Panko-crusted halibut with arugula pesto and asparagus

April 28, 2014

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Halibut
2 8oz halibut fillets
salt & pepper
2 tbsp butter

Crust
1/4 cup gluten free panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup finely ground walnuts
1 egg white

Pesto
1/2 cup walnuts
2 cloves of garlic
2 cups arugula
1/2 - 1 cup basil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup Vegenaise or regular mayonnaise 

Asparagus
12-15 stalks of asparagus
3-4 tbsp olive oil
4 tsp balsamic vinegar (basically just a quick drizzle over the vegetables)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
salt & pepper

Note: I suggest using a non-stick pan for cooking the fish. It allows you to use less butter, and you don’t have to worry as much about the skin sticking to the pan.

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 400.

2. Pesto: Pulse the walnuts and garlic together until they are coarsely ground. Add the arugula, basil, salt, and pepper. Pulse 8-10 more times until it forms a dry paste. If your food processor has a low setting, put it on low and slowly incorporate all of the olive oil. My food processor does not have a low setting, so I scraped the dry mixture out, and slowly mixed in the olive oil in a regular bowl. Taste and add more salt/pepper to your preference. Set aside.

3. Asparagus: wash the stalks and cut off the woody ends (about 2 inches off). Lay on a cookie sheet and coat with olive oil, a little balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and a quick dusting of garlic powder. Toss asparagus in the spice/oil mixture, then bake in the oven for 15-18 minutes.

4. Crust: pulse walnuts until they are finely ground into crumbs. Take the crumbs and mix with the gluten-free breadcrumbs in a pan. Toast the mixture on medium-low until crumbs become fragrant and begin to brown, then transfer to a bowl. 

5. Set pan to medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of butter and some salt and pepper to the heating pan.

6. Set the fish out for breading. Brush one side of the fish (non-skin side) with the egg white. Gently press the breadcrumb mixture on top of the egg white, thoroughly coating the top of the fish. Once breaded, transfer the fish to the hot pan, breaded side down. Cook for 3-4 minutes on medium high. Flip fish and cook for another 4 minutes. If you want to check the temperature, halibut is cooked at 145 degrees F.

7. The asparagus should be ready at this point as well. Transfer asparagus and fish to a plate. For a dipping sauce, take about 2-3 tbsp of pesto and mix with the Vegenaise.

April 27, 2014

Made some spring vegetable tacos from a recipe by The First Mess. I adore her blog, and these tacos turned out amazingly. I never would have thought asparagus and fennel would go together so well.

View the original recipe.

March 06, 2014

Trying to get back in the photography groove. Just some quick shots of plants around my apartment.

Recipe // Butternut squash tacos

March 06, 2014

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Makes 3-4 servings (of two tacos per person)

Total time: 30 - 40 min

INGREDIENTS

Filling
1 butternut squash (medium)
2-3 tbsp olive oil

1 sweet onion (medium)
2-3 bell peppers (any color you prefer)
1 28oz can black beans

Squash spice mix
Light dusting of these:
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/8 tsp ground cloves

Enough to coat squash with these:
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt (or smoked salt, which makes it really awesome)
1/2 tsp pepper

Cilantro lime sauce
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/2 cup pesto Vegenaise*
3 tsp garlic powder or 1 pressed garlic clove
2 tbsp of lime juice (taste as you add)

Everything else
Corn tortillas
Guacamole
Hot sauce (optional)

*Vegenaise is basically a vegan version of mayonnaise with garlic, mustard flour, basil, and lemon. You could probably mix chopped basil, garlic, a little lemon juice, and regular mayonnaise and achieve the same effect.

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 425 F.

2. Peel the butternut squash and chop into 1/4 in cubes. Toss in olive oil on a cookie sheet.

You can mix your spices together in a bowl, or do as I do, and sprinkle them all over the squash as you grab them from the cabinet. Once all your spices are on there, toss the oiled squash in with the spices so the squash is evenly coated. Spread the squash out on the pan and pop it in the oven (middle rack) for 20-25 min.

3. While that’s cooking, slice up (or in fancy terms, julienne) your bell peppers and onions. They cook at about the same rate so you can throw them in a sauté pan together on medium heat for about 6-8 min.

Note: I usually throw the tiniest bit of cumin, salt, and pepper on the vegetables for a little extra flavor. Not too much though, since the squash spices will be pretty powerful.

4. So while your peppers and onions are cooking, or after they finish, crack open the can of black beans, drain, rinse, and heat in a small saucepan or pot on medium-low heat.

Note: I wouldn’t add more spices to the beans or else they’ll compete with the flavoring on everything else. If you do want to go crazy, bacon always tastes good in beans. And bacon would also go with the squash flavoring well.

5. The squash should probably be done about now. Take it out of the oven and check to see if it has browned on the edges and/or is tender enough to mush with your finger.

6. Heat those corn tortillas in the microwave for 30 seconds with a couple damp paper towels between them. 

7. To make the cilantro dressing, add the Vegenaise and cilantro to a bowl. Mix and taste as you add the garlic powder and lime to make sure you don’t overpower the cilantro flavor.

Note: I added way to much lime the first time I made it. Don’t do that.

Now just throw everything into some tortillas and enjoy!

Civil rights activist Audre Lord said: “It is not our differences that divide us. It’s our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”

We’ve always been able to recognize ‘em. Some of us accept ‘em.
And I want to believe that there will be a day when we do celebrate ‘em.

I don’t know if that day’s here yet. I guess we’re about to find out.
But when I listen to Michael Sam, I do think it’s time to celebrate him now.

 Dale Hansen, of Dallas news channel WFAA


February 13, 2014

Ode to my Chemex

Ode to my Chemex
February 06, 2014

A couple nights ago I made southern vegetable soup from a recipe by For the Love of the South. If you have some time for drooling, check out the gorgeous photos and southern comfort recipes on that blog.

This is the second time I’ve made the soup and the first time remembering to include the bacon. Bacon is pretty key in adding an extra dash of awesome.

The first time I made it I also added a bone-in chicken breast towards the end. I found this enhanced the overall soup flavoring much more nicely than when it was vegetable only.

I’m having a tough time sticking to this vegetable primary diet.

A couple nights ago I made southern vegetable soup from a recipe by For the Love of the South. If you have some time for drooling, check out the gorgeous photos and southern comfort recipes on that blog.
This is the second time I’ve made the soup and the first time remembering to include the bacon. Bacon is pretty key in adding an extra dash of awesome.
The first time I made it I also added a bone-in chicken breast towards the end. I found this enhanced the overall soup flavoring much more nicely than when it was vegetable only.
I’m having a tough time sticking to this vegetable primary diet.

Mixtape // And everything was quiet.

February 05, 2014

Something soothing for your mid-winter blues.

01. Dye The Water Green - Bibio

02. Pine - High Highs

03. Bill Murray - Phantogram

04. Winter - Daughter

05. Montana - Youth Lagoon

06. In Ear Park - Department of Eagles

07. A Hobson’s Choice - Clogs

08. River - Mountain Man

09. Sycamore Silhouetting - Bibio

Listen on Rdio.

Resolutions

February 05, 2014

I’d like to believe everyone is trying to improve themselves in one way or another. If Pinterest is any kind of evidence, the most popular New Year’s resolutions are: detox, exercise, and dress well.

I find the idea of only one New Year’s resolution to be limiting. Why should we only try to be better at one thing? Why can’t we hold ourselves accountable for becoming more well rounded?

I try to accomplish goals on smaller timelines. This month I’m trying to incorporate more vegetables into my diet. Next month I’d like to complement my vegetable intake with some exercise.

So, with that I present my three New Year’s resolutions:

1. Eat more vegetables.

I’m already on a gluten-free, dairy-free, red-meat-free diet, since my stomach quite sensitive. Being on this diet does not necessarily mean I eat healthy foods all the time. I can still eat potato chips, fries, and pulled pork shoulder (one of my favorite foods in the whole world). Nowadays there are also unhealthy gluten-free/vegan/coconut/free-range options for anything my heart desires. I can pop over to the local grocery store, pick up a pint of coconut ice cream, and binge eat while binge watching Netflix just like the rest of the world.

However, I feel I’m at that point in my life where I need to start developing the right eating habits so I’m not paying for it later on. Over the holidays, my younger sister inspired me to revamp my eating habits. She is currently following a no gluten, corn, dairy, soy, and peanut diet because she is way more hard core than I am. But this new cookbook she uses, by Dr. Fuhrman, is all vegan (mostly gluten-free) recipes that are full of flavor and never lacking vegetables.

Dr. Fuhrman’s basic philosophy is: eat based on the nutritional value of your food. Meaning that, colorful vegetables and high-nutrient nuts and seeds should be the majority of your plate. Meat, dairy, and sugar should be strictly limited or taken out all together. He also has tips for weight loss, but advises that you eat however many vegetables you want until you’re full. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s diets that restricts my food intake. 

So bring on the vegetables. I will eat them.

2. Exercise. At all.

I’ve gotten really bad about exercising the last couple months. The winter daylight hours are brutal in Seattle. Sunrise is around 8am and sunset at 4pm. It’s a lame excuse, since I could easily exercise in my apartment, but I prefer going for a run outside to anything else.

In any case, exercise is important. I can’t only eat vegetables.

3. Improve my documentation skills.

Basically, take more pictures and write about I did at the time. I always think I will remember every moment from a trip or an adventure with friends, but I don’t. It’s only when I sort through my pictures or read through my journals that I can remember what actually happened and how I felt at the time. I think recording moments are important. As soon as I write something down a weight is lifted. Because it’s written I don’t need to actively remember it anymore and I can fill my head up with new things.

The second lens to this resolution is documenting process. By keeping track of my sketches and ideas, I can better hold myself accountable for building them beyond a rough concept. It will also force me to explain how my thinking, which helps greatly in revising and tweaking process over time.

June 03, 2013

Gin drinks.

TOP: Tavern Law

BOTTOM: Liberty