Next time I question who I am, I won’t drive out to the farm to find my name. Instead I’ll look for a perfect tomato, slather it with mayo and layer it with egg in two pieces of white bread. I’m sure the egg and tomato sandwich will root me plenty. It is the food of my childhood… a summer treat that you made when mom’s work kept her late, the garden turned out beautiful home-growns or you entertained my friends and me with your attempts at the one-handed egg flip.
The other day, I had a friend over for the first time who was surprised when I said that my parents were out of town: “Your parents? I always assumed you lived with just your mom. I always hear Shaina’s mom this and Shaina’s mom that… but I’ve never hear much about your dad.”
Last week I received a check in the mail for “Shaina Schuster” and in high school I had to correct my friends: my dad isn’t Schuster… his last name is Shealy.
Mom is definitely the louder voice in our family, but please let’s not confuse her volume with her side’s influence on my nature. It might not be so apparent, but your “country roots” contribution to who I am extends a few notches beyond the egg and tomato sandwich. Our family talks a lot about Bubbe’s kitchen and her recipes, but your mother coveted her time in the kitchen too … And let’s face it, my kitchen habits inch more towards your mom’s than Bubbe’s (who kept the ends of her curtains tied in plastic bags – curtain condoms – so they wouldn’t get dirty). Sorry, mom… I do not lament my lack of Schuster-obsessiveness.
I’m with Tom Robbins on his last-meal wishes: the egg and tomato sandwich is a perfect food. Thanks for sharing and for sparing our readers from your second favorite sandwich – I cringe – banana and mayo on white bread.
I created the following recipes with The Cleanse in mind. I’m cleansing in celebration of Esrei Yamim, the ten days in between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. I’ve experimented with raw, paleo and vegan diets, but The Cleanse feels like the healthiest eating style for my body.
If you’re interested in the cleanse, visit our cleanse recipe page to get inspired and leave a comment if you want to learn more… I’m always excited for new cleanse buddies!
Mom, it’s so much easier to cleanse when I’m at home with your three freezers and three fridges stocked to their brims with nuts, dried fruits, weird flours, restaurant-sized tubs of spinach… there’s no lack of cleanse-friendly foods!
- 4 tbs tahini paste
- Juice of 2 lemons
- zest of 2 lemons
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tsp honey (optional)
- 1/4 cup warm water if needed
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 big bunch of kale, destemmed, torn into pieces
- 1 tsp course sea salt
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp paprika
- dash of chipotle chili seasoning, to taste
- 4 medium carrots, shredded or finely chopped
- 2 peaches or nectarines, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced thinly
- 1 medium golden or red beet, cubed into 1 inch pieces
- 1 avocado, cubed into 1 inch pieces
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 1/3 cup toasted sunflower, pumpkin seeds, almond slices, and/or walnuts
Make the dressing by pureeing tahini, lemon, garlic, honey, etc with an immersion blender or food processor until smooth.
Pile kale into a big bowl. Massage lemon juice, salt, paprika and chipotle chili seasoning into kale leaves. It sounds silly, but the massage is crucial… you have to exercise the leaves until they are tender. Gently rub the leaves with your hands for 2 – 5 minutes. This can be done the night before, hours before or minutes before serving.
Just before serving, combine the kale with half of the dressing and remaining ingredients. Use your hands to gently toss ingredients together. Drizzle the salad with remaining dressing if desired.
Miso-Sesame Soba Noodles with Pan-Fried Tofu
- 1 package (12 oz) dried soba noodles (I like to use 100% buckwheat, but they can be hard to find and expensive. More common is a buckwheat + spelt or wheat combination.)
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 5 shallots, peeled
- 2 tablespoons grated, peeled ginger
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp cane sugar (optional)
- 3 tbs miso paste
- 2 tbs brown rice vinegar
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 tbs toasted sesame oil
- 1/2 tbs olive oil
- 1/2 tbs toasted sesame oil
- 1 package (12 oz) extra-firm tofu, sliced
- 1/3 cup black sesame seeds
- 2 heads of baby bok choy, chunked and steamed (or blanched)
- 2 heads broccolini (baby broccoli), chopped into bite size pieces and steamed (or blanched)
- 1 bunch of chives or scallions, minced
Cook the soba noodles in well salted water, drain, rinse under cold water. Set aside.
For the dressing, combine shallot, salt, sugar, ginger and garlic in morter and pestle. Crush until ingredients are well-mashed. Heat olive oil in pan and add shallot, salt, ginger and garlic. When browned and fragrant, remove from heat and whisk with toasted sesame oil, miso, vinegar, onion and lemon zest. Stir vigorously until all ingredients are incorporated. Set aside.
Drain the tofu and pat it dry. Cut into matchstick shapes and season with a pinch of salt, 1/2 tbs olive oil, 1/2 tbs sesame oil, and black sesame seeds. Cook in a large pan on medium heat until tofu is golden brown on both sides. This may take 10 – 15 minutes.
In a large bowl, toss the soba noodles with the veggies and dressing. Top with tofu and garnish with chives or scallions.