Minimal Wellness is not a food blog. Yes, I post recipes and relevant photos, but the purpose of this site is not to publish as many drool-inducing recipes as I can create. In fact, it’s the opposite.
I was first introduced to Ethiopian cuisine in Madison, WI while in college. At the time I was a vegetarian and Ethiopian food is very plant-centric, which meant I had lots of options to try and I took full advantage. Many Ethiopian dishes are served with injera, a flatbread made from fermented teff flour batter. Teff is a tiny ancient grain with an amazing nutritional profile. It’s high in protein, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, and copper and it’s also gluten-free. For those looking to increase the mineral-density of their diet, especially vegans and vegetarians who may struggle to consume enough iron, teff is an excellent choice. The fermentation process used in injera also makes the nutrients and protein more bio-available, helping to ensure optimal absorption.
Coffee has always been one of my favorite things. For years I bought organic, fair trade, fresh, dark roasted beans from local purveyors and I used a French press for brewing. I drank my coffee with milk. Lots of milk. In fact, I joked that I took some coffee with my milk. Without it I didn’t like the flavor of the coffee I chose — it was too deeply roasted, too bitter, too thick. It sat on my tongue like a dirty sock. But it tasted good with milk, so that’s how I drank it. I tried alternative roasts from time to time, but with the milk, I preferred it dark and viscous.
Have you ever watched a young child learn a new task or physical movement? At the beginning, their attempts can seem entirely futile — they’re nowhere near their intended outcome. They stare at books, “reading” for hours before comprehending the alphabet. They fail repeatedly. Their results are suboptimal. Much of their effort appears to get them nothing. But unless they get too frustrated, they’ll generally continue trying. With every attempt, they learn something new. They stumble their way through mental, physical, and emotional trial and error — discovering what doesn’t work and what gets them closer to their objective. They sit with what they’ve learned, take time away, then return and adjust subsequent attempts. Eventually they have a breakthrough. Something clicks and they leap forward. Maybe they master the task or get so much closer that they now understand concretely they’re making progress.
We have a joke between my siblings that all four of us love to eavesdrop on conversations and to people-watch in busy public spaces. Maybe we are just weird in this regard (generally, we are a little quirky), but given the popularity of social media and reality television — it seems like my siblings and I are not the only ones fascinated by how other people live their lives.
This Thanksgiving I finally acknowledged that it doesn’t make any sense to prepare a turkey for three people who dislike turkey. We were fortunate enough to have a friend give us an elk steak which inspired me to make this pomegranate sage steak — a simple yet super flavorful protein for our holiday meal. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get a photo of the finished product (Ella dove into it before I could get a picture!) but I promise, it’s visually appealing.
When I was a kid, my family ate pancakes fairly regularly, especially in the winter before or after downhill or cross-country skiing. Physical exertion in the cold does indeed pair perfectly with warm, fluffy pancakes. But because the classic high carbohydrate recipes spike blood sugar and leave me famished a few hours later, I wanted to create a version of this wintertime staple that was gluten-free, high-protein, and added-sugar-free.
This winter salad is perfect for the holiday season. It’s hearty, rich in flavors, textures, and colors, and is beautiful individually plated or served family-style. I most recently made it as part of our Thanksgiving dinner and adults and kids loved it equally.
There’s nothing quite as delicious as a perfectly executed pastry or loaf of bread. Unfortunately, pulling off artisan-quality baked goods usually requires ample amounts of gluten and sugar. But these gluten-free, sugar-free, cornbread scones are a delicious exception.
Buying that thing won’t demonstrate the value of your love, affection, or friendship. Your presence and attention are what those close to you desire most.