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..
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.
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.
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.
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
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! ♥