December 9th was my first full day in Portland. It was my first day at Kinfolk, and it was the first day of one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. My life if full here and only growing. Moving out West, getting an office job, and really living on my own for the first time was not stressful but freeing. After 4.5 years of not pursuing my dreams (long story…see past posts) and a year of doing everything I knew to try and make up for the lost time, I can say it was worth it. I think solitude and struggle are the greatest teachers, and hope was the only thing that kept my head above water. I’m still growing and learning and just beginning this new life, but I feel peace. I think sometimes God wants us to feel unsettled to move us to His will. I’m learning that His will often means doing things without knowing the outcome, and if it’s scary I should probably do it.
There’s a life update. Now a food update! I’ve been on the beans and oatmeal diet* but needed to mix things up after two months. Like I’ve said before I’m no chef, but this simple soup was just the hearty warmth I needed on this cold winter day. Nourishing, satisfying, and light on the wallet :)
Red Lentil Soup
2 cups red lentils
8 cups water
1 large onion
1 bunch of carrots, with tops
extra virgin olive oil
Celtic Sea salt
In a large pot drizzle olive oil and add chopped onions. On medium heat fully cook onions and then add water, lentils, and chopped carrots. Bring to a boil and simmer until carrots are tender and lentils are fully cooked. Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
*Not strictly. I’ve had my share of eating out, too :)
I have a recipe coming up that calls for whole Irish moss, so I thought I’d first re-touch on the subject of this peculiar ingredient. When I was first introduced to Irish moss it was during a raw blueberry pie demo by a renowned raw food chef. The way she talked about it made it sound like living gold. It was fragile and difficult to work with. Overwhelmed by the thought of using it was an understatement. Somewhere along the line I gave it try, and after a little practice it’s become an essential ingredient in many of my recipes. From bread to pie Irish moss is a must! Unlike alternatives Irish moss is so full of nutrients that it makes everything it’s in that much healthier to eat. If you would like to know more about Irish moss and it’s many health benefits visit The Raw Food World.
Irish Moss Gel
whole Irish moss soaked overnight and thoroughly rinsed in cool water
Loosely fill blender with Irish moss and pour water up to max line. Blend for about 20 seconds, add another handful of Irish moss, and blend for 30-40 seconds. The gel doesn’t have to be perfectly creamy, but it needs to be broken down enough to gelatinize. I don’t like to blend too long, because it can become warm. All of the recipes that call for Irish moss gel will be processed or blended again, so there’s no need to pulverize the Irish moss when making the gel. Next refrigerate and use when needed.
With the 1 lb. package I was able to make more than 4 quarts of gel! I also kept 1 quart of whole moss for specific recipes. I’ve kept gel refrigerated for more than a year and have never had a problem. Be brave and try it!
This is what whole Irish moss looks like before soaking. It’s covered in salt and sand and smells like the ocean :)
Like the last pizza recipe I wanted to use up as many vegetables from our CSA share to make this recipe. It’s getting cooler here and cold vegetables are not my first draw when I’m looking for something to eat. This simple savory dish is packed with healthy vegetables while satisfying and warm during the fall season.
large handful of cilantro
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup olive oil
1 clove of garlic
1/2 teaspoon Celtic Sea salt
Fully process all ingredients in a food processor.
Cabbage Beet Cakes
3 cups shredded red cabbage
2 cups shredded beets (about 3 small beets)
1 small onion
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Celtic Sea salt
In a large mixing bowl thoroughly combine all ingredients except coconut oil. Coat a cast iron skillet with a generous amount of coconut oil and bring to medium heat. Form small patties of the mix and cook until crispy. Top with cilantro pesto and enjoy!