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Thinking Out Loud

Time for another random-awesome Running with Spoons Thinking Out Loud link party !
Thinking-Out-Loud2

 

1.) OMG: Somebody call the grain police—I’ve got carbs in my basket! I never noticed that “carbs” and “crabs” are dangerously similar. “Crabs in my basket” sounds like a euphemism. carbs in my basket

2.) I am proud of my Autocorrect for not recognizing ‘McNuggets” as a real word.

3.) My recyclables probably say a lot about me.

recyclables

4.) When I was a nutrition student, I thought I knew what I wanted my specialties to be. Then as an intern, I found that actually, maybe I wanted to focus on other areas. Then as a new RD, I thought for sure I was going to focus on diabetes and cardiovascular health above all else. Along the way I found that clinically speaking, I actually like pediatrics, tube feeds don’t scare me, and that hey—all this ortho stuff is pretty cool. Most importantly, however, has been seeing just how much my patients and clients’ needs compel me to study and revisit meaningful subjects that help me enhance the care I provide. To learn more about gastrointestinal health, I’ve been reading The Inside Tract by Gerard E. Mullin, MD and Kathie Madonna Swift, MS, RD, LDN. I bought a copy after hearing Swift speak at this year’s Integrative Healthcare Symposium, and it’s become one of my favorite resources for information on GI health—they explain some very complex stuff in language practically anyone can understand.

5.) Culinary Spring Cleaning featuring brown rice this week. I was also trying to work through a bag of the Trader Joe’s shredded cruciferous veggies blend along with some roasted asparagus and cauliflower.  The first night featured chickpeas, and an egg. The second night I nixed the chickpeas in favor of an extra egg white and some hemp seeds and avocado. Since my white miso and tahini were almost all gone, miso-tahini sauce was a no-brainer. File this under “Things I Would Never Make for Company.” Unless said company was of the crunchy-granola/culinary mad scientist persuasion.

brown rice bowl

6.) A friend recently pointed out to me that the word “avocado” can be traced back to words for “lawyer” and “testicle.” Great. 

avocado

7.) You Did Not Eat That. Hilarious.

What’s on your mind this Thursday?  

 

A Few Things for Friday

Happy Friday! Hope you’ve had a great week and are looking ahead to a fantastic weekend! Here are a few glimpses into my little corner of the blogesphere…

1.) In the name of research for an article I’m writing, we had an impromptu hemp milk taste test in the RD office the other day.  I can’t say there was even one person in the room who will be buying this in the near future, but it was fun to try something new.

hemp milk taste test

2.) I mentioned recently that sometimes I take a magnesium supplement—I finally restocked my favorite,  Natural Calm. This is great for dealing with headaches & pains around “that time of the month,” and also helps with sleep and stress-induced eye twitches. Since wedding season has officially kicked off in, well, all my social circles, I know I’m gonna need all the help I can get. Natural Calm

3.) On a similar note, I enjoyed a rocking steak salad for lunch the other day. The iron stores are happy. steak salad at work

4.) I have rekindled my love with Starbucks iced coffee. Ahhh, so dark & cold & bitter. Just like my heart ; )

My friend reminded me to add, “And RICH!” A woman’s heart is a deep ocean. Or something like that.

5.) A creepy yet supposedly “‘Attractive’ Gluten-Free Opportunity.” Um…

While we’re talking about gluten-free…don’t you just love guys who rhapsodize about the wonders of their gluten-free diet while they take a big swig of non-GF beer? Not like I’m jaded or drawing from experience or anything.

6.) This Anthropologie Hoodie.Anthro Shawl Moto Jacket

#RetailTherapy

7.) Oh, and the red lips in the photo above—I am obsessed with this Revlon  Colorburst Balm Stain in Provacateur. Love love love. I’ve been a red lipstick girl since No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak” was on the radio every five minutes.  Who wants to feel old and do the math with me?

8.) Have you ever been so hungry you actually ate the weird microwave protein cake you improv-ed even though it kind of sucked?protein cake fail

Yeah, me neither ; )

At least it was the texture and not the taste that was off!

 What’s on your mind this Friday? What’s your favorite lipstick shade? 

April Cookbook Challenge: Done

I don’t know about anyone else, but April seemed to fly by.

broccoli raab with olivesTo be honest, I’m actually surprised I managed to make a new recipe each week, despite a packed schedule. Part of this is likely due to the fact that cooking is one of my favorite forms of therapy and procrastination. I also chose pretty user-friends recipes. Choosing vegetable side dishes also made it easy for me to use those foods into multiple dishes instead of having to eat the same meal every night. To recap, I also made:

Tuscan Chicken 

Zucchini Coins

Eggplant Caviar

Egg & Cheese Omelet

For my last April Cookbook Challenge dish, I went with something from the same book I used in week one, Mary Ann Esposito’s Ciao Italia: Five-Ingredient Favorites. I made the Rapini con Olive—broccoli raab with black olives, garlic, and red pepper flakes. I do have to admit that I used broccolini, as I couldn’t find broccoli raab at the store, but it was still wonderful!

The night I made it, I served it over red quinuoa with shrimp, roasted red pepper, green cauliflower, and  zucchini coins (also from this cookbook), and a little parm. It was so good—definitely making this again! A more obvious pairing choice would be pasta, but I was out.

broccoli raab with shrimp

Just a note: this also happens to be really good with a poached egg instead of shrimp for those of you (like me) who will put a poached egg on practically anything.

Have you ever done a cooking challenge? What were some of the best things you ate in April? 

Thinking Out Loud: Leaning In and Dinner for One

This week I thought I’d try something different and join up with the Running with Spoons Thinking Out Loud link party, where stream-of-consciousness is the name of the game.
Thinking-Out-Loud2

1.) I went to NYC Lean In‘s anniversary party the other night and had a great time chatting it up with some new and familiar faces. Sweet Generation provided the cutest cupcakes, and there were some adult beverages to sip, courtesy of Wine For the World. Girl power seems to be an unofficial theme this week. I’m totally okay with that. Cheers to women supporting each other!

Sweet Treats provided by Sweet Generation

Sweet Treats provided by Sweet Generation

2.) Mark Bittman has no idea who I am, but he changed my life this weekend by teaching me the best way to peel a hard-boiled egg—why have I been making this so tough for myself all these years? And by all these years, I really just mean this past year since I realized what a great snack they are and started eating hard-boiled eggs on the regular.

3.) Speaking of hard-boiled eggs, after receiving a text the other night that said, basically, “You’re a great girl but I found something shiny with tits,” I made myself my current favorite salad for dinner: avocado salad

Greens with roasted chickpeas, grape/cherry tomato, avocado, roasted pepper, and hard-boiled egg, tossed with a little olive oil & vinegar. Sometimes I add langostino tails and micro-greens.

4.) At least this Dinner for One thing is working out for me. Lately, my frustration with the male of the species has upped my motivation to prepare dishes that involve a little more therapeutic slicing & dicing. I’ve also been craving garlic like crazy, especially roasted. Either my body is trying to keep the vampires away or it’s trying to tell me it needs a little immune system boost. I hope this hankering for an anti-cancer food doesn’t mean I have cancer. My hypochondriasis button of the moment is my thyroid, even though I don’t have an actual reason to think anything is up.

Either way, nourishing meals are important—even more so when we’re going through a busy time where lots of transitions are taking place or we have a lot going on. I like my dinners to include plenty of veggies, a source of protein, and some kind of complex carbohydrate (ex: beans, potato, quinoa, pasta, etc). I’ll often make sure there’s some sort of healthy fat involved as well. Recently I’ve been challenging myself to use more spices.

scallops and cauliflower rice

Pan-searing scallops always makes me feel like some kind of bad-ass, even though it’s super-easy.

5.) I finally finished the April Cookbook Challenge. I kind of didn’t think I’d be able to stick with it, but I did! broccoli raab with shrimp

6.) Lastly, Birchbox. So awesome. Best $10 treat ever! birchbox

What have you been up to this week? Any favorite dinners for one? 

 

My Favorite Breakfast of Late

It took me a while to get into savory breakfast—now it’s the norm on my work-from-home days. I’m always amazed at how our tastebuds adapt over time. Lately, I’ve been obsessed with making chickpea flour pancakes for breakfast.

savory pancake as blank slate

savory pancake as blank slate

Instagram-y Pancake

Instagram-y Pancake

The brand I’m using lately is Bob’s Red Mill Garbanzo & Fava Bean Flour, and I love the flavor and texture. I usually make one large pancake instead of a few smaller ones, so you could think of it more as gluten-free breakfast pizza if that appeals. It’s super-easy and keeps me full for hours—the pancake alone has 12 grams of fiber and 12 grams of protein.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • garlic powder to taste
  • red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1 green onion, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp water
  • oil spray or oil to grease skillet

Directions:

  1. Mix flour, baking powder, and spices in a small bowl. Add water and whisk vigorously (~15-20 seconds to get a lot of air into the batter)
  2. Fold in green onion until mixed.
  3. Pour batter into heated skillet. Cook 5-6 minutes. Flip and cook another 5-6 minutes.
  4. Place on a plate and top with whatever strikes your imagination.

I’ve been enjoying mine with leftover roasted veggies and  kale, warmed up and mixed with either tahini or hummus. It hits all the right flavor notes and keeps me full for hours!

What’s your favorite breakfast? 

Cookbook Challenge: Another One Down

So I have to say, I’m pleasantly surprised that I’ve managed to stick with this cookbook challenge all month so far. For this week, I made an egg and cheese omelet (Menemen) from Vegetarian Dishes from Across the Middle East by Arto der Haroutunian. There were a lot of dishes I wanted to make from this book and marked for future reference, but I was trying to use up some ingredients I had in the fridge, so this stuck out to me right away.

omelet and english muffinThe book said to pair with salad and pita, but since I’d already made salad that day and had no pita, I used an Ezekiel English muffin—haven’t bought those in ages, but it was a nice treat. Great vehicle for baba ghanoush and roasted eggplant slices. Can’t say I earn any points for presentation, but it kind of resembles a smiley face so I’m hoping that counts for something! The wide “eyes” make it look kind of a deranged smiley face, though, so let’s just say I am never going to be a food stylist.

This was the only all-vegetarian book I’ve made something from so far, mostly because the recipes are delicious regardless of whether you eat meat or not. Also, I could eat Middle Eastern food every day and not get sick of it.

Here’s what my loose interpretation of the recipe ended up looking  like:

Ingredients: 

  • Oil spray, oil, or butter for greasing pan
  • 1 cup sliced pepper and onion
  • 1 c baby spinach
  • 2 tbsp goat cheese
  • 3/4 c liquid egg whites
  • fresh parsley or dried
  • pepper to taste

Directions :

  1. Saute pepper and onion a few minutes until beginning to soften.
  2. Add spinach and cook until wilted.
  3. Mix egg whites, cheese, parsley, and pepper. Pour mixture over veggies.
  4. Cook until egg whites are set. Serve immediately.

In short, I’m happy that I managed to cook something new each week so far this month, even if I didn’t do anything too ambitious:

Zucchini Coins

Eggplant Caviar

I haven’t decided yet what I’ll make next week—part of me would like to undertake something a little more involved, but we’ll have to see…

What do you make when you’re trying to clean out the fridge? 

A few things for Friday

1.) I love that this exists. Someone out there’s  looking out for me. wine to go

Haha. I don’t know what my deal is—I sound like such a wino, but really, I usually end up having, like, 3 or 4 drinks over the course of a whole week. If that. I’m like that kid who never shuts up about sex because he can’t freaking get any. Of course, I can have a glass of wine whenever I damn well please, I just only do it when it’s worth the headache. PS—I totally wrote “cometimes” before autocorrect came to my rescue.

2.) On a semi-related note…Things I Have Learned About Dating #168:

When your date accidentally punches you in the face, the least they can do is buy you a four-dollar bourbon.

(Okay, okay, it was just an elbow, but holy s***. Still hurt like a metaphor.)

3.) I am never giving up shopping for Lent again. I want to buy all the things this week.

4.) I am officially obsessed with chickpea pancakes for breakfast. Recipe coming soon.

Instagram-y Pancake

Instagram-y Pancake

5.) I may not be a runner, but as someone beats the crap out of their feet, I found this article very helpful.

6.) Watch out—the flu is back. Not like it ever left. Happy fun times.

7.) The 10 Comments You Should Never Make to a Woman About her Body. Yes.

What’s on your mind this Friday? Any hard-learned dating lessons to share? 

What to do with Easter leftovers

Last year, I was digging on some babka French toast after Easter. Polish/French toast? I don’t know. It didn’t matter because it was delicious.

This year, I ended up with a to-go container of meat, so my leftover creations are on the savory end of the spectrum. One inevitability was leftover lamb with roasted veggies, baba ghanoush, and goat cheese. lamb leftovers

On the “good experiment” side of things, Monday morning, after throwing in a load of laundry and getting my ass kicked by Jillian Michaels, I threw together this super-satisfying breakfast with the contents of what was left in my fridge and freezer.kielbasa leftovers

Ingredients:

  • 1 small shallot, sliced thin or diced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced leeks (thawed from frozen)
  • 1 large handful kale
  • 2 slices kielbasa, cut into small cubes
  • 1/3 c liquid egg whites

Directions:

  1. In a small pan with a lid, sautee shallot and leeks in olive oil until beginning to caramelize.
  2. Add kielbasa. Sautee another few minutes.
  3. Add kale. Cover to wilt.
  4. Meanwhile, scramble egg whites in a skillet or microwave, covered, at 45-second intervals until cooked.
  5. Add egg whites to kielbasa & kale mix. Serve immediately.

How do you like to use leftovers? 

 

Eggplant Caviar, Approximately

April always makes me want to listen to Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited. I think it’s something to do with a musical flashback to my first year of college, that fresh-air feeling of Boston after a long, dark winter. It was still cold as s*** but it smelled like spring. There were cherry blossoms outside my window and I still had the stamina to pull all-nighters listening to music and writing and go to class the next day like it was the most normal thing to subsist on no sleep. Hah! Now I feel like death with a swipe of eyeliner if I get less than seven hours.

I had a time times to kill after getting everything organized for Tuesday’s event in New Jersey, so I started unpacking boxes of old clothes at my parents’  house to separate things to give away.  I sniffed this one scarf I used to wear almost every day back in March/April/May of 2005 and since then, the song “Queen Jane, Approximately” has been stuck in my head.

The next morning, I made myself take a weekend day (or at least try), since I’d been going at full speed for a bit too long and have some busy weeks at the hospital coming up. After a refreshing hot yoga class, I took a few minutes to pick another recipe for my April Cookbook Challenge. Cheers to not forgetting three weeks in a row!

IMG_5562This go-around it was eggplant caviar from Alice Water’s The Art of Simple Food.  If I’m remembering right, this book was a Christmas gift from my mother back in 2008 or 2009. Of course, instead of actually following the recipe, I just followed the first and last few steps (roast & scoop eggplant, mix in olive oil). I completely side-stepped the minced garlic and fresh parsley on top, going instead with the Garlic Gold infused olive oil I got for Christmas this year because, well, why not? Culinary spring cleaning, what up? Eggplant Caviar, approximately.

Ingredients:
1 eggplant
salt + pepper
2-3 tsp garlic-infused olive oil
Directions: 
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Slice eggplant lengthwise. Season cut edges with olive oil (or olive oil spray) and salt and pepper. Place face-down on baking sheet and roast until soft inside, about 30-35 minutes. Remove from over.
  3. After allowing eggplant to cool, scoop insides into a bowl. Stir well to ease into a puree texture.
  4. Stir in olive oil 1 tsp at a time until mixture is desired smoothness. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
This is great on toast, but I also mixed some into a cauliflower rice stir-fry and loved it that way. It’s also great tucked into an omelet. Who are we kidding, though—I could eat this from the bowl with a spoon. I think this recipe is going to be added to the regular rotation. This may or may not mean I just buy an extra eggplant every week instead of allowing this to replace the roasted slices I enjoy in salads, stir-fry, and on toast. I have no idea how or why I’m such an eggplant freak, but it’s the number one reason I could never follow a macrobiotic diet. I love me some nightshades, what can I say?
What foods can you not get enough of? 

A Few Things for Friday

1.) Wedding season it almost here. #vanityWhite Strips

 

2.) This  hilarious post from Foodtrainers: “Are you an “Instaslave?” (I’m totally a little bit guilty of 9 & 10)

3.) Sometimes I get living-space envy when I see bloggers talking about being upstairs or being downstairs in their home. I essentially live in one room and it feels huge. Until I read something about someone’s basement or washer-dryer in the garage. Then I remember I don’t have to clean all those rooms and I feel happy and NYC-smug again.

4.) This Lobster Polenta Pizza from How Sweet It Is—right up my alley. I can’t believe I spent the first 18 years of my life thinking I hated lobster. I could basically eat it with anything now. For the uninitiated, Trader Joe’s frozen langostino tails are a good day-to-day substitute.

5.) Any of you guys with upcoming travel plans, check out this jet-lag app—so cool!

6.)  How to do “small plates” right.

cosmo surf and turf7.) Sexy-time in the presence of crustaceans just sounds like a bad idea. Lobster claws are strong! Also, can someone please tell the folks at Cosmo that they totally missed an opportunity to make an Annie Hall joke?

On a semi-related note, I tend to dream about lobsters when I have anxiety about whether I should be involved with someone I’m involved with. This winter, I had a dream about getting a lobster at a suburban grocery store. Instead of giving it to me in a bag, the person behind the counter just handed it to me, and the lobster clamped down on my left arm. My dream-self tried to play it cool, tried to shake it loose, but no dice. I asked the cashier if she could please kill the lobster, and she gave me a blank stare. It was then I realized that in order to get the lobster to let go of me, I had to first let go of the lobster. I woke up skittish as ever but feeling like I’d learned something.

8.) I’m working on next month’s newsletter—drop me a line at keepingitrealfood(at)gmail(dot)com if you want to be added to the list.

Are you a slave to Instagram? Do you like lobster? 

 

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