I got my new Cuisinart SmartPower Duet Blender/Food Processor in the mail last week. I’d ordered it from one of those daily discount shopping newsletters. I signed up because I didn’t know any better. No, that’s not true. I did know better, but I signed up anyway. I received an email every morning that highlighted a few discounted luxury(ish) brands. So, a few months ago I ordered jeans. They arrived. They didn’t fit. I sent them back and got a $77 credit. It was around that time when I determined that just about the last thing I needed every morning was a reminder of something else I should want and covet and desire, but that I didn’t have. I wanted off the daily email. Stat.
In order to unsubscribe, I needed to spend my credit first. Cuisinart, a luxury shopping brand? Works for me! I used my credit to buy my SmartPower Duet – a blender and a food processor, together. Such potential for deliciousness! Smoothies, dips, salads, sauces, soups, batters and pie dough. Oh the joy! It arrived on my doorstep last week, and that very same day I unsubscribed from my luxury shopping newsletter once and for all.
I know it sounds like I’m living large over here. Buying luxury kitchen contraptions in exchange for luxury jeans. I promise, I’m not. I’m budget. I’m super budget. So much so, that I’ve been tossing random edible items from the fridge and freezer into my fancy new SmartPower Duet and seeing what happens. Lately, I’m happy to report, it’s been good things.
Oh, and in case you were wondering whether or not I found a replacement for my daily luxury shopping newsletter, I did! With what, you ask? With this! A daily email from The Universe. Thanks to a tip from my old new friend Emily (who has a truly wonderful blog all about gratitude), I signed up a few weeks ago and have been receiving early morning encouragement and understanding ever since. Just yesterday I got this email:
To empower another, is to empower yourself.
To celebrate another, is to celebrate yourself.
And to free another, Annie, is to free yourself.
I say empower, celebrate, and free them all.
– The Universe
Am I rambling? Yes. Sorry. Okay, here are the two recipes for you. Well, they’re not really recipes so much as inspiring ingredient combinations. Peas and fresh mint. Carrots, fresh mint, and feta. Together, quite a complementary springtime duet, but they don’t need each other to taste good. These are independent creations that just so happen to like each other and have a few things in common. Maybe they’re dating? A dating duet! They are both minty fresh, healthy and taste like springtime. Try them together – I spooned a bit of both over a bowl of quinoa. Or try them apart – mint and pea dip with crackers and veggies, carrot and feta salad as a starter. Experiment! Tinker with the proportions and mix the spices for optimal tastiness.
Green Pea and Fresh Mint Dip
1/2 bag frozen peas, cooked until tender
3/4 cup fresh mint, roughly chopped
1/3 cup plain yogurt (I love Strauss Organic Whole Milk Plain)
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
Red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper – to taste
- Toss all ingredients in your food processor and blend until smooth (or desired consistency). If you don’t have a food processor, you should chop the mint extra fine, then mash everything together with a fork. It will be a bit chunkier, but hey!
- Mix in most of the feta cheese.
- Adjust spice and salt as necessary. Tinker!
- Garnish with more feta.
- Serve with crackers and veggies as a dip, or eat with brown rice or quinoa.
Carrot, Feta, and Mint Salad
Adapted from The Smitten Kitchen
1/2 pound carrots, coarsely grated (Either in food processor or by hand.)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 crushed clove of garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Dash of sugar
Juice from half a lemon
1/4 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
1/2 cup crumbled feta
- In a small sauté pan, cook the garlic, cumin, paprika, Sambal Oelek and sugar in the oil until fragrant, about one to two minutes.
- Remove from heat and add the lemon juice and a pinch of salt.
- Pour over the carrots and mix.
- Add the herbs and mix.
- Leave to infuse for an hour and add the feta before eating.