Adapting to Less Time

Spicy Tomato Sauce with Shrimp, Chickpea and Roast Asparagus

For the first two to three years of MyLifeRunsOnFood.com, I was partially or fully unemployed. My hours were spent writing cover letters, resumes and recipes. The food blog enabled me to have a routine, stay creative and hopeful. The recipes created during that time period, continue to be my favorite meals.

During that time period, I recall a conversation with several friends about how process food isn’t as fast as preparing a home cook meal. Then there’s a lone voice among us who disagreed with us as she explained, “…for working families… it’s difficult to prepare healthy meals, join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) or a food co-op…” I was curious about her statement. Despite being unemployed, I wondered if my concept of time management around healthy eating was within the realities of single parents and families working full-time.

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Say Yassss to Spring

Baked Eggs in Harissa Spice Tomatoes Sauce with Quinoa and Kale

Say yasssssss to Spring being around the corner, especially after we had one too many snowstorms this past winter. As I’m writing this, we’re due for another snowstorm (or dusting) the next day. Usually my refrigerator is packed with flour, buttermilk, orange juice, eggs and maple syrup for a pancake breakfast. This time, there will be no pancakes to celebrate another snowflake.

Overlooking the buttermilk, I remove left over red quinoa from a salad made earlier in the week. I find other ingredients for a quick breakfast: Crisp baby kale, a new jar of harissa spice, fresh thyme and plenty of eggs. On a whim, a savory tomato and egg dish with a bit of harissa spice was made.

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Parade Magazine: Roast Butternut Squash and Chicken Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

Roast Butternut Squash and Chicken Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

Growing up, tacos were filled with ground beef or shredded chicken, and they were topped with chopped tomatoes, iceberg lettuce and shredded mild cheddar cheese. Mom deep fried corn tortilla shells and asked everyone whether they want soft or hard taco shells. Back then, tacos were simple, and I still love my childhood version today for nostalgic reasons.

Today, an online search for tacos yields more than lettuce and tomatoes. Tacos are topped with pickled vegetables and authentic Mexican cheeses. They’re filled with meat slowly simmered in mole sauce, quinoa and spicy roast vegetables. And, some people buy tortilla presses to make their own corn tortillas. Personally, my taco shells aren’t deep-fried, instead a little oil is added to a hot skillet as a tortilla shell is flipped over several times for a few minutes.

In this autumnal taco, butternut squash is roasted with warm spices and toss with shredded chicken. The meat and squash filling is placed over a corn tortilla and before its folded in half to enclose it, pineapple salsa is spooned on top for a fresh and sweet taste. Of course, no taco is complete without cheese. In this version, only a mild flavored cheese is needed, such as Cotija (think of it as a Mexican version of the Italian Ricotta Salata cheese).

There’s memories surrounded by tacos. Since, Dad was ‘The Cook’ in our house, we were excited when Mom decided to make one of her few dishes, which were tacos. For the record, even though I strive to eat healthy most of the time, I always prefer her deep-fried taco shells.  Read more

Plum Cardamon Chicken Wings

Plum Cardamon Chicken Wings

What to do with plums left over from those last days of summer? I wouldn’t recommend serving them fresh, because they’re not quite their best anymore. However, here’s a sauce making best use of those late season, mealy plums for chicken wings or using as a dip for French fries. Where to serve them? It’s the start of another football season, and sports parties always have chicken wings. Meanwhile, my excitement for fall is because of the new television shows. This season, I’m watching Scandal and Boardwalk Empire. Read more