muddy footsteps

Delicately Meaty

Posted in Food & Recipes by nicolejanaye on May 30, 2011

The summer has crept its way into the year. The weather remains to be surprising yet it provides a variety of adventures and emotions to take part in. Nor the drizzle of the cold, salty rain seeping from the sky or the moist glow rising from my skin from the warmth of the sun, salads will always be a good choice in any kind of weather condition. I’ve been collecting a variety of food from the local market to try to switch up my meals and become a little less monotonous. If you follow me on twitter, you can visualize all the food updates I do, however, some of the salads are looking too similar for my liking. As much as I can crave the same foods day in and day out, photographing them can be a little boresome. This salad has a robust flavor from the earthy asparagus that has been lightly misted with olive oil and grilled for a delectable crust.  A warm bath of garlic and shallots have been sweating to create a base for two lovely cracked eggs. These have been placed amongst a bed of spring lettuce and drizzled with a balsamic garlic vinaigrette. This was delicious. However, I struck for round 2 of this meal today and was able to make it better. I took medium-sized mushroom caps and pulled the stems out. I combined salt, pepper, a garlic vinaigrette with a spicy spoonful of mustard. This combination was bright, tangy, and absolutely satisfying. I dropped the mushrooms in the mixture and let them marinade for 20 minutes. After removing them from the mixture, I placed them on a sizzling grill pan ready to glisten in their oils and form a most mouth-watering crust on the edge of their tops. I then placed these meaty flavorful mushrooms on top, ready to give into the salad and give up to my fork. It was a beautiful combination and a perfect balance of flavors. 

 

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simple living

Posted in Breakfast, Food & Recipes by nicolejanaye on April 9, 2011

How to explain the things rambling through my mind…These last few months have been a whirlwind. It’s weird but I’ve slowly been sinking into a life of monotonous agendas, routines that I could do blind folded, and eating food that my stomach recognizes so intently that it could cook itself, blind folded.

Moving back to a ‘city’ where a car is needed to get from A to B and all the way to Z is somewhat exhausting. I dislike driving, I always have. I don’t like the idea of dropping $50+ in that tub of oil that is fueling my vehicle to puff out fumes and exhaust in the streets. I would much rather be riding my bike, walking, heck even jump roping to do these routines. But in a city where I live twenty minutes driving distance away, have hills that when you climb them you can see your gas tank drop, and gym bags full of shower care to clean me up after I sweat a pound or two, it’s difficult to manage all that while rollerblading to school or work. It’s not just driving that has gotten to me, but the technology that is consuming my life.

I think I’ve fried my brain of technology. To be honest, I don’t watch tv. I think it’s a waste of time, makes you lazy and should only be used for limited pleasure, on occasion. However, the computer and internet consume a lot of my time. I don’t like that. I tweet, facebook and check my email too often to be true. This glow on my computer screen has practically turned into a night-light. I used to be this adventurous girl, rafting class 5 white waters, climbing 200 foot walls in between a high flowing waterfall. I used to ride my bike everyday to class, use the outdoors as my gym, play softball and football on a regular basis. My closest connection to the outdoors is nature sounds radio playing on my phone as I fall asleep. I’m extremely blessed to be in a beautiful home, a room to myself, my own bathroom and fireplace, warm blankets and an amazing view to come home to every night. Not that I’ve taken advantage of this lifestyle, but I think I’ve lost my appreciation for it and forget that I’m lucky to have a roof over my head. 

I’ve had debates about today’s technology numerous times. I think it’s amazing the things that our world has created, developed, and we continue to push the limits. However, I think most of us have abused the technology. It’s here to make our world easier but not to consume us.  Carl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler helped create the first car, Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, Charles Babbage was the first to conceptualize the computer, and without these inventions we wouldn’t be where we are today. But this isn’t for us to take over our lives. It’s to help make things easier, more convenient, and let you run the rest of your day with ease.

This past week I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. I took a day to myself and went in search for inspiration; inspiration for my life, for my future career, for my education, and for today. I was guided in the right direction and began to explore it. I found this saying, “the secret of a better life is: eating right, working out, sleeping well, indulging responsibly, and reading.” I would have to add laughing often, to complete it.

My goal from here on out is to focus on school. I need to finish my college education so that I don’t need to be working out a coffee shop any longer. I’m going to limit my computer time for school, the occasional blog post and indulging in the social media in small amounts, well smaller than what I’ve been doing. Riding my bike to school and work isn’t an option for me right now, but I’m going to try to minimize my driving time as much as possible. When I eat, I’m going to eat. I’m not going to check out twitter, update my facebook status, drive, put on make-up or do anything else but focus on what’s happening at that moment. Now don’t think I’m turning into this crazy hippie, I’m just trying to get back to my roots, to things I truly enjoy in life, and feel better about the way I chose to live my life. I’m working on an article for a magazine my school is creating. The title is ‘simple eating’. If I strive to eat foods with simple, healthy ingredients, shouldn’t I be living my life that way as well?

Today is a new beginning and now it’s my turn to focus on the present. I want to leave you all with a quick meal that I whipped up for breakfast. After I submit the ‘publish’ button, it’s my time to get the day going.

Cheers!

High-protein breakfast scramble

Ingredients

  • Eggs (cage free & organic) *
  • Black beans
  • Quinoa
  • Garlic oil or sun-dried tomato oil (optional)

Directions

  1. Cook your quinoa as directed on the box. Near the end of the cooking process, I like to add garlic oil to the quinoa. If you roast garlic cloves in a baking sheet, covered with olive oil, it will emit a wonderful liquid that can be used as you would olive oil. Plus, it has an incredible taste.
  2. Whether you choose to use a can of black beans (rinsed, of course) or cook your own, heat them up in a separate pan, drizzled with your choice of oil. Don’t be afraid of olive oil. I use a small amount, but it’s healthy fat. People are so afraid of avocados, olive oil, and nuts but decide to eat a snickers bar sometime during the day. Our bodies need healthy fat. Don’t be afraid of it.
  3. Combine the black beans and quinoa and crack an egg or two over the mixture. Sometimes I scramble them and other times I keep them sunny-side up.
  4. Top with fresh basil.

*You can find this list somewhere on the internet but there are 10 foods that should ALWAYS be consumed organic. Eating 100% organic is amazing but not many people can afford to eat this way. However, eggs made the list and should always be consumed as organic.