Morning Cookin’

I’m a morning person, meaning the daylight doesn’t send me flying back under my sheets as if I were Nosferatu (except when I’m royally hung over, in which case a total eclipse would be most appreciated.) However, I like to really blend into my mornings. I hate being rushed. It’s not that I’m the high maintenance type of girl that needs hours to apply layers of makeup—mascara, maybe, and I’m out the door—or finagle her hair into a fun do—clearly, I don’t have a lot to work with—but I like to spend my mornings mentally preparing myself for the day, which means ample time for oil pulling, a shower that isn’t hurried, time to make 3 outfit changes incase I’m feeling a little chaotic, and moments to listen to a few dubstep beats that are owning my wobbly soul at the time.

An original player in the Dubstep genre 🙂

Can I have her legs, please?

 

Sometimes inspiration poor planning means I have to get extra beauty sleep in order to wake up and concoct some meal. Plus, I totally dig the morning sunlight for photos. Here is a lunch/dinner I found that will hold me over for 4 meals! It all starts with salmon. During my pesco days I adored this pink fish. I just couldn’t get enough of it. And then I was kind of over it after trying haddock that wasn’t breaded, battered, and fried into oblivion. Salmon took a back seat. I find salmon to be a finicky fish to cook, despite protests that it’s so easy to work with. Mind you it isn’t difficult, per say, but if you walk away for a hot second to long you’ll come back to a pink slab of tough-mess. Edible, but not savory. I’ve charred more than my fair share of salmon, and I admit it’s still a fish I’m working on. Questionable-ness aside, this is hands down the most delicious salmon meal I’ve ever had.  The glaze was perfect: not too sticky and not too sweet. Unlike the partners on Dancing With the Stars, the glaze and salmon meld together, taking care to work in harmony and not outshine the other one.

Fiscal Flash:  don’t be financially intimidated by this meal. I’ll be honest and say I don’t have the money to buy wild Alaskan salmon which is well managed, full of all the good stuff, and yada, yada, yada. If you are eating salmon on a regular basis then farmed might not be the way to go, but for the occasional meal a little bit of farmed salmon is not going to kill you, just like the occasional Big Mac won’t send a healthy person into cardiac arrest. It may seem tempting and easy to buy frozen filets, which I’ve done before, but don’t be afraid  to venture on over to the fish counter. Look for salmon per pound. Those perfect portion filets might seem the good way to go, but I was able to get 1.20 Lb of salmon for $7.50, whereas each 6oz salmon filet would have cost me $4; you do the math per pound and per serving.  Finally, to skin or not to skin? I’m personally a huge fan of the skin. It tastes great and is absolutely gorgeous to look at, like marbling on a perfectly aged steak (which I haven’t actually seen in real life, but it looks amazing on T.V.)  If you are frying or grilling salmon keep the skin on to make flipping it easy. If you are oven baking it you can go skinless. As with all cook, it’s really up to you, but you’ll likely only find skinless on the pre-portioned selection.

To accompany the fish I used rice noodles, which are very rapidly becoming a key player in my shopping cart. For gluten-free ladies and gents these are a god send. Even better, you don’t have to stand over a hot pot making sure they don’t stick together.  Just place them in a bowl, pour boiling water on top, and let them sit for 5-8 minutes (or whatever the package says.) Drain and give them a quick rinse with cold water. They are a little bland on their own, but great covered in whatever sauce and glaze you are making.

Okay, enough of the nitty gritty. Savor these pictures and check out the recipe.

Gorgeous!

 

Noodles soaking up the sauce. I let them rest for about 20 minutes and drained the excess.

Lunch!

What happens after “the talent” is done getting pics taken.

A mix-and-match breakfast! I used the “runt” piece as a taste tester. Boy, I was soooo amped for lunch

 

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

 

 

What Can I say? I’m the Miami Heat of Cooking!

Yesterday I cooked. Furiously. I came back from 8 hours of multitasking on 2 photocopy machines—I could live without ever seeing the button “properties” again—and needed to calm down. For the most part, the kitchen is generally my safe haven. The sun was still out, so as someone who’s working on their food photography skills, I jumped into action. I managed to take most of my photos before it got dark, and I tinkered around with the poor man’s photo shop (Picasa) to get some editing ideas. A fun and delicious evening. Hints and tips are welcome!

We’ll start at the end. Yesterday I felt like eating dessert first. I found a really awesome recipe on Pinterest a few weeks back for raw vegan chocolate mousse (there are so many floating around with varying ingredients) and decided that just had to happen. If you haven’t ever had raw vegan chocolate mousse…you just have to. That’s it. End of  story. It’s so decadent and not that bad for you, which are all good things in my book. Technically this particular mix isn’t 100% raw vegan (it’s more like 98%) because we use honey, which some vegans do not eat because it may harm bees, but it’s pretty darn close. If you want to go the full monty, soak some Medjool dates (or any dates, I suppose, but you can find those at a local co-op) in water for at least 2 hours and that will be your sweetener. At the last moment, sprinkle some berries on top and enjoy. I took the pictures in a pretty cup, but I’ll be honest and let you in on a secret. I actually ate some of it out of the food processor. Blade and all. My justification: it saves on dishes!

I won’t lie. The banana is mildly suggestive. PG-13.

My personal favorite!

 

I then decided my night needed a more visceral angle. My response was to grill up some red meat. Now when I take the time out to buy steak, which only happens once or twice a month, I go all out on the prep. Maybe it’s a rub, or a glaze, or both, but I very rarely slap it onto the grill and say “there.” My delicious mousse needed an equally delicious mate. I married my love off all things balsamic and coffee rubbed (although I don’t actually like to drink coffee) and found this delicious recipe. I only had plain balsamic and olive oil, but I used the other spices. Trust me, I don’t have flank steak money (a close cousin to McDonalds money), but I was able to turn this okay cut of meat into something delicious. For a side I made something I call: lazy man (or woman) “guac”. Slice up ½ an avocado, ½ a Roma tomato, and sprinkle with garlic sea salt flakes. No need to mash (unless you want to.) Bon appe-yum-yum. Note: I took this photo so you could have an idea of what I was eating. It got a little dark out by the time it was all said and done.

 

And finally, to tie everything together, I decided I needed a stiff drink. During my last week at Goodwill I bought a Cocktail book, which has proved to be most useful—or perhaps most wallet breaking, as time goes on.

My SAT reading comprehension skills are really coming in handy.

I guess we shall see. I found a recipe for a frozen daiquiri, so I made one from scratch and not that bottled stuff! I admit, it was a little strong, but prepared drinks aren’t necessarily something you should guzzle down. Nope, they need to be savored. Raw vegan chocolate mousse? Well, that’s another story. A very messy story.

 

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Mango Soup

Sleep quality has improved ten-fold since getting my new bed. I love it. I feel rejuvenated in the morning. Heck, I’m bright eyed and busy tailed at 6:45, which is quite the feat! This morning was no exception, and I was a busy bee in the kitchen making kale chips for my yoga comrades (Saturday is teacher training day) and some raw soup to take to class. My last foray with raw soup—the carrot recipe—was not the greatest, but I have made a few variations of this one, so I knew I wouldn’t be terribly let down.  If you love mango, you must try this.

Cold Mango Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 large mango, peeled and destoned
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1-2 small chilli peppers, minced (or to taste)
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp grated or minced ginger

Preparation:

Process all ingredients together in a blender until smooth and creamy, adding a bit more or less water as needed. Chill before serving. Makes two servings.

You’re in and out in 15 minutes max, and if you put your onion in the refrigerator the night before you’ll cut down on the teary-eye factor. If you don’t have whole chili peppers, approximately ½ a tsp of pepper flakes is equal to one pepper. Adjust accordingly. I’m a wussy and should have done a few less flakes, but it was still darn tasty.