August 30, 2010

poblanos stuffed with cheddar and chicken

Good Lord, these are good. I recommend making them on a weekend for your first go-'round, because the first attempt can be a bit labor intensive (can take about an hour and a half). We got started a little to late the first time we tried them, and ended up having one of those meals where you're so tired by the time you eat that you almost forget you were hungry.  Completely worth it, and I have told myself that the next time I make them I will remember to cook the rice first, which should save me some time! Eeeeh...

We served them with Eating Well's Corn & Basil Cakes (a savory pancake). These are great too!

poblanos stuffed with cheddar and chicken

4 large poblano chiles
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/2 medium white onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic, chopped
1 tsp. dried oregano (I used fresh, but remember dried has a stronger flavor per volume)
1 tsp. ground cumin
Generous pinch ground cinnamon
Kosher salt
1 Tbs. olive oil
2 cups shredded cooked chicken (I used chicken breast, the recipe calls for dark meat)
1-1/2 cups cooked brown or white rice
2 cups grated sharp or extra-sharp white Cheddar (about 7 oz.)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (including some tender stems)
1 Tbs. lime juice

Cook rice

Position an oven rack about 4 inches from the broiler and heat the broiler on high. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil.

Slit the chiles from stem to tip (not all the way through to both sides, only opening one side to stuff) and set on the baking sheet. Broil, turning every few minutes, until blackened all over, 5 to 8 minutes. Let cool slightly, peel off the skins, and cut out the seed cores, leaving the stems on. Turn the chiles inside out, flick out any remaining seeds, and turn right side out. Return the poblanos to the baking sheet.

Purée the tomatoes, onion, garlic, oregano, cumin, cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp. salt in a food processor. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the purée and cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid has evaporated and the mixture looks thick and pulpy, 8 to 11 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the chicken and rice, and then 1 cup of the cheese, the cilantro, and the lime juice. Season to taste with salt.

Divide the filling among the peppers, wrapping the sides of the peppers up and around the filling, some of which will still be exposed. The peppers will probably tear, but who're not cooking for the president.  If you are cooking for the president, take extra care.

Broil the peppers until the cheese is melting and the top is beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Top with the remaining 1 cup cheese and broil until the cheese is completely melted, about 2 minutes.


August 27, 2010

do you know about hunger in america?

49 million Americans struggle with food insecurity. Watch this video to get informed on who they are and why they struggle to feed their families.

August 26, 2010


I like this very much, and it seems in keeping with the theme of my recent posts. I don't know if it has a "real" meaning, and I don't think I want to. It's beautiful just as it is, when I can imagine a meaning for myself and you one for yourself.

August 25, 2010

average american women & men

drawing by arica houy

Did you know that the average American woman is 5'4" and 165 lbs and man is 5'9" and 195 lbs? (

To compare, average 5'4" female celebrities weigh between 100-110 lbs. While many celebrities would be considered "underweight" by doctors and nutrition professionals, the size of the average American woman can be considered "overweight". Is our obsession with weight distorting our view of healthy and pushing us all to extremes?

August 23, 2010

healthy or obsession?

This morning I heard this great story on NPR's Weekday called Body Obsessions, which asked the question: When is body-consciousness healthy, and when does it become an obsession?

This has me worrying about how altered perceptions are of what a healthy, normal person looks like.

I was recently reading in a trashy mag about how Gwyneth Paltrow has early signs of osteoporosis, and what a shock this was to everyone. I can't be the only person who has ever noticed that she weighs practically nothing (110 lbs at 5'9" one website says). And, she is known for sharing weight loss tips - in the issue following her osteopenia announcement was a spotlight on the master cleanse she does to drop pounds. A woman so thin, with a history of extreme it any wonder that she would have a medical condition related to lack of calcium and vitamin D?

The normalcy that has been created around extreme thinness and the culture of dieting is disturbing. It is a complex issue, and also heartbreaking. I would like very much for us to break this cycle for future generations. Can we please start appreciating the many shapes and sizes we come in? And stop publishing the "lose weight quick" trick of the month instead of focusing on what being healthy really means? Maybe once we learn to honor and listen to our bodies we can be lead naturally to our healthiest selves.

August 20, 2010

fresh green bean, potato and steak salad

My sweetie grilled this salad up for me on a lovely summer evening.
The potatoes are tender, the beans crunchy, and the whole dish is bright and hearty.
What a nice meal (and man!) to come home to...

fresh green bean, potato and steak salad with horseradish dressing


  • 1 pound baby potatoes, scrubbed (you can prepare these ahead of time and refrigerate up to 3 days)
  • 12 ounces green beans (about 3 cups), trimmed
  • 1/2 cup sliced fresh chives or scallion greens
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons white-wine vinegar or red-wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound sirloin steak or strip steak (1-1 1/4 inches thick), trimmed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ears corn, husked

  • 1. Preheat grill to medium.
  • 2. Steam potatoes in a saucepan fitted with a steamer basket, cover and cook until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board to cool. Add beans to the steamer basket, cover and cook until bright green and just tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Rinse in a colander with cold water until cool. Drain thoroughly and transfer to a large bowl. Cut the potatoes into halves or quarters and add to the bowl with the beans. Stir in chives (or scallion greens).
  • 3. Meanwhile, combine sour cream, vinegar, horseradish, Worcestershire and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Whisk in oil.
  • 4. Sprinkle both sides of steak with salt and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Grill the steak about 5 minutes per side for medium-rare, 6 minutes per side for medium. Grill the corn, turning occasionally, until marked and tender, 8 to 12 minutes total. Transfer to a cutting board; let the steak rest for 5 minutes. When the corn is cool enough to handle, cut the kernels from the cob. Thinly slice the steak crosswise. Add the steak and any accumulated juice and the corn kernels to the bowl with the potatoes and beans; toss with the horseradish dressing (dress lightly to start, adding more to taste - I find that this salad can be easily overdressed).

August 13, 2010

Feeling human is essentially the state of being in which one is actively in touch with and moving closer to one's destiny, one's higher purpose in life, joy.

-david scherer, flat win company

August 4, 2010

an inquiry

I saw this question today and it got me thinking pretty hard about what is really important -

What is the greatest thing that could happen to you (not to the world or anyone else, just you) in your lifetime?