A few mornings a week, I fry myself an egg for breakfast. Just one perfect egg, or, at least, my attempt at it. I have been practicing for a long while, and it’s definitely coming along. It doesn’t stick to the pan anymore. I almost never break the yolk. Continue reading
My friend Lia brought these to book club a couple weeks ago. OMG. You should make them. Technically they are meant to be dessert, but they would be great for breakfast, too. I would bring them to folks young and old. A reunion of friends. A picnic. A gathering of neighbors. A special meal. An ordinary one.
Food like this creates all kinds of moments, like moments in time and moments of gratitude. It’s a personal reminder that food is meant to nourish not just the body, but the heart and soul as well. And the best is when our food does all three at the same time. Thank you, Lia.
- ½ cup unsalted, natural almond butter
- 1 ½ cups unsalted pecan halves, divided
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 5-7 pitted Medjool dates (1/2 cup packed)
- ½ cup vegan chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup PLUS 1 Tbsp. natural almond butter, unsalted
- ¼ cup pecans, chopped
- Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, greased foil, or wax paper. Set aside.
- To prepare the date-pecan layer, add dates and almond butter to a food processor. Blend approx. one minute until sticky and crumbly, like chunks of wet sand or dough. Scrape down the sides of the processor intermittently, as needed, between processing.
- Add 1 cup pecans, vanilla, and salt to food processor. Blend continuously until pecans are fully incorporated and mixture is soft and crumbly. When the mixture holds together when pinched, it’s ready. Add remaining pecans, and pulse only a few times until pecans are just barely incorporated, with medium-small pieces still visible.
- Pour the contents into the prepared baking pan. Press gently with a spatula, and smooth into an even, tightly-packed layer.
- To prepare the chocolate mixture, add chocolate chips and (¼ cup plus 1 Tbsp.) of almond butter to the top of a double boiler, or heat in a microwave (in a microwave-safe bowl) in 20-second increments until soft and melted. Stir until smooth.
- Pour chocolate mixture over date-pecan layer. Smooth into an even layer using a rubber spatula. Sprinkle evenly with chopped pecans, and press gently into the chocolate.
- Freeze for 20-30 minutes. Remove from freezer and slice into 16 generous bars or 20 bite-size pieces.
Thank you to Beaming Baker for a prior version of this recipe.
A special synergy comes from investing in three different kinds of activities that combine to improve your health and wellness: eating patterns, activity patterns, and rest & relaxation patterns. Activities that combine more than one at the same time — like gardening, picnics, or yoga, to name just a few — bring an extra special benefit. Here are a few examples of ways I have found to mix and match eating, moving, and relaxing. Continue reading
If I can help it, I like patients vertical, not horizontal. I want to make sure that nobody gets a disease that could have been prevented. Sure, accidents happen. And illnesses show up every day in the lives of patients and their families who did nothing to deserve them, and who could have done nothing to prevent them. But not all illnesses. Continue reading
As the summer has been winding into fall, these past few weeks have been filled with many moments of the exceptional-yet-ordinary variety. These were moments of crystalline clarity, when nothing existed except for what was right there on the table: the food, people talking and listening, glass, cloth, pottery, and metal. The air sparkled faintly with a transcendent sense of space that was minute and endless at the same time, inconsequential and all-encompassing at once. And I loved it. Consumed in and by it, I loved it. Continue reading
Early one morning, decades ago, I looked down a long hallway and saw two obese women walking toward me. Backlit by the rising sun, the two women appeared in outline; all I could see of them was the dark shapes of two bodies, surrounded by golden rays. I stood, transfixed, watching their movements as they walked, their arms swinging far out from their shoulders like ribbons on a maypole. Instead of moving easily, to and fro, with each step, their arms flew back and forth like propeller blades. The force of these arm rotations supplied energy to fling their hips and torsos forward, while their legs, stiff and straight, worked to catch up with each step. Frankly, it looked like hard work. I looked away. Continue reading
“Be here now” is what Thich Nhat Hanh says. I think about that sentence a lot. It grounds me in the present and keeps me here, no matter what I’m doing, No matter when and where I’m doing it. Not there, not then, but here and now. For a long time I thought of “Be Here Now” as “be HERE now.” Sometimes “be here NOW.” But last week, for the first time, I heard myself think “BE here now.” Notice: Thich Nhat Hanh said BE here now, not DO here now. Continue reading
I’ve heard that race car drivers have a saying: “Sometimes you’ve gotta go slow to go fast.” If you want to shave seconds off your time, you need to slow down as you head into a curve. If you want to keep up your speed, sometimes you need to back off a little. Continue reading
Today is a good day for thinking about mindfulness. This sweet little #mindfulness tip comes courtesy of my friend Diane, who works as a pediatrician. She is patience personified.
Here’s what she told me a couple of weeks ago: Continue reading