Heidi Swanson – Super Natural Everyday

I recently discovered Heidi Swanson. She has a blog (www.101cookbooks.com) and has released a couple of cookbooks. Her latest cookbook, Super Natural Everyday, just arrived yesterday. While I was waiting for it, I decided to try a couple of recipes from her blog. I got so excited as I scrolled through her recipe list. I mean, this is exactly how I like to cook. Organic whole grains, veggies, fruits, herbs…it didn’t even occur to me until I had already made a few recipes of hers that she is a vegetarian. Her food is so incredibly flavorful and fulfilling that I didn’t even miss any animal protein.

Last night I found myself reading her cookbook in bed. Can you believe that? I had a great novel that I have been reading lately (Freedom by Johnathan Franzen) next to me, but I was so absorbed in Heidi’s cookbook. I wanted to to know everything about her pantry, where she gets her groceries in San Francisco, why she came up with some of her recipes. You read it and feel like you are just sitting there talking to her and she’s describing it to you over a nice glass of wine. I am so jealous of what she has access to being in San Francisco, but alas, I am not living in a cave in the mountains – I do have some great local farms and grocery stores to choose from. And Whole Foods is opening up soon! Oh the exciting things in life.

I cannot find one thing that I DON’T want to cook in her cookbook, so I am going to challenge myself to cook everything in there….little by little. Some things may not be in season or accessible where I live, so there might be some tweaks here and there.

Last night I took a tip from her in regards to leftover quinoa. I had already made these delicious quinoa patties from her blog and had a lot of quinoa leftover. So I looked to her for an idea.

She has what she calls the “Delicious Big Bowl“. Kind of reminds me of the Hot Stone bowls we get at a local Korean/Japanese restaurant that have rice with various toppings. The point is to just use what you have to make it tasty. So I made a version of what she has.

I individually sauteed mushrooms, green onions, fingerling potatoes, kale, and broccoli in olive oil, salt, and pepper. I did blanch the broccoli before sautéing  – just fyi. I warmed up the quinoa, put a scoop in the middle of each bowl and arrange all of the toppings on it. I made a dressing of minced shallots, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and grated parmesan. It was SO good. Do this with anything leftover…rice, pasta, couscous. It’s a great way to use up anything in your fridge. Add nuts, beans, whatever. The key is to have a nice dressing for it. You can always go the Asian route with soy sauce, ginger, oil, and rice vinegar.

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