I got the idea to create a shepherd’s pie with a Mediterranean influence by brainstorming about some of the ingredients that traditionally comprise the dish and wondering what I had in my pantry that I could swap for them. “Well, lentils are sort of round, and I have those,” I mused, thinking about what could be a legitimate substitute for corn and peas, two typical components. Not that similarity in shape is necessarily any indication of a sound substitution!
Peanut butter – how I missed thee! I was without it for about the past week, until my planned trip to the grocery store last night, and it would not be exaggerating to say that my life felt a little emptier during that time. My workday was not the same without my mid-morning snack of apple slices and peanut butter, and while tahini paste makes an excellent ingredient in hummus and dressings, it was not the greatest substitute for my favorite nut butter in my oatmeal. Now I’m three-cans flush with the stuff, so life is good. And in homage to one of my favorite foods ever being back in my life, I’ve created this granola.
Pesto! I love its rich, pungent flavor. This was my first time creating my own pesto recipe, and I have to say, I was very pleased with the outcome. This pesto sauce is very rich and flavorful without being too strong-tasting.
It was Easter Sunday, a mild, early-spring evening – not exactly the setting that inspires the creation of a traditionally cold-weather recipe. But I really wanted to put the butternut squash languishing in my refrigerator and my last three sweet potatoes to use. So this butternut squash and sweet potato soup was born.
Spring has sprung, allegedly. I woke up to the shock of several inches of out-of-the-blue snowfall yesterday. But that’s spring in Michigan! All in all, the daily temperatures are on the general upswing, and it’s time to start eating lighter (green peas and asparagus and mint and fresh greens, yum . . .).
With spring finally here and the snow hopefully melted where you are, it’s time again for running/outdoor exercise season. You need snacks that are portable, tasty, and provide some serious fuel – which means energy bars for most people. Those are healthy, right?
I decided to do another ricotta quinoa bowl because I loved the Crispy Pancetta Quinoa Bowl that I made last week. And, frankly, I still had some ricotta cheese left. And some mint and some peas I’d been dying to use, and an excitement for the spring equinox this weekend.
Originally when I conceived this recipe, I envisioned using whole-wheat pasta instead of quinoa. But then when I got ready to make it, I was at a point of being O.D.’ed on pasta, having just made a large batch of it and eaten it over the course of several days. So I decided, why not try this with quinoa?
One of the first things I did last year after reading the amazing book, The Sugar Smart Diet, was to eliminate packaged cereal from my diet. I had known for a long time that the great majority of cereals – even the supposedly healthy ones – were chock-full of sugar, but I had pushed this uneasy knowledge aside, not wanting to have to consider ways to change.
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