Here I am, almost two month since the last food post, groveling and asking that you rejoin me at our table on our deck, surrounded by our garden of vegetables, herbs and flowers, bask in the setting sun and light Hawaiian trade winds, so that we once again can break bread together.
I do feel that I owe a brief explanation to those of you who have faithfully been checking in and those of you who have been commenting despite the silence. In a nutshell, we have had two very busy months. We started a home improvement project that, of course, dragged on far longer than anticipated. The actual labor was done relatively quickly thanks, in part, to our minimal square footage – painting the walls shades of blue (and bright yellow in the bathroom) and replacing the forlorn carpet with laminate wood flooring in a warm shade of oak to create an effect of a beach side cottage (in reality we live on the side of a volcano and are a three minute drive from the ocean). What took so long was the finishing work (baseboards, caulking, transitions, etc) and dragging everything back into the house, unpacking, reorganizing, and so on and so forth. There was also much going on at work. We had family visit for two weeks. We puddle-hopped over to the Big Island for some R&R with the visiting fam.
Additionally, on a more somber note, we’ve had people close to us facing some serious health issues. My instinct, in addition to offering all manner of support that I can, is to feed people when times get tough, stressful, or scary. Food is love, food is health, and food is nourishing both for our bodies and our souls. But when faced with health issues, people should be fed as well as possible – not the cakes, pies, and cookies loaded with sugar that are my initial instinct to whip up. This has led me to critically consider the way I cook and eat and has made me face the hard reality that I use and consume entirely too much sugar and too much white flour. This amount of sugar can undo the work put into carefully choosing produce and focusing on using all fresh ingredients and whole foods. So, as I happily jump back into the world of cooking and baking, expect to see a focus on the same delicious foods but, in the case of my sweet teeth, expect to also see a focus on natural sweeteners, whole grains, and healthier treats.
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
— Virginia Woolf
It’s good to be back. Let’s eat!
White Bean, Mushroom, and Smoked Sundried Tomato Pasta
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 ½ cups sliced white mushrooms
1 15 oz. can white beans, drained
1/3 cup smoked sundried tomatoes, soaked in boiling water to rehydrate and then cut into small pieces
5 tbs tomato soaking liquid
2 tbsp fresh herbs, chopped (I used rosemary, basil, oregano, and parsley from my garden)
Salt, pepper, and hot red pepper flakes to taste
Olive oil for drizzling
Pasta of your choice (I used whole wheat spaghetti)
1. Put a pot of water on for the pasta, and soak the sundried tomatoes in a bowl of hot or boiling water for about 10 minutes or until soft.
2. Meanwhile, Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat, and sauté the onion for 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic, sauté 1-2 minutes, then add the mushrooms. Saute for about 5 minutes.
3. Add the beans and tomatoes to the pan and add 5 tbsp of the tomato soaking liquid. Add more if the bean mixture begins to stick. Cook for 5-7 minutes.
4. Add salt, pepper, and hot red pepper flakes to taste. Sprinkle on the herbs and drizzle with olive oil. Serve over pasta.