I am at a place in life where I really value comfort. I’m not sure if it is because it is winter or because I’m getting older, but I feel done with pretenses and false fronts. I want things that are real, soul warming, and homey. I have a friend who describes relationships like this as being at the “stretchy pant stage” where you can show up at each other’s home wearing your worst and know you’ll be accepted the same as if you were at your best. I love those kind of friendships.
The same #nomakeupselfie level of comfort applies to the types of food I am actively seeking of late. For example, my bestie recently came over to watch the Golden Globes, and rather than bust out bread, cheese, and a main dish vaguely French in origin, I made a really lovely Thai beef stew. [Note: Make it. This weekend. You won’t regret it. Just don’t expect to have leftovers for lunch because you’ll eat it all.]
With that in mind, I present what is quite possibly the ugliest recipe I’ve developed. This is the opposite of fancy. This is single girl eating at its best.
Breakfast for dinner.
The very phrase makes me want to throw on a hoodie and curl up on my couch with Netflix. I recently told someone that I hated breakfast burritos. I realized afterwards that I had no idea how I felt about breakfast burritos. I hadn’t had one since I was in elementary school when a friend’s mother prepared them the morning after a sleepover and I remember being disgusted by the idea of eating a tortilla for breakfast. At this point in my life I also was convinced that I hated Chinese food. Clearly my palate was confused.
This isn’t quite a breakfast burrito, but it gets close.
While home for the holidays, I had a conversation with my mom about chopping herbs. I realized that I mainly just hack it when it comes to chopping herbs (Sorry–I couldn’t help myself!).
The technique that I wasn’t familiar with was the back-slice, shown in the below video. Here’s to better prepped ingredients!
Once I was done juicing I found myself craving food. And by food I mean non-raw, non-vegan, warm actual food, preferable with protein. At the same time, I did not want to throw off the momentum I developed during my cleanse. And thus this recipe was born.
What I love about this bowl is that I already had most of the ingredients in my fridge, I was able to put my newfound ginger peeling skills to use, and it is both healthy but hearty enough to ward off the inescapable D.C. chill of late.
A note about the dressing: It’s not going to be super saucy (unlike your blogging host, ba dum dum!). If you are looking for a heavier sauce you can make more. I include a little bit of water because I wanted it a bit more liquidy, but you can adjust based on your preference. If you want a kick, a heavy hand with the red pepper flakes will serve you well.
Ginger Tahini Dressing
1 clove garlic
1/4 inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
1/2 tablespoon tahini
1/2 tablespoon water
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Few grinds of salt and pepper
Red pepper flakes to taste
Grain of your choice (rice, brown rice, quinoa, etc.)
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1 handful broccoli flowerets
1 handful cauliflower flowerets
5 mushrooms, sliced
1 serving boneless, skinless chicken cut into 1 inch pieces
Begin cooking your grain base.
Combine all dressing ingredients in a food processor, and pulse until well mixed. Set aside.
Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add a dash of oil and saute the red onion and garlic until tender. Add the broccoli and cauliflower flowerets and cook until slightly tender. Add the mushrooms and saute a few minutes more. Remove the vegetables from the skillet.
Add the chicken pieces to the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cook the chicken. Return vegetables to skillet to reheat slightly (about two minutes should do it). At this point your grain should be done cooking and in a bowl. Add the chicken and vegetables to the bowl and drizzle the dressing on top. Top with bean sprouts and congratulate yourself on eating well.
[Update: AND, in case you are wondering how to store your ginger…I’ve got you covered there, too.]
It’s my first “figure out what I’ve been doing wrong” post of the year, and I’m really excited for this one. I love using fresh ginger in my cooking. Not only does it have a multitude of health benefits, but the warmth of the flavor adds a lovely layer of complexity. It’s also relatively inexpensive and stores well in the fridge. My one gripe about ginger is that it’s so difficult to peel and I end up wasting much of the root in the process.
If it’s the time of year for resolutions it means that it is also the time of the year for detoxes. Yup. I just went there.
I am writing this post in part because I recently did a juice cleanse and I want to share my thoughts in case you are thinking of doing the same [Executive summary: I was happy to be eating real food at the end]. The other reason for this post is that my best friend forwarded me the goop newsletter which included recipes for detox. And now I can justify reading said email as blog research. Win-win.
First things first. The juice cleanse.
Day One: I was cold/hot/hungry. I missed coffee greatly.
Day Two: I was cold/achy/crabby. I drank tea. Tea is not the same as coffee.
Day Three: I was cold/positive/kinda over it. So ready for some coffee.
Ultimately, it was helpful in that it made me very conscious of what I am eating, when, and why. I’m less drawn to dairy, sugar, and carbs than I was before and more likely to choose a fruit cup over a pastry at my local coffee shop. I am happy with these changes in my approach towards food and I hope to maintain them going forward.
There are arguments against cleanses and detoxes, but as I think about them I find myself deciding that they can be a useful tool to kick off a broader healthy lifestyle, despite being unsustainable over the long term. That said, I’m enjoying all the healthy recipes going around the Internet right now and hope to modify some in the future to keep the positive eating going strong.
What about you? Have you tried a cleanse? Would you?