Sunday, January 13, 2013

Lovely Leeks!

My lovely fiance made this the other night and it was ridiculously good:

Sauteed Cauliflower and Leeks

1 Cauliflower
2 Leeks chopped into rings
White pepper to taste
Paprika to taste
Olive oil (about 2 tbsp)
Nutritional yeast

Steam the cauliflower to a crisp, almost done state. Then saute the leeks in olive oil, adding paprika, a little salt, and white pepper. Add the cauliflower and saute until your desired done-ness. At the last minute, add some nutritional yeast. We didn't add this, but fresh herbs would be delicious on this, like tarragon, parsley, or even sage.

The Farmers' Market

For the past few weeks, I've been purchasing the majority of my food at downtown Nashville's Farmers' Market. As you may know, we had a terrible flood last May, and the grounds and building of the farmers' market were underwater. Fortunately, the city worked quickly to get the inside of the building renovated, and I must say, dramatically improved (although it still needs some work), and this summer, perhaps even as a result of the flood and the subsequent improved interest and support of the market, has seen it blossom.

When I lived downtown, up until last year, I did go quite often, although, I have to admit, not as often as I should have. Now I live out in the far suburbs, actually way way out on the proverbial county-line, I appreciate this resource even more, especially in its reborn form.

The selection of produce has always been plentiful, fresh, real, and unplasticky. I loved the mutant siamese-twin eggplants that would never pass muster for the perfect, slick vegetable displays at the grocery store, the new potatoes still partially caked in dirt, long, vibrantly green beans, a huge bag for a dollar, and still -husked corn plucked from the bed of a pick-up truck with out of county plates.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Sometimes I Have to Eat More Than Food - I Have to Eat My Words

I may or may not have ranted about my less than positive relationship with Kroger on this blog. Let's just say that my 20 something year relationship with the grocery chain has had more downs than ups. I generally think it's overpriced, full of additive-laced cheap food, and their produce stinks (sometimes literally). However, I constantly find myself living in places in which going to any other grocery store than a Kroger is inconvenient.

I live on the outskirts of Nashville, and somewhat close to my house is a "new" Kroger, as we call it. It's an updated Kroger, so it's fashioned in an early 2000's style as opposed to most Krogers, which still look like a flashback to the 1980s. Anyway, I've been giving Kroger more of a chance lately, and I've begun to see some changes. I think the company is finally looking at what other grocery stores are doing and analyzing why my demographic would rather shop at Whole Foods or Trader Joe's and I think they've done something smart.

Kroger has launched a full line of organic products, not just processed foods, but meats, tofu, eggs, dairy, soy milks, snacks, and produce, and they are adding more products as I type. I feel much better shopping at Kroger now that I have these options, because did I mention that this stuff is also reasonably priced?

Here's a link to the catalogue of products:

Kroger Simple Truth Organic Products

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The "Comfort" of a Relationship

So, I'm getting married. It's slated to happen sometime next year, and yes, I am marrying the best man in the world. We've had a great time together, wining and dining, and wining and dining, and wining and dining, and now it's time to pay the piper. We got happy and comfortable and now we find ourselves chubby but still merry.

I completed a half-marathon last year, and I'm attempting to do the same this year, and it's only in a few months, so I have to stop the gluttony and get my arse moving around, and my lovely fiance has pledged to do the same.

So here we find ourselves gathered around the juicer once again. We've been juicing and eating only vegetables for a few days now, in an effort to detox and to lose weight. The weight is more important for me and the detox is more important for him (eating heavy foods causes his food allergies to fight back with a vengeance, so we are also trying to eradicate those).

We have both been woolly-headed and short on patience for the past few days, and I've had a wicked headache, but I figure that's all part of it, that we'll get used to the change and move on. We're actually really enjoying our food and instead of eating out a lot, I'm trying to get creative once again in the kitchen. I will post recipes, I promise. In fact, here's one from yesterday. It is simple and delicious.  The quantities will depend on how many you want to feed, but I'll approximate what I did.

Roasted Pepper Soup

3 (or more if you have them) peppers - I used red, orange, and yellow
1 poblano or jalapeno pepper (optional)
1 carton vegetable stock (or equivalent homemade)
3 carrots, chopped
1 medium onion or 1/2 large onion, chopped
3-4 stalks celery, chopped
salt to taste
1 bunch cilantro (or parsley), also optional
1 can tomatoes

Sautee the carrots, celery, and onion in olive oil or coconut oil until they start to get soft. Add some salt at the beginning of this. I also added a little garlic powder for good measure, but it's not necessary.

Meanwhile, set your oven to broil and halve the peppers (including the poblano) and scrape out the seeds. Brush the peppers with oil and set them inside side down on a cookie sheet and broil them until the skin blackens and blisters, about 10-15 minutes. When I take them out, I rip the skin off as soon as they are cool enough for me to stand it!

When your veggie mixture is finished sauteeing, transfer it to a big saucepan and add the can of tomatoes and the vegetable stock and the roasted peppers. At this point, add some more salt and a few sprigs of cilantro. Let the soup boil and then simmer long enough for the flavours to combine, about thirty minutes or so.

Then take the best kitchen tool ever (the immersion blender) and blend the soup right in the saucepan. Before you do, you could add a little more cilantro.

I added some chopped cilantro to the top and served with salt and pepper.

This is delicious. You should try it!