pain peas and freedom

Victor Frankel once said that the last of the human freedoms  is to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.   Victor Frankel also wrote a book called Man’s Search for Meaning that sold more than nine million copies… why?  Proabably due to what Frankel explained was  “to convey to the reader by way of concrete example that life holds a potential meaning under any conditions, even the most miserable ones”.  And we all must endure some pretty miserable conditions some of the time.  I am all about embracing freedom; mostly the freedom of movement and freedom of the  spirit.   I have been told before that my soul signature is one in motion, which makes life very difficult for me when I am injured or clipped at the wings.


My constant companion of late is a silver walking cane adorned with a red Pegasus to remind me that this too shall pass, and soon I will soar again.  I am awaiting a new knee, coming soon July 28.  The old one is overdone.  Meanwhile, the pain and the stillness  challenge me beyond belief, following an already a painful loss, that of a parent.   I am trying to live for the deeper truth hidden in the pain of these circumstances- my soul’s lesson inside the forced stillness. Not exactly sure I have it, but I remain open and still.

Luckily I also retain the freedom to choose what to ingest and in the vein of healing and keeping inflammation at bay I am giving the whole 30 diet a try. Once something is mentioned to me three times by people I respect… I am willing to give it a second look.  wink wink.  This is basically a paleo-like diet of real food/ no sugar, no dairy, and nothing artificial.   Good news is that eggs and caffeine are still cool.   This makes me happy.

The Menu




  • 1 pound broccolini or broccoli rabe, trimmed
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Fish And Assembly

  • 4 6-ounce Halibut or trout fillets or skinless cod or haddock fillets
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
  •  Chile Cilantro Butter (for serving)


  • Cook broccolini in a pot of boiling salted water just until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and transfer to a bowl of ice water; let cool. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Heat butter in a medium skillet over medium until foaming. Add broccolini, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes; season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing, just until broccolini is warmed through and coated in butter.

Fish And Assembly

  • Heat a grill pan over medium-high until hot but not smoking. Pat black bass fillets dry; this will help keep the fish from sticking to the pan while cooking. Place flour on a plate and season generously with salt and pepper (you are not seasoning the fish itself). Working one at a time, dredge fillets in flour, shaking off excess. Spread butter over flesh side of fillets as if buttering a slice of bread.
  • Add fillets, flesh side down, to pan; they should sizzle upon contact. Cook just until grill marks appear and butter is browned, about 1 minute. Turn and cook, pressing gently so entire skin side is in contact with the pan’s ridges, until skin is browned and crisp and fillets are cooked through, about 4 minutes longer.
  • Serve black bass fillets with broccolini and flavored butters, which will soften on contact with the warm fish.

Who says gremolata has to have parsley and lemon? No one who’s tried this crunchy Thai-influenced riff.



  •  cup vegetable oil
  • 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced into rings
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest
  • ½ cup mint leaves, divided
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound sugar snap peas, halved
  • 2 cups pea shoots (tendrils), torn into large pieces
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • Flaky sea salt





  • Heat oil and shallots in a small saucepan over medium-high. Stir occasionally until golden brown and crisp, 5–8 minutes. Transfer shallots to paper towels; season with kosher salt. Pour shallot oil into a small bowl; let cool.
  • Meanwhile, toast coconut in same saucepan over medium, stirring occasionally, until edges are golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; let cool. Add chives, lime zest, fried shallots, and 3 Tbsp. finely chopped mint and toss; season gremolata with kosher salt and pepper.
  • Toss snap peas, tendrils, lime juice, fish sauce, remaining torn mint leaves, and 3 Tbsp. shallot oil in a medium bowl; season with flaky sea salt and pepper. Let sit 5 minutes. Serve topped with gremolata.

Jicama and Guacamole

the obvious.   Smash fresh avocado, lime, jalapeno, red onion and sea salt and dip with slices of jicama or blue corn chips if you are not on the whole 30.


Recipes above inspired by the most recent travel issue of Bon Appetite!   Will FLY for food.

Travel up next:  CUBA

Meal up next: Blackened Cabbage with Kelp Brown butter and Carrot Pizza with red onion and Cilantro.

Next OR visit:   July 28.  New Bionic Knee Replacement.

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