Neglect

I haven’t been paying enough attention to writing in this blog… I blame my schedule.

Fate has dealt me a pretty sweet hand in the last few weeks (let’s be real, it has dealt me a sweet hand for the last few months) and I am now getting paid to write about food. I wasn’t sure that was ever going to happen, but it is and even though it is only my first week on the job, I am blissfully happy.

I spend my morning searching through the grocery store (check us out), picking out ingredients and then planning recipes. My required hours fly by because all I want to do is look, think, and write about food. (like kale… mmmmm)

This new job (combined with the yoga studio) does have me working about 60 hours a week, which can get sticky.

Sticky for my mental health, sticky for my relationships with people, sticky for that whole “exercising” thing… Just overall, there is a whole lot of potential for being a hot mess.

Lucky for me, I have a fantastic boy and a fantastic sister to keep me in line.

The boy keeps me in line by always making my tired ass laugh with witty sarcasm and not letting  me complain about being tired. He reminds me that I chose this crazy schedule and I better realize how damned lucky I am.

Noted.

My sister keeps me in line by being my best friend AND my soon-to-be running partner. Nothing like a run at 9:45 pm after working eleven hours, am I right?

So all of these things, this great balancing act I have created for myself, has left little time to blog. This week, I even failed at making food… what?! WHERE ARE MY PRIORITIES? Thank goodness for that boy that lets me be stupid possessive about my kitchen while simultaneously cooking me dinner. Ha.

I’m difficult.

The boy successfully made this soup from Sprouted Kitchen (I may or may not send him 12 emails a day with ideas of food we can eat, places we can go, beer we can drink.) A harsh critic when it comes to his own cooking, he didn’t think the lentils were cooked enough.

I ate it so fast the top of my mouth was burned for a few days.

I’d give soup (and him) a gold star

Spiced Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk

From Sprouted Kitchen

I’m not going to lie to you, I copied her word for word as I didn’t cook the meal, the boy did. And I’m pretty sure he stuck to Sara’s directions. Thank goodness I have blogs like Sprouted Kitchen to pass on to everyone I meet.

1 1/2 cup lentils, rinsed (green suggested)

4 cups low sodium vegetable broth

1 1/2 tsp. tumeric OR curry powder

2 tsp. dried thyme or 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves

1 Tbsp. coconut oil

1 large yellow onion, diced

2 stalks lemongrass, outer layer removed, lower portion finely minced

1 tsp. sea salt, plus more to taste

1/2 tsp. cardamom

1/2 tsp. cinnamon pinch of red pepper flakes to taste

pinch of fresh grated nutmeg

1 1/4 cup coconut milk (use full fat, just believe me)

3 Tbsp. lemon, lime or orange juice

a few handfuls of swiss chard, spinach or kale

1 cup flake coconut, toasted (optional)

chopped cilantro, for garnish (optional)

Add the rinsed lentils, broth, thyme and tumeric or curry powder to a large pot. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes.

While the lentils cook, heat the coconut oil in a pan. Add the onion and saute until just browned. Add the lemongrass, salt, cardamom, cinnamon, pinch of red pepper flakes and some fresh ground nutmeg and saute another minute. Add the onion mixture to the lentils and stir, keeping the heat on a low simmer.

Add the coconut milk and greens and simmer another five minutes, stirring occasionally until just wilted. Taste for salt and spice and add as you prefer. Finish with the citrus juice and serve warm with toasted coconut flakes and cilantro on top.

 

 

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Fall

Fall is my favorite season.

The only fall that I have ever known is the one filled with honeycrisp apples the size of my head and my family’s annual trip to the pumpkin patch. It is the fall that is filled with blue rain boots and roasted pumpkin seeds. It is the gathering of friends over new soup recipes and pulling out my overly baggy sweaters.

That is the fall I know.

Yesterday I found myself in shorts and a tank top. Swerving through the flat streets of Austin on my red bicycle. Trying to keep up with a boy who makes biking look like a cake walk. It felt like summer. Warm air and the sound of crickets. Firemen playing catch outside the station.

This is the fall I will get used to.

Until I do find my rhythm with this Texas season, I will make soup. I will sit in front of the air conditioner with my baggy sweater. I will pretend the leaves are changing and that somewhere in this big old state there is a pumpkin patch with my name on it.

Chickpea Stew with Olive Oil Fried Eggs

adapted from Bon Appetit

3 tbsp olive oil, divided throughout the recipe

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

8 cups spinach

salt and pepper

1 cup chopped red pepper

1 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp smoked chipotle (the recipe called for paprika, I had none… the chipotle tasted like heaven, do whatever floats your boat)

2 15-oz cans of chickpeas, rinsed

5 canned whole tomatoes, crushed

3 cups vegetable broth

4 eggs

  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in a cast iron over medium heat. When oil is hot add 1 garlic clove. Stir until the garlic starts to turn brown and add spinach to the pot. Toss to coat and season with salt and pepper. Cook the spinach until it has just wilted but is still bright green, about two to three minutes. Remove the garlic and spinach and set aside.
  • The magazine recommends wiping out the pan. I did no such thing. Woops.
  • Heat the remaining olive oil (I used less than 2 tbsp… there were still remnants, and it cut down on the fat content of the dish). When oil is hot add remaining garlic and the red pepper. Add the cumin and the chipotle, cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the chickpeas and tomatoes; stir to coat and let cook for about 10 minutes, until the chickpeas start to brown.
  • Add 3 cups of broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes. Occasionally mash a chickpea or two to show it who’s boss, and to make the mixture a stew like consistency. After the 20 minutes, fold in the spinach and simmer for another 10 minutes. If it is too thick, add more broth 1/4 cup at a time. I didn’t do this, as I like my stew to be REALLY thick. Just a matter of preference.
  • Spoon all of this goodness into a bowl and cook your eggs. I just used the remaining oil that was in the cast iron, and cooked for medium low heat, covering the eggs with a little bit of water to cook evenly. I like my eggs sunny side up with a runny yolk, but do whatever floats your boat. The olive oil makes the edges nice and crispy, which is delicious with the stew. Yum.
  • Serve the stew in bright bowls and top with an egg.

* I made some homemade wheat bread with this recipe because every stew needs hearty bread. If you have the 2 hours that it takes to make bread, go for it. We may or may not have eaten two loaves in two days… Homemade bread is just that delicious.