Archive for the 'ugly food' Category


veggie topped quinoa, beet salad.

There was a time when I’d regularly allocate $12-$15 for a week’s worth of food, and then I’d stay within those parameters. I’d invest in some Poor Man’s Food, such as eggplant or polenta, and stretch that out over 5 or 6 meals. A solitary green bean was my go-to side dish, and bread was rationed to the point of absurdity. These days, I’m eating gold on the regular. Platinum is my choice side dish, and when my sweet tooth kicks in I reach for some diamonds. And yet, I still appreciate some veggie-centric Poor Man’s Food. Especially in pre-Thanksgiving starvation phase. Nothing but water and laxatives until prom!

Last week, I made a vegetable stir-fry atop quinoa.

quinoa with veggies

1 eggplant, diced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
1/4 c olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
2-3 dashes of Cholula
salt and pepper to taste
1 c quinoa

I started by sauteeing the onion in olive oil, and then added in the bell pepper, eggplant and mushrooms. I added in the garlic after everything was starting to soften, and then I topped with lemon juice, olive oil and Cholula. Meanwhile, I cooked the quinoa as instructed on the box. Dinner in 20 minutes? Can DO.

On the sweaty side of things, I’ve been doing cardio for about an hour a day. What?! It’s true. All the better to go with the straight veggie diet, my dear. I even had an impressive two hour stint on the elliptical while watching “The Biggest Loser” a few weeks ago. I don’t typically consume 4,000 calories in one sitting, so I’m doing my best to get lean and mean before Thanksgiving.

I roasted my first beets the other day, also. I went with two red and one golden, and they came out pretty unattractive. Luckily, I’m not too deterred by looks, so I saw the potential. I actually put together a pretty little salad featuring my beets.

roasted beets

2 c arugula
1 red beet, roasted and sliced
1 golden beet, roasted and sliced
1/8 c feta cheese
1/3 gala apple, sliced
1 tbsp grey poupon mustard
2 tsp sherry vinegar
1 tbsp agave nectar
salt and pepper, to taste

I pre-heated the oven to 375 degrees and scrubbed the dirt off the beets as best as I could. I had the foresight to use kitchen gloves so as not to marroonify my hands, though I neglected to change my white shirt pre-scrubbing. Whoops. Ruined shirt notwithstanding, I cleaned my beets and moved on.

I drizzled them with olive oil, salt and pepper, and wrapped them in aluminum foil. I roasted for 30-40 minutes, and pulled them out of the oven to cool. Meanwhile, I mixed together the Grey Poupon mustard, agave, black pepper and sherry vinegar for a dressing. I sliced my apple, and created a bed with the arugula. I removed the skin off my beets, and then I sliced those. I combined the beets, apple, and feta, and then I topped with my honey-agave vinaigrette. So very tasty, and much more attractive than they were in their inception:

beet and apple salad with honey agave vinagrette.



Every time I go home to Florida, I make it a point to borrow a car from the fam and go for a run around this three-mile lake. The length is just challenging enough for a half-glute runner like myself, and the scenery makes me so damn Zen. Really, I start using words like “sun-dappled” in daily conversation, and everyone thinks I’m majorly cracked out. It’s a good thing I’m 1,200 miles north of the lake for the majority of the year.

Now that it’s nice out, I totally want a little Zen in the northeast. Considering my gym addiction, I can’t handle the impracticality of outdoor workouts, and my vocab is not in the market for more “sun-dappled”-like words, but sometimes I need a fix. I’m talking just the tip. Lately, I’ve been putting the treadmill on “all terrain,” and walk/jogging on extreme inclines. I’ve taken half-glute to the extreme.

Today, my roommate came in from an hour long run outdoors, and my jealousy was visible. I was, like, radiating inferiority. Point being, I’m going to try this whole “running outdoors” thing on for size.

Meanwhile, I made my first ever risotto while my roommate was out being superior. It was the antithesis of a light summer meal, but it came out all delicious like. I started by chopping a yellow onion, and sauteeing it in a tablespoon of butter. Then, I added fava beans, a teaspoon of thyme, and some shitake mushrooms:



Aren’t they kind of hideous? They really are. I heated some vegetable broth on the stove top, and then I added it a cup at a time. The rice has to absorb the liquid, so when all was said and done it was about 30 minutes of stove top time and 3 cups of broth. The rice got a little bloaty from the broth, but I’m pretty sure it was supposed to look even less hydrated.

I added a little bit of cream and grated some white cheddar cheese up in there, and then stirred until thickened. I then added some rock salt, and it was time to photograph.

I’ll preface this by saying that one really shouldn’t judge food at face value. If that were the case, what reason would any of us have for eating coconuts, hmmm? Those are downright grotesque, but they taste pretty ok. I wouldn’t kick them out of bed.

I’m not sure what I expected, since I had the aforementioned shitake shrooms and fava beans to work with, but see below for the end result. I had a much too generous portion while my roommate did lots and lots of crunches, and then followed with an extensive free weight routine. The risotto did not disappoint, though. See below:

risotto with shitake mushrooms and fava beans

risotto with shitake mushrooms and fava beans

July 2020