The Pink Ticket

A playground of many muses.

The Pink Ticket - A playground of many muses.

Project 52: The Recipes Week 8, Tahini Miso Slaw

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Not your average slaw!

I get bored with salads so this week decided to change it up… I also wanted to squeeze in as many anti-inflammatory foods as possible since I’m recovering from injury.  This slaw brings together carrots, cabbage, and horseradish root to meet that bill.  Enjoy!!

 

Tahini Miso Slaw
3-4 small stalks of broccoli
1 lb carrots
1/2 small head purple cabbage
1/4 – 1/2 cup pickled horseradish root (to taste)

For the dressing:
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 c rice vinegar
3 Tablespoons tahini
1 Tablespoon yellow or white miso
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 Tablespoons water

  • Using the shredding blade on your food process, run through the broccoli, carrots, and cabbage. (You can also buy all three pre shredded if you want to save time.)
  • In a large salad bowl add the shredded vegetables, and the horseradish.
  • In a small blender or shaker bottle, add the dressing ingredients and blend, or shake, very well.  Shaking may take up to a minute to fully incorporate.
  • Add dressing to vegetables and toss to mix.

Tip: if you are eating salad all week, like me, only add dressing just a few hours before serving.

 

Project 52: The Creatives Week 8, Wrong Guy

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She noticed his eyes kept darting quickly toward her chest. One of them, she thought, why hadn’t she noticed this on any of their other dates?

“Is it true?” he asked, sipping his beer, pointing quickly toward her chest.

She looked down, realizing he’d been distracted by the pin on the lapel of her denim jacket. She grinned slightly; one thing a kid of the 80s couldn’t resist was a basket of little one-inch pins near a cash register. Sorting through them risking some type of blood borne pathogen from sticking ones finger 18-odd times looking for the gold. It would take until sometime in 2005 for her to finally find that one worthy a space on her brand new denim jacket: “I slept with Mick Jagger.” It was the perfect irony, especially since the jacket was a knock off of 1980s UK fashion.

She never thought when fastening the $3 button on her jacket anyone would think it as serious–like Mick handed out souvenir buttons at the end of the night? But this was the third such inquiry and she began to wonder not about what this said about her, but her choices in whom she chose to date. The casual trepidation with which they asked raised her curiosity: was it fear or fascination?

“Does it matter?” she asked coldly.

“Well, uh,” he stammered slightly staring into his beer, “it’s kinda funny, if it’s a joke.”

She finished off her drink and threw a $20 on the table. “Keith Richards is my favorite Rolling Stone,” she said before leaving.

Project 52: The Creatives Week 7, The Death of Bonnie and Clyde

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Love among murderers, they say, is the only thing that doesn’t die; that even for all the folklore, the rumors never truly pan out. “For those who rely on fact,” Ms. Parker snorts as she snuffs out the Camel. She sits alone at night amid the shadows always on the right side of the bench. She laughs, “Shotgun style.”

“But still.” she sighs as she lights another smoke, “there is something to be said about when you’re poor.  The options are really quite different.”  The night falls quiet around her sadness and she lets the blue smoke fill the spaces. She’s nothing more to say as she pulls her skirt, smoothing it gently over the scars, smearing ash.

Project 52: The Recipes Week 7, Lentil Walnut Sausage

Pizza: walnut lentil sausage, chard, mushrooms, broccoli, and Tease "mozz"

Pizza: walnut lentil sausage, chard, mushrooms, broccoli, and Tease “mozz”

Yes, lentil walnut sausage crumbles. Ever since I had a raw vegan pizza in Minneapolis that featured a mushroom walnut sausage I’ve given my view of walnuts a whole other view.  Worlds were opened!! Ok, a bit dramatic, but I figured if I could find another way of packing in this little super food from time to time, then it would be a win.  Actually, I’ve grown to love some unconventional pizzas–packing mine with avocado, chard, beans, and now lentils and walnuts.

Walnut Lentil Sausage on a Rye Crispbread

Walnut Lentil Sausage on a Rye Crispbread

This recipe extends beyond pizza, of course, but that was my first tried and true test.  It lends itself to spicing up a salad, accenting a sandwich, and the always favorite of mine: gravy with biscuits.  The recipe below easily tops a 14 inch pizza with about a quarter cup left over.

Lentil Walnut Sausage Crumbles
1/2 cup lentils
1 1/2 cups water
1 Tablespoon fennel seed
1 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon (more or less to taste) red pepper flakes
3 Tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon coconut oil

  • In a small saucepan add lentils and water.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Cover and reduce to simmer. Allow to cook until lentils are soft and most water is absorbed (approx 30 minutes).
  • Strain any excess water and return pan to stove.
  • Add in all spices, soy sauce, lemon juice, coconut oil, walnuts. Combine well.
  • Increase heat to medium and stir often to avoid sticking.
  • When all liquid has been absorbed, remove from heat and allow to sit 5 minutes.

Top pizza, salads, sandwiches, etc. as you will.  Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Project 52: The Creatives Week 6, Coffee Mate

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She ran her hand over his. The chill of platinum slid past her fingers.

“Did you know you were married when you asked me out?” she stared across the table, his blue eyes electric.

Another lifetime ago she wouldn’t have cared, wouldn’t have questioned. Oh, how the times have changed, she thought.

He uttered a slight laugh, “I don’t wear it while I’m working out.”

“Just on dates?”

“It’s,” he paused.

“Complicated?” she offered snidely.

“Not what you think.”

She knew she should get up, leave the cafe, but she wanted to know how the story ended–even if it was predictable.

“It’s my grandfather’s ring. I just wear it sometimes.”

She laughed to herself. There was always a part of her that wanted to believe the lies. Maybe it was true, but it never had been before. She watched as he put the ring in his pocket, said something about not wanting her to be uncomfortable. She’d finish her coffee, make an excuse to leave. There would be a few awkward days in passing at the gym, but like everything time pretends to erase this encounter would fall into irrelevance.

Project 52: The Recipes Week 6, Maqui Mousse

Maqui Mousse

Maqui Mousse

So many exciting things going on this week, I wasn’t sure I’d get a real recipe in and had planned to talk about the new-to-me things that I tried this week instead. As luck would have it, though, one of the new-to-me things popped into my head an inspired recipe for the week. Fortunately, my first attempt actually turned out and didn’t require any tweaking–a rarity in writing recipes.

Kombucha

Kombucha

But first, I was proud of myself for surpassing the kombucha fear and trying a few bottles.  I enjoyed it greatly and will be likely going back from time to time. Why the fear? I don’t know… any beverage that warns not to shake it and lists 100% love in the ingredients makes me skeptical.

Maqui Berry Powder

Maqui Berry Powder

The second new-to-me thing was maqui berry.  I saw a ketchup recipe using this superfood in my Superfood Kitchen cookbook and decided to try it out. A little sticker shock later, I decided the flavor had to lend itself to something more than ketchup and better than a smoothie additive.  Bringing us to this week’s recipe.

Maqui is a Chilean berry superfood.  It has a great flavor–reminiscent of a cross between pomegranate and raspberry.  This isn’t really a practical purchase:  it’s not widely available at a regular grocery store (I live near Whole Foods) and I paid about $18 for a 4 ounce package (18 tablespoon servings).  Still, if you want to splurge in your budget this is definitely one way to go.  For those who don’t… I’ll be back next week with the more probable recipes!

Maqui Mousse
1 – 12 ounce package firm tofu
4 tablespoons maqui powder
2 tablespoons agave syrup (or more to taste)
1/4 cup raw almonds
7 pitted dates
1 teaspoon vanilla

  • Soak your almonds and dates for 3-4 hours.  Alternately, bring a few cups of water to a boil, add almonds and dates, cover, and let soak 5 minutes to soften.
  • In a high speed blender or food processor, add tofu (do not press), maqui powder, almonds, dates, agave, and vanilla.
  • Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
  • If needed, add more agave to taste.
  • Transfer mousse into serving dishes and chill 2-3 hours.

Garnish with fresh berries, nuts, chocolate shavings, and/or coconut.

Valentine Day Resolutions… Year 16

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It’s that time again… the Saturday before the big game, er, Valentine’s Day. I’m celebrating the anniversary of the massacre the way I usually do: mockery and giving thought to the fiscal love year ahead. It isn’t my style to go back and review my previous year resolutions, but occasionally I’m guilty of the same sentimentality that has launched Valentines Day into a billion dollar pyramid scheme. Was that too rough? Sorry, lovers.

One of my favorite times about this year is the story. Remembering dear friends departed and their influence on me. There are two in particular in which the  absence haunts me as if a piece of me is missing… and they both encouraged my madness with hedonistic zeal I cannot do justice with words. I miss that. A lot. You were warned: sentiment.

Even after 16 years there are new people who don’t know the story. And because I enjoy the story, I’m obliged to give it a quick nod so everyone is up to speed.

Valentine Resolutions are the actual creation of Armistead Maupin from “More Tales of the City,” a book gifted me for my birthday in December 1998 because I reminded the gifter of the central character, Mary Ann. Her exchange on the subject with her friend, Michael, on opening her card from him went as follows:

“Aren’t you mixing this up with New Year’s?”
“Nah. That’s nickel-dime stuff. Smoking-eating-drinking resolutions. These are the — you know — the hardcore, maybe-this-time, kiss-today-goodbye, some-enchanted-evening resolutions.”

And that is where it began. I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, but I do believe in Valentine ones: they’re made from the heart.

Sentiment. Bah.

Last year’s stead involved lipstick wearing, cupcake eating, hair crises, and embracing my craziness. I don’t have any hard data, but I think I pretty much kicked ass–except where I wanted to spend more time on the beach. I still want that. Resolutions don’t simply go away, they just get carried with you while you make them work.

For 2015:

I officially declare this the “Year of the Pull Up!” Sometime last month in working with my trainer I wanted to try the assisted pull up machine at the gym. Training has eliminated all residual pain from previous shoulder injuries and built up a lot more strength; heck, I’m even able to run small sprints again on the treadmill. Nonetheless, EVERY workout I start now with doing assisted pull ups. I’ve worked my way to being able to do about half my own weight in a short time. This year, for the first time in my life, I will achieve a pull up–no assistance needed.

Tank tops. I will work on wearing them more. What’s the point of getting kick ass shoulders from the pull ups if you don’t show them off?

This is also the year I will end the bad relationship I have with my thighs. My thighs are just great… fuck pants.

Being blond is best… I’m going to stick with that.

There are more serious, life decision types of things I want to work on, too… but they have no place here.

Mahalo.

Project 52: The Creatives Week 5, The Manifestation of the Mango

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I found myself alone the other day. In the kitchen: with a mango.

There were a series of unfortunately unique events that precipitated the situation; none could hold up a reliable alibi in a court of law should that have been needed. But there it was in all its green, smooth skinned glory–hinting at flecks of golden red ready to burst out.  I’d wanted an avocado–disappointments of the day almost seemed to call for the rich, creamy flesh of the mangoes green kin.

Knife in hand. Avocados require much less effort. The pit: it releases the fruit easily.  The mango pit has a death grip on its fruit, hidden around tendrils.

The snow outside is quiet in its danger. I do appreciate the juxtaposition of carving tropical fruit as the icy claws form over windows. In the distance, a neighbors television sounds faint about diamonds and love; the day of the massacre approaches.

Project 52: The Recipes Week 5, Gingered Millet

Gingered Millet with Berries

Gingered Millet with Berries

Into every life, a breakfast strategy must happen. Those who know me, know I am not a morning person; I am a do not talk to me, bring me coffee person.  In many ways, this extends to eating.  Ever since I was a kid, really.  I remember in the third grade getting an assignment marked down because I didn’t paste the strips of paper describing the morning routine correctly.  Of course, I debated this… I pasted MY morning routine and that really didn’t include much breakfast.

Millet, Dry

Millet, Dry

Since the third grade, I’ve learned that not eating in the morning sets the stage for not eating all day. I also struggle eating enough fruit every day (I’m also not a fruit person).  So comes breakfast 1 and breakfast 2, and usually about 3-4 hours after I’ve gotten up–and both include my daily fruit intake.  Coffee, latte, then a smoothie… then solid food.  It probably isn’t a surprise then I often search out non-traditional breakfast options.  Queue this week’s recipe… a gingered millet with fruit.

Millet is a fabulous, versatile  little seed–similar to quinoa but not as bitter and a little more grainy. This dish is excellent in that you can double or triple it for the week in advance and simply warm it up in the morning–saving time and energy for a quick, solid breakfast fix.

Gingered Millet
1/2 cup millet
1 1/4 cup water
1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of sea salt
1 cup berries (optional)
1/2 cup raising (optional)
Candied ginger slices for garnish (optional)
Almond milk (as needed)

  • In a medium pot add water, millet, ginger, cinnamon, and salt.
  • Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then cover and reduce to a simmer.
  • Allow to cook until all water is absorped. Approximately 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to sit, covered, 10 minutes.
  • Serve with a splash of almond milk and berries or raisins.  Garnish with candied ginger for extra zip.

Serves two as written.

Note: when reheating, add a little extra almond milk (or water) and give it a quick stir.

Project 52: The Creatives Week 4, Disassociative Death

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No crematory. It was a very clear sign. Black and white, literally. Oddly placed next to… what is that? A stone urn? This early in the morning, gulping down coffee with feverish abandon. As if there was any other way to consume coffee at that hour of the day. Why are thoughts suddenly turning to Jim Morrison; was he cremated? He was buried; so non-conspiracy theorists say. Synapting to Huxley, which only makes sense, really. Logical jump, he might say. Was it possible he used cocaine in addition? Probably for pain, it was common then. But he died on LSD. Morrison probably died on cocaine. I choose coffee, which is often wrongly ascribed as a bean. It’s a berry. So is cocaine.