Meatless Monday: Lemon-Basil Breakfast Hash

Told you guys I had a Meatless Monday post waiting for ya!

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And it involves mini peppers and mini potatoes…because mini is always cuter, right?

Despite the fact that I just called this dish cute, it’s actually a pretty hearty meal. Potatoes are pretty filling, but since they’re so starchy and carby, they’re not the kind of filling that will sustain you for many hours. That’s where the other components come in to save the day!

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I got really into beets this spring since my dad was growing them and they always looked so pretty at the Farmer’s Market. They stain everything, but I love their earthy taste and they are so pretty! Sweet mini bell peppers and onions add crunch, and pinto beans give this hash some bulk.

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Finish it all off with some fresh basil and a squeeze of lemon and you have yourself a perfectly light and refreshing, yet filling, summer breakfast! Or if you’re like me, you don’t really wake up until 10 or 11 on the weekend and there becomes a thin line between breakfast and lunch 🙂

I am proud to report that the basil plant I bought at the grocery store about a month ago is still alive and kickin’! However, we are currently on Day 3 of an 8 day streak of triple digit heat. 104, 107, and 106 degrees on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday…and it’s only getting hotter. So who knows if the plant will last much longer.

This quick 1-skillet dish would be great for a hot day like today (108 degrees!), but I’ve chosen instead to do the 3 Day Peel’d Juice Cleanse. I learned about it from my friend Sarah who did their traditional 5-day cleanse last month (Hi Sarah!). Consuming only juice for 3 days isn’t exactly my cup o’ tea…However, in addition to the allotted 2 juices and 1 smoothie per day, Peel’d allows you to eat as many fruits and veggies as you want: “This process isn’t about depriving yourself, but feeding yourself large amounts of foods that will nourish, support and heal you.” Olives, avocados, and nuts are also listed as ideal “snacks”…win!

I will definitely be writing a recap later in the week, but until then, I’ll just leave this here…and dream about potatoes:

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Lemon-Basil Breakfast Hash
serves 1

2 mini potatoes
1/2 small onion (about 1/2 cup)
2 mini red or orange bell peppers
1/2 medium-sized beet, cooked (I roast mine in a foil packet in the oven at 400F for about 45 minutes)
1/4-1/2 cup pinto beans, drained and rinsed
3-4 fresh basil leaves, cut into thin ribbons
juice of one lemon
salt & pepper
oil, as needed for cooking

Cut everything into similarly-sized pieces. Heat your choice of oil over medium heat in a saute pan. Add onions, stirring to coat. Let them sweat for about a minute before adding the potatoes. Again, stir to coat. Season with salt and pepper, and let cook for about 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Mix in bell peppers and beets and cook for another 5 minutes. Add desired amount of pinto beans and lemon juice, and cook until heated through. Remove from heat, mix in basil leaves, garnish with lemon wedge (add more lemon if you’d like) and enjoy!

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Cherry Salsa, Two Ways

I have a bone to pick with major news outlets.

NBC is getting enough flack from most corners of the US during these Olympics, so I’ll leave them be…EXCEPT to mention that starting all the best sports at 10:30/11pm is way too late and you are totally running into my precious sleep time.

No, no. My beef is with news websites. I consider myself a pretty well-informed person: I follow many news channels on Twitter, and, thanks to the hounding of my favorite Global Studies professor in college, my homepage will always be set to CNN World. This week, I had to unfollow all those news sources and I am afraid to open my web browser!

Why would LATimes.com run “Breaking News” banners all over their site carrying an Olympic result that none of their West Coast viewers will see on TV for well over 9 hours?

This has happened to me two days in a row now, with both the men and women’s team gymnastics finals results. The first culprit was LA Times.com, while the other happened to be a “friend” on Facebook posting a New York Times article.

WTF mate? Double u, tee, eff.

To top it all off, I don’t usually even get to a TV until 9:30pm anyway, because I don’t have one at my apartment. So my days have been going like this:

11am: Have huge result of my FAVORITE SPORT get spoiled.
2pm: Watch replays online of what I didn’t get to see the night before
6:15pm: Get home from work; beg people to let me come over and hog their TV or to come with me to a bar and watch.
9:15pm: End up just waiting for T-Man to get off work and take me to his house or a bar
9:30pm: T-Man asks, “Are you really just going to watch the Olympics again?”
9:45pm: I turn on Olympics, and have missed most of it, so I spend 1.5 hours watching a sport I already know the results for.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Woe is me.

#firstworldproblems

These salsas are what I made on Sunday, the one day that no results were spoiled for me. I sat in peace at home, scheming up ways to use up the huge bag of cherries I found on sale at Safeway, until I went to a bar with a friend and watched swimming and gymnastics competitions for which I did not know the result.

Aaaaaaand the cherry on top of a perfect day (hee hee, I made a punny)?  The salsas were delicious.

“Traditional” Cherry Salsa
Tangy, with flavors traditional to pico de gallo

1 cup cherries, chopped (measured after chopping)
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1-2 tbs cilantro, chopped
juice of 1/2 lime
jalapeno (optional)

Mix ingredients in a bowl and enjoy.

Cherry Salsa with Balsamic & Basil
Sweet, delicious warm or cold, with a punch of basil

1 cup cherries, chopped (measured after chopping)
~1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
5 large basil leaves, cut into strips (chiffonaded)

Put vinegar in a small saucepan at medium heat. I added just enough that the vinegar covered the bottom of the 6 inch pan. Once it starts steaming and slightly simmering, add 1/2 of chopped cherries and stir to coat. Turn down heat to low and cook until balsamic is reduced (probably not more than about 5 minutes).

Add to a bowl with remaining chopped cherries and as much basil as is desired. Add more basil for garnish if desired.

And someone get this girl a TV!