Organice swiss chard salad. Simple and full of flavor.
I was watching a show featuring renowned chef, Arnaud Daguin, at his Michelin rated guest house in Basque country. As I hung onto every word and scene of beauty, I picked up a great tip for swiss chard (and promised myself that someday I would visit his place, Hegia).
This is food porn to me.
Chef Arnaud said that cooking the chard stems would degrade their gorgeous color so he set to thinly slicing them. I loved the idea and happened to have a bunch of organic swiss chard from the farmer’s market with which I was trying to decide what to do.
So, that’s what I did with my salad.
Once I thinly sliced the stems, I found myself thinly slicing the entire thing. I tossed them in a bowl with pinch of icelandic sea salt, a scoop of thinly sliced, homemade pickled cucumbers, and a quick drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. The fresh green flavor of the swiss chard was gently front and center, supported by bites of spice from my pickled cucumbers, and the olive oil smoothed everything out.
I know I’m probably a bit weird, though I know I can’t be totally alone, when I say that I get super excited at the farmers’ market. Seeing all of that fresh organic produce, quite frankly, makes me want to pee my pants. (I’m the same in a bookstore.)
You’re probably not surprised though, after I shared with you how I can’t get enough of scratch cooking. It’s my passion.
This past week, I was particularly smitten by those gorgeous carrots you see above.
And, then there was this purple sweet potato that I had to cut into wedges and roast with ghee, garlic, rosemary, spices, and sea salt.
Simplicity at its best: watermelon and ginger essential oil.
In my search for a more calm life, I find myself immersed in books and teachings of the Tao.
While reading this week from the book The Tao of Daily Life (<— it’s so good), I came across the story of Empress Tz’u-hsi and the teaching of simplicity.
Essentially, the story told that if Empress Tz’u-hsi wished to experience the joy of simplicity, she had to reduce complexity in her life.
I took that to heart. So often I’m making recipes and adding a little of this and a little of that… then more of something else, and more of something like that. The result can be good, but the process elaborate and time intensive. And, sometimes, the individual simple flavors cease to shine as they become muddled and mixed with everything else.
The result was a delicious marriage where I effortlessly experienced both flavors, two of my favorites: watermelon and ginger. The drink was beautifully pink and vibrantly refreshing. It taught me that, yes, some things (probably most, in fact) are better left simpler.
I’m eager to apply this to other areas of my life outside of the kitchen. It bears repeating that The Tao of Daily Life is great. It’s one of my favorite books right now.
I whipped up some organic guacamole on Sunday for lunch. As I was making it with lightening speed I was reminded of the funny movie White Men Can’t Jump where they’re running around exclaiming, “This shit is too easy!”
Guacamole is that for me. Easy.
My guacamole always includes some garlic powder because it adds depth. <– That’s one of my guacamole secrets.
I also add organic ground coriander (I prefer it’s brightening floral-ness over cumin).
Of course there is chopped organic green onion, diced celery, sea salt, superfood vinegar, and I usually add some Brain Octane to energize my brain and lubricate it up nicely (lube up the guacamole, that is).
One of my favorite cookies from childhood is a no-bake cookie. Over the years I’ve tried to make a Kristen-approved version that I can enjoy without a second thought, but honestly… I always fail.
Sure my cookies meet my high health standards, but do they remotely resemble no-bake cookies? Nope. I don’t even try anymore. They really need peanut butter to make that ol’ no-bake cookie flavor, but I can’t bring myself to buy peanut butter.
That said, my Chocolate Coconut Cookies are so good(!) and they don’t need to be baked. They have vitamin E rich sunflower seeds, they’re full of texture and flavor, and they have ample protein and fat. They’re pretty much paleo if you don’t mind a bit of butter (you could substitute some delicious grass-fed ghee if you wanted, or coconut oil).
If you’ve ever heard of David Wolfe, then you know his latest passion is talking about the importance of eating colorful foods and, more specifically, what those different colors (and those colors’ shapes!) can mean for your health.
For example, I recently heard an interview where he discussed how eating orange foods can offer anti-inflammatory compounds, consuming green foods can offer detoxing and liver benefits, red foods are prized for energy, blood, and qi (pronounced chee) health, and black foods are associated with adrenal/kidney health and jing.
At the risk of being obvious I’ll state that a key to living a long time (and feeling well, too) is eating healthy (and exercising and meditating, but let’s keep this post focused on the food part or we’ll be here all day). One way to accomplish healthy eating is getting fresh organic produce in your diet.
Enter: Green Smoothies… with smart ingredients.
Today, I’m adding an ingredient that you might not have tried in your green smoothie.
As a result, I whipped up these bars and, well, they’re awesome. They’ll satisfy any sweet tooth, as well as make any momma proud to serve these to her family (after she gobbles up a couple of them herself, of course).
Why call them The Lazy Flax Bars?
Well. I entered the kitchen to make these with crazy ambition to make Flax Balls. But, as I mixed up the recipe and saw the amount of “dough” being created, I quickly abandoned the idea of rolling out a gazillion balls. Read: I’m lazy.
Um, I quickly pressed them into a baking dish.
Therefore, these are ridiculously easy to make. They’ll freeze well if you want to save half for another day.