I’ve recently fallen victim to habits similar to the Home Decor Obsessive (HDO. Don’t google; I’m pretty sure I invented this disorder, and if not it’s probably an offensive acronym in French or Dutch or something. Bitenuker). I moved just a week ago, and bare walls are not, and have never been, my forte. They’re the equivalent of an undressed salad – ‘taint happening. I’m going to need some extra virgin olive oil or Annie’s Green Goddess immediately. I feel this compulsive desire to get these nakey walls covered by any means possible, so’s not to terrify the occasional visitor by their state of undress. A coffee table can wait. So I don’t have household scissors, refrigerator magnets, or curtains in my bedroom that prevent all of Tomkins Square Park from seeing my business. So what? That’s all secondary. What’s really important is that I just bought this sweet vintage mirror/window combo that’s going to make my living room look like it’s 700 square feet, which I’m pretty sure is a LOT of feet. Also, I bought a gorge piece of art that has gotten like 12 favorable comments on facebook since yesterday. So, win.
That being said, it’s obvious that I can’t afford cable just yet. No matter, for I’ll turn to cooking and exercising for entertainment. More material for the blog, you say? Someone’s astute.
I’m still mid-gym freeze month, and it’s been a feat. I’ve had to turn to the great outdoors more than once for my endorphins fix. How unnatural. I ran outside like seven times last week, which far exceeds anything I did at the height of track fame. I’ve hardly been using those muscles all month due to my trial gym separation, so it actually made an impact on my physique. It turns out I’m NOT dead inside, which was a total relief. I’d made the mistake of thinking so when my body plateaued last month, but all it took was some variety and a temporary stoppage to start responding. My calves are coming back, and I think I saw a quad this morning. Lower abs are historically next, so it looks like I’ll find a use for my 90s baby tees soon enough.
Nothing compliments baby tees like an arugula salad, so I made just that for lunch yesterday.
2 cups arugula
1/2 block extra firm tofu
1 plum, sliced
1/2 oz brie, chopped
1 tbsp grey poupon mustard
1 tsp honey
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
I started by sautéing the chopped tofu in one tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan. It’s worth noting that my dad sent me some high quality new cookware courtesy of Rachael Ray, so you can infer that I’m mostly using my new toys from here on out. Oh, also, aren’t my new dishes adorbs? This place is my mecca. While the tofu was sautéing, I laid down a bed of arugula and topped it with the sliced plums and chopped brie. I whisked together the mustard, honey, and olive oil for a tangy homemade honey mustard dressing, and added a little salt and pepper to the mix. Tofu – on. Honey mustard dressing – drizzled. Et voila. One of my more attractive lunch companions.
I just think Giada de Laurentiis is the coolest. Wait, have I mentioned that before? Weird. It’s such a discreet admiration. I made her Mediterranean Farro Salad last night, and it was a hit. With me. I totally approved. It calls for:
10 ounces farro (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus 1/2 teaspoon
8 ounces green beans, cut into 1 to 2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup pitted black olives
1 medium red pepper, cut into thin strips (totally forgot this ingredient)
3 ounces Parmesan, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)
1 small bunch chives, snipped (about 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Start by boiling four cups of water in a saucepan and add the farro. For those just joining, farro is a grain that has the texture of a couscous and the looks of a quinoa. Reduce to a simmer, cover the pan, and cook for 20 minutes. Add 1 1/2 tsp of salt and simmer for 10 more minutes, then drain completely. Meanwhile, boil water in another saucepan for the green beans. Add those, cook for two minutes, and then blanch in ice water. Drain and set aside.
Stir the green beans, olives, Parmesan, and chives into the farro. I also would have stirred in the red pepper, had I remembered its place in this recipe. Fail. In a small bowl mix together the sherry vinegar, olive oil, mustard, pepper, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir to combine. Pour over the farro salad. Combine and consume.
Yeah, Giada wins again. I loved this tangy salad and its good looks too. See below: