Monthly Archive: August 2010

Patience is a virtue

It’s a totally random coincidence that my 2nd blogiversary falls on the same day as my wedding.

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Although one is semi-noteworthy, the other far outweighs it (by leaps and bounds) in importance…and so I will be postponing the celebration of hungryhungryhippie turning two until I return from Hawaii.  But you can be sure the wait will be worth it for you because I have several giveaways in the works.  Go big or go home, right?

Hey, I waited 6 years for this day to come, so I know something about patience. 

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[College]

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[1st Anniversary]

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[Graduation]

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[Lord and Lady]

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[Wine Tasting]

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[San Francisco]

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[Beach]

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[Vegas]

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[Central Park]

 

:)

Add first…

…subtract later never.

That’s my version of the improve-your-diet rule, at least.  I like trying new things, but I also like keeping the old (can you tell I was a Girl Scout?). 

New: Israeli couscous & French Whole Wheat couscous

Old: Quinoa

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And so the three-grain pilaf was born…

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Into the pot went:

  • 1/3 cup Israeli couscous
  • 1/3 cup French WW couscous
  • 1/3 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water

I left it to soak in the pot while I went on a run, showered, and answered emails (~1.5 hours).

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When I returned to the stove, almost all the water had been absorbed.

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Having over an hour to soak first made the cooking process WAY faster.  Soaking also has numerous other benefits (although these aren’t quite as valid in this case, since I cooked the grains afterwards).  Still, soaking improves nutritional bioavailability and makes digestion easier.  This is more important in nuts, beans, and seeds, but also applies to grains and pseudograins, too. 

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I added another 1/2 cup water (to just cover the grains) and then turned on the heat.

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Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble.  10 minutes went by and it was beyond done.  Because I was aiming for a more mushy rice pudding-like consistency, I purposefully left it on longer than necessary.  For it’s last minute on the stove I added TVP.

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What, you ask, is TVPTextured vegetable protein is made from reduced-fat soy beans and is most commonly used to replace meat in vegetarian dishes.  It’s super easy to use – all you need to do is add water – and voila! instant (vegetarian) ground meat.  I mostly use it in chili (recipe here), but today I decided to make a “meaty” grain-filled salad.

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  • 3/4 cup TVP
  • 1 tsp onion powder (or sub 1/2 yellow onion sautéed)
  • 1/4 cup Bragg’s liquid aminos
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water

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The TVP really only needs 30 seconds to soak up the liquid, but I gave it a few minutes to get it extra mushy while melding with the other flavors.   

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Once it cooled, I served it up alongside a simple raw veggie salad.

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Simple summer veggie chop:

  • 4 baby carrots
  • 1 tomatillo
  • 1/2 tomato
  • 20 snap peas
  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • 1 tbsp Bragg’s liquid aminos

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Lately I’m loving tomatillos as a sweeter contrast in my salads.  And aren’t they pretty? 

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Yes. 

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I actually don’t know which dish I liked better. 

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The battle of the summer: on the left we have the crispy crunch of fresh summer veggies and on the right we have the nutrient packed grain pudding with wholesome protein galore.

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It’s a tough call for sure.  You try and let me know which you prefer.

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I definitely had seconds and thirds of the 3 grain protein pilaf. 

Do yourself a favor and get on this recipe like white on rice me on hummus.

How sad that ten different foods just came to mind to plug into that last phrase.  Or maybe that’s not sad at all…I’m going with awesome.  Instead of hummus, I could have said a number of things, starting with coffee and ending with bread.  How would you fill in this sentence for yourself? 

Savory leftovers

If there’s one thing I pride myself on, it’s my ability to create meals out of the most random hodgepodge assortment of leftovers.  This should come as no surprise given my love for everything-but-the-kitchen-sink salads, but I definitely think I have a knack for making cupboard scraps and a nearly empty fridge into a fairly decent dish. 

Oats are the perfect central ingredient for this little something-out-of-nothing trick. 

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If I’m going the savory route with oats, there’s one ingredient I turn to without fail, and that’s nutritional yeast

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Welcome to nooch mountain.  Full of fresh powder.  Lift tickets cost $20.

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Like the snow cover in NYC after a blizzard in January April.  In addition to the nooch, it wouldn’t be a complete hippie meal without fiber loading.

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Leftover salad of red bell peppers, black beans, and raw white corn, plus steamed broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots.

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This was bowl number one of three, but in my defense (not that I need it) the second and third bowls combined were roughly the size of this first one.  I learned from portion numero uno about the pitfalls of filling the bowl to the brim, which made it SO difficult to eat.  Everything was spilling over the edge each time I dug the spoon in to try and mix up the ingreds. 

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I don’t like losing ingredients, so the spillage factor definitely caused me to slow my roll…hence the less packed bowls for my seconds and thirds.

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If you are like my sister, you are probably sick of these old posts from last week.  She told me yesterday that she wants photos from the days leading up to the wedding…and as much as I’d love to oblige her request, I’m just too busy running errands all over the place.  I’ve been taking photos like crazy, so after the honeymoon look forward to one mother-of-a-recap.  And now I’m off…

Beachy keen

I started the day with a java the size of my head and a bowl of oats topped with some peanut buttah, which left me bouncing with energy.  Kyle suggested some beach time and I thought, why not?!

Ok, the placement of the peanut butter didn’t work out for the photo at all…

I made the oats on the stove with more water than I typically use and because of that they were super gooey.  So even though I tried to leave the spoon on top to show off the PB, the other blobs just sunk to the bottom of the bowl.  Good for eating, not good for photographing.  Oh well, blog schmog, taste is all that I care about.

After digesting, I threw on my swim suit, snapped a model shot like ma gurl, and grabbed some beach eats.

apple + Sabra + snap peas

Only semi-portable in nature (sandy Sabra?), but still perfectly delicious.  We read on the beach for an hour plus…and returned home for a real meal.

This sando had more of the good stuff (hummus): Sabra hummus, avocado, spinach, and tomato.

With another apple a la mode.

After lunch we went to get my bike tires fixed, which resulted in unexpected fees, unexpected delays, and…long story short…my bike now has a week long vacay in the shop.  Hopefully when I see my Giant on the flip side it will have gears that switch when I want them too, brakes that stop when I want them to, and tires that don’t deflate when I don’t want them to.  Not too much to ask, right?

One Lucky Duck’s blonde macaroons made errrthang better.

I mean look at that gorgeous coconut construction.  Ah Sarma, she truly knows what she’s doing.  Too bad Crate & Barrel doesn’t carry dehydrators to round out our registry.

Eventually I decided it was time to get dinner started.  I really wanted two things: salty nuts and greens.  I also knew I had to use up some stuff in our fridge that would go bad while we were away.  I felt like it was a Top Chef challenge.

While my chopping technique is mighty fine, my nut crunching skills could use some work.  I keep forgetting I have a food processor now!

I went with a more ghetto approach…mashing.

My measuring spoons are heavy, so this was actually a really easy approach.

See?

Now add all the ingreds into a big a$$ mixing bowl.

Carrots, celery, cucumbers, dried cranberries, and mega-salty crushed nuts over a bed of spinach.

Crunch master flex.  I doused the entire bowl in Bragg’s liquid aminos and nooch.  I’m thinking I need to start getting more creative in the dressing department.  I just got this new dressing container (thanks Ethel!), so with that and the help of Brendan Brazier’s book, I think I have some good salads in my future.

I had a steamed sweet potato on the side which I covered in more extra salty nuts.

I was craving nuts like a mad woman (talk about a twss moment).  Even after I finished the salad and the taters, I still went back for more.  The salt makes them impossible to stop eating, but I managed to peel myself away from them after a few handfuls.  For those who know me, this post may have you doing a double-take (I typically detest nuts).  What’s the point in trying to explain myself?  Who knows how or why I want what I want, but there you have it.  Nutty.  Do you ever randomly crave something that you otherwise have no interest in?