May 2, 2013
When we flew to New York, I made sure to pack LOTS of food for the plane ride. Not necessarily because it was a long flight (5 hours from LA to NY), but because we had 9 days of travel ahead of us and WHO KNOWS what we’d be eating during that time (read: poutine, pizza, and a fair share of bloody mary’s).
In addition to a hefty plane meal, I also stuffed my carry-on with healthy snacks so we could nibble on things during the trip. I don’t know about you but one of my biggest fears in life is being hungry in between meals #firstworldproblems. Here’s what I packed:
Mixed Nuts: I love the individually wrapped packets of trail mix from Trader Joe’s.
Granola: I had plans to make homemade granola but brought this delish TJ’s variety instead. And bonus: it’s packed with fiber and is gluten free.
Apples & almond butter: This is my absolute favorite snack combo. Also, I have a weird relationship with apples. I can’t live without them? So I brought a whole bag of mini-sized gala apples (like 7 apples) in my carry-on. And YEAH, I’m sure New York had apples I could buy but I COULDN’T RISK IT.
Bean dip w/ veggies: I got this whole idea to pack a healthy travel meal from this amazing blog post. I used her recipe for white bean dip, which was beyond delicious and full of protein. The carrots and cucumber sticks were great to snack on throughout the flight.
Farro salad w/ beets, sweet potatoes, and arugula: Now here’s where I REALLY packed in the health. This was our main meal for the flight to New York (FYI i packed 2 full ziploc bags of this salad – the mason jar was just my midnight snack). I roasted sweet potatoes and mixed it with cooked farro, beets, arugula, and chopped raw walnuts. For the dressing, I made a simple apple cider vinaigrette (the same one I used in this recipe). It keeps great at room temperature for a few hours.
Everything worked out pretty smoothly in the end aside from the fact that I made WAY TOO MUCH food for the plane ride. Next time, I will make half as much and maybe not bring a pound of apples?
March 14, 2013
I have a half-Asian boyfriend who doesn’t like Asian food so it’s really hard to cook around here. I LOVE it on the other hand. I grew up eating Indonesian food weekly (my mom’s parents are both from Indonesia) so it’s something that I crave on the regular. Don’t even get me started on basic white rice. Kyle refuses to eat it. You know what, he’s cute and that’s what matters.
Anyway, sometimes I’ll spice things up and make a curry dish (literally and figuratively). He’s usually pretty luke warm on the idea, but this soup, he actually liked! His only request was that protein be added, like chicken, shrimp, or even tofu. Woohoo! The broth was so rich and flavorful. These are exactly the kind of meals I love. Plus, it was easy to make and ready in no time at all. I’m adding this to my arsenal of regulars and can’t wait to make it again.
1 yellow onion, diced
1 large carrot, peeled & diced
2 handfuls fresh spinach
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tsp red curry paste
1/2 can coconut milk
1 box (32oz) chicken or vegetable stock
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger or fresh minced
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp brown sugar
4oz udon or rice noodles
pinch of red pepper flakes (if you wish)
diced green onions
1. Saute onion and carrot in olive oil until tender. Add garlic and cook for another minute.
2. Add red curry paste and mix until evenly distributed. Add coconut milk, chicken/vegetable broth, curry powder, ginger, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, and brown sugar.
3. Stir and let boil. Then add spinach.
4. Simmer until the greens are cooked down, then add noodles and cook according to package directions (the less noodles, the better – you don’t want them to soak up too much of the broth!)
5. Add lime juice to taste (1/2 of a juicy lime) before serving and garnish with toppings.
February 12, 2013
Okay so I’m not really a Valentine’s Day person and can do without all the hearts and flowers if you ask me, but I was baking a pie and couldn’t resist making heart-shaped versions. I rolled the dough out, mixed the strawberry filling together, and then searched high and low for my heart cookie cutters, through literally every cabinet in my kitchen, and those things were nowhere in site. Disappeared! So I did the blogger unthinkable and free-handed those dang hearts. Some are a little lopsided but for the most part, they turned out pretty decent!
When they first came out of the oven, it looked like a heart pie massacre, what with the strawberry goodness oozing out everywhere, so I almost didn’t even deem them blogworthy enough to post. But they tasted so delicious, I decided to post anyway. Pie crust + strawberries is always a winning combination, bad photos or not. And it’s a perfect treat for the upcoming holiday of love, so make it for your lovers and friends, my little conversation hearts!
January 23, 2013
“Butternut” is like the best word on this planet. How can you read it and not smile just a little? Also, Trader Joe’s now sells farro in little bags for $1.99 and suddenly my life just got 100 times better. Actually, it could be $2.99. Either way, it’s life-changing and awesome.
For this particular recipe, I used the foundation of this recipe and the dressing from this recipe and what happened when the two came together was kind of magical. I could eat this bowl of goodness for the rest of my days and be perfectly content. Actually, I can really only eat it in the fall/winter because the ingreds are so seasonal, BUT for spring/summer, I’ll eat this.
Farro is just this amazingly delicious and chewy grain that holds up so nicely when paired with dressings. This is a public service announcement: Go buy farro and buy a lot of it. K THANKS.
Farro with Butternut Squash & Apples
1 cup farro, uncooked
2 – 2.5 cups chicken stock/veggie stock/water
2 cups cubed butternut squash (I bought the pre-cut kind from Trader Joe’s and just cut them into smaller cubes)
1 apple, diced
handful of pinenuts, toasted
2 handfuls of spinach, diced
Apple Cider Vinaigrette (from here)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1-2 tsp dijon mustard
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
pinch of salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lay out the butternut squash on a baking sheet and give it a heavy drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Roast for 20 minutes or until golden and slightly crispy. Cook the farro according to directions (if you bought the Trader Joe’s version), using either chicken/veggie stock or water. If you have regular farro from a bulk bin, use this as a guide. Once cooked, drain any excess liquid and fluff with a fork.
In a small bowl, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, toss together the farro, roasted butternut squash, apples, spinach, and pinenuts. Drizzle the apple cider vinaigrette over the farro a little bit at a time until it’s nice and dressed. Note: I did not use all of the vinaigrette and sealed the rest in a jar to use later.
January 7, 2013
On Sunday, I threw a small dinner party for a few friends at my apartment. 2013 is the year of dinner parties, I’ve decided. They are so dang fun! My good friends Ann-Marie and Jaymee came with their men (a fiance and a husband!) and it could not have been more delightful. I don’t mean to toot my own dinner party horn, I just really had a fantastic time with these people!
I kept the menu super simple – nothing fancy over here! I made Heidi Swanson’s quinoa cakes (but a super mini-sized version!) for appetizers and then for dinner, it was this minestrone soup, my go-to sun-dried tomato pesto pasta, and a green salad. For dessert, I picked up a few pastries from a local bakery and served it with ice cream. I kinda want to have dinner parties every night. I wonder if Kyle would mind??
It was such a perfect way to end the weekend. Now on to a crazy busy week ahead. Hope your weekend was lovely!