Have you ever heard of the Reverb project? I came across it on another blog and instantly fell in love with it. It is a series of questions and prompts posted daily in December to help you reflect on the past year. It was started by Gwen Bell and you can join the fun by posting on your blog or adding your thoughts in my comments below. Since I haven’t been answering the questions here daily I thought it might be fun to answer a few at a time.
Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?
That’s an easy one: food. I don’t think you need me to explain more about that. I mean, we are here together on a food blog, aren’t we?
But, coming up with a word for 2011 was a bit tougher. After much thought I finally settled on health, but happiness and friendships were close seconds. Of course, if at the end of 2011 my word ends up being food yet again, I won’t be disappointed.
What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it?
This year, more than any other year, I have grown to fully appreciate my body. This year my body survived a gallstone diagnosis, digestive pain, a twisted ankle, a severe shoulder injury, constant shin splits, random foot and knee pain… and still managed to hang in there. Thank you, body. You rock. I express my gratitude for you daily by eating the most nutritious foods I can and giving you exercise and proper rest.
There are so many other things to be grateful for too. I am so appreciative to live in the Pacific Northwest and have access to some of the most amazing and delicious fruits and vegetables. I try to express this gratitude by eating locally, seasonally, and organically if possible. This earth is so beautiful and I hope to be a part of keeping it that way.
Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010.
This is tough. Let’s see… The first time I tasted Ethiopian food. Graduating from Antioch in June and feeling completely overwhelmed and confused by life. My first bike ride to downtown Seattle… all by myself! All of the delicious raw food I ate in July (remember this salad and this summer gazpacho? Yum.) Finding an amazing job that fulfills my heart and soul. Bringing home my cat. Getting together with great friends. Picking blueberries in a field and freaking out at the sight of two garden snakes. Using crutches for the first time. Joining an amazing CSA. Eating at Vita Cafe in Portland. Chopping off 8 inches of my hair. Going to my first PCC Cooks class. Getting a passport, even without going anywhere. Going to a pumpkin patch. This ice cream. Learning to cook beans from scratch. Watching the first snowfakes of 2010 fall. Discovering Plum Bistro on Capitol Hill. Oh, and starting this blog. Thanks for spending the year with me.
I know that salad is not the first thing many people crave in the dead middle of winter. However, if you use winter fruits and greens and pair it with a hearty dressing, it’s almost better than soup. This salad is sweet with a tangy twist because of the cranberries and vinegar in the dressing. Instead of spinach you can use other greens like kale, but if they are thick greens I would recommend massaging the dressing into the leaves and letting it sit a bit to soften before serving. Enjoy it while you’re curled up next to the fireplace or, in my case, apartment heater.
4 cups spinach (or other greens)
Seeds from 1 pomegranate
2 clementines, divided into slices
1/4 cup fresh cranberries, sliced in half
1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup + 2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs red wine vinegar
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
2 Tbs water
Add two tablespoons of olive oil to a pan over medium heat. Add your onions and saute for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and whisk the garlic and onions together with the olive oil, red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, water, basil, and rosemary. Put everything in a blender and blend until smooth. If necessary, add a little more water and/or olive oil.
Add one cup of greens to each plate and top with clementine slices, a handful of pomegranate seeds, some cranberries and a quarter of the avocado, sliced. Drizzle dressing over the top.