Friday, December 17, 2010

Yellow Squash

Simple food.

Yellow squash cooked in a pan with a dash of salt. I don't even put oil on these.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Soba Noodles and Sauce

This meal is a little bit of a miracle. Do you know how much stuff they put in tomato sauce? By "they" I mean those companies that process tomato sauce and put it into jars. I make really good tomato sauce (I lived in Italy. I did learn a few things). But sometimes, especially now, I really need something simple that actually feels like a meal.

By doing some finagling on my daily rotation, I was able to eat this tomato sauce. It is the most basic tomato sauce I have ever seen in a jar. Just tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, onion, and basil. The brand is Monte Bene and it's the plain tomato and basil sauce. I found it in the gluten-free section of my local health food store.

I generally like a chunky tomato sauce. This isn't chunky, but it has really good flavor. And it has some chunks of garlic, which satisfies the desire for chunks a little bit.

The brightly colored noodles are a package of soba noodles that are 100% buckwheat. The brand is King Soba. Again, I found them in the gluten-free section of my health food store.

A note about soba noodles. The first time I made these, I realized that there is definitely a reason why they are used in Japanese preparations exclusively. They are not at all what you expect when you are thinking Italian pasta. And if you put tomato sauce on them, you can't help but think Italian pasta. Be sure to cook them long enough so they loose the little bit of slimy-ness. Also I wound up just cutting mine with my kitchen scissors. They were a little hard to bite through.

There isn't really a recipe here, but I am recommending both of these brands.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Baked Sweet Potatoes

For most of my life I hated sweet potatoes. I wouldn't ever eat them. Then I had a friend in grad school who told me that marshmallows on top wasn't the only way to eat sweet potatoes. Really?

Now I love sweet potatoes. It got so bad last year, I started to turn orange. Does that memory stop me? No!

Baked Sweet Potatoes
Preheat the oven to 350. Wash and dry the sweet potato. Drizzle a little oil and rub it in. I think I used olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt.

Cook until a fork easily pierces the potato.

Cut it up and sprinkle with a little more salt, paprika, cumin, and maybe some coriander.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cranberry Millet

I'm pretty sure that with this recipe I am adapting some things that I have read on the great internet. But I'm not sure who to attribute it to specifically.

Cranberry Millet
1/2 cup millet
1/2 cup (or more) fresh whole cranberries

Bring 1 cup of water to boil and add the millet. Slice the cranberries into pieces and add them to the millet, don't stir them in yet. Add a dash of cinnamon (or two). When the millet has absorbed almost all of the water, then stir in the cranberries.

I was surprised that this wasn't as tart as I was expecting it to be. But most of you would probably prefer this sweetened a little, so I'll recommend a drizzle of honey or maple syrup over top of your bowl.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Mashed Pumpkin

Since I am going with simple food these days, I'm also going with simple pictures. Yes, I will show you that I do most of my cooking on my stovetop because it is flat. I will show you my cutting board where I chopped my toasted walnuts and the debris that is left on that. This is simple food and this is how I make it.

I was still using up the rest of my pumpkin, so this is another recipe for it.

Mashed Pumpkin
2 wedges of roasted pumpkin
walnuts, toasted
sunflower oil
dried sage

I just chopped the pumpkin into a bowl. I toasted the walnuts in a pan on the stove. Be careful with that. Then I added those to the pumpkin, drizzled with oil and sprinkled in a little sage and salt and mashed everything together.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Rice with Pumpkin

I've been thinking this weekend that maybe I should change the name of this blog (again) to "Simple Food." I won't, but simple food is all I eat these days. I'm pretty impressed with myself if I make a dish that has more than two ingredients in it (not counting oil and salt).

This dish came together because it was a Sunday evening and I opened the fridge and just tossed stuff in a bowl. It was delicious.

Rice with Pumpkin
2 wedges of roasted pumpkin
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
sunflower oil
dried sage

I roasted a pumpkin a couple weeks ago by just cutting it into wedges and roasting it at 425. I think I had grand plans for the pumpkin, but they never materialized. I just froze the wedges instead.

So to make this, I cut up two of the pumpkin wedges, dropped them into a bowl with rice, heated that up in the microwave. Then before everything was completely warm, I took it out, drizzled it with oil, sprinkled salt and about a 1/2 teaspoon of sage, and heated it again. Then I stirred, and ate it.

Menu Plan

Last week (the one right after Thanksgiving) I did not do a good job of planning. I had some unexpected meetings at work, and so all my planning time was taken up. It made it a harder week.

So for this week, I sat down and planned really well. I made a list of what I would eat on each day for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Then I made a shopping list based on all of that. Then I realized there were only 12 days until I get to go home for Christmas, so I bought enough food for 3 rotations (it's a four day rotation).

Here's the plan:

Day 1
Breakfast: soymilk. banana.
Lunch: black eyed peas w/ rosemary. carrots
Dinner: cod. or tofu and sardines
Snack: pistachios. carrots. banana.

Day 2
Breakfast: millet with cranberries
Lunch: brussels sprouts
Dinner: lentils. tuna steak.
Snack: hazelnuts. apple. cucumber

Day 3
Breakfast: lima beans
Lunch: sweet potato
Dinner: buckwheat pasta and tomato sauce
Snack: brazil nuts. kiwi

Day 4
Breakfast: okra
Lunch: shrimp
Dinner: rice and pumpkin or other roasted veggies
Snack: walnut. sunflower seeds. orange