Sunday, August 28, 2011

Heritage Round 2, Dinner #1

Okay, I'll be totally honest: I'm kind of proud of this next thing, as-of-yet unnamed, becauuuuuse...

- It's embarrassingly healthy (lots of protein and fiber in the brown rice and chickpeas, Vitamin A in the carrots, magical wonder properties in the kale, and unpronounceable cancer-fighting stuff in the cayenne, garlic, chili powder and cumin).

- It's probably the cheapest main dish imaginable because the entire thing (three servings) contained 1 cup of instant brown rice ($0.50), 1 can of chickpeas ($0.70), roughly 1/3 pound of kale ($0.30), 1 carrot ($0.20), 1 green onion stalk ($0.20), 1 clove of garlic ($0.20), and spices (I'll assume $0.50 worth).
So the total cost was $2.60.
That's $0.86 per serving, roughly.
Oops, I forgot a splash of oil for sauteeing everything. So, let's say it cost $1/serving. Still pretty good.

- It tastes good.

I hope you appreciate the dramatic lighting.

To make it, I cooked 1 cup of instant brown rice and sauteed the green onion, kale, garlic, and carrots. Then I mixed all that in a bowl with salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin and cayenne pepper.

I've been thinking of it in my head as Middle Eastern rice, but that sound super pretentious, so I might call it Coca-Cola rice instead, just as a gentle reminder to myself that one serving of it costs the same as any size of soft drink at McDonald's.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Dinner x 3

If I thought it would interest anyone, I would give a lame excuse for why this blog has been abandoned and lonely and sad for the last six months. But instead of going through all that (um, a semester of college happened, and then Mary went to St. Ignace to be a real live journalist and I went to DC to be a poor confused intern), I'm going to post pictures of three things I made for dinner recently.

Food, after all, is usually more interesting than real life.

So here's Dinner #1, a wrap with sauteed zucchini, sundried tomatoes, green onions, garlic, parmesan (real parmesan, not green tube powder––that's important), and eggs.

It didn't want to stay closed, so here's an intimate view of its interior:

Not to brag, but this was an awesome meal. The kale chips on the side were super easy to make and delicious ––tear up kale; drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle on salt, fresh ground pepper, and garlic powder; spread on a cookie sheet and cook for 5 to 10 min. at 350 degrees - ta-da, heaven.
And every time I make an egg wrap with zucchini and parmesan, it's the best thing I've eaten in months. I don't know why these things are so awesome, but Lord, they're good.

Dinner #2 is the old standby that is basically impossible to mess up: frittata. I did it without a potato crust because I don't have any potatoes, and with kale, zucchini, and an artery's worth of pepper jack. You'll notice eggs are a recurring motif. That's not a coincidence. I will know I've made it in the real world when I have enough money to get protein from sources other than eggs.

Dinner #3: Tofu/zucchini/kale/carrot stir fry over brown rice. I made it twice (Fun Game: Spot the Difference Between the Two Pictures!), once with just soy sauce as a seasoning –– that was lame –– and once with rice vinegar, sesame oil, and a lot of garlic, as well as soy sauce. That was better. Shout out to Trader Joe's: Instead of buying two lattes, I bought sesame oil and rice vinegar, and now I can make tasty stir fry. Score.

The difference, of course, is that the recycling and trash are overflowing in the second picture. Hah. Gross.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Things That Are Not Delicious: Every single recipe on Chowhound right now

What Christmas Break Means to Me:

-Not knowing what day of the week it is for weeks at a time
-Practicing my Southern accent by listening to my grandparents and their friends in Georgia (mah pleasure, blessher heart!)
-Being awake for about twelve hours a day
-Reading food blogs like an OCD maniac

That last item leads me to today's meditation: Food-related magazines and blogs become shockingly depressing in January. For all of November and December, they're seeped with recipes for Christmas cookies, bizarre cocktails, and weird Thanksgiving side dishes. Some of it is helpful, some of it is creative, some of it is weird, and all of it is jolly and entertaining and fattening.

Then in January, everything changes. It's almost like someone died; these magazines go into a state of culinary mourning (or hibernation), full of entree salads (oxymoron alert!), juice cleanse suggestions, and creative drinks to make out of cucumber and water.

WHY would anyone EVER drink cucumber water? It's like eating dirt.

My favorite depressing January recipe: Make Your Own Tofu, thanks to Chowhound. I mean, making homemade tofu might be fun, but the fact that it's immediately preceded by recipes for Make Your Own Turkey makes it really depressing. Other tempting creations include Fish Stew, Mushroom and Carrot Bulgur, Barley with Mushrooms and Green Beans (aha! a mushroom motif!), and Toasted Millet Salad.

Honestly. This is why everyone is fat: because healthy food looks like prison food. I mean, come on. Mushroom and carrot bulgur? I'm pretty sure that's what normal food turns into after being digested.

Though everyone else is probably as sick of Christmas cookies as I am, I see no reason January food should have to be watery and salady and sad; Hair of the Dog seems like an intelligent way to handle the Christmas Food Hangover. Yesterday, for example, I had a chocolate peppermint milkshake for dinner. Maybe not the best meal ever, but weirdly satisfying.

So I plan on trying a lot of new and pretty food this month. I will deliberately avoid bulgur, and I solemnly swear not to make my own tofu. Hold me accountable, please.