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I stumbled across Caren Alpert’s website after Michael Pollan tweeted about her amazing photography, terra cibus. To be honest, I never really thought about what food looks like really, REALLY close up. Curious? Here is how Alpert explains her work:

What’s in our food?

What’s the difference between a bird’s-eye view of a remote vegetable crop and a microscopic swath from a pineapple leaf? How distinct is a pile of table salt from miles and miles of icebergs?

As a food lover and a photographer I answer these questions visually. Using scientific laboratory photo equipment, I journey over the surfaces of both organic and processed foods: my own favorites and America’s over-indulgences. The closer the lens got, the more I saw food and consumers of food (all of us!) as part of a larger eco-system than mere sustenance.

- Caren Alpert’s Artist Statement

Alpert took everyday foods, such as table salt, Oreos, and cauliflower, magnified them anywhere from 15 to 850 times and then photographed them. The result? Breathtaking art.

My personal favorite is the shrimp table. What’s yours?

Image: windy via Flickr

Do you have an emergency dinner, something you prepare when you don’t have any other good ideas (cereal doesn’t count!)? Here is mine. We tend to have all these ingredients in the house, even when it gets close to shopping day. This meal is very popular with adults and kids. It has lots of protein and vegetables and is pretty quick to prepare. You can vary the recipe depending on what you have in the fridge (leftovers such as extra chicken or steak, steamed veggies, rice, etc.). It can be served anytime of day!

Dina’s Emergency Dinner

Egg, Bell Pepper & Black Bean Wraps

1-2 Tortillas per person (you can use either flour or corn)
1 can of Beans (black, kidney, pinto, or whatever you like)
1-2 Bell Peppers sliced into strips (red, yellow, or orange are sweetest)
1/2 or full medium-sized Onion cut into slices lengthwise (sweet onion if you have it)
1 Shallot cut into thin slices (optional)
Grated Cheese (any cheese will work, but I like medium cheddar)
1 Egg per person
Oil and/or Butter
Salt and Pepper
Optional toppings – sliced avocado or guacamole, diced tomato, leftover rice, sliced green onions, sweet corn, breakfast potatoes, cilantro
Condiments – salsa, ketchup, hot sauce, chili peppers, sour cream

Instructions:

Grate cheese and set aside. Prepare any of the toppings you are going to use and set aside. Crack eggs in a bowl, add salt and cracked pepper, whisk with fork, and set aside. Place beans in a small sauce pan and turn to lowest heat setting to simmer. If you have a toaster oven, turn on (bake setting/300/medium).  Heat oil in skillet and saute bell peppers over medium-high heat, tossing regularly to avoid browning. Once they begin to soften, add onions and continue to stir regularly. When the onions soften, add shallots.  Cook for a few more minutes until all veggies are tender, but still firm, and place into a bowl (cover with dish towel to keep warm). Add butter or more oil to the hot skillet and scramble the eggs. While eggs are cooking, place tortillas into toaster oven to warm (see below if you do not have a toaster oven). When eggs are done, place into a bowl. If you do not have a toaster oven but have a gas stove, place the tortillas over low flame to heat and soften. If you have neither, use the hot skillet to heat the tortillas individually.

Assembling the wraps:

Put plates on the counter and have all your ingredients ready. Place warmed tortilla on plate and fill with cheese, egg, bell pepper mixture and any toppings you are using. Serve immediately with an assortment of condiments on the table so people can top the wraps themselves. If you are feeling particularly tired, you can also put everything on the table and go at it taco style!