Tag Archive: food


I finally tried quinoa pasta (gluten free) today – and loved it. It’s very firm and tastier than regular pasta, in my opinion.

I made a simple dish with sautéed red bell peppers tossed with the cooked pasta and parmesan, seasoned with Italian herbs, salt, and a bit of balsamic vinegar. I mixed in fresh arugula at the end, because arugula makes everything better. It was light, nutritious, and delicious.

quinoa pasta with bell pepper, parmesan, and arugula

Fresh 20 and last night’s dinner

In a (continuing) effort to cook our own food, I bought a Groupon for this service called Fresh 20. They send weekly meal plans (vegetarian and gluten-free available!) with shopping lists and nutrition information and thus take the thinking out of cooking. Given that for me, the creative part takes more time (and anguish) than the prep itself, it seemed the perfect solution! I just activated my subscription (vegetarian) and I am happy to report that the recipes are interesting and appealing. But I didn’t make them. And that’s OK. Because they provided inspiration and ideas, so I couldn’t help but put my own twist on things.

So, what was for dinner yesterday?

Lentil-potato cakes, inspired by Fresh 20’s Mediterranean cakes recipe. I made mine with cooked lentils and potatoes, egg, bread, lots of parsley and dill, Moroccan seasoning, and added in peas and carrots for a bit of color and texture variation.

Lentil potato cakes

And watermelon salad with feta cheese, almonds, and mint, served with warm pita (in our case, store-bought naan):

Watermelon salad with feta and almonds

It was a nice summer meal, and most of the time was taken by boiling the lentils and potatoes, so I guess it counts as easy? – OK, medium difficulty 🙂

 

What’s been coooking lately?

I’ve been on a roll lately, and, with renewed commitment and enthusiasm, we tried eating at home at least 4-5 days a week. Here’s what’s been cooking lately 😉

This is a dish I quasi-invented with sauteed onions & apples, kale and quinoa – with a few toasted walnuts sprinkled on top.

The tostadas above start with vegetarian refried beans (from a can) and a bit of cheese. After broiling for a few minutes until the cheese melted, we topped them with a salsa made with tomato, mango, avocado, lime, and cilantro.

This soup started as a joke, after I saw a gross-looking green smoothie in Yoga Journal. But then I thought, why not make it into a savory soup? I blended an avocado, half a cucumber, spinach leaves and broccoli sprouts with lime and vegetable stock. I had leftover fresh corn and added it to the soup, along with pita chips. It was amazing!

This dish was surprisingly good – the kind I would actually pay money for in a restaurant. It is… barley (yes, barley) with shiitake mushrooms. I soaked the barley over night so it would cook in about 20 minutes. I sauteed onions, then shiitake mushrooms, and seasoned with dry Italian herbs and tomato paste – I basically followed the directions on the barley bag, but added shiitake. The flavors were amazingly savory and satisfying, and the nuttiness of barley made this dish so much better than a risotto. We sprinkled a bit of parmesan cheese on top.

There were other dishes, of course, but without photos, I don’t remember them. That’s why it’s important to save them here, for weeks when I need inspiration!

What have you been cooking lately?

I’ve been COOKING lately!!! The next few blog posts will document the “masterpieces”… but for now, we had a small vegetarian cook-out yesterday that my mom would be proud of:

We started with the traditional Romanian eggplant salad – it’s the Romanian version of baba ganouj: roasted, mashed eggplants flavored with salt, lemon, minced onion, and olive oil (we sometimes add a bit of mayo for smoothness).

Eggplant salad and roasted red peppers (marinated in a balsamic vinaigrette) go together like… peanut butter and jelly.

We roasted sweet potato wedges, and I made a lime-cilantro yoghurt/mayo dressing to with them.

We had a nice and light pasta salad with cherry tomatoes, fresh red bell peppers, kalamata olives, and feta cheese.

It all went perfectly with a light pinot grigio.

A perfect evening meal for a perfect September day.

Sweet potato coconut curry

Sweet potatoes sautéd with ginger & curry powder, add coconut milk, simmer 20 minutes, when almost done add red bell pepper & broccoli. Serve with jasmine rice.

Lemon Broccoli Risotto

Sunday night dinner:

Cranberry, feta, and roasted walnut spinach salad

and lemon broccoli risotto

Worked well with some pinot grigio, and wasn’t hard to make. Loved the lemon flavor of the risotto!

Butternut squash pizza

As an update to the previous post, I made the butternut squash pizza. It was relatively easy because I already had roasted butternut squash and caramelized onions left over from a previous day. I used naan as the base, and here is the result:

Butternut squash pizza with caramelized onions and blue cheese

Butternut squash pizza

And since I still have some roasted butternut squash, this roasted butternut squash salad with warm cider vinaigrette is on the menu for today, along with puff pastries, some filled with cheese, others with sweet potato, pecans, and goat cheese, inspired by these sweet potato empanadas.

Fall pizza

On the “to cook soon” list:

Gnocchi

No, don’t worry, I didn’t make these overnight… but came across these recipes and would like to save them here for a day when I have time and feel inspired… or for when Liz visits again 🙂

(Now, I have to remember not to tag this post as “easy cooking” 😉 )

Sweet potato & quinoa salad

This is based on a recipe I saw in a magazine (Yoga Journal?). It’s the first time I made it, but it shouldn’t be the last!

It’s a simple salad with cooked quinoa, sweet potatoes (steamed or baked, cubed), and almonds. I added some golden raisins. For the dressing, the main ingredient was fresh ginger (LOTS of it!), which I blended with honey, apple cider vinegar, tamarind chutney, a few drops of chili-sesame oil, and… ginger ale (the recipe called for orange juice, but I didn’t have any).

It is an easy, satisfying meal, packed with layers of flavor from the dressing. We had it with plain Greek yogurt on the side.

It doesn’t look spectacular, so, no picture (although this time my husband reminded me before it was too late!).