November 24, 2010
Chop vegetables and sprinkle with herbs and seasonings. I went for parsnips, onions, and asparagus and added parsley, sage, thyme, and sea salt for flavor. Any vegetables work, and if you’re uncertain about which herbs to use, plain salt and pepper never fails.
Arrange vegetables on a pan and drizzle with oil. When I’m feeling particularly lazy (always), I lay down a sheet of foil to avoid having to scrub down the pan later.
Bake somewhere between 350 and 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. It’s a good idea to look at them a couple times during baking and make sure they aren’t turning completely black.
When they’re done they will look something like this:
A little brown in places and smelling amazing. Dare I say perfect for Thanksgiving?? Aside from the veggies, I’m most looking forward to the wine tomorrow! Be sure to take a minute or several to be grateful for all the good things in life.
November 15, 2010
This holiday season, ask a loved one to buy you a rice cooker. I love my rice cooker and I want everyone else in the world to be able to share my joy for this kitchen tool of dreams. Maybe you already do share my joy. If so, buy someone else a rice cooker!
It knows just how long to stay on until the rice is cooked, then it clicks off and goes from “cook” mode to “warm” mode. Whether I’m making rice, quinoa, millet, or oats (all of which it can in fact cook- told you it was awesome) I always use a 3:1 ratio of water to grain.
Tonight, I poured in a cup of dry brown rice and 3 cups water to make 4 servings that I can put in the fridge and eat all week long.
Thanks to that grey basket on top of the rice cooker, it’s possible to steam vegetables while the rice cooks. If I’m making rice, I always put something up top because since the rice cooker is already fired up for rice, I might as well. It’s always nice to have things ready to go when hunger or laziness hit.
Tonight, potatoes, sliced so they would cook faster, went in first.
Then, I took this squash that I really wanted to just eat like an apple (but didn’t, because that would be disgusting),
Sliced it open,
Took out the seeds and stringy pieces,
and sliced it along with some beets
to form steamer basket #2. After about 20 minutes (the rice takes about 40 to cook), I switched out the potatoes.
Now, after all of the rice cooker’s hard work, I have rice, potatoes, squash, and beets– the makings of a few different meals– after just one foray into the kitchen. Let’s all take a moment and say thanks to the rice cooker.
September 1, 2010
My favorite meals are made up of a vegetable base with some kind of protein (goat cheese, nuts, meat, beans, or seafood) on top, but I wouldn’t call them salads. “Salad”, for me, describes a raw vegetable creation, while I prefer the taste of cooked veggies.
For the creation above, I cooked kale, mushrooms, onions, and beets in coconut oil until they were tender. I added the kale at the very end so that it wouldn’t get too wilted, and I sliced the beets very thin to speed up their cooking time. For protein, I chose chickpeas and goat cheese– two all-time favorites. I also added a tiny drizzle of maple syrup, which tasted especially good with the beets. The flavors were sweet and earthy all at once. Dwight Schrute would have loved it.
Cold vegetable salads can be refreshing and delicious, but sometimes they just don’t have the depth of flavor that you get with warm, roasted vegetables. I would rather season a pan of vegetables with oil, salt, pepper, herbs, garlic, or other spices and make the veggies themselves become flavorful instead of pouring tons of salad dressing over raw vegetables and getting flavor that way.
Last week Rebecca came home from work holding this:
I love cooking vegetables, but Squashy is still sitting on our kitchen counter because both of us are too intimidated to touch it. We might need a bigger oven and a sharper knife.
August 21, 2010
Some combinations- of food, people, activities, you name it- just work. Some don’t. As I learned a few days ago, one that decidedly does not is yoga in a 90 degree room, followed by lunch, followed by moving a bike into a car.
Yoga was hard, but I managed. I fully knew I would be sweaty and tired afterward.
I knew I needed to move my broken bike while I was still dirty. If I did it later after I cleaned myself up, I would run the risk of needing to shower twice in one day. What a waste of time.
I pushed, pulled, grunted, shoved, hoisted, and moved seats around unsuccessfully, then successfully. I cursed both the Colorado heat and my leaky bike tire, and then I just cursed. I think I actually overexerted myself, because once the bike was finally in the car, these guys really didn’t want to be in my stomach anymore:
They stayed there, but it was not a good situation.
And now I can’t imagine ever eating tofu again, because even that picture is triggering a gag reflex.
At least I’ll be able to ride my bike again?
August 17, 2010
Earlier this month I spent the weekend visiting my sister and my man in the bay area. I’m in love with San Francisco and hope to be living there by this time next year.
I strive to live among the other lost 20-somethings post graduation. Surviving off farmers markets and fresh fish right out of the ocean. Nothing sounds more perfect to me.
Hopefully, I will live on top of this street:
**Note: My ass was sore for approximately 3 days after walking up the steepest streets I’ve ever seen in order to capture this photo.
But, alas, I will probably live in a small shack with Hayley and our kitty.
The trip consisted of meeting the man’s family (who are the best!) and spending time with my family (who are the best too!!).
Even though I was raised almost entirely in the rousing city of Littleton, Colorado, in a way moving to San Francisco will be a homecoming in itself.
Since I’ve gotten back I’ve been eating lots and lots of fresh garden vegetables. This is thanks to my boss who grows his own garden and allows me to pick whatever I like. This is almost like being a kid in a candy store, only I’m an adult in a vegetable, herb, and fruit garden.
Hense, I have made lots of salads and wraps like this one:
Since coming back to Boulder, I’ve been very busy.
But it is all more then worth it, because, Monday marks my favorite day in the world.
It is finally time to go…
August 5, 2010
July 28, 2010
Throughout my entire life I have prided myself on my independence. So much so that I often feel stifled by intimate relationships. As I grow older, I think I am learning that there is still a way to be independent in the mist of having a person you depend upon.
With that said, I’m happy to report that I am still seeing the ex-man. Is he still an ex? That, I do not know, but I feel incredibly comfortable, happy, and content right where I am at this moment. I am keeping my distance emotionally and making sure to honor and acknowledge how truly happy I am being in a relationship with him.
Basically, this summer has consisted of fruit, vegetables, couscous, cookies, and men.
I’ve been really into berries this summer. There is not one berry that I have not met and loved.
Also, there is nothing quite like asparagus in the summer:
I found a type of couscous that consists of giant balls instead of little balls. If you can find it, because I have only once, you will not regret it.
As for exercise, I’ve been running (but not as much as I usually do!) and doing yoga (more than I usually do!). During the heat of the summer I consistently find myself less motivated to run. Although, I did just discover that my hot bartender friend works out at the SAME 24 hour fitness that I do, which makes me much more passionate about frequent cardio workouts.
Tonight Hayley and I are going to watch a band at our local coffee shop The Laughing Goat. ”The Goat” is quickly becoming one of our favorites, especially since attractive yogis and crunchy men are abundant in this space. Additionally, the last time I ordered a latte the barista made a heart on the surface of my coffee. I’m telling you, this coffee spot is a winner.
July 24, 2010
On iron!! A trip to the doctor has revealed this startling fact, so I am attempting to increase my intake. I’ve been taking an iron supplement, as well as turning to real food.
Today for lunch I cooked grass-fed beef in 1/2 tsp of coconut oil. Before I put it on the stove, I marinated it in rice vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, salt, and pepper. I served it with some baked sweet potato strips that were seasoned with ginger, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper.
Then I remembered that Gena raves about sweet potatoes and avocadoes together, so I added about 1/2 an avocado to the mix. She was right, together they are delicious and I don’t know why I hadn’t tried it before since I love both.
This meal was good but kinda… hot. The lack of air conditioning in my apartment combined with the stove AND the oven running really made me sweat. I had also just come back from the gym– perspiration got a little out of control.
I thought quickly (last night while I was babysitting I watched Chopped on Food Network and have been picturing myself as a contestant all day today) and assembled something to cool me down.
Grapefruit + Garbanzo Salad
1/2 cup chickpeas
1/4 cup cilantro
1 t cardamom
This recipe doesn’t get much easier- just combine, toss, and serve! You might add a pinch of salt to bring out the flavors– my mix already had some from my canned chickpeas. Don’t be afraid to go heavier on the cardamom, either. I thought it really complemented the grapefruit and cilantro.
Did you know that garbanzo beans are actually a pretty good source of iron, too?
Off to daydream about showering and maybe eventually take one.
July 6, 2010
Hello!! It’s been a while.
I didn’t take nearly enough food pictures while away, but here are a few that made the cut:
That would be a hot dog wrapped in bacon. Sausage in all forms (ew) was the street food I saw most often in Denmark. I didn’t eat them often, but when I did, I went big. Normally, though, I would choose a pastry, a crepe, a waffle, or ice cream instead.
I ate this beautifully arranged caesar salad at Tivoli, Copenhagen’s amusement park/beer garden.
Speaking of beer:
I drank tons of it. I didn’t ever go very many days in a row without having one, and I hereby vow to never drink Budweiser again. After tasting the thick, dark, flavorful beer of Amsterdam and Copenhagen, it would just be wrong.
That photo was taken at Taste of Amsterdam, a food festival. I have also been to Taste of Denver here and I believe they have similar things all over. While there, I not only drank but ate as well:
A friend and I shared these two plates. In the shade on the left is ricotta cheese with basil, tomato, grilled asparagus, and breadsticks. On the right is heirloom tomato bruschetta with sauteed onions.
Both were delicious! And yes, I totally pretended I wasn’t lactose intolerant for almost the entire duration of my trip. I was lucky enough to be travelling with people who had packed Pepto Bismol and were willing to share.
Back to Denmark for the next noteworthy item:
Smørrebrød is a traditional Danish meal that’s basically an open-faced sandwich with tons of toppings. (Can you find the bread underneath? I don’t think I can, but there was a piece there when I ate it!) This one had red leaf lettuce, roast beef, horseradish, bits of fried onion, cheese, and garnish.
Even though it’s the traditional meal, I only had it that once. Since both Copenhagen and Amsterdam are large, modern cities, they had a lot of options foodwise.
Restaurants were often pretty similar to things you would find in the US, but things they had a lot of in Europe but that I haven’t seen much of over here were small cafes with deli cases full of different prepared salads for the customer to choose from.
My plate had a chickpea salad, an artichoke and feta mix, and arugula with peppers. All had a light dressing and were flavored with different herbs. I always loved my meals from these places, and I really think that a similar setup would catch on in the US, especially among health-conscious people.
I’ll end with cookies that I bought because I thought they were crackers. I saw “spelt” and assumed they’d be salty, but instead they were wafers with a caramel, syrupy filling. In the Netherlands, they’re called “syrup waffle” cookies, but I bought that bag in Denmark.
I didn’t hold back when it came to food while I was away. So, did I ever work out? How do I feel about my body now that I’m back to reality at home?
All that and more is coming soon!
June 13, 2010
Today, at The Cup, I learned that you can be more than one astrology sign. Since I am on the cusp I am apparently Scorpio and Sagittarius. I’ve never really thought about astrology until I meet the astrologer/nutritionist today. We went on a coffee get together (I refuse to name it a date, because I don’t want it to be).
After he left, I took a picture of my coffee.
I drank lots of it while we talked. He won many points with me when he took out a bar of dark chocolate he brought to go with our coffees. It was a chocolove bar. I love chocolove, but I kept wondering if it was crazy some ploy to make me fall in (choco)love with him.
The astrologer/nutritionist was very interesting, funny, and nice. I have no complaints, but I am feeling completely neutral about him. Plus, his age is a mystery-he could be 30 for all I know.
Before I met with him I had a piece of toast with almond butter for breakfast.
I also had tea and added this special honey they buy at my house sitting house.
Yes, before you is a giant tub of honey. This honey is local and comes from Longmont, Colorado. There are five pounds of honey in this bad boy. Literally, the best honey I’ve ever had. I need to ask the homeowners where they buy it!
After my coffee outing I made a salad for lunch.
I topped it with rice vinegar for dressing.
Now, I am off to the gym for a run. I really should run outside, but it is cold and I’ve been cold all day and I can’t seem to get warm. I am super excited about this work out, because I downloaded new music onto my currently charging Ipod. Also, today has been a very lazy Sunday so I’m more than ready to run it out on the treadmill to my new tunes.