This week has been kinda emotional. Actually it's been rather exhilarating, exhausting, exciting, and educational. So, feeling all those emotions leaves me little time to cook. So only prepping Fast Fix meals for myself this week it is!! I'm not sure about you, but if your week has been like mine, let's dig into some comfort food shall we??
How about some fancified rice and peas? To me, that's one of my ultimate comforts. Nothing like piping hot rice and peas to make this gal happy. But, when you add tahini, lemon, sweet potatoes, and dill....mmmm just takes a simple dish over the top.
Gotta thank my sweet foodie friend Ari for really introducing me to the many ways tahini can be used. Silly me, I thought it was just for hummus! Once he showed me all about how to make a dressing, the rest is history. Since then, I've been making all kinds of drizzles and sauces with tahini. So, making a lemon dill sauce was easy peasy (no pun intended).
This dish comes together pretty quickly: roast the sweet potatoes and cook the rice at the same time. Since both of those activities really don't require much after you get them going, whip up the sauce at the same time. Then add in the peas to the cooked rice. Then, combine everything together and sprinkle with lemon zest. That's it! Flavorful, filling, and one fast fix! I think I'll stop now with all these alliterations....I'm having way to much fun ;)
Click for printable recipe:Lemon Dill Tahini Rice with Sweet Potatoes and Peas
You know what? I really like a thick and hearty waffle. I'm sure there's a joke in there about how I like my men....but I'll leave that alone for now ;) .
Back to the waffles...I like the kind you really cut into and dunk it in yogurt. It's gotta have some texture. It's gotta stay together. It's gotta have some bite. I just don't like me any crumbly, delicate waffle now. My first experiment for my post this week...well let's just say it was pretttty delicate. Back to the drawing board for that waffle for sure.
Ever noticed how I don't really eat my waffles with syrup? Yeah, I know, for some no syrup is sacrilegious; but, I much prefer eating my waffles with yogurt or nut/seed butters instead. Something equally hearty to match the waffle and to "stick to my ribs" so to speak.
Today, I tried an artisan almond yogurt from Kite Hill in strawberry for the first time. It was wonderful....perfect balance of almond flavor with the sweet strawberries.
And I'm happy to say this combo "stuck to my ribs" for 4 hours. This definitely makes this waffle a winner.
Wait, have you ever stopped to think about that statement? Sticking to your ribs sounds really freaking painful. So let's just say I want a waffle that's got staying power and won't cause you to crash 2 hours later the way other waffles can. Well, B, how can I stop that ravenous feeling when eating waffles? Well, I'll share what I've done. See if it works for you.
One of my solutions? Saying bye bye to gluten. Giving up gluten has been good for my satiety response. And also because I'm intolerant of gluten. Like really intolerant of it. So, there's that. Another? Not using syrup but using protein rich yogurt instead. The other? Experimenting with bean flour, specifically chickpea flour. Something I'd not done before. Until now. And it definitely passed my rib sticking test!
And I will continue using it, as I've seen many different recipes for this flour as a flatbread, pancake, and even crepe! I say, bring it on! So, this flour does have a beany slant to its flavor on its own, so this could also make savory waffles (hmmm falafel waffles anyone??). But, add some sugar and cinnamon and you've got such a wonderful sweet/savory thing going on. Pure deliciousness.
Also, this was a great way to work on my Week 2 of my 10 week Pulse Pledge. This week's focus was to add pulses to breakfast or brunch. As soon as I saw the focus, I knew I had to do a waffle. And I will be making these again...hmm with different ingredients...my mind is already turning over different combinations...while still salivating over these beauties.
You know, I'm not sure if you've seen the little "YUM" button under my recipes, but I wanted to let y'all know I'm a publisher on Yummly. What is Yummly you may ask? Well, it's an online database for all kinds of recipes all over the Internet. Any blog, any course, anything. You can create your own profile and save recipes you like in your own personal recipe box. This way, you can keep all your favorite bloggers' recipes together in one place.
So, if you want to save one of my recipes, all you've got to do is click on that little orange button and get started collecting!! What a neat way to see what other bloggers are doing, get inspiration, and save my recipes!!!! I mean, you are saving my recipes right?? Awesome, I thought so. :) As always, enjoy!!
Click for Printable Recipe: Snickerdoodle Waffles
adapted from Pulse Pledge
Merry Christmas and happy #scrumptioussunday everyone!
This week was my first week on the #pulsepledge. What are pulses you may ask? Well, they are the seeds in the legume family which are edible.
In more clear terms, they are dried legumes like chickpeas, lentils, beans, and peas.
And what's this pulse pledge? I found a link to this website pulse pledge, in an email I received. It's a pledge to eat pulses once at week for 10 weeks. Given this new plant based lifestyle I'm embracing, I wanted to learn how to cook dried pulses in more creative ways.
Sure, I can open up a can of black beans and chickpeas like nobody's business, but I'd never really prepared dried lentils or dried split peas myself. Yes, I've eaten them plenty of times, but they were already prepared for me. I was afraid to make beans from scratch. Why? I'm not sure exactly, just chalk it up to one of my many personal quirks and eccentricities. But, maybe I was just too lazy to deal with the steps it took to make beans.....soak overnight, rinse, sort, cook for long periods of time even after the pulses have soaked, etc.....so, I just talked myself right out of learning to prep them. No longer! One of my core desired feelings for this upcoming year is to be adventurous.....so bring on the pulse adventures from my kitchen!
Did you know it takes just as long to cook dried lentils and split peas as it does to make a pot of rice or quinoa on the stovetop??
Yep, I didn't either!
Maybe that's why week 1 of the pulse pledge challenge is to use split peas--it's a wonderful introduction into this world of affordable, nutritious, and sustainable legumes. Note: This isn't an ad for their site btw. I'm truly interested in expanding my culinary chops and learning right along with everyone else taking the challenge. So, I'm just sharing what I'm learning with y'all, that's it. Let's get to it!
So, my first intro into split pea world was by using none other than my stylish slow cooker. Presently, I'm totally in love with sweet potatoes and the smokiness of chipotle peppers....so I thought why not make a soup/stew with split peas using those flavors? Turns out, the people at the pulse pledge site thought of a slow cooker stew already....but with meaty kielbasa and more earthy spices like turmeric and ginger. So, I came up with my own variation.
My dad's response, as I was stirring the final product, "Wow, that looks like what your grandmother used to make", speaking about his late mother. What an awesome compliment to receive. If I'm half as good of a cook as her, I'd be happy. Ja-Ja (pronounced jay jay, the name we all called her), I hope I did you proud.
As for y'all, I hope you'll get into the kitchen to try this flavorful and heartwarming stew. It's a good one to share with family and friends during this festive time of the year. It's also economical, and satisfies week one's split pea challenge.
Now, let's learn about week 2. Would you like to join? Click here and let's go on the pulse journey together!
adapted from Pulse Pledge
So, one of my former jobs was a seasonal gift wrapper for a high end kitchen retailer. And you know what? I loved that job. Like seriously loved it.
As I wrapped, I enjoyed envisioning where this gift was going; who would open it; and what the response would be. Yes, I know I can be a bit of a dreamer and a romantic, but it made me so fulfilled to wrap with these images.
Even to this day, I still love gift wrapping. My mom usually lets me wrap things because she doesn't love it like I do. It makes me so happy to have a huge pile of items to wrap. And I had a fairly big stack last week. The only problem?
I don't love gift wrapping hungry. I needed something fast; something I didn't need fingers for (only utensils); and, something flavorful and fun. But what??
I really wanted hummus, but I didn't want to take the time to get out my processor and have to clean it all up afterwards. Wrapping things with so much romantic energy can wear me out, so I definitely didn't need to be scrubbing a sharp blade after all that taping and making bows.
The answer--just use all the ingredients without blending them together. Genius!
I made the tahini sauce in a small glass, sautéed chickpeas and red peppers with garlic and cumin, and put them over cooked quinoa for some extra fun. I couldn't make my fingers greasy by dipping chips in with my broken down hummus....greasy fingers don't look too cute on wrapping paper.
You can customize this however you like your hummus. Black olive? Great. Roasted garlic? Cool. Chipotle pepper? Sweet....well more like smoky. Or, original? Wonderful.
Come up with your own combo. Tag me with #fastfixfriday and #myhealingmirepoix. I want to see what you come up with. Happy wrapping!! ???
Happy Waffle Wednesday! Alright, so this week's waffle has been a few weeks in the making. Actually, I've been eating apple butter in my oatmeal for years and it occurred to me back in the early fall--could you make this into a waffle? And so, an idea was born.
Back in my gluten eating days, I could throw anything in with my base waffle mix and it would turn out every time. It didn't matter what combo I came up with, all purpose flour just made it happen.
Not so with gluten free baking--it's kind of a trial and error process. You've got to make sure you've got a good combo of wet ingredients to dry ones. If you use too much wet, things will not come together at all. Too little wet, and it's just a sticky mess.
But, just to be completely transparent, and show you my recipe testing isn't perfect....uhhh here's what my first *cough* mayyyybe the second *cough* experiment actually yielded.
Yep, no filter there. Those are straight burned. And once you moved past the charcoal, it was tasteless.
So, back to the drawing board.
Because I wanted this guy to be the star of my waffle creation.
So, third times the charm. I can't just create waffles the way I did it when I first found my waffle making swagger. It's a gluten free world I'm living in these days and my waffle game has changed dramatically. Thanks to a lot of research and experimenting (uhh more pics of that will not be forthcoming), I found an amazing recipe I was able to riff off of Cookie + Kate, a blog I've read and admired for a while. And hallelujah! What I needed to do clicked. The heavens opened up and the angels sang to me....success!! Or, were they singing about the upcoming Christmas Day? Either way, I celebrated a Christmas miracle in my own kitchen.
So, what did I use? Oat flour. Yep, those yummy, rolled, oaty-riffic, fave breakfast option of mine.
Who knew you could take those little guys and make them into this?
Well, Cookie + Kate did....I've just been outta the loop. For an embarrassing amount of time.
Oh well, no time like the present to learn. And y'all will be learning right along with me. Come on along!
To make these waffles spicier (my apple butter just had apples and apple cider in it), I added in cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg with the apple butter. Much better than the above version.
I may or may not have danced around the kitchen once I opened up my maker and realized this round actually worked! I mean, who doesn't when they tackle a culinary challenge or any challenge for that matter??
There are so many options to customize it for you and yours. Add in chopped walnuts, chopped pecans, or slivered almonds. Add in small, chopped pieces of apple. Serve with maple vanilla bean syrup. Serve with yogurt. Serve with sliced bananas and almond butter. Serve with extra apple butter and vegan (or dairy) butter. Sprinkle with walnuts or pecans. I mean apple butter itself is wonderful, but to make it with oats is glorious.
I hope I did you proud Mr. Apple Butter. Because you sure make me beam.
Won't you join me?
Share with me by tagging #wafflewednesday AND #myhealingmirepoix. I want to see what you create ?
Happy #scrumptioussunday! So, this time of year, some people review their "bucket list." This list can be about the events, things, and accomplishments they want to do before they die...or even just in the year previous.
I had a similar list years ago, but it got scrapped for a different type of bucket list: a culinary bucket list. What's that you ask? Well, it's a list of all of the things I want to make, create, share, and eat in my own kitchen. I've proudly had one since age 21. It included things like making croissants; boiling bagels; baking a gorgeous baguette; decorating a Yule log; and, creating roses out of icing. Can you tell I was a baking and pastry culinary student?
But, since I can't live on bread, cakes, and pastries alone, I added quite a few savory dishes as well. The first thing EVER on my culinary list so many years ago was making risotto. Yep, the cheesy, creamy, fancy comfort rice which loves all kinds of ingredients, savory and sweet.
At the time, I'd never eaten risotto before; and, I was fascinated by the method of stirring rice and adding bits of water at a time to release the magical starches. I attribute my desire to learn this Italian delicacy to Chef Giada DeLaurentiis. I began watching her show, "Everyday Italian", and just fell in love with the dishes she made (and let's be honest, she was my first girl crush). In fact, she was the one who lit my culinary fire. Her passion for food and her family traditions got me interested in getting in the kitchen for more than just Teddy Grahams and peanut butter (did anyone else do that after school??)
So, in learning this rice dish, I had many bumps in the road to my trek to risotto nirvana. As long as the rice wasn't scorched, I could just add more Parmesan and all would be ok. But, it wasn't long after those initial blips that I figured out my risotto making process---I had a certain pan, a basic recipe which I could customize to my flavor preferences, and my own special cup to pour broth into the rice. It became an art to me, and cathartic on so many levels. I released my worries as I stirred. I connected with friends over my creations. I enjoyed the entire process.
But, like the story of my waffles, it's been a long time since I made risotto. If I couldn't have Parmesan cheese, well then, I didn't want it. But, as time went by, I missed this dish more and more. And in part of finding my way into the kitchen again to heal from chronic fatigue, I knew it was time to recreate a cheeseless version which would heal my body and nourish my soul.
I used a combo of long grain and short grain brown rice (it's what I had on hand), leftover vegetable broth, and the broth I used to soak my sun dried tomatoes. The next time I'd recreate this dish, I'll use short grain brown rice only. Just for consistency of cooking time.....the two rices take different times to cook!
It was also my first time using sun dried tomatoes and it definitely won't be my last. They had a tomato-y flavor which is unmatched. The combination of these flavors was reminiscent of classic pizza flavors--tomatoes and basil. The cheese here?? Nutritional yeast. I wish you could hear the creamy sounds of all this stirring.
Today, I'm starting a new series, aptly called #fastfixfriday. In my old life (aka pre chronic fatigue diagnosis), by the time I reached Friday, I happily went to the nearest restaurant or fast casual dining option. I definitely didn't want to cook a meal. Now, in this new phase of being, I don't have the option of dining out (I'm still very sensitive to preservatives and allergens). So, if I don't cook now, I don't eat.
But, just because I cook most nights doesn't mean I want to spend hours in the kitchen after a long day of work. So, my option: fast fix meals which come together in less than 45 minutes. That means in the time it takes to get home; decide what to eat; place your order; either wait for delivery OR go to pick it up, your meal will already will ready to serve!
I don't know about you, but that sounds fabulous.
One of my go to's for a fast meal is pasta. While the pasta is cooking, I can fix anything in a skillet and just dump in the cooked pasta at the end and mix well.
The next question is what to fix in the skillet? For this dish, I opened up the fridge to see what I had left from the week. I had broccoli, carrots, onion, asparagus, an avocado, a bit of salsa, and a half a can of black beans just waiting to be used. Perfect!
I just washed, chopped, heated those all up together with salt, pepper, cumin, and chili powder. I served with chunks of avocado and a small side salad. I couldn't make the avocado chunks look really picturesque.....I was just too hungry.
The beauty of dishes like these is you can use whatever you have in your fridge, freezer, or on your counter and get to cooking! If you're a meat eater, you can add in some meat or cheese cubes. Heck, make it a family affair: divvy up cooking duties and divide and conquer. Or have a potluck with a few families to split up the cooking chores. The possibilities here are endless.....and I'm excited to tackle them with you!
Dinnertime cooking, to me, is fun and a chance to reconnect after a long day (or in the case of a Friday, a long week). It's a chance to nourish your mind, body, and soul.
So, what do ya say? Shall we get in the kitchen for a fast fix?
Yes, lets go!
Happy Waffle Wednesday!!!
I love to nurture my inner kid every time of the year. But during the holidays, I REALLY get into nurturing my inner child. I love wearing holiday sweaters, belting out festive tunes, and checking out lighted displays whenever I can. I also have a wonderful Rudolph beanie, complete with antlers and the red nose! Anything which reminds me of how excited I used to get at Christmas time I'm totally in!
Given all of my physical challenges I've experienced this past year with health, fatigue, and digestive issues, I'm appreciative of my child like qualities more than ever.
So, it gave me an idea: why not nurture my inner kid in the kitchen as well?
So, one of the waffles I wanted to recreate was one which reminded me of my fave childhood cereal. As a child, I would grab a bowl as big as my head, and pour it to the brim with Count Chocula and slice a banana on top of it.
Maybe I thought the fruit would totally counteract the sugar sweetened cereal? Gotta love being an '80s kid...
But, now I eat vastly different than those days. So, this is my attempt to "adultify" my fave kids cereal.
I think I did pretty darn good if I do say so myself.
I used my fave Simple Mills pancake and waffle mix (this isn't a sponsored post, I just love the product so much!) and mixed it with cacao powder, cinnamon, vanilla beans, and mashed bananas.
I even made my own almond milk for this special occasion (I'll post that recipe later)!
There are so many ways you can serve these waffles: you can drizzle these waffles with maple syrup and sliced bananas; or like me, serving it with almond butter, sliced bananas, and sprinkled with extra cinnamon and cacao powder--delicious!!
You could get even fancier and throw some of that good chocolatey cereal and marshmallows on top (if you can find it) just for old times sake! Celebrate the past you and the present you in just a few bites....nothing better than that!
Ready to dig in yet?? I totally was...these waffles didn't even stand a chance against my almighty fork. I think the Count of Chocula would have approved ??
I'd love to see you recreate these in your own kitchen! Share with me using #myhealingmirepoix and #wafflewednesday...can't wait to see your pics!!
You know what? Its officially turned cold here. Like freaking cold. Which is great for festive feelings and holiday tunes, but not so much for my thin skin. So, I knew what I needed to create on this Scrumptious Sunday which is a sure crowd pleaser: soup!
And I bet you noticed as you moseyed on over here to my little place on the world wide web, things look a bit different. So, let me explain and lets get reaquainted!
The amount of love, messages, tweets, emails, DMs, and in person feedback I got for my last post absolutely blew my mind. Seems some of y'all have had a food in your life you've not allowed yourself to have for one reason or another. And in beginning to break free of my self-imposed waffle ban, y'all are gathering the courage to break your own individual bans as well. That inspired me and got me thinking....is there something to this whole breaking free and enjoying our forbidden foods again?
Why yes there certainly is.
This response prompted me to do some soul searching in regards to my blog title and what I do as a blogger. Exploring my Brilliant View was really just a play on me having chronic Epstein Barr Virus, aka chronic fatigue syndrome. While this is my current reality, my life is much more than this virus. In fact, I'm quite multi-faceted. I have a lot of interests and a lot of gifts, so why not celebrate them all, or at least celebrate what is at the core of my soul? That felt much better.
This is where titling my blog after mirepoix came in. For those who don't know, mirepoix is a French term which references a roughly cut trio of veggies used as a foundation in a variety of dishes, ranging from soups to sauces. The veggies themselves vary in various countries and cultures. It doesn't matter what this grouping of veggies is called, the dish just wouldn't be the same without them. Even if you can't physically see them in the final version of the dish, you know by the taste they've become an integral part of its intricate flavor.
And this is where it applies to me: it doesn't matter what you technically call my "grouping" of life practices, my life just wouldn't be the same without them. By practicing them everyday, they effortlessly meld into my life and become automatically second nature. They are my foundation, my mirepoix. My preferred trio: cooking nutritious meals, living by my own personal desire map, and embracing ease in every area of my life by my practice of Strala Yoga.
For the days/weeks/months/years to come, I will be delving into each of these items in detail. But, for now, I'll just say welcome and get on with the soup!
I love me a one pot meal. Taking the time to chop once, dump everything into a pot, and then allow it to simmer just really trips my trigger. Well, let's be honest, the real reason I love one pot meals is because there is only one pot to clean up!
I also love seeing chunks of veggies floating in my soup. I prefer lots of veggies to a smaller amount of water. So, is it a soup? A stew? Just a pot of veggies with a little broth? It doesn't matter.....all I know is its just good. And so healing for my body, mind, and spirit. Just check out that rainbow of colors! Even the meat eaters in my family were very satisfied with the heartiness and flavors of this warming meal. Seems perfect for such an (almost) winter's night.....let me know what you think with #scrumptioussunday on Twitter and IG! Enjoy!
Click for printable recipe: Fire Roasted Chickpea Soup
One of the things I've missed since the beginning of my dietary changes (back in 2014) has been waffles. In fact, I gave up making them myself back in 2012. I can't tell whether it's sadder to have actually kept track of these dates or to have not made any myself in 4 years. Hmm....I'll choose the latter.
Well, why B? I felt I didn't have anyone to cook for.
Yes. See, back in 2011, I had a roommate/bestie. And a very beginner food blog. I loved cooking for other people. Me being able to eat the food was a bonus. I sheerly cooked for other people's benefit. So, I created waffle Wednesday in my house to have a weekly bonding ritual with my roommate. (I thought I was being original with the title back then...oh well). Each Wednesday, I'd get up before she awoke and I concocted a different recipe. They'd be ready just as she got up. It was a great chance to catch up and fuel up for our day. I looked forward to those moments and spent my week coming up with another recipe for us to try and for me to blog about. ***Need smthg else here***
Then, when she moved out and my then boyfriend moved in, waffle Wednesday stopped. Not because I didn't want to cook for him, but because our schedules didn't coincide. And he wasn't a breakfast for dinner fan, so waffles for dinner didn't become a thing either. (Yep, that's why we broke up...I wanted breakfast any time of the day...he didn't...major deal breaker ?!) I let my once beloved waffle iron begin to collect dust on the counter, then it became a hindrance, and I gave it away when I moved.
Looking back, I believe my not continuing to cook waffles happened because I lost the relationship with my best friend/roommate (it ended badly and we still haven't connected to date). Because it was my grave mistake which cost us our friendship. And because of that mistake, I began to punish myself in numerous ways (hello return to eating disorder land, depression-ville, and self sabotaging city) Pretty heavy stuff for those fluffy little waffles squares to shoulder huh?
I got to thinking last week, it was time to let myself off the hook and move out of my permanent residence in self punishment land.
For the past month, I've been eyeing various gluten free waffle recipes from some of my other food blog/food company friends. I'd spent days adding a waffle maker to my Amazon cart and then deleting it before I could finalize my order. Finally, last Thursday, the drool from the amazing waffle photos I was viewing on my iPad became too much and I finished my order. Hello Mr. Waffle Maker...nice to meet you!
While I was waiting for the box to arrive, I got busy figuring out my first waffle combo. After all, this blog is round 2 of food blogging and I've learned a lot since the first one which ended abruptly in 2011. I knew I wanted to reintroduce waffles in the most spectacular way. So, I went to the brand I know I can trust....Simple Mills.
Their products turn out wonderful each time I bake with them, so I knew using their pancake and waffle mix would create a fluffy, light, golden crumb. Plus, I can customize their mix to anything I want AND they've done the work for me by coming up with perfect combination of gluten free/dairy free/soy free/gum free flours which suit my belly just fine!
So what did I do to this wondrous mix? I added a few flavorful ingredients to brighten up an otherwise rainy, cold, and yucky day: lemon zest, vanilla bean, and frozen wild blueberries.
Ahhh, springtime in a waffle.
I topped them with some wild blueberries I simply warmed on the stovetop. I also thought a few drizzles of almond butter would be delicious.
But, last and certainly not least, I can't forget it is winter...so I wanted to add a sprinkle of snow ❄️ to my waffles (aka, shredded coconut).
So, the self punishment is over. And my waffle mania has been rekindled. I'm resurrecting Waffle Wednesday, beginning next Wednesday the 14th. So, enjoy the post today as my ode to a new waffle day, Healthy, Fluffy Thursday. Maybe it will catch on?
Orrrrr maybe not....it's just not as catch as #wafflewednesday.
If you've got a waffle combo you'd like me to create for the blog, I'd love to bring your creation to life. Leave me a comment or send me an email via the contact me link and let's chat!!
Click Here for a Printable Recipe: Lemon Blueberry Waffles