Monthly Archives: January 2015

10 Drool-Worthy Recipes

Drool Worthy Recipes - Colleen's Kitchen

This week has been a better one for me as far as my recovery goes. I started doing some exercises at home that the Physical Therapist had suggested for me before I was discharged from the hospital. I went on an outing to a friend’s house for dinner and movies, keeping my leg propped up the entire time per doctor’s orders. I managed to crutch up and down a whopping 8 steps to get in and out of the hair salon to have my roots touched up and hair trimmed. (This was my first encounter with a flight of stairs so I’m more than a little proud of that accomplishment.) And  I had friends, family and coworkers coming out of the woodwork for me this week with calls, texts, and visitors every day of the week. I feel incredibly loved!

But I am still dying to get back in the kitchen.

As of today, it has been 3 weeks since I’ve cooked anything. When the accident first happened, I avoided my Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook feeds. I just couldn’t handle even looking at all of the scrumptious recipes my fellow bloggers were crafting. This week, though, I’ve found myself poring over the pages for inspiration and jotting down ideas for recipes that I want to experiment with as soon as I’m able to move around better.

Here are 10 recipes that I’m particularly drooling over today:

Braised Beef with Roasted Balsamic Tomatoes Braised Beef with Balsamic Roasted Tomatoes from Life Currents: I have been craving beef like crazy since my surgery. Normally I only indulge in red meat maybe once or twice a month, but right now it’s all I want to eat. My doctor says that the protein found in red meat is good for healing bones, so maybe that’s why my body is telling me to eat more. Regardless, the idea of juicy tomatoes roasted in sweet balsamic vinegar and combined with tender beef is making my tummy growl. I think I might twist this recipe to use a chopped up cut of lean bottom round roast. It has all kinds of possibilities.
Asian Salmon and Green Beans Stir Fry Asian Salmon and Green Bean Stir Fry from iFOODreal: There’s something about the salty, spicy, sweet combination of flavors found in Asian recipes that I just can’t get enough of. Add to that the fact that salmon is crazy good for you, and this recipe is definitely in my drool worthy top 10. I like the idea of using tender french Haricots Verts (green beans) in this dish, but I’m also thinking that as asparagus comes into season in the very near future those fresh baby spears would be an excellent sub for green beans in this recipe.
Crispy Buffalo Style Quinoa Sliders Crispy Buffalo Style Quinoa Sliders with Sweet Corn and Sliders from How Sweet It Is: I am a sucker for anything with buffalo sauce. The salty, spicy tang is so perfect balanced with a little blue cheese. I love that these gorgeous looking sliders are vegetarian yet still packed with protein, it’s exactly what I need right now.
Chicken and Artichokes in Wine Sauce Chicken and Artichokes in Wine Sauce from The Kitchn: My mom says my love affair with artichokes started in utero when we lived in Pescadero, California, where artichokes were an agricultural commodity at that time. These pretty, flavorful globes will be in season soon and the moment I spotted this recipe in my feed I new I had to add it to my menu planning. Lean chicken? Artichokes? Wine? What’s not to love about that?
Lentil and Roasted Tomato Soup with Saffron Lentil and Roasted Tomato Soup with Saffron from Katie at the Kitchen Door: This week my mom said to me “I have a bunch of lentils that need to be used. What can I make with them?” Ding! Ding! Ding! I’ve made lots of lentil soups in my time, but this one with sweet roasted tomatoes and spicy saffron is calling my name. Plus I had the pleasure of meeting Katie at IFBC in 2013 so I know it has to be a quality recipe.
Coq au Vin with Brown Butter Sage Mashed Potatoes One-Pot 45 Minute Coq au Vin with Brown Butter Sage Mashed Potatoes from Half Baked Harvest: I think it was the idea of the brown butter sage mashed potatoes in this recipe that captured my attention. I mean, there are hundreds of recipes for Coq au Vin out there, it’s been done. But ladled over a pile of creamy mashed potatoes mixed with sage cooked in browned butter? Oh. My. Deliciousness. I can’t wait to try this one. It is comfort food at its best.
African Chicken Peanut Stew African Chicken Peanut Stew from Simply Recipes: Exotic spices, creamy peanut butter, tender chicken, and sweet potatoes? Yes please! Plus with the cool, wet weather rolling through the Pacific Northwest right now, a hearty, warming stew is always welcome.
Chipotle Lime Shrimp Tacos with Strawberry Salsa Chipotle Lime Shimp Tacos with Strawberry Salsa from How Sweet It Is: This recipe is going into my future file for when the strawberries in my garden start pumping again. The idea of spicy chipotle peppers with tart lime and sweet strawberries is making my mouth water. What I really love though is how lean and clean this recipe is.
Farro Carrot Pomegranate Salad Farro Carrot Pomegranate Salad from Nutmeg Nanny: I love a good entree salad. They make for an easy filling dinner, and great leftovers for lunch the next day. I also have a fondness for farro, the nutty, slightly crunchy texture is perfect for entree salads. Add to that some sweet carrots and tart pomegranate seeds in a simple dressing of freshly squeezed orange juice and this recipe is a must try for me. I also love that she’s using garam masala, perhaps my favorite Indian spice blend.
Roasted Greek Lemon Cauliflower and Potatoes with Feta Cheese Greek Roasted Lemon Cauliflower and Potatoes with Feta Cheese from Jeanette’s Healthy Living: My list would not be complete without a good side dish recipe, and this one is at the top of my list. I love that Jeanette used ruby red potatoes in this dish, they add such a pretty pop of color to the beautiful photos on her site. Top it off with tart lemon, briny Greek cheese, and fresh mint and I’m definitely drooling over this recipe.

That Bionic Feeling

Road to Recovery - Colleen's Kitchen

My New Year’s Eve did not go exactly as planned. As I told you last week, I was hit by a car just before Christmas while riding my bike home from work. So I spent the holidays recovering with my parent’s help and learning to manage the pain.

On Tuesday, December 30, I checked in at 1:00 p.m. for a 2:30 p.m. surgery to repair my leg and quickly learned that the surgeon was behind in schedule. Not just a few minutes behind, but hours behind. It wasn’t until about 7:00 p.m. that the nurse came to administer a pre-surgery drug cocktail and wheel me back.

After 2 hours in the OR followed by about 2 hours in the recovery room, shortly before midnight I was transitioned into the hospital room where my mom was anxiously waiting for me. I’m not sure I’ve ever been so happy to see my mom. Emotional from the drugs and the pain, I squeezed her hand and cried like a baby while she soothed me like any good mommy does.

Road to Recovery - Colleen's Kitchen

A front view shows a metal plate with 6 screws holding my fibula together while 2 very long screws anchor the pieces of my tibia together.

Luckily the drug cocktail worked its magic and mostly knocked me out for the night. When the xray technician came in the morning to take new pictures of the surgeon’s handiwork, I was eager to see the results. I had seen the pre-surgery xrays of my bones snapped like twigs, I wanted to see what sort of Frankenstein-ian work the surgeon had done on me.

I wasn’t disappointed.

A metal plate now runs up the fibula on the outside of my right leg, secured with no less than 6 screws holding all the pieces of my bone together. From the opposite side, 2 rather large, menacing-looking screws jut up at a diagonal through my tibia, securing the pieces together.

I stared at the image aghast. Was this really inside of my body? What is this going to mean for my workouts? Am I still going to be able to run? And what in the world is going to happen when I go through airport security?

I instinctively wanted to flex my leg, point my toe, feel the stretch of muscle against bone and see if I could feel that alien metal in there. Of course between the pain and the rather large, heavy splint encasing my leg, that wasn’t a possibility.

Road to Recovery - Colleen's Kitchen

The side view taken from the outside of my leg.

So I now sit pondering the future. I have some exercises from the physical therapist that I’m working with so that once the splint comes off and I’m able to put weight on my right leg again, I will be able to resume normal activity faster. But I still wonder how this is going to impact my physically active lifestyle.

My mind flashes back to one of my favorite TV shows as a kid, The Bionic Woman, and suddenly it hits me. Maybe my physical activity will be different, but different doesn’t have to be bad. Maybe this alien being in my body will teach me to move and groove in different ways.

Maybe I too will be bionic in my own way.