Recipes

How to Make Greek Bean Soup – Fasolada

IMG_20221115_132712579_2 Whenever I miss Greece, I cook fasolada (φασολάδα) and my kitchen fills with the aroma of the Mediterranean. I lived near an outdoor farmers market in Athens and found all the ingredients I needed to make this amazingly simple yet satisfying traditional dish. To cut time, I used canned white beans instead of dried. The flavors still turned out perfect.

As I move towards my next chapter in life, I wanted to share with others my journey towards health and happiness. Although I can’t simply fly back in time and quickly restore the strong, confident, woman I was while I lived in Greece, I can bring the food back to my plate. I did that yesterday, when I breathed in the soul filling broth of fasolada. Beautiful memories of stepping out of my flat in a sundress and sandals with a basket hung on my arm came back to me. I could remember the route to Syntagma square, the cafe and taverna that my flatmates and I frequented, and the tastes of marinated olives and hearty vegetable soups of November. Life was good.

I hope this dish brings a smile to your face as it had to mine. Just don’t serve it in a bread bowl. That was purely for aesthetics. You’ll want to savor each sip of the broth balanced with the creaminess of white beans. Make sure you have lemons on hand and a sprinkle of fresh oregano or parsley.

Continue reading “How to Make Greek Bean Soup – Fasolada”

Recipes

Sourdough Starter – Peace in Ukraine

Ellie Bleu I Stand With Ukraine

As Wednesday draws to a close, I can’t help but blog. My search for a flat is coming to a close and fingers crossed, I’ll be in a new home before I know it. My heart though is with the residents of Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine. According to NPR News, local officials say about 70% of the grocery stores are closed tonight. It’s heartbreaking to think that one-third of all women and children have fled their homes in this region. I pray that we all find a way to help bring justice and hope to those displaced by war.

I can think of nothing more satisfying then starting a trend to converse about what is going on in Ukraine. When I stumbled upon two recipes for a sourdough starter, I couldn’t help wonder…could we start a trend to break bread with our Ukrainian Greek Catholics and Jewish friends? What better way than to create something miraculous out of flour and water?

Continue reading “Sourdough Starter – Peace in Ukraine”

Recipes

Fresh Beginning

Dear Family and Friends, 

As I begin a new chapter in my life, I can’t help but think about timing. It seems as though spring brings about new hope, new beginnings, and a fresh start towards my calling in Social Justice. That being said, my purpose in life seems clouded by the suffering of so many women and children. I see injustice all around me and often wake up to the reality of homelessness in my community, hunger amongst friends, the loneliness in pews, and an anticipation of a new tomorrow.

In forty-eight hours I’ve seen my focus shift from welcoming my brother and his beautiful family back to Portland to envisioning my grandfather’s love blossom in the presence of his great-grandchildren. Often, I dream of bringing such joy to my family by adding little ones of my own to the mix. Yet I had to stop myself from dreaming as soon as I opened my peripheral lens. My realities exist somewhere between my faith and family in the Pacific Northwest, my current situation battling PTSD, and the heart wrenching news I see unfold on the BBC in Ukraine.

I don’t know what direction my blog will take me in but right now my heart rest with Poland and how they will handle the influx of refugees. I saw an article today that you can find here that brought me great joy: At St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in North Port Fla. food is bringing people together. It made me think of someone whom I care for very much and his family recipe. Continue reading “Fresh Beginning”

Recipes

Lemon Detox Drink

Happy Sunday blogging family,

For all of us in the US we got an extra hour of sleep. Wow, did I need it! I ended up watching classic scary movies that are filmed near the beach. Has anyone seen The Last Wave? It made me jump and I love scary mysteries. The Birds was almost comical but The Fog was perfect for a Halloween night at the Pacific Coast.

Well, after an evening of costume watching at the beach (everyone did a great job of social distancing), eating 2 large slices of pizza and devouring so many treats throughout movie night, I knew I’d have to redeem myself today with posting something healthy. The bright and cheery weather got me thinking.

Inspired by the sunny mornings in Capri, citrusy sent of lemons in Italy and a hint of pepper that gives it a kick, this lemon detox drink is just what you need to curb temptations during the holiday season.

Continue reading “Lemon Detox Drink”

Recipes

Mac n’ “Cheese”

20200326_154156

For nights in when you need comfort food

Hi blogging family,

I think the world could use a little soul food right now. I know I do. The first thing that came to mind for tonight’s dinner was my Mac N’ “Cheese” recipe.

When it comes to mac n’ cheese, I have a feeling it’s on everyone’s go-to list for childhood favorite. I added a little bacon – gasp. I never thought I’d say that. Ever since I was little and read Charlottes Web I vowed never to eat bacon. Then I found out that the same bacon pieces that my grandma used on our salads was actually made of soy. Way to go grandma! So I had to add it to mac n’ “cheese.”  Continue reading “Mac n’ “Cheese””

Recipes

Heart Healthy Waffles

20200327_152727Good evening blogging family or good morning depending where you are in the world. I hope you are keeping warm and healthy in your homes.

Not long ago (ok…maybe long ago…30 years to be exact) there were two little girls with braids in their hair, NKOTB night gowns on, rocking to “Hold On,” long before Bridesmaids was a hit movie. Often, our sleepovers ended with a yummy waffle breakfast.

Needing something uplifting after another week of sad news in the world, I whipped up my favorite cholesterol-free waffles recipe and blasted Willson Phillips while cooking. I don’t know if it was the sweet smell of waffles or listening to something nostalgic, I started my day off hopeful. So to my BFF out there, “hold on,” we’ll rock out to this song sooner than you think 🙂 Continue reading “Heart Healthy Waffles”

Recipes

Chocolate Chip Brownies

20200326_142620

Dear blogging family,

I hope this post finds you safe at home tonight. It was a hard day for America and New York especially. We surpassed China in the coronavirus outbreak.

Even on the saddest days, I have found that human kindness is all around us. As a social justice coordinator, I wondered how I could motivate others to help those most in need. After all, I’m relatively new to work and wasn’t exactly sure how people would react to the virus outbreak. Would they keep to themselves and focus on their families? Would they be afraid to reach out to the vulnerable? The answer is, absolutely not. I’m already seeing others identify the needs of our community, willing to donate their time and money to see that no one is left behind in assistance. What a special thing to be a part of.

It was raining when I took pictures of the brownies. Now, as I have one before dinner 😉 the sun is shining and I think I’ll go for a walk. I hope all of you get a little break from the rain in your life and see a glimpse of sunlight. As for brownies…well it can’t hurt to have one or two in order to get through the evening. Continue reading “Chocolate Chip Brownies”

Recipes

One-Pan Tomato Basil Linguine

One bowl pasta

A one-pan-wonder that will impress your significant other

Hi blogging family,

As always, I hope this post finds you and your family safe and healthy. Going back to blogging has been such a joy in uncertain times. The WHO just announced today that they are going to release a series of short films that focus on health and hope. I’ll keep you up to date when they are released. I’m sure the films will be translated or have subtitles in many languages.

This post is for the significant other who normally doesn’t do the cooking. Now is the perfect time to learn a easy meal that you can make for your loved ones. You can use up some of your produce and a lot of the ingredients you can find in your pantry. It also makes for a perfect date night in. And did I mention only one dish to clean? I have a lot of tips that make the meal more flavorful than most one-pot/pan pastas. Lets get started!  Continue reading “One-Pan Tomato Basil Linguine”

Recipes

Acai and PB Smoothie

20200324_115028

Hi blogging family!

I hope this post finds you safely tucked at home with plenty of food and space to exercise. I’m grateful that my family is currently healthy. Keep in mind though, we’re only at the initial stages of the coronavirus outbreak in the Pacific Northwest.

For those that don’t know me, I have a background in international law and spent years in developing countries helping others. My passion is to write and cook. I dream of publishing my first novel. And news to all my followers, I landed my dream job in social justice with kind people that are really supportive. Then the coronavirus epidemic hit.

I feel so helpless but also know I am lucky that I can work from home. For now, we can still go outside and go on trails as long as we keep our “social distance.” I decided to start up my blog to uplift others that are not as fortunate. It will still be the same format but the food will come mainly from the pantry and freezer. I’m trying to be mindful about the grocery store and providing space and time for those that need it.

So stay healthy out there – mind and body. We are all in this together and need to do our part. Now for a smoothie using an Acai packet I found in the freezer and some PB from the pantry.  Continue reading “Acai and PB Smoothie”

Recipes

Southern “Cassoulet”

Southern Cassoulet

Last week, I read a touching tribute to one amazing grandfather on Seek the Best Blog. When I mentioned my grandfather was also from the South, Lady G suggested that I share my family’s favorite meal and a little background behind it.

At the age of eight, I traveled with my relatives back to the South. It was a magical time on the family farm where my brother and I chased fireflies, drank sweet tea on the porch, and ate to our heart’s content. I remember the importance my grandfather bestowed on giving thanks for every meal. Though I miss him dearly, he taught me from humble beginnings comes great things.

Today, my father and I share a special love for Creole Cuisine. Southern Cassoulet combines southern comfort food with traditional French methods of slow-cooking beans. Serve with a tangy mustard, my grandfather’s favorite condiment, and you have food for the soul. Continue reading “Southern “Cassoulet””