Happy 2019


So while the rest of the world is observing a Dry/Vegan/Meatless/Paelo/Whole 360/Gluten-free January, I seem to be eating more sugar and drinking more alcohol. It could have something to do with the fact that our heat is broken – that means OFF—for a week now while they find a new part for the motor. Happy 2019!  

I now know how those southern people feel when they move to New York. I’m writing this in a winter coat and dreading taking a shower because the second floor feels like Canada. So I’m blaming the cold on my inability to give up the satisfying things in life. I need those things. I’m cold.

Michael and I did resolve to give up meat this week which was going well until I made a pork shoulder. This is the recipe for Momofuku’s Bo Ssam that I made for a dinner party of 6, and it’s amazing and surprisingly easy. We also ate it for three days after the dinner party because the leftovers were so good.

Picture (obviously) from the New York Times

Picture (obviously) from the New York Times

So aside from that….we’re practically vegan. It is a good challenge though and has inspired some new dinners: fish tacos, Instant Pot Shakshuka (from Melissa Clark’s book Instant Dinner), shrimp with cauliflower puree. In other words, we’re not just eating pasta with the kids.

I also made my chocolate peanut-butter balls which aren’t particularly healthy but aren’t particularly unhealthy either (and this version included hemp seeds which are nutty and camouflage nicely). It’s a good snack for the ravenous 6-year-old that gets off the bus every day. I suspect that instead of eating lunch, he just says “poopy” and “fart” until recess. When he gets home he needs a snack the size of a meal. These balls are a good filler-upper for him and unlike the store-bought stuff, they are from real ingredients.

 Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup coconut flakes
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
1/4 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup peanut butter (or other nut/non-nut butter)
1/3 cup honey or agave

1. Grind oats, coconut, hemp seeds and chocolate chips in mini food processor.
2. Mix peanut butter and honey, then stir in oat mixture.
3. Roll into balls (add a few drops of water if too dry). Sprinkle with powdered sugar (for effect) and refrigerate.


the spiralizer

Okay I know this is has been trending for some time and I've nobly resisted the marketing and culinary media pressures but I finally gave in and just bought the damn thing: The Spiralizer Tri-Blade Vegetable Spiral Slicer. The one everyone says is the best including Cooks Illustrated so if you're gonna do it, this is the one. Not terribly expensive ($30) and actually super easy to use and clean (I wish someone were sponsoring this but they're not.)

I watched a short video of how to use it (you can make curly fries!) then experimented on three zucchinis. It looks really cool but how does it taste? If you cook it properly, it's actually really tasty and not so far from the real thing. I think it's best not to think you are replacing spaghetti but inventing a new dish altogether. And with that in mind, I have to say I kind of loved this one way more than I thought I would. The "noodles" held up to the sauce and it was creamy but not mushy--really satisfying for a healthy dish. I didn't force it on the children yet but I"m already thinking about ways to trick Nate into eating it. (Green spaghetti for St Patrick's Day?) I think I could also peel the veggies and the result would look more like pasta. Hmmm....

Zucchini "Alfredo"

3 zucchinis
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp cream cheese
1 tbsp sour cream
1/4 cup parmesan cheese grated

Spiralize the zucchinis. Sprinkle with salt and sautee in hot oiled pan for 5 minutes. In the meantime, microwave other ingredients in medium bowl for 30 seconds. Add "noodles" to bowl and stir. Add extra cheese.