Remember when I told you guys about my party planning skillz? Surprisingly, this was the one recipe I didn’t test prior to my party, and it was a real winner. It’s a GD miracle that it not only turned out, but was a favorite!
Here’s the amazing thing about this recipe: You don’t have to cook the quinoa beforehand. In fact, it falls to the bottom and makes a crust. Oh, quinoa: What will that sassy little minx think of next? Cleaning it’s own dishes!?!
Before we get to the recipe, though, I have to thank Mia for giving me a Liebster award nomination! A Liebster award is given to blogs with less than 300 followers as a way of making them more well-known. The rules for the acceptance are:
1) Visit and thank the blogger who nominated you
2) Acknowledge that blogger on your blog and link back
3) Answer the 10 questions posed by the blogger who nominated you
4 ) Select 3 – 5 bloggers for the award
5) Pose 10 new questions to the new nominees
6) Post the award on your blog
Here are my questions and answers from Mia:
1) Why did you start blogging?
I took a few photography classes as a graduation gift to myself when I finished grad school. I was following a few food blogs and started taking pictures of my own recipes as a way to keep practicing my photography when it was too cold to shoot outside. Nothing keeps you honest like a little public humiliation, I decided to post the pictures on the internet.
2) What is the most important thing you have gotten out of your blog?
Meeting other bloggers!
3) Favorite memory from childhood?
One summer night my family was coming back from dinner and we passed an office building that had the sprinklers on watering the lawn. We stopped the car and all ran through the sprinklers in the dark. Fun times.
4) Favorite song?
Hard one! My ipod says that Flight Test by The Flaming Lips is the most played, so that must be my favorite song!
5) Favorite thing to do in your free time, if you have any.
Take Ruby to the dog park and watch her get mad at dogs that try to hump her.
6) What book could you read over and over?
This is a hard question. I hate reading books or watching movies more than once (exception: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation) because the list of things I want to read/watch is too long. But I would re-read any of Michael Pollan’s books again, especially Omnivore’s Dilemma.
7) Worst subject in school?
I feel like I had to try way harder than everyone else in Biology.
8) What was the first thing you wanted to be when you grew up?
Cliché alert! Veterinarian.
9) First thing you would buy or do if you won the lottery?
Pay off the mortgage? That’s boring, so I’d pay to have Avon Barksdale brought back to life.
10) If you could meet anyone from history, who would it be?
2) What is your absolute favorite blog to read?
3) Favorite memory from childhood?
4) Favorite movie?
5) You can only eat one food for the rest of your life. What is it?
6) What is the last book you read?
7) Dessert island. What 3 things would you bring?
8) What is your dream job?
9) Magazine test: which one do you pick up in a waiting room?
10) If you could meet anyone from history, who would it be?
-1 3/4 cup milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
-4 cloves garlic
-1 T fresh thyme leaves
-1 t salt
-1 t pepper
-1 bunch asparagus
-2 cups unpacked baby greens (I used baby kale and baby spinach)
-1 cup mushrooms
-1 3/4 c uncooked quinoa
-1 1/4 c shredded parmesan cheese
Bake uncovered for 10 more minutes. Leave the casserole in the oven but turn the oven to broil. Broil for 3 minutes to brown the cheese and remove from oven.
For DR-Dad’s birthday, we went a silent retreat. Luckily, he wasn’t offended that I volunteered to spend time with him as long as he didn’t talk. (Kidding!)
We really did go on a silent retreat though. It was only one day, thankfully, because DR-Dad doesn’t exactly have a career as a monk ahead of him. At one point, he ran around the room shouting “I just LOVE these socks!!!” Yep, that happened. At a silent retreat. Anyone who hadn’t grown up with this man might have been embarrassed.
One great thing came out of the retreat though (besides quality time, of course). This stew. It was served at lunch, and the woman who ran the retreat was kind enough to give me the recipe. It is the perfect fall sunday dinner. I’m packing up the leftovers now for lunch.
Weekend Vegetable Stew, adapted from Veggiyana Cookbook
-8 cups vegetable broth
-2 cups water
-1/2 cup pearled barley
-1/2 yellow split peas
-1/4 cup white beans (I used baby lima beans)
-1/2 cup dried mushrooms (I used shitake, but any will work!)
-1 T thyme
-1 t cumin
-1/2 t coriander
-1 t marjoram
-2 t salt, divided
-1 T celery seeds
-1 bay leaf
-3 medium carrots
-2 roma tomatoes
-1 cup frozen corn kernels
-1 cup frozen peas
-6 kale and/or swiss chard leaves (I used a combination)
-1/2 cup canned pumpkin
-1/4 t paprika
-1/2 t pepper
In a big ol’ pot, add your water and broth, split peas, barley, beans, mushrooms, thyme, cumin, coriander, marjoram, 1 t salt, celery seeds, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook for an hour.
Yesterday I picked up a copy of The Onion and almost shot coffee out of my nose when I saw this article:
Ruby eats every meal like she’s a close second in a pie-eating contest. A re-occurring joke in our house involves Ruby sitting in a circle at a Weight Watchers meeting, admitting “I was eating food so fast, I couldn’t even taste it!”
The look she’s giving me right now says she’d like to tell all of you how she’s seen me eat food.
On another note, the Air and Water show scared the sh*t out of Ruby on Friday. Like, literally. Not fun.
Enough crazy dog lady stuff. Speaking of stuffing faces, I can’t stop making the Vegan Creamy Cilantro dressing I posted a few weeks ago. This is the latest salad pairing for my new fave dressing.
Wilted kale, avocado, tomato, and cashew late summer salad, serves 2
-about 6 cups mixed baby kales (baby kales are key – this just won’t be the same with regular kale – too tough)
-1 cup cherry tomatoes
-1/4 cup raw cashews
-2 T hemp seeds (any seeds will work – sunflower would also be good)
-Dressing of choice (I made Vegan Creamy Cilantro)
Start with your baby kales. I got mine from Costco, but I’ve seen them in a lot of stores.
Get a big bowl, grab a handful and twist them to wilt. Like this:
Then grab another handful, and keep going until kale is soft. Top each salad with 1/4 avocado, 1/2 cup tomatoes, 1/8 cup cashews, and a tablespoon of hemp seeds.
Add dressing and enjoy:
Sometimes we get indecisive over here at Doughing Rogue. Actually, most of the time we are indecisive. In this case, I actually split a salad in half and made it two ways: one sweet, one savory.
For both versions you need:
-1 bunch dinosaur kale (also called Tuscan kale)
-about 8 large brussels sprouts
-1/4 cup olive oil
Shred the kale by cutting into thin strips. You might want to take the middle vein out of the kale to make it easier to cut and chew. Also, it can be bitter.
Now shred the brussels sprouts. The easiest way to do this is with a mandolin, like below, but you can also just cut them into thin strips.
Put the kale and brussels sprouts in a large bowl. Add the olive oil and massage the kale/brussels sprout mixture for about 2 minutes. Sorry for using the word massage. I know this is extremely creepy, but I can’t think of any other word to convey this. Knead doesn’t quite work. Anyway, this is key to softening the kale, making it less chewy.
First the savory version:
Shredded brussels sprouts and kale salad with lemon vinaigrette (inspired by The Kitchn)
-juice from 2 lemons
-1/4 cup pine nuts
-1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese (Parmesan will also work)
salt & pepper
Add all the ingredients above to the kale/brussels sprout mixture and stir.
Now the sweet version!
Shredded brussels sprouts and kale salad with lemon vinaigrette (inspired by my sweet tooth)
-3 T champagne vinegar
-1/2 cup sliced almonds
-1/2 cup dried cranberries
-1 orange, cut in half
Add the ingredients above (except the orange) to the kale/brussels sprout mixture. Squeeze half of the orange into the mixture. Cut the remaining half of the orange into small sections and add to the salad mixture.
The Huz prefers the savory version, and yours truly prefers the sweet (surprise!).
A loyal reader recently asked me to do a post about the essentials I keep in my fridge. A few months ago, I might have considered taking a picture of the inside of my fridge for this post. But ever since Kath showed us in the inside of her fridge, I’ve been very self conscious about my fridge. Attempts to minimize the contents were met with tears, so I’ve finally accepted that my fridge will always be jam-packed with leftovers and produce.
I’ll do one post on my perishables and another on dry goods. Here’s what I have to have every week, or I’ll prolly starve:
My Perishables (lowest cost option is in green):
Unsweetened vanilla almond milk: I’m a big fan of almond milk because I don’t like cow’s milk (lots of reasons – this could be a whole post in itself – but suffice it to say that I first started straying from milk when I noticed that I would feel really badly on my Saturday morning runs after I had dairy on Friday – I was lethargic and sometimes would get sick). Needless to say, there is a lot of controversy around soy, so don’t prefer soy milk. I already have tofu in my diet, and adding soy milk to that would put me over the edge in the soy department.
You can get the 365 brand almond milk at Whole Foods, which is my fave. Almond Breeze is also good and they have it at most regular grocery stores. I use this for my morning smoothie every day, and its sooo delish with cereal or granola. If you have never tried it, you can get a 32 oz carton at Trader Joe’s or Jewel (local grocery store), which is low-commitment. Here’s the price breakdown:
- Trader Joe’s: $.05 to .06 per oz, depending on brand. They have both Almond Breeze and Pacific brands. I believe Pacific is organic and usually its a little cheaper.
- Whole foods: $.05 per oz for the 365 brand. Note that this is based on the refrigerated half gallons ($3.39 regular price). They also have shelf-stable options, but I don’t usually stop in that aisle so I haven’t price compared in a while. Based on taste, the 365 brand is my fave.
- Costco: $.04 per oz. Costco sells the Silk brand, which is sweetened (slightly higher calorie and has evaporated cane juice), but you really can’t beat the price. This comes out to $2.66 for a half gallon, which is almost $.75 cheaper than Whole Foods.
Here is a side-by-side comparison of the nutritional stats. Note that the Silk brand is sweetened, so it has added sugar and calories. The 365 brand also has the shortest ingredient list (always a plus in my book) and doesn’t have the elusive “natural flavors” as part of the ingredient list. If you are wondering why I have all three of these in the house right now available for photos, see my initial comment about messy fridge. I also hoard things when they go on sale.
Bananas: I always have these on hand for smoothies and snacks!
- Trader Joe’s: anywhere from $.29 to $.49 per pound
- Whole foods: closer to $.99 per pound, but I usually don’t pay attention because I’m not crazy enough to think they will be cheaper here
- Costco: $.27 to $.44 per pound
Spinach: I try to have this on hand to toss into my morning smoothie and up the nutritional content – it becomes a Green Monster! Its also great to have on hand for a quick mid-week dinner salad. The best deal I have found for spinach is the huge tubs at Costco, but there is a produce market by us (Stanley’s for you locals) that is much cheaper, but non-organic. Spinach is something I prefer to buy organic since it’s one of the dirty dozen.
- Trader Joe’s: $.33 per oz (organic)
- Whole Foods: $.37 per oz (organic)
- Costco: $.24 per oz (organic)
- Stanley’s: $.15 per oz (non-organic)
Lemons: I can’t drink my water plain, so I always keep lemons on hand to keep my water interesting!
- Costco: $1.29 per pound
- Stanley’s: $.98 per pound
Kale: I really love kale for juicing and for making kale chips! If you’ve never made kale chips before, I highly recommend them lieu of potato chips next time you are making burgers.
- Whole Foods: usually $2.49 per bunch (organic)
- Stanley’s: $1.49 to 1.98 per bunch (organic)
Morningstar Black Bean Burgers: I usually buy the big Morningstar bean burgers at Costco because I love these so many ways: scrambled with an egg, crumbled on a salad, or wrapped in a tortilla with some avocado. They are $13.69 for a 12 pack of big burgers (note these are 4 oz burgers, which are bigger than the 2.75 oz burgers sold in regular grocery stores).
Eggs: Some days, I just really crave a scrambled egg on toast with a little cheese, so I try to keep eggs in the fridge most of the time. I splurge a bit and get free range organic because I’m paranoid and I don’t buy them that often so its worth the spurge (here’s a simple guide to eggs). I don’t usually price compare these because I just pick them up at Whole Foods when I run out, and they are less than $3 for a dozen (at $.25 each, that’s a pretty cheap and quick dinner!).
Tofu: I usually have this in my fridge to make my version of a chocolate milkshake!! Its a nice protein boost for smoothies and I use it for desserts or stir fry occasionally. I typically buy firm because its the most versatile. My favorite tofu is sold at the farmer’s market by Tiny Greens, but when I can’t make it to the farmer’s market…
- Trader Joe’s: $.11 per oz for organic firm tofu and $.09 per oz for non-organic firm.
- Whole Foods: $.12 per oz for organic 365 brand.
Avocado: I like to have one or two avocados on hand to add to fish tacos (post forthcoming) and salads. They never go bad in our house. The price for these are so volatile depending on the time of year, so I usually pick these up at Stanley’s. Avocados are on the clean dozen list, so I don’t fret too much about buying organic.
I think that about covers it for perishables. I always have random fruits and vegetables around as well. This week I stocked up on oranges, grapefruits, and brussels sprouts, so those are currently spilling out of the fridge and fruit bowl. I’ll be back with my must-have dry goods!