I was cooking at a friend’s house a few Sunday Dinners ago and she commented that, “I have cook books, but I end up picking recipes from magazines or on the net because cook books can be so intimidating.  A magazine recipe seems more approachable”.  Her part in our dinner was an Ahi delight.

What you see pictured on the left is the bedding for the Ahi.  Sweet basil, cherry tomatoes, roasted bell peppers, olives, need I say more?  Flavor, flavor, flavor. Yes there were several steps involved.  Roast the bell peppers (no green please); wash the tomatoes, rinse the sweet basil….The Ahi is not seared so expect it to be steamed.  Although I suppose you could sear it and place it in the oven for just a few minutes when the vegetables and herbs are almost finished roasting to capture the flavors of the  bed of savories.  Roast vegetables for about 25 minutes.  Sprinkle  with 1/4 cup of white wine and place the salmon slices skin up on top of the vegetables.  Bake about 8-20  minutes depending on how you like your salmon cooked.

I contributed a red cabbage salad with bacon and goat cheese from Cook’s magazine, several years ago.

1/2 head red cabbage,

4-6 slices of bacon,

5 1/2 ounces of goat cheese

Wash and core and finely shred the cabbage.  Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.  Saute the bacon until crisp and browned.  Drain on paper towels.  Save a tablespoon of the bacon fat, for flavor, transfer to a small bowl.  For dressing peel and mince the garlic cloves.  In a medium bowl whisk the minced garlic into the reserved bacon fat with the 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1/4 cup of red-wine vinegar.

Bring cabbage and bacon to room temperature.  Warm the dressing in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Crumble the bacon over the cabbage, add the warm dressing and toss well. Transfer to individual plates (makes 6 servings) and crumble the goat cheese evenly over each plate.  Serve immediately.

The process of cooking or even preparing raw food can be a therapeutic process for me.  I will spend a whole afternoon making a meat sauce, preparing a soup to fill my freezer for homemade options on evenings I want a meal with little preparation time.  What are your favorites?

Tahini Wrap, my latest favorite  lunch or light dinner recipe:

1 warmed spelt tortilla

1 tablespoon of tahini

1/3 thinly sliced avocado

1/3 thinly sliced red or yellow bell pepper

1/8 of a cup of green onions

1/4 thinly sliced cucumber

and a handful of baby arugula

Layer in the order above; roll like a burrito to make a delicious wrap.

I have music playing on my jam box while I cook or I listen to a talk show such as Fresh Air on NPR or something from SoundsTrue radio.  I don’t rush, I enjoy the beauty of the vegetables I am slicing or the smell of the blood oranges which I am juicing.  Which brings me to my final recipe.  This one from the internet, a Cooking Light January 2011.  Quinoa rules!

1/4 cup finely chopped green onionsBloodOrg

2 tablespoons blood orange juice

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons finely chopped cilantro

1/4 teaspoon salt, ground coriander,

ground cumin and paprika

3 tablespoons  extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup of uncooked quinoa

Quinoa1 3/4 cups water

2 teaspoons grated blood orange rind

1 teaspoon lemon rind (Meyer best)

1/2 teaspoon salt, divided

1 /cup blood orange sections, chopped

1 cup diced peeled avocado

6 whole kumquats, seeded and sliced

* recipe calls for 2 medium beets, not included here.

“Combine first 10 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Gradually add oil, stirring constantly.  Combine 1 3/4 cups water, quinoa, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat; fluff with a fork. Combine quinoa, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, blood orange sections, avocado, and kumquats in a large bowl, tossing gently to combine. Add dressing; toss gently to coat salad. Spoon 1 cup salad onto each of 4 plates.”

Whispers of the Breath Diva:

real face.2In this moment I can enjoy my life!

I can nourish myself!

I can appreciate my senses!