“And I wouldn’t have worried so much about party unity, because if you unite behind a man you don’t believe in, it’s a lie.”

I will start this post by saying: I am not a US citizen, and therefore I cannot vote in any election. And before you get all smart-assy on me, yes, I do pay taxes.

Over the last few months, I have been watching the shit show that has been the campaign trail in the race for who will end up on the ballot for President. Honestly, it’s such a joke. It’s as if politicians got together over some ridiculously expensive, rare scotch and said “drama, backstabbing, cheating, and lying has worked for every reality show and reality “celebrity” for years, let’s go down that route this year”. For years I have been disgusted by how politicians (yes, all of them for the most part) run their campaigns. They are all SO busy trying to tear each other down (just watch any of the recent debates, on either side of the fence). They are all SO busy telling us why so-and-so isn’t qualified, but in the meantime, they actually haven’t told us why they ARE qualified. It has always shocked me when candidates from the same party spend so much time attacking each other in the primaries, only to be best friends and supporters of each other in the final race.

I don’t know if you have seen the recent “Confessions of a Republican” ad from the 1964 presidential election. But you should. In just a couple of minutes there are so many great quotes. Pretty much the whole video is a great quote. Watch it, now. Here.

Although this video is geared towards #drumpf (if you have no idea what this hashtag is about, please, spend some time with John Oliver), I think the same can be said for most candidates…just because you are “republican” or “democrat” doesn’t mean you have to stand behind everything they do. I don’t think, if you are truly honest and open minded, that you will agree 100% with everything “your” candidate stands for, but there has to be a line right? Prioritize your priorities. What REALLY, matters to you? Who does your candidate surround himself/herself with? What types of people support your candidate, and why? Does your candidate talk out of both sides of their mouth? Do they like their toilet paper to roll over or under? Important shit people. Priorities.

I often wonder what people around the world think of this election. Are we like a really good reality show (if you know of one, please let me know), and people make a weekly date to catch up on the latest episode while drinking wine and eating chocolate? Ok, so that’s how I  watch “The Bachelor/ette” with my girlfriend Michele to catch up on what we refer to as “our sports” (i.e. we literally yell at the TV like sports fanatics do when their team fumbles the ball on a big play). But, I digress. Are we a reality TV show to a global audience? Because if we are, that is a truly a sad state of affairs. And whoever ends up in the White House next year is going to have a REALLY hard time getting anyone to take them seriously…

 

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How to make toast…and other stuff

Being sick sucks. It completely disrupts my routine. I can’t workout. I can’t do yoga. I can’t TEACH yoga (so that means I can’t work and make money to pay bills). Hell, I can’t even have a drink to drown my sorrows. Ok, well, maybe, I could make a hot toddy and make my dad proud…

I woke up on Monday with a tickle in my throat, said to myself “it’s just allergies”, only to get progressively worse throughout the day. Tuesday morning started with a headache, sore throat, congested chest, and overall grumpiness from getting approximately 57 minutes of sleep. It was a little late to try to get my classes covered, so I powered through 3 fitness classes, stayed as far away from my students as possible, and tried to whisper encouragement to my bootcamp style circuit classes in the afternoon (note: whispering “great job”, “you’re kicking ass”, and “dig deep, you only have a few seconds left” is not very motivating).

All day, all I could think about was chicken soup. Not chicken noodle soup, but a hearty, brothy, veggie filled chicken soup, with lots of healing herbs and spices. I bought my organic, free range rotisserie chicken, picked off all the meat and boiled up the carcass with leeks, onion, garlic, ginger, golden beets, and loads of turmeric (you do know that turmeric has amazing anti-inflammatory benefits, don’t you?). I boiled that shit up for about 45 minutes, strained all the solids out, and ended up with about 10 cups of amazing flavored broth.

I used that broth to make my comfort soup (this post is about comfort food, sick people comfort food, not hangover comfort food, that’s a whole different story). Soy sauce + coconut sugar + ginger + jalapenos + shredded chicken + bok choy + green peas + bean sprouts + cilantro + avocado. I like food with a cultural identity problem. This soup is part Asian, part Mexican. I sat on the couch, binge watching Bloodline on Netflix, and consumed about 4 cups of that soup. I instantly felt better.

Before going to bed, I mixed up some coconut oil + Thieves Oil, slathered it all over my feet (something about large pores in your feet allowing for best absorption of essential oils), put socks on and went to bed. Thank the Buddha Rob was not here, the bedroom smelled like a hospital room!

I woke up this morning feeling better, but still not good. Mostly feeling sorry for myself, I wandered around the house listlessly, trying to motivate myself into putting laundry away, or washing my umpteen dishes from my soup adventure last night. I did succeed in getting my yoga classes covered so that I don’t have to subject any more people to my hacking cough and “sultry” voice. I realized I had not eaten breakfast yet. What is that they say? Feed a cold, starve a fever?

One of my go-to comfort foods is toast. I LOVE toast. I threw a leftover baguette in the toaster oven, buttered it with approximately 1 lb. of Kerrygold, and topped that with homemade raspberry jam I brought back from my last visit to my granny’s pantry in Scotland. Every. Single. Bite. Was. Heaven. On earth. Pair that with a hot cup of tea, and that right there is childhood comfort.

image

TOAST!

As I sit here and sip my ginger turmeric hot honey tea, I close my eyes and pretend that the warm fire I feel in my chest from the chile infused honey is the warm fire chesty feeling you get when drinking a hot toddy with some REALLY strong scotch whisky.

Jules’ Culturally Confused Chicken Soup (omit all chicken if you’re vegetarian, duh)
Broth
Chicken carcass
Filtered H2O
Ginger (as much as you like)
Garlic (as much as you like, I used 3 big cloves)
Turmeric (I used approximately 2 tbsp)
1 golden beet, roughly chopped
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 leek, roughly chopped
Salt
Boil all ingredients for ~ 45 minutes to an hour; strain liquid; discard solids.

Soup
3-4 cups broth for a healthy single serving
½ jalapeno, diced
1” piece of ginger, minced
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp coconut sugar
4 oz.shredded chicken
1 cup frozen green peas
1 bok choy, chopped
1 cup bean sprouts
Cilantro
½ avocado
Bring broth, jalapeno, ginger, soy sauce, sugar to a boil for 10 minutes; add chicken and peas, cook 2 minutes; add bok choy, cook 30 secs-1 minute; add bean sprouts. Remove from heat. Ladle soup into huge soup bowl. Add cilantro and avocado to the bowl. ENJOY!

Flavorful broth is key.

Flavorful broth is key.

Toast
Put bread in toaster/toaster oven. Toast to taste.
Spread butter while toast is still hot (and don’t be freaking stingy, spread the butter all the way to the edges of the bread)
Spoon homemade jam over melted butter
Eat.

Turmeric Ginger Hot Honey Tea
Boil filtered water, honey, turmeric, chopped ginger; strain water. Use flavored water with your favorite tea bag/loose leaf tea (my personal favorite right now is the aveda tea, it’s the bomb).

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Strawberry Semi Freddy

One of my favorite benefits of having a husband who travels ALL THE TIME (for those of you who always wonder how I can travel so much, ever heard of frequent flyer miles and hotel points? ) is that I get to have a girls night almost every week. This usually involves just me and one of my BFF’s Michele, cooking dinner, drinking wine, watching The Bachelor/Bachelorette (seriously, it’s our version of sports, you’ve never heard two people yell at the TV more). Last week, my friend Donna hosted a girls night- her husband is in Europe for the week…PARTY TIME! Donna, my friend Felicia, and I planned a lovely night of girl talk and wine consumption. *

I am known to make desserts. Good ones. So, for almost any dinner party I am invited to, I am either asked to bring dessert (if it’s a potluck style party) or I offer to make something. I love making dessert, although it can sometimes be a futile effort, because by the time it comes around to dessert everyone is either too full or too drunk to appreciate my culinary prowess with the sweets. Oh well, at least the drunks won’t realize the calories they are about to consume.

Back to my latest girls night with Donna and Felicia…my most recent edition of Sunset magazine had this fabulous looking recipe for a Strawberry Semifreddo, basically, strawberry ice cream. They also had a recipe for a flourless chocolate, but I didn’t make that one. I texted Donna.
Me: What can I bring?
Donna: Just some wine is fine.
Me: Want me to work up a dessert?
Donna: Sure! I’d love that. You’re awesome. (Ok, maybe that last part is made up.)

I had just bought a pound of strawberries the day before, so I set about buying the other ingredient I was missing: heavy whipping cream. I actually went to 3 places in my hood before finding some, which was really annoying (and if you know me, I get annoyed easily and quickly, and it’s not pretty. I mean, childlike tantrum ugly). I got back to my kitchen and set about organizing my shit. I read through the recipe, but only sort of. I have a bad habit of doing that. I’ve messed up a lot of recipes by not reading it the whole way through. If you get nothing else from this post, get that: READ THE WHOLE DAMN RECIPE ALL THE WAY THROUGH.

Start with fresh, organic strawberries!

Start with fresh, organic strawberries!  

At first glance this recipe seemed easy enough, only 5 ingredients. But there seemed to be a lot of steps. And a lot of bowls. And pots. Which translates into a lot of dishes. Thank goodness Rob wasn’t home, he hates it when I cook something that requires more than one pot or pan. The semifreddo (which means half cold, or half frozen in Italian) was actually very easy to make, but also quite time consuming for such a simple dessert.

Many bowls (all told, I used 5 bowls), plus one pot of boiling water, 2 whisks, one KitchenAid stand mixer (along with my Vitamix, best kitchen investment), a couple of spatulas, a cutting board, and a square 8 x 8 pan later I was done. Just in time to run out the door to teach my circuit training class at the gym around the corner.

On my way home from teaching I ran into my neighbor, and friend Matteo, who just happens to be Italian, and owns one of the best restaurants in San Diego, Buona Forchetta. I proudly told him I was making a Strawberry Semifreddo to take to a friend’s house. He promptly launched into a string of words in Italian, of which I caught a couple here and there. But, I am pretty sure he called me a bad name and made fun of my pronunciation of the word semifreddo. Ok, I know he did that because he proceeded to school me on how to properly pronounce semifreddo (there is a heavy emphasis on the “ddo” apparently because it has two d’s instead of one). So, to be culturally sensitive to my Italian friends, this dessert is actually called “semifreddo di fragola”.

I garnished my semifreddo with a good balsamic vinegar (amazing with strawberries) and fresh basil!

I garnished my semifreddo with a good balsamic vinegar (amazing with strawberries) and fresh basil!

Strawberry Semifreddo, adapted from Sunset Magazine, April 2015

Ingredients

  • 3 cups sliced strawberries plus 3 cups halved berries (2 1/4 lbs. total)
  • 3/4 cup sugar, divided (depending on how sweet your strawberries are, you can use less than this); also just set your sugar out, don’t measure out the ¾ cup, you’ll need to divvy it up a tablespoon at a time
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 5 large egg yolks*
  • plus 4 large egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp. orange flower water*, or 2 1/2 tsp. orange zest, divided (I completely omitted this ingredient, because I couldn’t find it and didn’t have the time or patience to run around town looking for it)
  • Pinch of kosher salt

Steps (READ THEM ALL!)

  1. Line an 8-in. square pan with plastic wrap, letting it overhang on 2 sides. Freeze.
  2. Coarsely mash sliced berries with 2 tbsp. sugar in a medium saucepan, using a potato masher. Bring to a simmer over high heat; then reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until slightly jamlike, 5 to 6 minutes. Set pan in a bowl of ice and water.
  3. Beat cream in a medium bowl with a mixer until soft peaks form. Chill.
  4. Set out a medium saucepan and 2 medium heatproof bowls (each should fit snugly in pan without touching bottom). In first bowl, whisk egg yolks with 2 tbsp. sugar and 1 tbsp. orange flower water or 2 tsp. orange zest. Put egg whites, 6 tbsp. sugar, and the salt in second bowl.
  5. Fill saucepan with 1 in. water and bring to a bare simmer over medium heat. Set bowl with yolks in pan and whisk until thick and ribbons form at bottom of bowl, 3 1/2 to 5 minutes; don’t overcook. Set aside.
  6. Set bowl with whites in pan. Using a clean whisk, whisk until frothy and warmed through (105° on an instant-read thermometer), 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from heat and beat with a mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form.**
  7. Stir half of strawberry mixture into yolk mixture. Fold this into whites, then fold in whipped cream. Gently fold in remaining strawberry mixture, leaving some streaks. Pour into prepared pan. Wrap airtight and freeze until firm, at least 6 hours.
  8. Combine halved berries, remaining 2 tbsp. sugar, and 1 tsp. orange flower water or 1/2 tsp. orange zest in a bowl. Unwrap semifreddo, turning onto a cutting board, and cut into 16 squares. Set 1 or 2 in each bowl. Let stand until edges soften, 10 to 15 minutes. Spoon berries around semifreddo.***

Make ahead: Through step 7, up to 2 weeks.

*Y’all HELL-thy Week was last week. OK.
** I don’t have an instant –read thermometer, I probably should, so I just sort of timed it for about 1 ½ minutes. ***Since I was only serving 3 ladies, I only used 1/4lb of strawberries, doused them in Grand marnier, and served those over the semifreddo. It was awesome. Try it.

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To eat or not to eat…leftover etiquette

Picture this: you are wandering around your house aimlessly, like a Walking Dead zombie, hungry and not entire sure what to eat for lunch (or dinner). Your inability to plan your meals has left you weak and delirious from hunger (ok, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration!). So, you poke around the fridge to see what goodies you may have leftover from previous meals… You open Tupperware after Tupperware, sniffing and poking at the contents to see if there is something edible amongst the bunch. Your hunger is overriding your intuition that whatever is in these containers is most definitely not edible. But, you tell yourself “it’s only been in the fridge for a week”.

No? This has never been you? NEVER? Really?

I have found myself, on several occasions, doing this exact dance with the contents of my refrigerator*. Lately, I have been asking myself “if a restaurant gave you week old reheated food, would that be ok?” HELL TO THE NO IT WOULD NOT BE OK. I’d be writing a review on yelp so fast the reheated leftovers wouldn’t have a chance to get cold. So, why is it ok to do this at home? It’s not.

I decided to do a little research on the shelf life of leftovers. According to the Mayo Clinic “Leftovers can be kept for three to four days in the refrigerator. Be sure to eat them within that time. After that the risk of food poisoning increases.” I have had food poisoning, it’s not pretty. It’s not something I would wish on my worst enemy (ok, maybe my worst enemy, or maybe Ann Coulter).

The USDA also provides some tips and guidelines for handling your leftovers, and even provides a live chat for those of you with nothing better to do than ask questions about leftovers. I mean, really, if you need to get on a live chat with someone from the USDA, don’t you think you should just throw that shit out?!

I recently made a lovely mushroom ramen soup, and allowed the leftovers to cool on the stove. I woke up the next morning to discover that I had forgotten to put the pot in the fridge…ugh, there goes my lunch. I have always thought that you should let food cool before putting it in the fridge, but according the USDA “Hot food can be placed directly in the refrigerator or be rapidly chilled in an ice or cold water bath before refrigerating”.

Going forward, I am going to try my best to label my food with the date it goes in the fridge, that way I won’t have to rely on my sense of smell or my elephant memory, as my husband likes to call it, to remember when I cooked what. I’m sure there’s an app for that.

Bottom line, if you are the least bit suspicious, or need to smell the contents of a Tupperware container, it’s safe to say you should probably throw it away…

*It just took me multiple attempts to spell that correctly.

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HELL-thy Week

There’s this crazy bootcamp workout I like to torture myself with. It’s called Barry’s Bootcamp. Ever heard of it? Tried it? Heard of it, but are too scared to try it? Well, you should be. Just kidding. Sort of. Anyway, a Barry’s workout consists of a mix of treadmill work (think hills, sprints, side shuffles, backward runs, and the beastly DYNAMIC mode) + strength work (free weights, resistance bands, steppers, weighted medicine balls, little squishy pink balls of abdominal death). Each day has a particular body part focus, for example today was arms and abs. Which means that when I walked into Trader Joes after class, I could barely haul my grocery bags to the car. My girl January Newland knows how to kick your ass into gear.

I digress. Every few months, Barry’s Bootcamp does this thing called Hellweek: “There are occasionally five Mondays in a month and here at Barry’s we call these last calendar days a Hellweek”. Basically, you get a really good deal (i.e. save a lot of $$$) to go to class every day, once a day, for one week. Ever since my Vespa accident, broken leg, and recuperation, I have used my bum knee as an excuse to stay away from any sort of real cardiovascular (cardio) work. Basically, anything involving jumping or remotely stressing my knee has been a no-no. Last week I decided to call BULLSHIT on myself. I tested my knee out by going to Barry’s 4 times. The knee held up. Matter of fact, it felt fine. My knee felt fine, but I felt like I might die. Literally. I was taking a little break during a set of crunches, or something, and January yelled out “Jules, did you fall asleep???” Did I mention that the trainers at Barry’s wear a headset microphone? Yeah, they’re super cool like that…

So here I am, registered for Hellweek, and ready to take my workouts by their little pink squishy balls. However, I also decided to add some extra stuff, you know, to make it more fun (challenging), and call this HELL-thy Week. In addition to the daily bootcamp workout, I am also cutting out wine (M-F only, I have not completely lost my mind), limit carbs (pasta and bread, dear god help me), keep an eye on sugar intake, meditate once a day with Deepak and Oprah, and get in at least 3 yoga classes as well (this means double workouts on some days). I have also given myself Sunday off…but who knows, maybe I will make it to that 7th day workout.

Bottom line is, I decided to make this week about being healthy and happy, and that doesn’t come with doing just one thing or another. It is being comfortable in your own skin, it is feeling good about what you put in your body, it is about balancing hard work with fun, it is about maintaining some sort of LIFESTYLE that feels good on YOU. I know that food and wine will forever be in my life, I love to eat and drink good wine. I also know that working out will forever be in my life, because I have fun and like the way it makes me feel. Does that mean that sometimes I don’t sit on the couch, binge watch Netflix, and eat raw cookie dough because I am too lazy to actually bake the cookies? HELL-no. It just means that everyday, I make choices. Choices that will make me feel good in that moment. That feel right for me. Not for anyone else.

So, as HELL-thy Week commences, I commit to doing my best everyday to stay on track with the plan I have set out for myself. Maybe everything won’t go as planned. Maybe it’ll go better. But whatever way it goes, it’s going my way.

Likers Gonna Like. No haters please!

Likers Gonna Like. No haters please!

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Shrimp Mojo Po’ Boy (a sandwich with a slight identity problem)

Every New Years Eve we go campin’ with our best friends, Felicia and Mark. When I say campin’, I mean CAMPIN’, not camping. We pitch tents, we build fires, we don’t shower for multiple days (ok, that last part? Felicia and I don’t shower. The boys use the 25cent showers to clean themselves daily. There’s just something about being filthy that makes it so much more authentic!). Truth be told, we also bring air mattresses, pillows, and blankets to sleep on. Hey, at least we are not sleeping in a cozy RV or bunking in a cabin. We bring tons of good wine, proper wine glasses, and beer.

I bake rice krispy treats and aloha bars (look for that recipe soon!). We bring pancake mix, sausages, bacon, eggs, and bread. We pack a campin’ stove. We brew coffee. It’s LEGIT. Everyone is jealous of our campin’ skillz. And by everyone, I mean the other 10 people who are crazy enough to be camping around New Years (because even in SoCal, that time of year can get down into the 30’s at night).

Every year, we plan out our campfire dinners. It goes something like this:
Me: we need to find some new recipes to make this year.
Felicia: Let’s look through some recipe books.
Time passes.
Me: we should just make the same meals we always make.
Felicia: done.

So, the same meals we always make are…
Night 1: meat and bean chili, premade, ready to be warmed in the cast iron pot over the open fire. Between the 1 hour drive, setting up camp, pitching the tents (Rob and I ALWAYS get into a fight when pitching our tent. It’s comical. I think we do it now just because it’s expected), and generally wanting to make things easy, we like to keep this first meal simple, with little prep work involved.
Night 2: Fancy Mojo Hot Dogs, a recipe I originally got from Bon Appetit years ago. I buy good quality hot dogs from Omaha Steaks (they call them Gourmet Franks), nice bakery bread rolls (you absolutely cannot make these in a regular hot dog bun, don’t even try it), make the Mojo sauce ahead of time, and prep all the accoutrements at home.
Night 3: Chicken and Rice Cooked in the Lodge Cast Iron Pot Over an Open Fire (that’s the recipe name). This is Mark’s specialty. He cooks it just right so that there is a layer of crispy rice at the bottom, which we basically fight each other for.

So, I recently had all the ingredients to make a Shrimp Po’ Boy Sandwich from Blue Apron. The problem? Mayonnaise (so gross), mustard (eh), and sweet pickle relish (no thanks). I racked my brain for what I could do to salvage this meal…

Shrimp Mojo Po’ Boy. BOOM. Combine a Louisiana tradition with my campin’ mojo sauce. I made the sauce, let that sit so the flavors could meld, then ran out to the farm store and bought an avocado. I chopped up some butter lettuce (Romaine works really well in this recipe as well). I cooked the shrimp as per the instructions (seasoned with a Po’ Boy spice blend provided by BA). I threw the crusty French style rolls in the oven for a spell. It was almost too easy (good thing after my disastrous coconut rice last week)!

The trick to assembling this type of sandwich: pull out the dough from the center of the roll, so that you can pile in the good stuff. Start by laying down the lettuce layer, then add your avocado (that shit is slippery), pile on your shrimp, then add the Mojo sauce. A lot of Mojo sauce.

The final, beautiful product: Shrimp Mojo Po' Boy. Dig In!

The final, beautiful product: Shrimp Mojo Po’ Boy. Dig In!

Basically, you can make this sandwich from anything really: hot dogs, shrimp, salmon, chicken. This Mojo sauce is so versatile, and delicious. Seriously. Consider doubling up the recipe so that you have extra for your eggs in the morning. YUM.

MOJO Sauce (this recipe is SUPPOSED to serve 6, but that’s bullshit. You will want to put as much sauce on your sandwich as your bun will allow!)
1/4 cup olive oil
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tomato, halved, seeded, chopped
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt & Pepper to taste

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; stir 30 seconds. Add tomato, lime juice, orange juice, and cumin; bring to simmer. Remove from heat. Season to taste with coarse salt and pepper. Prepare this a day in advance if possible, but no worries if you can’t.

I wish you could scratch and sniff this Mojo sauce!

I wish you could scratch and sniff this Mojo sauce!

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PIA Coconut Rice Bowl

Ever have one of those nights, where you don’t plan ahead, and you have no idea what you are going to have for dinner, and you walk in the door and start shoving any and all food in your face? No? That’s never happened to you? Then please stop reading this right now.

The other night, I was driving my friend Craig home from yoga, and I asked him what he was having for dinner. As usual (Craig is a hugely talented cook, and somehow manages to make everything look easy…and he’s ALWAYS prepared) he had a beautiful meal waiting at home ready to be warmed up. Aargh.* As I drove home, I mentally ransacked my fridge and cupboards. I had just bought a lovely piece of meat from the organic farm stand around the corner, so I knew I had that at least. But, one hunking piece of red meat does not a dinner make.

I found some brown rice, a can of coconut milk, a can of black beans, some shallots, and some garlic lying around the kitchen. BOOM. Coconut rice + black beans with sautéed shallots and garlic + side of beef. Oh yeah, this meal was destined to be easy and amazing…

Let’s just say, things did not go as planned. The rice should have taken 30 minutes at the most to make. So, I combined my rice, coconut milk and salt in a small pot, covered it and set my cute little kitchen timer to 30 minutes. While that simmered away, no, I take that back, while that bubbled over the sides of the pot, making an absolute mess of my stovetop, I chopped the shallots and garlic. Seasoned the meat. Washed some dishes that were lying about the kitchen. Opened the can of black beans, drained, and rinsed them. About 15 minutes in, I check on the rice…hmmm, things don’t seem to be going as planned. Add more coconut milk, throw in some water.

Coconut rice shrapnel everywhere.

Coconut rice shrapnel everywhere.

My timer goes off, my rice is not cooked, in fact, it was nowhere near being cooked. Add another 15 minutes to the timer. Sauté the shallots and garlic, add in the black beans. Check the rice. W. T. F. Add more coconut milk, throw in more water. Add another 10 minutes to the timer. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add meat. Check rice.

Black beans are good for the heart.

Black beans are good for the heart.

Direct quote “this fucking rice is the bane of my existence!!!”. I know, that’s perhaps a bit dramatic. But, my easy meal was quickly turning into an absolute disaster, and I was getting to the hunger point of eating my dog’s food (granted, I buy Cuca only the best, human grade quality dog food, but it’s dog food nonetheless). As I stomped around the kitchen, Cuca watched from her spot in the hallway where she can see all the comings and goings in the kitchen. I swear, if that dog could talk…

The timer goes off. THE RICE IS STILL NOT COOKED. I am to the point where “honey badger don’t give a fuck”, and am ready to eat my half cooked rice, with my beautifully prepared hanger steak and black beans. “Calm yourself woman” I say to myself. Add 10 more minutes to the timer. Wrap meat in foil. Turn heat under beans to low.

When that timer went off (for maybe the 5th time that night?!), I told myself I didn’t care if the rice was ready, I was eating my damn meal. Exactly 1 hour on the stove and that rice was finally ready.

When all was said and done, this meal was amazing. At least, I think it was. I was so delirious with hunger than I don’t really remember eating it. I did, however, obviously have time to stop and take some photos of the final product.

The final product, however, was pretty scrumptious!

The final product, however, was pretty scrumptious!

PIA Coconut Rice bowl with Black Beans & Hanger Steak
¾ cup brown rice
1 can coconut milk (I would say, oh sure, you’ll have leftover milk to make some splendid 1 person chia pudding, but you won’t)
Have water on hand
3-4oz meat (chicken would have been great too)
1 can black beans
1 shallot
1 garlic clove

Word of advice, cook your rice first, maybe even a day in advance. Everything else is so easy!

Sauté your shallots and garlic in olive oil, add the black beans and bring to a simmer.

Melt butter in a saucepan, add your meat, and cook (I am not going to tell you how long to cook it for, since you probably don’t like your meat cooked the same way I do). Use some common sense, and cut into the meat if you need to. Or, educate yourself about how to cook red meat.

P.S. To add insult to injury, I also at some point in this debacle burned the pad of my left thumb. Good thing I’m right-handed.

*BTW, thanks for the dinner invite Craig. Ha!

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