Archive for ‘garden’

March 15, 2011

Lazy Day Grindz

Wonderful Tuesday, friends!

This week has already started on a wonderful note and I’m excited to work through the week so that I can thoroughly enjoy myself during Spring Break next week!  :)

I got word yesterday that they’ve found someone else for my position with the college [this is a good thing that we've been anticipating for a while], which means that my eight+ hour days at a dark desk are numbered!!

I’ve been waiting for this day to come, and yet when I found out yesterday I kinda freaked out. What’s next?  What if things don’t go the way I intended them to?  I’m not ready… Ben’s not ready… What will everyone else think?  I really have gone through too many jobs in my professional life!

And then I settled the heck down and thought my path is perfectly placed. I just need to trust it.  The next step will show itself to me when it’s time, and I’ve never been led astray, so why spend time and energy worrying?

Of course, that clarity only came after sitting with my incredible hubby for a while (have I ever told you guys that he has one of the most calming energies I’ve ever known?  Thank goodness!).  I am so grateful for him, all that he brings to this world, and the fact that I’m the lucky person he’s chosen to share his life with.

With such busy schedules, Ben and I consider ourselves lucky when we get to spend any time together. We made the best of the tsunami alert day on Friday and thoroughly enjoyed our time together. Ben was especially grateful to have me around because he wasn’t feeling so good and enjoyed having company [you know, to fill up his water bottle and the like].

When I’m sick I actually end up eating way more than normal because I’m convinced there are properties in food that are going to help me feel better… but Ben and I are definitely different creatures, so when I asked if he felt like eating anything, he said he didn’t have much of an appetite.

It must be my stubborn Puerto Rican blood that decided to make him some soup anyway. I personally like to make a pot of the antioxidant-rich sweet potato and kale soup (click for recipe) when I’m sick, but I figured Ben wanted something more brothy that would just help clear his sinuses [poor kid was getting so frustrated with his runny nose].  I settled on matzo ball soup for my sweet Jewish hubby Smile.

He loved it [of course] – and wound up eating half the pot (including eight matzo balls!) – and felt much better the next day.  Coincidence?  I think not Winking smile.  The nutrients from the veggies paired with great, warm broth did the trick.  And really, how can you go wrong with matzo balls?  They’re easy [I followed the recipe on the back of the Manischewitz container], fun to eat and they absorb incredible flavor! Win!


Matzo Ball Soup


  • 1 Tbsp + 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion – diced
  • 1 large carrot – chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 stalks celery [include leaves and center for flavor!] – chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic – minced
  • 1 to 2 inches fresh ginger – minced
  • 1 head kale/chard – chopped
  • 8 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 c matzo meal
  • 2 large eggs [or make this recipe vegan by using 2 Tbsp flaxseed + 6 Tbsp water]
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • salt + pepper to taste

Obviously, the carrots we planted don’t mess around!  Look at what I brought up [and I have big hands!]:

IMG_5607[Yet another example from nature that everything is perfect in it’s uniqueness and that not all things are meant to look alike.]

Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a medium pot.

Sautee the onion, celery and carrot until the onion is transparent, then add in the garlic and ginger and stir for another minute or so.

Add in your veggie broth and start working on the matzo balls Smile.

[For the matzo balls]:

Mix 2 Tbsp vegetable oil, matzo meal, slightly beaten eggs, and water thoroughly.

Place the mixture in the fridge for 15 minutes to set.

Remove from fridge and form into balls about 3/4’’ [they say to make them 1’’ but we like ours a bit smaller, especially because they expand!].  Our batch made about 18 matzo balls.


Drop the balls into the soup and allow them to simmer for at least 30-40 minutes [like I said, they’ll expand].  Have patience with the process… the longer they’re in, the more they soak up the greatness Smile.


Finally, add in the kale/chard [we used chard because it’s what we had] at the last minute and stir.


Enjoy and be well! Makes two Ben-sized servings or four normal Haley-sized servings Smile.

While Ben slurped down his first meal at about 6pm, I chowed down on my first shirataki noodles.  Has anyone else heard of these? I first heard about them through the Spark world because they’re super low cal and low fat and gluten-and-wheat free.

IMG_5616I got these from the refrigerated section in Whole Foods and had been waiting all week to try them.  Turns out, they’re made of some ingredients I can’t pronounce (that’s probably a sign) that come from tofu/soybeans.  I had read that they’re really chewy and tasteless (sort of like pasta?), but that they help to keep my Spark friends satisfied.  I’m down to try anything once… so I followed the directions and placed the noodles in some hot water for a minute or two, then drained them while I sautéed up some veggies [onion, carrot, celery, peppers, broccoli, spinach] and added a dab of peanut sauce for flavor.


The veggies were bombThe noodles, on the other hand, I could have lived without. They were chewy… but not in a pasta-ish way.  I felt more like I was trying to chew a worm (which doesn’t work and makes me feel like I was swallowing entire noodles whole).  And they were definitely flavor-less.  I wasn’t raised on pasta and actually don’t miss it much anyway, so I could be skewed.  But honestly, I’d much rather go with brown rice pasta than this expensive, tasteless, wormy stuff.  [Don’t get me wrong, I definitely ate the entire plate for dinner – I’ll eat almost anything].

IMG_5618Which is why I propose this question: What’s the point of adding 25 tasteless “carb-like” calories to a meal when you could add another full cup of broccoli for the same amount of calories and a lot more nutrients?

IMG_5620Is it obvious that I won’t be eating these again?  Winking smile

What’s your favorite under-the-weather food? Do you tend to eat more or less when you’re sick?

Have you tried Shirataki noodles? Am I over-exaggerating?

Aloha Pumehana. Whether you’re here to find balance, wholesome recipes or inspiration, I hope you enjoy the posts.  Please subscribe to Green Plate Dinners to receive automatic updates and be the first to read new posts for free!

January 26, 2011


Random thoughts today:

  1. Is it strange that I really want to go for a run just to listen to my newly-updated playlist? [I'm still waiting for the back to feel 100% before I get out on the road again.  Come on, back!]
  2. I hope my professor didn’t realize that I was making dark-chocolate covered macaroons while listening to her lecture last night [I LOVE interactive internet classes that I get to take from home].
  3. I wonder if anyone would notice if I wore my Vibrams to my bureaucratic office job…


[Pretty sure that one's a yes.  I can’t wait to have a job where I can wear my uber-comfortable Vibrams all day.]

“Giving opens the way for receiving.”

The macaroons [yes, this is the third batch I’ve made in less than a week] are for 1) coworkers, 2) classmates, and 3) my Momma.  They’ve all made comments about wanting to try them since I posted the recipe, so I figured I’d surprise them all.

I wasn’t sure how the dark chocolate experiment would turn out – as I used 100% dark chocolate mixed in with some other ingredients – so most of them are plain [which is totally not a bad thing!].  Immediately after trying a dark-chocolate coated macaroon, though, Ben and I decided that we would no longer need any other form of sweet in our household.  (Okay, that may not hold true forever, but seriously, they are GOOD!)  I’ll be sure to post the chocolate coating recipe as soon as I have the time to shoot some photos.

Everyone loves Happy Wednesday macaroons, right? Smile

But don’t worry, I’ve also got something for you! : one of my favorite healthy recipes!   [If you were really hoping for macaroons, just let me know – I’ll do a special delivery Winking smile]

I make these roasted veggies when I feel the need for a nutrition boost. I also make them when I’m missing Eugene [they’re actually wanna-bes of a convection-oven-roasted-veggie dish from one of my favorite vegetarian spots on campus].  I was addicted to these and would eat them for lunch at least three times a week with brown rice.  One fateful day, they had run out early and my only other option was to attempt a recipe of my own.

It was a success.


Roasted Vegetables

[Ingredients - this recipe can be easily done with 100% local vegetables]

  • one large sweet potato [I used Okinawan purples from a farm on `Oma`opio]
  • two small beets
  • one onion [Maui onions work great with this recipe!]
  • one medium-sized head of cauliflower
  • one carrot [straight from the yard!]
  • three cloves garlic
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • thyme, basil, and cilantro [we have these fresh in our yard, but you could use a dried Italian blend - fresh cilantro makes this dish]

IMG_5184Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Chop vegetables into desired-sized cubes [I like mine to be small - about 3/4''], making sure to cube everything to approximately the same size so that it all cooks evenly.

Smash two garlic cloves with the side of a knife – leaving them intact for the cooking process – and mince the other [I like to do this so that I have garlic throughout].

In a mixing bowl, mix together all ingredients, coating the vegetables evenly.

Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes (depending on how brown/moist you like your veggies), stirring every ten to fifteen minutes.

Allow the smell of garlic and fresh veggies to engulf the house [Mmm...], then top with fresh cilantro!

Enjoy! Some of the veggies will form a crunchy crust (my favorite part!)


Happy Wednesday!

Aloha Pumehana. Whether you’re here to find balance, wholesome recipes or inspiration, I hope you enjoy the posts.  Please subscribe to Green Plate Dinners to receive automatic updates and be the first to read new posts for free!


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