Saturday, August 27, 2011

Curry Chicken Quinoa

 I've been on a quinoa kick lately.  It's almost too easy to prepare and the leftovers keep wonderfully.  

I researched quinoa a little for this post.  I knew it was good for you.  How could it not be when it was grown by the Incas, I mean they were geniuses in their time.  I also knew it was a complete protein and gluten free.  However, is it a grain?  

Technically speaking quinoa is not a true grain.  It is the seed of the goosefoot plant.  What???  Weird.   But, quinoa has protein, calcium, B vitamins, Vitamin E, plus eight essential amino acids needed for tissue development in humans.  Let's get cooking then.

For this dish I used regular ivory colored quinoa.  Quinoa cooks much like couscous.  The ratio is 1:2 quinoa to water.  Combine both with some salt, reduce the heat to low, and wait 15 minutes until all the water is absorbed.  Easy.

Then I mixed in some diced cooked chicken, chickpeas, sauteed zucchini, eggplant, red bell pepper.  I made a dressing combining honey, red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, curry powder, salt, and pepper.  Tossed every thing together with some currants and served over spinach.  The dish lasted me two dinners and one lunch.  My recipe after the break below is supposed to be four servings,  but I eat a lot.  So for me only three:)

I hope you are enjoying your weekend!  The sun just came out in San Francisco.  It's so nice to see her again.  It's been too long.  

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Layered White Bean and Vegetable Bake

Do you ever have leftover half eaten vegetables in your fridge that you have no idea what to do with?  I threw this little veggie bake together after scowling through my fridge/panty and not finding much inspiration.  

I just grabbed an oval pyrex dish and started layering slices of my leftover veggies:  eggplant, red onion, tomatoes, spinach, and white cannellini beans.  I was able to fit about two layers of each in my pyrex.  Then I topped the layered concoction with a some parmesan for a little indulgence.

Day 1:  I served the veggie bake with toasted pita bread (as pictured)
Day 2: I topped with a couple sunny-side up eggs 

It was a pretty delicious and healthy way to eat my leftover veggies.  See my recipe following the break below.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Allison and Chris are Married!

Allison and Chris are married!  Their wedding was gorgeous and classic, but I would have to say my favorite part was the ambiance.  The 'air' was uplifting and contagious.  Everyone ate, drank, and danced the night away in celebration of Chris and Allison.  I had a perma smile all night because I couldn't be happier for them.  Allison looked amazing in her white dress and I just can't believe we met Chris 7 years (or so) ago on a CPSC ski trip and now they are married.  Crazy how time flies!

Allison was so sweet and asked me to make the grooms cake!  A grooms cake is a southern tradition that I had no idea about until about 6 months ago when Allison mentioned it.  It's supposed to be more masculine than the wedding cake and from the ones I researched usually have a theme pertaining to the groom.  I decided to make the grooms cake look like a iPad (because Chris loves his iPad) and pretended that someone google searched 'Chris and Allison' and images of some of their favorite things came up in the search results.  I hope Chris liked his cake!

Congratulations Allison and Chris!  I love you two!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sweet and Savory Pita Salad

 Salads are the easiest meal for weeknight dinners, but I feel that I am constantly making some combination of grilled chicken + vegetables in my fridge + balsamic dressing.

It's fun to mix it up sometimes.  This salad is a perfect way to give some spunk back into your salad.  

One of my best friends, Allison, is getting married this weekend!  Congratulations Allison and Chris!  I am soo excited for you two!

Thought I'd add some of my favorite pics of Allison and I:)

Okay back to the food now, lol.

Sweet and Savory Salad
Serves 1

Honey Goat Cheese (a must in my fridge - best combo ever)
Walnuts toasted with some olive oil, salt, and pepper, over medium heat until golden brown
Dates chopped into bite size pieces
1/2 Green Apple chopped into bite size pieces
1/4 Red Onion sliced and sauteed in olive oil, salt, and pepper
Pita brushed with olive oil, salt, and pepper and toasted
 Herb Salad Mix

1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 tsp Honey
Juice from Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar

Whisk your dressing ingredients.  Toss the dressing and all the mixings together; well except for the pita of course.  Then top your toasted pita with your salad and serve.  

Have a great weekend!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Kale Caesar Salad

Well, I finally gave into this raw kale fad that's going around right now.  Is it really that good for you?  I suppose so.  Fiberliscious to say the least.

I came across this recipe in last months Bon Appetit:  Tuscan Kale Caesar Slaw.  A little fancier than my name of choice.  But, I'm not as fancy as Bon Appetit either.  All I have is homemade light box constructed from cardboard box + wax paper.  Which I am obsessed with by the way!

Okay, enough with the sarcasm.  I LOVED this salad.  I made a few adjustments:  Used my lower calorie version of Caesar salad dressing and added croutons (because I can't eat a Caesar salad without croutons) and I ate every last bite.  See my adjustments to the recipe after the break below.  

I might just have to eat more raw kale now...Green Monster addition perhaps?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

DIY: Light Box

During my work week I sometimes feel motivated to make something yummy for a blog post.  I seriously dream (yes, dream) about the recipe, how I am going to plate the food and of course how it's going to taste.  Though, by the time I am done cooking I am usually starving and it's 9 PM and dark.  

I take the pictures anyways.  Grainy with unfocused hands because I am too hungry to spin my camera onto my tri-pod thats tucked away in the corner of my room.  I know what your thinking:  She spends all this time thinking, buying, and making the food and then rushes through the documentation process.  I'll get better, I swear.

I thought about purchasing a light box for the dark hour photo shoots.  But then I saw this post describing how to make your own light box.  The next day I rushed to my hardware store and started making my own light box.

Assemble your material:  

A cardboard box - 18" x 18" or bigger
Three Industrial Style Lights and Light Bulbs 
Duct Tape
Wax Paper (or some other type of see-through paper/fabric/etc.)
Extension Cord
Xacto Knife (or something like it)
Fabric or Paper for your background (for the white base I used the white sticky paper you put in your drawers)

Duct tape one side shut.  This will be your back.  Cut off the flaps from the opposite end.    Cut out three of the four other sides of the box.  The last side will be your bottom (where you place your food. 

I installed some permanent white paper (the stuff with the sticky back that you put in your drawers) to my back and bottom.  Now I can install any fabric on top of the white paper for different style photo shoots.

Next tape your see through paper/fabric to the three cut sides of the box.

I set up my lights on bookends (the cheapest lights I could find needed something to cling on to) and then shine the light through the open side of the box.  Add decoration as you please and begin your photo shoot!

An avocado that went in my salad...

My super interesting salad.  Insert sarcasm here.

Just a quick dessert:  Plain yogurt, honey, dried cranberries, and flax seeds.  For this picture I took off the back printed paper and the bottom placemat.

Oh and I ran the SF half marathon this past weekend!  I finished in 1:43 which correlates to 7:53 minute miles.  I was pretty excited that I beat 8 minute miles!  

Happy Friday/Weekend!