Twilight and a Vermicelli Bowl

The weather in Northern California has been mind-boggling this year.  We’ve had virtually no rain, unless you count a handful of rainy days in November.

The nights lay a sheet of frost on lawns and windshields, and sprinkle the same in glistening splashes on the plants and trees.  We spend a few minutes scraping before we can drive off at 7:30am.  All the while, the sun is shining and the temperature soars from 33º F to 56º F by the early afternoon.

Despite the puzzling temperatures and lack of rain, the shielded citrus trees are producing like gangbusters!  The lemon tree at our old house (I went by to pick up the rent check in December) was bowed over from the weight of what looked like 250 lemons!  Unfortunately, I couldn’t pick what I wanted since our renters turned out not to be as sweet and accommodating as they seemed when they were zealously soliciting us to rent to them.  Hmph..

fresh oranges2
From our tree

Likewise the Valencia orange tree here in our urban farm-house is happy and laden with fruit.

This evening I decided to walk around the yard, instead of the neighborhood, and snapped a few photos of the twilight sky.  It was a nippy 49º F, but bundled in my down coat and shawl, and iPhone tuned to a 60’s station, I got 30 minutes in before dinner-prep called.

twilight sky1 01082014
Our greenhouse and our neighbor’s barn

I hadn’t walked in our yard at this time of day yet, and I loved it. It was 5:18pm when I snapped the first photo, and 5:25pm when I took the second one.

twilight sky2 01082014
Twilight sky from backyard

Just before I went inside I took this last one, and seeing it on my computer screen, I was surprised how much it looked like photos of farm houses and cabins I have long admired, and longed to live in! The porch lights seem to invite one in from the cold. I am deeply grateful.

backyard twilight 01082014
Back of house, sliding door into dining room/kitchen

Well, after thawing my hands in some warm soapy water, I got to the business of dinner.

As a treat for the rest of the family, I decided to make a Vermicelli based dinner.  I don’t cook pasta often since it’s very high in carbs and very low in fiber, and when I do it’s brown rice or quinoa pasta.

I had 1-pound of organic grass-fed beef cooked with organic mushrooms and leeks, seasoned with cumin, in the fridge.

And so the recipe was created:

Hoda’s Vermicelli – Beef Bowl

Hoda's Beef n Tomato Vermicelli

Hoda’s Vermicelli-Beef Bowl

Note: To help conform the recipe to our diet, you can add fiber… like chopped walnuts, peas, bell peppers or chopped, steamed kale.

  • 2 c. 1-inch Vermicelli noodles (use Brown Rice noodles for Gluten-free)
  • 1 Tbs. Virgin Coconut Oil + 1 tsp. local e.v. Olive Oil
  • 2 c. hot Water
  • 2 tsp. Turmeric
  • 1 tsp. crushed Saffron threads mixed with 1 Tbs. hot Water
  • 2 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1/2 c. chopped organic Tomato
  • 1/4 c. chopped organic Parsley
  • 1 lb. organic grass-fed Beef cooked (no oil), with
  • White and light green part of an organic Leek, and
  • 10 organic Button or Shitaake Mushrooms

Heat coconut and olive oil on medium-low flame. Add vermicelli and saute for 10 minutes, stirring. Add water and seasoning. Cover and turn to low.  Let cook for about 10 minutes.

If beef, mushrooms and leeks have not already been cooked, do so now.

Remove lid from vermicelli pot and stir gently with wood spoon.  Add a little more water if necessary. Stir again, add tomatoes and parsley and cover.

Check every 5-6 minutes, adding 2 Tbs. of water each time if necessary until noodles are al dente.

Add cooked beef mixture. Stir just to incorporate.  Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Warm for a few more minutes.

Serve immediately with a leafy salad and steamed green beans.  Good as a cold dish too!

8 – 10 servings.

~ Buon Apetito!


4 thoughts on “Twilight and a Vermicelli Bowl

  1. As for the temp I thought you were describing or talking about the weather in Lebanon now days ,no rain cold and frosty at night and a lot if sunshine during the day
    Your farm and surrounding is tempting enjoy your serenity.
    As for the receipie it looks yummy tasty and easy,I will certainly try it,mind you imlovebpasta and cook it more than three times a week,not the brown nor the gluten just the ordinary,…the gluten free is like for 10$ a packet …

    1. Layla, yes northern California weather is very Mediterranean, as is much of the landscape, which is why I love it so much. Too bad about the rain. By now all our fields and mountains are a beautiful green, but not yet!
      I wish I could send you gluten free foods! You could make your own pasta if you can find brown rice flour or buckwheat flour. 🙂 love to you.

  2. How wonderful that you can just go outside and pick a delicious orange, too bad about the lemon tree and your tenants. The pasta dish sounds really good, I think this is the first time I have seen you use meat. Great quick weeknight meal!

    1. I have used meat in a few dishes. As long as it’s organic and grass-fed, or range free, it’s a great source of protein and CLA. Having ‘good and natural’ animal protein from humanely treated animals 3 x a week or so is not a problem. 🙂 Cheers!

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