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Oatmeal with Shiitakes, Black Garlic, and Miso

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Happy Monday. How’s your week starting off? I’m so glad that the conference I was at last week only went through Saturday, as I definitely needed Sunday to recharge and get set up for the week ahead. This one is packed.

It’s amazing what two glasses of wine can do to me now. Sunday morning I needed a few remedies…

Since I had plans for some late-morning Zumba, I didn’t want to eat too early and be starving in the middle of class, but I also didn’t want to feel weighed down by a huge breakfast.  So, after running some errands and doing a little food prep for the week, I made a new savory oatmeal concoction that definitely bears repeating. It was the perfect mix of proteins, fats, and carbs to get me through an hour of dancing/laughing at myself.

shiitake oatsBlack garlic is a fermented product that’s very mild, smooth, and a little sweet. You can eat it spread on bread, blended into sauces, or cooked into all kinds of dishes. It’s a great way to bring together sweet, salty, and umami flavors. I just get mine at Trader Joe’s but if you can’t find it near you, just sub roasted roasted garlic.

Ingredients

For the Black Garlic-Miso Paste:

  • I head black garlic
  • 1 tsp white or red miso paste
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • a few drops water to thin, if needed

For the Mushrooms:

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 4 oz container sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil

For the Oats

  • 1/3 c rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • a dash of sea salt (optional)
  • 2/3 c water

Directions

  1. Whisk together black garlic, miso, sesame oil and water or process in a food processor until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a sauce pan or skillet. Sauté shallot until translucent. Add scallion and cook until soft.
  3. Add shiitakes. Cook until soft.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the oats, flax, sea salt, and water either in the microwave (~2 minutes) or on the stove until liquid is absorbed.
  5. Stir a spoonful of the black garlic paste into the oats until incorporated. Top with half the mushroom mixture and a poached egg.

What does two glasses of wine do to you? Any favorite breakfasts lately?

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Call for Guest Posts!

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follow your dreams Good morning and happy Saturday! I’m off to my last day at the conference and am looking forward to some great lectures.

Can you believe we’re in the last week of February? We’re also only 4 weeks away from the official start of Spring!

Looking ahead to the coming season, I thought it would be fun to hear from you guys. I’d love to feature a few guest posts in the last weekend in March. Send me an email at keepingitrealfood(at)gmail(dot)com if you’re interested!

Have a great weekend!

What are you looking forward to this Spring? 

Take your protein pills and put your helmet on

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It comes back to David Bowie way too often on this blog. I don’t even know why. Some of his songs (especially this one, this one, and this one) would certainly make my desert island playlist, but I wouldn’t think to put him in my top 5 or anything. Unless, of course, I haven’t checked in with my Top 5 Brain since I was, like, 18. I heard somewhere that’s where a lot of people get off the boat, musically, and I didn’t come around to Bowie until I was 25 or 26, so…

Anyway.

I guess that line from “Space Oddity” ended up in my head because some weeks I’m so busy, it feels like I may as well be on a different planet from my home base. This is why my freezer is often stocked as if in preparation for nuclear winter. Like so: freezer 1

freezer 2

So basically, lots of frozen soup, frozen fish, frozen beans, frozen sprouted grain bread, and frozen vegetables. No wonder Whole Foods sends me coupons more befitting a family of four instead of, well, one.

If you’re thinking, “Your microwave probably will not work in the case of nuclear winter, Jess,” you are absolutely right, and have obviously thought this through way better than I have. This is why I just count my blessings that a busy week is about as bad as it gets—and to make sure I have plenty of sardines and dry-roasted edamame on hand. Just in case…

What’s in your freezer? Who were your favorite musical artists at age 18? 

Nerding Out

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I’m happy to be nerding out for a few days this week at an integrative healthcare conference. I strongly feel that utilizing a combination of conventional and alternative practices is the best way to provide individualized care. When it comes to nutrition, there is a lot of talk around herbs, supplements, and therapeutic diets, but there’s also discussion around biological, psychosocial, and neurological factors at work on our health.

Food is perhaps our oldest form of medicine—all the more reason to ask lots of questions and do your homework when it comes to “natural” and “holistic” supplements and treatments. Stuff that grows in nature is powerful!

So far, I’ve been to some interesting lectures on menopause and on food cravings, and I have a bunch of other fascinating topics to look forward to. I love this stuff.

Another treat I’m enjoying this week: the long lunch break. It almost felt like I was on vacation when I sat in Le Pain Quotidien and enjoyed this smoked salmon and beet salad at a snail’s pace! I can’t remember the last time I ordered coffee after lunch instead of with the meal. At least not on a weekday!

what do you nerd out on?

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What I Ate Wednesday #150

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I can’t believe today is my 150th What I Ate Wednesday post. What’s especially crazy about that is I don’t think I missed many—if any weeks. Out of 150.  And neither has the lovely host, Jenn of Peas & Crayons. I love that one blogger was of getting a look at what she was eating turned into a fun weekly link party. If you want to see more WIAW from other bloggers, take a little visit on over there. 

It’s kind of amazing how much has changed since Week One, back on April 14th, 2011 (yes, I had to go look back in the archives—I’m terrible at remembering dates). Here’s what my day of meals and snacks looked like: Read the rest of this entry »

Coffee and Cocoa Fix

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Trader Joe's Coffee and CocoaAs I’ve written about before, to keep my grocery spending in check without feeling deprived, I allow myself one impulse buy when I go to the store, if I want it. The other day while grabbing some things for the week at Trader Joe’s, I picked up this Coffee & Cocoa blend.

I think I made it about twenty minutes before brewing a pot. I have one of those little 4-cup coffee makers, so a pot is really not that much compared to what most people think of as a pot of coffee, but I digress.

Anyway, it was really good! The cocoa flavor is subtle but distinct. There is definitely no mistaking this stuff for hot chocolate, though—it’s more like a rich, smooth coffee with a little hit of je ne sai quois (I guess I do remember some of my high school French after all). Not bad for a $6.99 pick-me-up.

Any favorite impulse buys lately? 

Alone in the Kitchen

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Sometimes I joke about publishing a cookbook of foods I make and love but would never have the balls to serve up to another human without first letting them know what they were getting into. And obtaining said fellow human’s permission, of course. However, the market’s not exactly hurting for anecdotes on solo cooking and dining behavior. Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant covers that territory so well. If you haven’t read this book, I’d highly recommend checking it out. Reading it a few years ago was a nice revelation that I’m not the only mad scientist out there.

savory oatmeal with tahiniThat said, l fully support the notion that savory oatmeal should become a more mainstream thing. Yesterday I enjoyed a bowl of it topped with roasted veggies, caramelized onions, tahini, and goat cheese.

Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it…Aside from being delicious (in my humble opinion), it’s a great way to get in some veggies first thing.

What’s the weirdest thing you eat but would be hesitant to serve to someone else?