Savory Oatmeal

March 20, 2014 Leave a comment

Savory oatmeal

I generally dislike sweets–always have and it baffles my husband (and his entire extended family) to no end. I remember going to camp in 5th grade and being exposed to oatmeal for the first time. Thinking it would be similar to chao (rice porridge), I gagged on the sweet taste and gluey texture. In college, if cream of wheat was available in the dining hall, I would eat that with crumbles of bacon mixed in while people around me were dropping in brown sugar and (the most vile of vile to me) raisins. As a grown-up, I never order pancakes or french toast for brunch. The sweetest thing I’ll have in the morning is a mimosa or some fruit.

While I understand that oatmeal is good for me, I’ve never been able to get over the gluey texture I remember from camp. I imagine the gray pasty stuff is similar to what Oliver Twist ate or what the elderly with no teeth are resigned to. I don’t know why this never occurred to me before, but yesterday, I finally figured it out: savory oatmeal!

Instead of water, I use chicken broth on my steel cut oats from Trader Joe’s. I made sure my oatmeal wasn’t going to be gluey by using a smidge less grain than the recommended ratio of oatmeal to liquid. Once my oats were cooked down, I topped it with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, a few grinds of black pepper and a fried egg. I can imagine throwing some mushrooms on top or a dollop of kale pesto.

 

Categories: breakfast Tags: ,

Mushroom Farrotto

January 31, 2014 Leave a comment

Mushroom farrotto

 

We love risotto around here (9 posts to date) but try to minimize white grains in an attempt to dodge our shared genetic predisposition for diabetes (which both of our fathers had/have). Lately, we’ve discovered that when we eat gluten free, we generally feel better. Though farro is a wheat grain, there really isn’t a reason for us to be strict about eating gluten free and hey–it is a whole grain!

This farrotto took a bit longer than I would prefer to spend on a weeknight (an overnight soak of the farro and an hour on the stove) but because the grains are so sturdy, it doesn’t require as much stirring and attention as a traditional risotto. I’ve been roasting a big batch of mushrooms for the week to stir into salads or quinoa pesto bowls but if you don’t have any lying around, you can roast the mushrooms as you’re preparing the farrotto. I also had 2 tablespoons of pesto left over and also stirred that in but there’s plenty of flavor without it. If you’re wondering what the non-farro grains are, I had a 1/4 cup of leftover cooked brown rice which I also threw in after 30 minutes so as not to waste it. Read more…

Categories: Italian, vegetarian Tags: , ,

Quinoa Shrimp Bibimbap

January 23, 2014 Leave a comment

Quinoa shrimp bibimbap

I could eat bibimbap every day. Sometimes I do. It is simple, flexible, vegetable-rich, flavorful and satisfying. The rice or quinoa and vegetables can be made ahead of time and reheated when you’re ready to eat. The sauce already lives in the refrigerator but doesn’t take more than 2 minutes to pull together. 2 minutes to fry an egg — it really is the perfect meal. Read more…

Categories: Asian, Korean, pickles, seafood, vegetables Tags: ,

Kale salad: Avocado Caesar Dressing

January 22, 2014 Leave a comment
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Dinner: avocado Caesar kale salad, cous cous grain mix from Trader Joe’s w/pesto, pan-fried tilapia w/pesto

I am so late to the game! First with the quinoa, now with the kale. I’ve always sauteed kale or put it in soups but only recently have I begun to eat it in raw salads. There’s a place near my office that does kale salad with an avocado (not caesar) dressing but whenever I eat it, I find myself sympathizing with cows. The chewing required is absurd and tedious. What I learned from making the Smitten Kitchen kale salad with pecorino and walnuts (substituting cranberries for raisins, now a requested favorite among my carnivorous extended family) is that the secret to kale salad is removing the ribs and thinly slicing the leaves. Over time, I’ve figured out a faster way of doing this–the leaves are so sturdy that you can pinch the bottom of the stem and zip your fingers along the stem and the leaves will come right off! Roll everything into a rough ball and chiffonade away… Read more…

Categories: food, salad, vegetables, vegetarian Tags: ,

Pesto Quinoa w/Roasted Veggies

January 15, 2014 2 comments

Pesto quinoa with roasted veggies

The Peru-inspired quinoa kick continues. Incidentally, I’ve lost a few pounds in the last few weeks. Whether it is due to the mostly gluten-free diet or the vast amounts of quinoa itself is debatable. We’ve had pizza a few times in the last few weeks but other than that, our diet has mostly been traditionally rice- or pasta-based meals with quinoa as a substitute: quinoa with adobo, quinoa fried rice, quinoa lasagna, quinoa salad, and today’s pesto quinoa.  Read more…

Categories: food, pasta, vegetarian Tags: ,

Roasted Broccoli & Quinoa Salad

January 5, 2014 3 comments
Machu Picchu

View of Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate

We just got back from our belated honeymoon in Peru: a few days acclimating to the altitude in Cusco, 4 days/3 nights hiking the Inca Trail, a few days relaxing at a resort & spa in the Sacred Valley and then New Year’s Even and another few days eating my weight in ceviche in Lima.

I knew the Inca Trail would be a personal challenge but at no point did I ever hit a wall, as I often do while running. Hiking the Inca Trail was an amazing experience: it allowed me the time to reflect on my own life, learn about the history of the Quechua/Inca, practice my terrible Spanish, and take in some crazy views that I will probably never experience again in this lifetime. When we finally arrived to Machu Picchu, I never wanted to leave…except a beer, shower and clean bed (in that order) sounded pretty good. Read more…

Mien Xao Cua (Glass noodles w/crab & mushrooms)

November 26, 2013 Leave a comment

Mien xao cua

I have been craving this dish for months…impatiently waiting for crab season to start. Since my brother and I wouldn’t be together for Thanksgiving, we celebrated early with Crabsgiving! (exclamation points required).  I purposefully bought a few extra crabs so that I’d have enough left over to make mien xao cua, a dish my mom used to make for special occasions.

Growing up, my mom’s version was loaded with chewy noodles, crunchy wood ear mushrooms, sweet sauteed onions, cilantro and tons of pepper. She probably used white pepper but my black pepper grinder works a lot better so I used black. I don’t have her recipe but a Google search gave me a rough idea of what to do. Read more…

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