The Pink Ticket

A playground of many muses.

The Pink Ticket - A playground of many muses.

Project 52: The Recipes Week 36; Overnight Steel Oats

Overnight Steel Oats

Overnight Steel Oats

It isn’t something I’d really call a recipe–it seems too, well… my normal.  I’m a huge fan of overnight oats during the summer.  Basically, just oats and fruit tossed in the fridge with some non dairy milk.  Not too long ago, I decided to up the game and use steel cut oats. They are much chewier than their old fashioned counterparts… and I love it.

I seriously don’t think of making this as a “recipe” but I’ve been asked several times “how to” and so this is my version.  Change it up, mix and match, add some seeds, try different fruits… by winter I’ll be cooking my oats again (maybe) but for now, soaked is king.  I prep these while I’m making dinner next morning.  It’s the perfect way for me to get my fruit in (other than a smoothie); the hemp and molasses give it a nice iron kick–which is perfect for anemic me.

Overnight Steel Oats
1 cup water
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon hemp seeds
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 date
1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
1/2 cup steel oats
2 Tablespoons chopped walnuts
1 cup chopped fruit

  • In a Vitamix add water, cinnamon, hemp seed, date, and molasses and blend until smooth and creamy.
  • In a plastic or glass container with a tight fitting lid, add oats, hemp “milk,” fruit, and nuts.
  • Place lid and leave overnight in the refrigerator

Stir well before enjoying.

Project 52: The Creatives Week 35; A morning after

                                              …

I’ve never had a decent cup of coffee
in Brooklyn, or LA. He grinned,
a crooked morning smile; I could tell
he didn’t care. Minds a million
middles of  nowhere. His eyes parsing
the half empty makeshift stage;
remnants of a dream shadowed
as the sun spurs the Atlantic…
The sound of the tube is full and musical.

Project 52: The Recipes Week 35; Plant-Based Protein-Packed Pot Pies

plant based protein packed pot pie

Pot Pie Goodness

Did the title get your attention?  For the protein obsessed, this recipe is a complete gem, while also getting in a huge does of fiber and staying low in fat.  It’s become something of a challenge for me to find at least one dish a week that is not only something I want to eat after a long day when I have no appetite but packs in a macro boost while shoving in as much micro nutrient density as possible.  I want to continue building muscle, which requires a lot of things–chiefly eating at night after lifting when I really don’t want to.

My mission is also to get my iron levels back up. As a lifelong anemic, lifting has quickly depleted any reserves I had, and while I’m supplementing twice a day, I’d like to cut that back in time.  As such, I have added lentils to my ongoing Amazon order along with hemp seeds (to make my own milk) and cook as much as possible in my cast iron arsenal.  I’ve also worked very hard to not drink any coffee or tea after eating for 2 hours as both of reduce the absorption of plant based iron significantly.

plant based protein packed pot pie

Protein Packed!

Initially, I wanted shepherds pie. And then I remembered that every time I make a shepherds pie, I’m never satisfied. But I knew I wanted something lentil based and something with potatoes. I saw a similar recipe over on Bon Appetite–which is where the gouda idea came from.  For my version, I cut out most of the the added oil and salt.  I also added some different herbs and more veggies.  The crust is almost the same as the one offered there, except I swapped out for a whole grain version…. and obviously wouldn’t use dairy cheese.

The green goddess gouda may not look too pretty but it is just the subtle tang this pot pie needed to make it a bit more interesting.  I was drawn to it since it is bean based.  While I did use cashew milk to make it, the beans added a nice touch. I may make it again using the agar to see if it makes a nice based gouda hors d’oeuvre.  Another day.

Protein-Packed Pot Pies

1/2 cup lentils
1 -ounce package dried porcini mushrooms
8 ounce package fresh sliced baby bellas
1 sweet onion
3 small/medium carrots, coarsely chopped
3-4 fresh sage leaves (about 1 teaspoon)
2-3 fresh springs thyme (about 1/2 teaspoon)
1 fresh sprig rosemary (about 1/4 teaspoon)
2 cloves garlic
2 Tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour
2 potatoes, chopped (I used yellow Yukon)
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup frozen (or fresh) peas
1 cup pinto beans

1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup corn meal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup Earth Balance margarine
1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 recipe Green Goddess Gouda (liquid smoke and agar omitted)

  • Bring three cups of water and lentils to a boil, reduce to simmer, cover and let cook 25 minutes. Drain lentils and mix with frozen peas. Set aside.
  • Soak dried mushrooms in 3 cups of hot water while the lentils cook. Drain (reserving the liquid) and chop mushrooms. Set aside.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add fresh mushrooms. Allow to cook 4-5 minutes, adding a few drops of water as needed to prevent sticking. Mushrooms should release their own water in the process, so if water is initially needed, add a teaspoon or two as needed.
  • Add onion, carrots, herbs, and garlic to the mushrooms. Reduce to medium heat and allow to cook 3-4 minutes until onion and carrots start to soften.
  • Sprinkle pastry flour over the vegetables in the pan and toss to coat. Mixture will get sticky and dry very quickly. Allow to cook like this for a minute.
  • Add reserved liquid, potatoes, soy sauce, tomato paste, and potatoes. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow to cook, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes are soft.
  • Remove from heat and mix with lentils, peas, and beans.
  • To make the crust, add the cider to the soy milk (or any non dairy unsweetened milk) and allow to sit while you add everything else to a bowl of food processor and combine until crumbly. A food processor is faster, but a pastry knife or (worst case) a big fork will also do the trick.
  • Add the milk to the dough and work to just combined. Dough will be sticky.
  • Prepare the filling in individual or a single big casserole dish (this makes about 5 servings).
  • Drop small pieces of dough over the top of the filling. It will not be completely covered but you don’t want big gaps between pieces.
  • Spread the green goddess gouda over the top of the dough.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Will be done with a toothpick stuck into the crust comes out clean.

Serve warm, sprinkled with a little nutritional yeast.

Project 52: The Creatives Week 34; The Cost of Books and Records

IMG_20150710_162803023 (2)

7 p.m. Tuesday traffic
radio pumping monotunes
I can’t even hear
as I wonder about a book
I’ve yet to read filled with stories
I long to hear again
and the book I’m reading
that is never the same
in a yearly ritual.
a longing to leave
behind the parts
per million
traversing the current
atmosphere
the feel of paper
roughly soft
dancing with words
creating their own music
measured and metered
against the authors tongue.
creeping along toward the turn
one final spin of the wheel
closer to somewhere
in the middle
slow hand picks up
where the semi leaves off
there is a guitar
neck broken
atop the trash
someones dream
forgone due to price of labor

Project 52: The Recipes Week 34; Taco stuffed squash

Taco Stuffed Squash

Taco Stuffed Squash

A friend gave me two 4-foot long squash over the weekend… and I do like a challenge.  One of my favorite late summer recipes from when I was a kid was my mom’s stuffed zucchini.  I’ve remade it many ways over the years, but being in a taco mode and having an abundance of squash, I literally followed the thought process: How can I make squash tacos? Maybe I can stuff the squash end like zucchini? Hey, taco stuffing!  Not too exciting, but it is how I came to this week’s recipe.

Taco Stuffed Squash
1 squash cut in half, seeds scooped (almost any variety will work)
1 cup polenta (yellow corn grits)
3 cups vegetable stock
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 Tablespoon garlic
1/2 teaspoon onion powder, or half onion, chopped fine
1 cup frozen chopped spinach
1 cup chopped tomato
1 cup taco lentils
1/2 cup Follow Your Heart cheddar, shredded (optional)
Taco sauce for serving

  • Add polenta, stock, nutritional yeast, garlic, and onion to a pot.  Bring to a boil, then give a good stir to remove any clumps.  Cover and reduce heat to low.  Allow to cook down, about 30 minutes, until thick. You will need to give a good stir again as it will be sticky.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Add spinach and tomato and allow to cook for another 2-3 minutes, until spinach is thawed.
  • Remove from heat and  add lentils and cheddar shreds, if using.
  • Stir the filling very well until everything is incorporated.
  • Place squash in the baking pan you will use.
  • Spoon filling into each half of squash, mounding until no more stuffing can possibly fit.
  • Bake, uncovered for about an hour, until the squash is tender and the stuffing has formed a nice, crusty texture.
  • Serve with taco sauce as desired.

Refrigerate left overs and reheat in oven at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until heated through.

Project 52: The Recipes Week 33; Sunshine Strawberries

Sunshine in a glass

Sunshine in a glass

This week I wanted to use up some frozen berries in my fridge. I thought about something between a cold soup and a smoothie… almost like a soft serve, just less.  That’s what I got.  The tart of the berries combined with the hint of sunflower seed and cinnamon made for a terrific and guilt free dessert treat.  I topped mine with a scoop of So Delicious Whip for an extra creamy treat.

Sunshine Strawberries
1 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 cup non dairy milk (I used hemp)
1 Tablespoon sunflower seeds
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of salt
sweetener of choice to taste (optional)

Add everything to a high speed blender or food processor and combine until smooth and creamy.

Serve immediately.

Project 52: The Creatives Week 33; Sunshine Biscuits

...

She stared hard at the picture. It was of nothing consequential; at best an inside joke shared between strangers on the internet hurling kilobytes of pixels. There wasn’t even anything tangible to touch–just a flicker of a screen as she scrolled along the page feed. Things and moments that mean something to someone somewhere; maybe she’d click the little heart here and there. An acknowledgement that she was here and shared a momentary nod of recognition about something.

She wondered if he missed the darkroom days; she assumed, of course, he knew his way around a box of developer and his talent wasn’t limted to the filter feature on his iPhone. It was a big leap, for a guy three states away whom she was now convinced longed for the days of film. Insta…nothing. Polarized.

Project 52: The Creatives Week 32; Close Encounters

...

“They move about at night, you know, dear.”  I watched as the woman eyed the shelf of half used, discarded dolls for resale. Nodding slowly, her eyes seemingly out of place from the age of her face and hands as she leaned heavily on her shopping cart.

“They’re just children’s toys,” I forced a smile.

She laughed and for second, I thought I saw a flash of green in her brown eyes. “The toys are downstairs; these are not meant for children!” her voice cracked; I wasn’t sure if it was age or agitation.

“I understand,” I nodded wanting to escape the corner she suddenly had me pinned. The thrift store suddenly felt like the walls were closing in and I would be trapped under the shelf of creepy porcelain and other dolls of varying and unknown origins. But I did not understand.

“Hmph,” she shook her head and slowly started to amble away. She stopped and picked up a small doll with a head too big for its body and cheeks too red. “My sister had one just like this once,” she grinned, the green sparkling from her brown eyes, “maybe they are just children’s fodder.”  She placed the doll back on the shelf with care, affectionately touching the red cheek before tearing the arm off.

“Why did you do that?”

“To keep us safe, dear.”  She turned and walked quietly toward the exit.

Project 52: The Creatives Week 31; Infinite

...

“If the doors of perception were cleansed
everything would appear to man as it is,
Infinite.”
~William Blake

Dark with rust, and secrets
journeys to places no longer
on a map. Forgotten spaces
of yesterdays letters, no more
tomorrows for lost treasures
sought. Words, elusive, stolen;
we be but thieves among nymphs
foibling madly into nothingness.

Project 52: The Creatives Week 30; Atop Mt Olympia

...

On Tuesday, I stole Hunter Thompson’s typewriter… the one he hijacked from Hemingway. It wasn’t hard to do; there was no security to speak of, and Hunter was asleep, his sidearm laying idly by.

He almost woke as I typed a note; a ransom demand for the Olympia done on the red Selectric. Tiptoed out around the dog on a quiet Colorado morning.

I woke the next morning, my excitedly typed pages missing, the typewriter gone. My ransom note taped to the bathroom mirror. The orange juice container mysteriously empty upon the kitchen counter.