July 30, 2012

The Jack of All Trades, the Polymath, and a Recipe for Non-Cooks

The blogs that I admire reflect the love they put into it, and it's really great to see people pick up new interests through their blogs. Some bloggers become better writers, more easily expressing themselves with wit and candor. Some find their niche and succeed in promoting their blog because it is of mutual benefit. An eye for photography develops, friendships are forged and communities built, entrepreneurial fires are lit. Mediocrity retreats from motivational drive, passion, visionary paths. The Jack (or Jill) of All Trades succumbs to the ever-growing expertise.

One of the things about this blog that is most exciting to me is the chance to delve into photography. It's been an interest I've had for a long time but one I've had to table for the sake of other interests. I've always chosen to play another instrument, participate in a new sport, learn my way around the kitchen, or spin clay into beautiful shapes. My passion to do these things has always out-passioned my desire to experiment with a camera. With that said, I don't expect to take prize-winning snapshots anytime soon. I do hope to catch a glimpse of beauty in my pictures rather than just snap to get it over with, but it will take some time to refine them. My hope is that when I look back at my blog beginnings, honing photography skills will be one of many accomplishments I'll see. And on a tight budget like mine, I'll get the added challenge of using an old digital camera and/or my phone. I'm up for it! You don't need the best tools to create something beautiful when you have ambition. It certainly helps, but its not a necessity.

So, hey let's give it a whirl. Below is a picture of a dinner I made the other night. I was in a hurry, and I was in desperate need of a grocery trip. For those who haven't been bitten by the cooking bug, this one's for you. There's nothing fancy about it. It's not really a recipe, per se, but more of a formula. It's versatile in that you can use any other vegetables, herbs, or condiments that you have in your house. You can substitute a raw pate, hummus, or leftover grains and avocado in place of the burger if you wish. 


A note on the raw collard wrapper: After I rinse and destem the collard leaves, I soak them in lemon juice and salt to make them more pliable and take out the bitter bite. It's the same concept as is used for a massaged kale salad. I let it sit for about 15 minutes while I am prepping all of the ingredients, rinse it off, pat it dry, fill it up, and roll away.

If you don't have 15 minutes, you can steam the collard leaf for a minute or two or use it as is if you don't mind the bitterness of the raw leaf. Also, you can pour boiling water over the sun-dried tomatoes to hasten the softening process or simply use fresh tomatoes. I've gotten some unbelievably delicious tomatoes in my CSA these past couple weeks. 

I served it with a side of cucumber sticks and leftover tahini sauce. Lately I've been eating cucumbers in everything all day long. It goes in my juices, smoothies, wraps, salads, and on-the-go snacks. It's definitely a food to get hooked on when the temperature and humidity are so high all the time. Watermelon, you're next!

Quick and Easy Collard Wrap

1 collard leaf
1/2 lemon, for soaking the leaf
1 Garden Herb Sunshine Burger
1/2- 3/4c veggies (I used red bell pepper and thinly sliced zucchini)
5 sun-dried tomatoes, soaked and chopped
small handful of greens
basil, chiffonade
parsley, chopped
squirt of mustard


-Clean leaf. Trim edge of the stem and shave off the raised portion so it is almost level with the leaf.
-Squeeze lemon juice and sprinkle salt on the leaf. Spread over leaf and into crevices. Flip and repeat.
-Place sun-dried tomatoes in water and set aside.
-Cook burger or grains if using.
-Slice vegetables, herbs and set aside
-Chop sun-dried tomatoes once they are soft
-Rinse salt and lemon off leaves, pat dry with a towel, and lay flat on cutting board.
-Place burger (or hummus, grains and avocado, nut pate) on one side of the stem
-Top with all other ingredients
-Roll up like a burrito or fold like a taco.

Are there any satisfying meals that you've put together on the fly? Does being low on groceries get your creative juices flowing? Are there any interests that you haven't had time to explore but are anxious to fit into your life?

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