Spring loves to gloat about its mostly green, crisp vegetables, doesn’t it? It’s primetime for vegetables like artichokes, snap peas, peas, radishes, and my personal favorite, asparagus. I’ll gladly pay the pee price for them. Consuming these vegetables during spring vs. non-spring isn’t in the same galaxy. Although asparagus is available year round, the fat stalks that slowly materialize in the months of April and May make those skinny ones look pathetic. First world, I’m-a-huge-brat conundrum, yes, but a huge conundrum nonetheless.
I have a client whose taste in food mirrors mine. She loves fresh, seasonal cuisine that runs rampant in California and Italy. The type that erupts with color, taste, and variety. Huge, family-style plates overflowing with different high quality meats, fruits, vegetables, and cheeses are her jam. Mine, too. I would characterize this taste as humbly exquisite and refined. But. This taste gets bulldozed the second pulled pork is mentioned.
Pesto is a love language and everyone wants to be spoken to. It’s the safety net, the comfort favorite, and the ultimate go-to. If I’m cooking for people whose taste buds I don’t know, or am feeling weary about serving something “interesting” or “different”, I do not take the road less traveled by. I take the one lined with pesto.
I grew up loving pesto, too. When my mom was raising my sister and me and was Mom-level crazy busy, an easy dinner was pasta dumped with the store bought stuff which still blew my socks off. Much later, I made my own and subsequently had a mini life revelation. If I was already in love with the store bought stuff, I wanted to propose to the homemade version.
Some people despise salmon. They’re so grossed out by it, a whiff makes a mini panic attack arise. They think it’s too overpowering in its fishy taste.
I am not one of these people. I eat salmon several times per week but honestly, I would eat it three times per day if it wouldn’t cost like $600/month to do so. What a buzzkill. My favorite way to eat it is simply seared with a crust that could shatter into a million pieces, with salt & ghee. Most people aren’t such purists, especially not the salmon haters, which is why this recipe exists.
You’ve been asleep if you haven’t been bombarded with messages about how you should love yourself. Apparently, self love is where it’s at. You can’t succeed without it. You can’t be in a relationship without it. You can’t grow a business or be alive or breathe without it. Most of us hear how self-love is integral to being human, but few talk about how to actually develop it. Because it’s hard, active work. Self-love comes from believing in yourself and your abilities, but not in a vacuum.
These notions must be practiced daily, like out in the big bad world. Self-love comes from emotional and physical strength. It comes from resiliency because when you inevitably fall down, you will need to get right back up. It comes from knowing and respecting your boundaries with others. In saying no. In saying yes. In taking chances. In trusting yourself. In standing up for yourself. In speaking up for what you believe in, even if it comes at the expense of others liking or accepting you. It comes from respecting yourself. Eating and moving in your own way. Having the wherewithal to know what truly works for you and what doesn’t.
I was introduced to ghee by my obsession with Indian food. Since it doesn’t include dairy products, butter cannot be used. Bummer, because the luxurious flavor of butter is irreplaceable. BUT. If you heat the butter and simmer it, all of the milk fat floats to the top and can be skimmed off or strained away. What’s left in its wake is the liquid gold of pure butter fat.
I use ghee because it’s extraordinary; it tastes and smells like unsweetened caramel toffee. It imparts this flavor to anything you cook it in. It’s my favorite fat by a landslide. Since the milk fat has been removed, you’re left with pure fat that can withstand high heats with no detriment. Butter can be used for sauteing lightly, but the milkfats end up burning and turning rancid when the heat gets too high. Use ghee for searing anything, roasting stuff in the oven, in your coffee, or in baking. Pretty much anything that you would use butter for.
I’ve never been big on New Year’s Resolutions. Mostly because when the crowd goes one way, I say raaawr and do my own thing. When something feels forced or like I’m being summoned to change because of a social construction, I am precisely 0% likely to do it.
This year I feel a bit different. 2015 was hard for me. Mainly because I was face to face with issues that I had spent my entire life avoiding. Facets of myself, my makeup, my biochemistry, my brain, my body, that I had spent 30 years distracting or covering up with obsessions, addictions, disordered eating, and control mechanisms came to light. If it could be controlled, I was ON IT. This meant food, people, boyfriends, family members, exercise, and on and on.