Honey Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding

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I don’t know how people can wake up 30 minutes before work starts and still get there on time. My summer mornings involve coffee, a shower, makeup, emptying and filling the dishwasher, watering the garden, walking the dog, and cleaning up whatever mess is on the counter so I’m not thinking about it at work all day. And this is just me — I really don’t know how people with children do it.

Lately, though, something has been making my life a little easier: chia pudding. I first discovered this recipe when I was Paleo, because chia seeds soaked in coconut milk form this tapioca-like substance that is about as close as you can get to yogurt on a strict Paleo diet. However, when you’re going through three or four $3 cans of coconut milk every week just for breakfast, the cost soon becomes prohibitive.

Luckily, I’m not Paleo anymore. Continue reading

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Easy Pad Thai

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First, an apology — I have not been updating this blog, and when I have, it hasn’t been with anything remotely like what I normally eat. Cheese enchiladas? We eat those maybe once every three months. Maybe. I also haven’t been eating as much bacon, so the kil’t kale is out, as well as any number of other things on this blog. 

The fact is – and I feel like I say this a lot — I’ve been struggling with what to cook. We’re on a tighter budget than ever before, which is good overall, but bad when it comes to making dinner. On a budget, I stick with tried and true favorites, things I know won’t go to waste and are relatively inexpensive. And when this constraint is combined with a picky eater, you can see how I might get frustrated.

But I couldn’t resist posting this pad thai recipe. It is, quite simply, the best version of this dish I’ve ever made. The base is a recipe from Eating Well, but I feel like since I end up doubling the sauce, it might not be as healthy as they claim. The nice thing, though, is that you end up using more bean sprouts than rice noodles, keeping the dish from becoming too heavy. Continue reading

Sausage, chard and lentil soup

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Sometimes, I think I should rename this blog, “Things I tried to feed my husband.” It’s a long list, and each item on it has been received with varying degrees of enthusiasm. Kil’t kale, for example, was immediately embraced and adapted to work with the metric crap-ton of chard I grew in our garden this summer. The white bean, ham and leek soup has been in regular rotation since the first time I made it, because it’s so easy, inexpensive, and hard not to like.

But a lot of other things I’ve made over the past few months since posting have utterly failed. I made a zucchini rice gratin from Smitten Kitchen that was delicious, but immediately rejected. I bought some amazing kielbasa at a farmer’s market only to realize that apparently the man I married has no Polish blood in his veins. None. (Who is this man?!)

All this is by way of halfway explaining why I haven’t been posting, because I have been assuming that if my husband doesn’t like something, you won’t, either. But you know what? I don’t think that’s true. Mostly because I fell in love with this soup, while he pretty much refused to eat it. Lentils, apparently, not being an acceptable source of protein.    Continue reading

Kil’t Kale

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I don’t want to suggest that the only way to eat kale is when it’s smothered in bacon grease and bourbon. But I think it probably is the best way.

This is a recipe originally available from Garden and Gun (online here), passed on to me by a coworker who, like me, was sick of kale salad after kale salad. Again, not that there is really anything wrong with kale salad, but every once in a while, you want something a little more tender, more meaty, something easier to convince your loved ones to eat.

The foundation of the dish is something called “bacon jam,” a concoction of bourbon, bacon, bacon grease, vinegar, and a little bit of sugar. Once you’ve got that mixture, you toss in your chopped kale and wait for it to wilt. It practically melts into the bacon jam, leaving you with an amazing sweet/sour/bitter combination. Remember how I said that all flavor is a combination of fat, salt and acid? This is a perfect example of a good balance among the three. Continue reading

Lemon-Blueberry Frozen Yogurt

DSC_0052I was going to post something about bread baking today. Then, I realized that if it’s 90 degrees here, it’s probably in the hundreds where most of you are, and none of you want to turn on your ovens.

I don’t blame you. We’re having the kind of weather that makes me anxious about the future, the kind of weather that makes me feel sorry for the dog and her thick double coat, the kind where we have to shut all the windows and close all of the blinds during the day and fling them open at night, desperate for a breeze.

Sure, you can make ice cream. But my favorite recipes involve making a custard on the stove, and who wants to stand over a stove stirring things in this weather? Precisely no one. Continue reading

Chocolate Peanut Butter Freezer Fudge

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I try to be healthy. I really do. But sometimes, you have a day that begs for chocolate peanut butter fudge, and you just have to go with it.

And why not, when it’s as delicious and easy as this is? No oil, no dairy, only a minor little bit of sugar from the dark chocolate chips. It’s vegan, gluten-free, and even (mostly) Paleo, if you use another nut butter instead of the peanut butter (hazelnut, maybe). Continue reading

Asian Coleslaw

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My husband recently bought a new grill/smoker hybrid thing called the Pit Barrel Cooker. The good news is, it makes the best ribs and tri-tip I’ve ever had in my whole life. The bad news is, now I need to come up with enough sides that go with barbecue to keep us from getting bored.

I did make Deb Perelman’s latest pasta salad recipe, and it was incredible, pairing well with plain chicken. But what makes pork ribs so good — the rich, fat-covered meat — also makes them hard to pair with anything involving a starch. Or mayonnaise. Or pretty much any traditional barbecue sides.

So I went on the hunt, and accidentally came up with this amazing Asian slaw recipe that is light enough to go with anything. but soooo flavorful. And, since it actually doesn’t include soy sauce, it’s one of those rare Asian-inspired dishes suitable for people with soy and wheat issues.  Continue reading