Speaking of Freedom:

Happy Fourth of July!

We celebrated with a little family BBQ. Cheryl and I did a quick decor overhaul (some flags, some patriotically colored utensils, and a 10-minute sign I whipped up upon request). On the menu: Chicken skewers with zucchini and sweet onion, smokey roasted potatoes, freshy salad from the garden, some homemade rosemary lemonade, and a friggin ridiculously delicious fruit salad. Cheryl baked a huge batch of molasses cookies last night and the Garrels brought jammie dodgers.

Truly a great afternoon — I’m surrounded by the best people. Now awaiting the fireworks show on Lake Washington (food coma-style).

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Yesterday I made my first Prasad-inspired dish. Turned out pretty well for a make-it-up-as-you-go deal. My sauce wasn’t perfect, and my stuffed peppers needed to be a little less healthy (I went for bare-bones, healthful as can be. Read: they were bland).

Here’s how it went (or should have!):

Made up a batch of quinoa.
Mixed some whole pinto beans with some smoked chipotle.
Blanched some kale.
Blanched halved, gutted jalapeños.
Let it all cool down.

Preheat oven to 375-400.

Jalapeño Stuffing:
In a food processor, purée 1 cup of cottage cheese, and half of a brick of cream cheese. Add a teaspoon of chipotle and enough black pepper to make you sneeze. A hint of salt may be necessary. Set aside in a bowl or something else that isn’t the food processor.

Hatch Green Chile Yogurt:

In the food processor, purée the following: half cup of plain Greek yogurt, can of hatch green chiles, one small clove of garlic, handful of chives, handful of cilantro, and a handful of kale. I added a small amount of lemon juice and seasoned to taste. Chill.

Stuff your halved peppers with your cheese mixture and bake for 20 minutes, or until good and gooey.

Chop up an avocado.

Layer quinoa, beans, kale, and avocado. Top with yogurt sauce. Serve with your peppers on the side (I LOVED them mixed in).

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And the fireworks from the deck (photo cred: Steve Garrels)…

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