This week on A Cozy Kitchen we’re getting super healthy! Yes, I know. I’m putting away the butter and sugar (for now) and giving you recipes to eat when you’re in the mood to be good.
I used to be one of those psycho people who could go hours, HOURS without eating anything in the morning. I’d totally skip breakfast, drink coffee instead (of course) but by 1pm I was a demon. A total hangry little demon.
This past Wednesday I had one of those epic food days. I ate sushi for lunch; there was a over-priced (but worth it) fresh-pressed cucumber juice for a late afternoon drink situation; dinner was a decadent Italian meal, proceeded by a warm buttered rum as a nightcap. Oh and cookies and milk!
I’m not sure if I’ve had a better food day than that, ever, but it’s coming to a screeching half, ladies and gentlemen, because the month of March is all about eating healthy (for me). Don’t worry, A Cozy Kitchen won’t be turning into a Paleo blog but I will be sprinkling in healthier recipes from time to time, this one you see as my first.
For this post, I teamed up with McCormick Gourmet to give you a healthier take on cottage pie (also known as shepherd’s pie). It’s for St. Patrick’s Day or any day when you’re looking for a healthier but still comforting dish to make.
December is for cookies and pies and appetizers, specifically meatballs. I love meatballs.
January is for recovery. Honestly, I always feel a little silly and cliche posting healthy recipes at the beginning of the year, but right now I’m actually craving vegetables and broth and nourishing foods. December wrecked my body. I ate and drank a lot and thoroughly enjoyed it (no regrets!), but this state of recover is really necessary.
Enter: this potlikker (pot liquor?) soup.
I first learned about potlikker while watching PBS’s A Chef’s Life with Vivian Howard. Have you seen it? Oh man, she’s my new obsession. Every show ends and I’m so inspired to make the stuff she’s making. She’s fun to watch, too. Vivan strikes this perfect balance of being knowledgeable, relatable, and vulnerable. And all her ideas are really smart and interesting…even if she doesn’t think they are at first.
This past weekend was ALL about girl time. And by girl time, I mean Amelia and I hanging out on the couch, going on hikes, going to the park, binge-watching Orange Is The New Black and driving around running errands.
My dude went on a dude-camping trip and I wasn’t invited. Even if I was invited, I’m not a big camper, if you hadn’t guessed. I like nature, I like waterfalls and the scenery and all that but I also like taking showers and being able to charge my phone. The real-deal camping is a lil’ tough for me.
Also, this means I can’t binge-watch Orange is the New Black, which I’m thoroughly enjoying. Doesn’t it make prison look like fun?! I know prison isn’t fun but the show doesn’t make it seem all that bad. But mainly I like that the characters are flawed and interesting and are usually really good people, just people with off-kilter ethical compasses who made bad decisions.
Ok, less talkie about TV and more talkie about this asparagus.
When roasting, I always try and go for the thicker asparagus. I find it less stringy and fibrous than the super skinny asparagus.
I mixed a bit of white asparagus in this, too. But you definitely don’t have to.
The mayonnaise! AHH! This dish is technically paleo because paleo peeps looove a good homemade mayonnaise. I personally like how paleo ppl make mayonnaise too. No blender. Just one of these immersion blenders.
Add everything to the jar or cylinder container and then pulse. Everything will come together. It feels magical. Hazelnut oil is a little expensive, so if you don’t want to use it, don’t! The actual hazelnuts will make it super nutty.
I’m pretty sure this has been the first year where I actually do a big time spring cleaning. Most years I just fantasize about spring cleaning, wishing I was one of those super organized people with a label-maker and the energy to organize everything. But most of the time, organizing overwhelms me. This year, as in this past Saturday, I took action and murdered three of the most disorganized, embarrassing closets I’ve ever had in my life.
I called them the “death closets” because if you opened them, who knows what could happen. An avalanche of stuff might just pour out, crushing you to death. Death closets.
They’re gone, now. They don’t exist. The only thing that exists are three very tidy closets, ridden of all of the junk they were holding; junk I didn’t need, use or like. UGH, BE GONE.
Have you done any spring cleaning? I swear it’s good for your soul.
These thing-ies. These lettuce cups are literally what I eat nearly every single night. I know that may seem like an outrageous claim but it’s not.
I eat them because they’re healthy and delicious and spicy. They’re the perfect 15 minute dinner that you can eat by yourself at the end of a warm day. That’s not a glamorous picture, but it’s a real one.