Tuesday, December 30, 2008

it's a new day

hi guys-

well, here we go...it's almost 2009, a year when history will be made in many ways. a new president will take his place in washington and ask us to become better people; to work for the good of us all; to create community and support each other. it is a year when we will be asked to help those around us who may be less fortunate or weaker.

to do that huge job, we will need our health. we will need strength, clarity of thought and vitality. it's no small task to change the world, but america is at a tipping point and change is all that will save us from ourselves. the era of poor politics, over-consumption, materialism and obsession with celebrity and 'stuff' is over. it's time to stop taking and time to begin giving back. it's time to lift the burden off our planet and treat her with the kindness and generosity she always shows us...no matter what we do.

it's time to get back to the basics of truly living well...and it begins in the kitchen, where we create delicious meals from whole, unprocessed, seasonal (as much as possible) ingredients prepared in balance with who we are and what we want to achieve in life. health begins in the kitchen. vitality comes with every saute, every simmering pot, every fragrant stew that you serve to those you love.

in times like we face, we need strength of mind and body to overcome and rise to new levels of greatness. eating dead, processed junk food will never give us the wings we need to soar to those heights. humble, natural food prepared by our hands, in our homes is the ticket to health and wellness.

enjoy a great 2009...i wish you all peace, prosperity and togetherness...because after all, what happens to one of us happens to us all.

enjoy this quick dish and give your energy a lift!

Orecchiette with Green Olive Pesto

Makes 4 servings

Green Olive Pesto
2 cloves fresh garlic, peeled, left whole
1 shallot, coarsely chopped
¼ cup pitted green olives (Ni├žoise are best)
¼ cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
¼ cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

8 oil-cured black olives, pitted, very finely minced
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 plum tomatoes, seeded, finely chopped
2 cups orecchiette, cooked al dente, ¼ cup pasta cooking water reserved
4 basil sprigs, for garnish

Make pesto: Combine garlic, shallot, green olives, parsley and basil in a food processor. Pulse to coarsely chop. With the motor running, slowly add olive oil and process until fully incorporated into the olive mixture, but do not over-process. This should be a coarse pesto, not smooth.
Heat a deep skillet over medium heat and add pesto, black olives, salt and tomatoes. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Stir in orecchiette and pasta cooking water and cook, stirring, until the water is absorbed, about 2 minutes more. Serve hot, garnished with basil sprigs.

ps...to erica...jon is a friend from nashville, whose talent i admired and wanted to share with everyone...robert pirello is my most cherished and adored husband of 21 years...


teryll said...

What an inspirational blog and how true it is indeed.

I recently was turned on to your cooking show. I've put two of your books on hold at my local library.

I was wondering what you think are the "top 10" things we can do to improve our health and well being in the coming year!

JesicaAn said...

Hi. Didn't know where else to ask a question.
I just saw your show for the first time this week while I was on vacation... so I got Everything you ever wanted to know about Whole Foods... at the library.

Anyway- I am going to make the "Spicy Black Bean Cakes" on pg 137, and I was wondering- for the tofu in the cakes, do you recommend freezing that first for the texture or not? It would make sense not to freeze the tofu for the sour cream otherwise the tofu wouldn't be creamy and the texture would be off...

Happy New Year!

shell1226 said...

I love your new book. I received it for Christmas and read it cover to cover right away. 2009 is my year to go vegan and your book will lead the way.

Quick question. If I can't find daikon, what can I use instead? Must have been a bad year for daikon as I was unable to find good daikon at my Whole Foods all year, now I can't find it at all.


Fred and Leon said...

Hi, I watched your show on wsiu today and was totally thrilled. The title of the show was "Dieting Dilema". Anyway, I have been looking for the recipes, and have been unable to find them. Part of my problem is that I forget the names of the dishes you prepared. If you could steer me in the right direction I would be forever grateful. There was a marinated, fried tofu, a yummy stir-fry with many things including radishes, and a marinated veggie salad sprinkled with toasted hemp seeds. I have a daughter on a special diet for epilepsy and I try to include as many fresh foods as it will allow. I look forward to future episodes.
Thank you so much!!!

JesicaAn said...

Well, I tried the black bean cakes with tofu that had been frozen and they wouldn't stick together, so I guess that answers the question! They were still delicious, I made them with the stuffed bell peppers and spicy sweet potatoes, and some green beans.. It was delicious!