The Letter G

HAPPY 2018! green-cursive-alphabet-g

It’s a wicked snow day here on the North Shore of Boston and we are tucked in for the “bomb cyclone”.  Snow days force us to slow down for a bit and wait for a time to go outside and start the clean up. The joys of living in New England even though we all moan about it. The dog walk this morning was brutal, we were almost blown off Nahant Beach and retreated to a cold and snowy walk around Spring Pond.

It is cliche, but most of us take a few moments to make “resolutions” or minor goals for the new year. I had a few thoughts that seemed to all center around G!

GREEN: I will try to get more green in my life. Yes, some more “green backs” would be great, but that is not the focus. More green foods straight from the dirt  (though we are pretty good about that we could all use more veggies in our lives). More time in the green…grass, garden and the ground. More fresh herbs, green apples and matcha. Enjoy more minutes outside with bare feet, dirty hands and a quiet mind.

GUILT: I won’t feel guilty about stepping back, having a quiet day and deciding not to do 100 things. The chores can wait, the dishes will still be there tomorrow and maybe its okay to just zone out…or at least try.  I will not waste time on that FOMO/Guilty feeling about cancelling on an event or changing plans. Guilt does not produce anything or change the situation so let’s remove that from our lives and find GROWTH not guilt. I have earned the right to down time and I will relish it, not feel bad about it. It used to be that having leisure time was a sign of success…I am going to bring that back!

GRACE: I want to practice taking a few moments / breaths or milli-seconds before flying off the handle, bark at someone (usually the hubby or another loved on) for something insignificant. I want to carry myself  into every situation will a little more kindness and grace. I want to walk through life with some lightness and remind myself before I have some sassy (and sometimes crass)  remark that just walking away and being “above the fray” will allow the grace to rise.

After those thoughtful passages, let’s get down to the good stuff – FOOD! To start off here is a green soup I whipped up on Jan 1 to start off this whole ‘G thang’ (get it?…hehe).

TRIPLE GREEN SOUP: 
1 small bunch of kale, cut into rough strips (just enough to get it in the pot)
1 leek – cut, well rinsed (green and white part)
1 small bunch of parsley
1 Yukon gold potato – rough chopped
1 carton of chicken stock (or veggie stock)
1 glove of garlic (or more if want some heat)
2 tablespoon of good olive oil
Salt & Pepper (we are loving the Pink Himalayan Salt lately)

Option – throw in whatever other green stuff you have in (zuchinni, peas, arugula, celery, a pear or green apple would be great too…etc)

In a large stock pot, warm the oil and saute the leeks for a few minutes on medium
Add in all the other ingredients and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes until everything is soft.

Bring out your trusty “whizzer”  – immersion blender and blend until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste and/or add a drizzle of olive oil.

The beauty of these quick and easy soups is just through it all in pot, simmer until soft, whiz and eat! It cleans out the fridge and makes those ingredients last for days. This batch made about three large servings. I keep it in the fridge for up to 5 days and pull out for a quick snack or lunch. I added left over grilled BBQ chicken thighs from NYE dinner to make a great meal. Let’s scream to for more GREEN!
IMG_1677

What else have we been eating:

POLENTA with PESTO GREENS, ROASTED TOMATOES & MEATBALLS
Also gluten free is that is your game: Quick cook polenta (we love the Pastene brand)

https://store.pastene.com/pasta-rice-and-polenta/102-instant-polenta-176-oz-bag.html

Grape tomatoes, cut in half – a little olive oil, garlic powder and salt, put in the oven  at 425 for 30 minutes. Greens (this was baby arugula, but have used spinach and kale) – sauteed with some jarred pesto (also Pastene). Frozen meatballs, thawed and heated in some beef broth – plate and hello taste of ITALY!

Polenta

NATASHA’S KITCHEN – CREAMY CHICKEN & RICE / ONE POT MEAL
One pot cozy, creamy chicken and rice. This is my favorite recipe from Natasha’s Kitchen. Super easy, quick clean up and all the food groups in one meal. It smells amazing and goes great for lunch leftovers the next day. I doctored the recipe a bit with using leeks (because I had them on hand)

https://natashaskitchen.com/2014/06/26/creamy-chicken-and-rice-recipe/

Creamy chicken
BAKED SPICED TOFU OVER THAI CURRY NOODLES & VEGGIES
Grab some firm tofu, drain and cut into 1 inch chunks. Prepare a cookie sheet with tin foil and cooking spray. Put the tofu on the pan and sprinkle with ground ginger, garlic and a tiny bit of cayenne (mostly for color). Place in the oven for about 20-25 min at 375 or until just toasty.

Tofu

Cook spaghetti to box directions but drain about 1 minute before done and warm with 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil to keep everything from sticking in the pan. Put in snow peas and whatever other vegetable you enjoy (maybe shredded carrots, zucchini, yellow peppers or mushrooms) with the following to make the sauce:  1 tablespoon of Thai red curry paste from Thai Kitchen, 2-3 tablespoons of low sodium soy sauce, 1/2 tablespoon of fish sauce, and 1/2 – 3/4 cup of coconut milk. Saute in the pan for a few minutes (at medium to medium high) to get everything incorporated and warmed through. Plate, top with baked to tofu and fresh chopped cilantro and green onions. YUM!

https://www.mccormick.com/thai-kitchen/products/sauces-and-pastes/red-curry-paste

I hope you enjoyed this post – as always, be sure to follow here and on INSTAGRAM
https://www.instagram.com/grapesandgarlic/?hl=en

HAPPY EATING and welcome to 2018 – let’s do this thing!

 

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