Archive for the 'sage' Category


spinning round two, pumpkin soup.

Breaking news: I am ready to give spin another chance! I know; I’m just as shocked as you are, Sweaty/Spicy masses. It seemed we were wholly unmatched when I attended my first 6 a.m. class nearly three years ago, but it’s possible there was just a learning curve to dealing with the pitch black room, blasting techo and overly amped-potentially-roided-out instructors? Either that, or tastes change and that’s what I now consider motivation? In any event, I went to a class here last Friday, and I’m dying to return. The class was short (45 minutes), I sweat (buckets), and I got two entirely separate endorsements of how toned Soul Cycle-enthusiasts become (once they drop several hundies). SOLD.

This new obsession couldn’t have come at a better time, because I’m starting to lose my daily gym motivation as it’s turning to Winter far too early. It’s just not the same when you need to strip away 17 layers of clothing to change into gym clothes at lunch. And going before or after work is out of the question these days. The days are getting shorter and it’s already getting darker earlier, and that’s a notorious motivation assassin. Blerg.

I’m making more of an effort to eat healthy these days to make up for my gym aversion, though. I made this quinoa primavera courtesy of my Whole Foods app:


quinoa primavera

1 c quinoa
2 c water
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ c finely chopped red onion
½ lb asparagus, ends cut off and discarded, the rest cut into spears
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 c frozen peas, thawed
1 c shredded cooked chicken
1 c thinly sliced spinach leaves
1 tsp paprika (my addition)
juice of one lemon (my addition)
salt and pepper, to taste

You start by rinsing quinoa under cold water, and then drain it. Combine water and quinoa in a medium saucepan, and bring it to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until water is absorbed.

I had no cooked chicken in the house, so I bought thin breasts and seasoned them with paprika, salt and pepper. I baked in the oven at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, and removed from the oven.

Meanwhile, I heated the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and then added onion and asparagus. Cook about 5-7 minutes, stirring often. Add garlic and peas, cook for one more minute. Stir in chicken and quinoa, add spinach and stir until it wilts, 3-5 minutes. I added lemon juice, salt and pepper, and ate.

Admittedly, this dish is kind of bland. I hate to waste food, so I added hot sauce when I ate it the next few nights. In retrospect, it would have been good if it were made to be creamy, so I think next time I’ll add Greek yogurt or something to give it some body.

That was the first Whole Foods app recipe I made, and it was kind of a fail despite looks. I learned my lesson judging the spin class too soon last time, and have deprived myself of nearly 3 years of a rock hard bod because of it. And, so, I gave it another chance.

I made a kale, mushroom and polenta sauté courtesy of the Whole Foods app.

kale, mushroom, tomato and polenta saute


Canola oil cooking spray
½ lb button mushrooms, sliced
salt and pepper
red pepper flakes (my addition)
red onion, sliced (my addition)
5 Roma tomatoes, slice (my addition, it called for sundried tomatoes)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bunch kale, roughly chopped
1 18-oz roll pre-cooked polenta, sliced
¼ c grated Parmesan cheese

I learned my lesion before with the bland quinoa recipe, so I manipulated this one a bit. You start by heating a large skillet over medium-high heat with cooking spray. The recipe actually calls for olive oil, but I’m not one for greasy kale so I went spray instead. Add onions, mushrooms, salt and pepper, and cook for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, garlic and polenta, and cook for another few. Add kale and ¼ c water, cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for another couple of minutes until the kale wilts. Toss well, season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, and serve in a bowl. Top with Parmesan, and consume.

I’ve made many iterations of kale, but this has to be one of my favorites. It ties with the cannellini beans and lemon juice recipe, which is one of my old stand-bys. Delicious. Whole Foods app, you’ve redeemed yourself.

Now that it’s basically committed to Winter outside, I’ve decided it’s time to start making soups. Unfortunately, my immersion blender croaked earlier this summer while I was making salsa (sigh), and so I bought a new one earlier today. It’s Halloween weekend, so I figured it would be economically sound if I made a pumpkin soup that also happens to be a Weight Watchers recipe.

Don’t mind if I do.



3 ½ lb pumpkin
2 cloves garlic, peeled
3 c vegetable broth
1 ½ tsp fresh sage, minced
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp ground cinnamon

This guy has nothing to do with anything, but I thought he was precious so he made this blog’s guest list.

You start by pre-heating the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Cut pumpkin in half, horizontally, and scoop out seeds and membranes. Set pumpkin halves cut-side down, place garlic clove under each half. Bake one hour.

I baked these earlier this afternoon as make-ahead, and then stored them in the refrigerator as I dragged myself to yoga. I will never understand why I go to yoga so begrudgingly, but I’m always so insanely proud I went. It’s one of life’s mysteries, I suppose.

Later on, I scooped the pumpkin flesh out of the shells into a large bowl. Add garlic and two cups of broth. I then pureed with the immersion blender, which not surprisingly resulted in a kitchen covered in pumpkin guts. After the mixture is smooth, pour the puree into a large saucepan. Stir in remaining one cup of broth, sage, salt, allspice and cinnamon. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, reduce to low and simmer for about 10 minutes. Top with sage and serve.

I would add butter to this soup and a little heavy cream; although I’m not surprised Weight Watchers omitted those two fatties. They’ll make the guest list next time:

pumpkin soup with sage



ratatouille, grilled fontina, mushroom and sage sandwich.

There are two types of people in this world: those who live for New Year’s Eve and facebook spam everyone club events with $150 covers, and those who would so very much like to skip the whole damn thing without judgement and stay in with some “Arrested Development” DVDs and a bottle on Andre. Guess which side I fall under?
Though I’d rather be force-fed kimchee than participate in the amateur night that is NYE, I always make resolutions. And I go out, albeit begrudgingly. This year I decided to 1.) start dancing, and 2.) travel more. Tomorrow night, I’m going to a theater dancing class at a new studio, where I’m pretty sure we’ll at least touch on (ha) the choreography in La Vie Boheme (mucho masturbation?)  Also, I am thisclose to buying tap shoes. I need to do some field research, though, because my heart says buy big girl heels, and my head is adamantly opposed and pro-flats. On the travel front, I’m going on vacay in Los Angelos this week. Hello health food haven. I can’t believe the only time we met prior to this was when I was 14 and in town for my cousin’s Bar Mitzvah.
I’m totally mid fitness revolution right now. Rather than do my daily gym routine, I’ve decided to have really extreme workouts like 4 times a week. In between, I’m going to dance, start up yoga again, and..TBD. Today I started it off right by spending 82 minutes on the treadmill, and then I did some free weights and stretching. I had epiphanies. I watched 2 1/2 episodes of Diners, Drive Ins and Dives. I realized if I met the Ace of Cakes, I may be able to look past the soul patch, pick up and move to Baltimore, and maybe even bring him home to meet my parents. Total enlightenment.
I’m so into pasta dishes lately, so I made ratatouille this weekend. I got the recipe from one of my new loverly cookbooks, “Quick From Scratch: Herbs & Spices.”
3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 green or red bell pepper, diced
1 eggplant, diced
1 zucchini, diced (oohh, shocking)
3 cloved of garlic, chopped
1 15 oz can of crushed tomatoes
2 tsp white wine vinegar
3/4 lb of linguine
1/2 cup of basil, thinly sliced
It takes maybe 10 minutes to prep everything, and cook time is like 25 minutes. So very easy. You start by heating the oil in a frying pan over medium heat, and then you add onion and bell pepper and cook for about 5 minutes. At that point, you add all the veggies, lower the heat, and cover the pan. They simmer for about 15 minutes. While that was cooking, I boiled some water and cooked some whole wheat linguine for about 8-10 minutes.
Then, you add the tomatoes and simmer, still covered, for 10 minutes. Add the vinegar last, and then toss all together with the linguine. Top with the basil, and devour. I kept the recipe intact, but next time I’ll add my beloved red pepper flakes. I wanted to see how the flavors held up without it, and it tasted hearty and vegetable-y..and in need of some heat. Next time, Gadget.
I bought the most a-maaazing bread from Whole Foods yesterday. I love seedy breads, and really the seedier the better. Same goes for places, people, etc. I bought this organic 12-grain bread, so I decided to make this fancy grilled cheese recipe last night. Also of Herbs & Spices fame.  It calls for:
3 tbsp butter
1/2 lb of mushrooms
1 1/4 tsp dried sage
country style bread (wtf?!)
1/2 lb fontina cheese
You start off by heating 1 tbsp of the butter in a frying pan, and add the mushrooms, sage, and salt and pepper. Those should cook for about 5 minutes or so. Meanwhile, I had 2 bunches of kale left over from my spicy green beans and kale dish, so I tore off the bunches from 2 stalks to make kale chips for my side dish. I tore them off into bite sized pieces, drizzled in olive oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, and baked them in a 350 degree toaster oven for 12 minutes.
While those were baking away, I transferred the mushrooms and sage to a bowl (as dictated by the recipe), and wiped the pan clean. Using a pasty brush, you coat the bread in the rest of the melted butter, fill with cheese and mushrooms, and then return to the pan to grill for like 2 minutes on each side. I thought about bringing my panini press into the picture, but my laziness got the best of me. Anyways, it was so very good. Sage and mushrooms are amazing together, and that may be the best bread I’ve ever had. See below:

Grilled fontina, mushroom and sage sandwich, spicy kale chips

July 2020