Saturday, June 21, 2014

Chocolate Mint Yumminess

Can you have chocolate mint on detox? That depends on if you are talking about chocolate coming from cocoa. I'm not. I'm talking about the lovely chocolate mint plant. Mint is one of those herbs that takes over. It goes wild. I love it. I love having mint in my herb garden that creeps its way out into the yard. Why? Because when you mow the grass it smells wonderful.

I think we should all have small moments that make us smile. The smell of mint or the smell of wild onions in fresh mowed grass is one of those small moments for me. It brings back happy childhood memories. My grandfather mowed his large lawn with a riding mower. Along the creek banks the spearmint grew waist high and along the edges of the hay field the wild onions crept into the yard. In the summer we would spend many weekends in the cabin in the woods just down a dirt road from my grandparents. Saturday must have been lawn mowing day. It seemed the grass was always freshly cut when my brother and I walked up the road to their house.

Yesterday when I was out in the back yard with the dogs I noticed how the chocolate mint I planted last summer is spreading out into the yard. I picked some and chewed a leaf while the dogs ran about. It was so tasty I brought in a few sprigs and made myself a cup of refreshing tea.

I'm finding meals to have themes this week. Breakfast is like a salad with fruit in it. Yesterday I expanded on that by using lettuce instead of heartier greens for my base. The colors were vivid. Blue and green and orange all in one bowl. The meal was as pleasing to the eyes as it was to the taste buds.

By lunch time I was looking for something warm and heartier. I chose to experiment. I cut up large pieces of cauliflower, slices of rutabaga, and strips of green pepper. I put them all in a large mixing bowl and coated with the juice of half a lemon. After tossing thoroughly I sprinkled garlic powder and salt free Spike seasoning over it then mixed it all through. I roasted these veggies at 400 for 30 minutes. It can take a while for the rutabaga to cook through. To keep the veggies from sticking to the pan I'm using parchment paper. Added bonus there? EASY clean up. While the veggies were roasting I steamed up some fresh mustard greens and sliced more jicama. You can never underestimate the importance of crunch in a meal. To make my day easier I made an extra large portion of this so I could eat two meals for one prep time!

Before heading out to train an evening class at the gym I roasted up some fresh squash. I've been enjoying an Italian herb mix. It is in a grinder so the dried herbs are ground up just before using. The result? My squash has that distinctive pizza aroma and flavor.

My day didn't involve much cardio. Unless you count the multiple trips up and down the stairs of the house. Laundry in the basement and master suite on the second floor does make for a bit of stair climbing on laundry day. I did manage to get some knitting time in. LOTS of it in fact. There are times when your attention is only needed for listening and occasionally speaking. It is these times I find knitting is the perfect accompanying activity. Last night I managed three and a half hours of knitting while listening. That sock I was just beginning the heel flap on Thursday was ready for the toe before bed on Friday. Yes, I completed it today but you will have to wait for tomorrow's knitting report to see the picture proof. 


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