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.
Black 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.
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
- Whisk together black garlic, miso, sesame oil and water or process in a food processor until smooth. Set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a sauce pan or skillet. Sauté shallot until translucent. Add scallion and cook until soft.
- Add shiitakes. Cook until soft.
- Meanwhile, cook the oats, flax, sea salt, and water either in the microwave (~2 minutes) or on the stove until liquid is absorbed.
- 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?
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…
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:
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?
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.
That 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?
So, my meat-loving friends out there, the title of this post probably just made you roll your eyes, huh? I know because I totally rolled my eyes at myself while typing it. I’ll be honest, making tofu sound appealing, especially when all you have to work with is numbers and letters, is no easy feat. Sucking as much as I do at food photography certainly doesn’t help. However, tofu happens to have the potential to be delicious—and healthy, offering up protein and calcium while also being low in fat (saturated fat, in particular).
For those of us born with an “earthy” tooth (which sometimes goes hand-in-hand with the mushroom/umami tooth), it seems perfectly logical to crave tofu on occasion. Like mushrooms, tofu takes on the flavor of whatever you cook and serve it with, so it helps to keep that in mind when figuring out what the hell to do with it.
While cleaning out old photo files, I found myself salivating over some of the tofu dishes I’d prepared in years past. Consider the source, obviously. As a flexitarian-friendly dietitian, I’m probably more likely than some to go, “I want to put that weird, white block of soy in my mouth,” but hey.
- 2 tbsp blackstrap molasses
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp garlic powder or 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 block extra-firm tofu
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Wrap tofu in a small towel (paper towel is fine) to squeeze out excess moisture. Cut into cubes and place in a medium-sized bowl.
- Whisk together molasses, olive oil, soy sauce,and spices. Pour over tofu and toss well.
- Spread tofu on a foil-lined baking sheet and cook until crispy on the outside, about 40-45 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
- Enjoy hot or cold with whatever you damn well please.
Do you like tofu? If yes, what’s your favorite way to eat it?
Stuffed peppers were one of the first meals I learned to make as a college grad. They were so easy—and so cheap! For years, they were a weeknight staple, and I have no idea when and how they fell out of rotation. Until this weekend, I can safely say it had been ay least 3 years (if not longer) since I’d made them.
Go figure, it was this recipe from Self magazine that reminded me of how much I love lentil-stuffed peppers. Aside from being delicious, they’re a great source of protein, fiber, and iron—the absorption of which is enhanced by the vitamin C in the pepper. I decided to put a Mediterranean-style spin on it by using a blend of spices instead of salsa. I also topped mine with goat cheese and served it with mixed greens veggies mixed with hummus. Feel free to experiment.
- 1 halved bell pepper, cut in half and seeded
- ½ cup cooked lentils
- ¼ tsp each: oregano, rosemary, coriander, cinnamon, and cumin
- 1-2 tbsp crumbled goat cheese
- 1 large handful baby spinach
- ½-1 cup roasted peppers, eggplant, onion, and/or zucchini, chopped
- 1 tbsp hummus
- Microwave pepper halves on High for 2 minutes to soften. Set aside.
- Mix lentils with spices. Divide between the pepper halves and microwave for another 2 minutes until warm. Sprinkle 1 tbsp goat cheese on top and microwave another 30 seconds or so until the cheese melts.
- Place spinach in a microwave-safe bowl and wilt by cooking on High for 30-60 seconds. Add veggies and microwave another minute. Add hummus and mix well. Cook another 30-60 seconds if desired.
- Pour veggies onto plate with pepper. Add the last tbsp of goat cheese if desired.
What was one of the first foods you learned to make?
1.) Last week at work I spent almost an entire day on orientation computer modules. The more fire safety education I do, the more random information my brain retains about the nature of fire. This particular time, I was most struck by all the different Classes of Fire. Why is this not a Buzzfeed personality quiz yet? I’m totally a D (combustible metal). Or maybe a C (electrical)?
2.) The other night, whilst assembling furniture and drinking bourbon, I found myself thinking of a favorite quote from Gloria Steinem, on women becoming the men we wanted to marry. Not that all men—or only men—assemble furniture and drink brown liquor, but in some settings that are not my apartment, this Friday night home-improvement might garner a raised eyebrow. When I told my mother about it the next day, she laughed and said, “I love that, becoming the men we wanted to marry—someone has to do it.” Seriously.
3.) The cleaning jag continues. In an effort to free up space on my computer, I trashed a bunch of old photos and music files. Like that EP from that awful guy in that awful band circa 2006 or 7? Why was that even still there? Please don’t ask me which awful guy or which awful band…
4.) This book. If you just got engaged or just a signed a lease with your boyfriend/girlfriend, you probably shouldn’t read it unless you’re prepared for some deep thoughts to wake up your morning commute, but if you’re game for a little positive reinforcement about enjoying and appreciating your independence, you’ll enjoy it. Love the NYPL for making e-books so easy to borrow.
5.) Elaborate Valentines Day dishes? Meh. Who needs to wait until February 14th to make this chocolate soufflé? I love how sane Mark Bittman’s recipes are. I also can’t believe this one is from 5 years ago. Of course, 5 years ago I was shacked up with someone who hated eggs so much he felt compelled to make gagging sounds when I fried one up for myself, which explains why it wasn’t on my radar. Live and learn.
So…which class of fire are you? What was the last book you read? Do you like chocolate soufflés?