Saturday, March 31, 2012

Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner: Oatmeal, Salad, and Pizza

Okay, the oatmeal was from yesterday, but the salad and pizza were from today.

I sauteed 1/2 an apple with a tsp of sugar and some cinnamon, and put it on top of a leftover instant oatmeal packet.  Good for my sore throat yesterday.

I have this great cookbook called "Eat Drink & Weigh Less" by Mollie Katzen and Walter Willett, MD.  One of my favorite recipes is for marinated white beans.  It's pretty simple: white beans, olive oil, vinegar, basil, oregano, garlic, with some optional veggies.  I made it today and tossed it with spicy salad mix from the CSA.  I added some tiny tomatoes from my still producing 2011 tomato plants, and some olives.

And tonight was pizza night.  I am starting to fear what it will be like having two boys in the house.  Though my son only had 1 slice of pizza, this afternoon he ate an ear of corn (from the lady at the park), a banana, applesauce, carrots, a few slices of homemade focaccia, romanesco, milk, 3 girl scout cookies, more bread, and I'm sure I'm forgetting at least one thing.  Now, I'm eating for two, so I'm showing my third piece of pizza prominently on my plate (and I had a couple of slices of focaccia also).  Hopefully by the time we have a 6 year old and a 12 year old, we'll be close enough to 50 that spouse and I will have slowed down our eating.

Oh, and last night I stir-fried some bok choy, carrots, and kohlrabi, and we ate it with Annie Chun's teriyaki noodles, leftover from our vacation trip.  Those things aren't the healthiest, but they are easy to prepare if all you have is hot water.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Vacation Eats

It's no secret that I don't like to eat out much on vacation.  When I go, I try to balance staying in places with kitchens (like family's houses, condos) or places where I can to SOME cooking (like a hotel room with a fridge/microwave, or camping).  This vacation was very similar.  We did eat out some here and there (definitely a lot towards the end of the trip because I got sick as a dog - my throat is so sore that I want to cry).

We visited with friends in the Bay Area (SF Bay Area, that is).  There was a little bit of eating out/take out, and some cooking dinner - our friends in Mountain View built their own wood burning pizza oven...okay, that makes good stuff.  Then it was offf to Yosemite and we rented a house, and we cooked.  I have to say, though it was challenging and I was tired, I very carefully planned our meals before I left (for Yosemite specifically, since there are no nearby grocery stores), and it was worth it.  I took a minimal amount of food and brought home very little.  Usually, I pack WAY too much.

Broccoli from the CSA, mac and cheese

Pancakes (from a mix that does not require eggs) with strawberries (from the Mtn View farmer's mkt) and bananas.

Sunflower seed butter and jam sandwiches (with apples and carrots!)

Rice, canned chili, cheese, avo (brought from home), and more CSA broccoli

More pancakes, and I took a page from Biz's book and sauteed the fruit to sweeten it a bit

Well, I'm sick and it's 3 am and I have insomnia, so that's all you get from me right now.  Maybe I'll share my vacationing philosophy more at a later date.  Going to try to read a bit and maybe sleep some more.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Skillet Pasta!

Another (very bad) photo of skillet spaghetti.  Man, I love this stuff.  Easy to make, the ability to use up all sorts of meats and veggies, one pot dish.  Amenable to meat lovers, vegetarians, and vegans alike.  Okay, so the Paleo folks are out of luck.

I forgot to take the pretty picture of my plate (with broccoli!) before I dug in.  My family loves it too.  It is so tasty.

In case you forgot, you can find it in my favorites tab.  But basically:
1.  Saute veggies (in my case, it was onion and chopped fava leaves)
2.  Add 3 cups sauce (in this case, home-canned marinara - yum) and 3 cups water. 
3.  Add 12 oz pasta and other spices if you'd like (extra basil, rosemary, oregano, creative)
4.  Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer (covered) for 20 to 25 min, stirring occasionally to keep stuff from sticking.
5.  Add other items as desired.  Today I added sun-dried tomatoes and olives, but waited until only about 10 min left so as not to get them totally mushy.
6.  Top with cheese!  Or avocado.  Or nooch.  Or nuts.  Or nothing.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Stir fry!

It's been quite a rough week.  Work has been awfully stressful...people have been out, some stuff has gotten messed up, and hey, I am in serious need of a vacation.  It's like clockwork, really...every 3 months I need a week off.  I missed my week off in September and it was NOT pretty.  My last time off wasn't exactly a vacation either.  So, my son's "spring break" is very much needed, and it shows.  Soon, anyway.

As I was trying to figure out what to cook mid-week, I had a few criteria: 1. easy.  2. not require a shopping trip.  3. healthy.  So I found some cooked chicken from the Costco chickens in the freezer, some frozen green beans, leeks (literally the LAST of last week's CSA produce - otherwise, we're dry!), and the leftover cooked rice.

Stir-fry seemed perfect. But the sauce... A couple of weekends ago I was at the grocery store and I had to pee.  Because I'm pregnant, and I always have to pee (3 times in today's meeting at work).  As I was waiting to use the ladies room, I perused the discount rack at the store, and found mango jelly made with juice not sugar.  It was half off, or about $2 for a jar.  I thought that would go really well in some of my stir-fry mixtures.  I would have bought a bunch (and the papaya too), but I hate to do that on an  unknown, so I only got the one jar.

I mixed a couple of tablespoons with some rice vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil.  It made a tasty sauce for the chicken and green beans. 

Of course it's not stir-fry without sriracha on top.  And I tossed on some chopped cashews for crunch.

On another note, my kid is starting to get cranky complainy pants on me about dinners.  Probably because in my 1st trimester I made really easy things that he likes and is familiar with, and now I'm back to my more adventurous self.  In any event, time to nip that attitude in the bud.  This is dinner.  Eat it or not.  If it's not on your list of 5 foods that you don't ever have to eat because you hate them, then I expect 3 bites.  I am not a short order cook.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Finally, a pork picture!

Yes, I defrosted the rest of the pork loin that I cooked a couple of weeks ago and we ate it this week.  A little bit over rice one night, in quesadillas the next night.  I've been a "nothing but brown rice" girl for years and recently bought my first bag of white rice.  I'm liking it on those days when you just don't have an hour to cook rice before dinner.  Brown still has more flavor.

Here I topped it with cheese, salsa, and sour cream.  With a salad on the side.  Our salads have been of the lettuce, radish, orange, avocado, cashew variety with rice vinegar and olive oil.

On an unrelated note, we spent 2 hours on Sunday making 3 kinds of cupcakes from scratch.  36 total.  Pros on cupcake wars we aren't.  But they were a hit at my birthday boy's class yesterday.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Spicy Peanut Noodles

Boy, has it been a busy weekend.  I had a bad work day on Friday, followed up by not feeling well in the evening (and not sleeping).  My hubby went out for burrito takeout because he didn't feel like leftover bean burgers or salmon patties.  I ended up not being hungry for my burrito either.

The rest of the weekend has been a flurry of activity.  The season of "birthday parties" has begun.  Saturday I quilted at a class while the fam attended a party.  Sunday we attended another party while hubby worked.  I worked on a quilt today for our school auction.  I have only 11 days to finish it, and my walking foot broke today.  So that has slowed me down tremendously. I'm still pretty sure that I can finish.  I will have to buckle down and do a little bit every night.  This probably means we are eating at the coffee table most nights this week.  My sewing table = dining room table.

We spent the afternoon making 3 kinds of cupcakes for my son's birthday, while joking about cupcake wars.  Dinner wasn't ready until 8 pm (which is really 7, right?)  By the way the cupcake recipes - one from Elie Krieger (chocolate cupcakes), one lemon cupcake, one vanilla cupcake (from this month's Fine Cooking, also Elie Krieger).  I liked the cupcake recipes because they called for whole wheat pastry flour, and are a LITTLE bit healthier (less sugar), and some substitutions also - a little less butter.  We didn't frost them - that's a no no in my son's class.  Nobody wants 26 kindergarteners hopped up on sugar.

I wanted something easy tonight after the cupcake afternoon.  I chose vegan spicy peanut noodles with vegetables, from Wildly Affordable Organic.  I won't post the recipe here, but it was easy and delish.  Well, it WOULD have been easy, but I ran out of peanut butter, and had to spend 15 minutes stirring up the new jar, which is a real arm workout.  My version had the stir fry greens from the CSA - no kale this week, just cabbages and bok choy and tatsoi.  I also had carrots and broccoli stems...I just got tired of trying to get all the aphids out of the florets...they went into the compost.  I didn't make it very spicy, but happily put on sriracha at the end.  Definite keeper.  There are a lot of vegan and vegetarian recipes in that cookbook. I highly recommend it (and the E-books at Cook For Good, if they are still available).  Mostly the same recipes.

And one day last week, I had a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich for breakfast.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Japanese Style Cole Slaw

Dontcha love the floral Corelle plates, circa...I don't know when??

I think this originated from, according to the flyer.  But I edited it.

Japanese Style Cole Slaw
1 small head cabbage, shredded
1 large carrot, shredded
6-10 medium radishes, shredded

... the food processor's shredding blade is great for all of this

2.5 Tbsp grapeseed oil (or other oil)
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 clove garlic, pressed
3/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp grated fresh ginger

1/4 c. toasted sesame seeds
1 c. chopped cashews (I started with 1/2 c...and it was better with the full cup)

Mix everything.

This was so tasty that my spouse mentioned the last time he ate coleslaw, he was disappointed that it was tasteless.  I guess he likes my many variations on the Asian style slaws.

Plenty leftover for lunch the next 2 days.  I eat a BIG cupful.

Split Pea Soup and Greens

Well, this weekend I made a huge (4.5 lb) pork roast in the crock pot with tomatoes, salsa, peppers, and spices.  We ate it for 5 days, put the 2nd half in the freezer last night, and wouldn't you know it, I didn't take a single picture.  I would have thought the 3 of us could eat it all in 5 days, but I guess not when we are only eating it for one meal.

The other meal was a big pot of split pea soup (you can find the link in my favorites tab).  I did remember to take two (nearly identical) pictures of those meals, with some focaccia and salad one night, greens the next.

I also cooked up some dried beans from the CSA this week, and those will be featured prominently in...something.  And tonight's menu is the last of the soup plus some cole slaw "Japanese style" from the CSA flyer.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


It's definitely been "bag 'o greens" season at the farm, and we've been getting a kale/cabbage mixture (several different kinds of each).  I've put it in soup, creamed it, stewed it, but mostly, I like it stir-fried with Trader Joe's Island Soyaki sauce.  Because it's easy.  Wash, chop, stir-fry, add a little water, steam 5-10 mins, remove lid to dry out, add sauce, heat through, remove from heat.

We also got some brussels sprouts last week.  I roasted them last night.  This week was supposed to be "all you can pick" brussels sprouts at the farm (free to members), but they canceled it due to an extreme aphid infestation.  Which manifested itself in my broccoli today. Oh boy, it was bad.  I soaked/ rinsed about 10x, then boiled to within an inch of its life, then skimmed off the aphids and rinsed again.

My neighbor gave me the tip to try vinegar in the water.  I will next time.

This week's CSA had kale, lettuce, baby arugula, bag o greens, broccoli, radishes, cabbage, dried beans, and jarred marinara.

Sorry for the quickie, but I have a sick kid on my hands!