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.
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).
I love soup. They’re (usually) easy to make, easy to digest, and fairly portable. I can carry my lunch around the house in a mug, while I get everything done. Multi-tasker extraordinaire here. (Though we really should be more mindful when we eat – relaxing, noticing the flavors and textures with each bite and swallow. Sigh, a girl can dream.)
Speaking of portability, you could make this soup on the road while traveling, if you travel with your blender and a cooler full of food like I do. :)
So, you might be wondering why I’d post a warm soup recipe like this in the summer, when it would clearly be awesome for the fall and winter. Well, besides calling me a planner so I’m already experimenting with fall-flavored soups, I knew I’d be drinking it again in spite of the hot weather. I plan on putting it in my travel coffee cup and sneaking it taking it into the theater so I can keep cozy and warm in the blasting air conditioned theater.
Juicy Refreshing Fennel Orange Salad – Ready to dive in.
I wrote recently that mom’s backyard is turning into an organic citrus orchard. I also mentioned that one of the things I make from the barrels of citrus she gives me is Fennel Orange Salad.
I decided that name didn’t do the dish justice, so I changed it to Juicy Refreshing Fennel Orange Salad. It’s quickly become a favorite of ours, including Kamea’s. It offers a delightful brightness to a dreary winter with the seasonal citrus and the fabulous fennel. It’s sweet with oranges and savory with little bites of red onion. It’s a salad you should definitely make.
Today, I share a delightful twist: Rooibos Coconut Milk.
This unique treat is a gorgeous color, reminding me of the fall season. Rooibos Coconut Milk is also creamy, fun, and delicious. Rooibos is a great tea for everyone in the family and has a nice reputation for health. Making coconut milk with it makes it even better.
Making your own coconut milk is galaxies better than buying it from the store, at least in most cases. The reason is that when you make your own it’s: 1) fresh, 2) doesn’t have any preservatives or additives, and 3) it tastes so much better. Give yourself and your family a real treat by making it yourself. You’ll be glad you did.
I like my Homemade Vanilla Coconut Milk heavily doused in my coffee, tea, and used in preparing raw or cooked foods. And, of course, a big ol’ glass of it straight up.