An Open Cookbook

An Open Cookbook


Oatmeal Shake-Down

I had the day off from work the other day and after our morning smoothie I wanted to fix a meal that I wouldn't necessarily have time to make on a workday. Oatmeal came to mind. We recently had company and had a box of flavored oatmeal packets. I do love those, but they are so sugary and sweet.

The fine-mesh strainer hanging in the kitchen materialized in my mind as a solution to separate the oats from the sugar. I quickly got to work. Here is how it shook out:

Place a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl. Pour contents of oatmeal packet onto strainer.

Shake strainer over bowl to separate sugar from oats.

Boom. You save yourself over 1 tablespoon sugar (3 teaspoons) enough to add a little bit of natural sweetener and other add-ins like seeds and nuts.

It was an interesting and somewhat empowering experiment. If you ever find yourself in a similar situation of wanting oatmeal without all the sugar in the have a solution: shake it out!

Almond and Blackberry Oatmeal

1 serving

1 oatmeal packet, sifted
1/4 cup water, or more to taste
1 tablespoon flax meal
1 tablespoon ground almonds
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pinch salt

6 blackberries
1 tablespoon sliced almonds

Combine oats and water in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium-low heat until water is slightly reduced and oatmeal is thickened, about 5 minutes.

Stir flax meal, ground almonds, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and salt into oatmeal. Cook until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes more.

Transfer oatmeal to a bowl and top with blackberries and sliced almonds.


Spiralized Carrot and Apple Slaw

We had my Omi and her husband and little boy over for dinner a couple weeks ago. The menu was pulled pork sliders, spicy black beans, and carrot and apple slaw. Wait...omi what? When I did yoga teacher training, we were assigned a buddy and that person was your 'Omi'...your om-friend. My Omi and I immediately became friends. So for the past year or so, she and I just refer to each other as 'Omi'.

R and I recently discovered how easy pulled pork is to prepare. We had a friend over a the weekend before having Omi over and loved it so much we had to make it again. We got some really nice pork shoulder from The Swinery and went from there.

The following recipe was one I made up for the slaw...

Spiralized Carrot and Apple Slaw

Serve this slaw with pulled pork, as a relish for sandwiches, or as a light appetizer salad. The carrots and apple eventually break down into easy bite-size pieces.

Yields 4 to 6 servings

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and black pepper to taste

3 large carrots, run through a spiralizer
1 large apple (such as Honeycrisp), run through a spiralizer
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1/4 bunch cilantro, minced
1 large clove garlic, minced

Combine olive oil, lemon juice, maple syrup, mustard, cumin, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a jar with a lid; cover and shake vigorously until dressing is light yellow and smooth.

Combine carrots, apple, green onion, cilantro, and garlic in a large bowl; add dressing. Mix salad using tongs to fully coat all ingredients.


Zoodles with Chorizo, Avocado, and Corn


Zucchini made into the shape of noodles, aka 'zoodles' have become a household name in our kitchen. 'Want to have pasta for dinner? Sure. Let's add zoodles.'  'Let's have something lighter for dinner tonight. Ok. Zoodles? Great.' These are regular conversations in the midst of our other pizza or couscous nights.
Zoodles or other spiralized vegetables really are a great addition to or alternative to pasta on the dinner table. Although they don't taste like pasta, they do look like pasta and you even get to twirl it on your fork.
One night we wanted a lighter dinner after a rich-food-heavy weekend. We had leftover chorizo, roasted corn in the freezer, and an about-to-be-overripe avocado. The spiralizer got pulled out of the cabinet, zucchini became zoodles, and synergy happened.
And this happened... 

Zoodles with Chorizo, Avocado, and Corn

3 to 4 servings

2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
3 zucchini, run through spiralizing device (zoodled)
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, or to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup chorizo
1/2 cup frozen roasted corn (Trader Joe's)
2 cloves garlic, minced
red pepper flakes to taste
1 avocado, cut into cubes

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; add zoodles, cumin, salt, and pepper to the hot oil. Cook seasoned zoodles, stirring occasionally, until most of the water is evaporated and zucchini is halfway tender, 5 to 10 minutes.

Heat a separate skillet over medium heat; add chorizo and cook until chorizo is browned and crumbly, about 10 minutes. Add corn; cook, stirring occasionally, until corn is cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir garlic into zoodles and cook until garlic is fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Mix chorizo, corn, and 1 tablespoon olive oil into zoodles and toss to combine; season with red pepper flakes. Transfer zoodles and chorizo to serving bowls; top with avocado and season with salt and pepper.


Kale Salad with Soft-Boiled Fresh Eggs

A year has gone by since the last post and a lot of new and wonderful changes have come into my life since then. The top three: love, a new neighborhood, and farm-fresh eggs.
We have been visiting the local farmers' market on Sundays and have recently started buying the farm-fresh eggs from Green Bow Farm. I did a little experiment earlier last week where I soft-boiled a grocery store-purchased egg and one of these farm-fresh eggs. The conclusion has changed our ways. The farm-fresh egg yolks were so deep yellow and rich we couldn't help but yelp 'omg' as we took our first bites with wide-open eyes.

Yesterday afternoon I was coming home from teaching yoga, and R and I were really hungry. I suggested a salad and he suggested protein. Conclusion: a satisfying, 'meaty' salad. This recipe is what we came up with...and kind of keep talking about. 

Take-home message of the day: go to your local farmers' market, buy a carton of fresh eggs, and never look back.

As with most of my recipes, the ingredients weren't measured, so make changes to your taste. All the cooked portions were done on an electric stovetop if you are using a different cooking surface, times could vary. I highly recommend a glass of red wine alongside your salad, no matter what time of day it is.

Kale Salad with Soft-Boiled Fresh Eggs
Serves 2 hungry people

Simple Vinaigrette

1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 to 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
1 dash garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste


2 eggs
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup frozen corn
1/2 bunch kale, ribs discarded and leaves chopped
1 cup baby spinach, chopped
1 carrot, grated
2 tablespoons dry-roasted salted almonds, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons shredded white Cheddar cheese
2 strips thick-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled

Combine lemon juice, 1/4 cup olive oil, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a plastic or glass container with a lid; cover container and vigorously shake until dressing is light yellow and evenly combined. Taste, adjust seasonings, and set aside for flavors to blend.

Fill a small saucepan with water and carefully place eggs in the water; cover saucepan. Turn heat up to high and set timer to 10 minutes. Once water starts to boil, reduce heat to medium and continue cooking until timer goes off. Turn heat off and allow eggs to sit for 1 minute. Transfer eggs to a small fine-mesh strainer, pour hot water out of saucepan, and run eggs under cold water to stop the cooking process. Set strainer on top of the saucepan in the sink and allow cold water to run over eggs for a few minutes. Turn water off and let eggs sit in the cold water.

Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat; add red bell pepper and corn and saute until corn is hot and red pepper is slightly tender, about 5 minutes.

Combine kale, spinach, carrot, almonds, white Cheddar cheese, and red pepper-corn mixture in a large bowl. Shake the salad dressing one more time and pour over kale mixture; fold salad using tongs until all ingredients are evenly coated.

Transfer salad to a serving bowl; top with bacon crumbles. Peel eggs and carefully slice them over the salad in case yolks drip. Arrange egg halves around the edges of the salad.


Recipe from the Mat

As you may have noticed, I have been away from the blogging world for several months. I started a yoga teacher training program in October and life got really busy! For several months I worked, practiced yoga, went to training, ate, and slept. It has been the most amazing, and life changing experience of my life. I met such an awesome group of people along the way that has now become an important community in my life. And after those busy months, I am now a yoga instructor, teaching a few times a week. It has changed my perspective on yoga and life in general and look forward to how it will change and unfold more and more.

So now the two passions in my life, food and yoga, are integrated into my daily routine. Another addition to my life has been a Vitamix. I know, I know...sounds a bit insane to mention an appliance. But all jokes aside, it has changed my life too. Smoothies, soups, applesauce, and much more have become an integral part of my day. All the fresh fruit and vegetables throughout the day in different forms really makes a difference in how a person feels. I am so energized from the morning smoothie, and actually kind of miss it on days I don't have one. And the soups! I make a big batch on Sundays, and it carries me through usually three lunches. Everyone around me gets a daily earful about the Vitamix and what a difference it makes in a person's life.

With all that said, I'd like to share with you some of the life lessons I've learned along the journey of the past several months. We had a party the night we graduated and we had to each do an exhibition of our experience through teacher training. It could be artistic or expressive in any way. To weave my two passions together, I wrote a recipe.

Recipe from the Mat

This recipe is a compilation of lessons learned over the past several months from our leaders, from other teacher trainees, readings, experiences from classes, training sessions, the Vitamix, and the wonderful and unexpected by-products along the way.

  • Leave your ego at the door.
  • The moment you step on the mat, you are exactly where you are supposed to be.
  • Remember to breathe.
  • Those that we surround ourselves with are a mirror of ourselves.
  • Our voice is a powerful tool. Use it wisely.
  • 'Each of us have our own authentic path. We just need to stop trying, stop willing, and just let it happen.' -Baron Baptiste
  • Soften your shoulders.
  • Embrace your best attributes.
  • Option to drop to your knee.
  • On karma - If you you do the action, it will come back to you. If you don't do the action, it won't come back to you.
  • Remove the filler words.
  • Growth happens when we open ourselves up to change.
  • 'Make your breath more interesting than your thoughts.' -Sarah G
  • Soften your gaze.
  • There are endless possibilities when it comes to fruit and vegetable combinations. Always keep experimenting.
  • Follow your heart and the universe will provide the rest.
Place all the ingredients in a Vitamix; blend on High until desired consistency is reached, at least 5 minutes.