One of my favorite things about cooking with vegetables is being able to use them in many different ways. I had some butternut squash leftover from the previous week, so I set out on a search on how to use it up. So I decided to roast it with onions to make this incredible buffalo mac with tofu bacon! I'm all for vegan mac that doesn't involve soaking cashews or long ingredient lists, so this was perfect. The tofu bacon was a delicious addition as well, which didn't take time at all! This recipe lasted me quite a few days, and I even had some leftovers for the beach as well!
Dinner: Spicy Fish Taco Bowls with Cilantro-Lime Slaw + Singapore Sauce
When does something become a tradition? Can you simply name it that, or should you do it a few times before it really holds that meaning? In any case, we repeated this from last year's Valentines trip: 1) the beach 2) fish from the local market 3) put off making dinner until as late as possible and neither one of you really want to do anything but you do anyways. These three things combine for a magical, cozy Valentines dinner at the condo. We spent the day frolicking around a nice shopping center where we tried out a brewery restaurant and a wonderful sushi spot (we highly recommend both!). After watching a movie, we whipped together this super quick fish taco bowl, and doused it in Singapore sauce that we got from the sushi place. These bowls were filling, insanely flavorful, and the best ending to such a great day. And every time I cook fish, I always ask myself why I don't more often. So this is something I'd like to work on! It was also lovely to have some quinoa, which I don't eat nearly as often as I used to.
I have been on a somewhat random, crazy matcha/green tea kick lately, so it has been most of what I've been drinking lately. I picked up this cute little juice box of matcha/apple juice for the trip home. It was delicious, definitely gave me a boost, plus the willpower to drive over 3 hours and not go crazy. Hooray! I'd love to order some of their loose teas as well.
Fuel: Ito En Sencha Shot
(See above for green-tea-mania explanatory note) This stuff is a kick in the pants if you really need it. I should probably keep a case of these in the fridge at all time, you know, just in case (but really because they are so good). This would be a perfect pre-work out boost or I'm-too-sleepy-to-function drink, but I sadly had to pair it with the one above to even stay focused on the drive home. I'm not a fan of long trips, but lots of caffeine helped in more ways than one!
Breakfast: Smoked Salmon Avocado Smash Toast/Bagel
Another beach trip "tradition" is this easy, protein-packed breakfast that I make at least once while we are away. First I toast either two slices of GF bread or a GF bagel (their everything bagels are tops for this). Then I smash one avocado with juice of 1/2 a lemon, a little lemon pepper, sweet Hungarian paprika, cumin, and salt. Taste for seasoning and acidity. Spread generously onto each piece of bread/bagel. Instead of smoked salmon, I buy nova bits by the pound from the Fresh Market (tip: its cheaper and doesn't taste any different) - you only need a little over 1/4pd for this. Tear into bite sized pieces and place on top. Sprinkle with lemon pepper and devour! It will keep you full for hours and it's the best damn thing you'll have for breakfast.