A noodle bowl with greens and protein is my constant back pocket meal. I’ve always got these three things in some form in my house at all times. Lately, the protein mixed into the bowl has been tempeh….
It’s time to pull things back to the other side of the spectrum. The holidays are wrapping up, and I’ll be honest, I indulged some. It wasn’t crazy, but it definitely hasn’t been my usual meals or snacks. I’ve had food that I know I only enjoy once or twice a year, so I let any judge-y voices yammering in my head get blocked out by just being in a moment….
I’ll be honest: many meals that I’ve made come after staring into my fridge and pantry with the question “How do I use what I have to make a meal?” It’s like a Top Chef Quickfire Challenge, but with no timers, judges, or other chefs around. So… nothing like it.
But! You understand what I mean. I’ve got to take what’s there and make something satisfying and healthy. No running to the market, no giving up and calling for take out.
This week a bundle of collards were sitting in my fridge, waiting to be used. It’s been a little on the warm side for soup here (I know, #californiaproblems) so I settled on using the greens as a wrap.
The great win win win of collard wraps are many: Less carbs than a flour tortilla, more vegetables, more nutrients, less calories… Look for large circular leaves rather than narrower rectangular ones and you can have a wrap that’s more substantial.
Life is a rollercoaster. Sometimes it feels like you’re just climbing and climbing, waiting for the big drop that never comes. Other times, the big drop pops out of nowhere, bringing with it the loudest scream you’ve unleashed in a while.
After months of slowly climbing to the top of the rollercoaster, I’ve finally barreled down the drop. This week I started a new job! It’s a graphic design job in the same industry I was in before, but with a completely different style and mindset.
I took last week off to decompress, to finally get a haircut, and to just do all the things that you put on that “Someday” list that always gets longer and longer. One of the things on that list was roasting kabocha.
It may seem like an odd one, but I’ve already let two or three kabochas overripen on my countertop while life buzzed around me. No more!
Kabocha is an Asian winter squash that’s commonly used in Japanese, Thai, and Korean cooking. I first heard about them from A, my amazing Japanese friend. Like most squashes, it’s packed with iron, potassium and beta carotene. Unlike most squashes, you can eat the skin.
My other Japanese friend, M, inspired the sauce after describing a Kewpie mayo (Japanese mayonnaise) sauce her friend made. M loved it, but wasn’t thrilled with the calories that mayo tends to bring.
It’s that time of year again: resolution time. We’re constantly barraged with people, social media, companies, and newsletters asking us about our resolutions or trying to sell us more workout equipment we may or may not use.
I’ve set resolutions is the past, like most, and like most, they never stick. They seem too big, too overwhelming, and ultimately disappointing when they’re not made.
I prefer something smaller, more actionable. Something I can do everyday that won’t make me throw up my hands if I forget about it that day.
This year, one of my main focuses will be to eat more greens.
I already make pretty vegetable-centric dishes, but I’m going to kick this up this year. Greens are good. They’re loaded with vitamins, low in calories, and they’re damn delicious. I hope you’ll enjoy the greensplosion in 2014, because it’s coming 😉
When it rains, it pours. This has been a rough week for me. On top of the stress of life, work, and the holidays, someone I hold close to my heart is in the hospital. Knowing that she’s not doing well and that I couldn’t travel to see her right now is hard to accept.
At one point, the rain was so torrential I had to stop and zoom out. Look at things beyond this week, this moment, these feelings. Looking at everything from way up above, I saw that I wasn’t taking care of me. It’s so easy to get caught up in the whirlwind and let seemingly little things drop. But most of the time, those little things add up to some peace, some balance, some sanity.
As I work on listening to myself again and restarting those little things, I turn to the kitchen to make miso soup. Miso soup is a simple thing that give me great peace. The comforting flavor of miso paired with the nourishment of seaweed, tofu, and dashi is a breath of much needed fresh air, a sigh of relief.
There are several ways to make miso soup, but I prefer the traditional way. It’s simple and I know exactly what’s going in my soup. The traditional way means you make your own dashi broth from scratch. You’ll need to buy kombu seaweed (it’s also often called dashi kombu seaweed) and shaved bonito flakes for the broth. Kombu seaweed is a larger and flatter seaweed that comes in strips. Bonito flakes (or katsuobushi) are dried and smoked shavings from the bonito fish. Bonito gives the broth a great depth and umami.
Once you’ve made the broth, you can add shiitakes, tofu, and wakame. Feel free to add more ingredients, like bok choy, green onions, soba noodles, even rice. At the last minute, you’ll swirl in dissolved miso paste and the whole soup comes alive. Miso soup is one of my comfort foods, so make it as comfortable as possible.