Fall is my favorite season for all of the boring reasons. I love being warm and snuggly, I would have the smell of mulling spices glued to my lip if it didn’t look like a weird mustache, and I am head over heels for squash, brussels sprouts, and cranberries. But the real clincher for me, when I know fall is creeping up like the monster in LOST, is when I begin to see the gradual shift in produce. Golden summer stone fruit is slowly replaced by hills of apples. The red to green to yellow spectrum of repetitive orbs gleam so bright I can practically see my euphoric, hearts-instead-of-eyes face in them, and they indicate to me that fall has arrived.
I must be a perpetual infant because I LOVE SOUPS. I’m a pureed soup aficionado; the monotony of eating the same-flavored, same-textured bite over and over and over is appealing if the soup is good. Not only are soups incredibly delicious, they’re like a food-hug. They’re the way to make something glorious out of nothing and use up your sad, lonely, dying vegetables that you’re about to throw away. Don’t.
We look upon the humble sesame seed as a microscopic garnish to sushi rolls and/or Asian dishes. But when roasted and ground, it’s magical and super versatile. I think tahini is drastically underrated. I’ve been known to eat peanut butter with a spoon, and my new-found love for tahini has me doing the same weird-ass thing. Like really, ground sesame seeds? Over and over? From a spoon into my mouth? Yes.
Over the past year, my definition of salads has gone through a metamorphosis. I’m a purist, and I’ll happily consume tomatoes & lettuce dressed with olive oil, lemon or a good balsamic, and salt. But most of us stand still at that dead end definition. Behind that door lies a universe of possibility.
A few weeks ago, I taught a cooking class and made lunch at a friend’s home for nine beautiful ladies. It was interactive, light, open, and such a BLAST. I find genuine joy in teaching others the simplicity of good food. I’m a food purist, and find that if you can teach people the most basic of things, they are far better armed than with traditional “recipes”. I hope to do this full-time in a larger scale one day. I know I will; I think it’s where my true talent is. This is one of the dishes we made.
People argue that we should be eating paleo because our ancestors ate that way. I’m talking the WAY back ancestors, like the cavemen in the caves who ran amongst herds and killed their prey with their hands, raaaawwwrrr. Well, I don’t really care about that. It’s light years in the past and we’ve evolved since then. A lot of it is speculation; I mean, how do we REALLY know all of it, fossils?! I care about the reality, the hard evidence, the FACTS. And the fact is that paleo reduces inflammation in the body. Inflammation of… everything. Heads up, people, inflammation is the new silent killer of humans. Eliminating the food groups listed below will achieve this. It will also make your body run like a fine-tuned machine. For reals. You’ll feel like you’re a porsche-y engine at all times of the day. Your digestion will be perfect. Your stomach will feel flat. Ever feel bloated after eating a meal? Yes, come on. Always, right? Well, na-nee-na-nee-boo-boo, I NEVER FEEL BLOATED. EVER. Unless, of course, I put my paleo eating on pause.
People think they need to go to a super fancy restaurant to get a desirable sear on their proteins. This is so false. Searing proteins is of the simplest things you could ever do at home but people don’t think it’s possible for them. The biggest thing standing between you and a beautiful crust on your piece of fish is your fear of doing it and thinking it’s elusive and unattainable. If you know how to sear, you can have an excellent meal every day in less than ten minutes.
Keep in mind that the tips below are true for ALL proteins of all shapes and sizes. My favorite thing to sear is fish and steak, but this works for chicken with or without skin. Chicken tenders or whole chickens. Steaks or chunks of steaks. Scallops. Fish sticks or fish filets. Lamb legs. Huge pork butts. Whole beef tenderloins. ALL OF THEM. Even vegetable steaks! Let’s get busy:
Fact: roasting vegetables is the best way to eat vegetables. Fact: as humans, we need to eat mountains of vegetables daily. Conclusion: we need to learn to roast vegetables and we need to get good at it now.
It’s easy. Sort of.
Simply put, you can cut up any vegetable into bite sized pieces, toss them in fat, and roast them in the oven until they’re done. But it’s a little more involved than that. There are different vegetable families, different cooking times, and (some) different temperatures for optimal vegetable roasting. Nuances exist within this large realm, and since I do this daily, I’ve learned all of the ways to roast all of the vegetables.