busy morning in the kitchen

I’m finding it really difficult to post in the morning.  I think its because I go to bed way too late and can’t drag myself out any earlier than 6:15, and thats only when I’ve got plans for a morning workout.  I need to try to be in bed by 10pm, at least to read, and then maybe I could coax myself up at 5:45.  Lately I’ve just been getting 6.5-7 hours of sleep a night and that really wears on me by the end of the week.

This morning was a bit more complicated because Brian didn’t get home until 2am last night.  I was going to go for my second weekly training run but decided instead to take on his morning responsibilities around the house so that he could sleep in as long as possible.  So I got up at 6:30 and took the dogs over to the vacant lot next door to romp around for a bit. Then I ground coffee from our favorite local roaster, Shenandoah Joe’s, to brew in the french press.

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I put together a quick breakfast that I could take to work with me if I ran out of time.  1/2 an Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin (LOVE these) smeared with 1 tbsp almond butter and 1 tbsp apple butter.   A banana and an oikos with honey on the side.

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Tonight’s schedule is also complicated with Brian planning on staying at the office late again (his deadline is tomorrow, thank goodness!).  So I decided to get a head start on making dinner so that I wouldn’t have any excuses to not go for my training run after work.  Looking in the fridge I realized that I had a lot of veggies that needed to be cooked before they got sad, so I pulled out some lacinato kale (or dinosaur kale) and broccoli.  I also found a few baby yams and yukon potatoes to make a roasted tater medley.  

First the kale.  I should do an ode to kale because I love it so much.  It is full of fiber and very easy to cook. My favorite is the lacinato kale because its not too bitter and it keeps its firmness after cooking better than the other varieties.  It has a bumpy texture to it and dark green leaves.

 

Lacinato Kale

Lacinato Kale

I broke the leaves into smaller pieces and discarded the stems, then rinsed it really well to get rid of any clinging dirt.  The best way to rinse kale is to fill your sink with water and soak the leaves for a few minutes.

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Then I boiled it for about 5 minutes until it turned a brighter shade of green and is still a little firm.

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After this picture I put it back in the big pot with a teenie bit of olive oil to sautee’ it.  Typically I add fresh garlic too but after searching the kitchen I discovered that we didn’t have any!!!  Shocking!!!  And, in my distraught state after discovering that we had no garlic I forgot to take a picture of this stage.  I wish I had so that I could show how much it cooks down.  I had a full collander of fresh kale to start with and it only made about 3 cups cooked, just enough for Brian and I each to have a good serving with dinner.

While the kale was cooking I put my diced potato medley into the oven on 400* to bake for about an hour.  I used 4 small yukon gold potatoes and 4 baby yams, drizzled a teenie bit of olive oil on them (about 2 tsp) and sprinkled them with Chef Paul’s Vegetable Magic.

 

tater medley pre-roasting

tater medley pre-roasting

 

love me some chef paul's!!!

love me some chef paul

Voila!

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While all of this was happening I had quinoa simmering on the stove.  I should also do an ode to quinoa, another of my loves!  Before boiling and simmering I rinsed the grain really well to get the natural bitter coating off of it.  

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To cook, bring one part quinoa and 2 parts water to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes.  I also add a little Better Than Bouillon No-Chicken to the water to give the quinoa some flavor.

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This stuff is great.  It takes 1 tsp for every 8oz of water to make broth.  I love that I no longer have cans and cans and cans of broth in my pantry, and its so much less waste to send to the recycling center or landfill.  And, it tastes great!  It comes in many flavors.

And last, I chopped up the broccoli that I bought at the festival last weekend.

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The stems went into my frozen veggie parts bag, to be made into broth eventually.  I’ll post on that sometime soon, a great way to use up veggie parts! (the small bag has cheese rinds…adds a wonderful, earthy flavor to the broth!)

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Finally, I steamed the broccoli for about 7 minutes.

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No butter added, just a generous sprinkling of sea salt.

And Ta Da! Dinner is Done.  Can you tell which is mine and which is Brian’s?  😛

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All of this dinner cooking made me run out of time for lunch packing so it looks like I’ll be heading home to have lunch with the kids today.  🙂

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