Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend

How was your holiday weekend? Mine was good, not what I had planned but still good. Dan had to work all weekend which was a bummer, but we did find a little time to have fun in spite of work.

Saturday night we met our friend Louis for dinner on the patio at our favorite local restaurant. It is always great when Louis is in town from the Delaware shore and we can get together for dinner. Thankfully the weather was beautiful so we were able to relax, talk and just enjoy each other’s company.

Knowing that we would be meeting Louis for dinner I emailed Ian on Wednesday to give him plenty of notice that we would be coming in. I am not kidding when I said that Ian prefers a lot of notice that we are coming in since vegan food is out of the box for him.

Since I always get inspiration from seeing what Ian puts together I wanted to share his creations with you. I love to see how his mind works and truly believe that eating his food regularly is the reason that I my cooking has improved. Like usual we had no idea what he was doing and were happy to have whatever he created since it is always good and frequently outstanding. Here is what we had for dinner:

Our first course was a salad of artichokes, avocado and corn dressed with charred tomato vinaigrette on a bed on baby arugula topped with crispy tortilla strips. Needless to say we both loved this and I will be doing something similar and home. I love going out to dinner and getting new ideas. ;-)

The second course was roasted portabellas, sautéed cabbage and Bing cherries on top of roasted sweet potatoes. The dish was dusted with something spicy which I think was cayenne. This was another winner. Where does Ian come up with his ideas? I wish I knew. LOL

Our entrée was tagliatelle with Swiss chard, caramelized onions and garlic finished with fresh lemon. This was very Sicilian inspired which meant that I loved it since I have a preference for Southern Italian cuisine. Ian also made a concerted effort to reduce the sodium in our food which was very sweet. Apparently he does listen when I talk. ;-)

Michael (“Shorty”) decided that we should have a little dessert and brought us martini glasses filled with fresh fruit which was a perfect way to end the evening.

Ian took some time to chat with us before he headed out for the evening. It is always fun to have time to catch up with him.

Saturday was our first night without Corey at the restaurant and I missed him. Even though Corey and I are still chatting it isn’t the same as seeing him a few times a week. However it is good that Corey is enjoying his new job.  It is going to be tough to replace Corey, glad I don't have to fill those shoes.

Where Did My Nutrition Knowledge Come From?:

This is a question I get my email regularly. People want to know if my knowledge came from the eCornell program of somewhere else. The truth is that I am mostly self taught but I will explain so that you understand and can do the same thing if you would like.

Years ago, after the cancer, I decided that we needed to learn about nutrition since what Dan and I were taught in school was next to useless. I started by reading books on cancer and health and moved on to reading articles at PubMed. Six days out of seven I start my day reading health and nutritional articles for an hour or more in the morning. I am also always reading a book on nutrition to continually learn and/or reinforcement my knowledge.

I will be suggesting books that I particularly liked in another post. For those of you that are concerned about cancer I highly recommend a book by Keith Block MD “Life Over Cancer”. It is a little technical but even without a scientific background you will get the basics. That is my go to book for research in regard to cancer.

Happy Thoughts:

• We had a lovely meal on Saturday. Thank you Ian! Of course it was a great time with our buddy Louis. Thank you Louis for joining us for dinner. We love spending time with you.

• Having the weekend to myself meant that I had time to be productive at home which was great. I am slowly but surely chipping away at my out of control to-do list. Additionally since Dan worked all weekend he is going to take some time off soon to spend with me. We will need to do something fun with our time off during the week.

• Dan has been joining me in the morning for treks through the neighborhood. Even though we are experiencing a heat wave with temps in the upper 90’s we have been covering some good distance and doing a little jogging and walking which is good. I decided to add in a little jogging to see how my knee was doing and so far so good which makes me very happy. Also I love that Dan has been going with me since I really want him exercising everyday to stimulate his immune system.

• We had a great Sunday at the farmers’ market and came home with a crazy amount of produce including: kale, asparagus, zucchini (woo hoo for zucchini spaghetti pictured above), strawberries, tomatoes, basil, Swiss chard, shitakes, beets, radishes, sugar snaps, and lettuce. As you can guess both of our refrigerators are stuffed with fresh produce and that makes me very happy.

• Monday Dan did his work from home rather than in the office so we got to spend a little more time together. I wish my hubby didn’t have to work so much but it doesn’t seem to stress him out and I am thankful for that.

Signing Out:

It is getting late here and my hubby should be home from work soon. Tomorrow is a busy day but I hope to have time to get up a post late in the day. I will talk to you again soon, hopefully tomorrow.


  1. I hope you will share the sauce that is on your zucchini spaghetti. It looks delicious!

  2. Brigid,

    The sauce was very simple. I used tomatoes that I dehydrated last summer (but sun-dried would work too) which I soaked overnight in water. Place the soaked tomatoes, walnuts, nutritional yeast in your blender and process. Add as much water as you need to get a nice creamy consistency. I added a dash of red wine vinegar to brighten the flavor along with some oregano and black pepper.


  3. The roasted portabella mushrooms looks absolutely delicious. I need to become more adventurous with the large portabella caps. I swear I buy them with all good intentions and either have to chop them and stir-fry them at the last minute or I end up wasting them. :::sigh::: And I love mushrooms so much. Looks like you had a really nice holiday weekend. :)


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