Thursday, March 31, 2011

midi mediterranee

soooo, i'm feeling a lot better, thanks for asking!
though it's going to be hard weening my body off 10-hour sleeps, i think that's what did the trick.
sleep is magical. unfortunately, it's time spent pretty unproductively.
i'm also now weening myself off of unhealthy meals and food frivolity (who makes lindt chocolate s'mores under their oven broiler for dessert? after LUNCH!..seriously!?). it is, after all, nearly april, and a bangin' beach bod doesn't happen overnight. just saying.

today for lunch i went 'mediterranean' in combination with one of my favourite foods...ya, whatever, i love french toast, judge me if you like. it was simple, tasty, and very satisfying, PLUS! need i mention the fibre and healthy fatty acids and vitamins and phytochemicals that are in this meal?...i need not.

i started with sliced, frozen 12 grain bread. 
unfortunately, fresh bread is a luxury that i simply cannot do with most of the time, as i can't eat it all before its inevitable expiry and i hate throwing out moldy bread (which i had to do yesterday). 
fortunately, frozen bread does the trick, and i always keep some in my freezer so i never have to plan ahead if i want french toast!
kind of off topic, but more on the delicate art of freezing in the ny times here if you're interested!

ok, so then i really started.. by scrambling an egg and a tablespoon or 2 of my home-made pesto (toasted pine nuts, walnuts, basil, garlic, olive oil, salt), then dipping 2 slices of bread (still frozen) into the mix and frying them for a while in a little olive oil.
then i made a makeshift salad of wilted baby spinach, diced tomato, parsley, black olives, and chickpeas. and just peppered it all up. i do regret not having a bit of feta cheese to add to the gamut, but it's on my grocery list...

march is ovvvvver!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

quarantine canteen

it is day 2 of my self-induced seclusion. and you know what? it's not half bad.
i have a whack-load of food in the house, and no-one can bother me.
plus, being sick gives me a strange entitlement to eating junky or indulgent food. 
case in point; last night i polished off a bag of chips for dinner. the big bag.

today for lunch i had the same lackadaisical approach, but with much more exciting results.
i wilted collard greens and then fried them with some organic bacon. boiled some store bought fresh pasta.... and here i take a little detour. the pasta is called borsetti on the container. so i googled it, and hardly anything came up, not even a wikipedia page. the pastas look a little like dim sum dumplings, but are made of durum semolina and are stuffed with feta and spinach. 
i don't know why there is no information on borsetti, and i'm not about to be coaxed out of the house to find out. so, if you know anything more about this pasta. feel free to comment. 
right, the pasta was ready in 3 or so minutes, after which i gently sautéed it in butter, cream, and stinky stilton cheese. then i sprinkled it all in black pepper and parmesan, like fairy dust. because i'm magical like that.

lazy person lunch

Monday, March 28, 2011

sniffle soup

normally you'd never hear me admit this openly, but, i am sick.
sick as a dog.
it's  almost 3 pm as i sit down to write this, and all i've done today was get up, brush teeth, eat cereal, grab a box of kleenex and then go back to bed to read. 
true, this is how i spend many a monday, but it's the fact that i feel like total crap that's really screwing up my otherwise day-to-day routine. boo you head cold! why can't you let me laze around without this unnecessary grogginess? urgh.

enough about me, let's talk about food. 
yes, chicken soup is widely acknowledged for its healing properties against maladies such as 'the common cold', and even the incurable 'teenage soul', but i have no chicken soup. i had some leftover french onion soup in the fridge that i'd made a few nights ago, close enough.

french onion soup is not hard to make, and there are plenty of easy recipes online. the soup i made was basically one big pot with: butter, onions, garlic, a touch of cream, dry marjoram and thyme, sugar, white wine, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, bay leaf, beef (or other) stock-or water. i added a bit of fresh grated nutmeg because i'm obsessed with that stuff, and chopped asparagus to make the soup (ever so slightly) healthy.

today, i re-heated my soup, toasted the top of a calabrese bun, then really fine-grated gruyère cheese into the bottom of an oven-proof bowl, added the soup in, set the top side down of the bun into the liquid, grated more gruyère all over, and stuck it into the oven under the broiler for a couple of minutes. cheese melted, bread toasted, soup hot, and flavours abundant to break through the cold-induced smell and taste sensory handicap i am experiencing. i am healed!

quit staring at my pudgy hand.

ya right. time to go back to bed.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

bean machine

a lot of my safta's (grandmama's) food is what we like to call 'heavely cooked'.
briskets and sofrito chicken and beans and cholent and lentil soups are cooked forEVER to give them that softy texture and signature slow-cooked flavour.
if you're having trouble imagining it, think of a fresh, crisp, garden salad, and then think of its opposite. done.

although i enjoy fresh foods, there will forever be a place in my heart for those monochromatic, mushy meals. 
me-thinks that this green bean recipe is a perfect mix of taste, texture, and colour. it's so simple to prepare, and it brings me right back in a way that no crudité could. i cook it for a little less time than safta does, so it's soft, but not entirely devoid of nutritional value.

boil some trimmed and washed green beans for a few minutes.
drain most of the water, add olive oil and chopped garlic, chopped tomatoes, loads of lemon juice, salt and pepper.
cover and cook until thoroughly soft.
eat with rice. (i had it with fish, but safta would certainly have served it with chicken thighs)

go on. mashitup.

Monday, March 21, 2011

sub: zero me: ow!

whoa-ly smokes. 
a sandwich combo that pretty much mops the floor with peanut butter and banana?

brie and apple vietnamese sub!

oh, it's so obvious, hey? well, this is the first time i've ever made such a sub, and let me tell you, it won't be the last.

first thing's first. always.
get some fresh viatnamese buns or french bread. it's all the same level of delish-ness so long as it's fresh.
second, cut up some apple slices and douse them, + maybe some baby spinach or arugula, in balsamic vinegar.
third, cut a couple of fat slices of brie.
fourth, broiler the brie on the bread for a couple of minutes. you don't really want to melt the cheese entirely or toast the fresh bread...just warm them up to perfection.
fifth, assemble.
sixth, grab with both hands and eat. take a breath here and there, and maybe enjoy a glass of wine.
seventh. holy crap, you're still here? get lost already.

sometimes, simplicity is the bestiest.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

afrique, c'est chic? freak out!

whoa hiatus!
no excuses. that was a loooong break. let's just say i've been on a steady diet of cereal, crackers, and restaurant food for a while and not ask any more questions. deal? deal.

story: i have a good GREAT friend, let's call her JJ, who is going to uganda to save the world for 8 months, and in (surprise) celebration of her greatness, we threw her a little fête with african food and all.
i was not too familiar with african fare, but my buddy jimbo (shout-outs!), was fully prepared with recipes and fresh ingredients and ideas galore. some were good (tilapia), and some were great (playing the theme song from 'the lion king' as our surprised friend made her entrance).

i'll break it down for you, in case you're curious about making an african meal some day. i will warn you that it's highly starchy and visually unappealing..but also kind of tasty. i'm not really selling it so hard, am i? oh well, see for yourselves.'s alotta food.
so, here's the plate breakdown: starting in the top right hand corner is rice. yup.
moving clockwise around the plate you will find, a really tasty tilapia fillet cooked with onion and garlic, indian curry, lemon (juice and zest), and orange pepper. next is one of uganda's national dishes, called "matoke". it is a stew of plantains (those large banana-ish looking things), tomatoes, jalapeño peppers, onions, green peppers, cilantro, and that soy 'ground meat' product you can get at the grocery store in air-tight packages (JJ is a veg). you can also use real ground beef.
over and onward is what is called (quite appropriately) "boo" but was referred to throughout the dinner as "the secret of the ooze", "the green slime", and/or, "the vegetable abortion". it was not, if you can imagine, a fan favourite. if you think it's candy (but it's not), then start by boiling water and adding a bit of baking soda, then collard greens, kale, and sliced okra (which is what gives it that slimy texture). partially drain the water and add peanut butter and sesame seeds....i know, wtf? it was interesting, but the mouth-feel was not pleasant, unless you're into that kind of stuff...
speaking of least...or last? that up there is casava root that was boiled and then cooked with beans and onions and some various spices until it kind of turned into a heavy mash. 
heavy, heavy, heavy. that's the name of THIS meal.

try it at home! it'll be a change from the ordinary...unless you're living in uganda! 
and on that note, have a great trip JJ!!