Sunday, May 19, 2013

Spring Miso Soup

After spending a weekend burning both ends of the candle, I'm feeling a little burnt out.  It was all totally worth it.  I started my final semester of grad school, visited some dear friends in their new home to celebrate many wonderful life events for them, and tore it up on the dance floor with my best friend.  All day today I was contemplating dinner.  I couldn't wait to get home and be with Jon and relax and eat!

Because I feel like I've been all over the place for days upon days, I needed something grounding and comforting.  A soup!

2 Tbs coconut oil
1 beet
3 fingerling potatoes
1 parsnip
2 shallots
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 bunch of asparagus
1 cup of green beans
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
2 cups hot water
2 Tbs white miso paste
Pepper to taste
1 Tbs grated Parmesan

Put coconut oil in a  dutch oven.  Add beet and saute until desired tenderness.  Then add the potatoes, parsnip, shallots, and garlic and saute for an additional 5 minutes.  If pot begins to stick, add 1/3 cup of water and scrape the bottom.  Add asparagus and green beans and saute 3 minutes.  Add 2 cups of chicken stock.  In a separate cup, combine hot water and miso paste.  Stir to mix.  When mixed thoroughly, add to soup.  Cook for 10 minutes until hot.  Serve with Parmesan on top.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Identity Crisis Averted

I've been having a blog identity crisis for awhile now.  I've been wanting a blog but I've had a hard time committing to a theme of sorts.  Those of you who have paid attention to my blog in the past may have noticed that I even deleted all of my old stuff.  Now I realize that I think I always knew what I wanted to do, but the time wasn't right.  But now it is.  I'm going to share the cool stuff that I'm doing in the field of nutrition.

As most of you know, I'm studying Nutrition and Integrative Health at Tai Sophia Institute and I'm about to begin my 2nd (and final) year next week.  It's very exciting.  Part of the program is to complete either clinicals or a practicum and I've chosen the road less traveled, the practicum road.  On top of designing and implementing my own practicum, I also have to complete 1000 hours of service (in addition to taking an exam) to become a CNS.  Because this means I'll be doing a lot of self-guided projects,I thought it would be fun to use my blog as a medium to share the fun things I have going on with my family, friends, and classmates.  And it doubles as a nice resource to share with prospective employers when I graduate.  I suppose after earning 2 degrees in education, the idea of not making a portfolio as a culmination doesn't even seem like an option.

I'll wait to share with you my practicum idea, but just know it's gonna be good.  I've had a million ideas, and knew as soon as I came up with this one that it was the one.  But you'll have to wait.

Next month is National Farm to School Month and October 24 is National Food Day. To begin working towards my hours, I've decided to host a small event at my work.  I teach a class called hospitality and run a pretty legit cafe with my students teaching job skills, cooking skills, work readiness skills, and some social skills for good measure (though one particular student with Autism often informs me that I'm the awkward one, so...).  We feed about 75-100 people a day who work on the campus.  We have a school garden that the horticulture class runs.  I don't use their produce as much as I should, but I'm going to use these two events to showcase our school's garden through a special breakfast and farm stand in my cafe.  I'll also create some type of literature to share with my customers about farm to school and it's importance.  I'll be sure to document the event and post some pics and all that good stuff.  I mean, that is the new direction of my blog after all.

I'm excited.  This is a fun first little project that will play to my strengths and interests and get the ball rolling for my development of great projects.  It should be an awesome year if I can combine my school into my work. I'm looking forward to sharing with you all!

If you want a glimpse of what I do at work check this out:
or this...

Monday, September 3, 2012

Whiskey Crab Soup

What do you get when you mix a 3 day weekend, leftover crabs, and excitement about an upcoming cooking class on stocks?  You get homemade crab stock, that's what.  As I picked through my crabs, it occurred to me that it would be ideal to take the shell pile from a kid who isn't good at picking crabs to make your stock. You don't need a ton of meat, but some is good.  It's perfect because you know you hate picking through kids' shells when there are more crabs available and it kills you that they're wasting meat.  Until now.

I started with 6 smallish to medium sized crabs.  I removed the gills and the head sack and picked out most of the meat to use later in my soup.  Everything else went into the stock pot, along with 6 bay leaves, 4 twigs of thyme, 12 peppercorns, a can of diced tomatoes, 1 diced onion, and 5 chopped celery stalks.  That all got covered with water (about 1 inch above everything) and brought to a boil.  Once it boiled, I reduced it to a simmer and cooked it for an additional 40 minutes.  I used a fine strainer to separate the stock from stuff and then tasted it.  Magical.  I knew I was on to something good.  Mine produced 10 cups of deliciousness (6 of which now live in the freezer for a later date).

Now time for the soup.  I will mention up front that this is a west coast crab soup and thus there is no Old Bay in the recipe.  It tasted amazing without the Old Bay, but being Marylanders it just wasn't the same so we added Old Bay at the table.

2 Tbs butter
1 cup diced onion
3 Tbs flour
4 cups crab stock
2 cups of crab meat
2 cups heavy whipping cram
1/4 cup whiskey (one of those little bottles at check out did the trick)
chopped chives to garnish
Old Bay to taste

Saute the onion in the butter until aromatic and tender.  Add the flour and mix well.  Slowly add the stock and mix well.  Add the crab meat.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, allowing it to thicken a bit.  Slowly add the cream and whiskey and cook for about 10 minutes.  Garnish with chives.  Add Old Bay to your liking.  Grab a cold beer and enjoy.