Garlic Scape Dressing

garlic scape dressing

I received another CSA box with an unusual produce item that looked like scallions with a tiny green bulb at the end.

It was fortuitous: at a Greenmarket I found the item featured in an egg frittata sample to taste. I brought home the one-page recipe for the garlic scape dressing.

The person I served the salad to claimed the dressing I created was the tastiest he’d ever tasted.

This recipe is from thespruce.com:

Garlic Scape Dressing

Ingredients:

2 garlic scapes, coarsely chopped

2 green onions, coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon honey

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard or similar brown mustard

4 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

dash salt

1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions (see my clarification below this):

In a blender, combine the garlic scapes, onions, honey, mustard, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth. With blender on low, slowly add the olive oil until well blended.

Makes 1 cup.

The trick is to add a little olive oil, PUT THE LID ON the blender, and turn the blender on low. REMOVE the lid, pour in a little more olive oil, put on the lid, and repeat.

I couldn’t figure out which button on my blender was the “low” option so I used the puree button to blend the olive oil into the mixture.

Listen: using lemon juice by squeezing real lemons is preferable to using the lemon juice in a plastic container. The store-bought lemon juice contains sulfur dioxide.

Real lemons are plentiful in produce departments at food markets so I recommend buying lemons instead of the juice in a plastic container.

This salad dressing recipe takes about five to seven minutes to create. It’s a quick and easy recipe for salad dressing you can use with summer salads.

I happen to think that red leaf lettuce is delicious. If you ask me it tastes better than the usual ho-hum spring mix salad greens.

Organic or not, I urge you to give red leaf lettuce a try in the summer. One head of lettuce can sometimes last a single person two days.

Forget iceberg lettuce.

Chilled Avocado Soup Recipe

Here’s a photo of a dinner where I created a chilled avocado soup recipe:

avocado soup

The salad is easy to make with red leaf lettuce.

In the summer, I run to butter lettuce and red leaf lettuce because they’re tasty. Just add colorful tomatoes, onions, and radishes. Even olives and chickpeas can be used.

The shrimp I cooked are from a shrimp scampi recipe I found in a Food Network magazine years ago.

Chilled Avocado Soup

1 large avocado

1/2 cup plain yoogurt

1 1/2 cups milk or cold vegetable stock

salt and pepper to taste

  1.     Peel avocado. Cut into large chunks.
  2.     Place the avocado in a blender and add the yogurt. Blend until creamy.
  3.     Turn off the machine. Scrape down the sides.
  4.      Add the milk. Blend for 15 seconds.

You can season the soup with salt and pepper. It can be garnished with some tomato salsa, chopped fresh herbs, or chopped green onion.

This isn’t one of my favorite recipes yet I repeat it here because readers might like it better than I do. The recipe is quick to make. The soup is a cool version of soup to have in the summer.

The recipe was found in The Jumbo Vegetarian Cookbook which is a collection of recipes for teens.

 

Mashed Potatoes Recipe

I buy a CSA box–a Community Supported Agriculture box–that is stocked with produce.

The latest offering featured dried chili peppers, mint, parsley, and thyme, two potatoes, and red leaf lettuce. I couldn’t tell what the other produce item was–it was a thick green frond. Not like Swiss chard–it was thicker and harder.

I figured out how to make mashed potatoes. The good news is you don’t need a recipe for them to come out right. It’s nearly foolproof so here goes:

For one person:

Peel two potatoes. Cut them into chips and cut the chips in quarters.

Boil the potatoes in water in a sauce pan with the water covering the potatoes.

Boil for about 40 minutes. Drain the water from the saucepan.

Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes until there are barely any lumps.

Pour in milk slowly from a measuring cup. Use a teaspoon or tablespoon to beat the potatoes.

Use a tiny amount of milk and add more milk as you go along.

Once the potatoes are as creamy as you’d like them:

Serve with butter and if you’d like you can salt them.

Voila: an easy recipe for mashed potatoes.

As you’ll see below I served them with a parmesan-crusted chicken cutlet.

I’ll be making another recipe for chilled avocado soup and will return with a photo of the soup.

It’s summertime–and the living ISN’T always easy. Yet if you ask me it’s a wonderful season for cooking from recipes. The abundance of fresh and tasty produce is a cook’s delight for at least the next six months.

mashed potatoes

Beautiful Day

It’s a beautiful day here.

Sunny and warm.

I’m testing the WordPress app.

There’s nothing better than plein air typing.

Van Gogh liked to paint outdoors because of the curative effect of the air.

I urge everyone to go outside in the sunny weather.

Being near water also has a curative effect.

Do wear sunscreen though.

Have a beautiful day!

House Hunting

I recommend using a real estate agent to help you find an apartment.

Always view the actual apartment that is listed as being for rent.

You will pay the first month’s rent, a security deposit, and real estate office fee upfront all at once.

Refrain from telling the real estate agent that you collect SSI or SSDI as your sole income source. People have done that and were told that no apartments were for rent.

In a book I’m writing I go into this in detail.

The idea is to have eight months’ of living expenses socked away in an emergency fund.

If you ask me a person who owns a co-op or condo apartment should have at least $30K in an emergency fund. A person who owns an actual house should have at least $75K in an emergency fund.  A person who rents an apartment should have at least $10K in an emergency fund.

This makes sense because renters often have to change apartments. Thus you can use part of your emergency fund for the upfront housing costs.

How do you get an emergency fund? You “Pay yourself first” out of every paycheck or whatever kind of check you get each month to live on. The term “pay yourself first” signals that before you record any bill payment or other deduction in your account, you debit the amount of money you’re saving for an emergency.

If you have a job and get direct deposit, you can pay yourself first by automatically depositing a portion of your paycheck into a savings account. You can deposit the remainder into your checking account to live on.

The amount of money in an emergency fund should be linked to the cost of living where you live, how long it might take you to find another job if you’re laid off, and what your housing and other costs are each month. You should factor in the cost of COBRA health insurance premiums if you lose your job and have to buy into your health plan.

I’m amazed when I meet a person who hasn’t ever heard of having an emergency fund or what the term “pay yourself first” involves. Now you know if you didn’t already.

Bari Tessler recommends calling an emergency fund a “peace of mind fund.” I like the term peace of mind fund better.

This fund should be easily accessible and held in an FDIC-insured account so that you’re guaranteed access to the funds should there be a “run on the bank” or the bank fails.

I’ll talk next about creating a six-week action plan for finances.

3rd Anniversary of Flourish Blog

This month celebrates the 3rd anniversary of the Flourish blog.

In 2007, I started to keep the first incarnation of my blog. It’s out there; I just don’t know how it can be found. Google shut down an account of mine and this prevented me from continuing to post blog entries there.

The second blog I kept after that I chose to deactivate for public reading once I started keeping this blog.

This Flourish blog celebrates its 3rd anniversary this month.

I send out a million thanks to all my faithful readers and to the readers who come and go every so often. I send out a million thanks to all my loyal followers.

I keep this blog because I’m committed to advancing a positive portrayal of recovery.

Of what happens when “psychiatry gets it right.”

Not only that to show that each of us has the power to create our own version of a full and robust life for ourselves.

It might be true that if I were anti-psychiatry I’d get more followers or more clicks or more eyeballs.

Yet this is my blog where I choose to be in the vanguard as always by writing in a passionate voice about health, wealth, and happiness.

Right now I choose not to focus on illness, symptoms, and medication.

Other websites exist that focus on this information.

Instead, I choose to focus on fitness in all its myriad forms.

Fitness is comprised of mind, body, spirit, finances, career, and relationships.

My goal in the coming summer for this blog is to be bold and be innovative in advancing my agenda that peers can achieve their own version of a full and robust life.

This is going to be a different lifestyle for each of us.

Yet I think we can all agree that staying out of a hospital is a noble goal that can often be achieved for a lot of us.

Years ago–going back fifteen years ago–I was keen to tell people that the medication gave me a life worth living. Right now I choose not to talk about this aspect of my recovery. I choose to talk about lifestyle strategies instead.

This is because a person recovers not solely because of the medication. You recover because of the actions you take. Helping yourself–and reaching out for help when you can’t go it alone–makes all the difference.

In this blog and at the Left of the Dial blog I’m going to touch-up and refresh what I write about to remain innovative.

Here’s to the next 3 years!