Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category
July 14th, 2011
Quinoa with black beans, sesame oil, soy sauce, raw carrots, and raw snap peas.
I’ve been taking baby steps toward keeping healthful, whole foods, and tons of veggies prepped and ready to eat.
My current goal has been to keep a batch of cooked beans, and a batch of cooked whole grain, such as quinoa, in the fridge at all times. We cooked these black beans with a bay leaf and salt and they taste pretty good on their own.
My husband has been eating the quinoa and beans for breakfast with a little bit of sesame oil and soy sauce. We originally got the idea to eat savory whole grains, instead of oatmeal for breakfast, from Mark Bittman. Wheat Berries are delicious prepared this way. We also try to keep some sliced green onion in a bag in the the fridge so that he can sprinkle them on top. (FYI – he ate breakfast at the hospital today, eggs, potatoes, with green chile and fresh fruit, and he texted me at 11:00 saying he was WAY more hungry than usual. So skip the potatoes and eat whole grains instead!)
I had been eating the black beans and quinoa for lunch and having cut up veggies on the side, when I had the idea to put the raw veggies in the quiona.
A perfect 2 minute meal!
This has been my lunch for the past two days:
3/4 C. Quinoa
2/3 C. Black beans (made from dry beans cooked with bay leaf)
2 tsp. Sesame oil
Splash of Soy sauce
1 Raw carrot, diced
6 or 7 Raw snap peas, sliced
This is the perfect 2-minute-meal and a healthy alternative to fried rice! It really did taste like fried rice, and the black beans were a surprisingly fine substitute for the scrambled egg that it usually contains. We cooked a large batch of both beans and quinoa at the beginning of the week and I am able to microwave a portion while chopping carrot and 6 or 7 snap peas (and in the future I’ll do this ahead of time too), WHILE holding Sebastian on one hip.
If you’re like my sister and you don’t use the microwave, it will still take very little time to heat them up on the stove.
What’s the big deal, you ask? Well, try as I might, I continue to hate cooking and it is a constant effort for me to be motivated to do it. And I couldn’t believe how quick, easy, and delicious this was!
Also, my husband and I are trying to lose weight. I joined Weight Watchers a few weeks ago and he has been trying to eat foods with a low Glycemic Index. This is an excellent meals for both weight loss strategies.
(For those interested in Weight Watchers Points Plus, 1.5 cups of fried rice is 15 PP while this is about 9-10 PP for almost 2 cups of food!)
This meal is a win, win, win, all around!
May 17th, 2009
As you know, Tim has been eating wheat berries for breakfast for a while now, and we thought we’d try this simple dish from this New York Times video (it’s only 2 minutes long) by Mark Bittman, The Minimalist.
Tim reminded me about the pea greens that we had left over from our last Chinese take-out and this was my lunch today. Delicious!
Oh, for those of you who are curious, but don’t want to watch the video, to make this comfort food (I like it best as a late-night snack), add sesame oil, soy sauce, and sliced green onions to cooked wheat berries. It’s brilliant!
March 13th, 2009
Well pat me on the back and call me a Rockstar, I made a kick-ass breakfast this morning:
My husband has been raving about the merits of wheat berries in the morning and lamenting the fact that I haven’t eaten any of the large Tupperware-full of cooked wheat berries in the fridge.
Every morning he has been filling up a large coffee mug full of wheat berries with milk and honey, or with Kefir, and the addition of raisins and walnuts as the mood strikes, to eat in the car on the way to work. The first time he made them, he made way too many (which I think everybody does the first time because they swell up so much) and they weren’t cooked quite enough. And because they weren’t cooked enough, they had too strong of a wheat flavor for me. They were chokingly strong – made my throat clench up!
But, he did a second batch and I’ve been meaning for days to make a Waldorf salad with them – like we used to buy prepared at the New Pioneer Co-op in Iowa City. I was already well into the production of the salad, having chopped an apple, a pear, and a stalk of celery, when I realized that all the raisins and walnuts were gone. Bummed, I Googled some Waldorf salad recipes anyway, to see what to mix with mayonaise for the dressing. Hmm, it seemed I would need either lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, neither of which I had.
This is when I remembered the fancy, fig vinegar I had bought at a gourmet food store once for Tim’s birthday (with a bunch of other stuff, because he loves to cook and try new things, but which he has never used).
One whiff of it and I knew that it would have enough sweetness and flavor to make up for the lack of raisins. I whisked some with mayo, in a cup with a fork, tasted it, and was sold.
It may need improvement, but it’s a pretty darn good salad and I’m proud of myself for not giving up in the kitchen.
It’s been awhile since I’ve made anything other than fried egg sandwiches and instant oatmeal for breakfast, or any other meal for that matter! I’m so proud of myself, in fact, that I’ve made a new category for my posts: Courage in the Kitchen.
Below is a taste of what’s to come tomorrow: I’m finally gonna post my review of the book Happy Housewives.
October 17th, 2008
It’s been a long week with my new job and more regular hours than I have been working for the past few months. It is a beautiful, bright, sunny day, today, and I plan to spend it cleaning my house….
But first, I want to express my surprise over cooking three excellent meals from scratch this past week!
I’m not including recipes at this point because of time constraints, but I really must express how shocked I was to find true joy in cooking this week. This is a component that I have been missing for several years now. But by the time I made my third meal this week, I was on a roll – rather than agonizing over every detail as I usually do, I just followed my instincts (the way my husband always cooks) and it came out better than just edible!
The first meal was a red potato and Swiss chard soup with smoked paprika. This is the second time I’ve made such a soup and I’ll make it again, so I’ll post pics and a recipe in the future. We chose to go out to eat the next day and I didn’t eat leftovers until the third day, at which point, the chard was too soggy and made me gag. Yuck. I’ll have to keep that in mind. The rest of the leftovers will be tossed.
Monday night, I made another meal from scratch – a stir fry using only what was in my fridge and cupboards (a big step for me as I often go to the store before I cook).
I made a marinade for the tofu using soy sauce, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, and a bit of rice wine vinegar. Next time, I’ll use more marinade, for longer, and leave out the vinegar.
I included tons of garlic to please my husband, onion, broccoli, carrot, and napa cabbage. I wasn’t pleased with all that cabbage, as it made the veggies a bit soggy, but my husband really liked it (that’s sometimes all that matters).
The brown rice was quite soggy, as usual, but again, my husband didn’t mind. The next day, I mixed it all together with a dash of soy sauce, sriracha hot chili sauce, and hoisin sauce and it was delicious!
Tuesday night I really surprised myself and whipped up a potato, fennel, and pea casserole with onion cream sauce. I served it with my first perfect salad without bagged lettuce and a home-made vinaigrette (I learned how to do that from my husband). My husband ate it with some leftover roasted chicken and I ate it with a Boca Burger – eaten with a knife and fork, no bun.
***Note: When this was originally posted, it had 3 comments. Unfortunately, all comments before March 2010 were lost when I accidentally deleted my blog.