Hi everyone! Whoa, am I blown away from the response I got on Sunday’s anxiety post. So many wonderful words of support, both from familiar ‘faces’ and new bloggy friends!
It’s funny, because as I was writing that story at the airport, I was thinking things like This is so long, nobody’s going to make it to the end, and Is anyone going to be interested in something so personal other than say, Mom? But as it turns out, a lot of you were interested, and a lot of you can relate! How about that? Airports are stressful for everyone! Andy even remarked last night how he thought it was one of my better posts overall, with more breadth than usual.
I’m going to keep posting about food and local happenings and travel, but there’s value in sharing my personal struggles, so you’ll also see some more anxiety and/or depression posts sprinkled in a couple of times a month.
And now! The rest of today’s post will be nice and simple 🙂
Let’s talk about easy food creations (I hesitate to say recipes simply because a.)I’m a reluctant cook, and b.)these steps are so simple: you’re basically just mixing things together. Really!) The other day, I got creative at lunchtime and since my pesto and hummus come together so well in the food processor, I decided to venture into new territory and make something with black beans.
And even better, why not incorporate some cilantro from our garden?
I was going for a Tex/Mex theme, so I threw a can of black beans, a few sprigs of the cilantro, 2 cloves of garlic, a handful of sliced cherry tomatoes, and some freshly squeezed lime juice into the food processor. Sprinkle some salt and cumin in there too, if you want.
I pulsed the mixture for a few minutes, and decided it still didn’t have the consistency I was looking for. So I glanced around, and spied these beauties:
I threw in about half of an avocado and that turned out to be the perfect last ingredient. Result: creamy, flavorful black bean and avocado dip! (Basically, it’s blended guacamole with black beans, haha)
A note: measurements are estimations. I’m never precise when cooking, and especially when tossing ingredients into the food processor (which is why I could never be a true ‘food blogger’!). Things like dips and pesto are wonderful to make because they’re so flexible and forgiving: add in more herbs, liquid, etc. until you get the flavor and consistency to your liking.
Or, you could use this great recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod if you like exact measurements 🙂
You could enjoy your black bean avocado dip with tortilla chips, or spread on some toast, or with some fresh veggies. Here’s what we did:
Are you guys hungry yet?
Also, are you wondering why I have a seemingly random strawberry photo at the top?
Next ‘recipe’, my friends! We were looking for some sort of dessert/snack, and somehow I came up with the idea to whip up ricotta cheese and pair it with strawberries. Why not?
No step-by-step for this dish. This is even simpler: I whipped some ricotta cheese (2 cups maybe?), vanilla extract (1 tsp), lemon juice (half a lemon or to taste), and a sprinkle of granulated sugar in a bowl with my hand mixer. Then, slice up those strawberries and dip for tangy, creamy, sweetness!
Now I wish I had ricotta cheese so I could make this again! It was so tasty!
Have you made anything new lately? Do you often improvise in the kitchen, or do you strictly follow recipes? I’d love to hear from you!
Here are some links, since I didn’t include any in my weekend post:
- If you struggle with anxiety: A One-Moment Meditation Video (via I Swear I’m Not a Hippie)
- Holy identification, Batman! Bisexual Invisibility and Internalized Heterophobia (via the rebel grrrl kitchen)
- 5 Manifestos for the Creative Life, from one of my favorite informative & interesting sites, Brain Pickings
- Tiny Buddha’s Mindfulness & Peace blog. Great recommendation from a friend
- Here’s another ricotta-based recipe: Greek Baked Ricotta with Green Olives, Lemon and Oregano. (Drooling over here!)
A daydream is a meal at which images are eaten. Some of us are gourmets, some gourmands, and a good many take their images precooked out of a can and swallow them down whole, absent-mindedly and with little relish. –W.H. Auden
[Credit gratefully given to Andy Milford for the photos in this post :)]