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Quickly, before it’s too hot for soup!  I make this soup when I don’t really feel like cooking or eating, but I still want something hot to make the belly rumbles stop.  It hardly takes any time at all if you use frozen vegetables.

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2 cups water

1 veggie bullion cube

1 TBSP cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup of water

2 TBSP frozen peas

4 baby carrots sliced into coins(or just get a bag of frozen peas & carrots, toss in 4 Tablespoons and call it done)

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 egg

Put the water in a pot and set it to boil.  Throw in the bullion cube and peas and carrots and minced garlic. Let it boil for about 2 minutes, then add the cornstarch mixture, stirring continuously.  Then break the egg in a cup and stir it real good.  Stirring the soup slowly in one direction only(clockwise only, or counterclockwise only) add the egg a little at a time.  Then you can turn off the heat and keep stirring for about a minute.  At this point, I usually add a lot of soy sauce, but that’s only because they don’t make salt licks for humans and I have to get my sodium somewhere.  Then I stare at the steam for a bit and wait for it to cool off enough to eat while trying to keep the cat out of it.  It’s a fast, warm meal for a rainy day if you’re not very hungry.

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I don’t usually consider salads recipes, but I haven’t really posted a recipe in a while and a friend mentioned looking for low starch, vegetarian recipes.  Also, this salad is pretty filling as salads go, and I know this friend has access to Trader Joe’s(our secret, shared lover) where you can buy all the ingredients.  This salad is a really good mix of sweet and savory flavors, and if you use the roasted squash while it’s still hot, an interesting mix of temperatures too. 20170201_151837

Ingredients

fresh arugula

5-8 cherry tomatoes cut in half(if you cut them in half they don’t pop in your mouth and squirt tomato seeds across the break room at your co-workers during lunch)

crumbled feta cheese

handful of walnuts

handful of dried cranberries

1 bag of cubed butternut squash

3 mushrooms, sliced

2-4 TBSP oil(enough to lightly coat the butternut squash)

1 TBSP dried basil(you could use fresh too)

Trader Joe’s Champagne vinaigrette

Directions

Toss the butternut squash with the oil and the dried basil.  Put it in a roasting pan and roast it at 375 for about 45 minutes.  It’s done when you can cut a cube in half easily with a fork.  You can turn up the temperature or roast them for a little longer if you want them to have crispy brown edges(which is sometimes nice for texture).

Fill a large salad bowl with arugula.  You can really pack it in there if you are a hangry, greedy wildebeast like me. Toss in the dried cranberries, walnuts, mushrooms, and tomatoes.  Pile the roasted squash on top and garnish with feta cheese.  Or pile the cheese on too if you’re super hungry. Drizzle with champagne dressing.  I also sprinkle some salt on because I love me some sodium.  It’s super pretty, and you get to feel virtuous about eating salad.

I make this a lot for lunch, but when I make it for lunch, I let the squash cool completely before putting it on the salad and closing the Tupperware.  You can prepare it the night before and it stays pretty crisp as long as you don’t put the salad dressing on until you’re ready to eat it.

It’s gone down to freezing a few nights, the heater is on, and I’m baking cookies to make it even warmer.  It must finally be winter in Arizona.  I’m not a big fan of breakfast or mornings, but I have a job and a stomach, so… Usually I make a smoothie in the morning; it’s light, it’s hydrating, no chewing required, and you can put a lot of healthy things in it.  But now it’s cold and I can’t produce my own body heat, so I want something warm.  Here’s what I’ve been making for breakfast:

Ingredients:

Chia seeds, agave, sliced almonds, cinnamon, frozen blueberries, and almond milk.

1 Cup milk or almond milk

1/2 cup blueberries, frozen or fresh(antioxidants! So healthy!)

1-5 spoonfuls of oatmeal(Fiber! Complex carbohydrates!  But I don’t like chewing in the morning, so I only use like 2 spoonfuls)

1 spoonful of chia seeds(MOAR Fiber + Omega 3s. Feel virtuous)

1 spoonful of agave nectar(or maple syrup, or honey)

2 or 3 spoonfuls of chopped nuts(I like sliced almonds with agave, or pecans with maple syrup)

1/4 tsp of cinnamon(The taste and smell of cinnamon always reminds me of winter and the holidays)

dash of salt

Pour the milk and oatmeal in a microwave safe bowl.   If the blueberries are frozen, add them as well.  Microwave for about 2 minutes, or until steaming.  If using fresh blueberries, add them now.  Add chia seeds, agave, nuts, salt, and cinnamon.  Stir.  Eat.  Scowl with squinty eyes at the rising sun.  Accept that morning is upon you.

And apropo of nothing, Deadpool Vs. Hawkeye is more fun than a barrel full of drunk monkeys.  It delivers sarcasm, action, mayhem, and a whole lotta Deadpool antics and injuries.  Basically, all the things I read Deadpool for.

Haven’t blogged in a while because life has been happening. But it’s Thanksgiving and I didn’t want to miss an opportunity to put life in perspective. I have a lot to be thankful for, not the least of which is this recipe for yams that I made today 🙂  I love this recipe, both for its simplicity, and for the fact that it’s delicious.

Things to be thankful for: I have a job I believe in, health insurance, my own affordable car and apartment, and two pets who make me smile.  For a while, both of my grandmothers were very sick, and my mom has been having some health issues too, but they all seem to be recovering now.  And hey, I still have a mom and two grandmothers.  Also, my family is cool, and I’m kinda proud to introduce my friends to them.  Life is far from perfect, but I am lucky.  I hope, if you are reading this, you are at least as lucky as me.  And if not, don’t be afraid to ask for help.  One of the things I’ve learned in the last few years is that help is out there if you are willing to ask for it.  Sometimes it’s hard to ask, and sometimes people will let you down, but there are people out there who will help.  I am immensely grateful to the people who have helped me, and I try to repay them, or pay it forward when I can.  Good luck out there.

 

10626594 So I started reading The Scorpio Races, by Maggie Stiefvater.  I can never seem to put her books down, because then I’m just wondering what happens next and I NEED to know.

This is the story of Puck and Sean; both teenagers, both orphaned, both born and raised on a small island, probably off the coast of England or Ireland(though it’s never stated precisely). Once a year the island becomes a tourist attraction for the deadly Scorpio Races, where the legendary water horses tend to eat or drown their riders.  Sean is a veteran of the races, but Puck is the first girl to ever enter.  Both Sean and Puck need to win, or lose something very important to them, but there’s only one first place. Despite the fact that they are rivals, they strike up a friendship.  As tensions before the races mount, Sean and Puck find that the other riders can be just as dangerous as the water horses, and they may need each other just to survive to the finish line.

This was a very low key love story, but all the characters were interesting, and the world of the island and its water horses felt very real.  I was also fascinated with the use of the legend of the kelpie, which I haven’t encountered before in fiction.

While reading, I also became obsessed with the description of the flaky, honey glazed November cakes.  I decided to head to the internets and find out if they were a real thing, or if Maggie had made them up.  Either way, I wanted a recipe, even if it was just some book nerd like me making something up so they can eat the book as well as read it.  It turns out, some book nerd did make up a recipe: Maggie Stiefvater.  So here it is.  I’m looking forward to trying this out!