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The Urge to Herbal: An Herb-Growing Update

15 Jul

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My Herbs and I: A Complicated Love Story

Once upon a time — a couple of months ago, in fact — I tried my hand at growing a series of herb plants on the galley kitchen’s big windowsill. I’m a fan of growing and cooking with fresh herbs whenever it’s feasible (check out this post for more herbalicious ideas!), and with pots, seeds and soil in tow, I made my move.

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Mission Organization: A Mini Kitchen Cabinet Change-Up

20 May

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Sometimes, the smallest changes are the most exciting.

Have you ever found that little organizational differences can be a big breath of fresh air? A new storage unit, labeled baskets, even rearranging closet shelves can have a big difference on one’s peace of mind.

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Dinner in 10: 5 Quick Meals for Busy Weeknights

15 Mar
Image sourced from diligogames.blogspot.com.

Image sourced from diligogames.blogspot.com.

Ever gotten home itching for dinner … only to see that it’s 8:30, nothing’s cooked, and your stack of takeout menus looks awfully appealing?

We’ve all been there! And while I’m a big advocate for meal planning when you grocery shop to avoid these kinds of “Egads! What the heck can I eat??” moments, time crunches, schedule shifts and last-minute snafus are inevitable. Who knows when you’ll have to stay late at the office, attend a last minute meeting, or hit traffic on your way home? And with a growling stomach, it’s a wonder we don’t have an epidemic of hangry* Americans on our hands.

Image sourced from etsy.com. Yup, that's me at about 5 pm every day.

Image sourced from etsy.com. Yup, that’s me at about 5 pm every day.

* Hungry + Angry. You know what I mean. 🙂

For these nights, I’ve whipped up this list of 5 Quick Meals for Busy Weeknights. Don’t worry, they aren’t just PB & J (well, one of them is — with a twist!); instead, they’re hearty, healthy meals that you can put together in about 10 minutes flat. Wallet-friendly, healthy food in less time than it takes to wash your hair. Win.

Tex-Mex Egg Scramble: Spray a microwave-safe cereal bowl with Pam or other cooking spray. Crack two eggs into the bowl, mixing lightly with a fork. Add 1 tsp of salsa, a sprinkle of chili powder, and a dash of garlic salt. Microwave in 40-second spurts until mostly cooked through. Scramble again with the fork and microwave for one final 20-30 second stretch. Serve over salad greens with a sprinkling of Mexican-blend cheese.

Deluxe ABJ: Toast two slices of whole-grain bread. Spread one slice with 1-2 tbsp almond butter. Spread the other slice with 1 tsp peach or strawberry jam. Sprinkle the almund butter slice with ground flax seed meal, and slice 1 banana to add to the sandwich.

Spicy Tuna Wrap: In a small bowl, mix 1 drained can of albacore tuna with 1-2 tbsp mayonnaise, a dash (to taste!) of Sriracha chile sauce, a dash of garlic salt, a dash of ground black pepper, and 1/2 tsp parsley. On a whole grain wrap, spread tuna mixture; top with chopped tomatoes and cucumbers. Add a slice of cheddar or Swiss cheese (optional). Roll into a wrap or burrito as you prefer.

Quesa-Quicka: On a whole grain tortilla, sprinkle 1/4 cup Mexican blend cheese. Add 1/2 cup drained and rinsed black beans. Mash the beans slightly with a fork. Top with 1-2 tbsp salsa of your choice, chopped tomatoes (optional), and 1/2 a chopped jalapeno (also optional!). Fold in half. Toast under a preheated 500° F broiler for 5 minutes, or until tortilla is brown and cheese has melted, flipping once. Cut into wedges and serve with salsa and sour cream.

Microwave Croque Monsieur: Toast a piece of whole grain bread. While the bread is toasting, set aside a slice of Swiss cheese. Spray a microwave-safe bown with cooking spray. Add 1 tsp water and 1 whole egg. Cover with Saran wrap or other plastic wrap. Microwave in 30-second spurts until the egg appears cooked to your liking. Place slice of Swiss cheese on toast; top with fried egg. Season with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of Sesame oil for an Asian twist on a classic French sandwich.

The possibilities for quick meals are pretty much endless, but these are among my favorites when I’m feeling like a hungry-hungry-hippo at the end of a work day. What are your quick and easy go-to meals for busy weeknights? If you folks are vegan (i.e. no tuna, cheese or eggs, as I make liberal use of in these recipes), what are your solutions for quick meals? Happy eating!

Food & Wine: A Mini-Tutorial, Courtesy of the Interwebs

19 Feb

How do you pair food with wine? Do the old “red-with-red meat, white-with-white meat / fish” rules even apply anymore? Can we just scrap them in favor of a good ol’ Barefood Contessa-style “Eh, drink what you want!” style?

Or is there more to it than that? What’s a modern-day chef to do?

In come the interwebs. Ba-DA!

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Meat-Free Fridays: 5 Vegetarian Pizza Pies

16 Feb

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A pizza, by any other name, would smell … just as delicious. 🙂

For this week’s Meat-Free Friday, I’m starting the series with an old Lenten stand-by: Pizza! Pizza can easily be meatless — contrary to what any fan of a “Meat-Lover’s” pizza pie will tell you. While meaty toppings are often quite tasty, vegetarian pies on Fridays are such a great Lenten meal. Here are 5 Vegetarian Pizzas to try on a Friday.

Fun Fact: I’ll also throw in a BONUS recipe for whole grain dough that you can make at home. If you’re pursuing healthy eats in general, why not go whole hog (er, whole … vegetarian hog?) and try your own dough? Happy eating!

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Welp, There Goes the Casserole: Learning to Live with, and Love, Kitchen “Mistakes”

13 Jan

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Resolution fail this week! Conferences, an overnight retreat, and grading have left me swamped. However, if at first you don’t succeed, beat that dead horse-of-a-goal until it’s … um, well-beaten? Back with a vengeance this week, my friends. I’ll be letting some cool cats out of some bags in the next few days!

In between the paper towels and styrofoam in that trash can, you might be able to spy the remnants of a meal. (If you can, kudos to you!). Here’s what happened:

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(Cook) Book Review: “The 4-Hour Chef” by Tim Ferriss

3 Jan

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Ever heard of Tim Ferriss? (I’ll get to that cauliflower in a minute.) Called “The Superman of Silicon Valley,” he’s the author of The 4-Hour Work Week, a guide to simplifying your work life, and The 4-Hour Body, a guide to … well, simplifying your body. (Diet, exercise, the whole nine yards.) One of the top speakers on entrepreneurship in the country, he’s an expert on streamlining learning and optimizing your potential.

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