February 5, 2009

I forgot to blog again. Sorry. I’ve been so preoccupied with getting sick (college towns are gross and germy) and then having to deal with the fact that my hair has crossed that incredibly fine line between just long enough and too long, and now it keeps getting stuck under the shoulder strap of my work bag and it’s just so annoying and I have to yank it from under the strap and it’s painful and time-consuming, etc.

Clearly, it is past my bedtime. But you know what I’m talking about with the hair thing, right?

Last night we had this soup, which I credit with my full recovery from whatever illness I picked up.

soup, salad, crackers

soup, salad, crackers

This made a lot of soup. A lot. I even took some to work for lunch today, which was A HORRIBLE MISTAKE as it semi-exploded in the microwave and I had to clean it up and then I burned the better part of my mouth, throat, and esophagus eating it. And then my spoon broke, but I was short on time and I was shoveling couscous soup in my mouth with the broken bowl of my spoon and… I should have had a peanut butter sandwich.

After work, we went shopping for dishes to round out our wedding registry set, courtesy of my awesome aunt who both shares and supports my dish habit (thanks again!).

While we were at the mall, I may or may not have also ruined my appetite shoving as many Trolli Strawberry Puffs in my mouth at one time as I could. Luckily, I have a lot of training in this kind of thing, so I soldiered on and made this tasty frittata with our leftover broccoli.

broccoli & cheddar frittata

broccoli & cheddar frittata

I was going to post the recipe, but, let’s face it: I’ve already stopped making sense. It’s pretty easy. I’ll try to post it another time.

But not tomorrow, because I’m going out.



January 26, 2009

I know we’ve been having soup a lot lately, but it has been freezing here. Just really, really cold, and all I want is warm food. Even eating a room temperature apple at lunch today was kind of pushing it. So last night I tried out a recipe that I saw a few weeks ago for lentil and vegetable barley soup.

soup, salad, english muffin

soup, salad, english muffin

Matt liked this soup, but I thought it was pretty bland. Hearty, yes. Filling, yes. Flavorful, no. So I made up for it with a generous serving of feta. And I threw some on the salad for good measure, too.

I liked tonight’s dinner a lot better. However, it was another lesson in “reading the recipe” because, while I had every intention of making this recipe, I came home from work ready to cook and, reading through it again, realized that I was supposed to put things in a slow cooker for 6-8 hours. This would already have been a challenge, as it would have had us eating between midnight and 2am. The challenge was intensified by the fact that we do not have a slow cooker. But, at that point, I was all hyped up to try this, so what I just took inspiration from the original and made it my own way.

vegetarian cassoulet + roasted broccoli

vegetarian cassoulet + roasted broccoli

Here’s what I used:

  • ~tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
  • 3 parsnips, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
  • 2 stalks of celery, finely diced
  • 3 cans of great northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • ~1 cup of vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • ~tsp dried thyme

And here’s what to do with it:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.
  3. Add onions, saute for 2 minutes.
  4. Add carrots, parnsips, celery. Cook for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add beans and broth. Stir. Bring to a high simmer for about ten minutes.
  6. Transfer to a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.
  7. Top with bread crumbs.
  8. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until browned.

This makes 4-6 servings, depending on how hungry you are.

The most exciting part of this experience for me was trying parsnips for the first time. They’re delicious.

I didn’t mess with using any meat substitutes, because I usually don’t like them and because the beans seemed like plenty. Plus, I’ve never had a real cassoulet, so, as far as I’m concerned, this is what they’re supposed to taste like. It was just plain good food, so I’m happy with how it turned out, even without the slow cooker.

Now I’m going to enjoy some cookies painstakingly baked for me by Girl Scouts. And maybe some hot chocolate. I think it’s still snowing, and that really calls for hot chocolate.

It’s just how I ‘role

January 18, 2009

Casserole, that is.

Get it?

Back in the dark days before I actually realized it was okay to cook more than three things in rotation, one of our stand-bys was a chicken and rice casserole that had chicken, rice, cream of chicken soup, and a lot of cheese. I did use brown rice, so it was, you know, healthy. Right? Apparently, Matt misses those days from time to time, and will speak wistfully of the food I used to cook. And, I must admit, sometimes I just really want a big plate of something with rice and cheese myself.

So, I took it upon myself to search the vast internet and find a vegetarian version of our old favorite, maybe toned down a little so that it would be a little healthier for us. Here’s what I came up with.

I made some modifications to the recipe, including using brown rice, throwing in a bunch of extra broccoli, and leaving out the water chestnuts, but I think I kept the spirit of it.



It was cheesy and delightful, even though it had much less cheese than our version of old, and because of the novel inclusion of vegetables, it had more vitamins and minerals and probably even antioxidants.

Best of all, it helped clear our palates from another recent casserole attempt, which I have to file as a total fail. I saw this recipe on Sarah’s blog, which I just discovered recently. It looked amazing and I love all of the ingredients, so it seemed like a perfect meal.

I couldn’t have been more wrong. I don’t know what happened, because, as I said, I love each individual component of this recipe: pasta, winter squash, rosemary, cheese, bread, even onions. But somehow it just didn’t come together and it was bland and gross at the same time. Not enough squash? Too much reserved pasta water? Who knows. Suffice to say we won’t be making this one again. But, for the record, here’s what it looked like:

at least the brussels sprouts were good

at least the brussels sprouts were good

Last night, while we watched a Carolina game, I whipped up our favorite basketball meal: burritos. I didn’t take a picture of the final product, as they just looked like burritos, but I was pretty happy with the stuffing, so here it is:

pinto beans, broccoli, corn, mushrooms

pinto beans, broccoli, corn, mushrooms

When I was making our meal plan for this week, I realized that this is reminiscent of something I’ve made before from Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan. And here I thought I’d come up with something brilliant on my own.

Now I’m off to clean up and read. I have the day off tomorrow, but I have to get up almost as early as usual to go to physical therapy. I’m not happy about it, but Matt keeps reminding me that some people aren’t so fortunate and still have to work tomorrow.


December 3, 2008

I was planning to do some yoga after work, but I was so hungry that it was just out of the question. I cut through the initial pain with a ginger snap, but it just didn’t take. So, I decided to just go ahead and cook. I planned to make pasta with sun-dried tomato pesto from Eat, Drink, and be Vegan, but apparently I tossed out some of the ingredients during the great mouse cleaning of November 2008. Sad.

Never fear, though, because I had the presence of mind to buy some regular old jarred pesto, so I built my dinner around that. I’ve actually never bought jarred pesto before, and it may be bad that I tried it out, because I basically could have eaten it with a spoon. I wanted to, but I didn’t. Instead, I made this:


I just cooked some rotini and some frozen broccoli and cauliflower in a big pot for about 15 minutes, then drained and added a few tablespoons of pesto. I stirred it up, and there was dinner.

Another fifteen minute meal. I think it’s time for me to get my own show. For the record, I think I could have also made my own pesto while the pasta and veggies cooked and still made it in under the fifteen minute mark.

Quick and simple.

October 6, 2008

I’m in the midst of a big work project, so this is going to be a quick one. Matt’s not feeling well, so I let him pick dinner, and he decided on “Orange-Lacquered Tofu” from the Vegetarian Times cookbook I mentioned a few posts ago. Good call on his part, because it was quick and fairly simple.

It was a team effort, and we served the final product with some soba noodles and roasted broccoli. The sauce didn’t get as syrupy as I think it was supposed to, but that turned out to be a good thing, as that meant it coated the noodles and broccoli better. I love it when a plan comes together.

Back to work!

This post is boring.

September 16, 2008

Today, I did several things to attempt to manage my fatigue

  1. Only had one caffeinated beverage (apparently this works out in the long run, though I’m not sure the people who have to be around me during my mid-morning stupor would agree).
  2. Took a short walk at lunch. I investigated the track on campus and have deemed it worthy. I might even try to take some running shoes with me some day this week.
  3. Did a circuit training class at the gym that made me feel like I was going to keel over. I always read that weight training increases your metabolism, and metabolism=energy, right? Maybe it doesn’t. I’ve never been good at science. If I’m wrong, please don’t tell me. I’m fragile.
  4. Ate animal flesh.

This last one is really the only one that’s relevant here. We’ve been going fairly meatless lately, and whenever my fatigue flares up, my mom always tells me I need to eat some chicken. So, for her, I made lemon/rosemary chicken with roasted potatoes and broccoli for dinner.

It was good, but I forgot to microwave the potatoes beforehand and they took forever to cook through. I actually had to put them back in the pan after I took this picture.

Now, let’s see if any of that helps. Considering that I’ve fallen asleep at the laptop three times while typing this, it’s not looking good.

I’ll try to be peppier tomorrow.

Whole grains are delicious.

July 28, 2008

I’m having an RA flare, and while it’s relatively mild, I’m still finding it quite annoying because it’s all spread out – left knee, right hip, left hand, and jaw. Fun times all around, basically. So, no kickboxing for me, but I did hit the gym after work to do some cardio and weights. I’m always really proud of myself when I manage to exercise through pain – as long as it’s not excruciating, it really helps.

But enough self-congratulation. Wait, no. I’m not done. This meal was really delicious, too:

I’m going mostly meatless this week, just because meat is expensive and I didn’t want to buy any before we go on vacation. Good thing, too, because I took some WebMD diet assessment today and it was all DANGER, WILL ROBINSON! TOO. MUCH. PROTEIN.

So the main course (top right corner) was a delightful barley and walnut salad. It was inspired by a recipe from Food and Wine, with some major modifications. I’m more of a Cooking Light kind of girl, so I was a little appalled by the fact that the recipe called for 1/3 cup of olive oil. Just the idea of that makes me feel kind of sickly. Anyway, it’s barley, a few toasted walnuts, some spinach that I threw in with the barley at the last minute, a nice lemon vinaigrette, and some feta.

Close up:

I also roasted some veggies to have on the side, because I wanted to take advantage of the fact that it was only 78 degrees.

Now I’m off to clean and read and stress out over whether or not I can make it to the gym in the morning.