Monday, April 27, 2009

so much color, so much flavor

My dinner was so good. I love this episode of Coupling (any britcom fans out there?) where Susan is in another room and going “OH YEAH, YEAH!” and Steve looks alarmed/excited and she goes “I am SUCH a great cook!”

That is me, basically. Good food makes me excitable.

Let’s rewind to earlier today.

today breakfast

Breakfast was the other half of a fruit cup I got last night (honeydew, cantaloupe, pineapple and grapes) supplemented with half a banana, oats with 1/2 milk 1/2 water, cinnamon, and some slivered almonds, and mango black tea. Mmm!

Lunch was cool and refreshing, because we have had CRAZY GORGEOUS WEATHER here in Boston!

today lunch

Pasta salad made with penne, a packet of tuna, chopped up carrots, cucs, green peppers, and red onion, and a simple dressing of dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, olive oil, and pepper.

Then I went to the gym but just didn’t feel like working out in there (when the weather’s this nice, I tend to feel like a hamster on a wheel when I work out at the gym) so I went for a really nice walk around town and according to ended up inadvertently walking like 4 and a half miles, hahaha. Distance becomes very relative when you don’t have a car and live in Boston.

I ended up stopping in at my fave bakery (funny how every time I go for a walk I always end up buying food). I got some treats for tomorrow night, when I’m having some people over to celebrate our horrible seminar being over, hahaha!

Then I came home and had the dizzying thrill of the package with my camera cord arriving. Along with it, from my mom:


A card and Hershey’s kisses. So cute!

For a snacksie, I had some trail mix, and a rather clever invention, in my humble opinion. I really like iced chai lattes, and the weather was ideal, and I wanted to make it at home because I wanted to use up my milk. SO I took the staple off the teabag and tied the string of it to the handle of my glass measuring cup, then poured in a cup of milk and just a drizzle of honey (I tend to find chai lattes too sweet, plus the teabag I used, which was YUMMY, was already vanilla flavored chai, Bigelow brand I believe). Then I nuked it for like 5 minutes total on half power to steep the tea into the milk, then poured it over ice. Worked pretty well! Here is my apparatus:


And then dinner.

First, I made broccoli stem relish, courtesy of the wonderful Jacques Pepin. If you get a chance, pick up Fast Food My Way. It is one of my absolute FAVORITE cookbooks. Everything in it is so simple, based just on fresh ingredients simply prepared. That is always the best cooking. Take a simple ingredient, honor the integrity of its flavors with some seasoning, and bam. Great food.

I especially love this recipe because it takes the stems from broccoli, which usually just get thrown away, and honors their assets (crunch! woodsiness!) and makes something delicious out of it! And actually I’ve raved about this recipe to several foodie acquaintances before and had them tell me that the stems are their favorite part of broccoli. There’s definitely a lot of flavor there. So, the broc:


You pare any nasty bits off the stems, kind of julienne them, and then toss them with salt and let them sit for 30 min to an hour, and then drain them (I just wiped them off with a paper towel, because I was using a smaller volume than the recipe called for and it didn’t strain that well). Then you add chopped garlic, chopped jalapeno, fresh mint, sugar sesame oil, vinegar (you’re supposed to use balsamic, but all I had was red wine), chili oil (all I had was chili paste) and I could’ve sworn the original recipe called for soy sauce but apparently it didn’t! But I had already added it when I went to consult.

This is SO vibrant and flavorful and fresh and crunchy! The mint definitely makes the recipe, although I now have a TON of mint and need to come up with some creative uses for it.

Along with the relish, I had some Trader Joe’s mango chicken sausage (love that stuff!). I tried to peel off the “natural sheep casing”, cause ew. I probably didn’t get all of it but I tried. Then I just sliced it and baked it at 400.


I also made miso glazed sweet potatoes!


Oh. Em. Gee. These were ROCKIN! Like the author of the recipe, I loooooooooooooooooooooooove the sweet potatoes at Teaism, this restaurant in D.C. I was totally craving them, plus I need to get on using up my sweet potatoes, because I’m moving home in less than two weeks! This was so fortuitous.

The flavor was lusciously sweet, tangy, salty, and just a little creamy. And the texture of the sweet potatoes was PERFECT! I am such a bad chopper that my vegetable chunks always end up different sizes, but I added them to the boiling water in phases and it worked.


Just look at that luscious combination of colors! And this is really well balanced, nutritionally!

And the FLAVORS! The sausage was sweet and smoky, the relish was spicy and tangy, and the sweet potatoes were far too complex to even sum up!

1 comment:

Astra Libris said...

Oh wow, beautiful dishes, all of them! You broccoli relish is SUCH a great idea!!