Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Weekly Eats Ten (3/14 - 3/20)

Snack: Big Cluster Granola

Granola is one of my favorite things to keep on rotation in my kitchen. Why, you might ask? First of all, it's stupidly overpriced to buy it in the grocery store, especially the gluten-free variety. There are also endless variations on granola, so you will never get bored with it. Lastly, it travels wonderfully, and can be served in many different ways. I enjoy it with just a little coconut milk (I don't like to ruin the beautiful crunch) or almond milk in a bowl, but straight from the bag works too. If I skip breakfast before work, I tote this large bag with me to work and eat it there. You could also top a baked sweet potato or apple with some, or sliced apples/bananas with peanut butter plus granola. The possibilities are endless! My point is, this granola is excellent and comes from Smitten Kitchen's book. It uses a lower temperature than most recipes, plus the addition of a slightly frothed egg white adds a simple little light twist to this snack.


Breakfast: Fried Rice with Spinach, Eggs + Sriracha

When I'm out of things in the fridge, I always turn to things like rice and eggs - or both. I'll make a pot of rice in my rice cooker the night before, and then make fried rice the next day. For this easy breakfast, I made a small batch of brown rice and then placed spinach on top to steam through. The next morning I fried the rice and spinach with some soy sauce, plus two beaten eggs. This makes a great, filling breakfast but also a quick lunch/dinner with minimal effort.


DIY Imbibe: Blood Orangecello

Limoncello is one of my favorite things to make during Christmas. It doesn't take too long but it also "steeps" while I can spend time working on other homemade gifts. However, after trying this blood orangecello (which takes much less time), I might be hooked. I have a slight obsession with blood oranges, as I may or may not have mentioned, and to combine them with vodka and sugar to make one of my favorite things, was nothing short of an epiphany. So far, I've had it on its own (which my friends think I'm crazy for doing) but I also mixed it with dry hopped cider, which was amazing. I might post a recipe soon using this in a cocktail so stay tuned!


Dinner: Smoky Tofu Sandwiches

Tofu sandwiches are one of my favorite things ever. I really liked this recipe, but next time I will definitely marinate the tofu for an hour instead of 30 minutes. For the pickled vegetables I used smoky fermented kale kraut, which perfectly complemented the smokiness of the tofu. I also added tomato, which is a must for all tofu sandwiches, and served it with some potato chips. Although there's not much to say about these sandwiches, they were still very very tasty and highly recommended. 


Dinner: Rainbow Rotini Pasta Salad

Usually I like to make something "festive" for St. Patricks Day, but this year I opted for this rainbow pasta salad, which I suppose is still festive (it's a stretch, I know). This recipe comes from Quick Fix Vegan, which is great for exactly what the title is. I loved all of the flavors of this recipe - the bright crunch from the peppers, salty brine from the olives, sweet dried cranberries, fresh parsley, plus a ton of dried herbs that I added. Pasta salads are also great for lunches as they pack/travel well. I can't wait to eat a ton of pasta salad come summertime!



Dinner: 1-pot Red Lentil Chili

It was very cold again this past weekend for the first time in a while, so I changed around my plans to make chili instead of something not as warming. Chili is one of my favorite Sunday meals because I am usually cooking for more than just us, plus it leaves a ton of leftovers to get us through Monday. Dana's recipes lately (but really, always) have been incredible, simple, fast, and tangible. I have quite a few of hers on my back burner right now to make soon. Anyways, this chili was stellar, and will definitely be made again. It's super simple to make, but was a hit with all of the non vegetarians in the household! I'd like to make a batch of this and freeze it for future meals too.



Imbibe: Jenever Cocktail with Pine Cone syrup

That is not a typo - pine cone syrup is a real thing. Most of the time when I go to the Marshall Free House, my favorite bar in town, one of the bartenders will rattle off something they've created recently and suggest that I try it. Luckily I know these bartenders rather well, and certainly do trust them. After listening to an intriguing, yet mysterious, introduction to this drink, I bit my tongue from asking "what's in it?" and just trusted him. He comes back with a glass of golden liquid, topped with basil. I absolutely love the first sip of a new drink. First thing I do, as snobby as it may seem, is to smell, paying attention to any aromas I can note and possibly match in the drink. Then, obviously, you sip, which I try to do slowly. And for me, there's always a little moment of anticipation between smelling and sipping. All I could say after this was "Wow" and then "What is in this?!". Jenever is the main ingredient here, which is a Dutch style (also called Holland gin), that I've been hankering to try for some time now. Plus the pine cone syrup, which that alone is insane but awesome and how have I never heard of that before?! Plus the basil on top, with its aromas released into the drink. This one is hard to describe - smooth, yellow chartreuse and slightly maple-esque. I will definitely be trying this again!



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