Archive for the 'bell peppers' Category

19
Oct
11

brunch, zumba, roasted root veggies

This carnivorous journey has proven quite interesting. I went from spending three years in meaty fear to fully embracing everything from the gamey lamb to the more mainstream meat trifecta of chicken, turkey, and beef. I then recalled my commitment to health, and so I downsized the red meat in my life and welcomed more lean proteins. Then, out of nowhere, I went all lady-balls-to-the-wall and had my very first duck bun! I’m almost ready to conquer ham, and I’m thinking a croque monsieur is the way to do it.

I’ve accomplished what I intended to do, which is to fully convert to a meat eater, enzymes to break down animal protein and all. I also cared to prove myself a worthy meat adversary, so that socially I prove more desirable as people who knew me as a veggie can get off on my unabashed consumption. And get off they do. You’re welcome, friends.

As a result, I no longer feel as if I have something to prove, meat-wise. And, so, I’ve decided that I prefer cooking mostly vegetarian at home, but I will continue to order meat when I’m out. Well hi there, happy medium. I knew I’d find you somewhere.

I’ve been making an awesome veggie-filled brunch on the weekends, and it’s always some variation of whatever veggies I have on hand and a poached egg. Last week, I made a particularly lovely one:

Ingredients:

veggies and a poached egg

1 egg
splash of white distilled vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 eggplant, chopped
2 c broccoli florets, chopped
2 c baby spinach
salt and pepper, to taste
Sriracha, to taste

You start by filling a small saucepan with water, and bring it to a simmer. Add a splash of vinegar, and drop the egg in the water. Cook for 3 minutes, and remove with a slotted spoon to dry on paper towels.

Meanwhile, cook garlic in a nonstick skillet with cooking spray for a couple of minutes. Add broccoli, and cook for about 5 minutes until slightly tender. Add eggplant and more cooking spray, and cook until they begin to brown along with the broccoli. Add spinach, and cook until wilted, another 5 minutes or so. Serve under the egg, and top with Sriracha. It’s been my go-to weekend brunch for nearly a year, and I’ve yet to tire of it.

On the sweaty front, I just discovered zumba. I know I’m a little late to the party (ha! pun intended), but I sure am glad I showed up fashionably late. I find myself enjoying monotonous cardio less and less (running, I’m referring to you), and so it was refreshing to go to a Latin-infused dance class for a change. It’s well documented that I’ve tried nearly every type of exercise know to man, but I will always return to dance. And zumba is, like, really challenging! It’s super fast and complex, and the instructor will not slow down regardless of the class’s comprehension. I’m a lifelong dancer and show-off, so I was made for that.

I came home all Starvles the Clown after my class last night, and I was in the mood for lots of veggies. I decided to make ratatouille, and I found this great recipe courtesy of Weight Watchers.

ratatouille atop tofu shirataki noodles

Ingredients:
¾ lb eggplant, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
2 medium zucchini, chopped
1 medium red pepper, chopped
1 c portabella mushrooms, sliced (my addition)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ c water
14 ½ oz canned diced tomatoes2 tbsp basil
¼ tsp black pepper
4 tsp Parmesan (my addition)

You start by putting the eggplant in a colander in the sink, and covering it in3/4 tsp salt. Let stand 20 minutes, and then rinse under cold water and pat dry with paper towels.

Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat, and add the eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper, onion, mushrooms and garlic. Cook one minute, and stir. Add water, reduce heat, and simmer, covered for 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, basil, pepper, and remaining ¼ tsp salt. Simmer, uncovered, for about 25 minutes.

I sometimes watch Hungry Girl, and she constantly raves about Tofu Shirataki noodles. They are cheap, a good pasta substitute, and just 40 calories a bag, so I had to give them a try.

You start by draining and rinsing the noodles, and then microwave them for one minute. Pat them dry, because they are far too moist to consume at first. I added salt and pepper to the then dry noodles, and served them underneath the ratatouille. It was just about the healthiest thing I ever did make, and it was really tasty. Totes making it again.

Last week, I made this incredible Roasted Root Jumble that I stole from the adorbs Aarti Sequeira:

Aarti Party

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 tablespoons ground coriander (I used cinnamon)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large fennel bulb, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
1 large red onion, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
1 large lemon, cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch rounds1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
3/4 lb butternut squash, chopped (my addition)
cooked polenta, sliced (my addition)

The original recipe didn’t call for butternut squash, but I added it in for funsies. You start by pre-heating the oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together the oil, cumin and cinnamon in a bowl, and then add ½ tsp of salt and a fair amount of black pepper. Lay the vegetables on a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil and cover them in the oil. Toss to coat. Bake for 30 minutes, then add feta and bake for 15 minutes more.

Meanwhile, I cut the polenta into slices and pan fried in a skillet over medium-high heat. I cooked until they blackened a bit, and then served them underneath the jumble. I don’t want to overstate this, but it was the most delicious thing I’ve ever consumed, save for a blackened salmon taco I had in Austin once. The roasted lemon is incredible, and I was able to quash my desire to add hot sauce by squeezing lots of flavor out of the lemons. That, in itself, is a massive accomplishment since I am a Sriracha obsessive. See below:

roasted root jumble with feta

16
Aug
11

steak and eggs, tuna lettuce wraps.

I may be many things, but I’m rarely a myth debunker. For instance, I’m all for perpetuating that Walt Disney had his head frozen. It’s kind of fascinating to imagine, and I’d be all for him returning if he weren’t such a racist and likely anti-Semite. There is one myth that I’ve recently proven to be untrue, though, so I have to share. It’s such a myth that vegetarians are healthier than everyone else.

Since crossing over to the meaty side, I’ve realized that I have shedloads (British for “shitloads”..I wanted to class it up a bit) more energy and am eating far less processed foods to compensate for the frequent hunger common to many-a plant eater. I’ve also – gasp – lost weight since I’ve integrated meat back into my life. It’s as if my more balanced meals are giving my body what it needs for fuel, and I have little use for carb and sugar fat.

I’m also leaner these days since I’m training for this half marathon, so I’ve been doing bi-weekly morning runs through the streets of the city. Though I inhale my fair share of cigarette smoke and burnt Halal food on the way, it’s doing wonders for my stamina. It doesn’t hurt that I run with a group of, like, statuesque gazelles, so I’m trying like hell not to be the token straggler.

I often worry that I look like this:

Luckily, the gazelles don’t seem to mind.

I made an easy dinner the other night that I was absurdly proud of. It’s absurd, because on the list of impressive dishes I’ve made it would rank something like 213th. It was just tuna salad in lettuce cups, but I’ve never before made it so delicious. I had to share.

tuna lettuce wraps

Ingredients:

1 can tuna, drained
2 tbsp Grey Poupon mustard
1 tsp Cholula hot sauce
Romaine lettuce hearts
1/4 c golden raisins
1/2 avocado, cut into chunks
1/4 yellow bell pepper, cut into chunks
juice of a lemon
salt and pepper, to taste

I drained the tuna and mixed in the Grey Poupon and Cholula. I mixed in about half of the lemon juice. I chopped the avocado and bell pepper, and added those to the tuna mixture. I mixed in the raisins, salt and pepper, and filled the lettuce wraps with equal amounts of the mixture. I then topped with the rest of the lemon juice, and devoured. Though unimpressive, it was a cheap, easy and healthy meal that I threw together in like five minutes. Highly recommended.

This new-found meaty love has prompted me to rediscover my girl Giada’s cookbooks, so I dug up the old “Giada at Home” cookbook and found a recipe I was interested in. I made her “Grilled Tuscan Steak with Fried Egg and goat cheese” last night:

role model

Ingredients:

1 boneless ribeye steak
salt and ground black pepper
1/2 tbsp herbes de Provence
olive oil cooking spray
1 tbsp goat cheese crumbles
1/2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
2 c arugula
1 egg

She actually called for four servings, but I quartered the recipe knowing I could stretch it into two meals. Although I’ve realized I love beef, I don’t care for massive servings of steak. I’m a 4 oz at-a-timer, I’ve realized.

You start by heating up the grill, so I plugged in my Panini Press and sprayed both sides with the olive oil spray. Sprinkle both sides of the steak with salt, pepper, and herbes de Provence. Grill 6-8 minutes for each side, and the steak is cooked medium rare. Remove from the heat and allow to rest.

Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat, and then add the egg. Season with salt and pepper, and cook until the egg whites are set, 2 to 3 minutes.

Serve the steak atop arugula. Top steak with the egg, and crumble goat cheese and the parsley on top. First off, I am very pleased that I was able to cook the steak properly. It remained reddish pink in the middle, and it actually bled on my plate! This was thrilling, especially considering how greyish it appeared when I likely overcooked it in my last attempt. Secondly, the yolk, goat cheese, and juicy steak made for an incredible tasty combination. This just may be my new favorite meal. See below:

Grilled Tuscan Steak with Fried Egg and Goat Cheese

01
Jun
11

Midday gym and mussels provencale.

I used to think I was incapable of a midday gym. I thought, “Oh, give me two hours after work when I’d want nothing more than some Seinfeld and a leisurely prepared meal to, rather, duke it out with the overly-chatty after-work crowd for some poorly matched free weights and a sliver of floor space.” Then, it dawned on me that more than 20 minutes of cardio at non-interval speeds is the cardio equivalent of white rice, in that it provides no legitimate value to my life and makes me resent sushi for favoring its kind. I used to think my high maintenance hair wouldn’t allow me to compress my routine into an effective half hour, but I found my way back to the oft-neglected ponytail of dance team performances past. I wear it these days without my puff painted hair ribbon with “GJHS” on one side and “Eagles” on the other, though. I’ve moved on.

So, I’ve embraced the midday gym these days. I’m sold on its ability to allow me some midday Cooking Channel and its non-compete policy with happy hour. Also, I realized all too late (several hundred dollars late!) that I was temporarily rendered insane by Physique 57’s feminist messaging and nostalgia-provoking ballet stretches. Nothing tones my body more than weights, and cardio allows for some fat burning and stress releasing. Period. No need to shell out hundreds for less-effective exercises and group motivation, no matter how fancy it makes me feel. And I DID feel fancy. Bring on the fuzzy high heeled slippers and ear plugs that double as chandelier earrings, please. I’m just CRAZY about Tiffany’s.

Since I’m all freed up with the cult-like group exercising, I decided I had some bandwidth to join a dietary cult. My office is kind of enamored with the Four Hour Body, which preaches a dramatic change in physique if one adopts a slow carb mentality. Meaning, you have to cut out all dairy, grains, sugar and fruit, and eat meals of just lean protein, legumes and vegetables. I turned my nose up at first, naturally, but I allowed myself to get sucked in. It’s somewhat challenging to make interesting meals on the diet, but I’ve been doing it for about two weeks and have made some delicious seafood-centric meals.

I made this spicy shrimp dish last week, which I based on this recipe from Epicurious:

Ingredients:

spicy shrimp with peanuts and black beans

3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp sesame oil
4 tsp vegetable oil
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/2 tbsp peeled fresh ginger, finely chopped
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 large red bell pepper, sliced
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1 bunch broccolini, chopped (my addition)
1/4 c peanuts, chopped (my addition)
1/4 c black beans (my addition)

The recipe actually calls for pineapple and bok choy, but I’m off fruit for now and Whole Foods was out of bok choy, so I improvised. I used broccolini instead, mostly because I think it’s adorable. It’s baby broccoli! How cute is that? Also, it tastes good and adds some color.

You start by blending together the soy sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil in a bowl. The original recipe wanted me to blend cornstarch and honey in there also, but neither are 4hb compliant, so I abstained. You then heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat and add 2 tsp vegetable oil, shrimp, garlic, ginger and pepper for about two minutes. Transfer to a bowl, and then add 2 more tsp of oil to the skillet. Add peppers, onions, and broccolini to the skillet and stir fry until wilted. Then add black beans, peanuts, and eventually recombine with the shrimp mixture in the skillet. It should only take about 5 minutes, and dinner is served.

I made mussels for dinner last night, and they came out pretty amazing. Emphasis on the pretty. Are they not the classiest shellfish around? That they are. My first run-in with a mussel happened just a month ago, and I had wrongly assumed that I had a mussel aversion since my mom is not a fan. It’s the same way I assumed that I, too, hated beets since they had always disgusted her. I temporarily remembered that I am a separate human with separate opinions, and I sat down to several buckets of mussels for dinner. It turns out, I’m a fan. Shocking.

I made this dish from Epicurious:

mussels

Ingredients:

2 lbs mussels, cleaned
1/2 c dry white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 tsp fresh basil, chopped, and some extra for bouquet garni
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 14 oz can chopped tomatoes
salt and pepper
crushed red pepper (my addition)
1 tbsp balade butter (my addition)
You start by heating the olive oil in a large saucepan and adding the onions, celery, garlic, basil and bouquet garni, which I took to mean a bundle of un-chopped basil. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes or so. Add the tomato paste, tomatoes, salt, pepper and red pepper, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the mussels in a large skillet with the white wine and butter over high heat. Put the lid on to trap the heat, and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. The mussels will all open to reveal their innards, and those who haven’t are still alive and must be discarded. Pour the tomato sauce over the mussels, and sprinkle with chopped basil.

They were incredible. Seriously. This is one of the easiest and tastiest meals ever, and it looks so damn classy. Unfortunately, the picture quality is a little fuzzy due to the steam. I’m including a somewhat distorted picture of the finished product, since it was the best of the bunch. See below:

moules provencale

25
Apr
11

grilled ratatouille, seared tuna, lentil Israeli salad, stuffed peppers.

It’s happened again. I’ve allowed so much time to lapse between posts that I’m no longer confident with all the spice I’ve been eating and the sweat I’ve been doing. And I’ve been consuming massive amounts of spice and sweating TONS, my friends. Remember that Physique 57 I spoke of not too long ago? I’m now in the intermediate class and going about four times a week. I’m also severely limiting carbs from my repertoire, cutting out processed anything, and moving towards a more protein-focused regimen. If that’s not progress, then I’m not sure what is? Aside from in-flight wifi. No one can deny the absurdity/brilliance of that. Remember when we had to fly without facebook? Shudder.

I could try and condense a month’s worth of meals into one post, but I choose to feature only the most colorful of what’s been sustaining me. I made this great Grilled Ratatouille Salad with Feta that I found on Epicurious. It came about when I was thinking of making ratatouille, and then instantly self voting against it due to the pasta.

grilled ratatouille salad

Ingredients:

1 12-14 oz. eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch rounds
1 zucchini, quartered lengthwise
1 red bell pepper, cut lengthwise into strips
1 medium onion, cut into 1/2 inch thick rounds
2 tbsp fresh basil, slivered
2 tbsp garlic flavored olive oil (I used garlic mixed with olive oil)
3 tsp balsamic vinegar
2/3 c feta cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

This recipe is meant to be made on the barbecue, but I have neither a workable outdoor space (hello, bustling Avenue A? Don’t mind the charcoal) nor a barbecue (nevermind, Avenue A. Go on about your day), so I used my version of the indoor grill with my Panini Press. That thing is a sweatandspicy legend, right? It’s been along for this more than two year ride, and it still has shotgun.

Anyways, you start by drizzling the vegetables with olive oil, and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Since I made my olive oil garlic-infused, I started by mincing 2-3 cloves of garlic and letting them soak in the oil while the Panini Press heated up and I chopped all the vegetables. Grill for about 10-15 minutes, or until the veggies look all blackened and delicious, and then remove from grill. Drizzle with vinegar, sprinkle cheese and basil, and eat. It was ridiculously easy, delicious, and colorful. Winner.

Next, I made a Seared Tuna with Green Onion-Wasabi Sauce, also courtesy of Epi. Trader Joe’s is always good for $4 frozen Ahi tuna steaks, so it was actually a pretty cheap meal, too.

Seared Tuna with Green Onion Wasabi Sauce

Ingredients:

1/2 c of water
3 tbsp wasabi powder (I used crushed peas)
1/3 c soy sauce
3 tbsp peanut oil
1 tbsp dry sherry (I used sherry vinegar)
1.5 tsp sesame oil
1.5 tsp minced fresh ginger
4 green onions, thinly sliced
4 6-oz ahi tuna steaks (I used two)
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced into matchstick-sized strips

You start by whisking water with the wasabi powder, which I made by putting a handful of wasabi peas into a plastic bag and taking a hammer to them on the floor. Such a good stress reliever, and it made the perfect crunchy consistency. Then, whisk in soy sauce, 2 tbsp peanut oil, Sherry, sesame oil and ginger. Stir in onions, and set aside.

Sprinkle tuna with salt and pepper, heat skillet with 1 tbsp peanut oil over high heat, and sear tuna for about 3 minutes a side. Spoon cucumber on a plate, top with tuna, and spoon sauce on top. The recipe called for radish sprouts also, but Trader Joe’s had nothing of the sort, so I left them out. I served alongside sugar-snap peas, and it was so delicious. Highly recommended, if only for the fact that I got to hammer wasabi peas. Delightful.

I was getting relatively close to introducing meat back into my diet, but I had a temporary setback with some unwilling bacon grease consumption and a subsequent bout of food poisoning. It wasn’t pretty, and so I’ve decided to steer clear of meat and limit even the pescetarian side of me for a bit. It really was jarring when I went an entire day in which I consumed just one slice of toast (ah, so sorry Passover!) and about a 1/2 cup of yogurt. A little breaksie is necessary.

While I was midway between my cardio routine (30-45 minutes of a combo of interval treadmill running, elliptical or the bike) and my Physique-ing, I invented and devoured this little salad earlier today:

lentil "Israeli" salad

Ingredients:

1/2 c yellow lentils
1/4 c grape tomatoes, sliced
1 mini-cucumber, sliced
1 c arugula
1/8 c feta, crumbled
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
dash of cumin

I was inspired when I dug some long-forgotten lentils from my freezer immediately after the cardio side of my workout. I had been craving this chopped Israeli salad I get from this place, but I’m conserving the slight remainder of my monies for my sister’s visit this coming weekend. Armed with a bag of newly bought groceries, I decided to make my own take on the salad with lentils rather than chickpeas.

I started by boiling one cup of lentils in 2 1/2 cups of water, and then simmering for 5-10 minutes. I then chopped the tomatoes and cucumbers, and laid them atop my bed of arugula. Once the lentils were done, I drained in my handy Giada colander (shameless plug for my girl) and added about half to the top of the salad. I seasoned with cumin, salt and pepper, and then topped the whole salad with the feta, olive oil and vinegar. Easy and delicious, just like I like it.

After my salad, I headed to Phyqisue for some more body sculpting. I’ve been spending an inordinate amount of time in those studios doing moves like the one you see below, and it’s all in the hopes that I’ll get somewhere near Kelly Ripa-ripped. I mean, that’s the goal. It’s her preferred workout and they taunt you with press pieces all over the place that she swears by it. Any day now, I guess.

Staying with the whole originality thing, I made my own version of a stuffed bell pepper for dinner.

Physique

Ingredients:

3 large green bell peppers
1 c black eyed peas, pre-cooked
2 ears of corn, grilled and sliced off the cob
1/2 c grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 c feta, 3/4 mixed in and 1/4 on top
salt and pepper, to taste
dash of cayenne pepper
lemon juice from 1/2 lemon, to finish
1/4 c dried cranberries to top (not pictured)

First, I pre-heated my oven to 350 degrees. I started by cutting the tops off the peppers and gutting the insides, removing the ribs and seeds. I par-boiled the peppers in water for about 5 minutes, and then I removed them to drain with their “business ends” in the air.

Meanwhile, I spent about 15 minutes grilling the corn on all sides with my Panini Press. Once that was done, I stood an ear up on a bowl and sliced the kernels right off. I learned that little trick from Rachael Ray, and it really does make it to where no kernels fly across the kitchen. Easy clean-up, my friends. I’m a fan.

I combined the onions, tomatoes, peas, corn and feta in a bowl. I mixed those ingredients together, and then added the salt, pepper, and cayenne. I filled each pepper with the mixture, and then topped with more feta. I put them on an aluminum foil covered baking sheet and popped them in the oven for 30 minutes. I removed, cut one in half, and served with a squeeze of lemon juice for added flavoring. About midway through, I realized some dried cranberries would be a welcome addition to the party, so I added those as well. They know how to get the party started. Anyways, they were really good and pretty, in a Georgia O’Keefe kind of way:

stuffed bell pepper with black eyed peas, onions, tomatoes, corn and feta

08
Aug
10

broccoli rabe, yoga, Thai food

I just had the most demoralizing experience. Despite prior claims to become a dedicated yoga-goer, I’ve had a hard time dragging myself to more than a class a month (at best). I think it’s because I have a hard time equating it with exercise. I feel all soft when I put on the loose pants and barely bother to tie my hair back. I get so much more out of running in 90 degree heat with sweat dripping in my eyes. I feel like I earned that shit.

I have to gear myself up for, like, weeks before I’ll attend a yoga class. This weekend I had four separate sets of plans to go until I finally caved and went this afternoon. Five minutes into the class and my muscles had had it. I found myself cursing during downward dog and half-assing every plank we did. And the sweat? It found my eyes (and arms, back, legs, etc.) I honestly can’t remember the last time I got that disgustingly sweaty in front of about 50 strangers, but it was probs at The Atlantic. Ahh memories. Anyways, yoga was all, “you got served” to me, and I was like, “recognized and modified, thanks.” I don’t care for smugness.

the least offensive yoga photo on google images

On the spicy side, there are so many greens I’m just now getting to know. And I’ve been a vegetarian for, like, years (two). Last week, I decided to get to know broccoli rabe. I found this recipe on Epicurious, and decided to make it, mostly because I still have pounds of untouched orecchiette pasta left over from my birthday. For those just joining, I had plans to make four sets of appetizers on my birthday, and I grossly misjudged how long I would need to prepare. I ended up cutting the appetizer list in half, sacrificing my much hyped truffle mac and cheese. Failure suuucks.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
6 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 15 1/2-ounce cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas), well drained
1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh sage
1 1-pound bunch broccoli rabe, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
2/3 cup dry white wine
1 cup (packed) freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)
1 lb orecchiete pasta

You start by boiling the pasta, and in a separate pot melt the butter and olive oil over high heat. Add the garlic and garbanzo beans, and saute for about 8 minutes until they get all golden brown. Add half the sage and saute for a minute more.

Add broccoli rabe, wine, and 1/2 cup reserved cooking liquid to the pot. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes until the broccoli rabe is tender. Then add pasta, remaining sage, and Parmesan cheese; toss to combine and season to taste with salt and pepper. I, of course, added some red pepper flakes for some spicy. It was goooood. I think the acidity of the white wine cut down the bitterness of the broccoli rabe or something, because everything worked really well together.

Try as a I might not to steal Giada de Laurentiis‘s identity, I’m kind of doing it. She’s so damn adorbs, and she has it all. I watched her make Thai food last weekend, and I found myself jacking the Veggies in Yellow Curry recipe for dinner that night, with a few modifications.

orecchiete with broccoli rabe and fried chickpeas

Ingredients:

1 yellow curry jar (she called for coconut milk and curry paste)
1 small russet potato, peeled
2 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1 15 oz can baby corn, drained and rinsed
1 Thai chile, sliced
5 sprigs basil, with stems, plus 1/4 cup chopped (she used Thai basil)
1 tsp lime zest (she called for 3 Keffir lime leaves)
1 tbsp fish sauce

Ok, so Giada made her own curry with curry paste and coconut milk, but I wasn’t able to find yellow curry paste anywhere. I had to settle on using one of these. Just admitting this makes me feel like a fraud, so imagine how I felt doing it! I never like to take shortcuts while cooking. If anything, I like to make things harder on myself. Even the Asian grocery was out of curry paste, though, so I had no choice.

Anyways, you start by heating the sauce, and then add everything. Easy enough, Giada. You win at life. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, I made this really good whole grain brown rice and read a little from my new ibook. That’s right; I’m trendy. Once 30 minutes are up, you remove the lid and continue to simmer until the vegetables are tender, for about 5 minutes. Discard the lime leaves and the basil sprigs. I served atop the rice, and it was all kinds of delicious. It also fed me for — count it — 7 nights. Hello, record breaking leftovers. Where were you when I was perpetually broke? Better late than never, I guess:

veggies in yellow curry

11
Mar
10

quinoa stuffed bell peppers, scallops and asparagus.

I have been running, like, so very much. Like, legit running. As in, I went for a five mile run on Saturday, and followed that up with a four mile run on Sunday. It doesn’t hurt that it’s been gorgeous out with a chance of pleasant. I’ve been walking around just spewing rainbows and sunshine at everything in sight since the weather finally decided to up and ditch the “30 degrees and blustery.” Spring is happening any day now, and I could not be more thrilled. I took this picture of me doing bicycle crunches – which I typically loathe – on Sunday:

me, crunching

I also have to be swimsuit ready by the end of the month, when I take off to Pueurto Vallarta for a few days. I would looove to lose the 10 or so lbs I’ve gained honestly with my fair share of peanut butter and the inability to turn down a cookie, hard or soft. I’m upping the ante with the working out, and my foods these days need to be those that aid in a Gisele physique.

Last night, I made some stuffed peppers with quinoa. WTF is quinoa, you ask? In short, it’s a grainy thing that tastes like a slightly crunchy couscous. I bought the red kind, because in a weird way it makes me feel earthy and Native American, and that’s appealing to me.

I started by cooking the quinoa in 2 cups of water for about 15 minutes as instructed by the box. Meanwhile, I chopped the tomatoes and parsley. I mixed all three together, and added a couple tablespoons of olive oil, then salt and pepper to taste. Then, I cut the tops off both my peppers, and then cut the ribs right on out of there. I stood them up in a casserole dish, and then did a Giada trick and filled the pan with 3 cups of veggie stock. This keeps the peppers moist and whatnot. I covered the peppers in aluminum foil, and then baked for 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Then, I removed the top, and covered them in parmesan cheese. Then, I baked for 15 minutes until they looked like this:

quinoa stuffed bell peppers

Ingredients:

1 cup red quinoa, cooked

2 bell peppers (one orange, one yellow)

1/4 c feta cheese

1 bunch of parsley, chopped

6 heirloom tomatoes, chopped

shredded parmesan cheese, shreddded

3 c vegetable stock

Nice, right? They tasted like something Pocahontas would get down on for sure. Ignore the murky looking veggie stock with bits of filling floating around. There’s nothing to see there.

Earlier this week, I made a much more photogenic dish of scallops and asparagus. I can’t take credit for the recipe, because I pretty much just followed this recipe step by step. It was my first time with scallops, though, so pardon my lack of originality for my virgin voyage:

Ingredients:

1 lb asparagus

3 tbsp olive oil

2 lbs scallops, muscle removed

1/2 stick of butter

3 tbsp white wine vinegar

Technically, the recipe wanted me to add 1/3 c of white wine, but I didn’t have any so I went without. I started by sauteeing the chopped asparagus in the olive oil for about 5-6 minutes, and then was instructed to remove them from the skillet. Then, I seasoned the scallops with salt and pepper, and then seared them in the skillet until they turned opaque. So that took about 2-3 minutes for each side. I then removed them from the skillet, and whisked the butter and white wine vinegar until it became frothy and such. I added the asparagus back in AGAIN, and coated them in the saucy mix. I topped the scallops with the asparagus like epicurious wanted, and then made it all disappear. Delicious, and so very attractive. See below:

seared sea scallops and asparagus




May 2017
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