Sunday, April 29, 2012

(629) whistle while you work

If it's not already pretty obvious, I've been super busy this week. I have finals coming up this week and have just been in a whirlwind of work and studying. 
I have been eating pretty well but I would like to do better this week. I ate chicken this week, which I'm okay with, but I also had canadian bacon (which is totally not okay even though it was no-msg/hormones/nitrites/nitrates etc/gluten free). I really want to eat things like bacon extremely sparingly. I made vegan pancakes for everyone yesterday morning, which I still feel guilty about. I just want to be healthier. I need to start drinking smoothies again too. I would like to eat quinoa, maybe some dandelion greens, chickpeas, and kale this week.

here is a pizza from naturally ella that I adapted to be GF/vegan. I used rice vegan cheese and I have to say, I wasn't in love with it completely but it melted and had the cheesey texture; however, it didn't taste like anything. I am still hunting for an awesome vegan cheese. I like Daiya but at the same time, I don't. who knows. this pizza was delicious though!

here's another reason why I could never be vegan: I do not care for tofu or tempeh. I made buffalo/bbq tempeh because I had a bottle of Annie's BBQ sauce that I needed to use before it expired. it was okay and I ate all of it, but tempeh is so bland, even when it's drenched in sauce.   I will just stick to chicken, fish, beans, and leafy greens!

one of my favorite Iron Hen lunches: quinoa with black beans, garlic sauteed swiss chard, and sweet potato rounds. a prime example of a simple, delicious meal.

trying to organize my pantry: chickpeas, split yellow peas, and black beans.

couldn't resist buying these GF/DF "they'll never know cupcakes" made with spinach, carrot and zucchini. these cupcakes had some of the best frosting (made with tofu!) I've ever tasted. the cake was supremely spicy and carrot cake like. it was a splurge but worth it. (PS I need to stop eating/drinking so much sugar. I've been super bad)

one of my new favorites (like seriously top 3) soups: yellow split pea sunshine soup. we finally got to use my immersion blender (obviously) and it was one of the best soups I've ever tasted, flavored with saffron water and lemon juice. this will be fantastic when it gets colder, which it sort of has been this past week. 

zucchini noodles with arribiata sauce is another good vegan dish. I left out the chickpeas, or rather my mom did, since she didn't feel like cooking dried ones. this will be great in the summertime, when I will try to make bigger ribbon-like noodles instead. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

(622) cabin in the woods

my mom cooked a huge pot of black beans on Friday so last night I used some to make polenta rancheros, which was awesome! I really enjoyed using whole cumin seeds instead of cumin powder; the seeds, when toasted, are so much more flavorful. we have also pretty much sworn off of canned beans in my house (which makes me happy!..and my stomach!) so we've been buying them in bulk, soaking them, then cooking them. they taste so much better and are easier on my belly

I posted about these cookies yesterday, which turned out more like wafers, but are still awesome! I used it to make a fancy pantsy dessert: pineapple basil sorbet, champagne mango slices, pistachios and topped with a lemon cardamom cookie. it was so delicious, decadent, but at the same time I couldn't really feel bad since I was eating fruit, sorbet, nuts, and a vegan cookie. I really recommend it, especially since champagne mangoes are in their peak season. here's how I converted the cookie recipe:

-sub 1 C flour = 1/2 C sorghum flour + 1/2 C tapioca starch + 1 tsp xanthan gum
-sub 1/2 C butter = 1/2 C earth balance vegan sticks

Saturday, April 21, 2012

(621) battle royale with cheese

spring has surely sprung! so I've been trying to use more seasonal/delicious green produce! I made Heidi's broccolini salad with regular broccoli since Whole Foods didn't have any yet...but it was amazing! nothing better than hot chile oil, croutons, and almonds. I chopped a hard boiled egg into my salad too!

another new favorite to make year round: leftover loaf pan frittata. I can see swapping out the veggies to fit the season. we used potatoes (also served on the side), corn, and shallot. my mom also garnished it with vampire killer kale chips (how creative!) and paprika. amazing

 another spring/summer tradition I started last year was making joy's frozen bananas dipped in chocolate. they are so easy to make and really great if you have a lot of bananas that you don't plan to use. I don't feel too guilty eating them either: it's just bananas, vegan chocolate and peanuts!

this pasta. is so amazing. I loved the swiss chard with pine nuts, and then a bite of capers or olives. I'm starting to cook more from Joanne because her recipes are simple and so so good. she also posts more than any other food blog I follow (4-5 times a week it feels like!) check her out. she is awesome!

to keep the seasonal theme going, my mom and I made this tartine from Heidi yesterday. nothing better than garlic rubbed toast with avocado, garlicky quick sauteed asparagus, spinach and pepitas! it was a very delicious/filling lunch. 
I also just made these cardamom lemon cookies which were supposed to be shortbread, but as you can see, they turned out a bit crispy and flat. they are still awesome though! I'm going to serve them with champagne mango, pineapple basil sorbet and pistachios. I read on David Lebowitz website that if you beat butter and sugar too long, it can create too much air in the cookies which causes cookies to spread. you can read the rest of the article here

Sunday, April 15, 2012

(615) fresh catch

delicious vegan cassoulet with fresh vegetables and homemade beans

finally bought these suckers after they came through my line at Whole Foods about ten times. they are so good but a little pricey. I'd like to try my hand at homemade kale chips!

what happens when you work at Whole Foods: I got into Kale! my parents are so proud.

before going to brunch with Ashley at Printworks. the weather today was lovely!

an interesting appetizer at Printworks: poached fruit in a spicy broth. it was out of this world and would be amazing over rice pudding

one of the best dishes I've had in Greensboro: lemony golden beets over quinoa/black rice with kale and chickpeas. do I really need to say anything else?

daisies from our floral department!

Kale, Bean + Squash Tostadas
-Soak pinto beans overnight and cook according to package directions. Let cool slightly, then mash with some cumin and a little olive oil. Saute dinosaur (lacinato) kale with garlic, olive oil, and red pepper flakes in a pan. Set aside. Add chopped sunburst squash to the pan with a little more oil and cook until soft. Set aside. Add fresh corn kernels and sweet peppers with oil to the saute pan; add onions and cook until done. Toast (blue) organic corn tortillas and top with mashed beans, kale, squash, corn/onions. Top with guacamole or fresh avocado. It's super delicious and easy!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

(611) goodbye junk, hello whole foods

made this delicious, colorful baby green tuna salad with a wonderful lemon dressing last night. I've been enjoying fish more and more lately instead of other meats.

one thing I've learned is to buy some things on instinct. this sunburst (also known as pattypan) squash really caught my eye & it's organic! we are still trying to find a way to cook it this weekend.

I was standing in the kitchen, ready to make these kale + quinoa cakes. I looked at the time and realized I didn't want to spend an hour and a half in the kitchen making these. so I adapted this recipe to what I had, what I felt like doing, and from Joy's original recipe. my mom also had a pot of spaghetti sauce simmering so I stole some of that too.

Tomato + Kale Quinoa (adapted from this)
-Rinse 1-1/2 C raw quinoa well in a fine mesh strainer. Add to a medium saucepan with 2-1/4 C water, and 1/2 tsp salt, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover, decrease heat, and simmer 25-30 mins until quinoa is tender. Remove from heat. Toss in a handful of chopped, fresh parsley, some fresh lemon juice, and a small glug of olive oil. 
-Heat 1 T olive oil in a medium saute pan. Add 1/2 a yellow onion chopped and cook until translucent, 4 mins. Add 2 garlic cloves, minced, and saute 1 min more. Add as many leaves of lacinato kale as you like and stir until wilted. Add kale to the quinoa mixture and stir. Add as many red pepper flakes as you can handle and stir. 
-If you have any spaghetti sauce (with Italian herbs, garlic, onions, tomatoes), throw some into the quinoa mixture. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

(610) solely cravings

remember when I bought that bunch of beautiful rainbow chard last week? well I used it in a hash with potatoes + onions! it was absolutely delicious. I came home after a super long day and made it; it wasn't that much prep. I'm about to fry an egg to eat with the leftovers.

the store opens in two days, which sounds crazy. we had sort of a "pep rally" last night for the store opening to get everyone excited (not that we weren't already stoked!) and it was so much fun. I've never been more excited to work somewhere before. I am so excited that I'm going to the grand opening ceremony and I'm going back later to work that night. I just can't wrap my head around it! or shop at Earth Fare anymore haha.

bacon asparagus frittata
tiramisu mini donuts
almond donuts with a cherry glaze

simple asparagus lunch
garnet pilaf
fish tacos + kale salad + mango salsa
simple quinoa lunch
garlicky collard greens + quinoa
trout stuffed with quinoa + sundried tomatoes
carrot pasta with parsley kale pesto
carrot noodles + tofu bolognese
roasted lemon + broccoli soup
noodles with kale + spicy rhubarb sauce
vegetable spring rolls
spring Greek pasta salad
creamy lemon-infused pasta salad

vegan blackberry coconut crumble bars
boozy pie bites
triple grapefruit cupcakes
black + white angel food cake
lemon cake squares with cherry meringue frosting

Food for Thought
house in the hills: a few things I've learned about cooking

Sunday, April 8, 2012

(609) successful easter meal

tulips from Whole Foods for my mom. I'm going to be one of those girls with different flowers every week or so because our floral department is so beautiful.

temporary nametag for work

new favorite gluten-free beer

Rigby is ready for Easter with his bowtie

I can't express how nervous I was about these cupcakes. these are the first sponge cakes I've ever made GF. this was also my first experience beating egg whites to soft peaks, which was extremely nerve-wracking. I put them in the oven with my fingers crossed...and they turned out beautifully! I adapted it from my favorite ming! I used 1/2 C sorghum flour, 1/4 C tapioca starch and 3/4 tsp xanthan gum. I used my favorite chocolate buttercream recipe (halved) with fresh coffee to taste.

centerpiece of our meal: roasted chicken with a lemon ginger compound butter and braised fennel. I'm starting to become really turned off to meat but this was pretty damn good. We got it from Claire Robinson's book 5-ingredient fix

glazed carrots with thyme from Martha Stewart which were delicious but frustrating to make. I used regular carrots cut on an angle because baby carrots are genetically modified (99% sure). 

finally, the thing I was looking forward to the most: smitten kitchen's green bean salad with pickled red onions + fried almonds. it was definitely a family pleaser and was fun to make, though there were many steps. it was hard to gauge the salt levels for the pickling liquid. it's very good though, especially with the almonds. I will be making this again! smitten kitchen never lets me down

beets and eggs co mingling in my mason jar.

naturally beet-dyed hard boiled eggs come out of the jar.

beautiful pink eggs get halved and deviled, then topped with parsley. thanks to the year in food! this was another popular dish I made today

the spread + mama's tulips. happy Easter! I need a huge nap from cooking for about 7 hours straight....or a beer.

Friday, April 6, 2012

(607) appetite in literature

lots of good things happening lately. saw Taxi Driver in 35mm last night, finally picked up Murakami's "Wind up Bird Chronicle" again (hence the title of this post) and I've been cooking a lot. feeling very healthy lately.

this smashed chickpea + avocado sandwich was just what I needed. I was tired but needed to eat something delicious and easy. it's as simple as smashing everything together in a bowl. the only downside is that the salad part is only good for the day it's made, but I managed to eat all of it with my sister. lime juice + cilantro + green onions + avocado = drool

 another quick and easy vegetarian meal: scrambled egg "tacos" but I left it with out the shells. this was delicious, protein-heavy (which is good after a day of not so much) and flavorful. I really enjoyed the fresh cilantro

juicing has really grown on me over time. I had a smoothie and juice yesterday which seems a little overboard. this one was: grapefruit, double lemon, parsley, beet, carrot, kale and cilantro. I can't wait to move out and buy my own Omega juicer

buttermilk french toast
dutch baby pancake + caramelized vanilla bean pears
healthy banana coconut muffins
grapefruit avocado smoothie
six-seed soda bread
blueberry peach muffins + chia seeds
carrot apple + coconut pancakes
coconut crusted french toast

beet green chopped salad
parsley root fries + roasted tomato ketchup
chipotle's corn salsa
kale + quinoa cakes
japanese brown rice crackers
broccolini salad
best veggie burger (using leftover beet pulp!!)
carrot ginger brown rice
wine + dinner pairing party

date almond coconut balls
blueberry cupcakes
vegan chocolate cake blizzard
sweet berry galette
meyer lemon cupcakes + curd

Food for Thought
food combining for optimal digestion

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

(605) whole foods market

some amazing things have been going on this week. I've been in whole foods training here and there. saturday I will be working in winston (how nerve-wracking!!) to train on register etc before we open. I am so excited but a little nervous. I am more happy/grateful to work for such a great company. I have been meeting some really cool new people who share my love for food and excitement for whole foods in general. we open in less than a week...I can hardly believe it or wait!

something strange has also been time goes on, I find myself eating less and less meat. I'm also cutting down on my sugar drinks/popsicles etc. (save for sweet treats that I make!). I notice that most of my tabbed recipes are either vegetarian or pretty much vegan. this recipe for lemony collard greens pasta. I already love olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes together...but this is so spicy and delicious. it's perfect. I used toasted almond slivers instead of  pine nuts and it was out of this world. I'm still drooling over it. my free collard greens from WF were put to great use!

on that same "vegetarian" note, I find myself buying more and more produce, like this beautiful rainbow chard. the vibrant colors really caught my eye and it was less than $3 (and organic). I would've been crazy to not walk out of the store with it. today, I can proudly say, I bought 80% grocery items instead of processed/frozen/prepared/sushi etc. I'm starting to make more conscious decisions when it comes to food shopping, using the same ingredients in different dishes, etc. it's really important to consider these things. I was just reminded of this recent post from the little red house which I really loved. "The Everlasting Meal" cookbook is also high on my to-buy list.

this week I've had to tell myself to relax. make a smoothie for myself, lay in bed with Rigby, and read a book. don't let things stress me out. smoothies have really helped to clear my head and make me feel better in general. this was another "super spinach" one from Joy the Baker. 
banana almond smoothie
chocolate espresso cupcakes
salty chocolate chip oatmeal cookies
mini coconut chocolate chip cookies

orange cocoa nib/ grilled zucchini /avocado salad
jalapeno + kale marinated lime tostada
asparagus frittata
herbed bread
black bean + plantain burgers
watercolor easter eggs + "egg salad" sandwich
sweet potato veggie burgers
pasta with olives, tomatoes + raisins
arugula lemon breadcrumb pasta

Monday, April 2, 2012

(603) fluff your rice with a fork

When you discover a new favorite recipe that you know you'll make again and again:

I've been craving these brown rice sesame balls from Heidi and they are just as good as they look. I made enough balls to take for lunch at school and left the rest in a bowl to eat for lunch (as below). They kind of fell apart a bit after being out of the fridge but they were still awesome with sriracha (as everything really is). 

I took the leftover rice mixture and mixed in some diced avocado, sriracha, and soy sauce. It was out of this world and I felt so good knowing that I was the one who cooked the rice (which is a rare/nerve-wracking occasion). I really recommend this recipe though. It was so simple and you can do so many things with it!

another new favorite smoothie from Joy: 1/2 pear diced, 1 heaping C chopped kale, 1 heaping C chopped spinach, 1 T honey, 1.5 C cold rice/almond milk, 1 frozen banana

so we finally made a recipe from Joy's book: zucchini and potato pancakes! I was really surprised at how much less flour these had compared to other vegetable pancakes. Not only should you just go buy this book, but then you should make these pancakes. They're perfect with ketchup and paprika. 

also, my new obsession is white balsamic vinegar. it's sweet, mild, and makes a perfect salad with olive oil.

pineapple protein popsicles
breakfast tacos with kale chimichurri sauce
quinoa + beet pancakes

vegan stuffed shells with tofu ricotta
four way deviled eggs
grilled cheese with grilled carrots + pesto
easy fish recipes
vegetarian cassoulet
beet chips & kale chips
roasted beet salad with candied walnuts
pear spinach + walnut salad
whole beet soup with lentils + cumin
radish pea salad with lemon oregano vinaigrette

almond coffee cake
baked apple pie egg rolls
jim lahey's chocolate chip cookies