The desludge by Hilary

Monday, 8August, 2011

The desludge by Hilary

by beckerich

Post image for The desludge by Hilary


I’m constantly inspired by our home.  It’s the place where I feel the most open and relaxed. Where I can spend hours in my kitchen, alone, listening to the wind in the trees, feel my cat purring up against my leg and can hear my husband quietly tinkering in the next room, playing with whatever new tool he has.  Absolute heaven on earth…. clearly I’m getting old.

This last month has been a whirl wind.  The beginning of the month I worked 18 days straight, entertained my parents in London in the evenings and then was able to take some time off work so I could sit and actually be present with my family as we made our way through France.

Our trip through Normandy and Brittany was beautiful. Filled with French wine and cheese and lots of walks through medieval villages and outdoor markets.  My step mother loves antique shopping and between the two of us we came home with enough French vintage linens to start-up our own shop!

Now I’m home.  I’m back from a week working in London and my parents are back in the states.  So this morning it’s just me in my kitchen with my favorite apron on, ready to put some health back into my body.

The goal this weekend was to spend as much time in the kitchen as I could.  Making anything that did not resemble any type of dairy, stinky cheese or wine.  So lots of vegetable / seaweed broths, bean soaking, vegetable steaming and whole grain eating.  I already feel better just thinking about the sludge that is going to leave my system.

Saturday morning I made brown rice.  When I was macrobiotic this was my staple comfort food and I always had a supply in the fridge that I could easily dip into when I needed it.  When I pre-plan I like to soak my rice over night (it’s easier to digest this way and gets rid of the phytic acid which is what makes a whole grain or beans difficult to digest and breaks down complex starches.  So soak your grains and beans when you have the time).


Brown Rice Breakfast

My favorite breakfast is cooked brown rice, re-heated in some rice milk, add some brown rice syrup for sweetness and a little cardamom.  I happened to have some red currants on hand, along with some dried currants and sunflower seeds.  And since I had just been to the car boot I had some new fun china to play with.  It’s super cute!!  Might be a little over the top for breakfast for myself but whatever… If I’m going to be the walking picture of health this weekend, might as well make it pretty.

The other thing I discovered this weekend was a white bean spread from Heidi Swanson’s new cook book.  The key to any great bean comes in the cooking.  Rather than just cook the beans in water, I like to add a whole onion quartered, a couple of garlic cloves smashed, bay leaves and whatever fresh seasonings I have lying around the house (today it was thyme and rosemary).  The beans pick up a whole new flavor when they are finished and are so yummy just on their own.  The other great tip of the weekend is this:  cook your spices in oil and then strain out the spices and just use the flavored oil.  It’s so much better and the spices add to the taste rather than over power the dish.  Thanks Heidi Swanson!!  And p.s. if  you don’t have her new cookbook I highly recommend picking it up. It’s full of great gems.

Anyway… here are a couple of recipes that were my favorites this weekend.


White Bean Spread with Rosemary and Toasted Almonds

Makes about 2 cups/500ml

Adapted from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day

1/4 cup (60ml) extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

2 cups (12oz/340g) cooked white beans, or 1 (15oz/425g) can, rinsed and drained

3/4 cup (70g) sliced almonds, toasted (I didn’t have almonds so used pistachios and they were great too)

sea salt

1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus more to taste

1/4 to 3/4 cup (60-180ml) hot water

grated zest of 1/2 lemon

In a small saucepan, combine the olive oil, rosemary and garlic. Over medium-low heat, slowly warm the mixture until the oil just barely starts to sizzle, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside for 10 minutes.

In a food processor, combine the beans, two-thirds of the almonds, 1/2 teaspoon salt, the lemon juice and two-thirds of the rosemary mixture. Pulse a couple of times to bring the ingredients together. Add the water 1/4 cup (60ml) at a time, pulsing all the while, until the mixture is the consistency of thick frosting. You might not need all the water; it really depends on how starchy your beans are and how thick you want your spread to be. Taste the mixture and add more salt and/or lemon juice to taste.

Scoop the beans into a small serving dish and make a few indentations in the top. Sprinkle with the lemon zest and the remaining almonds and drizzle with the remaining rosemary oil. Serve at room temperature.

Re-heated Brown rice with redcurrant s and sunflower seeds

1 cup already cooked brown rice

1/4 cup rice milk (you can use soy or almond or whatever you have in the fridge)

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup red currants

1/4 cup dried currants

Pinch of cardamom or cinnamon

1 tsp brown rice syrup (or honey, agave or whatever sweetener you have in the house)

In a small sauce pan, add the rice and rice milk to the pan and cook over medium heat until the rice milk has cooked into the rice and is warm.

Add in the rice syrup and cardamom and stir together.

Put in your favorite bowl and stir in the seeds and fruit, add more milk if desired.


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Natalcho August 11, 2011 at 10:42 am

Hilary – I love the breakfast idea! I am a big rolled oats fan but I will give brown rice a try!

Inspired by you I started my own blog a couple of weeks ago:) as you will see I am still trying to figure out what I really want to write about – right now it is whatever comes to mind and whatever moves me.

I am moving to Zurich end of September so we should definitely arrange a cooking session before that:)


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