Saturday, May 16, 2009

Arugula and Corn Salad

A trip to the produce market yielded two fresh ears of corn, red leaf lettuce and baby arugula. In a flash they became lunch.

I've become very fond of sautéed corn kernels in coconut oil with a touch of thyme and a bit of sea salt. I love the kernels raw mixed with black beans, too. But I've had this compelling urge for the warm, thyme kissed kernels with just a faint hint of coconut from the organic oil.

I knew I wanted a big green salad for lunch. The bag filled with greens I brought home contained kale, red leaf lettuce, spinach on the stem, arugula and hearts of romaine along with the indulgent two ears of corn. I chose the red leaf lettuce and arugula for lunch. I saved the big outer leaves of the red leaf for juicing and used the crunchy heart for the salad along with a generous couple of hands full of arugula. Half a thinly sliced Vidalia onion and the sautéed corn completed the salad. I gave the bowl a generous sprinkle of sea vegetables, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a spritz of sherry vinegar.

The warm, sweet corn played nicely against the peppery arugula and the crisp, buttery red leaf lettuce tempered it well. It turned out to be a great combination. Another quick, improvised meal with a few fresh ingredients. A great way to eat more raw dark leafy greens.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Rapini Al'arrabiata
My mouth watered for a spicy pasta meal. Old habits and food addictions die hard. It was Sunday and there was no pasta in the house. The only noodles I buy are organic buckwheat soba noodles. While they are wonderful, that really wasn't what I had in mind. They always say Asian influence to me. I was in the mood for Southern Italian.
I had a lovely large head of fresh rapini in the fridge. In one of the recent food magazines, I'd read about penne with greens and while the recipe had no red sauce, I thought wanted it all. Greens, pasta and a spicy red sauce.

I will say that the longer I'm careful about what I eat, the easier it is to overcome these sudden food urges. Not only do I like to lead by example, but I've had the daily experience of high energy, clear mind, soft skin, and best of all, vibrant health. Why would I want to undermine all I've achieved?

I made a decision to go with the spicy sauce—ah, yes—a cooked meal. But a vegetarian, whole foods meal. I made an easy sauce,see below. Then lightly steamed the rapini long enough to soften the stems a bit, then removed the lid from the dutch oven and let the water evaporate. I added a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil to the bottom of the pot and let the greens sauté a bit, adding salt and pepper.

I plated the dish with a spoonful of sauce, then a generous heaping of the greens, topped with more sauce and then, my big indulgence, a light grating of Parmesan Regianno.
And I never missed the pasta!

Quick Al'arrabiata: simple sauce that can be used for a variety of dishes. A good one to have in your fast food repertoire.

1 28 oz can Muir Glen Organic diced tomatoes
1 large shallot - minced
1 cloves garlic - minced
1 TBS Italian herbs (or a mix of basil & oregano)
1/2 tsp salt

Sauté the shallot and garlic in a little water to soften. Add tomatoes using just enough water to rinse out the can. Add herbs and salt and simmer for 30 minutes. Taste for seasoning.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day Morning
Mother's Day morning found my kitchen counter covered with extra goodies.
The lovely fresh flower arrangement, courtesy of our Annual Friends of the Library meeting and luncheon. The gift box of flavored vinegars at the far end, a gift from my son and daughter-in-law and not showing, another welcome Mother's Day gift: heirloom beans from Rancho Gordo from my other son and daughter-in-law. You see, they've all got my number. No better gift than fine food stuffs.

With the rising sun brightening my east facing kitchen, I prepared an interesting green smoothie.

All green smoothies appear to look alike, however, they don't necessarily taste alike. This blend is made up of:

1 ripe mango
1 banana
1/2 frozen banana
6 red leaf lettuce leaves
enough filtered water to thin to taste

Delicious, but what should I call it?