This spring, I’ve been busy getting real about following my dreams… the ones that involve seeking freedom from urban captivity and planting myself in a greener place. I’ve been spending most of my weekends playing out the long-game of our move to the northwest, ferrying across Puget Sound and trekking across the wild Olympic Peninsula in search of a new habitat to call our own.
This one is for all my friends out there who love Instant Pot as much as I do! This wonderful machine became my first pressure cooker nearly 4 years ago, and I’ve been testing recipes and posting my favorites here ever since. But lately, it’s been starting to drive me crazy that there hasn’t been a good way for readers to browse the growing collection and find what they’re looking for.
To solve that problem, today I’m launching my Instant Pot Index, a brand new corner of the site where I’m organizing and highlighting all things Instant Pot. It features a visual recipe index (!!!) organized by category, along with links to other handy resources like my user review, Instant Pot Pinterest board and my favorite tools/accessories. You can reach it from any page by using the new graphic link on the right sidebar, or the shortcut button on the site’s header menu.
To celebrate, you better believe I’m going to be filling out that fancy new recipe showcase! To start, I’ll be posting a new Instant Pot recipe every week over the coming month! Stay tuned for the first one later this week…
Lo and behold, HERE WE ARE. Moving is never easy, but we made it happen, and it is so exciting to finally find ourselves exploring this new world. And really, compared to what we’ve been used to in San Diego, Seattle is like a whole new universe. Even now, in the dead of winter, everything is ALIVE! We see flocks of birds take flight every morning, seas of trees in every direction, and practically every surface is covered with a fuzzy, friendly diversity of lichens, fungi and mosses. Life is beautiful, and this biological abundance is something I take a lot of comfort in.
Apparently 3 months have blasted by since I last made time to write here. Things have been a little chaotic, but I think the dust has settled enough that I can finally go public with an official announcement: this household is closing up shop in San Diego, and moving north. We are relocating to Seattle, Washington!
I don’t have a full-fledged post for today, but I still wanted to check in to say hello and share a real-time glimpse into my kitchen life. It’s Valentine’s Day, which means I’m getting ready for our annual holiday tradition: home-cooked steakhouse dinner for two. This year it’s grass-fed sirloin, roasted asparagus and whole onions, and freshly-baked seeded sourdough baguettes (swoon).
Grant is out taking advantage of the warm Sunday weather for a surf session, so I’ve been spending a relaxing morning at home sipping coffee, petting Chuy, and leafing through my bookshelf in an attempt to kindle my next spark of culinary inspiration. Harold McGee delivered, as usual – ever since I was gifted On Food and Cooking years ago, I’ve been in awe of the depth of culinary science and history expertly compiled in its 884 pages. I’ve valued it as a reference book, but after blowing my mind about 7 different times just during my morning of leisurely skimming, I decided I’ve been doing this work a disservice by not soaking every word of it into my food brain! I love being a culinary dietitian and building a career around foodie science, so I really need to take better advantage of this wisdom. I know it’s going to be a long haul, but I’m resolving to finally read this thing cover to cover. Welcome to my nightstand, McGee.
Curiosity is a good thing, and we food lovers have a lot to be curious about. I’ll close with a line from McGee’s introduction, a timely reminder (given today’s holiday spirit) to give our attention to the thing we love:
“Food is an infinitely rich subject, and there’s always something about it to understand better, something new to discover, a fresh source of interest, ideas and delight.”
Any other food nerds out there on the same page? Reach out to discuss! You can order the book on Amazon here.
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you’re ringing in a happy and healthy new year. Here at flavorrd, I’m looking back on another year of healthy everyday staples, indulgent-yet-nutritious treats, MyPlate fun, fermentation, pressure cooking, and generally doing our best to master the art of feeding ourselves. It’s interesting to note what changes over time… Compared to 2014 (flavorrd’s first year), the most obvious trend is that 2015 has become the year of the Instant Pot: 4 out of 5 of my highest ranked pages feature the popular electric pressure cooker. I’ve come to really value pressure cooking as a time-saving/energy-efficient/flavor-boosting technique in my everyday kitchen, so it’s been really cool to get the opportunity to connect with other cooking nerds like me who get excited about this stuff too. You can look forward to more new insta-recipes in 2016, along with plenty of other wholesome goodies and food-for-thought from my dietitian-kitchen.
But first, let’s reminisce for a minute. Here’s the countdown of my top posts of 2015:
5. Eating Well After Oral Surgery: It warms my dietitian heart that this post made top 5! When brainstorming the best foods to eat while recovering from my recent gum recession surgery, I found a lack of practical evidence-based nutrition advice online. I figured it would be a good deed to write up my recommendations, and I’m glad it seems to have helped out a lot of people!
4. Gift Guide: Bells & Whistles for the Instant Pot Obsessed: This brand new post really skyrocketed to the leaderboard! If you’re the proud owner of a shiny new pressure cooker (Instant Pot or otherwise), these key accessories can expand your healthy cooking repertoire.
3. [Instant Pot] Pressure-Steamed Artichokes: As a real-food advocate, this photo still makes me swoon every time – vibrant fresh herbs lovingly grown on my front stoop, gnarly wild lemon, and what I wholeheartedly consider to be the most romantic vegetable you can share with someone you love. Fancy enough for a special occasion, simple enough for everyday – courtesy of Instant Pot!
2. [Instant Pot] Everyday Lentil & Spinach Dal: A longtime favorite weeknight staple in my kitchen, adapted for the pressure cooker. Super healthy and super satisfying vegetarian meal!
And finally, 2015’s #1 recipe…
1. [Instant Pot] Insta-Chicken! This post won by a tremendous landslide, and I can’t say I’m surprised, since the technique really has revolutionized my weeknight/foodprep chicken cooking habits. Simple, versatile, healthy, delicious. And if I might nominate an honorable mention, the Chimichurri in a Hurry drizzled on top meets all of those lofty qualifications too!
It was a good year, and I’m looking forward to 2016 being even better. I’m resolving to have more fun in this space, to share more, to be creative and curious and to eat some really good food along the way. Thanks for joining me!
Things have been a little quieter on this website than I like lately. Honestly, I’ve been making an effort to spend more time in the moment; quality time with Grant and with friends, enjoying the outdoors, taking more time to take care of myself. When prioritizing these (irrefutably good) pursuits, I just haven’t had as much screen time to sit down and write/photograph all the posts that I want to share with you. But don’t worry – things have been in the works, and you have lots of good stuff to look forward to!
Before July passes by in silence, I want to take a moment to catch up and chat about the things that have been feeding my spirit. I hope you can derive some inspiration, and I’d love to hear about what has been nourishing you lately too.
- summer gardening: I really like having plants around… it just feels right. My apartment doesn’t have any outdoor space at all, but we still make room for our botanical friends with a little container garden outside our front door. This summer we’ve been maintaining our current resident herbs (parsley, mint, basil and chives), harvesting a bumper crop of jalapenos, and freshening up our window box with a blooming bunch of portulaca (gorgeous and very prolific!)
- summer reading: I’m currently deep into Ram Dass’ Journey of Awakening and on the foodie front, I’ve also been working my way through An Everlasting Meal. Tamar Adler takes us through a leisurely discourse on ‘cooking with economy and grace,’ weaving together conventional wisdom and recipes with a sense of calm and appreciation that draws the reader to see the true beauty of simple cooking. It’s a real delight, highly recommended.
- summer cooking: While I might have slowed down on posting, I never stop cooking! I’ve been living on fresh peaches, making lots of quick dinners with Instant Pot, experimenting with culturing my first sourdough starter, and scheming over lots of exciting healthy foods to share with all of you very soon.
- art is another thing that nourishes my spirit on the regular, mostly because I’m lucky enough to live with a really talented artist. The image above is a painting by Grant Fraker; you can find it along with other original paintings and prints at GrantFrakersArt on Etsy (and follow along on Twitter and Instagram).
Can you believe flavorRD has never had a “what I ate” food diary post? There have been travel reports and highlight reels, but for the most part you’ve only had the chance to glimpse into my diet a single meal at a time… until now!
My colleague and fellow RD Rachael Derr is one of the brilliant lovely ladies behind Nutrition Milestones, a private practice offering dietitian services here in San Diego. Committed to providing “nourishment through life’s biggest moments,” these women go beyond just nutrition counseling and truly share their passion for eating well to help families become their happiest and healthiest. Even if you’re not in southern California, you can get inspired through the articles and videos on their blog, which is packed with real-deal nutrition strategies and insights, from healthy eating during pregnancy to recipes so simple that you can make them with one hand tied behind your back (or, you know, while holding a baby).
Anyway, when Rachael came up with the idea to clear up misconceptions about the way RDs eat with a “Day in the Life” blog series, I was happy to take part. READ THE REST ON NUTRITION MILESTONES.
Happy New Year, friends! I’m back in town after a vacation home to Florida, and life is good. After taking some time to unplug from technology to reconnect with family, friends, and the good stuff in life, we are back in business and ready to rock.
New Years is one of my very favorite holidays. The sentimental reflection paired with the coming year’s new potential just puts things in perspective and speaks to my spirit. New Years also marks the anniversary of this blog’s humble beginnings! I couldn’t help but put together a little retrospective of the most popular recipes of flavorRD’s first year. Read on for the countdown!
Along with the food and festivities of the holiday season, it’s also prime time for stepping up our generosity and lavishing our family and friends with the fruits of our gift-giving prowess. That being said, it can be pretty challenging to discover that perfect little something to surprise and delight the people we love… and I think we can all benefit from a little inspiration. Thus, this is a gift guide for my kind of people: people who love to cook, eat and obsess over food. If you love someone who sees the kitchen as a playground, I hope you’ll find something here that they can get excited about!