Ayurvedic Summer Salad

I’ve been reading Lee Carroll’s Kryon book, “The Recalibration of Humanity” which talks about how each person has their own unique dietary needs based on their akashic inheritance over many lifetimes.

I enjoy Indian food with it’s depth of flavorful, warming spices. I decided to try some ayurveda inspired recipes this week in an effort to stimulate my appetite and eat more healthfully. I love the fresh herbs in this recipe from The Ayurvedic Institute in New Mexico.

Ingredients

  • Salad greens
  • French lentils
  • Fennel
  • Dill
  • Rice vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Zucchini
  • Shallots
  • Couscous/quinoa
  • Parsley
  • Lemon
  • Beet
  • Avocado
  • Lime
  • Cilantro
  • Goat cheese

– Steam beet halves 20 min, cool, skin & chop then refrigerate.

– Soak 1/4 cup lentils overnight, rinse and simmer 20min in 1 cup water.

– Mix 1/4 cup chopped fennel, 2 Tbs dill, salt, pepper, 1 Tbs rice vinegar, 2 tsp olive oil.

– Saute 2 sm zucchini in chopped shallots, sunflower oil and rice vinegar.

– Mix lentils, fennel & zucchini and refrigerate.

– Saute quinoa in oil 2 min. Add 3/4 cup broth & simmer 12 min.

– Toss quinoa with 2 Tbs parsley, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 lemon’s juice, 1/4 tsp pepper.

– Blend avocado, 1 Tbs lime juice & zest, 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 Tbs rice vinegar, 1 Tbs parsley, 1 Tbs cilantro, salt and pepper.

– Toss greens with avocado dressing and layer lentils, quinoa, beets and a couple spoonfuls of goat cheese on top.

Yum!

Lemon Leaf Tea

Since I learned to feed my lemon tree three times a year, it gives me fruit! Right now the fruit is still green and camouflaged in the leafy canopy. I checked in with my tree yesterday and noticed that some of the “branches” were not woody or thorny; they were suckers that need to be pruned. Without the suckers, more energy can flow to the fruit-bearing branches.

I cut and bundled the suckers in my hands and as I did, a soft hint neroli tickled my nose! The tree is not flowering yet, but looks AND smells like it’s getting ready.

As I enjoyed the sensory experience of these prickly branches, I remembered being in the kitchen of a client and his wife. We were sitting at the island and she was heating up dinner for him and the contractors who were working out back. She had beautiful citrus trees and grape vines covering her yard. As I admired them, she told me that both lemon and grape leaves make a nutritive tea. She served me a cup with honey.

I’m going to make lemon leaf tea!

It was quite the epiphany. I removed leaves from the stems, then washed and dried them. I weighed 2 ounces of leaf into a 1/4 gallon mason jar, poured boiling water to the brim and sealed with a lid for 4-12 hours. When I popped the seal and strained the tea it was an amazing almost neon yellow color! And the flavor was just as inspiring- a harmony of light, lemon and leafiness. Next time I’m going to crush the leaves a bit before brewing.

It’s hard to find any information about lemon leaf and it’s preparations or beneficial qualities. If you have any stories or recipes, I’d be happy to hear them.

Clafouti Comeback

Clafouti makes a comeback cause it’s cherry season!

This delightfully simple little custard is so yummy when served cold with my iced coffee for breakfast.

I pitted a bag of cherries, but didn’t have any milk. My neighbor saved the day by delivering me a Mason jar of “borrowed” milk, so I doubled the recipe and gave her a dish. It’s fun to share!

Then we went to practice for our Rock Painting Band and enjoyed clafouti for dessert- after the ham and cheese Hawaiian rolls marinated in butter, Dijon, Worcestershire and onion.

Don’t worry, I served it with a salad that featured sprouted lentils and pepita. Now that’s a good day!

Shades of Cooking Taleggio

Shades of cooking: the grilled cheese sandwich

Ah, the joy of cooking! I like to make a meal with great gusto, especially when it is to be shared– it is an absolute labor of love. When my boyfriend and I first started dating, the meals I prepared for us often impressed even me! However, readying everything hours in advance can make staying ahead of the game a difficult task three times a day. That’s why I started to let him take me out for dinner; what a treat!

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Although our shared affections have only grown, we now moderate our eating out and/or cooking elaborate meals, leaving them for special occasions like Valentines Day. But alas, there are nuances along the continuum that lead from an afternoon of laboriously preparing food to having a pizza delivered. Stabbing my fork in an attempt at moderation informs this next approach to cooking—a simple meal that calls for just a couple of quality ingredients and a modicum of care, time and energy.

This recipe sprung from a picture that I saw of a Grilled Taleggio Cheese & Grape Sandwich. I had been trying to learn about this particular Italian cheese that I didn’t necessarily like, yet customers bought with great zeal. I would sample it to people expecting a wonderfully sour face – only to get mild approval from them!? What?!

Taleggio cheese is square-shaped and covered in blue, grey and green molds, which run rampant over a bright orange rind. Yet the interior has the runny consistency of Brie and a creamy enough flavor to balance the tingly tang of this stinker.

For the bread I sliced a subtle sourdough (made locally by Beck’s Bakery), buttered it and started it frying in a pan. Then I went to trimming the rind off of the Taleggio cheese, which is already quite moist and runny. Halve the grapes and the prep work is done. Now to the nuance of grilling cheese sandwiches!

I worried that my boyfriend would not be a fan of this cheese and therefore not enjoy the meal. My nerves were wracked when he came into the kitchen, looked around hungrily and asked if he could eat the stinky rind. My fingers still reeked of the stuff! The cheesemonger part of me wanted to encourage exploration (knowing it was entirely safe) but the girlfriend in me thought, “No!!! He is going to spit that out and run screaming from the kitchen in five, four, three…”

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But he devoured a fried-so-perfectly-that-the-cheese-browned-around-the-edges-open-faced sandwich in less time than it took for you to read this sentence. I was proud. It is a strong tasting cheese, but the grapes sweetly mock any bitterness away. We enjoyed the meal together savoring every bite while the cat lay snoozing under the table; it was just the three of us and it was a great combination – the bread, the cheese, the grapes; basic cooking, care and attention.

Now I pass that same inspiration on to you, through the filter of my experience. And I give you: Taleggio, the Grilled Cheese of Victory. That is the value of a simple, nuanced, tasty meal.

 

Burger Steak

I’ve got a great recipe today that features a couple of local products and is super simple; I’m talking about a Slug Slime Chicken Fried Grass-Fed Cube Steak!

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I recommend that you put on some water for macaroni and start steaming green beans before executing this beefy main course nice and quick-like. My breading consists of Los Bagels famous slug slime, grated parmesan, panko breadcrumbs and flour, all adhering to the meat with the power of an egg. Once you begin to bread and fry the beef you are essentially done.

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When we start eating, my boyfriend asks, “Is this a hamburger or a steak?” Good question. Good question, indeed. My answer? Well, it’s a burger steak!

Tenderizing meat is an absolutely fabulous process by which you take one tough piece of meat (like a London broil) and send it between two rollers with spikes on them- pretty medieval. By running the piece through several times at different angles, then folding it back onto itself, you get something that looks like hamburger, but sticks together in one meaty piece like a steak. Mmmh-eat Magic.

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