"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" ~ Mary Oliver

Tag: broccoli

‘stone soup’ for lunch! . . .


It’s gotten a little chilly out so instead of making a salad for lunch, I decided to put together a soup from whatever I happened to have on hand in the fridge and pantry. I call this “stone soup” like the folk tale about French soldiers who stirred up a big kettle of water and put some clean “magical” stones in it. Soon, curious villagers began to contribute to the “broth”: vegetables from the root cellar, grains from the barn, sides of beef until there was a hearty soup to be shared by everyone.

This soup is somewhat like that: I found a small piece of onion and zucchini in the vegetable bin which I chopped up along with half a carrot. There were a couple of still fresh broccoli florets in a pack that was ready to be thrown out. Into the pot they went along with a can of DelMonte diced tomatoes and a Knorr beef broth packet. Added water and it looked pretty thin. Poured in a handful of raditiore pasta, the crinkled, pretty pasta that quickly expanded as it cooked.

And what do you know? I soon had a soup that looked and tasted like a true minestrone soup for lunch! Nice to have a warm bowl on a chilly Fall day.


tastes . . .


I feel like I’ve been on a quest for Jason’s golden fleece these past few weeks. You know, go out and rescue yourself by seeking a noble impossibility. Well, it hasn’t been that bad but there have been a lot of dead ends. Expensive too when considering a new pantry of ingredients, some of which I’m not sure I’ll use again. But, that’s what trial and error means, I guess.

As described in the past few posts, I’ve gone from one extreme (foodie Paleo) to another (strict Vegan) and come out somewhere in the middle: “Pegan.” However, the one guiding principle that I intuitively adhere to during this wayward journey is that if the food doesn’t taste good to my palate and it isn’t something that I truly like to eat, then, it’s a wayward journey and not one that will be sustainable. It’s like travelling on vacation somewhere and you just don’t like the cuisine. Even if it’s good for you, you won’t keep wanting to eat it.


Today, a volume in my bookshelf caught my eye called “Crisp” published by Marie Claire, the magazine. It’s a beauty to look at with imaginative, many Asian-inspired recipes for simple bites of delicious looking, light fare. Given what I’ve learned in the past few weeks, sugar and flour can be substituted with agave nectar or stevia and I now have gluten-free flour in the pantry. Most of the recipes are fresh vegetables and small amounts of protein. The difference between this approach and “Eat to Live” (Joel Fuhrman’s cookbook) for example, is that it doesn’t feel medicinal or health-food-like at ALL. It also doesn’t require a five inch list of ingredients either.

“Crisp” is beautifully photographed, contains few-ingredient recipes, and approaches healthy foodie in a good way. Finally. A “Pegan-Foodie” blend that doesn’t break the bank when going to Trader Joe’s. I am going to wait a few days to go to ANY grocery store until there’s more room in the fridge now containing kale, collard greens, zucchini, broccoli.

Tonight, I’m going to try a recipe from Julie Morris’s book, “Superfood Kitchen” for supper: zucchini “linguine” with onions, dulse (seaweed) and walnuts. A salad of butter lettuce, english cucumber and red onions with a ginger vinaigrette.

That sounds good, doesn’t it?



just in case . . .

People are predicting that “Sandy,” the perfect storm with the lowest pressure ever in combo with cold air coming from the north and warm gulf stream air entering from the south might become the biggest storm EVER. You know it’s serious when they shut down public transportation in New York City; evacuate people along coastal states, close schools and say you can work from home. Even the Court system in NYC will be closed today.

So, what I began doing when I woke up in the middle of the night around 3 a.m. was to start cooking the ten-pound ham that is not spiral-sliced, but an old fashioned, honest to goodness semi-cooked ham. I glazed it with Poupon mustard, brown sugar and apple cider vinegar on the outside. Baked it for almost three hours in a 325 degree oven while browning baby brussels sprouts in a skillet and steaming broccoli and cauliflower in another pan.

On the stove, I rinsed out the navy beans that had been soaking the day before, sauteed vidalia onion, carrots; put in a hambone from the freezer, adding spring water and chicken broth to make a hearty bean soup. There’s a head of lettuce and three asian pears for salad to offset the ham. Oatmeal bread and rolls should hold us for ham sandwiches or peanut butter too. There’s enough to share with family next store and tenants who live in the house.

In the freezer is a ten pound bag of ice which can go in a cooler to keep all this food chilled and safe to eat for a few days in case the power goes off.

While the vegetables were simmering, I brought in the wind chime that has sturdily kept going for almost ten years out on the back landing. And piled the flower pots together in the pantry too. There are a couple of Stanley tripod torches to give us light in case the electricity goes off. If it does, there’s always knitting or reading to do, and it will be a good test of how long we can live without being online!

So, this is about all I can think of to prepare for this impending storm. Maybe we won’t need it after all. Let’s hope so. I think it’s humbling to do what we can to prepare for this potential emergency, while recognizing that the magnitude of this storm (and its impact) rests completely in the hands of Mother Nature!

Afternote (31 Oct. 2012): Unlike many less fortunate, we were spared a power outage. So yesterday, slices of ham, vegetables, rolls, biscuits and soup went to family and friends. The ten pound bag of ice waits in the freezer for another day.