block tofu, cubed
1/2 cup of reduced fat chunky peanut butter
Steam cabbage until wilted, but still crisp. Steam frozen vegetables in microwave or in pan until tender but still crisp. Pan fry tofu in oil until golden and crispy. Mix sauce and peanut butter. Create a bar for assembling Gado Gado. Top with Sauce and a handful of peanuts
Our gym has had this sign up outside their kid care area all summer, and I finally remembered to take a picture of it. It's such a powerful statement for teaching kids (and even adults) to make healthy choices. The road may be curved like the tire tracks, which means it takes focus, but it can start any time. Now even! It will be a better road to a better lifestyle. And if you happen to like driving, especially on twisty roads, then it should be quite fun!
1/2 lb. (or box) long, thin pasta (spaghetti or the like)
1 1/2 T butter (Think I left this out as my pasta wasn't fresh.)
1/2 cup grated Pecorino
3 T bread crumbs
6 T Olive oil
Stir butter into pasta cooked to al dente and drained. Combine eggs, cheese, and bread crumbs in bowl and stir in pasta. Heat the oil over medium heat in a wide skillet. Using a fork, twist sections of the spaghetti into "nests" as large as you can make them. Cook the nests in the oil 2-3 minutes or until golden brown on each side. I used a smaller skillet and made two batches so they wouldn't cool between servings.
We're back to just the three of us this week. I thoroughly enjoyed my in-laws being in town. My MIL made me try a few things, and I'm glad she did. The biggest thing I learned was that you can add a little sour cream to a peach pie to make some amazing filling. I even brought her to yoga for her first time!
My mother-in-law, an artist, put this plate together. I'm so glad Nora likes asparagus. I was quite a deal older than her (by, like, 20 years) before I tried asparagus, and it's a big favorite of mine. Glad she's getting an early start.
This is one of those super-easy recipes. Well, easy if you can figure out how to make a super-thin crepe without holes in it. But hey, I got a few perfect ones. And as long as you ahem are not needing to take pictures, it'll still taste good, right?
Combine ingredients in blender and blend on high until smooth. Scrape edges if necessary.
Walnut Sauce Recipe from New York Times (See Above)
Grill 1 1/2 pounds asparagus or steam over boiling water.
Grease a 6- or 7-inch nonstick pan on medium or medium-high until hot. (You want it to sizzle bread crumbs.) Pour just shy of 1/4 cup batter into pan. Gently tilt pan in all directions until the batter is thin and covers the entire area of the pan. Cook until batter is set and crepe is golden brown. Flip and brown the other side just a few seconds. Remove crepe to plate. Place 4 or 6 asparagus stems in the crepe, roll, and dress with walnut sauce and grated Pecorino cheese.
This reminds me of a lady having a spa day. Just hope she looks better than this when it's over with.
The curls are pinto beans with foil made of chips. Cucumber eye slices with dots of yogurt in the middle, and a warm neck pillow of mashed potatoes complete the relaxing environment. And luckily, after a hearty meal like this, Nora napped and I had an hour-long relaxing environment.
Fill a pot with water and place a steaming basket on top. I actually use my pasta pot and allow a touch of water to come into the holes in the bottom of the pan. Bring the water to a boil. With tongs, place the okra in the pot and steam until very soft when pinched with the tongs. These large okra stems took about 10 minutes. When okra is done, remove and plate. Drizzle fresh lemon juice on top and sprinkle with kosher salt. Small ones classify as finger food. Larger ones may require a fork and knife. By the way, the tops aren't so tasty. Use them as the handle and leave them behind.
What was so great about these was how tender they were fresh out of the garden. Most of the time, this size doesn't steam well and gets really stringy.
While my kale was in great shape even after I bagged it for a week, I cooked it instead of serving it fresh and raw. I sauteed it with onions and stirred in the beans. Since I'd never cooked it before, Paul thought it might not have been cooked completely. But it didn't hurt the flavor. We ate on leftovers a couple more days.
We had Nora's 18 month well-baby check-up today. We also had a new pediatrician. There was nothing wrong with the old one. But she had a family emergency, and we met the fill-in pediatrician. She said there's a new principle for children that they are trying to drum into parents' heads. I liked the idea. And it occurred to me the more I thought about it that it isn't just for children.
I was the only one who liked this dish. But I wasn't down because I really liked it. I made it at my parents' house while while we were babysitting my grandmother for a weekend. My grandmother needs soft foods. And Paul isn't a big fan of quiche. I'm not really sure why Nora turned her nose up at it. But I loved it. Really enjoyed it as a matter of fact. Wanted to eat it all myself. Would make it again. Except, I'd have to eat it all by myself. Wait, what's wrong with that?
Recipe for Paprika Pie Crust
2 C all purpose flour
1 t salt
1 t paprika
½ C oil
¼ C cold water
Mix paprika, flour and salt. Blend oil and cold water with fork. Make lots of bubbles. Add liquid mixture to flour and stir. Roll dough between 2 pieces of waxed paper. Place dough in pie plate. Flute if you have the talent. Poke 5 sets of holes in the bottom of the crust with a fork.
Pre-bake the crust just about 7 minutes.
Recipe for Cauliflower-Asparagus Filling
6 asparagus stems, chopped 1/2 inch long
1 cup small cauliflower florets
1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
3 Tablespoons milk
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, finely shredded (optional)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Layer vegetables in crust. Beat eggs, add seasonings, salt, pepper, and milk. Mix together and pour over vegetables. Top with cheese. Bake at 400 degrees until top is golden brown, about 35-40 minutes.
College starts this week. I actually have to be on a schedule. I had bread dough mixing at 0730. I was awake on schedule. Just not out of bed. I'll get there. But I had ten heavenly weeks of getting into a different habit. Anyway, we're back to grading papers, and I'm actually looking forward to it.
I've created a monster! No, I'm not talking about the food face. I thought it was pretty cute. But I have pushed myself into a corner where Nora seems to only like peanut butter when it's made into a sandwich with Cherrios. Do you know how small Cherrios are? Do you know how messy creamy peanut butter can get if you goof and it oozes through the hole of the Cherrio? And she eats them as fast as I can make them. There must be an easier way! But I can't complain because she really is a good eater.
We've enjoyed our mangoes quite a lot this summer. I must say, after the first case of mangoes, I was getting very speedy at my mango cutting. And I hope this video makes it easy for others to learn how to cut mangoes and enjoy their special tastes.
School starts next week! That means that we are spending this week doing whatever we need to do to be prepared. It also means Paul gets lunch every day because of meetings. Which means I'm grateful for the extra padding in our food budget.
Paul has a formal this week that I've been invited to. But I have no child care. I've decided to invite another mom in the same predicament to the mall for dinner and indoor playtime.
New to Yoga? Me too. Today was only my third trip to the gym for a yoga class. Being from a cardiology-educated background, I always thought a good workout consisted of getting your heart-rate up to 85-100% of your maximum predicted heartrate (MPHR) for 30 minutes. But I was wrong. And while this post isn't directly related to eating well, it is related to living well.
Just a note for those of you who read the posts through email or RSS feed. I want to alert you to our Facebook Fan page and Twitter account. Fan or follow ELAR to get additional health, eating and food tips.
My husband saw a sign out and stopped for fresh, local, organic produce on Friday. He brought home some beautiful okra, two large Florida avocados, and summer squash. I finally drove passed Downtown Orlando to a favored vegetable market and purchased some exciting vegetables. Full story tomorrow.
This face reminds you of summer. Bleached hair from the sun (or at least lightened for us people with naturally black hair), sunglasses, sunburned ears because you forgot sunscreen on them, and thick layers of colored sunscreen on the nose and Chapstick on the mouth. Wait, do they have that fun green sunscreen from my childhood any more?
The real description would be rice pilaf, black olives, tomatoes, shredded zucchini, and a sugar snap pea.
Michael Ruhlman's book, Ratio, has been a turning point for me. I've never considered myself a baker. But he sure can make it easy, as was proven by the amazing ciabatta bread recipe.
Apple Fritters on the Griddle
Ratio by Michael Ruhlman
4 oz. flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 oz. (1/2 cup) milk
1 egg or 2 oz. egg replacer
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 medium apples
Peel and core apples. Chop well or shred them in a food processor. Set aside.
In blender, combine remaining ingredients to make batter. Blend until dry ingredients are incorporated. Stir apples and cinnamon into batter. Heat griddle to 300 degrees. Pour batter onto griddle to shape 3 inch pancakes. Cook five minutes on each side or until nicely brown.
Here's a favorite, speedy side dish. We ate it alongside bean burritos (cheese, onions, peppers, beans) that can easily be put together while waiting for the microwave to beep.
Please either ignore or be amused by my hungry child's voice in the background. She's saying "Oooo" as I stir in the vegetables and squeezes in a few hiccups. But you know what? She's right where I want her to be. I want her to learn to love cooking healthy foods, too.
We spent a long weekend taking care of my grandmother, which we all enjoyed. However, I didn't get around to my usual grocery shopping list and meal planning on Thursday like I normally do. So when I got home, I reviewed the fridge cabinets in case I didn't make it to the store this week. Luckily, we are well stocked on mangoes after the last delivery last Wednesday. It's not my most creative meal plan, but it'll work just fine.
While I am ending a series of focusing on adding enjoyable bean recipes to your diet, in truth the discussion will never end. For beans or for any healthy foods to remain in our diet, we're likely to always be looking for yummy new ways to serve them. Here are just a few recipe take-aways. But remember, the options truly are endless.
I've linked to a few additional bean recipes. Remember, these are basic categories to show you how to add beans to your diet. There truly are endless options.
You've heard of too many cooks in the kitchen spoiling something. Well, a few hands participated in this silly creation. Nora didn't seem to mind, though.
Ms. Food Face wears a green Vaudeville-style hat with a ribbon of hommus. It's jeweled with juicy raisins. She models Sweet-Pepper Orange lip-plumping gloss and peaks out behind a potato salad mask secured to her ears with tomato clips.
I have no excuse. The cauliflower was on super-duper sale. The asparagus? I just wanted it. That's the beauty of living on a budget. When I crave a food, we can buy it.
Also, my parents' anniversary is on Wednesday night. Because of my dad's work schedule, they won't have time to do anything special. So, I'll be fixing a lovely dinner for them on Wednesday night. Then Friday night, we'll be taking care of my grandmother; so dinner will be geared toward soft foods.
This series is about how to use one pot or one crock-pot full or beans to make great meals for the remainder of the work week. When I made this list, I completely ignored the option of just eating them plain, like they do in Italy. There are just so many uses for white beans! They really can be fun to eat. Hope these ideas inspire you, too.
I'm cooking beans this morning. A big pot. Then, I have them to lean on for menu plans. They can last a week or more depending on if I freeze some or not. Also, if they get frozen, they don't have to be eaten every day, but can spread out over three weeks.
There are many more options for using beans than the five I have listed here. But these are fun and can feed a crowd pretty well. (I'm the type that has a weekly menu. If we have guests, I just make more of what I was planning to serve. I don't go shopping to make something special.)