What a nice morning it was today. It was 65 and sunny this morning with projected highs in the mid to upper 70’s. It is extremely hard to believe it is the end of October. What a nice respite before the cold winter sets in. Both Dan and I are hoping we don’t get much snow this year. I don’t think anyone in the Mid-Atlantic wants a repeat of last winter.
For breakfast this morning Dan wanted to have his favorite oatmeal with mixed berries and nuts. For his lunch and dinner I packed the leftover baked tofu and Asian veggies with quinoa. I also packed sliced almonds for him to add to the veggies for crunch and calories. This means I am out of intentional leftovers again which means there will be more cooking today. I am thinking I may do something with cabbage but that could change a dozen times before I actually start cooking. Food planning is not something that happens here. ;-)
For my breakfast I had another version of savory oats and this one might be my favorite so far. Here is what I did: ½ cup of oats and 1 cup of water cooked half way; add 2 cups of baby spinach roughly chopped and cook until the spinach is lightly wilted; now top with 2 tablespoons nutrition yeast, 2 tablespoons of salsa, 1 teaspoon raw sunflower seeds and 1 tablespoon dehydrated leeks. Finish with freshly ground black pepper and no salt seasoning. Stir and enjoy. Here is the nutrition:
Calories - 251.39
Calories From Fat (13%) - 32.67
Total Fat - 2.83g
Saturated Fat - 0.39g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 248.5mg
Potassium - 655.97mg
Total Carbohydrates - 36.22g
Fiber - 7.11g
Sugar - 2.48g
Protein - 7.56g
Additionally this contains: 5,700IU of vitamin A, 95mg of calcium, 135mcg of folate, 290mcg of vitamin K, 200mg of phosphorus, 110mg of magnesium, and 20mcg of selenium. Fairly impressive nutrition for so few calories I think.
Thanks for the fresh spinach suggestion Courtney this is really good. :-)
Electronic Vision Boards:
Since Laura Jill mentioned her last vision board was electronic I had to see if they could be done without buying special software. For those of you that have Photoshop here is a tutorial. I also think you can do the same thing with Word but I haven’t tried that yet.
It was so nice outside I had to spend some time in the yard today. I took a few pictures that I thought you might like. It is very surprising to me that so many things are still blooming.
But first look at this fuzzy little creature I found on the sidewalk. Isn’t he/she adorable? I wanted to bring it in but knew the cats would terrorize it to death even if I could figure out how to keep it alive so I left it outside. If anyone knows exactly what this is and will become I would love to know. It is mostly black (or a very dark brown) with deep red stripes.
Oddly my rosemary bush is sending up little flowers.
Next I noticed that my lavender had some sporadic blooms.
Here is the wild clematis I have growing on my garden arch reaching for the sky.
I thought we needed a little color so here are the dahlias.
I hope you enjoyed the end of the blooms this year. Soon I fear I will be sharing snow pictures like last winter.
I wasn’t terribly hungry today so I had two dried peach halves (no sugar added) with 2 Brazil nuts (for the selenium) at mid-day.
After my snack I did a few things at home and decided to walk to the grocery store. We were out of bananas again and it is nice walk to the store so I enjoy going especially in this weather. It was so nice outside I was able to wear sandals, yoga pants and T-shirt and be perfectly comfortable. While I was at the Rotunda I stopped at the drug store and then went to grocery store. The fresh fennel looked great today as did the oranges which meant I will be making my favorite Sicilian salad soon.
Once back from the store I did a few things around the house, talked on the phone too long and listened to some jazz. I was a relaxing day and really needed one of those.
Since Dan took all the leftover baked tofu and Asian veggies for lunch today I needed to make more intentional leftovers. As I stood in the pantry looking the bean inventory I realized we haven’t had black-eyed peas in a while. Like usual while the beans were soaking and cooking I had no idea what I was going to do with them. Nothing like planning right? When I needed to flavor the beans I thought maybe Hoppin' John would be good but I had to change it which is when I added tomato and the changed the rice from being included in the bean pot to a separate green rice side dish. I think this turned out really well. Here is what I did:
Smoky Black Eyed Peas and Mushrooms over Green Rice
2 cups dried black eyed peas, picked through rinsed and soaked
water to cover the beans by an inch
10 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
½ red onion, peeled and finely minced
2 cups peeled, diced tomatoes
1 pound mushrooms, thinly sliced (fresh or dried will work I used fresh shitake caps don’t forget to save the stems in the freezer for stock)
2 tablespoons no salt seasoning
½ teaspoon cumin
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ tablespoon’ish cornstarch to thicken bean “gravy”, if necessary
dash of liquid smoke, to taste (or you can substitute smoked paprika this is to mimic the smokiness of bacon)
Green Rice Ingredients:
1 cup brown basmati rice
2 cups water
10 ounces frozen spinach, thoroughly drained, finely minced and heated so it won’t cool off the rice
1 lime, zested and juiced
½ cup cilantro, minced
Cook the beans until they are tender. Then add the remaining ingredients (except the cornstarch) and simmer uncovered to evaporate the excess liquid for at least 30 minutes. Use as much cornstarch as is necessary to tighten up the bean liquid.
Start the brown rice just before the beans are tender so that both the rice and beans are ready at the same time. Cook the rice and water until the water has been absorbed. The time will be different depending on the construction of the pot you are using. I have found that used an enameled cast iron pan means the brown rice will cook in 30 – 35 minutes so that is what I use. When the rice is cooked add in the spinach, lime zest, lime juice and cilantro and combine the ingredients by fluffing the rice with a fork. If you use a spoon you will mash the rice. I always use a fork.
To serve top the green rice with the smoky beans or serve them side by side. If desired you can make a fresh salsa to go on top the beans. I would probably opt for diced avocado, cucumber, radish, cilantro and lime juice but anything would work. The point of the fresh salsa it so add temperature and textural contrast as well as acidity from the vinegar.
Amount Per Serving
Calories - 252.72
Calories From Fat (6%) - 15.83
Total Fat - 1.88g
Saturated Fat - 0.33g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 59.47mg
Potassium - 748.95mg
Total Carbohydrates - 49.96g
Sugar - 5.85g
Protein - 11.24g
If you like Hoppin’ John I think you will like this more flavorful version of rice and black-eyed peas. Sometimes beans and rice can be a little bland and boring but that is not the case with these. I love the brightness the green rice adds to the dish. If you want to take it to the next level (and show off) top it with a fresh acidic salsa like I mentioned above. Normally I would have been I was not in the mood this evening for whatever reason.
This dish turned out really well. I am going to have a difficult time making rice any other way now that I have made it this way. I would describe this as a party in your mouth. It is amazing how much flavor this has considering the is no added fat or sodium. Both Dan and I think this is one of the better dishes I have made in the last couple of weeks. It is definitely a very flavorful legume and rice dish. *pats self on back* ;-)
On a side note I want to share the impact of eating like we do on the PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) level. Dan’s level was low 6 months ago coming in at 1.0 (below 4.0 is normal) and has now declined to 0.7. Let’s hear it for a healthy diet! I wanted to share this in case any of you have a husband with a PSA level that is increasing. Over last six month we have tried to make our diet healthier and it seems to be showing unexpected dividends. Obviously given Dan’s low PSA to start with we weren’t concerned about this but we both take this as a sign that enhancing our nutrition is working to improve our overall health. Between the PSA and blood pressure and cholesterol I can say that what we eat is having a big impact all around.
Those of you that have kids probably have seen this already but they were new to me. I bought them at our local drug store to see if they were any different than using dry erase markers on windows or mirrors. I have used dry erase markers on mirrors for years. In my kitchen I have a mirror that I use to jot down my grocery list. That works well for me since it is easily removed with a paper towel.
I find it works best if I write things down as soon as notice we are out. Having the ability to jot down items on the mirror while cooking has been very useful. I tried a caulk board in the kitchen for the grocery list but that absorbs grease so it didn’t work well. The caulk board might be fine now since I don’t cook with oil. Since the mirror works so well I probably won’t try it though. I like the light the mirror adds to the room as well as how easy it is to erase.
However these may also work well for leaving my hubby love notes on his bathroom mirror. ;-)
That is going to be it for me tonight. I hope you try the recipes from today. It was a very good food day at my house.
I loved the savory oatmeal with spinach and the green rice is amazing and would work with so many dishes. It is seriously going to be tough to come up with a more flavorful healthy rice side dish, but you know I will keep working on it. I hope you are having a good evening.