This is not your typical MM menu, and we’re kinda loving it. Because Hannah hails from Alaska—and not NY or LA, where kale is practically sold at convenience stores—this is not a vegan-friendly, so-crunchy-it’s-probably-raw menu. Hey, we love those too! But our mouths are watering at the sound of locally baked cinnamon bagels, the neighbor’s eggs, and last fall’s fresh-picked blueberries, frozen in their state of perfection. And don’t even get us started on that pie.
Hometown: Fairbanks, Alaska
My dietary leanings: I’m a picky pescetarian (meaning I only eat wild caught, Alaskan fish – I’m from a fishing family), and so I love to indulge in fresh veggies and fruits with yummy fish fillets for dinner every now and again.
My favorite vegetable: Anything out of my container garden and, when I can get them fresh (Alaskan supermarkets aren’t usually very fresh and are expensive!), artichokes!
This morning I ate…
Crepes, made with a family recipe. 3 eggs, 2 cups of milk, one cup of flour (can you believe they’re called 3-2-1’s?) beaten together and cooked like pancakes on medium heat. I love to load mine with Nancy’s Organic plain yogurt, frozen blueberries I picked last fall, and agave syrup.
Then for lunch it was…
A second breakfast. Farm fresh eggs from my neighbor fried solid (I hate runny eggs) on a locally made cinnamon-raisin bagel with local mustard, mayo, fresh lettuce from the garden, sharp cheddar, and avocado slices. Delicious, quick, and covers most of the food groups for long-lasting energy through my day.
Finally for dinner I had…
My very first attempt at home-made quiche! Asparagus, tomatoes, red pepper, sweet onions, green onions from my garden, and lots of yummy cheese (feta and cheddar) baked into farm fresh eggs (I owe that neighbor big time), all in a pastry crust. My boyfriend and I invited the neighbors over for dinner, and they brought amazing feta-ricotta-dill-parsley spread for some fresh bagettes as an appetizer.
Last but not least, dessert…
Alaskan berry ice cream pie. The neighbors made an incredible pie made by crushing Alaska berries (blueberry, cranberry, raspberry) into local vanilla ice cream, then freezing it into a home-made ginger-snap shell. They topped it with home-made whipped cream (non-sweetened, and it was a perfect compliment to the already sweet ice cream), candied ginger pieces, and some remaining berries. It was beautiful while it lasted. I may or may not have had three slices…
A final note…
Being a vegetarian or pescetarian is not only good for you, it’s awesome for the planet. I love bacon, red meat, etc., but I can’t abide eating it knowing how many resources are depleted simply to provide a pound of meat for people. I think some people are intimidated by vegetarianism (something about green veggies being scary?), but it’s made me a more creative chef (I use that word liberally) and it’s light(er) on my wallet. Go Meatless Mondays (and everyday)!
Amen Hannah! Thanks for sharing. (And don’t forget to share you MM.)
I’m on a big green smoothie kick, which is something I have a weirdly hard time admitting in public. I’ve already gone on the record saying I’m not into cleanses, and as a food lover who adores cooking, I prefer to get my nutrients from whole foods—not ones pulverized into a convenient melange from the blender. I’ve had many green juices in my time, and I like them fine, but I know plenty of people who go gaga for smoothies and juices of all kind.
Me, I like water, tea and coffee. (Oh, and wine.) Those are basically the only things I enjoy drinking on a regular basis.
And yet! A couple of weeks ago, on a particularly sluggish morning, I wandered into a smoothie spot on the way to work. Looking at the assortment of fruit and veggies in front of me, I picked what I like best, not really thinking about whether or not those things would taste good together. “Kale, blueberry, and half a banana please,” I said. They asked if I wanted almond milk or yogurt, soy or apple juice as the base. “Um, could you just do those three things and see what happens?” They agreed, and the resulting “drink” (cutesy quotes because the stuff barely comes up the straw) was incredible. I’ve had some version of the same every day since. It’s my breakfast along with a handful of nuts, and sometimes some toast. It’s been two weeks and I feel good. Also, my skin is sort of glowing. Nothing crazy or dramatic, but there’s a slight difference, I think, and people have said as much to me. This is not something I would have believed if I’d heard someone else say it.
I guess seeing is believing.
Yesterday I made my first one at home, knowing if I keep up the $10 a day habit I’ll be kicking myself. I was inspired by this recipe, which is where I borrowed the picture up top from, but I also had some raspberries on hand, some new raw honey from Stone Barns and a bit of rice milk that I wanted to use up. I blended it all together in my old-school Cuisinart. The consensus? So tasty!
So do you go the green smoothie thing? And if so, have you noticed any changes in how you feel or look?
I’m kinda nuts for nuts lately. They’ve got to be one of the easiest, most delicious and satisfying whole foods on the planet, don’t you think?
I get the feeling some people are scared of nuts because of their high fat content. But when you flip that fear mongering on its head the facts are this: Nuts contain many of the key nutrients we need in one tiny package, including healthy fats, fiber, proteins and, yes, carbohydrates—all of which we need plenty of.
When you’re busy or on the run, it’s easy to reach for crappy food out of convenience. But these days, if I’m starving and my next meal is a little ways away, a handful of nuts is the perfect tide-over to keep me focused.
Lately, I’ve been especially into almonds and pistachios. The latter are not only delicious, but I love popping them out of their shells, like a little reminder that we once had to do some work for our food. What’s your nut of choice?
According to the Mayo Clinic, nuts can also prevent heart disease. Nutrients do vary by type, but most nuts contain omega-3s, vitamin E, plant sterols, and l-arginine. Most of these are proven to be good for our hearts and health in multiple ways—not to mention our skin!
Fun Ways To Eat Them
Inspired by Siobhan’s seed post last week, I thought I’d share some of my favorite creative ways to eat nuts. Got any fun nutty recipes?
—In dessert. I still love this recipe that features salty almond butter in Greek yogurt.
—In soup. And this one too.
—In stir frys. Cashews, almonds, or whatever nut you have on-hand can add all kinds of texture and deliciousness to a fry.
—In salad. Especially good with asian salad dressings, like rice vinegar, miso paste, olive oil and green onions.
OK, you’re up.
I’m on a big seed kick lately. It all started when I (successfully!) recreated my favorite salad in the whole entire world. It’s this carrot and avocado one* from ABC Kitchen here in New York, and despite how unspecial it sounds—carrots are carrots, avocados are avocados—it’s shockingly delicious. One reason: The sesame and sunflower seeds it calls for on top.
Since I like to take liberties with recipes, I decided to stock up on pumpkin and hemp seeds** and include those as well. Of course, whenever you make something at home that calls for a teaspoon of something you wouldn’t otherwise buy, you’re stuck with the “What do I do with the rest?” conundrum. Well, I’ll tell you:
I’ve been putting nuts and seeds on everything. Who knew simple seeds could make such a big difference on your old standbys? Not this guy.
Here’s why hemp seeds are good for you: They’re high in easily digestible protein, which means they don’t make you bloat like some other vegetable protein sources like whey and soy. They also have the 3:1 omega 3 to 6 ratio (that’s food-nerd speak for “good”), a nice amount of fiber, and more essential fatty acids than anything else in nature—including flax seeds, which I could never get into, frankly.
Here’s how to store them: In an airtight container or airtight resealable bag, in the fridge. Airtight is important; otherwise the natural oils can go rancid.
Here’s where to buy them: At any health food store, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, etc. Go with organic.
And finally, here’s how I like to eat them…
1. Raw in Greek yogurt or a warm breakfast cereal. Do this with some nuts, coconut flakes, dried fruit and any other seed you have handy for a tasty breakfast high in plant-based protein and healthy fats.
2. As part of a nut-and-seed crust for fish or tofu. Dry toast your seeds together in a cast-iron skillet—no oil, medium heat, until they start to pop and crack. Turn off the heat, let them cool and them combine with a little dijon and honey for the most delicious crust ever.
3. In a smoothie. Just toss ‘em in there.
4. Dry-toasted with spices then sprinkled on a salad or some kale. Same dry-toasting method as above, but this time with spices you like. This brings out the nuttiness of the seeds and with a little cumin (or whatever), it can completely transform something as simple as steamed kale or salad.
5. Baked into homemade granola bars. I’ll admit that I have not done this yet, but I’m going to try this recipe from My New Roots, the best food blog in the world, for Totally Baked Hemp Protein Granola Bars this week.
Are you into hemp seeds? Some other seeds? How do you eat them?
* The recipe is in the new Jean-Georges cookbook, Jean-Georges Cooks At Home (a few more of his vegetarian recipes here), which I have been tearing through at an incredible clip. I swear I’ve made almost all the salads already—and there are many.
** Can’t get high off of them but yes, they are from the same plant.
Bit of a break from form but hey, it’s our girl’s big day and I know I’m not the only one who appreciates her truly, madly and deeply!
So join me in wishing this kind little Pisces with the gigantic hair a very merry birthday.
And if you want the recipe for the above vegan and gluten-free chocolate coconut cake (Gah! Whut! I wish I knew how to bake…), click here.