Sunday, October 14, 2012

breakfast tacos

breakfast tacos, originally uploaded by riptideredsf.
This is crazy simple and soooo favorite breakfast inspired by this recipe from Heidi at 101 Cookbooks.
Of course, hers is much healthier than this particular concoction of leftover burrito filling and processed american cheese.
The filling can be almost anything with a little bit of cheese to bind it all together. I start by heating up about a tablespoon of olive oil and a small pat of butter in a small non-stick pan, not much bigger than the tortilla. Beat a couple of eggs, then pour about one third of the eggs into the hot pan, moving the egg mixture around the pan to contain it to roughly the same size as your tortilla.
Let it set for a minute and add a couple of grinds of pepper and pinch of salt.

Drop the tortilla on top of the egg and cook for another minute giving the egg a chance to adhere to the tortilla, then flip the whole thing over,

 add your cheese and give it a minute to warm up and melt a bit, then add your final filler.

If I use leftovers that I've pulled from the fridge, I'll heat it up in the microwave first.

My healthier version is to use one whole egg and one egg white, goat cheese and fresh herbs.

Friday, October 12, 2012

evolution carrot salad

evolution carrot salad, originally uploaded by riptideredsf.
This came about during a late afternoon attack on my "Recipes to Make" binder. I've had this one buried for a while, photo-copied a year or so ago, from a library lend of "Jamie's Food Revolution".
This was another recipe thatcamethisclose to being tossed. I like carrots okay...usually as more of a supporting role in a dish...and as I perused the character-less black and white, low-quality copy, I was just not seeing it's appeal, until I realized: wasn't there an almost full bag of carrots sprouting in the bottom of the vegetable bin last time I looked? as well as a half-empty bag of clearance cabbage, and I seem to recall buying mint and cilantro for something I didn't make. So that's how this evolved.
Jamie Oliver calls it an Evolution Salad because it's fine in a very simple state but evolves by the addition of say...nuts, cheese or fruit.
Can I just say how much I adore Jamie Oliver?
My access to food television is pretty much non-existent so my familiarity with Jamie Oliver was " that the Naked Chef guy?", until last year when I picked up "Oliver's Twist" from the library. I was an instant fan. Could he be any cuter? Of course I totally dig the British accent and goofy lingo not to mention his excitement and passion. He tears through a recipe like he's just run off the soccer field, dashed by his apartment for a quick knosh and he's back out the door to meet up with his mates at the pub. Quick and casual. Simple and affordable. Engaging and charming. He's got it all. Goofy footballer and marketing genius-gazillionare.
So, this carrot salad was amazingly tasty and came together in minutes.
Evolution Carrot Salad
slightly adapted from Jamie Oliver

5 medium carrots peeled and shredded
8 oz. shredded red cabbage
chopped mint
chopped cilantro

6 T. olive oil
2 T. lemon juice
2 T. dijon mustard
1 t. balsamic vinegar
2 t. agave nectar
crumbled blue cheese

Combine all of the vegetables and herbs in a bowl. In jar with a tight fitting lid (I save jam jars for this), combine all of the dressing ingredients and shake it like crazy until everything is emulsified (smooth & creamy). Pour it over the carrot mix and toss.
It wasn't until after I made this that I realized why I had copied the recipe to begin with. It's really pretty in color. I'm inspired again to revisit Jamie's Food Revolution because I do love pretty pictures, simple, amusing instructions and really really good food.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Yellow Split Pea Soup

Split Pea Soup, originally uploaded by riptideredsf.
Every now and again I have a little kitchen epiphany, those moments when I surprise and delight myself by veering out of my comfort zone, fueled by curiosity, imagination, instinct and persistence, landing somewhere strange, wonderful and unexpected. 
This was not one of those moments.
Sometimes it's just dumb luck, boredom or desperation.
It started here:

Sometime last year. Somewhere over at Rainbow, my local natural foods co-op and my happy place for bulk shopping, I found myself particularly mezmerized by legumes.
Let me back up a bit though. The first time I ever walked in there I was transformed. For this, I have to thank Heidi at 101 Cookbooks, another inspiration to the little kitchen. The intro to her cookbook, Super Natural Cooking Everyday, described this Oz-like food shopping experience.   
I feel all fuzzy, warm and virtuous whenever I shop there, always curious & inspired by the amazing towers of beans, lentils, grains, nuts and bins of obscure flours. It excites me more and scares me less now, but at first I was truly overwhelmed by it's strangeness,
I bought bags and bags of colorful split peas, lentils and beans imagining exploration out of my black/refried bean comfort zone, but mostly, I envisioned them pretty-ing up the pantry shelves in my new Ikea glass jars.
One year later:
The impetus to finally open the jars and consult numerous cookery books and blogs, was more out of neccessity than anything else.

The sporadic employment of a free-lance artist creates adapting to feast or famine. I've been doing this all my working life. The upside to the downside is the creative juices surge in the lean times.
Last week I found myself in the pantry, looking for a project that would keep me busy and out of the store. Is it just me? I can't leave the house, even for a walk around the corner to the library without returning $20 poorer.
Anyhoo...this is what I made. Yellow split peas making their little kitchen debut in this brilliant soup. This was my epiphany: Split Peas?!? Why did I not know about this?!?
Thanks again to Heidi at 101 Cookbooks for this gorgeous recipe. My only deviation was to puree the entire batch. I started, as instructed, with an emersion blender, leaving some texture in there, but some of the peas seemed undercooked to me. I wasn't sure if this is just a characteristic of split peas in general or the fact that my peas were so old...I had also mixed two diffferent batches of dried peas...but once I tossed it into the blender this really came together perfectly. Sweet and creamy and the dollop of cucumber riata  finished off the soup beautifully.