The last month has brought two big changes to my cooking habits. Meat, while it was always eaten in moderation has been pretty non-existent, save for the occasional bacon I make for the kids. In its place, beans have been given their proper due. Not using bacon has pushed me to look for flavors in unexpected places. My kale, white & ravioli soup proved to be a very fulfilling meal without my usual tendency to boost it with bacon.
Oatmeal seems simple enough, but it’s a divisive breakfast in our house. I love the nutty, toothsome texture of steel cut oats, as does my youngest daughter. The Mr. and my 7-year-old prefer old fashioned oats. Luckily, steel cut oats are forgiving, provided you don’t overcook them, so I can make a pot on Mondays and heat portions as the week goes on.
It’s just about mid-January, and while I’m not exactly in a root vegetable rutt yet, I couldn’t help think about all the summer salads that are months away for us farmers’ market shoppers here in the northeast. I had no intention of even making a salad, but after spying some blood oranges at the little market I inhabit a few times a week, I soon found myself picking up some organic baby arugula too.
I must confess, until two weeks ago, I really never knew the difference between muesli and oatmeal. Crazy, yes, but I’m also new to the oatmeal game. When I was a little girl, I’d beg my nana for oatmeal each morning because my older sister loved it. Then I’d find myself staring at a bowl of mush, and suddenly realized I preferred food that required teeth. Something with texture that I could actually enjoy.
While we’re on the subject of almonds, I thought I’d talk about one of my favorites—a splurge worthy of using some of that rainy day savings. Marcona almonds originated in Spain, and while I hear they are becoming popular in North America, I’m not really sure if that means cultivating or eating. I am of the latter.