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Friday, October 5, 2012

Old and Childish

5773 years have passed in the Jewish calendar, and I do feel the weight of time on my shoulders, head, neck and back, literally. My body aged this past year. For the first time in my life, I ended up with a stiff neck, lots of aches, pains, and a body that makes more cracking noises than Fred, my popcorn machine, after preparing for the Holidays. I feel now like a one-woman percussion orchestra that automatically plays every time I venture into standing, walking or sitting.

I'm trying to face it with as much composure as I can. I'm aiming to increase my yoga practice to an extra day every week and taking care of my body a bit more at every opportunity. More omega-3s, green tea, vitamin D, kombucha, antioxidants, yogurt, and raw honey masks (maybe I should apply them to my neck?) in the weekly routine...

I'm willing to accept I'm approaching senility. But can someone please explain me how come even as I'm turning into an old lady, I still find myself in the cashier line in the supermarket not only reading with zen focus all the very interesting and for sure true information on Star, US and National Enquirer; but most importantly, zooming on the newest issue of InStyle from where Gwyneth makes eye contact with me all the way from the cover and I sheepishly obey?

I might be feeling 200 years old, but I find myself paying for the magazine in less than a fraction of a second. Help! I'm all the way back in middle school trying to emulate what the coolest (yes people, Gwyneth Paltrow is The Coolest) girl in the class does! I still fantasize about meeting Mrs. Martin and becoming her BBF (I would ditch all past and adored friendships and devote myself completely to hers).

If she writes I should wear a molcajete* on my head for its health, fashion, artistic, flavor, and/or creative benefits I just do it! No thinking for myself, no questioning. I just do it. So, if I'm so immature (and old, but evidently not wise), how am I supposed to explain to my 7-year-old daughter that Katy Perry won't come to her birthday party, even if she invites her? (and for free, as I did mention that she would only come if we paid her lots of money. "How much, like a hundred?" she asked...well..."more," I said, and then she assigned me the mission of finding Miss Perry's phone number on google, so she could call her and ask her to sleep over...). How do I dare laugh when my daughter doesn't even know the words she's saying when singing California Girls nor (thank G-d) understand the meaning of the lyrics? I'm doing the same, and I'm more than five times my girl's age (and apparently, my body is way older than that)...

However, if Katy comes, do you think I could ask her to convince Gwyneth to join us too? I hope she does and then Gwyn shows up hopefully with her adorable $500.00 GOOP cashmere sweaters--that I would have bought faster than it took me to purchase the magazine, only if my finances were the same as hers--in a gift bag with lots of beautiful colored tissue paper just for me!

While we patiently find out about the 8th birthday slumber party, here's what I would serve Gwyneth for dinner if she came tonight (I know she likes spicy, healthy, wholesome food, she's got multiple sensitivities (gluten, dairy, etc) and isn't so much into dessert...that's the only difference between her and me).

*FYI a molcajete is a traditional Mexican mortar and pestle made of volcanic rock, looks like this (and it's really heavy, but I would wear it if she suggested me to):

CAULIFLOWER COUSCOUS
This is simply genius. Pure, bright genius. Sadly, I have to admit I didn't come up with it, but read it here and it's so fabulous, that my five-year-old, who's not willing to try ANYTHING, thought it was traditional semolina couscous and finished all his portion without a chirp. I grated the cauliflower spears (tops only) on the large holes of a traditional grater. You may be thinking "what a waste" to use only the tops of the florets, and that's why, I also made the soup below. One ingredient, two dishes!

Ingredients
1 cauliflower head, washed
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Method
1. Cut the cauliflower into medium pieces, removing and discarding the center. You need the pieces to be large enough so you can hold the stems comfortably while grating the tops.
2. Grate spears against the largest holes of a box grater. Stop and switch to the next floret once you reach the rib parts and save the ribs to make a soup (recipe below).


3. Add1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil to a saute pan and place over medium heat. Once oil is hot, add the cauliflower "couscous" and season with salt and pepper. Cook for a couple of minutes mixing with a wooden spoon once or twice. Add more oil if you want to and either let brown a bit or remove from heat.

4. Serve as it is or top with toasted pine nuts, sliced almonds, fresh herbs or any other way you would serve couscous.

Makes 4 potions

WHITE SOUP
I often mention (to you, my kids, and whoever says "hi" to me) how important it is to eat a rainbow of plant-derived foods every single day. As my Katy Perry-loving daughter would explain, the rainbow has red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. However, the plant world rainbow also includes white, and this soup is made with four very nutritious members of this group, resulting in a creamy, flavorful and pleasant fall soup full of potassium, cancer-fighting and health-promoting phytonutrients, many vitamins and fiber.

Ingredients
  • Vegan, free of: dairy, eggs, gluten, nuts and soy
  • Super ingredients: all!
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
3 small cloves of garlic
Florets of 1 small cauliflower head (OK to use the left-over pieces of the "cauliflower couscous"), cut into pieces
1 pear, peeled, cored and cubed
2 medium or 1 large Yukon potato, peeled and cubed
6-8 thyme sprigs
4 cups water, more if needed
pinch nutmeg, ideally, freshly grated
sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Method
1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat and when hot, add in garlic. Turn heat to low and cook garlic for a couple of minutes, but do not let burn.

2. Add cauliflower, pear, potato, 2 thyme sprigs and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, mixing gently. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Pour 4 cups water into the saucepan and cook, uncovered for about 30 minutes, until vegetables are soft when a knife is inserted into them.

4. Turn heat off and remove thyme sprigs (branches). Puree soup with an immersion blender. Adjust seasoning.

5. Serve soup into bowls and drizzle with a bit of olive oil, a little pinch of nutmeg and sprinkle thyme leaves on top.

Enjoy!

Serves 4: Gwyneth, me, Apple and Moses, but if my family decides to join, I could double it!

ROASTED SALMON WITH POMEGRANATE MOLASSES AND CHIPOTLE CHIA SAUCE
A result of my Rosh Hashanah experiments, this sauce is good for both, salmon or chicken, but since I need the omega-3s of the salmon to stop my bones and articulations from popping and cracking, I'm making the fish version.
The sauce is kind of everything "to taste," as we all like different degrees of saltiness, sweetness, acidity and spiciness, so adjust as you please (taste the sauce before marinating the salmon or chicken to make any changes).

Ingredients
3 pounds center cut salmon (ideally wild caught Atlantic) fillet, boned
1/2 cup pomegranate molasses
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon tamari soy sauce
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder, or more to taste
splash of apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons chia seeds
1/4 cup parsley, washed, dried and chopped, optional
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Method
1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking pan, large enough to fit the salmon fillet, with parchment. Wash and pat dry the fish.
2. Place salmon on the pan and season with salt and pepper.
3. In a container with a lid, place pomegranate molasses, oil, tamari, honey, vinegar and chipotle powder. Cover and shake until it's all incorporated. Taste and adjust seasoning. Open the container and add in the chia. Cover and shake again until well mixed.
4. Pour half of the sauce on salmon and roast for 12 to 15 minutes. Reserve the rest of the sauce for serving.
5. Cover and allow to rest for 10 more minutes.
6. Pour the remaining sauce all over the salmon.
7. Serve with a bit of parsley on top.

Makes 6-8 servings

1 comment:

T said...

I'm feeling GOOPED! Love, T