Eating clean is an experiment in texture and flavor. You experiment with combinations you wouldn’t usually try because usually you’d have a Everything bagel slathered with cream cheese. Eating clean takes discipline. mmmm. cream cheese . . .
Ahem. Right. Clean eating.
It’s September second and the inter-webs are flooded with words about and recipes for pumpkin spice. I was initially thrilled, (because PUMPKIN SPICE!) and then amused, and then alarmed. My thoughts of adding to the glut here at EatWriteRepeat dissipated because of the overwhelming backlash. I had no idea pumpkin spice was such a heated topic! I mean, I know it’s all about rushing the season and what not, but good grief. No one grows this worked up over Christmas decor before Thanksgiving. The injustice!
Anyway. I’ll spare us all the drama. Here’s a sweet-potato recipe instead. Be warned though, I’m working on a savory pumpkin soup recipe for as soon as the temperatures dip a bit. And there’s a good possibility I’ll run by Starbucks this afternoon. *wink*
BAKED SWEET POTATO WITH SAUTÉED BABY TOMATOES AND FIGS
2 sweet potatoes
2 teaspoons clarified butter
1/2 cup baby tomatoes—halved (the Constellation mix is my fav)
6-8 fresh figs—halved
dash of salt
dash of pepper
dash of cinnamon
Bake sweet potatoes in the oven at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes. Until the skin is slightly crisped and the potato pierces easily with a fork.
In a pan, over medium heat, melt 2 teaspoons clarified butter. Toss tomatoes and figs into the pan with salt, pepper and cinnamon. Sauté until soft and the juice from the fruit is beginning to caramelize.
It’s Sunday morning and after a cold rainy day yesterday and a very cool night, I’m caught somewhere between late summer and early fall. This is evidenced by several nectarines on my counter, quickly becoming over-ripe.
I’ve baked them into almost every muffin, cake, and pastry I can devise this week, so it seemed unwise to bake them into anything else this morning. (My waistline doth protest!) But what if . . .
This is my favorite question, by the way. It’s how I begin every story and every new recipe.
What if I let them stand on their own? Halve and pit, sprinkle with cinnamon and glaze with honey. Broil for a quick minute or two so they warm and singe. And then top with ice cream! What’s better than ice cream for breakfast?!
Unfortunately, Cotton Candy Ice Cream was the flavor of the week, according to my kids, and it is all I had in my freezer. Nasty.
Solution: make my own. But alas, I don’t have an ice cream maker.
Pffft. No worries. You don’t need one for this recipe.
Just a freezer, a blender, and a few hours.
So from my late-summer-early-fall kitchen to yours: homemade Cinnamon-Rum Ice Cream, excellent over honey-glazed nectarines (or peaches).
This morning this is breakfast, but dessert is an excellent option as well.
CINNAMON-RUM ICE CREAM
2 1/2 cups whipping cream
2 1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup white sugar
a dash cinnamon
a dash of ground cloves
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp rum extract (or a teaspoon or two of the real thing!)
In a blender, combine the ingredients and whirl until frothy, and the sugar has dissolved. Pour into a metal bread-pan and freeze for 4-5 hours at least, preferably overnight.
You know when you’re so hungry because you forgot to eat breakfast or plan for lunch and it’s 2pm and you’re ready to eat your arm?
Yah. Good times.
Well, this one’s for you.
Prep and cook time: 10 minutes flat. Boom.
You can eat and just tuck that Hangry back in a little.
The world is safe for another day.
I love how a good scramble can do that. *wink*
GARLICKY CHICKEN AND FRESH TOMATO SCRAMBLE
Note: This recipe is super versatile. Fresh out of chicken? Turkey works. Or pork. Or last night’s steak. Or even a can of tuna. Not a meat person? No biggie. Leave it out.
Meat of some kind, about 1/2 a cup, or not! (See note above).
1 fresh tomato
1 teaspoon diced garlic
1 teaspoon onion flakes
Pepper to taste
1 teaspoon clarified butter
In a frying pan over medium heat, melt butter and toss in meat. Turn and coat and then toss in garlic, onion, and diced tomato. Simmer and mix until everything is heated through and smells AMAZING. Crack two eggs right into the pan, and using a spatula mix it around a little to combine all the ingredients. Then allow the whole thing to cook, covered, for about three minutes or until everything has set. You shouldn’t have any runny eggs.
Serve hot with your favorite fruit or veggie.
Kitchen gadgets are like shoes. The more you have the more you need because you just never know when you might need that avocado cutter or counter-top garlic chopper! For real.
However. There are a few kitchen gadgets/appliances I’ve found it impossible to live without—especially as I am cooking for six people—breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And several of my tribe have food/eating issues. (See my previous post).
My food processor has been a Godsend in this regard, and lately I find myself using it almost everyday. It’s a hard worker and it covers everything from taking care of onions so I don’t have to cry (more than necessary) over the dinner-making process, to baby-food puree, sauces and dips, and even shredding meat for sandwiches! I love that thing.
But yesterday something arrived in the mail that may rival my love—at least in the veggie department.
This. Thing. Boom.
I refer to it as my food processor’s pretty little sister.
Is that mean?
I don’t even know. Anyway.
Now, I have a big kitchen and room for a few extras, the unnecessary luxury of a spiral vegetable slicer being one such thing. I’m a kitchen gadget nerd. That said, if you are trying to incorporate more veggies (or fruits!) into your diet, or your kids’ diets, this may be quite useful. I made zucchini noodles topped with a fried egg for lunch yesterday and my third-born ate it all. Now, she is normally a great eater (my one and only) but even that was stretching it for her. And yet the novelty of the noodles won over her sweet but occasionally-stubborn toddler heart.
And me? Well, I’m sold. In fact, here’s breakfast this morning:
SPIRAL SKILLET APPLES
1 apple, (spiralized on the smallest-noodle setting)
1 small onion (also spiralized on the smallest-noodle setting)
1/4 c of finely-diced dried fruit (figs/prunes/appricots/rasins/craisins/etc)
1 Tablespoon clarified butter
Sprinkling of cinnamon to taste
In a medium-hot skillet, sauté dried fruit in butter until soft. Add the onions and sauté until they begin to soften and then the apple spirals. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Cover the skillet and bake until the apple is soft—no more than a couple minutes. Serve hot.
• Note: If you choose to forgo the spirals and just slice your apple, then follow all the same steps above. But dice the onions, and when you add the sliced apples, let them bake a few minutes longer in the covered skillet.