I’m counting down the days until I leave for Malta. It’s strange, almost like a dream, to be planning for a year abroad. The semester is half over, and there is so much to consider: medication, budgeting, schoolwork along with a 40-hour workweek. It’s all so surreal, but it’s typical of me. I never do things at half-mast. If I’m going to experience change, it’s going to be a ton of changes all at once, like a Band-Aid being pulled off quickly to avoid the prolonged suffering.
Thirty-eight days. I have just over a month and a week until I fly to Europe. Thirty-eight days to see as many people as I can, to make as many memories as I can, and to get as much schoolwork and paperwork done as possible before I board that plane. What books do I bring? What clothes do I pack? Would I be able to pack the large teddy bear that CK (the boyfriend, that is) gave me for Christmas last year? Could I pack my hobbies and paint, sew, rock climb, and photograph while I was away? What about the Insanity workout and yoga? What about gardening?
|Volunteering as a Photographer for MD's Halloween Bloc Party|
It’s all so daunting in an exciting, holy crap sort of way. I’ve never been to a place that didn’t have leaves change or snow fall during months that usually do in my neck of the woods before. Actually, I’ve never been to the Mediterranean before either, but I’ve heard wonderful things from CK (you can get to know him here). For one thing, the cheese and the wine are famous for reasons taste buds can accredit; for another, local food sources year-round would be in abundance. These things excite me almost as much as the internship and being in the same time zone as CK do. There’s an entire culture I get to be part of, with recipes to make to further understand the country I’ll be living in.
But what about the autumn weather I so enjoy here on the east coast? What about the fall flavors of root vegetables and warm spices to fill you up and ground you: will it be the same over in Malta? Will baked apples, squash, and other slow-cooked foods provide the same satisfaction in Mediterranean weather as it does around this time of year back home?
I have no idea, but I’m excited to find out. Until then, I have a series of recipes that are perfect for the autumn season: warm, filling, nutritious, and (as always) gluten-free.
Sweet Potato and Zucchini Frittata
1 tbsp. Ghee*
1 tbsp. Olive oil
600 g / 3 small Sweet potatoes, shredded
1 Green zucchini, shredded
1 Yellow onion, halved and sliced into thin crescents
4 Garlic cloves
100 g Fresh kale, coarsely chopped
9 Large eggs, blended
Sea Salt, to taste
Herbs, to taste**
3 Small tomatoes, sliced thinly
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a large, deep skillet (or stainless steel wok) on medium heat, pour the oils and spread along the bottom of the pan.
At smoking point, add the onions and sauté for a minute or so, and then the sweet potato, zucchini, and garlic.
Cover and let soften for five to ten minutes, stirring periodically to make sure it cooks thoroughly but doesn’t burn.
Once softened, turn off the heat and toss in the salt and herbs, followed by the eggs (you may need to turn the mixture in the pan to ensure even coating).
Place the tomatoes on top in a design of your choosing.
Cover the pan with foil and baked in the oven for 30 minutes.
Take the foil of the top and allow the frittata to bake for another 20 - 30 minutes or until done.
Remove from the oven and let it sit for a couple minutes.
Slice into wedges and serve hot.
Makes 4 Servings.
*If you don't have ghee, you can substitute with regular butter. If you want this to be completely dairy free, you can just use 2 tbsp. olive oil instead.
**You could do just about anything with this dish regarding herbs. I mean, I considered allspice and cinnamon. But I ended up with a couple dashes each of tarragon, basil, and Parisian Bonnes Herbes.