A Phoenix Homecoming…in July

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Flying like a bat out of hell. Whirling Dervish. Running around like a chicken with its head cut off. Going a mile a minute. Pick any choice expression to describe someone who is operating their life at such a dizzyingly fast pace, any one phrase, and it could not come close to how busy life felt in my last few weeks in New York. Some of the causes were my fault, like scheduling so many meet ups with friends and loved ones that I was averaging 4 hours of sleep a night (on the nights I would go to bed). And then there were those circumstances and events that were not of my making at all, like that lovely case of strep throat I was hoping would end up just being a summer cold…

But that breakneck pace is (thankfully) unrealistic for very long. I now find myself in, if not my childhood bed in my childhood home, the closest thing I have to that – my parents’ lovely townhouse in the beautiful active seniors community of Coulter Estates. Location: Phoenix, Arizona. Date: July 3, 2012. Temperate: One-hundred and fucking whatever degrees.

I find myself embarking on a new, remarkably healthy routine. Waking up early and going to bed (Look! I’m sleeping!!) early. Waking up with yoga and maybe even meditation. Working out. I am looking forward to spending time with my mom and stepdad and grandparents and new family members. And I am looking forward to eating well again, light and healthy. A if I could eat any other way in this blistering heat – 100+ degrees is not the place for Parm-like meals. It’s the time for salads and watermelon and spritzers. So for today, a salad/coleslaw I basically lived on for the first three weeks on June, when getting into peak shape was of paramount importance – for summer and various other monetary reasons (congrats Xander™).

 Also, I am embarking on a little experiment. For the entire time I am in Phoenix (about the next three weeks), I am going to try and post one recipe a day. Why? Well for one, I have very little else to do beside write and cook, both of which I am ecstatic about doing in droves. Also, I like the idea of the quick turn-around. Cook / Write / Post. I promise the posts will be short (for you Dev) and the recipes will be top-notch and summer-y. But mostly, because I feel like I have been slacking on C’n’C a bit, and truth be told, I have no idea what my posting capabilities will be like here or here. So wish me luck! And enjoy!

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Sesame Coleslaw

I used a mix of napa cabbage and a lacinto kale here, but you can experiment with different greens here. Red cabbage or chard might be interesting. Active time: 10 minutes, Inactive time: 20 minutes; Serves 4.

Dressing (Adapted from Gourmet, via Smitten Kitchen)

1/4 cup smooth peanut butter

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2-3 tablespoons warm water

1/2 tablespoon chopped peeled fresh ginger

1 medium garlic clove, chopped

1 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoons Asian toasted sesame oil

1/2 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon sriacha 


½ head napa cabbage, washed and sliced very fine

5-6 lacinto kale leaves, tough stem removed, washed and sliced very fine

2 teaspoons lime juice

1 medium carrot, washed and julienned

½ jalapeno, seeded and diced fine

1 avocado

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

In a large bowl, combine greens lime juice, using your clean hands to rub lime juice into the leaves. Let sit for 20 minutes.

In a blender or food processor, blender all dressing ingredients together. Add carrots, jalapeno and half the dressing to greens and combine well. Divide onto plates, top with ¼ sliced avocado, more dressing if desired and sesame seeds. Enjoy!



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