Have you noticed yourself aimlessly eating as you prepare your dinner? Maybe a few bites of something as you gather your ingredients from the fridge. A little piece of cheese… A spoonful of peanut butter… A few tears of the loaf of bread that you have to eat with your meal which turns into eating half the loaf?
Although I prefer to eat three square meals, I find that a small afternoon snack often helps reduce my tendency to munch before dinner. And I don’t even think about those ’100-calorie snack packs’ which leave me hungry and craving the real thing- my snacks are real food that pack in nutrition rather than the calories.
Here are my current five favorite summer snacks.
1. Oatmeal parfait - In a small container, layer 1/2 cup raw rolled oats, with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 cup blueberries, and 1/2 cup plain or vanilla yogurt. For a hint of added sweetness, add a tablespoon of real maple syrup. You can make this in the morning and take it to work with you for the afternoon – it tastes better if the yogurt has time to soften the oats.
2. Vegetable and Hummus Bento - Chop up celery, carrots, red pepper, zucchini sticks, or any vegetable you have on hand, and place in a small tuperware or lock ‘n lock. In a small muffin tin place a quarter cup hummus, nestle it in between the vegetables, and dip! (You might notice in the photo above, I added up a crumbled up Wasa cracker and a small piece of dark chocolate to add a little variety. Tasty!)
3. Mint Melon Agua Fresca – In a blender, place 1/2 a melon (honeydew or cantaloupe) cubed, a few fresh mint leaves, the juice of 1/2 a lime, 1 teaspoon of sugar (optional), and some ice. Blend, pour into a cup, and become instantly refreshed!
4. Pita Pizza – top a small whole wheat pita with a thin layer (about a tablespoon) of marinara sauce (or salsa, or barbecue sauce) and top with one ounce of grated pepper jack cheese. Bake in the oven at 450 degrees until the cheese is just melted and pita is crisp. (This also works well on an english muffin.)
5. Chopped Cucumber and Yogurt – top 1 cup of chopped cucumber with 1/2 cup thick greek yogurt, and season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Squeeze on the juice of half a lemon, a drizzle with a teaspoon of good olive oil, and if desired, add a few tablespoons of freshly chopped dill. (Also works well with cottage cheese.)
What are your favorite summer snacks???
For more healthy snack ideas, check out these great posts:
My Post on Healthy Snacking via Healthylunchidea.com
Spicy Cruncy Chickpea Snack - via JustHungry.com
Chile Lime Tequila Popcorn – via 101cookbooks.com
Crunchy Granola Bars – via Apartment Therapy
Baked Oatmeal Snack Bars – via KathEats.com
Tags: healthy·hummus·melon·oats·pita pizza·snack·snacking·snacks·summer·yogurt
One of the goals that my study group is holding me accountable to is doing one fun exercise activity each week. This can be something new – a spin class, rock climbing, walking to some crazy new destination, etc. For this week, I chose a local bay area hike – the Dipsea – 679 steps + a 6 or so mile hike out from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach. I recruited my friend Sondy, a Bay Area native, and friend from college to lead the way.
The trail is outrageously beautiful, and includes sections through woods, out in the open, around big hills, and up and down them. Not for the totally out of shape hiker, but not particularly challenging for someone in shape.
I wore my Vibram Five Fingers, odd looking shoes certainly, but supremely fun to wear. And to meet people with – I must have been asked about them five times by hikers on the trail. Sondy, the amazing woman she is, did about 6 of the 7 miles *actually barefoot*.
As for food on the trip:
Before the hike: Oats in a jar – steel cut oatmeal, in the bottom of an (almost empty) Barney Butter jar with a tablespoon of Nutella. Portable and easy for my commute to Mill Valley. (MUNI and Golden Gate Transit).
During the hike: Dried dates – you know, the little date pieces that look like worms. (About 1/2 a cup, total). Water. A piece of dried mango, offered up by another hiker.
Post hike: Meal at the Sand Dollar – a (small) hamburger with cheese and no bun, fries, a pickle, and lettuce.
After lunch, we wandered around Stinson Beach until the Stagecoach came and picked us up to head back to Mill Valley. When we arrived, we walked the mile and a half back to our car. Yeehaw!
Tags: Exercise·Healthy Living·Hiking·Oatmeal
After a few weeks of a lack of moderation, I’ve come back to a healthy focus. That’s what healthy living is about – finding moderation, and course correcting when you’ve been a little bit too loose with yourself. For me this means:
1) 1 hour of exercise at least 5x a week (if not all seven days). Ideally, it would be 350 minutes of exercise per week, and a combination of low, moderate, and high intensity.
2) Planned dinners (and leftovers for lunch) I eat most of my meals at home, but planning my meals ahead of time ensures that I have food on hand for making dinners, and that I make balanced choices ahead of time instead of getting hungry, cranky, tired, and making less than healthy choices.
3) Happiness boosters! I find that when I’m living the healthiest, I’m not just focusing on food and fitness, but about making a point to spend time with friends, doing fun things, and doing new things. It helps fill an emotional hunger and keeps me satiated with my food choices.
Here are some of my dinners over the past few days:
1. Spicy Moroccan Fish Stew from Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. Mine had cod, shrimp, and rather than couscous, I served it over some bulgur pilaf. I also added in a handful of edamame and frozen corn. This only got better the next day for leftovers – I ate all the fish during dinner, but the shrimp kept quite well the next day, and the flavors really had a chance to mellow. I’ve been having really good success with this cookbook.
2. Carrot Salad with lemon dressing and parsley, Israeli Cous Cous (Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains Blend), and a ground beef saute. For this dinner, I sauteed some onion and frozen bell pepper mix until soft and slightly browned, and then added in the ground beef with some oregano, salt and pepper. This is one of those mish mash meals that didn’t quite go as planned (I was going to make turkish meatballs) but tasted good just the same. The carrots were from my Farm Fresh to You box.
3. Grilled Pork Loin, with Roasted Baby Potatoes, and Spinach Salad with Tomatoes, Grilled Asparagus and Lemon Dressing. After going on a long walk this afternoon, I stopped by Bi-rite market to look at all the BEAUTIFUL produce. I ended up grabbing some spinach, asparagus, and (I-know-they-are-out-of-season-but-I-wanted-them-anyways-tomatoes). This meal was so simple to put together. As soon as I got home I put the potatoes in the oven to roast at 450. I then grilled the asparagus and set them aside. I put together the salad, made the dressing. Then I grilled the pork for about 10 minutes – getting a good sear on both sides, and deglazing the pan with a little white wine. At the end I broiled the potatoes for about 5 minutes while I let the pork rest. Then tossed the asparagus into the salad, dressed it, and served everything up!
A little note on accountability: After struggling for the past few weeks to get things under control, I met with my health coach study group. At the end of our meeting, we each set goals for ourselves for the week, and shared what we wanted to be held accountable for. My goals for the week are – daily exercise, avoiding eating until stuffed, and doing one new and exciting fitness activity.
Today’s Exercise: 10k steps (walking to work + 1.25 hour walk through the castro/mission)
Tags: carrot·cous cous·Exercise·grilled potatoes·ground beef·jamie oliver·moroccan fish stew·planned meals·pork chop
April 15th, 2010 · Dinner
I’ve done it! I’ve gotten out of the rut. I thought I was losing myself for the past few weeks: a lot of sitting, a loss of will to walk, to exercise, or simply to move.
It didn’t hurt that the weather is lovely and the city looks like this:
So yesterday, I walked. I walked from home to Dolores park, around the Mission, over through the Castro, past the Wednesday farmers market where I pushed past the desire to buy everything, and on to Duboce Park, a lovely green filled with dogs and children and various people, somewhere in the city I had never been before.
I visited three independent bookstores – the Green Arcade, Bibliohead and Isotope comics. Even on my days off I can’t escape books. At Green Arcade I found myself talking to a skateboarding graffiti artist who had such incredible recall about street art and graphic artists that I thought to myself what a pity that someone like this should have ended up using meth instead of say, getting into Harvard or MIT.
And I walked on over to Hayes Valley, up and down the streets and past the desire to enter Miette and La Boulange, and I kept on walking, all the way to Rainbow, where I experienced an incredibly pleasant “coupon-less” day, where the lines were short and I could make my way around the store picking up my parsley and my orecchiette pasta from the bulk bins, and some strawberries, and then wait in line for all of five minutes before walking on, over to four barrel for a cup of coffee to sustain me for the walk home. Dinner was a small bowl of pasta with chimichurri sauce, and a little bit of grilled turkey tenderloin which I had made for Devon.
* * *
And then today I went ahead and walked again – over to the Castro, to Bi-rite to pick up some food, and home again – a little over four miles. It’s not back to where I was, but I’m hoping that it will keep me moving. To respect myself for making the right choices, I opted for a healthy dinner:
Grilled Halibut, Baked Yams and Tomato and Cucumber Salad
Tonight’s food was simple, fresh, and colorful. I baked the last of the garnet yams from the farmbox, with a little bit of salt and pepper in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes. I marinated pacific halibut in some soy sauce, ginger, rice wine vinegar and fish sauce. I cut up cucumbers and tomatoes (yes, I broke down and bought a tomato pre-season), and poured on some rice vinegar and olive oil. And then at the very end, I gave my fish about 3 minutes total in the griddle pan, and dinner was served.
I was going to stew some strawberries and rhubarb for dessert, but I’m not particularly hungry anymore, and I’ve been making due with a mug of mint tea with mint leaves from Celia’s garden, and pouring through my copy of Nigel Slater’s Tender, Volume 1.
Tags: cucumbers·dolores park·fish sauce·ginger·halibut·rice wine vinegar·soy·tomatoes·yams
April 13th, 2010 · Dinner
It’s been a busy weekend: Devon’s mom came to visit for two days and we had lovely food at Tartine (morning buns), the Slanted Door (imperial rolls, chicken claypot, and halibut with spicy gingered fish sauce), and Cheeseboard Pizza (pizza and salad of the day). At the bookstore, Alice Waters was here to sign copies of her new book ‘In the Green Kitchen’ on Saturday. And then on Sunday I hosted food trivia when Cynthia Nims came to talk about her book ‘Gourmet Game Night‘.
For the past few days I’ve been coming home from work exhausted. Which is, of course, the case for most people in the real world. I admit that the recent dinners have been a little bit neglected – pasta with butter and parmigiano and grilled asparagus on Sunday night, and nothing but a bowl of pea puree yesterday. Tonight I vowed to eat well. I settled on One Pot Salsa Chicken with Mock Caesar Salad. Which took me all of half an hour. I started the chicken dish right when I got home, and the salad came together while everything was cooking. Dinner was well received.
This salad was inspired by Canal House Cooking, Volume 3, although I forgot to actually take the book home with me, so it’s more loosely what I remember from the recipe, and limited to what I had in my own kitchen. This makes about double the amount of dressing, but the leftovers easily go in the fridge for another day.
Mock Cesar Salad:
1 clove of garlic
1 tablespoon anchovy paste
1 teaspoon Maille whole grain mustard
juice of one lemon (I used a Meyer)
salt and pepper
about 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano
1 medium romaine lettuce, washed and chopped
In a mortar and pestle, mash the garlic, anchovy paste, and mustard into a smooth paste. Add the juice of a lemon, season with salt and pepper, and pour in the olive oil. Transfer to an old jar, and give a really big shake. Just before serving, pour half of the dressing on the lettuce, grate on the cheese, and toss. I didn’t actually have enough parmigiano, so I supplemented with a tiny bit of Saxon Creamery Big Ed’s, a hard cheese that I picked up at Rainbow.
One Pot Salsa Chicken:
In my big Le Creuset pot, I put some olive oil and sauteed three cut up chicken thighs (about a pound of meat) on medium heat giving them a good seal. I like them to crisp up a bit, and let them fry for about 3 minutes on each side.
Now for my seasoning – I won’t lie, I rarely measure when I’m tired. I added about a tablespoon of cumin (several really good shakes of my new supply from Rainbow grocery), some freshly ground black pepper, and a good pinch of sea salt. By which I mean, almost enough sea salt to sustain an ocean-based ecosystem, because rather than being intelligent and shaking it into my hand, I shook it directly into the pot. After spicing, I gave the pot two more minutes of cooking.
I then added one can of pinto beans (no salt added) including the liquid, and a jar of Trader Joe’s Salsa Authentica. I also added 3/4 cup of bulgur wheat, turned the heat down to low, and simmered for 20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld and the bulgur to fully cook.
Tags: bulgur·caesar salad·canal house cooking·cheese·chicken·one pot·salsa
Brunch: Fresh Farm Egg (from Tomales) omelet with oregano and feta cheese, and a whole wheat pita. I attempted a Jacques Pepin style omelet as witnessed two nights ago on Anthony Bourdain, but this ended up a little bit more like scrambled eggs after I lost patience with his method.
Today I had a day off – a little odd for a Wednesday, and truly made the most of it. I cleaned, I ate two point five home cooked meals, I *finally* went on a longish walk and enjoyed the sunshine, I sat in a cafe and drank iced masala chai, I got done more errands, and I made a tasty dinner. Oh, and I read an entire book.
This book: Tony Hsieh’s ‘Delivering Happiness’ (pre-order it here on Amazon). I got an advanced copy after hearing Tim Ferriss and Kevin Rose discuss it on their random show. I’ve written more about how much I like it over on goodreads.com
Rather than sitting in my house all afternoon reading, I walked over to the Castro, and I sat down at Samovar tea lounge to get my read on. I ordered my favorite, their iced masala chai, which comes in this beauteous metal glass. And after a few minutes of reading, I glanced over to my left…. and there was Tim Ferriss (original recommend-er of book I was reading). I opted not to be crazy fan girl, and let him get his work done, but it was a pretty neat coincidence.
I briefly took a break in reading this afternoon to go on an errand to Target, where we saw this exercise in… art/patience/obsession – perhaps a college art project? Or just a lot of afternoons of boredom put to better use….
When we got home I was itching to finish my book, so I put together an easy dinner that I just made up on the fly – a sweet potato, caramelized onion with bacon, rosemary, and goat cheese bake. It was loosely inspired by my favorite pizza at Veggie Planet in Harvard Square – the ‘Lunch for Henry’ which along side their ‘Mexican bean’, I have dreams of on a regular basis.
I preheated the oven to 400 F, then sauteed half an onion in a little bit of olive oil and a slice of chopped bacon for about 10 minutes. I then layered some thinly sliced sweet potato in this foil lined pie plate. I layered in the onion mixture after it had started to brown, and then I crumbled on a few ounces of fresh goat cheese, topped with another layer of sweet potato, and then shaved on some parmigiano reggiano. I covered it with foil, baked it for 30 minutes, took off the foil, and baked it for another 15. It could have used another 10 minutes to get more crispy, but I was hungry, and it tasted sufficiently delicious.
Finally, if anyone is looking to buy real estate in my neighborhood (Noe Valley), I noticed this beauty up for grabs:
I’m sure it’s going for around 1.5 million.
Tags: anthony bourdain·delivering happiness·goat cheese·jacques pepin·noe valley·omelet·samovar·sweet potato·tim ferriss·zappos
[Happy photo of the day: Pepper, getting a belly rub.]
For the past few days I’ve been making more concerted efforts to plan my meals so that I know what I’m going to eat for dinner before 4:30 pm. Cutoff time of doom. So at the beginning of the week I sat down with a big stack of magazines and cookbooks to gather some ideas for some good home made dinners.
Sunday Night: Curried Red Lentil Soup.
I decided to make myself some lentil soup. In a medium soup pot, over medium heat I added a few tablespoons of olive oil, and a small pat of butter. I sauteed 1/2 a red onion, the white part of a leek, about 1/2 a link of chorizo that was in my freezer, and 3 small roughly chopped carrots in the pot, for about 20 minutes, until everything was starting to get brown and soft.
At that point I added 1 cup of red lentils, and 1/2 cup bulgur wheat. I added in a pinch of red pepper flakes and a small knob of ginger. I then added four cups of water, brought it to a boil, and then turned it down to simmer for 30 minutes. Stirring every ten minutes or so.
At the end, I lightly toasted a tablespoon of curry powder, and added a tablespoon of tomato paste. I added this into the soup, and a can of light coconut milk, and a heaping teaspoon of sea salt. It’s lovely when you put the salt in, because it goes from a very boring dull soup, to something absolutely delightful. I let everything simmer on low for about 20 more minutes, until I couldn’t wait any longer to eat. I topped my bowl with some chopped cashews and grated coconut.
Lunch next day: This soup only got better on day two. I also brought some fennel and celery salad, with fresh parsley, dill and lemon dressing.
Monday Night: Grilled Chicken Pita Salad adapted from Sunset Magazine’s “30 Fast and Fresh Weeknight Dinners” from this months’ issue. Devon’s mom gave me a subscription to Sunset this year, and it’s grown to be one of my favorite magazines. I grilled a chicken breast and the asparagus on my griddle pan, got the bulgarian feta and kalamata olives from the cheese shop on 24th, and made my own pita chips by popping a pita in the oven at about 400 for 8 minutes. Easy peasy.
Lunch the next day: I brought the second chicken breast that I grilled, and a few of the leftover spears of asparagus, extra cherry tomatoes, and a lemon. I also brought an apple for snack.
Tuesday Night: Braised Swiss Chard, and Mac + Cheese Ever since trying Tori Ritchie’s braised swiss chard with cannellini beans, I’ve been meaning to go back and recreate this recipe. I did it last night as a nice complement to some Annie’s Mac and Cheese which I’ve been craving for weeks. I didn’t put the cannellini beans in this batch, and I used spring onions, carrots, and chard from my farm box.
No leftovers today for lunch, because I have the day off!
Tags: chicken·lentils·macaroni and cheese·soup·sunset magazine·swiss chard
April 2nd, 2010 · Dinner
Today was a rainy day off, so I sat in my house cleaning and decided that it was a perfect day to make some rich chicken stock for some Matzo Ball soup. I broke every single passover dietary law yesterday at the Edible Art Contest, so I decided that I was going to make up for it with tonight’s dinner.
Around noon, I went to Drewes’ and got myself about 3 pounds of frozen chicken backs. Sure, I could have roasted a chicken, and then used the carcass, but chicken backs give the nicest flavor, and Drewes’ carries bags of the bones specifically for stock making at only 99 cents/pound. It’s a bargain!
When I got home, I wanted to refresh my stock making skills, so I decided to head to the You-tubes, to watch this episode of Alton Brown (part one and part two). People forget how handy Youtube is for learning kitchen skills. You can look up an Yiddish bubbe making kreplach, or any culture’s grandmother making their traditional foods. Seriously, try it, it’s fun!
And so after 20 minutes of Alton’s best advice, I dumped the chicken backs into my big Le Creuset, added a few carrots, a few stalks of celery, a quartered onion, a big handful of parsley, about 10 Szechuan peppercorns, and covered it all with cold water. I brought it to a boil, and then simmered the golden brew, uncovered, for about 5 hours. At which point I made my matzo balls, unceremoniously, with Manischewitz mix. Well, Manischewitz mix made with some tasty Tomales pasture raised eggs. I dumped them in the strained stock, and then served it with the 5-hour stock carrot and some fresh dill.
It’s not my grandmother’s, but it was a pretty good consolation. If you want to make everything from scratch, I’d highly recommend Deb’s recipe for Matzo Ball Soup on Smitten Kitchen.
Tags: manischewitz·matzo ball·passover·soup
March 29th, 2010 · Dinner
It’s Monday again, and tonight is erev Pesach (the first night of Passover). I’m sad that I’m not going to be home with my family this year – this is the first seder that will be at my grandmother’s new house, and I’m sorry to miss the occasion.
Mostly I’ll miss my family, but I’ll certainly be missing the food: chopped liver on Tam-Tams, gefilte fish with a massive amount of horseradish my mom’s charoset (the fruit and nut concoction that represents the "mortar" that the Jewish slaves in Egypt used), my grandmother’s matzoh ball soup (the woman is a soup queen – this is second only to her kreplach (dumpling) soup that she makes for Rosh Hashanah), and the fluffy lemon meringue concoction that my aunt Maryanne makes.
I also love the sephardic dishes and customs that make appearances (we are a "mixed" family), including my favorite: bimuelos – little fried passover ‘donuts’ made of matzoh, honey, and cinnamon. And then the moroccan tradition of passing the seder plate above everyone’s heads as a reminder of the burdens that we carried as slaves in Egypt.
This morning I ate some of my leftover ‘chametz’ (aka forbidden foods of Pesach) – oatmeal, with some milk, brown sugar, and delicious fresh spring strawberries from Swanton Berry Farm. And the last of my gingerbread coffee.
I’m still planning my Passover foods for the next week: I’m going to roast a chicken, make my mom’s "matzah pasta" – a lasagna type chicken dish with matzah instead of noodles, and most likely some brisket.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been thrown off by the changing of the seasons, and what the heck I’m going to do with my life (perhaps the root of my anxiety), and sometime during my nervous fits I remembered that I have to enjoy life right now, and might as well just get on with my business.
And then at some point this week I read a very nice Spring to Do List by Alice Q. Foodie, and I’ve working to create my own list of the little things that I want to do that make me happy.
:: Cook bright spring meals, hike to the top of Bernal hill a few times, drive down the 1 to the beach, do more yoga, make lemonade, read more books, clean my apartment, walk, lose those last 10 pounds, spend more time with friends, try lots of new cheese (and take notes)… well, lots in moderation…, find hidden away tea spots in San Francisco, spend more time learning – about anything really. Just learning.
So last night, in an effort to enjoy my Spring one moment at a time, I made some Flank steak with chimichurri sauce, bulgur pilaf, and leftover Rancho Gordo Rosa de Castillo bean and farro chili.
I first was reminded about how wonderful chimichurri sauce – a green tangy Argentinian pesto-like sauce – was while reading Tara Austen Weaver’s ‘The Butcher and the Vegetarian’. Chimichurri was lingering in the back of my mind, and then yesterday Chef John of Foodwishes posted this great little video about the sauce – and immediately went home to make some my self.
On the way back from work I stopped at Drewes’ Meats to pick up some Marin Sun Farms flank steak, which I promptly took home and seasoned with a dash of sea salt, a teaspoon of cumin, and a teaspoon of cayenne (both fresh new acquisitions from Rainbow). While I let that sit, I put some water to boil and then once boiling added my bulgur, and set the timer for 20 minutes. I admit it – I have lots of fresh bulgur on hand, but I’ve been using these Near East Whole Grain Blends Wheat Pilaf because they taste fantastic.
I then made my chimichurri in the blender – a couple of big handfuls of parsley, a few cloves of garlic, a pinch of sea salt, a few glugs of white wine vinegar, a few glugs of olive oil, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. No real measurements, just a bit of this, a bit of that, taste and adjust. I get it to about the consistency of a pesto, perhaps a little chunkier.
I put the steak on the grill pan that I preheated midway through chimichurri making, and grilled the steak for about 5 minutes on one side, and then 3 on the other. Then I took it off to rest for a few minutes while I heated up the chili and plated it on top of the bulgur. At the last minute, after resting, I sliced really thinly against the grain, (not with the grain, otherwise you’d be chewing each piece for hours). I layed the slices on the plate, doused it with the bright green sauce, and we dug in.
Chimichurri is a sauce that is useful for everything – you can put it on salmon, pasta, chicken, roasted vegetables, you name it. But it tasted particularly good on this flank steak. It was exactly what I wanted. It’s going to be exactly what you want too – I’d highly recommend experimenting with the stuff.
Tags: chimichurri·flank steak·passover
March 23rd, 2010 · Dinner
I love springtime!
This morning I waited for my farm box to arrive. I haven’t been able to go to the farmers’ market for the past few weeks, so Ive been relying on the farm box for my source of fresh, seasonal vegetables to remind me that spring is really here! While I waited, I made myself a cup of freshly ground and brewed Ritual Roasters coffee, (with my new coffee grinder, huzzah!) and a small bowl of brown rice with some chia seeds and maple syrup. It’s a bit of an odd combination, but it was filling and tasted good.
The box finally arrived, and I unpacked the contents, giddy at the possibilities. The fresh asparagus and baby lettuce caught my eye, and I headed off to work looking forward to coming back in the evening and being able to cook!
At lunch I had a few cups of kasha (toasted buckwheat groats). Kasha (toasted buckwheat groats) is a common grain from eastern Europe that has a nice bite, and is slightly nutty in taste. My dad used to make kasha varnishkas - toasted buckwheat with bow-tie noodles, which was one of my favorites. I didn’t have any noodles, but I made a similar dish sautéing the buckwheat with some onions and potato (eastern european style). I also cut up an avocado I had hanging around. It made for a surprisingly good combination.
It’s always eventful at Omnivore – the door was wide open and the fresh breeze wafting through the shop – today I met (in no particular order) – an accomplished literary agent, a 9 month old named Zachary who was full of smiles, Phillip Wood – the founder of Ten Speed Press (a man with an amazing legacy), and I saw Gordo again! This is Gordo:
Sometimes my days go by so quickly I can’t believe that they are over.
I headed home, nearly skipping. Immediately as soon as I got home, I put some eggs in a pot with some water, brought it to a boil, and then turned off the heat. I knew that I wanted a fresh springy salad, and that some hard boiled eggs would be good on top. You never can go wrong with eggs, so even if I ended up deciding on something completely different, hard boiled eggs are perfect to have in the fridge.
I flipped through Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home, and then through Nigel Slater’s ‘Kitchen Diaries‘, and then Lucinda Scala Quinn’s ‘Mad Hungry, Feeding Men and Boys‘ for inspiration, before finally deciding on the contents of my salad. I wasn’t looking for a recipe, so much as inspiration, and I managed to find it.
I couldn’t wait to take out these:
And sauté them in a grill pan with a little bit of bacon. Can’t do it without the bacon! Well, you could I suppose but it wouldn’t be as blissful. I love this grill pan because it gives nice grill marks on the food, and is a useful stand-in for my tragic lack of barbecue grill. (Mine, my 21st birthday gift from my parents, is currently sitting in their garage, and gets a lot of use by them, but sadly, it’s not something easily transportable across the country.)
Reserving the pan juices for some lemon vinaigrette! Which I used to top the fresh baby romaine lettuce, grilled asparagus, and hard boiled eggs. You could call it a composed salad, I suppose. I just call it dinner, tasty, tasty dinner.
I piled it onto plates, and then topped with some leftover grilled meat that Devon brought home from work. Apparently, it was someones birthday and they had brought out the grill – although this seems to happen quite often over there. Which leads me to believe that I’m working in the wrong business. Or maybe I can convince Celia to purchase a little hibachi for me to barbecue things outside the store. Such as bacon. Actually, that would probably attract the customers…