The End of #BEDN


Mash-upToday marks the end of Blog Every Day in November (#BEDN). Yay! I made it! I’m really proud of myself and I’m glad I took part in the opportunity. I also have to say that I’m a little relieved. I have a new appreciation for those who do blog every day. It’s really hard to stay motivated and come up with good content when life presents you with plenty of distractions! Overall, I’m very grateful for the variety of new post ideas and of course, new followers and readers who have stopped in to visit.

So how am I spending this last day of November? Well, I’m messing around in the kitchen with some new produce items from the Good Food Collective. One of these items is celeriac or celery root. This item has a mild celery flavor and is often used in soups and French cuisine. I did a little poking around online and recipes were varied and some were quite rich. We just discussed how I have to clean up my food choices and so I was inspired by this Jamie Oliver recipe because I saw the potential to keep it healthy while improvising with a few other ingredients I had on hand.

I can’t recall if I’ve told you about my love for truffle salt or not. I discovered it several years ago while I was working in retail. A friend was peering at the Dean and DeLuca catalog while raving about how she loved sprinkling it on her popcorn. I was immediately intrigued and went to Williams-Sonoma and almost had a heart attack when I saw the price tag. I rationalize paying the price because it’s so flavorful and I use such a small amount that this jar really lasts forever. It’s basically a finishing salt flecked with tiny pieces of black truffle. As my friend suggested, it is wonderful on popcorn, but also adds amazing truffle flavor to rice and potatoes. I knew I had to find a way to work it into a healthy mash-up of potatoes and celeriac. These are so delicious – you will not miss the butter and cream in traditional mashed potatoes at all!

Lady Sensory’s Chub-Checker Celeriac/Potato MashCeleriac

See what I did there? Ha!

2 tbsp olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed

1 celeriac (celery root), approximately the size of your fist

2 medium-sized red potatoes (also approximately the size of your fist)

6 tbsp water

2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped

1 tbsp chives, finely chopped

Cracked black pepper and truffle salt, to taste (I used about 1/2 tsp of cracked pepper and 1 tsp of truffle salt)

Wash potatoes and celeriac thoroughly, peel, and chop into chunks that are roughly 1/2 inch to 1 inch. Warm the oil in a heavy pot on the stove over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes until slightly golden. Add the potatoes and celeriac chunks and cook for another five minutes or so. Raise the heat to medium and add 6 tbsp of water. Bring to a strong simmer (almost boiling but not quite), then reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook for about 30 minutes. Add the parsley and chives, then mash with a potato masher. These are supposed to be a bit chunky (like in the picture above). Finish with the pepper and truffle salt, adding a little at a time until you reach the desired flavor. This should serve 2 people or one very hungry person.

Happy December!



Different Strokes for Different Folks

Image of Gary Coleman

Image of Gary Coleman

Today I’m supposed to blog about “something different” for Blog Every Day in November (#BEDN).  I feel like I’ve already been doing that, but the first idea that came to mind was an outfit of the day (#OOTD) and corresponding selfie. I couldn’t decide which ‘unenjoyment‘ hoodie and old sweatpants ensemble I’d most like to present to the world so I decided to pass on that idea.

After that, I thought I’d post about television shows with the word, ‘different,’ in the title.  I could only come up with Diff’rent Strokes starring Gary Coleman and A Different World, (the Cosby Show spinoff) starring Lisa Bonet.

That pretty much sums it up.

So then I decided to play around with a ‘different’ recipe for vegetarian friends (and friends who currently can’t have fatty food).  Here’s the resulting lentil burger recipe:

Lady Sensory’s Whatchoo Talkin’ ‘Bout Willis Lentil Burger:

2 cups brown/wild rice blend, cooked

2 cups cooked lentils

3 cloves garlic

1 medium onion

1/2 cup carrots

1 medium red bell pepper

1.5 tbsp Madras Curry (or curry of your choice)

1/2 tsp Garam Masala

1/4 tsp cumin (you can add more, if you like it – I tend to scale back on cumin)

1/4 tsp Hungarian paprika

1/4 tsp ginger

Pinch of cayenne pepper (or more, to taste)

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsp tahini (sesame paste)

1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

1/3 – 1/2 cup rolled oats

1-2 tbsp olive oil (if you choose to cook in a pan on the stove)

In a food processor, pulse the garlic first, then follow with onions, pepper and carrot and pulse until finely chopped (but not pureed).  Add the cooked rice, oats, breadcrumbs and pulse some more.  Finish with the spices, tahini and 1 cup of the cooked lentils. Pulse until mixture comes together.  Now combine with the remaining lentils and form patties. This made 10 patties and you can choose how you’d like to cook them. I wanted to make some for a friend since she just had gall bladder surgery and is limited in what she can eat. I made her my vegan lentil soup last week and that was a big hit. Since these are also vegan, they are very low in fat and should be easy on the digestive system. I decided to bake 5 for her (she can’t have anything cooked in oil yet) on a parchment-lined cookie sheet at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes (remove when golden brown). I prepared mine in a skillet on the stove with about 2 tbsp of olive oil, cooking 4-6 minutes on each side until golden brown. I also did them in small batches so there was sufficient room to flip them.  I’ve prepared black bean burgers in advance and successfully frozen them before so that’s what I’m doing with all the remaining patties.

Since they are a bit spicy, I recommend serving with a simple yogurt-lemon sauce, and some kale or spinach. You can have it open faced if you are being carb-conscious or serve on a nice crusty roll.  Yogurt-lemon sauce can be made with 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt, the juice and zest of one lemon and  any fresh herbs you like (parsley, mint or even dill might be nice). I didn’t have any yogurt in the house tonight so I just made a simple lemon vinaigrette (lemon juice and a little olive oil) and had it on kale and it was tasty. Now I have to clean all my pans in the kitchen. Has anyone else noticed how much cleanup seems to be involved when trying to cook healthy? Oh hey – now that’s something different!

Gary and the lentil burgers