Friday, February 28, 2014

Friday Links

1. The True Detective opening is already awesome, but when you add cats, it's incredible.

2. Things you should never say to a film buff...I'm so guilty of most of these annoying me.

3. I used this "life hack" to de-seed a pomegranate in 10 seconds. The verdict? It actually works! I was amazed at how fast the pomegranate seeds were falling out. I always thought that de-seeding them was so time consuming, but never again! 

4. Alright, call me obsessed but this article on True Detective drove me crazy. I can't wait until the season finale, which just happens to be the last day of Spring Break (i.e. I am re-watching every single episode, plus catching up on GOT). Do you have any theories about what is really happening in the show? I will post mine in the comments if anyone is interested!

5. Beck's new album is finally out, and I'm in love with it.

6. This pomegranate negroni looks perfect (now that I can de-seed a pomegranate!). 

7. One of my favorite desserts as a kid was banana pudding with the nilla wafers and meringue topping. Obviously, I can't have that anymore, but this raw banana cream pie looks like a more than suitable alternative!

8. Campari chip ice cream?!! I am totally going to veganize this...and make it over Spring Break since I don't know a single person that loves Campari as much as I do.

9. Could gluten be the cause of some of our most common ailments, like dementia or even ADHD? I don't whole completely agree with the author of "Grain Brain", but this article was a very interesting read about the affect of carbohydrates and gluten on the brain in general. 

10. This little girl named Mayhem is my hero: "Make me a dress. And a fabulous headpiece."

11. We have another extra link this week because I seriously screamed when Isa posted this brussels sprouts fried rice on Instagram, and now there's a recipe. That I'm making immediately. Isa always gets me.

12. Okay, apparently I can't stick to ten links but these edible art masterpieces are AWESOME. I've actually seen that Jackson Pollock in person so I laughed at the thought of it being a giant rice krispie treat. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Les Bouchées Quotidiennes

Hell week is almost over! I can almost taste it! It's hard to believe that spring break is in a week, which I am so excited for...except I will be studying the entire time. But, it does allow for baking time! Here's what we've been eating lately:

Remember that gigantic butternut squash I chopped last week? Well here's the last way we finished it off: with a smoky butternut pasta sauce with steamed collards. This sauce is easy enough for a weeknight, but decadent enough to feel special. I love the liquid smoke/smoked paprika with the sweet squash and collards. I'll definitely be making this again!

Okay, maybe it's just me, but when I see "weird" food combinations in recipes, I have to try it. Like, immediately. When Sara posted this recipe with pomegrante, mint, orange, chili powder, and millet, it went on my "to make ASAP" list. Although it seems like a lengthy recipe because of the odd ingredients, it actually isn't at all! The flavors were perfect together and created a really nice sweet/cooling/spicy flavor profile. 

Simplicity in its purest form is the vegan bowl: a grain with vegetables, protein, and some sort of sauce. I could live solely on bowl dinners. I heard a rumor that Sara's next cookbook is ALL bowl recipes, which is crazy awesome. Anyways, this roasted broccoli bowl was great for a busy weeknight. I love that you roast all the vegetables and chickpeas on one tray. The sauce didn't really thin that well, but it was still delicious and made a great wholesome meal!

I'm not sure how it's taken me so long to make carrot soup. I have so many different variations saved, but I settled on this super simple one from Deb (aka head food goddess of the Internet) with some Middle-Eastern spices, swirled with a tahini dollop (which I have been eating a lot of recently) and topped with my own creation: gluten-free za'atar croutons. The flavors are warm, comforting, and delicious. Za'atar has become one of my favorite spices lately. For the croutons, heat a pan on medium, add a TBS or so of butter/olive oil, then about 2 heaping cups of cubed/torn GF bread, a generous pinch of za'atar and a tiny pinch of salt. Then stir occasionally, toasting the bread, until all sides are lightly browned. Then devour!

Sometimes not having anything to eat for lunch is a challenge I like to take on. Today's lunch consisted of things I need to get out of the fridge (as it always does): GF bread spread with homemade roasted garlic mayo, homemade roasted red pepper spread (from the broccoli bowls), caramelized red onions, eggs over easy and hot sauce. Maybe not the healthiest lunch, but it was damn tasty and filling!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Friday Links

1. It's Friday! And these ginger beer margaritas sound prettttty good right about now.

2. I always look forward to seeing Megan's valentines day brunch post every year. Hopefully one day I can throw a brunch just as adorable as hers!

3. I'm currently eyeing these delicious looking baklava muffins or anything with pistachios lately. 

4. What happens when two of the most delicious vegetables get cross-pollinated? The answer is BrusselKale. I am so curious to know what it tastes like, but I highly doubt I can find them anywhere around here.

5. If I can sub fruity pebbles for froot loops, I am totally making this Momofuku inspired cereal cashew milk cake

6. After word got out that 'True Detective' was heavily influenced by this book and this one, both of their sales have shot up on Amazon. And we definitely bought the first one to read. Can't wait to read them over spring break! (More info on the mythology here)

7. It's been storming all morning, so these earl grey tea latte pancakes look absolutely perfect right now.

8. I've decided to make these GF V everything bagels over Spring Break because oh my gaaad. 

9. One of my favorite little bloggers wrote a post about changing dreams, which really resonated with me. Recently, I've really been struggling with this problem and this post was incredibly comforting to me. Thanks, A Beautiful Mess! 

10. Top with Cinnamon is writing a cookbook! Which is insane because she's only 18! She takes some of the most beautiful photos of lovely baked goods, so check her site out if you haven't already!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Les Bouchées Quotidiennes

Let me just say that the past week has been crazy. And this is a light way of putting it. Since we had three snow days and couldn't go anywhere, all of my huge assignments have been pushed together instead of being spread apart. So that's fun. Also being snowed in for that long was fun, but got old after a day two. Luckily, we went out on Valentines day to get dinner, which for us consisted of our favorite snacks and sparkling wines. Hopefully things will get back to normal after next week, but as of right now things are very hectic. But despite the craziness, we've still been eating well!

So this is the best vegan mac and cheeze EVER. Plus it doesn't have nutritional yeast, which means I can convince Mike to eat it. The recipe is very simple and it ends up tasting like pizza, so I don't know what you're waiting for: go make it! If you're wondering what the green stuff is: I cut a large head of broccoli into florets and tossed with the juice of 1 lemon, a good sprinkle of garlic powder, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Roast for 20-25 mins at 400 degrees until slightly charred and tender. 

I must be crazy, because I made this cold noodle salad with grapefruit and avocado on our second snow day. Despite the outside conditions, it was incredibly refreshing, filling, and it made us dream about warmer weather. The dressing is made of sriracha, grapefruit juice, and other delicious components. The components take a little time, but it's definitely worth it. I think this salad would be great in late spring too. 

This was my first time having a soft-boiled egg and I loved it! I am hooked. They take so little time and effort, but they're so delicious. Especially with paired with Deb's shallot-cream-spinach mix and Dijon mustard. To make this dairy-free, I used almond milk instead of cream and Earth Balance instead of butter. It sounds like a long process, but it actually took less than 10 minutes!

There is nothing better than a big bowl of homemade soup (and garlic bread...and wine) when it's snowing outside. I made this delicious Italian soup with baby potatoes, fresh kale and homemade pinto beans. The blend of rosemary, fennel, oregano and thyme really sticks out here to make a lovely combination. It also comes together in about 30 minutes, so I highly recommend it for whenever the next super cold night is! 

When you think of potato salad, do you think of yellow mushy junk packed in a plastic container at the grocery store? Well, think again. This potato salad with lentils, pickles and quick-pickled shallots is incredible. Although Deb titles it as a "warm" salad, we both enjoyed it cold with some warm garlic bread. This would be an outstanding salad to take on a Spring picnic (can you tell I am SO ready for Spring?!). 

I think I need to stop saying "This is the best --- ever!" because about a month later, I will trump myself. Well anyways, these tacos could be described as the best ones yet. I know the combination sounds strange: baked curry tofu, a raw avocado tahini kale slaw, and pintos? What?! But trust me, the flavors work together in such an awesome way that you will be going back for seconds, or even thirds! I also had to stop myself from eating the entire bowl of kale slaw because holy moly it was delicious.

For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you might remember that I had to purchase a very large butternut squash that probably weighed close to 7 pounds or more. So we have been trying to eat the entire thing this week in several different ways. The first way was Deb's warm salad with butternut squash and chickpeas, slathered in a tahini dressing. The flavors here were truly delicious, especially the allspice roasted squash. This is an easy, quick dinner that is great with rice for lunch the next day or a light salad. Next week I will share the other ways that we used our gigantic squash!

I finally, finally made Sara's falafel with pistachios, fresh mint, and cilantro. Okay so I apparently really love weird food combinations. But in reality you don't taste the mint that much because it works so well with the other flavors. I will definitely be making this again when it gets cooler because it is SO good. The tomato salsa is delicious too. If you still haven't attempted homemade falafel, you will be amazed at how easy and satisfying it is. I was so bummed when I went GF that I had to skip Greek food. But once I made Sara's other falafel (made with quinoa!), I was no longer sad. So get to it!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Friday Links

Welcome to 'Friday Links' on Infinite Zest! This will be a place where I will post links to food related or other fun things. Leave any suggestions below in the comments :) I look forward to sharing things I'm currently drooling over, things I'm watching/reading/listening to, or interesting reads. Get excited!

1. An eating seasonal guide for February. This is something I hold very important as a foodie, and this list/photo just became my laptop background! I am excited to explore new winter vegetables, like sunchokes and celery root

2. Curious about what people eat for breakfast around the world? Well here is a cute informative chart on the subject! Not sure if I could even think about eating reindeer meat, however.

3. These photos are so whimsical and adorable. This could easily be turned into a really fun children's book.

4. Almond milk caramel sauce. I want to douse everything in this. And I just happen to have some unsweetened Califia Farms almond milk...

5. Homemade vegan yogurt without a yogurt maker looks so intriguing! There is so much sugar in vegan yogurt. I love all the probiotics but sometimes the amount of sugar can make my stomach sour. This looks like a pretty easy method for anyone interested!

6. Sake mushrooms with miso butter made me kind of squeal/drool/cry when I saw this. I have been totally obsessed with umami flavors like miso and harissa lately, so this looks incredible. 

7. These food related valentine's cards are so adorable. 

8. This hot pink lovers juice is perfect for Valentine's Day, and it does not use a juicer! Yay! Because juicers are so damn expensive. 

9. Hostess cakes stuffed with blood orange cream look pretty good right about now. And if I wasn't snowed in on the other side of Greensboro, I would totally make these. 

10. I will probably end up making heart shaped seasoned fries because they're so adorable. Plus everyone knows that I am obsessed with potatoes. If you want to go really over-the-top adorable, serve them with heart-shaped eggs!

11. I wanted to stick to ten links, but I couldn't not mention True Detective. We started watching this series this week and it's incredible. But fair warning, it's not your usual fast-moving detective drama. It's a slow, meditative series about two detectives speaking in the present and past. The acting is flawless and you will find yourself mesmerized by the things they say. Highly highly recommended. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Les Bouchées Quotidiennes

I'm starting a new segment on Infinite Zest called "Les Bouchées Quotidiennes", which means "Daily Bites". Instead of posting monthly round-ups, I'll be posting little bits of what I eat each week. If there's anything else you guys would like to see on here, please let me know! I don't do many recipes during the year because I can't find the time but hopefully I will this summer!

 I've been trying to eat salads every week, even though it's winter. I went back to one of my favorites, a blood orange kale salad and created a new one with this clementine-wasabi ginger dressing. I love eating winter fruit in salads, and especially when avocado is involved. Do you have a favorite winter salad?

I'm going to sound like such a dork, but this was a huge thing for me. I finally finally made spring rolls. If people are telling you they take forever and fall apart: they're wrong. They are so easy and the only time consuming part is cutting up all the fillings. These spring rolls come from this recipe and have homemade wasabi hummus, grapefruit segments, avocado, green onions and carrots. I've actually come up with about 15 different spring rolls ideas, so expect me to post them this summer! 

I made these insane nachos from Isa Does It with an amazing vegan queso blanco made from cashews. Yes, you read that right. Cashew queso. And it was ridiculously good. I had it for dinner two nights in a row, and for lunch in between that. If you haven't bought her book yet, you really really should.  

This baked oatmeal, which comes from this book, is so so good. It tastes a little like banana pudding, which I miss eating so much. This is perfect for a winter morning. 

Eating seasonal means lots of brussels sprouts. This quick stir-fry with tempeh did the trick! 

I made an omelette without dairy, gluten, or eggs. Are you amazed?! These averaged about 15g of protein per omelette and they are VERY filling. I stuffed mine with tomatoes and spinach, then topped with avocado and hot sauce. It's easier than it sounds, I promise! 

Still on the Oatgasm blog train, and this garam masla oatmeal did not disappoint. I tried the sweet version with clementines, pecans, a little extra maple syrup and extra garam masala. The garam masala leaves a pleasant heat in your throat that is great for the weather.