Wednesday, September 30, 2009

breakfast copycat

I took my Nature’s Path bread sample out for a spin today! I woke up in a toast-y mood, so I had one slice with strawberry preserves, and the other with peanut butter and honey. This was the 100% whole wheat, and I liked it! I definitely have my bread moods when I want various flavors/textures, but if you want soft pillowy bread this is a great one. It wasn’t unpleasantly bland the way some 100% whole wheats are. Part of it is that it has a bit of added sugar/honey, but that’s okay.


It was funny, I was making this and I was like “open faced PB+J and a banana- this is such a Cristin meal!” and sure enough, Cristin had the exact same thing this morning, hahahaha. Complete with my unpictured cup of tea.

Since today is on the autumnal side, I made one of my cool weather favorites for lunch- curry!


Quick Curry for One

splash of vegetable oil for the pan

2 T diced onion

approx. 1 cup cauliflower in small florets

1/4 tsp curry powder, 1/4 tsp cumin, pinch cinnamon

1/4 cup canned tomato sauce

1/2 cup canned chickpeas

Sautee onion in oil on medium heat until it begins to brown. Add cauliflower and spices, and stir thoroughly to coat the cauliflower in the spices and allow the spices to toast and the cauliflower to turn golden. Add tomato sauce and chickpeas, along with about 1/4 cup water, and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer until the consistency is to your liking and the veggies have a chance to soak up some flava, about 20 minutes.


I served this with my leftover brown rice-almond-apricot pilaf. It was a delicious lunch!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

breathtaking bolognese

Be happy, people of the blogosphere. You live in a world where spaghetti bolognese exists!


But wait, it gets better! There is a RECIPE!

Mouthwateringly Heavenly Heart Stoppingly Delicious Turkey Bolognese

Part 1: The aromatics

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 a large onion, chopped

1 small carrot (or 1/2 a regular one), minced


Heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add aromatics and cook, stirring often, until golden brown.

Part 2: the protein

10 oz. ground turkey (I used 93% lean, which still got nice and tender)

1 large clove garlic, minced

salt and pepper to taste


Add turkey and garlic to pan. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Brown, until there’s no more pink, using your spoon to crumble up the meat.

Part 3: Tomato products and seasoning

2/3 cup canned tomato sauce

2 ripe tomatoes, blanched and peeled, then roughly chopped (I used one red and one yellow)

1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

splash of red wine vinegar, or larger quantity of red wine (a week from tomorrow—my 21ST BIRTHDAY!—I’ll finally be able to add the real stuff)


Add seasoning ingredients and stir to coat the turkey with the liquid. Bring to a boil, then let simmer on low for approximately 40 minutes, adding liquid (I used water, chicken broth would’ve been great too) as needed to keep it looking moist.

Step 4: Admire your handiwork. Inhale the luscious fragrance filling your dwelling.


This sauce was seriously a beaut. None of the recipes I found had all the elements I wanted to include, so I created my own, and this had EVERYTHING- the melting sweetness of the vegetables, the richness of the olive oil, the heartiness of the meat (but it was so lean that it was still light! But it was cooked so long that it wasn’t tough, it was tender!)

I really cannot recommend it enough. And seriously, the smell is unreal. Un. real.

Step 5: Accessorize


I served this atop whole wheat spaghetti. Since this was Roomie Dinner (I am LOVING these! It is SO MUCH FUN cooking together and hanging out in the kitchen and enjoying a leisurely meal together!) my roomie offered to make the side, and she had nummy fresh asparagus!

She made it by sautéing about 1/2 a clove of garlic in about a tbsp of olive oil, then adding the asparagus which she had segmented(in total about twice what you see on my plate), and sautéing until it was golden and crisped. It was DELICIOUS!


The best part is, there is LEFTOVERS! Elizabeth and I each get a tupperware of pasta and sauce for our respective busy days (Wednesday for her, Thursday for me) and then I have one more tupperware of just sauce that I can freeze and defrost when I want luscious lingering slow cooked flavor!

too dense

To say that I “made” my lunch today is really giving me a lot more credit than I’m due. “Assembled”? “Threw together?”


Part 1 was my free Bare Naked granola sample, which featured oat bran; raisins; dried cranberries; flakes; pepitas and various other goodies. I threw it in the box with the last of the TJ’s Euro. I also added a splash of milk, as it was a little dry.


The granola was pretty good. SUPER crunchy.

The other component was a yummy, colorful salad:


Spinach, chickpeas, red onion, oil and vinegar, and a sprinkling of feta on top.

My current conundrum is this: I don’t eat that much during the day, cause I’m just not that hungry, and then at night I eat a lot cause I know I haven’t eaten enough during the day and I get hungry.

Today, I’m trying to trick myself into thinking I’m not eating too much by eating calorie-dense foods like granola. A good idea in theory, but now I’m kind of uncomfortably full after that lunch.

Another way I’m trying to get the late night eating under control:


I think it’ll be good for me to have proper “snacks”, like a big bag of something to nibble on, rather than making the commitment to an entire bar or yogurt container or something. This is weird, but I seem to work better with taking a nibble from a big bag. I realize some people can’t handle this. However, it’s the way I function, and recently has resulted from little nibbles from containers, like my peanut butter jar and cereal box. This is lame.

Also, sweets! They are not bad. These bars are portion-controlled, reasonably healthful (dark chocolate with a short ingredient list), and will hopefully satisfy craveyness.

Monday, September 28, 2009

happy cheapie

Lyddie, I don’t know if you’ll think this is weird, but for the past few days, I’ve been putting peanut butter on my banana bread for breakfast. Not gonna lie, it is fannnntasssstic.


Somehow, one slice isn’t QUITE enough, so I had another half of one.

I partially ate it by crumbling it into this lovely thing:


Plain TJ’s Euro yogurt with cinnamon and, I fear, one of the last of the perfect peaches.

Following a seeeeeeerious China test (Li Hongzhang, Liang Quichao, and Li Dazhao are separate people x_x) and a workout, I refueled with another aaaaaaawesome savory cottage cheese bowl.

Today’s star was the rest of the edamame!


It was a total impulse buy for sushi night (since my Greek mother has ingrained an intense fear in me of not having enough food) but I am now a HUGE fan of edamame! It’s so sweet and delicious!

This bowl included more sushi leftovers- broccoli slaw, cuc, and carrot. I also added sunflower seeds (crunch!) Akmak crackers (dippage!) and Sriracha (I add it to everything!)


But today’s biggest news is that I am currently DROWNING in FREE STUFF!

Here’s what was in m mailbox today:


My friend’s boyfriend, who’s as cheap economical as I am, introduced me to Go to forums, and then freebies, and you can get all kinds of goodies, edible and otherwise. Thus, Cosmo and my mystery packages! Inside those cute colorful cardboard containers were:


Samples of Kashi Heart to Heart with wild blueberry clusters, and bear naked granola in the cranberry raisin flavor, along with coupons for additional products. Stokedy stoked!

But waaaaaaaaaait! My roomie just brought up a package! Courtesy of Foodbuzz, who’s already spoiled me this week, I got free bread! This is Nature’s Pride, both high in whole grains and fiber and low in crap (no high fructose corn syrup, etc.)


I AM SO EXCITED TO TRY ALL THIS STUFF! As you know, things taste better when they’re free :D

Sunday, September 27, 2009

my roommate is better than your roommate



In the crockpot, for 6.5 hours, with a bottle o’ barbecue sauce. Upon her mom’s advice, “the reddest one the store has”, which was Stubb’s.


On a lightly toasted roll, with coleslaw, which I ended up putting on top. YUM YUM YUM!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

my best friend is better than your best friend

Um, you know what makes a great houseguest? One who brings A LOAF OF HOMEMADE BANANA BREAD.


My bestie, Lydia, was here for an overnight visit, which was oodles of fun. She joined in the sushi making festivities last night, and then this morning we went out for a day of Serious Shopping Mission, her reason for being in Boston. Thank goodness we had amazing food to fuel up.

She too uses my recipe for bread, and her thing is that now the only flour she buys is white whole wheat, so you get the white flavor and the wheat nutrients. It made for a fun, crumblier texture! Such a good recipe, zomg.


So I had a piece of that, and some tea. Then I went ahead and had another half-piece, just to make sure it was okay :D Then we went to espresso royale for cappuccinos!

Other random eats.

Yesterday’s lunch (it’s been getting colder, this is a reflection of that):


Grilled cheese and pea soup!


This was Tabatchnik frozen soup, my faaaaaave. It’s kosher and the ingredient lists are legit. This one gets extra credit for being low sodium.

On a cold day, I love hot steamy soup and hot oozy cheese!


I also had that adorable teeny weeny plum. The box at the farmer’s market urged “try one!” I happily obliged.

Tonight’s dinner was, er… “Cajun!” In my family, whenever we maybe leave something under the broiler too long, it’s not “burnt”. It’s “blackened” and “Cajun!” It helps that this was also Cajun chicken.


I took a 4-cracker-sheet of Akmak crackers, topped it with deli Cajun chicken and feta, and broiled it. It was actually REALLY GOOD, sort of flatbread-y, and it was en bee dee to scrape off the burnt bits. I had it with more beets, mm.

I am zonkety zonked after a shopping trip that involved, legit, probably at least 9 miles of walking. Hot shower, studying, and then early to bedsie. Tomorrow I have to BUCKLE DOWN and do some SERIOUS WORK. Studying for my China midterm on Monday, Econ problem set due Tuesday, and Teach for America phone interview (!) Tuesday afternoon. Eeesh!

Friday, September 25, 2009

sushi partay

Um, you know what’s fun? Sushi. You know what’s REALLY fun? Sushi made of FREE STUFF!

I’m a Foodbuzz featured publisher, cause I’m legit. From time to time, we get free stuff as part of the Tastemaker program. Earlier this week, it means I got a delivery of my choice of $30 worth of groceries from

Here’s what it got me!

Sushi paraphernalia!


Wrappers and nori.



Ginger candy, mango custardy/jelloey stuff, and “melon bread” (had to try it!)



Miso paste and fish sauce.

Finally, serious Japanese staples:


Tofu, dried shiitakes, and udon noodles!

With this bounty, I knew I had to share. What better than a make-your-own sushi night with the girlfriends?!

I started with homemade miso soup!


Roughly following the proportions in this recipe, I used 6 cups of water, 1/4 cup miso paste, and 2/3 of the block of tofu. Lacking dashi, I instead used some of the hot water to rehydrate one of the dried mushrooms and let that broth flavor the soup (and I chopped up the shroom and added that!)

The final soup was gorgeous and tasty and restaurant caliber!


Now for my sushi assembly line.

Seaweed and rice (all I had was brown rice, but I found this awesome sounding recipe, which I quadrupled) :


Assembly was done with a lot of smearage. Amy, the only person in the group who’d done this previously, was key to demonstrating:


Marisa looked on in awe:


Using a spoon to get a big scoopful of rice and then a fork to actually shmear it was key.

For fillings, since there were 3 vegetarians attending, I went heavy on the plants:


Clockwise from the top, that’s carrots; cucs; edamame tossed in chili sauce; mango, and broccoli slaw made with salt, rice vin, and Sriracha.

The all veggie rolls were beautiful and colorful.


The proud artiste, with our first successful roll:


Straight up, rolling up sushi, particularly without the benefit of a bamboo mat, can be hard. There was a lot of team effort. The roomie stepped in, after coming back from work. What a champ!


For those of us who WILL eat something with a face, I was too squeamish and scared for raw fish, so I went for TJ’s smoked salmon:


If I do say so myself, the first roll I made (salmon and cuc!) looked pretty good.


We also had a nice condiment bar, with homemade wasabi and pilfered individual soy sauce packets (for easy single servings):


Everyone relaxed and chatted, and I got into a nice roll-making zone. The broccoli slaw was the ingredient that I found the most surprisingly delicious. The mango and edamame also got rave reviews.

I felt so creative and artistic!


Finally, dessert.

The mango dofu delight was like jello, and frankly a little weird. The ginger candy was, a bit disappointingly, hard candy and not chews. But tasted SOOOOOOO GINGERY!


And the melon bread looked like a sliced up brain :D


A good time was had by all!

I was totally psyched to get this free opportunity, courtesy of Foodbuzz and Asian Food Grocer, and I was even happier to use the bounty to get together with some friends!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

confused stomach

I had a weird weird food day. Following my perfectly satisfying lunch, I was still RAVENOUSLY hungry and wanted carbity carbity carbs, so I had several handfuls of cereal from the box.

But then I worked out, using all those sugars to fuel me, and then I felt better. And then had, like, noooo appetite for my usual afternoon snack. And was feeling repulsed by grains due to my earlier bonanza.

But then it started to be around dinnertime, and praise be! I was hungry and knew what I wanted. My brain went taco salad taco salad taco salad! I’m tragically low on groceries, I’d been prep cooking through the afternoon (for the fun event I’m having tomorrow!), and there’s the student union mere blocks away that serves, you guess it, taco salad.


Ahhh. To go into a bit more deets, this salad featured steak for protein and jalapenos for oomph:


When I get this kind of pick-your-meat food, I often go with steak, cause it’s a great source of iron and it’s such a pain to prepare well at home, hah.

I also got THREE KINDS OF SALSA! Happy belly :D


Left: pico, lower center: pineapple, right: corn. Mmm.

And there was, yknow, lettuce, fajita veggies, and olives. The usual. I didn’t feel like cheese, and I didn’t miss it.

Since I had a pretty calorie-burning workout and such a weird food day, I decided that obviously I should get some ice cream:


At the student they have awesome, all-natural, hormone-free, Massachusetts-made ice cream. I got PUMPKIN, my FAVE!