Monday, January 31, 2011

A chestnut of a find

While I was out running errands today I stopped in at a specialty market and look what I found -

I love chestnuts and these were on sale!

When I got home I racked my brain for a good use for them. I finally decided on a modified version of a chestnut and mushroom stuffing. But instead of the usual stuffing base, I would use quinoa.

I cooked up a 1/2 cup on quinoa with 1 cup of chicken broth. Into the pot went some thyme, sage and a little bit of garlic. Just before the quinoa finished cooking I added in the chopped chestnuts and mushrooms. 

A little broccoli on the side.

Most nuts are fine for dogs in small amounts (nuts contain phosphorus so in large amounts they can cause kidney problems in dogs). I chopped one chestnut in half and each of the beasties got a small nugget of chestnut goodness.

Late lunch

A day filled with errands - yuk.

The whole day flies by and you feel like you accomplished nothing. I didn't get back for lunch until just now - 4:00pm.

So it was simple and fast.

Red leaf lettuce with chopped mushrooms, cucumber and celery. I tossed this with a bottled tamari sesame dressing. I put together a mix of coconut butter, peanut butter and soy sauce (only a small amount of each) rolled pieces of tofu in the mix and then sauteed them till brown. 

Pheww, time for a short break to put my feet up.

Smoothies and toothaches

A certain fuzzy girl was up all night with a toothache (((

Poor Abby. 

Recently, at her yearly checkup, the vet noticed that one of her canines was chipped and part of the root may be exposed. It hadn't been bothering her - until last night.

And this is Abby after finding out I will have to make a dental appointment for her.

So, suffering from exhaustion, I assembled the ingredients for a smoothie.

I blended up a handful of blueberries, some red leaf lettuce, 1/2 a banana, a scoop of Amazing Grass - Green Super Food, 1 Tablespoon of Udo's oil and 2 Tablespoons of apple sauce.

Nope, it is not pretty - but it tasted great.
The dogs treat:

This is one of my favorite mixes to give the dogs: Kyo-green + yogurt + Udo's oil. The yogurt aids in digestion (if given in small quantities), the healthy greens in the Kyo-Green makes the pigments in the dogs coats really pop and the EFA's in the Udo's oil helps give them a glossy coat. 

That is nutritional info - but as anyone can tell you - presentation is everything...

I am not looking forward to a day filled with errands - or making the call for Abby's dental appointment...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

My version of dessert

I was itching for something to munch on - after all how can you watch "When Vacations Attack" without sustenance?

But as the header on my blog explains - I really don't enjoy sweet things. So, this was my pick for dessert.
Lettuce wraps with apples and blue cheese.

Very yummy.


The stars of the show - Leeks!

I found a great recipe online for Potato-Leek Soup. David Lebovitz posted this recipe on his blog and what I liked most about it was that it didn't use chicken broth. Instead he uses only water. I didn't have any potatoes on hand but I didn't let that stop me - I decided to substitute with brown rice.

Leeks tend to hold a lot of dirt and grit - so the first step is prepping the leeks.

First trim off the roots then make vertical slits along the leeks without cutting the the root bulb.

 Next, fan out the stems and make sure to check each piece for any dirt that may be in between the leaves.

They definitely need a good washing.

Change the water as it gets dirty - this is the third rinsing - now the water is relatively clear and it is time to chop the leeks.

One final rinse for good measure.
Then add 3 Tablespoons of olive oil to the bottom of a Dutch oven. My current favorite olive oil is this one.

Farchioni Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Add the leeks to the pot (medium heat) and stir frequently until they go from this - 

 To this - 

Ack! Camera problems!
Thyme goes in next - I put in about 3 teaspoons (I like thyme) and some black pepper. Let that sit until it becomes aromatic then add 6 cups of water and 2 bay leaves. At this point I added in some salt and a 1/2 a cup of uncooked brown rice.

Put the lid on the pot and simmer until the rice is tender. 

About halfway through the cooking time (I let it simmer for 1 hour) I decided it needed a hint of sweetness so I added in a carrot.

 I let it continue to simmer for 30 more minutes.

Time to go fishing...

Fishing for bay leaves.
After the bay leaves are removed - it is time for the immersion blender.

Be careful not to splash.

The pureed brown rice added a nice creamy feel to the soup. It was as comforting and satisfying as a soup made with cream. I would definitely recommend changing up the herbs to suite your own taste. The dogs did not get any of the soup as onions can cause anemia in dogs - yikes.

A garnish of greek yogurt and broccoli leaves.

Slow and easy

There was a short break in the rain so I decided to take the dogs out for a 2 mile walk.

Don't believe me? Well, here is the proof!

After my porcine rich breakfast - I needed a palate cleansing lunch.

A refreshing mix of applesauce on one side - greek yogurt on the other and a generous portion of luscious blueberries for a burst of sweetness and apple pieces for crunch. 

The dogs had a few blueberries too :-)

I found a use for the leeks I bought at the farm stand on Friday - check back later to see what it is!

Rainy days and prosciutto

It is overcast and rainy here today. I had some prosciutto in the fridge which I did plan on using later in the week - but this morning I could not resist the call of hammy goodness. 

Breakfast started with this.

A little bit of leftover spaghetti and prosciutto.

The prosciutto went into a dry pan and cooked till crispy. Then I added in the chopped spaghetti and sauteed till everything was warmed through. And for good measure I added in a crispy apple on the side.

What did the dogs have for breakfast? Well, I did have the rest of the apple hanging around so they got - 

Apple slices with peanut butter.
And this is how Connor felt about having peanut butter for breakfast - 
Yup, that is him - bug-eyed and vibrating with glee:-)

Connor is still bug-eyed. Abby is barely feigning interest.

I did have a long walk planned but I think I will wait and see if the rain lets up.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

What's for dinner?

Since I was still nursing my poor injured finger - I kept things simple for dinner. The dogs had to make do with plain kibble.

I steamed up some broccoli.

Then I tossed mushrooms, garlic powder, basil, oregano with some olive oil and sauteed them till they browned. Next, I poured in some spaghetti sauce (from a jar) and added some cubed tofu. I let it cook down for a while and then the cooked spaghetti went in.

Fresh chopped parsley on top.

Nice to know

This morning I made 2 cups of brown rice and while I was cheerily chopping up mushrooms and collard greens to add to the pot - I cut my finger.

It was bloody. It was horrific. I will spare you a picture of the mangled digit.

Did the dogs rush over in concern? Nope. As I stumbled around looking for band-aids - they sighed (my interpretation - "Well, crud, breakfast is going to take forever now...) and went back to bed. 

It is nice to know that if I ever bleed out they won't let it interfere with catching some shuteye. 

The mushrooms and greens pre bloody incident
Despite the dogs shocking lack of interest in my well being they got this for breakfast.

Brown rice with greens and mushrooms with broiled Halibut. I know it seems strange to feed the dogs this stuff - but truth be told - the fish was about to turn bad and I didn't want to eat it - but for the dogs? It is a delicacy. 

I poached one of the farm stand eggs and placed it on top of a bed of rice.

 While it looks yummy just the way it is - I ate it like this.

 The addition of a dash of blue cheese and some black pepper resulted in perfection!

 Happy Saturday!!